19/01/2012 Daily Politics


19/01/2012

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn have the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Can markets have

:00:39.:00:43.

morals? Or is capitalism just a savage beast that can never be

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truly tamed? David Cameron thinks he, and he alone, has the answer.

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So does Ed Miliband. And, of course, Nick Clegg. But who's right?

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don't more universities just go private and charge students what

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they like? They are independent of Government control after all. So

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what's in it for them to settle for nine grand a year per head? Doctors

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are talking about strike action over cuts to their pensions. But

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would that be putting patients at risk when they've done pretty well

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in terms of pay and perks over the last few years? And we'll be joined

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by one Somerset MP who wants his county to have its time zone.

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you do. All that in the next half hour. And with us for the duration

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is the philosopher and now Master of a private university called the

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New College of the Humanities, Anthony Grayling. Welcome to the

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show. First, the British Medical Association said last night that

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two thirds of its members support industrial action over cuts to

:01:45.:01:55.
:01:55.:01:55.

their pensions. The BMA does and like to be called a trade union,

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but it sounds like it is to me. is if they go on strike. The police

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and army are not allowed to strike. Is it morally acceptable for

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doctors to threaten to strike? not clear quite what they mean by

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that. Do they mean work to rule, or something like that? But the only

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weapon they had if they have a genuine grievance, I suppose for

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the butt of some bodies in need of medical attention, they should get

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it. Do they still sign up to the medical oath? I think it's a myth.

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They don't announce the Hippocratic oath. They do have a moral

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obligation. If you don't care, when care is needed, that is harsh.

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lot of people will look at what has happened to doctors pays, our GPs

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are the highest paid in Europe, and they used to be badly paid. 54% of

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consultants, their pay is now frozen, but they now earn an

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average of �110,000 a year. And have a pension, according to the

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Telegraph, the average, �1.7 million a year. They all sound like

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large sums of money but when you compare the kind of pay consultants

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get to what people get in the City, it's not a great deal for a very

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responsible job, and they take a long time to train for that job,

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and it's very stressful. If people are going to be rewarded by money,

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rather than status, one accepts that might be about right.

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university professor average is about �50,000. There are other

:03:45.:03:54.
:03:55.:03:55.

perks. The high table. A low table maybe? They do have a lot of

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opportunity to pursue their interests, which is great value.

:03:58.:04:08.
:04:08.:04:08.

You are right. They can do other things. Now, as the bankers' bonus

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season swiftly approaches, all the party leaders have been keen to

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tell us they are against the excesses of the city. And reforming

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capitalism has become the buzz phrase of the moment.

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On the left and the right. This morning both David Cameron and Ed

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Miliband have been out making speeches. David Cameron talking

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about moral capitalism. And Ed Miliband tackling the surcharge

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:04:39.:04:44.

culture. Jo, give us the details. David Cameron and Ed Miliband have

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both been trying to outdo each other and show his brand of

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capitalism is better than his rival's. This morning, the Prime

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Minister talked about responsible capitalism and called for a new

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popular capitalism. In short, how to make markets have morals. But

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he's also stressed this should not be at the expense of making free

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markets work. Where markets work properly, open markets and free

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enterprise can actually promote plurality. Why? Because they create

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a direct link between its contribution and reward between

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effort and outcome. The fundamental basis of the market is the idea of

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something for something. An idea we need to encourage, not condemn. So

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we should use this crisis of capitalism to improve markets, not

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undermine them. I believe Conservatives in particular are

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well-placed to do this. Mr Miliband, you may remember, divided companies

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into predators and providers in his conference speech last year. And

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this morning he's called for tighter regulation on company

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takeovers to protect the long-term interests of British business. But

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he said politicians should be judged on actions not words.

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welcome any politician who wants to talk about these issues and I point

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out, David Cameron attacked me when I talk about these issues last

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September, but let's judge every politician on what they are willing

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to promise they are going to do. Not on their rhetoric. That's the

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test for David Cameron today, not whether he can talk the talk on

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responsible capitalism, but whether he can walk the walk and take

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action on behalf of hard-pressed consumers and the squeeze Middle

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who want action from him, not words. Two issues that both David Cameron

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and Ed Miliband know that gets the public angry, bank bonuses and

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executive pay, are also back on the agenda. Next month, many of the

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banks will announce their bonus payments. Yesterday, Goldman Sachs

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announced a bill of �7.95 billion for pay and bonuses, despite a fall

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in profits. And today's papers are full of talk about stripping the

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former boss of RBS, Sir Fred Goodwin, of his knighthood.

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Impeccably pronounced. Unlike this side of the team. With us now is

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the Conservative MP who coined the term crony capitalism, Jesse Norman.

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You can't say the word capitalism these days without putting an

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adjective in front of it. And the Shadow Treasury Minister Owen Smith.

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Thank you. Let's go through it. Mr Cameron, where they work openly,

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free-enterprise can promote morality because they create a

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direct link between contribution and reward, effort and outcome.

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you agree? I agree that they say, of course, the sincerest form of

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flattery is imitation and frankly, that's what we're seeing out now

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from David Cameron. We have an agenda set by Ed Miliband, set up

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the conference speech last year, and we are seeing some of those

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words coming out of the mouth of the Prime Minister today. You could

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see some of those written by Jessie Norman, but we will judge him by

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what he does. It's interesting, as you make a political point, rather

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than straightforwardly answering my question, are you saying Ed

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Miliband could have said this, too? There is a huge amount of

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similarity between the rhetoric that we are seeing from the current

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government right now and we all recognise that, after the financial

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crash of 2007-nine, there is a need to reform capitalism. There is

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widespread agreement about that, but I think there are differences

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between both the sincerity with which we hold the parties and the

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actions prepared to take. Markets are not immoral. There is no issue

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there. There is no disagreement there. It's a question of what the

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government is prepared to do to regulate those markets, to make

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sure they act properly in the interests of consumers. Ed Miliband

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has concrete solutions around companies ripping people off, and

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we want to see whether the Prime Minister is going to imitate those

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as well as our language. What is new and original that there should

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be a direct link between contribution and reward? I think

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it's pretty obvious and why people respond to the language of crony

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capitalism, because they realise something has gone wrong. Is any

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politician saying they should not be a link between them? Yes, I

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don't think people think that but of course, the point is the

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duration has got out of control and that's why you have the Fred

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Goodwin saga, and it's not necessarily for politicians to

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directly intervene on that. But to try to address the problems of the

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system is absolutely right for the Prime Minister to look up. Do you

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think it matters whether Fred could win keeps his knighthood or not?

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think it's important. Do you? become a question of the values

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inherent in the market system. With Fred Goodwin, you have a man who

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has made an enormous amount of money from running one of the

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greatest financial institutions in this country into the ground, RBS.

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He's not done anything illegal and has not been charged. In America,

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he might have been. Why should he lose his knighthood? Why does it

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matter? I'm not advocating that. I didn't imply that. He was right to

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be concerned about this issue. You would get a totemic question like

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this because people feel so strongly about executive

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compensation and bonuses. The Prime Minister, the City should be a

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powerhouse of competition creativity, and instead it became a

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byword for financial wizardry, which left at the risk with a tax

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payer excellence other popular capitalism, we ended up with

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unpopular capitalism put up agree or disagree? I agree with the word

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but let's see what is going to do about it. The reason finance

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capitalism recently became such a voracious beast in this country was

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because of the deregulation in the 1980s, which opened up this. Jessie

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would argue this is not the case. He would say, under Labour years,

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we saw that the regulation but the de Regulation occurred earlier and

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the growth in inequalities between the wealthy at the top, in

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particular in financial markets,... Remind me what Labour did. Did you

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do anything? Did you regulate any more than the regulatory

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environment you inherited from the Conservatives? I think there were

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lots of things we should have done. Did you do anything? I'm not saying

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we did anything to they glide the banks. -- do regulate the banks. We

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went to a tripartite system. let's... What I'm not going to say

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is we did enough. Are the problem is, the truth is, they did

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virtually nothing. Are they did not added to the regulation. They

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changed it but did not added. I cannot find any quote from any

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Conservative politician, While You were in opposition, saying this

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Labour government is not the regulating the markets tightly

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enough. Can you? Well, I haven't looked. The only quote which sits

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in my mind is a from Peter Mandelson which says we are

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intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich. Hold on.

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me speak. I asked for a Conservative quote and you throw a

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hackneyed old quote from Peter Mandelson at me. Is that the best

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you can do? If anyone is seriously suggesting a man like William Hague

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or Iain Duncan-Smith or David Cameron would be prone breakneck

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captors and we have seen over the last few years, I would deny that.

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Can you produce a'attacking the de regulated City as it operated in

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the 1990s? I think it's pretty clear that there was a strand of

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criticism of the tripartite regime which came in because people were

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very concerned about the Bank of England being taken out of

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regulation. They were worried that the they were worried that the

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split of the responsibility between the three institutions... But that

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was the nature of criticism. Let me bring you back to the modern day.

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Anthony has been incredibly patient, as a philosopher should. I'm sure

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he is despairing, listening to both. Mr Cameron speech today, nothing

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much new in it. Mr Miliband talks about rip-off Britain. There is

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nothing new about that. The hard fact is, all you politicians talk,

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and Goldman Sachs has announced �7 billion, almost �8 billion in

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bonuses for a company whose share price has fallen and profits have

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fallen. What will the people think watching this programme? What we do

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about that? There ought to be transparency in the reporting of

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the salaries and bonuses by not just Goldman Sachs but all

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corporations operating in the UK so we have some sense of the

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differential, the enormous growing differential between those at the

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top and bottom. Secondly, there ought to be people from within the

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workforce in those sorts of companies are sitting on the

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renumeration boards of those companies, to put a brake on the

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page. All the employees of Goldman Sachs are getting the money.

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Putting them on the board would not make any difference. That's not

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true, Andrew. It's ironic because Goldman Sachs went public in order

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to raise money allegedly to strengthen its capital base and

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then used that money to spare could on the market and had to be bailed

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out by the American authorities. What we do about it? We have one

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iota of time. I had written a I welcome there being a vigorous

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debate about the nature of capitalism. I hope other voices

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will come into the debate as well. You don't only want a hear party

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leaders, we also want to hear from people outside St Paul's, and

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people in the city itself. You should roll out the academics at

:16:03.:16:13.
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every opportunity! They are not getting massive bonuses. For a long

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time there's been a distinction drawn between the slightly softer

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capitalism in Europe as against the tooth and claw version, I go for

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the former. We need to stop. Last year, the rise in university

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tuition fees caused some of the biggest scenes of public disorder

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since the poll tax riots. But universities are independent

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organisations, the Government doesn't own them. So why don't more

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of them just tell the Government that they're not happy with fees of

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about �9,000 a year and just say they're going to charge whatever

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they like? What's actually stopping them? Giles donned his college

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Not being students of our higher education system, you may be under

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the impression with Government setting fees, and divvying up

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research grants, that the dreaming spires of our universities are run

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by the state. But study them and you'll find unlike Europe, they are

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not. It is different to public- private, but they are free-standing

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bodies, most of them have charitable status. But confusingly,

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the UK has only one officially independent university in

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Buckingham. It sets its own fees and operates outside the confines

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of others, but is not for profit. It does two-year degrees, charges

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just over �9,000 a year, and cannot bid for certain tranches of State

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research grant. It has around 1,500 students, nearly 400 of which are

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UK undergraduates. And many argue there should be more like them.

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Independence translates into care for customers. If you are being

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funded by the student, you look after the student. It is a good

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thing to be independent. We are the only British university that has

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chosen not to fire -- signed a contract with the Government agency

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and the others all have. University of Buckingham was

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established in 1976 and at the time, because it charged fees, it became

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one of the most expensive universities for students in the UK.

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But it has stayed in existence so it must have been doing something

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right. Now tuition fees have come in, weirdly, it has become one of

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the most cost-effective universities in the UK because it

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offers two year degrees, which then begs the question, why isn't anyone

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else doing it? Because unfortunately, the way Britain's

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funding for research is currently constituted, if you go independent,

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you can't get the infrastructure will research money. Universities

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of the highest quality don't want to go but research money. -- give

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up research money. Supporters want the UK to build a

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private Ivy league that can charge what it likes in fees, but avoids

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degrees for the rich by subbing poorer students from its own

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pockets, AND can bid for that research money. Students reacted

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angrily to our guest's proposals for a private university by

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disrupting a talk he gave with a smoke bomb. What's interesting is

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that those who support private universities also dislike his plans.

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I would argue quite strongly that the profit motive is almost

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certainly inappropriate in higher education. Higher education must

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ultimately reflect a desire for public service by the teachers and

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the trustees. I think once you have shareholders and profit, you will

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end up, ultimately, like the bankers, only worried about their

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bonuses. Last year, our guest AC Grayling

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founded, and became the first master, of the New College of the

:19:47.:19:49.

Humanities, a private undergraduate college in London. Tessa Blackstone

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was once Labour's Education Minister in the Lords and former

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Vice Chancellor of the University of Greenwich. It is all going to be

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about profit, you will not look after the students, that is what

:20:01.:20:07.

the vice chancellor said. happens that technically, the New

:20:07.:20:09.

College is a not-for-profit organisation so that is a

:20:09.:20:15.

misunderstanding. The important point made in that clip is that if

:20:15.:20:20.

you are charging fees, you do have to think extremely carefully about

:20:20.:20:24.

the quality of teaching and the kind of experiences students have.

:20:24.:20:29.

That can only be a good thing in the end. But what and who will

:20:29.:20:32.

regulate the quality of teaching? People want to know what they are

:20:32.:20:38.

getting for their money. Who will say �18,000 is worth it? There are

:20:38.:20:44.

a number of different constraints. From day one, Twitter and Facebook,

:20:44.:20:48.

your own students are keeping an eye on you. Then there are the kind

:20:48.:20:55.

of degrees you get out of it. They are being examined by colleagues in

:20:55.:21:01.

the University who will be a very strong check on quality. Finally,

:21:01.:21:05.

when our graduates go out into the world, how they succeed and how

:21:05.:21:08.

acceptable they are to employers and others will also itself be a

:21:08.:21:12.

quality check. There are lots of ways in which you find yourself

:21:12.:21:16.

under scrutiny and you have to match up. A good idea that will

:21:16.:21:20.

raise standards? At a very much doubt it. I have nothing in

:21:20.:21:24.

principle against the idea of private institutions in higher

:21:24.:21:29.

education, but I don't think we need them in the UK. We have one of

:21:29.:21:33.

the strongest systems of higher education in the world, with many

:21:33.:21:39.

institutions represented in the top 200 and those league tables. Right

:21:39.:21:45.

across the system, we do provide students with a wide range of

:21:45.:21:49.

choices and a lot of opportunity to make decisions and then when they

:21:49.:21:53.

have made those decisions, to actually say what they think of the

:21:53.:21:56.

provision they are getting. You say the choice is there, but what about

:21:56.:22:01.

funding? That is the key issue, the struggle for higher education

:22:01.:22:04.

funding. If there are private institutions that charge higher

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fees and people are willing to pay and they will get those higher

:22:08.:22:13.

standards, why would you want to stop it? I just said at the

:22:13.:22:17.

beginning and not against it in principle, but they will not help

:22:17.:22:21.

the funding of hundreds of institutions. We will never have

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large numbers of them. One of the dangers is that once they get

:22:26.:22:31.

established, they will simply say to the Government, and some

:22:31.:22:34.

government might be inclined to accept this, that they want to be

:22:34.:22:38.

funded just as the existing institutions are. You will not

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benefit in that way. I would like to challenge what Anthony said

:22:42.:22:47.

about regulation. One of the problems about starting up new

:22:47.:22:50.

institutions, and there are many other alternatives to the kind of

:22:50.:22:56.

institution he is starting, which are very big, basically focusing on

:22:56.:22:59.

training for management -- management type institutions,

:22:59.:23:04.

undercutting the market, rather poor in quality, not very strong

:23:04.:23:08.

staff and very few facilities. I don't actually want a lot of young

:23:08.:23:12.

people to go to those places unless they are really fully regulated

:23:12.:23:16.

because they are committing themselves and affecting their life

:23:16.:23:20.

chances by going somewhere which might charge lower fees, but being

:23:20.:23:27.

very bad deal for them. How answer that because that is... I agree

:23:27.:23:32.

with a last point. There's a real danger that a lot of very cheap,

:23:32.:23:36.

short degree institutions teaching mainly vocational... The will be a

:23:36.:23:42.

waste of time. Her that would be very. Eventually bid will drive

:23:42.:23:50.

down quality. I think there is room in our system for independent

:23:50.:23:54.

colleges. There will be very few of them and they will be small like

:23:54.:23:57.

ours, there will not be any competition to the existing

:23:57.:24:00.

structure and the existing structure should continue to exist

:24:00.:24:04.

and be fully supported. But the reason why you want to allow the

:24:04.:24:08.

field to be a bit more open it is that it is terribly important that

:24:08.:24:11.

there should be innovation and it is also the case that the situation

:24:11.:24:17.

as we look at it today with the �9,000 cap is unsustainable. It is

:24:17.:24:21.

a politically chosen number, the universities are not happy about it.

:24:21.:24:25.

It doesn't compensate for the loss of teaching subsidies for

:24:25.:24:29.

humanities and social sciences. In a few years the landscape will have

:24:29.:24:34.

changed pretty dramatically because they will be forced to find ways of

:24:34.:24:38.

trying to charge more. Thank you both very much. We will see over

:24:38.:24:45.

the next few years have money coming to the field. -- how many

:24:45.:24:47.

will come into the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting

:24:47.:24:51.

On Friday, MPs will debate a bill to move the clocks forward by an

:24:51.:24:54.

hour, bringing us into line with the continent. But one Conservative

:24:54.:24:57.

MP wants to use the opportunity to give his part of the country its

:24:57.:25:00.

own separate time zone. No-one could ever accuse Jacob Rees-Mogg

:25:00.:25:03.

of being a moderniser, but now he wants to put the county of Somerset

:25:03.:25:07.

15 minutes behind the rest of Great Britain. The idea is not new -

:25:07.:25:11.

'Bristle time' existed 170 years ago. Then, every town took its own

:25:12.:25:16.

time from the position of the sun. When it was midday in London, it

:25:16.:25:21.

was 11.55 in Oxford and as early as 11.47 in Barrow in Furness. But all

:25:21.:25:24.

that changed in November 1840 when Isambard Kingdom Brunel demanded

:25:24.:25:33.

that his Great Western Railway timetable make sense. London time

:25:33.:25:38.

ruled across the UK and ruined the Bristolians' lie-in. Jacob Rees

:25:38.:25:48.
:25:48.:25:48.

Mogg is with us now. He has woken up! Correct me if I'm wrong, but

:25:48.:25:52.

hasn't Somerset always been behind 15 minutes behind the rest of us?

:25:52.:25:55.

In many ways Somerset is ahead of the rest of the country. Her why do

:25:55.:26:00.

you want to put it 15 minutes behind? The problem with daylight

:26:00.:26:05.

saving time is a dozen save any daylight. There's only a limited

:26:05.:26:10.

amount and in the winter not a lot of it. Changing the clocks is a

:26:10.:26:14.

basically fruitless exercise and is highlight the point. Would you have

:26:14.:26:18.

your own pips on BBC Radio Somerset? I think the world would

:26:18.:26:21.

follow us and we would replace Greenwich Mean Time with Somerset

:26:21.:26:27.

meantime. It would take a bit of getting used to watching the 10

:26:27.:26:32.

o'clock news at 9:45pm. We are always huge queue when you on.

:26:32.:26:39.

would be on earlier tonight. At finish earlier! Is this just to

:26:39.:26:42.

bribe your constituents with an extra quarter of an hour in bed. It

:26:42.:26:45.

means when they go to Wiltshire, they would have another quarter of

:26:45.:26:52.

an hour. What other plans do you have for your county? Selling

:26:52.:27:00.

crisps by the bushel? Need by the court? Road signs... No, we are

:27:00.:27:07.

quite happy with our road signs. Do people drink a lot of need? You can

:27:07.:27:13.

buy cider by the Court in Somerset anyway. It is only two points.

:27:13.:27:17.

would happen to the railway timetables? And what they did in

:27:17.:27:22.

Bristol previously was they had two minute hands. Between 1840 and 1880,

:27:22.:27:26.

they had two minute chance so people could tell the time. The

:27:26.:27:29.

people of Somerset are so clever that they can deal with these

:27:29.:27:33.

things. In other parts of the country, people might not be able

:27:33.:27:39.

to. You'd better hope you don't get deselected from Somerset because

:27:39.:27:44.

you won't get a seat anywhere else. I didn't state specifically where.

:27:44.:27:48.

You are trying to sabotage the bill to move forward the clocks?

:27:48.:27:53.

Basically, yes. Because? I don't think it makes any sense. We tried

:27:53.:27:57.

it before and people don't like long, dark mornings in the winter.

:27:57.:28:02.

They want to get up in daylight. If you put the clocks forward, you

:28:02.:28:06.

find that people are going to work in the dark. If you try it, people

:28:06.:28:11.

find they don't like it. It would all be a waste of time. That is

:28:11.:28:15.

what I am trying to highlight. won't dignify the 15 minutes by

:28:15.:28:18.

asking you anything about it. Now, we weren't able to pick a

:28:18.:28:21.

winner to our guess the year competition yesterday. The answer

:28:21.:28:31.
:28:31.:28:32.

was 1988. Anthony, pick a winner. Des Ryan's. Ewe 1. Jacob Rees-Mogg

:28:32.:28:39.

will be on and 15 minutes. That is all we have time for today. Thanks

:28:39.:28:42.

to all our guests. Don't forget This Week tonight on BBC1 after

:28:42.:28:45.

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