24/01/2012 Daily Politics


24/01/2012

Jo Coburn presents the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics. Will Government reforms

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to the NHS in England make it harder to save money in the end? A

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House of Commons committee says yes. The Government says no. We'll hear

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from both sides of the debate. Richard Branson tells MPs that the

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"war on drugs" is counter productive. He'll join us live,

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just as soon as he's finished speaking. Yesterday, we talked

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about the House of Lords and how the bishops were trying to stop the

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Government capping benefits. We'll take a look at how they got on and

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assess the consequences. And Churchill had his ministerial car

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specially adapted so he could smoke his cigars without the rain coming

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through the open window. But do ministers today still need a

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All that in the next half hour. And with us for the whole programme

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today is the former Labour Minister, Select Committee chairman and

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diarist, Chris Mullin. First, Chris Mullin, your diaries are full of

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how you attempted to persuade Tony Blair that Rupert Murdoch was the

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devil incarnate. Do you think anything will change after the

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Leveson Inquiry? The trouble is that politicians, Murdoch in

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particular, but also the Daily Mail and one or two will macro other

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papers have got so big that politicians have become scared of

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them. Instead of taking them on, they've tried to ride the tiger.

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Usually with consequences that didn't work out very well. Although

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Tony Blair, being the first Labour Leah -- Labour leader really to

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have a relationship with Rupert Murdoch which did serve him well in

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his path to power, it didn't it? did. I was thinking recently of

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David Cameron's attempt to Remploy Andy Coulson. But there are

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examples from the New Labour the rubber things went badly wrong. I

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think this is an historic opportunity at the moment.

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Personally, I would give Murdoch or News Corp a greater share of Sky

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Television in return for him relinquishing his newspapers in

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this country. I think that the shareholders of News Corp may go

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for that. Be is something that is under consideration. One of the

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things that has come out today, people have been shocked by some of

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the revelations particularly around the Milly Dowler case, the news

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that the Surrey police, the fourth that investigated the abduction of

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Milly Dowler, was told by the News of the World of newspaper back in

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2002 that it had access to a missing girl's voice mails. It just

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shows it wasn't just the politicians and the relationships

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between police and press were almost extremely close, perhaps too

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close. The number of skiers, yes. Politicians, certainly. The police,

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obviously. There's a range of subjects on which it's not possible

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to have a rational discussion on this subject. It's not possible to

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have a rational discussion because of the amount of hysteria that can

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be whipped up by the tabloids. Tax policy, drug policy, we are going

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to discuss that later. Immigration and asylum. A list of subjects that

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have no serious discussion taking place. And you say that because of

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the fear rob some populist campaign being run? Undoubtedly that is the

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case. Should the result be the regulation of the press? There has

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been evidence given from James Harding, saying that would be a

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disaster, it would have a chilling effect, he said, on the press.

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not arguing for statutory regulation of the newspaper, but

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one has to say that the television company, both the BBC and ITV, are

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regulated. I don't think it has a particularly chilling effect on

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them if it's done sensitively. The key thing is to break these empires

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up so they become less arrogant, less powerful and, I think that the

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moment has come. You don't think it will be dangerous in terms of

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stifling the press? We don't have freedom of the press. We have

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newspapers who are owned by a handful of oligarchs. They

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sometimes abused the power at their disposal. That's one of the reasons

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we are in the difficulty we are now boast a now we've got an

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opportunity to separate Murdoch from his newspapers. I hope the

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politicians will have the courage to put that deal on the table.

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have many months more of the League say inquiry. Later in the programme

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we will be taking a look at the government's car service. Chris

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wrote in his diaries how he tried to get rid of his state funded

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chauffeur, and David Cameron promised to slash the costs,

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forcing ministers onto the tubes and buses. But our question for you

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today is - which of these cars is not a car in the government pool?

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At the end of the show Chris will hopefully be able to give us the

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The Government's plans to reform the NHS in England have met

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numerous hurdles. Last year the Bill was held up after concerns

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from Liberal Democrats. Last week the unions for nurses and midwives

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moved to a position of "outright opposition" to the plans. Now a

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former Conservative Health Secretary has waded into the debate

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saying the reforms are distracting from the real challenge of funding

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the health service. Andrew Lansley is performing radical surgery on

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the NHS in England. His plans will see GPs take control of much of the

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NHS budget and encourage greater competition with the private sector.

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Mr Lansley also wants the NHS to save �20 billion by 2015 through

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efficiency savings. However, these twin aims are proving controversial.

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Stephen Dorrell, who chairs the Commons Health Select Committee and

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is himself a former Conservative Health Secretary, has criticised

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the plans. His committee has published a report saying the

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health reforms are acting as a "disruption and distraction" from

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I think there is definitely a concern that managing the changes

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of the management structure becomes a priority when the real priority

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is managing health care in order to meet the demands of patients.

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report says the current division between NHS and council ran so -

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Mackay is a major cause of inefficiency and service break down.

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It suggests there needs to be more integration of health and social

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care, particularly for the elderly. By moving more care into the

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community. Here is what Andrew Lansley has said in response to the

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report. If you look a euro two down the line, to make continuing

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savings depends upon redesigning the shape of services. More

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community services, better services around patients. Better integration

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between health and social care. Will the reforms deliver those

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things? That is what clinical commissioning, doctors and nurses

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leading on commissioning, is doing. You can go anywhere in the country,

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including health select committee members' constituencies and find

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their clinical Commissioner's coming together with local

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authorities who are into gritting health and social care, who are

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redesigning services in order to deliver better results in the

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future. With us now is Roswyn Hakesley-Brown, chair of the

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Patients' Association. And the health minister Simon Burns. It

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must her during those criticisms from a former Tory health secretary

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who was now chairing the select committee? He and his committee

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have published their report. We will be studying it and responding

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to it in due course. As Andrew Lansley was saying, we don't

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believe the situation is exactly as portrayed in that report. Which bit

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don't you think is correctly portrayed? For our viewers, they

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will understand a Health Select Committee is full of a group of MPs

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who study this intensively, who will have taken evidence. Why would

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it not be correct? Because what we are seeing in the NHS and on the

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ground is a significant move towards modernisation was a

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modernisation can only move forward by a freeing up part of the NHS to

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respond to that by getting rid of the PCTs. What we are seeing so far

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is just over 15,000 administrators have left the NHS. We have 4000

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extra doctors. And that is what you would call efficiency savings.

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That's what you want to see in terms of modernisation?

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efficiency savings, that is part of it but what is also important is

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we've seen since we came into power the NHS, by delivering care in the

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more effective and efficient way and other measures, has saved �7

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billion of which every single penny is being reinvested in frontline

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services. It is spilling over to improvements in the NHS. We've seen

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the 94 % drop in mixed-sex accommodation. MRSA dropping down

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to a record low levels. And those are the successors which have been

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Noda by the committee. But what is happening, according to Stephen

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Dorrell, is there is salami-slicing going on. Services are being cut in

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order to keep up with the modernisation programme. Are you

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denying that? I do not believe that is the case. We cannot see evidence

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of what is going on in the NHS of salami-slicing. Yes, the NHS is

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facing challenges, it is responding to those challenges in different

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circumstances because of the economic situation we inherited.

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Stephen Dorrell is wrong? I believe that if the main thrust is there is

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salami-slicing going on, that is not been shown that in the NHS.

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there salami-slicing, our services being cut in certain areas to make

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the efficiencies? Our evidence suggests DS. We have an exponential

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increase in calls to our helpline in relation to what is happening on

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the ground. For example, we had a 94-year-old yesterday who couldn't

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get new batteries for his hearing aid. We've had numerous reports

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from patients about the waiting time for particular episodes of

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surgery. There are instances of poor care where patients are being

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encouraged to pass you're in or even defecate in their beds because

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there are not enough nurses to deliver the service. And you would

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say that is the result of the savings being made? Systems

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failures. First of all, the waiting times. The waiting times and number

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of people waiting is stable at the moment. Let's define them. The one

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you might be referring to his 18 week. The median waiting time in

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the last month has dropped to 8.1 weeks, which is lower than when we

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came into power. The number of people waiting over 52 weeks has

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been halved in the last two months. But do you deny that the figure has

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gone up quite dramatically and some of the other... On some of the

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measures people awaiting much longer. Between 18 weeks and and a

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52 weeks there has been an increase which we are addressing. If you

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look at the figures, there are a few trusts that have got individual,

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specific problems where action plans are now in place to bring

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those figures down. We will continue, or the NHS will continue,

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its drive to see that they start falling to respond to the median

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waiting time falling and the over 52 weeks falling. Let's take some

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of the other examples. What do you say to that? It does sound as it

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patients are suffering as a direct result of people saying, this

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servants isn't perhaps widely used, we will cut it? Some of the

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examples that were given our appalling. But one has to look to

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see, is it to do with the way in which the care is being provided?

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Is enough time being spent by nurses looking after patients? That

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is why Andrew Lansley asked the CQC to do a number of cheques of

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dignity and nutrition in hospitals, 150 carried out last year. Over 200

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going to be carried out this year in hospitals. Salas to Raich -- so

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as to raise standards. Are you reassured by this, Roswyn Hakesley-

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Brown? Are you convinced they will be able to deliver this plan

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without more services being cut? We have real concerns about how

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much the reforms are costing. There are issues in the level of money

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being spent on the legislation. We have concerns about the services

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and quality that is being delivered. We have just launched a Care

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Campaign in relation to care of the elderly, because it is that group

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of people which demographically is the largest group of patients and

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social care users. They are really suffering at this point in time.

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Can I briefly bringing Chris Mullin? Do you accept that the

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government is now having to take measures to reform the NHS? Not

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necessarily directly as a result of all the money that was put into the

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NHS and the Labour, but that Labour did failed to reform it at the same

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time? There is all the scope for improving the efficiency of an

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organisation as fast as the NHS. I don't agree that we failed to

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reform it. We didn't do everything we wanted to land that now falls to

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the present government. But if I was the present government I would

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listen carefully to what Stephen Dorrell, former Secretary of State

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for Health and the very thought Omand, to what he and his

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colleagues have had to say about the proposed reforms.

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impression from Andrew Lansley is, even from yourself you think he is

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wrong and it doesn't sound like you will take any notice of it at all,

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is that wise? We will study the report. Where we believe the report

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is not an accurate assessment of what is going on in the NHS, we

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will point that out in our response. Can I pick up an important point

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that was made about the cost? There is a one-off cost, as shown by the

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impact assessment, of 1.2 to �1.3 billion for the modernisation. But

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thereafter, for the rest of this Parliament, there will be a savings

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of �4.5 billion. Then for the rest of the decade a �1.5 billion saving

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each year of which every penny will be reinvested in the NHS. That is

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Is that achievable? I am very doubtful. The impact assessment and

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it is based on fact and analysis of the modernisation. But on the

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ground, the reality has been different. The assessment may have

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said one thing, the impact on the ground while doing the reforms at

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the same time is proving to be much more difficult, which means you

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could have an overspend at the end, you will not save money, and there

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would backfire. What is going on on the ground within the NHS is that

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over the last 18 months, �7 billion has been saved by greater

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effectiveness, efficiency and other measures and every single penny of

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that �7 billion is being reinvested. If that is any achievement. Even if

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some services have been affected, to save that amount of money will

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in the end have a positive effect, won't it? It will have a positive

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effect, but looking at all of the other contextual details about the

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finance. For example, the private providers. That is about profit. We

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are very concerned about profit and patience. That was something

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brought up by your Lib Dem coalition colleagues in terms of

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profit. Looking at another area, social care, that is the other area

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that has been picked up by the committee. How much integration

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will there be between health and social care? It is important that

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they work together, that has been worked on since Stephen Dorrell was

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Secretary of State and I was his junior minister. The last

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government, to their credit, moved that agenda forward and there were

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great strides, but more needs to be done. They are working together so

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they are putting the patient at the heart of care, they are not

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languishing in hospitals when they should not be. They should not be

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in hospital if it is more appropriate to treat them in the

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community, and they get that care and assistance. That is what is

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being worked on and at the same time, the Government, in talks with

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the Labour opposition, are seeking on the other related subject, long-

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term care and the financing of it, sitting around a table, seeking to

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get consensus. Very briefly, we knew rebalance the spending between

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healthcare and social care? We have already made extra money available

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and we are looking at the most effective ways of providing money

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to deal with the situation. Thank you. Her

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Britain should forget the so-called "war on drugs" which has been both

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ineffective and incredibly wasteful. That's according to the Virgin boss,

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Sir Richard Branson. This morning, he's been appearing in front of the

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Home Affairs Select Committee and he's been comparing the attitude of

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successive governments towards the problems to the Prohibition era in

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the United States which tried to outlaw alcohol. He thinks that they

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do better in Switzerland and Portugal where decriminalisation

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has - in his opinion - successfully led to lower drug use. By not

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regulating drugs at all and checking on drugs, three people

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died in hospital recently from taking Ecstasy tablets, but they

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were not ecstasy tablets, they were laced with DNA so the kids did not

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know what they were taking. At the moment it is completely unregulated,

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with nobody checking up on what the kids are taking. And Sir Richard

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Branson joins us now from Central Lobby. We have heard some of the

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evidence you have been giving, but what is the hard evidence that

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decriminalisation would lead to lower levels of drug use and drug

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addiction? I am part of the global drug commission that was set up by

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President Cardoso of Brazil and it has people like Kofi Annan and many

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other people. We spent a long time studying 50 years of evidence.

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Portugal is one good example, the last 10 years not one person has

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been sent to prison for taking any kind of drug. Everybody has been

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helped. The Department of Health now looks after the drug issues in

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Portugal, not the Home Office. It has been a tremendous success. The

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amount of people taking hard drugs has more than halved, the amount of

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people taking soft drugs has come down dramatically because nobody

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has gone to prison. It has reduced the cost to the state, the amount

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of break-ins has reduced dramatically because one of the

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reasons people break in it is because they need to get their drug

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effects. That is one example that has worked well. There is still

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this problem with the message itself. What message does it send

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out to people, decriminalisation. Politically it is not palatable.

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think you'll find that asking people to treat drugs as a health

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problem and not a criminal problem is a positive message. At the

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moment, you've got between 3 million a 5 million young people

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every year using cannabis. 100,000 of those people are arrested for

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using small amounts of cannabis. They then get criminal records. It

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is ruining their careers, their chances of trouble and so on. --

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travel. Three to 5 million people are taking drugs anyway. All we are

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saying is get out and make sure they are being helped. Don't

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prosecute them if they take excess drugs, in the same way you take

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excess alcohol, make sure people are helped and not prosecuted.

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some extent, these arguments have been made over the years. No doubt

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during the years you have been serving on that Global Commission.

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What makes you think the political will is there now to change that

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mindset from looking at it as criminal behaviour to a health

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issue? Very simply, the commission has done a big study on the war on

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drugs and it has proven it has failed. Every decade, the amount of

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people that use drugs has gone up dramatically. If something fails,

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if I'm running a business that is failing, a look at better ways of

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dealing with the problem. There must be better ways of dealing with

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the problem and therefore I welcome the House of Commons Select

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Committee doing a study on it and seen if they can come up with a

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better way. The commission welcomes this. Stay with us a moment if you

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can. Chris Mullin, you served on the Home affairs Select Committee.

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Under the last government, what was discussed internally and how

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different was it what came out publicly? I chaired a major inquiry

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into drugs policy and we came to the conclusion that we needed to

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move towards what Richard Branson has just been saying. Reduction

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rather than criminalisation. A small number of our proposals were

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taken up, although the one on cannabis -- cannabis, the

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recommendation was implemented, reducing from Class B to a classy

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and then the next thing that happened, hysteria was organised in

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the Daily Mail and elsewhere and the Government caved in to it. They

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reversed the change. We really have to move in this country towards a

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rational debate on drugs. As Richard Branson says, what we have

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been doing until now is not working. If you look at countries like

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Portugal, what they are doing appears to be working. We should

0:23:000:23:05

stop banging our heads against a brick wall. Richard Branson, there

0:23:050:23:08

have been attempts to do what you have suggested and it is extremely

0:23:080:23:12

difficult because the public and political will is not there. Well,

0:23:120:23:18

as he said, it should be assigned to be based fact. It is up to

0:23:180:23:22

politicians to get the message across and sometimes to ignore a

0:23:220:23:26

newspaper like the Daily Mail and just get on and do what they

0:23:260:23:30

believe is right. If you talk to any individual politician, they

0:23:300:23:36

know what is right. David Cameron, 10 years ago, wanders on a Select

0:23:360:23:42

Committee where he argued exactly what I'm arguing. Now he's Prime

0:23:420:23:46

Minister, anyway... He's not doing anything about it. He's got to be

0:23:460:23:49

brave as Prime Minister and you have to do what's right for the

0:23:490:23:54

country and society and the individuals and treat them like

0:23:540:23:56

your children or treat them like your brothers and sisters who have

0:23:560:24:01

a problem. You would never throw your family in prison, you would

0:24:010:24:06

help them. Richard Branson, thank you very much. Did David Cameron

0:24:060:24:11

served with you? He did. He played a very constructive part and I

0:24:110:24:14

suspect he is sympathetic to the arguments which Richard Branson is

0:24:150:24:19

making. It is very good that people like Richard Branson are saying

0:24:190:24:26

this out loud. Scientific evidence... It is a dangerous

0:24:260:24:31

message and that is why it hasn't worked. It is not a dangerous Mrs

0:24:310:24:38

unless it is misrepresented. It has been misrepresented up until now.

0:24:380:24:41

When I was first starting out as a correspondent here at Westminster,

0:24:410:24:44

everyone knew all the names of MPs who rebelled against their party's

0:24:440:24:47

whips. The regulars became household names. But these days

0:24:470:24:50

you'd need to be really good at maths to do that because there are

0:24:500:24:53

so many of them. This parliament is the most rebellious we've had for

0:24:530:24:59

more than 50 years, as Max Cotton reports. The fixed-term Parliament

0:24:590:25:04

Bill, the European Union Bill, the Localism Bill, a coalition

0:25:040:25:08

legislation has attracted an enormous number of parliamentary

0:25:080:25:13

rebels. It has turned rebellion in the Commons from a really big deal

0:25:130:25:19

into not much of a story. Back in the day, when nine Tories lost the

0:25:190:25:22

Conservative whip in the fall-out of the Maastricht treaty, the

0:25:220:25:27

rebellion made headlines for months. Party loyalty 20 odd years ago was

0:25:270:25:34

taken much more seriously than it is today. Why? Have no leadership.

0:25:340:25:38

-- no leadership likes descent, but it is a reflection of a much

0:25:380:25:43

greater change going on nationally. The attachment to party

0:25:430:25:48

organisations is much less than it was when I first was elected to

0:25:480:25:51

Parliament and that is clear and certain. Therefore the

0:25:510:25:56

disconnection is that members of parliament perhaps feel a stronger

0:25:560:26:01

loyalty to the views of those they are elected to represent and to use

0:26:010:26:06

their judgment in that matter. MPs we have got in there are the

0:26:060:26:10

most rebellious bunch we have had since the end of the war. Up until

0:26:100:26:16

the Christmas recess, there were rebellions in 179 divisions. That

0:26:160:26:21

is 43% of all votes. It is even more unusual because this is the

0:26:210:26:25

beginning of a parliament, when you traditionally expect MPs to behave

0:26:250:26:31

themselves and to toe the line. Yes, the coalition is a very broad

0:26:310:26:35

church and some went -- somewhere, someone will object to whatever

0:26:350:26:40

Cameron and clay propose, but that is not a whole story. Voters still

0:26:400:26:44

vote for the party and not the individual, but they are also

0:26:440:26:51

voting increasingly for the individual. MPs think that if they

0:26:510:26:54

rebel at Westminster, they can start to differentiate themselves

0:26:540:26:57

from the party and start to embed themselves with their constituents

0:26:570:27:00

and get a reputation for being independent-minded and that will

0:27:000:27:04

serve them at the ballot box. There's no evidence of that so far,

0:27:040:27:09

but that is the perception. Some of the 2010 intake of Conservative MPs

0:27:090:27:12

have been impressive record. I would like to introduce you to one

0:27:120:27:18

of them, who rebelled 23 times in his first 18 months. Andrew Percy

0:27:180:27:23

says he has no ministerial ambitions. I have worked with the

0:27:230:27:28

Conservative Party 90% of times. Any other job I would be considered

0:27:280:27:32

a loyalist. I do think that although people still vote for the

0:27:320:27:39

party, they do look at the individuals. I like to think some

0:27:390:27:46

of my 19,600 votes were because I was independent-minded. Sir Joseph

0:27:460:27:49

Porter, in HMS pinafore, says when he got into Parliament that he

0:27:490:27:53

always voted at his party's call, he never thought of thinking for

0:27:530:27:57

himself. I reckon they say Amen to that in the Government whip's

0:27:570:28:02

office. I'm sure they do! I'm now joined by the Conservative

0:28:020:28:05

MP for Wycombe, Steve Baker, who was first elected last year and has

0:28:060:28:09

already racked up quite a number of appearances in a different lobby to

0:28:090:28:15

his own whips. The whips will not like you. Is this a badge you wear

0:28:150:28:21

with on? I would prefer never to rebel. I am quite proud to have a

0:28:210:28:24

reputation as having an independent mind, but I would prefer never to

0:28:240:28:29

rebel. What has happened to loyalty? You were elected as a

0:28:290:28:33

Conservative MP, people don't necessarily know you, they are

0:28:330:28:37

voting for Conservative social new vote with your party? Absolutely

0:28:370:28:42

and we mostly do. I have only rebelled on 4.5% of votes,

0:28:420:28:45

overwhelmingly in relation to the European Union. The key issue is

0:28:450:28:49

not so much loyalty to the party, but loyalty to the public.

0:28:490:28:53

Particularly on the issue of the EU, the public expect me to show

0:28:530:28:58

loyalty to them rather than the party. Is this refreshing to hear?

0:28:580:29:02

In the days that you were in government and before, and when I

0:29:020:29:07

first started, rebellions were rare and now they are 10 a penny. There

0:29:070:29:10

were many in the last Parliament. And the Government was defeated in

0:29:110:29:15

the Commons on for example the attempt to extend the pre-trial

0:29:150:29:22

detention to 90 days. I take great pleasure in being one of the people

0:29:220:29:28

that put a stop to that. The privatisation of the Post Office

0:29:280:29:33

was seen off because it was explained carefully to the leaders,

0:29:330:29:36

in the privacy of the Parliamentary Labour Party, that it would not go

0:29:360:29:39

through. Although there was no rebellion on the floor of the House,

0:29:390:29:45

major issues like that were stocked up as a result of uprisings. What

0:29:450:29:49

are you? A former rebel or a government minister? You did make

0:29:490:29:56

it into ministerial ranks. Not once but twice. I was invited to visit

0:29:570:30:03

the Government. And you are accepted. By instinct, I'm a team

0:30:030:30:12

player. I don't enjoy rebelling any more than Mr Baker does. But there

0:30:120:30:20

are one or two big issues which I think you have to... I was not one

0:30:200:30:24

of the 139 Labour MPs who voted against Iraq. There was also a

0:30:240:30:32

large majority and to some extent you can rebel knowing that the

0:30:320:30:39

Government will still win the day. People think the government will

0:30:390:30:44

almost certainly win the day. But we would have liked to have one at

0:30:440:30:47

Bolt. We were serious about it and understand the gravity of the

0:30:470:30:51

situation. But we don't want to defeat the government, we just want

0:30:510:30:55

a referendum on the European Union. That is the crux of the matter. We

0:30:550:30:59

are trying to do the right thing rather than what we are told.

0:30:590:31:03

don't want a job then, do you, in government? There are things I'd

0:31:040:31:08

like to do but it's more important, bearing in mind the context it came

0:31:080:31:11

into Parliament, it's more important to serve the public first.

0:31:110:31:16

All that dismay and contend that was developed over the years and

0:31:160:31:19

was particularly expressed during the expenses scandal, we have to

0:31:190:31:23

deal with it and get on with it. Some have parliamentary democracy

0:31:230:31:27

has to be raised up to wait. That you can respect it. I think it

0:31:270:31:31

should be an on-again even to be a backbencher. But isn't it difficult,

0:31:310:31:36

Chris Mullin, as your diaries revealed, that you disagree with

0:31:360:31:39

the government of the day and a number of things, it's been quite

0:31:390:31:42

difficult to serve in it because you are quite often being asked to

0:31:420:31:47

do things you disagree with in principle? No, in the four years I

0:31:470:31:50

was in government I can't say I found myself... There were things I

0:31:500:31:54

was mildly unhappy about of things I wouldn't have done, but not

0:31:540:31:57

things that I felt... If we'd invaded Iraq while I was in

0:31:570:32:01

government I guess I would have been one of the people who would

0:32:010:32:04

have came out of government. But every minor disagreement you won't

0:32:040:32:07

go into there other lobby because they knew would develop a

0:32:070:32:12

reputation for not being reliable. Are you developing a reputation for

0:32:120:32:16

that? I think I get a on pretty well with the whips. In my arm case,

0:32:160:32:21

it's mostly about the EU. They know where I stand on the European Union.

0:32:210:32:25

I believe we should have a referendum. They can rely no need

0:32:250:32:29

to always vote and a bar of a referendum on the European Union

0:32:290:32:33

and against an expansion of European powers. The key thing for

0:32:330:32:37

us is to have powers in Parliament. I think the whips know where I

0:32:370:32:40

stand on this particular issue. They know where they will find me.

0:32:400:32:44

So you wouldn't have a problem serving in the government if they

0:32:440:32:49

ask you? I don't think they are likely to ask. We do accept if they

0:32:490:32:54

did ask? They are not going to. If they did, I can't see me serving in

0:32:540:32:59

the government might now. Between high-speed rail, which is a big

0:32:590:33:02

issue for Buckinghamshire, and the EU, I think it would have to be a

0:33:020:33:06

revolving door. Is it refreshing to hear this? It is, because on the

0:33:060:33:11

Tory side, with the exception of Europe, they do tend to be less

0:33:110:33:15

rebellious than our loft. Yesterday, our main story was the debate in

0:33:150:33:18

the House of Lords about benefits for some ministers want to put a

0:33:180:33:22

cap on the total amount of money any one family can claim at �26,000

0:33:220:33:25

a year in England, Scotland and Wales. The Labour Party have put

0:33:250:33:28

down an amendment that would have exempted people who were threatened

0:33:280:33:32

by homelessness. That was defeated. Then it was over to the bishops,

0:33:320:33:36

some of whom sit in the House of Lords. They were arguing that child

0:33:360:33:40

benefits shouldn't be included in the copulations stop Labour and

0:33:400:33:43

some Liberal Democrats swung behind them and the scene was set for a

0:33:430:33:53
0:33:530:33:54

My Lords, Christianity, along the way of other faiths and believes

0:33:540:33:59

requires us to think most of those who have no voice of their own.

0:33:590:34:05

Children in most need is one of the most evident examples of that. The

0:34:050:34:09

New Testament shows Jesus as having a very special concern for children.

0:34:090:34:16

They have no vote in our society. They probably don't answer YouGov

0:34:160:34:21

questions. This amendment goes some way to protecting them. Quite a lot

0:34:210:34:28

has been said about the popularity of this Bill, particularly the cap.

0:34:280:34:32

It does seem to me that one has got to be fairly careful, particularly

0:34:320:34:37

in making legislation, about being too quick in Rhys -- in response to

0:34:370:34:40

vox pop. If we were debating capital punishment I suspect many

0:34:400:34:45

of the same things would it be said. After housing costs these families

0:34:450:34:48

are going to be hit with his housing benefit cap are poor as

0:34:480:34:56

church mice. When you measure the amount of income available to the

0:34:560:35:00

household divided by the people in the house sold, they get tiny

0:35:010:35:06

amounts of money. An article today talked about 62p per family member.

0:35:060:35:15

After the household benefit cap. What are we doing? I think the

0:35:150:35:17

worst thought of child poverty is poverty of aspiration. There are

0:35:170:35:21

many in this country and a household with no experience of

0:35:210:35:25

paid employment. It is a terrible condemnation of what has been

0:35:250:35:29

allowed to grow up in the name of the welfare system. This measure do

0:35:290:35:35

something different. It cuts the number of families who are affected

0:35:350:35:40

by the cap from 67,000 down to about 40,000 families. That is the

0:35:400:35:46

real cost of this amendment. It takes the pressure away from those

0:35:460:35:51

families, those 20,000 families will go on in the same way that

0:35:510:35:56

they have been and we will not have the behavioural change that we want

0:35:560:36:06
0:36:060:36:07

In the end the Lords decided in favour of excluding child benefit

0:36:070:36:11

payments from the proposed cap. The government losing the vote by 15.

0:36:110:36:16

Our correspondent has been watching what happened next. How have

0:36:160:36:21

ministers reacted? After the vote last night issued a statement, the

0:36:210:36:24

DWP issued a statement they work very disappointed by the outcome of

0:36:240:36:28

the debate. They said it lies in the face of public opinion. They

0:36:280:36:33

said that the net effect of removing child benefit from the cap

0:36:340:36:38

would be to put the cap up to about �47,000, so you are effectively

0:36:390:36:43

undermining the whole purpose of having a benefit cap. I think in

0:36:440:36:47

the longer term ministers are more relaxed about this. Firstly,

0:36:470:36:51

because they think public opinion is on their side and they've been

0:36:510:36:53

pointing to some of the opinion polls that show that perhaps as

0:36:530:36:59

many as 80 % of the population are in favour of the 35,000 limit.

0:36:590:37:03

There is a sizable chunk of the population who want the limit to be

0:37:030:37:07

set even lower than that. They also see this as something of an attack

0:37:070:37:12

line against Labour. They feel the government that they can claim that

0:37:120:37:16

Labour are soft on welfare and, as they would put it, once again

0:37:160:37:20

sending out contradictory messages about bringing down the deficit. I

0:37:200:37:23

also think that they are hoping that transitional arrangements,

0:37:230:37:27

which they haven't yet given details about, will be enough to

0:37:270:37:31

buy off some of the rebels and the Lords. Nick Clegg this morning was

0:37:310:37:35

talking about that, saying that he felt the transitional arrangements,

0:37:350:37:39

once they are announced, would be of comfort to people. But he

0:37:390:37:43

insisted the government was going to stick with its plans. Lord

0:37:440:37:48

Fowler, the former Conservative Secretary of State for Social

0:37:480:37:51

Security, was taking part in that debate. He is with us now. We've

0:37:510:37:54

heard those views expressed by both sides. Were you surprised that the

0:37:540:37:59

government lost? Not altogether. We always thought it was going to be a

0:37:590:38:04

very close to vote. I'm interested in the Bishop's line that because

0:38:040:38:10

the public is on your side, one to be extremely cautious about that.

0:38:100:38:14

When being opposed by people like Chris, I pursued measures which

0:38:140:38:18

were regarded as unpopular, that was regarded as being crucial. You

0:38:180:38:22

can't really have it both ways. Which way do you want to have it?

0:38:220:38:25

Just because it's popular doesn't mean it's right, that is what they

0:38:250:38:30

are saying. And I think if you've got a measure, basically the

0:38:300:38:34

measure is agreed by every party. This is the extraordinary thing.

0:38:340:38:37

The cap is agreed because the principle is that you shouldn't be

0:38:370:38:42

better off on benefit than in work. That is all agreed. Yes, but

0:38:420:38:45

there's a disagreement between earnings and income. We won't

0:38:460:38:51

relived that disagreement but if we come back to the politics of it,

0:38:510:38:54

the government seems fairly relaxed presumably because they are going

0:38:540:38:58

to force it through. I don't think all sit through. I think that if

0:38:580:39:01

the House of Lords has given a second opportunity, which it will

0:39:010:39:05

be, to debate this again and I'd be surprised if we came to the same

0:39:050:39:09

conclusion. I don't think the point was taken in the debate that what

0:39:090:39:14

the effect of what the bishop was proposing was to actually increase

0:39:140:39:19

the Kappa. I don't think that. Was taking. And there is no chance, in

0:39:190:39:23

your view, that that could happen, that the government could increase

0:39:230:39:26

the cat or take child benefit out or do something that would mean

0:39:260:39:31

there's more money... They don't think that. What I do think is if

0:39:310:39:35

there were 67,000 people who are affected year. That sounds an

0:39:350:39:43

enormous number but it is 1% of the 5 million claimants. 7000 families.

0:39:430:39:47

And therefore we have the opportunity, and the measure

0:39:470:39:51

doesn't come in until 2013 in any event, we have the opportunity in

0:39:510:39:56

the transition and in going to those families and looking at each

0:39:560:40:02

individual family of ironing out the difficulties that there are

0:40:020:40:06

bare. I'm not going to say one is going to be doing it with everyone

0:40:060:40:10

but I would be very surprised if the bulk of that 67,000 aren't

0:40:100:40:14

dealt with. Are these the right reforms, Chris Mullin? Against the

0:40:150:40:18

problem is something that hasn't been spoken about that will now

0:40:180:40:20

also most of these families that are going to be affected are going

0:40:200:40:24

to be living in the more prosperous parts of the country, London and

0:40:240:40:28

the south-east. They are going to have three or four children and are

0:40:280:40:33

likely to be living in private rented accommodation. As a result,

0:40:330:40:40

they are paying very large rent. That is why the amount of benefit

0:40:400:40:45

that is being spent on them is as high as it is. A large part of the

0:40:450:40:48

35,000 or whatever figure you pick is made up of housing benefit. One

0:40:480:40:54

of the effects of selling off all the council houses in the 80s and

0:40:540:40:59

early 90s was that many people sold... Bought their council houses,

0:40:590:41:05

moved to Spain and then rented their council house or flat back to

0:41:050:41:10

the local authority at up to 10 times the price that they

0:41:100:41:16

themselves were paying in the days when they paid rent. As a result,

0:41:160:41:22

rents have gone bananas, certainly in London. But that is a pretty

0:41:220:41:24

extraordinary example also most people who bought their council

0:41:240:41:28

house lived in a council house, and that was the great advantage of the

0:41:280:41:32

policy. Do you think the reforms are right? There is general

0:41:330:41:37

consensus about a Kapo, this principle that the government keeps

0:41:370:41:40

repeating, that they shouldn't be able to play more in benefits than

0:41:410:41:46

the median working family. principle is not a bad one. That is

0:41:460:41:50

no doubt why Labour is not object into it. But the consequences have

0:41:500:41:53

to be considered very carefully. Beware of consequence is that you

0:41:530:41:58

don't foresee. Sooner or later we will see families, and they will be

0:41:580:42:01

the deserving poor rather than the undeserving poor, being forced out

0:42:010:42:04

of their homes. At that moment public opinion may not think this

0:42:040:42:08

is such a good idea. That is the point being made by the bishops and

0:42:080:42:12

critics of the policy, that we can't see the consequences yet.

0:42:120:42:15

Although some of the councils in outlying London boroughs have

0:42:150:42:18

already been complaining that they will have the job of having to

0:42:180:42:22

rehouse a lot number of these families and the costs will be

0:42:220:42:25

extremely high. I don't disagree that when you get to the detail of

0:42:250:42:30

it that they Rob going to be awkward decisions to be made and

0:42:300:42:35

details to be put in. I think Tony Newton, a great expert on social

0:42:350:42:38

security, made the point in the House yesterday that you can't put

0:42:380:42:42

all that into the primary legislation. You got the

0:42:420:42:46

regulations which are to come. quite an important consequence that

0:42:460:42:49

you are Ribeiro or council waiting and not knowing what the numbers

0:42:490:42:54

might be. An important consequence is you are dealing with 1% of the

0:42:540:42:59

benefit population. When I was giving some of the changes in

0:42:590:43:03

social security, if I'd got the losers down to 1%, I reckon I'd be

0:43:030:43:08

doing rather well. That's not to discount the 67,000, but Richard

0:43:080:43:14

and beyond the wit of man to deal with the particular problems of

0:43:140:43:18

67,000 families. But it is a massive budget, the welfare budget,

0:43:180:43:22

the biggest in government. We are talking about a saving of 270

0:43:220:43:25

million. You could turn at the other way. It doesn't seem to be

0:43:250:43:31

that great if you are just looking at the figures. A I've been round

0:43:310:43:34

making changes, fighting the Treasury on changes on social

0:43:340:43:40

security for six years. I'd just say this. If you are going to give

0:43:400:43:45

up on soon -- on social security and 270 million here doesn't matter

0:43:450:43:48

and there's another hundred million here, so far Labour have actually

0:43:480:43:51

added �5 billion to the cost of this and haven't reduced anything

0:43:510:43:57

over a five-year period, �5 billion has been added. It is a bill of

0:43:570:44:01

�200 billion we are spending on pensions and social security. If

0:44:010:44:04

you are not prepared to make changes then you might as well give

0:44:040:44:07

up. That's a valid argument, Labour doesn't want to find itself on the

0:44:070:44:11

wrong side of the argument. best way to reduce the number of

0:44:110:44:14

people on social security is to get people back into work. Get those

0:44:140:44:20

who are in some cases pretending to be ill back on to the WORK register.

0:44:200:44:24

That is the best way. The Labour government and the present

0:44:240:44:29

government had been trying to do that. It's a long, slow, arduous,

0:44:290:44:33

difficult task, but that, in the end, is the best way to reduce the

0:44:330:44:38

overall benefit claimants. The best ways to go to universal credit.

0:44:380:44:43

That is Iain Duncan Smith's great... It really what Social Security

0:44:430:44:49

Secretary's have been wishing to do for the last half century. For once,

0:44:490:44:53

we have got a social security secretary and a Chancellor of the

0:44:530:44:58

Exchequer. The Treasury and the social security department are

0:44:580:45:00

together. Unlike at the time when you were in government, when he was

0:45:000:45:08

asked to think the unimaginable. It was all rejected. Yes, because

0:45:080:45:12

Frank Field's proposals then, and I guess Iain Duncan Smith's will

0:45:120:45:17

require a lot of money up front, which the Treasury at this point

0:45:170:45:21

seems to be ready to go along with. It's a very formidable conversion

0:45:210:45:24

as far as the Treasury are concerned. I praise George Osborne

0:45:240:45:30

as much as I praised Iain Duncan The Business Secretary, Vince Cable,

0:45:300:45:34

is making a speech today in which he is expected to give further

0:45:340:45:37

details his plans to curb executive pay. Yesterday in the House of

0:45:370:45:40

Commons, he said that shareholders will be given more powers to block

0:45:400:45:44

excessive payouts to people that they think don't deserve it. And

0:45:440:45:47

companies will have to justify high salaries in their annual reports.

0:45:470:45:50

But that didn't go down well with every Conservative MP on the

0:45:500:45:59

Government benches behind him. sexual state must be extremely

0:45:590:46:07

happy. -- Secretary of State. His liberal claptrap, which even Labour

0:46:070:46:11

did not do in 13 years, has somehow got through the coalition in the

0:46:110:46:15

hope of a good headline. It has done nothing to increase the growth

0:46:150:46:22

or employment in this country. Is he a happy man? I am, actually. I

0:46:220:46:27

realise that when I first raised the issue of responsible capitalism

0:46:270:46:32

I was denounced as a Marxist, I thought I had left that behind but

0:46:320:46:36

apparently not. Adam Fleming is in Central Lobby now with two MPs who

0:46:360:46:43

have been taking a close interest in all this. We have got two MPs

0:46:430:46:47

who hopefully have strong views. Ian Wright, on Labour's shadow

0:46:470:46:50

frontbench team for business, and Nadhim Zahawi, who was a

0:46:500:46:56

businessman before coming to Parliament. We heard Peter Bone

0:46:560:46:59

calling it claptrap. Is the Conservative Party's heart really

0:47:000:47:05

in this, regulating business more? It certainly is. If you look at

0:47:050:47:09

what the Prime Minister was saying in 2006 about capitalism with a

0:47:090:47:15

conscience, he made a speech talking about it, and myself and

0:47:150:47:19

Matt Hancock wrote a book which looks at how we can change the

0:47:190:47:24

culture in the boardroom. There isn't a simple solution to this.

0:47:240:47:29

There is no magic bullet. We know there's a problem. There's a

0:47:290:47:35

disconnect between pay at executive level and value creation. We do

0:47:350:47:39

need to fix this. We have looked at the recommendations, we will

0:47:400:47:45

implement 10 of the Twell. This is real change. Your leader has been

0:47:450:47:49

talking about responsibility at the top for a long time. Labour must be

0:47:490:47:53

over the moon that them Tories and Lib Dems are adopting 10

0:47:530:47:58

recommendations?, and clip -- please do Business Secretary was

0:47:580:48:02

dragged to the House to announce these proposals, but I think Vince

0:48:020:48:07

Cable could have gone further. The recommendations on things like

0:48:070:48:11

worker involvement in remuneration committees would have been a strong

0:48:110:48:14

step in terms of strengthening that accountability and transparency. I

0:48:140:48:19

also think the publication of pay ratios, where the highest executive

0:48:190:48:24

pay is calculated according to the average or lowest paid, would have

0:48:240:48:28

provided a degree of transparency. It has gone some way but not far

0:48:280:48:31

enough. The accusation levelled that Labour was that you could have

0:48:310:48:35

done something like this when you were a in the office. The figures

0:48:350:48:40

quoted yesterday were that in 1997 executive pay was 46 times the

0:48:400:48:45

average, in 2010 it was 120 times. I think what the Business Secretary

0:48:450:48:48

was trying to do was make it a party political issue. Fizz has

0:48:480:48:54

gone back further than Labour being in government. And it goes back at

0:48:540:48:59

least 30 years. We have put measures in place as far back as

0:48:590:49:03

when Patricia Hewitt was trade and industry secretary in order to

0:49:030:49:07

strengthen corporate governance. The Walker proposals would have

0:49:070:49:10

strengthened remuneration committees, but the Conservative

0:49:100:49:13

government have not put that in place. It is unfair to say this is

0:49:130:49:17

all Labour's fault. Her last week the Government were talking about

0:49:170:49:21

having employees much more involved in their companies, the John Lewis

0:49:210:49:26

model. Why can't we have to employees on renumeration boards?

0:49:260:49:31

ran a business in Germany and Scandinavia and the UK. The model

0:49:310:49:34

there is to have employee representation, but she would have

0:49:340:49:39

to change. In Germany you have supervisory boards and advisory

0:49:390:49:44

boards. We would have to change the corporate system in the UK. Who

0:49:440:49:48

will police that individual? Which country will they come from if they

0:49:480:49:53

are a multinational? This is an area which is complicated. I don't

0:49:530:49:58

think it would work in the UK corporate structure. Nor would the

0:49:580:50:02

publication of pay ratios. You have Tesco doing much worse than Goldman

0:50:020:50:07

Sachs. What we are doing, there's the legislation from 2004 that

0:50:080:50:12

allows for employee consultation when it comes to executive pay. The

0:50:120:50:15

remuneration committee is taking into account the distribution

0:50:150:50:21

between executive pay, employees pay, taxation, dividends and all

0:50:210:50:24

the other ways of distributing the wealth created by that business.

0:50:240:50:29

Those things are positive. If Ian Wright would stop political mud-

0:50:290:50:34

slinging, we could work this out and work out a system for the UK

0:50:340:50:37

that could depress practice for the world. You mentioned your time in

0:50:370:50:40

business. Were you ever scared about what your shareholders

0:50:400:50:44

thought about your salary and performance? Of course. You have to

0:50:440:50:49

worry about how you are creating value for the business and how you

0:50:490:50:53

are remunerated for it. The important thing is to make sure the

0:50:530:50:56

remuneration committee is made up of diversity, there's a diverse

0:50:560:51:01

number of people on that committee. Also, a very good recommendation

0:51:010:51:05

that Vince Cable announced, executives in other companies who

0:51:050:51:09

depend on committees to deliver their own packages should not be

0:51:090:51:14

sitting on committees of other companies. I sit on a board at the

0:51:140:51:18

moment. The committee is made up of people who do not do it an

0:51:180:51:22

acceptable anywhere else. Thank you both of joining us for top high-

0:51:220:51:25

paid is not an issue in central lobby because they both turned up

0:51:250:51:32

for a free today! The taxpayer will be pleased. Picking up on one of

0:51:320:51:37

those things. If you think the suggestions put forward by Vince

0:51:370:51:40

Cable, do you think it will have chief executives quaking in their

0:51:400:51:45

boots? Probably not. It is a difficult issue for governments of

0:51:450:51:50

all persuasions. We don't own the shares. The public don't own the

0:51:500:51:54

shares. I do hope the Government will show the same degree of

0:51:540:51:58

political will in dealing with the top earners as it is clearly

0:51:580:52:05

showing in relation to the lower earners, the people on benefit.

0:52:050:52:08

do think they are linked in that sense? If the Government wants to

0:52:080:52:12

be taken credibly, they need to do it. They have one advantage the

0:52:120:52:16

previous government never had and that is that the biggest offenders

0:52:160:52:23

are the bankers. We now own affair slice of the British banking

0:52:230:52:30

industry. We own up 87% of Lloyds Bank. Headed by Mr Stephen Hester,

0:52:300:52:34

who is in line for a very large bonus, so I'm told. But his

0:52:340:52:38

contract was made under the last Labour government and they say

0:52:380:52:41

contractually they can't do anything about it. I don't know the

0:52:410:52:48

details of his contract. It is the litmus test. He earns �1.2 million

0:52:480:52:54

a year and he is already quite comfortable. I think... No doubt he

0:52:540:52:58

is doing a good job, but I think �1.2 million is it is quite enough.

0:52:580:53:04

I don't think he needs a large bonus. We will hear it in the next

0:53:040:53:06

few weeks. Now, when our guest published his

0:53:060:53:09

diaries of life in Government, not only was he praised for his frank

0:53:090:53:12

revelations that being a junior minister is in fact to be very

0:53:120:53:15

junior indeed, but also for his amusing account of a battle over

0:53:150:53:18

trying NOT to have a ministerial car. He was happy with the bus.

0:53:180:53:21

That, it seems, was not done. But now the Government positively

0:53:210:53:24

encourages ministers not to have a driver. And certainly not a big

0:53:240:53:28

beast of a car. Giles has been whisked to Whitehall to find out

0:53:280:53:34

more. It used to be that one of the benefits of getting to the top of

0:53:340:53:39

government was that you got your own car. Whitehall, please. Thank

0:53:390:53:44

you. The problem is that in an age of austerity, with the Government

0:53:440:53:48

keen to show it can also make savings, being a minister doesn't

0:53:480:53:52

guarantee you a car. The number of the side drivers and vehicles to

0:53:520:53:59

ministers has dropped from 78-13. Not to say the Government car and

0:53:590:54:03

dispatch service doesn't have an impressive ministerial pool of 84

0:54:030:54:08

vehicles, including 38 Toyota Prius, the electric petrol hybrid, see

0:54:080:54:12

what they did for the Environment, eight Jaguars and six Ford galaxies.

0:54:120:54:17

And if you think I am giving away Today's quiz, you are one caught

0:54:170:54:20

short of a fleet. But these are now operated as a taxi service pool

0:54:200:54:24

rather than one driver, one minister. The standard rate is �60

0:54:250:54:30

an hour and money is important. In the spirit of every little helps,

0:54:300:54:34

the Government has taken the cost of government cars they inherited

0:54:340:54:38

and recently announced they had halved it. Indeed, more than halved

0:54:380:54:44

it, from 6.7 to �3.1 million. Some departments gave up beside cars.

0:54:450:54:48

The Cabinet Office, whose role is to cut government waste, has gone

0:54:480:54:53

from four to none. Business from 7- 1. William Hague chose not to have

0:54:530:54:57

one. Though all ministers are required to use the pool if they

0:54:570:55:02

are working on classic guys -- classified papers. Using this

0:55:020:55:06

system is not quite the same. There was a kindly if the relationship

0:55:060:55:11

between ministers and their drivers. Part driver, part security man, but

0:55:110:55:15

confident. Sometimes they were the best source of information in the

0:55:150:55:19

entire government system. Austerity means fewer perks and that is

0:55:190:55:24

probably right and proper. It is just that if I was in the Cabinet,

0:55:240:55:28

a terrifying thought I know, I would rather be brazenly taking and

0:55:290:55:36

a ban -- Bentley, not a battery car! Wishful thinking!

0:55:360:55:39

Earlier in the programme, you'll remember that I asked you which of

0:55:390:55:42

these cars ministers can't get from the Government car pool. They were:

0:55:420:55:46

And the answer - you can get all of them except the Mercedes S Class.

0:55:460:55:49

Joining us now from Stoke - Geoff Dudley from the University of the

0:55:490:55:52

West of England, who has literally written the book about the

0:55:520:55:54

Government car pool. How close have prime minister has been to their

0:55:540:55:58

drivers, historically? Often very close. That is one of the

0:55:580:56:01

intangible benefits of the car service. Mrs Thatcher, a very

0:56:020:56:04

famous image of her tearfully leaving Downing Street as prime

0:56:040:56:09

minister when she resigned in 1990 and her driver was driving her at

0:56:090:56:14

that time. The car service, they wanted Dennis to take over as John

0:56:140:56:22

Major's driver when he became Prime Minister, but he said no. He stayed

0:56:220:56:26

with Mrs Thatcher as the former prime minister's driver. You often

0:56:260:56:30

get this close relationship between ministers and drivers are going

0:56:300:56:35

back to Harold Wilson's time. He had a driver called Bill as prime

0:56:350:56:39

minister and former prime minister. They became very close friends.

0:56:390:56:44

Sources of gossip as well? Well, I guess so, although quite often

0:56:450:56:48

there's a culture in the car service where they say we don't

0:56:480:56:54

lead anywhere as much as people might think we do. We hear

0:56:540:56:59

everything that goes on in the back of the car. It is quite often do

0:56:590:57:03

drivers can tell ministers about ministerial reshuffles before the

0:57:030:57:07

minister knows himself. Correspondence would like to grab

0:57:070:57:09

these drivers on numerous occasions! Previous governments

0:57:090:57:13

have tried to cut the number of cars in the past. They have, but

0:57:130:57:18

not always with success. There is a precedent with David Cameron

0:57:180:57:22

cutting back assigned cars. In 1951, when Rick Winston Churchill

0:57:220:57:27

returned, he had a similar attitude. He said it had been abused and we

0:57:270:57:31

must cut back to just two or three senior ministers. But he got a

0:57:310:57:35

Cabinet rebellion on his hands and the ministers would not accept it

0:57:350:57:41

so the designed cars continued. Thank you very much. It is amazing

0:57:410:57:45

that it is a source of such importance. People will think you

0:57:450:57:50

were mad, why not take advantage? This is a little reform that I can

0:57:500:57:54

take credit for. After he had read my diaries about the confrontation

0:57:540:57:58

I had with the Government car service, David Cameron announced it

0:57:580:58:02

as a press conference. You think... He said so as Leader of the

0:58:020:58:07

Opposition. When I became a minister, I discovered not entirely

0:58:070:58:11

to my surprise that the buses continued to run past my door.

0:58:110:58:16

could not take official papers! dealt with official papers in the

0:58:160:58:20

department and sometimes in my room in the House of Commons. I

0:58:200:58:24

discovered to my amazement that it was costing each ministerial office

0:58:240:58:28

about �60,000 a year to retain the services of a car and driver. I

0:58:280:58:35

declined. Another deficit-reduction there. I made my contribution to

0:58:360:58:39

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