30/01/2012 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. The Prime Minister


is back in Brussels for the first time since wielding to the Dell


last month, but has his stance on the deal agreed by the rest of the


EU softened? RBS boss Stephen Hester forgoes his �1 million bonus,


but he and other bosses could still be in line for millions more. When


our Conservative Home Secretary announced a 20% cut to police, she


got a stony reception from officers, so will they be won over by the


compromise announced today? And could last summer's riots have been


prevented if parents felt free to smack their children? The Labour MP


for Tottenham thinks CO, so should the law be changed? -- thinks so.


All that in the next 60 minutes, and with me today is for Mark


policy wonk Matthew Taylor, who is now chief executive of the Royal


Society for the encouragement of Arts, manufactures and Commerce,


the RSA. First this morning, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced


plans for reform of police forces in England and Wales. The original


proposals were to have saved �1 billion, but after a backlash from


police officers, the Government has gone with a compromise deal.


Theresa May also announced plans to give communities tougher powers to


tackle antisocial behaviour. This is what she had to say earlier.


Since the 1970s, pays systems and the private and wider public sector


have changed to recognise and reward specialist skills. The most


productive employees are paid more, incentives are used to improve


performance. But in the police that does not happen enough. Skills,


performance and successful crime- fighting are not rewarded. Time-


servers still determines how well most police officers are paid. --


Times served. I do not think that is right. I am joined by the


chairman of the Police Federation, which represents police officers.


Thank you for joining us today. pleasure. We heard from Theresa May


about reform of how police are paid, and she said that some would be


disappointed. Bearing that in mind, when you accept what she is


proposing? We respect the fact she has honoured the police arbitration


tribunal, but there is still �160 million being taken out of police


officers' pockets, and when you put this alongside the pay freeze and


other pay that has been taken out of our pockets, it is not the most


attractive situation. Whatever Theresa May says about police


reform, the bottom line here is that the police budget has been cut


by up to one third, 30% is the amount we are losing from our


budget with inflationary considerations over the next four


years. This is part of it. You feel you have been harder hit than other


public sectors. We accept what she is proposing? We are bound by the


arbitration decision anyway, and we said that when it was announced,


but we are disappointed that we are going through a process which has


taken even more money out of our pay than elsewhere in the public


sector. There is a schizophrenia about some of the things she said


today. She said it is a choice between having our pace oppressed


and reduced, or losing jobs, and yet in the last year alone we have


lost 7,000 jobs across the country, and that is in the first year of


cuts that will go on for another three and a half years. Not all


officers would lose pay. What she is saying is that there would be a


restructuring, to provide incentives for officers with


special skills, those working antisocial hours and poor people to


have incentives on the front line. Those who do not do those things


will be paid last. That sounds a fairer division of the money.


if police officers have autonomy of what they do and where they work,


and as most people in the public will know, we do not have complete


control over the job we perform within the service. We joined the


service and are directed to where we work, and so some officers will


find themselves being moved from one post which is given one level


of pay and then moved to another post where they are finding a


reduction through no fault of their own. We think that is unfair and


does not recognise the realities of policing in Britain today.


question there is, if you take on board some of the reforms, you were


never going to support pay cuts for your offices, where you? As I said,


we are already facing what are, in effect, a cuts of the next few


years. We accept that, and we are one of the few parts of the public


sector has accepted that there needs to be cuts, up to 12%, we


said, but we are seeing cuts that go way beyond that, and it is not


good for the police service, as we heard the chief constables say over


the weekend. He said his forces facing a cliff edge, and it is not


good for the public either. It is putting public safety at risk,


these massive cuts. But you do accept the force has to be


modernised. Theresa May said it had not been reforms in the 1970s.


is not true, we have been through pay reforms of the last decade, and


some of the revisions that have been proposed in the Winsor Report


are actually old-fashioned provisions, not modernisation of


police pay at all. It is actually setting officers against officers.


It is also going to have rode the trust in police officers as well.


Police officers, if they're going to be paid for performance, there


will be a suspicion that if they are stopped by the police, that


they are being reported not because they feel they should be, but


because the officer might get a bonus. That cannot be a good thing


in policing. It is something we should not have. Matthew Taylor,


people and said the police is the one and reformed public service. Do


you agree with that? Absolutely. It was a running joke when I worked at


Number Ten, I would always churned up, what about the great unreformed


public service, the police? Everyone else would look at me as


if I was off my head because of the problems politically about being


seen to take on the police. So actually acting the coalition are


right to be trying to reform the police, and everything we are


discussing now is about the new economic circumstances of austerity,


and I think the police may have been able to fight as hard a few


years ago, but now, just like the chief executive of RBS, we are


recognising we are in a different climate. If you look as though you


are unwilling to be inflexible and the face of the pain everyone is


suffering, you lose legitimacy. There is an irony that at the time


when conditions were no more benign, you argue it would have been hard


at... No question in my mind that one of the failings of New Labour


in government was that it did not take on the police. It was too


frightened, and that is because if you are left of centre, you feel


more vulnerable in terms of being tough on crime, yes. The emergence


of a German plan to send an EU official to Athens to oversee Greek


budget plans has highlighted the deep divisions that remain in


Europe over how to deal with their huge national debt. The Greeks have


rejected the idea, and they are still big questions about how


Greece and other stricken countries are going to resolve the problems.


A summer of EU leaders takes place today in Brussels. -- Summit. Once


again, they will be concentrating on the eurozone crisis and the


search for economic growth. They will also focus on bespoke union,


new deficit and debt rules for the single currency. Most member states


are expected to sign up to a new budget treaty, but not the UK. Back


in December, David Cameron shocked the rest of the EU by opting out of


negotiations for a fiscal pact. At the time, he highlighted the legal


difficulties of countries that signed the pact using EU


institutions like the European Court of Justice. But it is now


reported that he will allow the ECJ to oversee any agreement. Yesterday


the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, made clear he


thought the veto was still in place. The Prime Minister vetoed, use of


the institutions, and he said that was because he had no guarantees


that what they were proposing would not damage the single market or,


for that matter, would cause problems to the financial sector.


We do not know what they are coming forward with yet, they have not


completed their treaty and are not anywhere near signing it. We do not


know everyone will go down that road with them. If with us now is


the Conservative MP Douglas Carswell and Liberal Democrat per


year Lord Oakeshott. Welcome to the programme. Hearing his position


there, is it in your understanding that David Cameron has decided he


is not going to block the institutions being used to


implement this new fiscal union? gather that is the case. I hoped to


be able to come on air and say this was something frightfully clever,


us going along with the idea that the other 26 members should form a


fiscal union, take the institutions with them, but I'm afraid to say


that the more I hear about the small print, the more it is


beginning to look as if it is back to business as usual, ministers and


mandarins making decisions. I think it underlines why it is vital now


that we have a referendum and let the people decide. I thought the


whole idea was that it would be a way of protecting Britain's


interests, otherwise what was the point of the veto? Indeed, I had


hoped to be able to say that there was a point,... Bad luck! If you


study the small print, it looks as if, I'm afraid to say, when you


leave it to ministers and mandarins, this is what happens, and it is


back to business as usual, deal- making in a backroom, the British


people treated with contempt. that why a Liberal Democrat has


gone on this trip to assist David Cameron? I thought you might find


it helpful because Iain Duncan Smith was not speaking for the


government yesterday, but I thought it might be helpful to check with


Number Ten. I like to be helpful where I can! That is very good of


you, Lord Oakeshott! I was told I was free to say that IDS was not in


line with the position and that is separate from the Prime Minister in


that view. I thought you would like to have that. Isn't that a rather


complicated way of handling European relations? Indeed, but


Iain Duncan Smith is a total and European. -- anti-European. I'm


pleased to say that David Cameron is starting to rein him in. I have


been watching what has been happening in Europe with great


interest for a long time, and we see these wrangles, and even I find


it too complicated. This shows why, at the end of the day, we need to


put this to the people in a straightforward referendum. What


should David Cameron actually do at this meeting? The last time he was


there, he walked out, and we now have people like ourselves


understanding something different to the Government's position.


should make it absolutely clear that the fiscal union will be


entirely separate from the European Union, and that if the rest of


Europe wants to spin off and joined it, great, too not involve us.


get a turn?! What we have seen here, and I feel sorry for Douglas


Carswell, who is a principled and two European, I feel we have seen


what a disastrous miscalculation it was by David Cameron to do that the


dough. -- anti-European. But it was popular. It ended up in a real mess.


What really matters now is that we do not block sensible measures that


are going on with the Europeans and the euro, where there is a real


crisis of jobs and the economy, and we should not have a dog in a


manger attitude. What about measures that are taken that affect


the single market, which we will now not be able to do anything


about? That is one of the big dangers, and we should be improving


the single market and getting free trade going again. A decade ago, we


had another Prime Minister from another party promising we would


have... I think they called at the Lisbon agenda, to make the most


competitive part of the global economy by 2010. How did that work


out? We are hearing the same rhetoric. I do not think these


mutual suicide pact of the European fiscal union is in our interests,


Cameron should keep us out. We are still, two years on, talking about


Greece and what to do about this country which, you know, could


default in a couple of months' time. Is it not feasible now to be


supportive of any bail-out plan when Greece has no chance for


growth? That is a separate issue where we would probably agree. I


have been saying for months and months, on this programme and to


anyone who would listen, that Greece has got to leave the euro,


has not to devalue. There is no way out for Greece. They went in at the


wrong exchange rate with figures could buy Goldman Sachs, and it is


not doing anyone any favours to pretend they can. Any senior


economists will tell you that Greece will have to devalue.


that is not happening at the moment. It is not the main point of what is


happening. Mathematics will drive against political delusion. Greece


will not stay in. The British government should get behind the


idea of defaulting on this unsustainable debt and the coupling


of the rope. Until they do that, our closest trading partners will


never return to prosperity. Withdrawal by stealth? We are


talking about kicking Greece out. Just generally in terms of the


position Douglas Carswell speaks about. It is not our decision, but


that is what the eurozone should do. This grand Cartesian design that


means that experts and technocrats have arranged the lives of millions


of Europeans has not worked out. Matthew Taylor, time to bale out?


The European politicians are doing the very best they can to handle


this problem that was not created solely by the European Union. It is


part of a bigger set of global issues. They have got massive


problems with deficit in America, which has nothing to do with the


European Union. I think what is interesting, apart from the idea of


Number Ten encouraging people to breathe against members of the


Cabinet, that didn't even happen in my time! This isn't even briefing,


it is putting Iain Duncan Smith back in his box, which I'm happy to


help with. It was inevitable that David Cameron was going to have to


go back into Europe and adopt a more combative attitude, absolutely


inevitable, because these are huge issues that affect our economy, and


the idea of standing aloof in order to satisfy the appetite of people


like Douglas Carswell or Iain Duncan Smith... Well, the voters!


For, to be honest, the voters at a point at which we need our great


minds to be resolving the issues in Europe. The idea that UK separate


It looked good in December and there was support, but now,


listening to Matthew Taylor... was gesture politics. The lesson to


draw is that the pro-European position is discredited. It is now


trust -- time to trust the people than in or out referendum. I see in


the Financial Times today that you are going on about all of these


people in Britain. He was a Tory Cabinet minister in Mrs Thatcher's


government. He's not a raving pinko. Briefly on the IMF, George Osborne


seems to have softened his stance. Do you get that feeling, in terms


of increasing Britain's contribution? I read different


briefs, given to different newspapers. If we are going to use


the IMF to do what it should do, to create new currencies to allow


Greece and others to quit the euro, I will happily vote for it. Lord


Oakeshott, Douglas Carswell, thank you very much.


The images of youngsters running a mock during the summer riots was


blamed by some politicians and commentators on poor parenting. But


could the politicians themselves be making life more difficult for


parents? A law passed in 2004 made it illegal for parents to smack


their children if it resulted in reddening of the skin. Tottenham MP


David Lammy said that the law makes it difficult for parents to


effectively punish their children. Is he right? Carol Walker is in the


Central Lobby with two MPs. David Lammy, a former schools minister,


has provoked quite a controversy by his comments suggesting that it was


a bit unfair for many of the parents in his constituency to be


told that they should not be smacking their children, many of


them felt that they would have their children perhaps taken away


by social workers if they did so. He feels that perhaps different


standards apply to middle-class parents. I'm joined by two MPs with


different views, Kevin Barron for Labour and Harriet Baldwin for the


Conservatives. Can I start with you, do you think that David Lammy has a


point? I think there is an issue about parents worrying about having


their children taken away by social workers. But if we ban smacking


altogether, like most of Europe, only four countries have not, they


would never reach the level of people protecting their child


against an open fire or running on to a road, they would never be any


reason to take children away or any form of prosecution. Harriet, does


he have a point? I think we need to send out a message that for loving


parents bringing up their children, there might be occasions when


smacking is an appropriate part of loving parental discipline. I


certainly think that the last thing you want your child answering back


and saying is, if you do that to me, I will take you to social services.


It's very difficult for the law to define loving discipline and


somebody that is going over the top. Do we not need a clear distinction,


as we have in law at the moment? think there is a clear distinction


in law at the moment. I think everyone would recognise the kind


of examples that Kevin is talking about. Your child runs into traffic,


they are very small, you bring them back in and you might give them a


short smack. As a parent, I have never smacked a child. But I think


it is a deterrent and you can warn your child that you can smack them


as well. If that were made illegal, I think that warning would not have


the same force. David Lammy seemed to be suggesting that this type of


attitude was at the root of the problems of indiscipline that may


have led to the riots. Does he have a point? I just don't see that what


happened in the riots... It was illegal, these were law-breakers.


Were they perhaps kids that had not had discipline at home? One talk


about discipline at home, we don't have corporal punishment in schools


now. When I went to school, they did. I got caned more than once


when I was at school. It didn't stop it. You know, it wasn't that


long ago when it was quite legal for people in this country to hit


their wives or servants. That has been stopped as well. I don't see


why children should not have the same protection in law as adults.


Of course, if an adult is going to do something dangerous, perhaps


with special needs, it would be right for you to stop them doing


that and you would be supported in the law. Reasonable chastisement,


nobody knows what it means, but you can still do that. Children should


have the same protection as you all right. I think there are wider


issues around discipline and some of the measures in the Education


Act. It was around giving headteachers the powers to expel


pupils without being overwritten. I think we need to work on that


responsibility, the discipline boundaries for our children. Adult


male role models are often important as well. Do you think


David Lammy has a point with this class point, that a lot of the


parents of Tuffers dates are worried about social workers moving


in, whereas middle-class parents are allowed to carry on giving six


of the best? I'd like to put money on that the kids involved in the


riots, about one in five of them under the age of 18 had been


smacked in their lives. I don't think it's got these things. We


shouldn't look excuses for law- breakers. Bringing up kids probably,


that is what you do. That is it for now.


On that issue, there were those that said it was a typical new


Labour initiative, was it? The use of force against children to punish


them has been banned in most parts of Europe. In a way, Britain was


catching up. I think it is a sense of Micro Management of people's


lives that people associated with New Labour. The point David Lammy


is making is not saying that because children were not smacked


they went and rioted, he's saying that parents feel confused and they


feel their authority is on the line because they are not sure what they


are allowed to do. This debate isn't really clearing it up. I


still think that the principle, that is that we should protect


children the same that we should protect anybody else from being


subject to physical violence, I think it is important. So the law


should not be relaxed, as David Lammy is suggesting? No, and it is


not clear how much you relax at full support level of violence? You


can restrain a child, a quick smack is probably not going to get you


into trouble. But it you are smacking until you leave a mark,


which lasts, that is probably undue violence. Now, how the corporate


world behaves itself is very topical at the moment. It has


become something of an obsession for politicians. Caring capitalism


is in, greed is out. A report by Matty Taylor's RSA argues that big


companies have a key role to play in the life of the communities they


operate in. But is it the business of business to go around doing


good? The B&Q store in Sutton. It is


where to come if you are doing up a house. Here, they are trying to


pull a makeover of capitalism. B&Q have worked with the Royal Society


of Arts on a report that insists that big business has a vital role


to play in building strong communities. That is right on trend.


All of the main parties say that capitalism has to be about people


as well as profits. The report is not due out for a couple of weeks


but we have had a sneak preview. The report says that businesses


should actively planned to make life better for communities they


operate in. They can set aside part of the store as a meeting-place for


local people. Government can help fund schemes where firms work to


boost the local economy and become what is known as community hopes.


That might sound a bit happy Class B. But what is in it for B&Q?


customers feel they are dealing with a company they can trust that


makes a positive contribution, they will reward it by shopping mall. We


have evidence in centres where we have training centres that


customers come back more often, they do more project and end up


spending more money. There is a hard business benefit to it, as


well as being a good neighbour. of which is great. But is it the


best way for business to do good? The corporate responsibility


movement has put a huge tax on customers. In order to prove their


social responsibility credentials, companies have to set up big


departments. They naturally want to make themselves even bigger. They


turn to lobbyists and so on. Everybody in lobbying has an


interest in building it up yet again. You end up with a huge


bureaucracy, paid for out of company funds. That means higher


prices for you and me. Funnily enough, B&Q's corporate


responsibility man did not approve of that analysis. What about the


idea that it is clever marketing rather than an image to do good?


think it is marketing and PR to an extent. But encouraging local


people to shop there is actually something which is pretty laudable.


It isn't -- but isn't changing the world a job for politicians? Eight


job of businesses to do good business and serve their customers.


If you can do civic good as part of that package, it is entirely


correct for business to do. I don't think it is solely the preserve of


government to do that. Business, community groups and individuals


have their parts to play. It's important that businesses should be


out there making money for owners, shareholders, including pension


funds and other people's investments. If they are making


good profits, paying high taxation, then we can have the debate about


six. Rather than trying to make business people do something that


they are not in a position to do. It seems these days that greed is


not good. You want big business to make a profit, but we also wanted


with a human face. But can we really have it all? Thank you for


shopping at B&Q... We are joined by the Guardian's Zoe


Williams and Matthew Taylor from the RSA. Picking up the point made


in the film, should and does this is just concentrate on making money,


bringing prices down and doing what they are supposed to do? This is


just a gimmick? Part of what we buy is a brand. We buy what the brand


represents to us. If companies engage with communities in


effective ways, if they employ local people that support other


local businesses, it contributes to the value that we have on that band.


It is in their interests to do good stuff in the community. Is it good


business to create a whole department that deals with it?


Somebody that his head of corporate responsibility? This is a myth. B&Q


array community store. Strengthening their relationship is


what their managers in all of their shops do. They don't need a


separate department. Isn't that what we want them to do? I don't


buy that we are paying in taxes for a corporate responsibility


department. You cannot talk about purchasing stuff as taxation on the


consumer. I am suspicious about the line that employing local people is


a service to them. All businesses employ people near them. That is


because it is good business. Often, decisions that companies make,


which are beneficial and profitable, are then dressed up as Big Society


initiatives. That is absurd and it also skews things as though they


are doing the community a favour. I don't think B&Q are doing them a


favour if they employ people nearby. I don't think companies are doing


people a favour when eight take people on as a work experienced


workers when they are not paying them. Across society, because of


austerity, we are in a position that the kind of things we want for


the world are not going to happen through public spending. The


economy is not growing. We need to squeeze more, with less. What we


have found is that stores are community pubs, where people come


together. That is not something that has been exploited. They found


that people didn't know much about DIY, so they started putting on DIY


classes. This increases people's skills and they buy more from B&Q.


It is tapping into latent capacity. I am not against DIY classes. That


would be good for me. Sainsbury's were asking their staff to identify


people they thought might be carers because of their buying patterns


and then give them leaflets to say, if you are a carer, this is


information for you. It is facilitating. Is there anything


wrong with it? You have to wonder if all transactions in society have


to be tied into financial transactions. B&Q is watching the


fact that people talk to each other in the B&Q, and then a pass to


become financial. If it cannot be, it has to be turned into marketing.


It is being turned into a value proposition. Saying, we are B&Q, we


are a big value proposition. I think it is cynical. We would argue


that companies would want to say they are doing well for society and


are also making money, rather than saying we are going to screw as


much out of society as we can. Marks & Spencer his heart out reach


programmes with ex criminals. That is valuable, because the state


cannot do that. In a way, they are filling a gap in the market?


state would never give you DIY lessons. But they might have an


outreach programme. Is it different to what is being proposed at B&Q?


People come into schools and give up their time voluntarily, isn't


that more valuable? That is an interesting point. At what point is


it distinguished between someone doing something valuable in a


school, and a company annexing parts of a public school for


advertising? There is a gap. If you can persuade stores to help fill it,


through apprenticeships or through opening up premises to community


groups, through financial people, that has to be a good thing. Nobody


says it's all sorts of the problems in the world. But it seems a more


modern idea of what capitalism should be. Zoe's point about an


extension of marketing, it is not going to be totally altruistic.


They will have all of their logos and... At the Griffi. Companies can


make different appeals. They can say, drinking our product, it will


get you very drunk and it is cheap, or they can say, work with us


because we get back to the community. It should probably be


There is a busy week in the store, and to better to look ahead than


Anushka Asthana and Quentin Letts? Thank you both for joining us.


Quentin Letts, starting with you, just on RBS and Stephen has a's


bonus, has this been difficult? Huge relief now for David Cameron,


but has Ed Miliband has a bounce? And the jazz been difficult for


Cameron, yes, very awkward, so I think he will be very pleased that


he has leaked of the cliff and done the decent thing. The real story is


that Parliament is exerting a sense of moral shame. Very interesting, a


sign of a resurgent house of Commons partly, what is going on,


but for Ed Miliband to be doing all of that, I love the hypocrisy of


this because it was the government where he was part of the Cabinet


that arranged this deal in the first place. But hey, he is an


opposition now, so we can say what he wants! Cameron has mishandled it


quite badly, so he will be relieved that Hester is not going to take


this bonus. Anushka Asthana, a good weekend for Ed Miliband, is it good


enough? It certainly is a coup for Ed Miliband, some people are saying


it is the best hit that he has had so far, because the decision to


drop the bonus clearly came straight after Labour said they


would raise this in Parliament. I do not know whether they are going


to continue threatening to have debates every time we here are


their large bonus, but it will be interesting to see whether that


happens. Isn't that the point? What happens with other RBS executives?


It is still a big political problem. I think it is a problem, although


perhaps people will look at this and say, I do not want to be


vilified. I think Stephen Hester said that as one of the reasons for


not taking it, and we all saw what happened to Fred Goodwin before him.


But they will think harder before they go there in future. Looking at


Europe, we have been talking about David Cameron's position in Europe,


and it seems he will allow the institutions to be used in fiscal


union, a big U-turn? Not quite, but certainly a turn of sorts. Is


looking in his mirror, I think. The Conservative backbenchers will not


be happy about this, but they do not have any immediate opportunity


to have a go at him in the House of Commons. It may not be a problem


this week, although at PMQs there might be a bit of it. There is


certainly a hint that the greater the dough which we all went


palliative, except the BBC, maybe it was not such a telling point. --


Hallelujah. As Douglas Carswell said, what was the point? What was


the point indeed? As far as you are concerned, what do you think David


Cameron needs to do now as far as the position in Europe is


concerned? There is this thing with Europe which is you go in all guns


blazing, this is the position you want to take, but the reality it's


when you're sitting around a table with the leaders of other countries.


-- reality hits. David Cameron must be feeling rather isolated. If he


were to go ahead and block the use of certain institutions from every


other country, I think he would become a bit of a pariah, and he


knows that. If I do not think that matters. If you are isolated in


Europe, it is great on the domestic scene, so he will be quite happy


about that. The story will be about Greece and their debt problems.


That will be much bigger in Europe than the story of Cameron.


return briefly to the lesser story of the coalition at David Cameron,


what about relations between the Labour Democrats and Conservatives


over Europe? It has been creaking quite a lot, but you get the


impression the Tories have been giving Clegg one or two nice little


things to do, his announcement on aspirations for the tax policy, you


got the impression that Cameron was trying to boost to make it. There


has been a little bit of rebuilding going on. The Tory backbenchers


will not be pleased about that either, but Carmen is ahead in the


opinion polls possibly, he has got a bit of political capital, and he


seems to be spending it. -- Cameron. In terms of policing, do you feel


that Theresa May has been under pressure in terms of giving the


impression that the coalition is still strong on crime? I think that


one of the most effective members of the opposition front bench has


been Yvette Cooper on the issue of policing, and they knew that this


was an issue that was really going to hit the Government hard. Every


time they have bought out things about police cuts, Theresa May has


been under pressure to take action on that front. Has she done enough,


Quentin Letts? She might have done. I'm not sure that Yvette Cooper has


done too brilliantly, she is all right, but she is very much helped


by the coppers, there are very protective of their own patch, and


they have been militants against Theresa May. Today's announcement,


I would not put much by. It is only about some pilot ideas, and I think


it is probably being dressed up a bit much. Thank you very much.


Now, you can almost hear the sighs of relief across government last


night as the TV executive of RBS decided that he would not after all


take the million pounds in shares he was awarded this here. As the


chief executive of RBS, his bonus was always going to be a subject


for public scrutiny, and that most public sector workers facing a pay


freeze and the RBS share price falling 37% in the last 12 months,


any payout was going to be controversial. Originally it was


reported they wanted to give Stephen Hester shares worth about


�1.6 million. That figure was reduced to just under �1 million


when the announcement was made last Thursday. Supposedly that was after


intervention from the government. But pressure for him to give up the


bonus mounted, and Labour said they would call for a vote in the House


of Commons. He was apparently worried that he had become a pariah,


so he is going away empty-handed, apart from his �1.2 million salary,


of course. But there are reports that investment bankers at RBS are


still in line for a total of �500 million, and even Stephen Hester


could end up with a further award under a separate long-term


incentive plan. Is this the end of the row, or will the issue run and


run? I have been joined by three MPs for the rest of the programme,


Amber Rudd, Fiona O'Donnell and Gordon Birtwistle. Also here to


talk about the bonus, in case the three MPs agree, is Allister Heath,


the editor of City AM. I am sure they will all gang up on you.


don't mind! Thank you to Matthew Taylor, a previous guest. There is


consensus this was the right thing to do. Which means I do not


understand why the government agreed to this in the first place,


they should have blocked it out right. We are in a weird situation


where people are saying, yes, this is your bonus but do not take it.


If the government did not want him to take a bonus, they should have


blocked it as a majority shareholder. They said there was a


risk that the board would walk, that Stephen Hester would go, they


felt that was better. Is that a myth? I think it is a perfectly


plausible explanation and a good reason to give him the bonus, but


in that case they should have defended it. They were trying to


have their cake and eat it. They would give in it but they did not


believe he should take it. I do not think they cover themselves with


glory, but nobody has. Labour, when a nationalised the Bank, called


Hester in to rescue the bank and told him that it would be run like


a commercial organisation with private sector pay and so on. Now


everybody is making a U-turn honest and say, look, it should not be run


like a private company, it should be run like a social enterprise,


lending more at doing this sort of stuff. And people should be paid


like in the public sector. Like a social enterprise, is that really


the case? Aren't the measures for success the share price, lending an


up to small businesses? That must at being part of the job spec. Lot


of people have lost their jobs at RBS. By those measures, the City


may said he has done a good job, but in those terms he has not.


the share price issue, that is unfair, because you need to look at


that over a longer period of time. It is too short term to look at a


one-year share price. In terms of lending, that was not in his


original job description. That was a late a policy change. I think


this whole thing is a giant mess, and to be the only issue that


matters is how taxpayers will get their money back, how people who


are put billions of pounds into their RBS going to get their money


back. Don't you help or hinder that? I suspect it will hinder it.


That will be hopeless, if that happens. He is quite right in


saying that his bank owes the UK taxpayer something in the region of


�50 billion. I think the most urgent thing that Hester needs to


do is get the bank to a position where the share price matches what


we are owed and we can sell it back to the private sector and get the


taxpayers' money back to and vested in what goes on. Until that happens,


he should never get a bonus? I am not saying that at all. The


directors decide whether he has a bonus. They decided he should get


one. Yes, indeed. If David Cameron wants to sack all the directors and


replace them with directors that will do what David Cameron says,


then he could do that, but it would create chaos within the bank and


the sector. To me, the most important thing is to get our money


back. �50 billion is that there. He needs to get it back. But isn't the


biggest problem actually that the action that the government was


prepared to take could never match the rhetoric that they have been


spouting over the past year or so? They never intended to block it in


that sense. They should never have given the impression that they


could or would. There was an inconsistency in a way that he was


treated and the way he was appointed. In 2008, he was brought


in, remember he had nothing to do with the bank that was failed, he


was brought in to put the band right, and it was agreed his


contract and payments would be agreed by the board. So it was a


myth to say that it was Labour who actually made up the contract, that


he would get these awards, it was discretionary. Labour agreed the


contract, which was that the board would agree it. What was not


proposed was that there would be a public sector job with a fixed


salary. That was not agree. It was treated as a proper bank, where the


board would agree is pay. When the board agreed this pay, it was


agreed it was way too much. What would have been acceptable to you?


Well, I'm delighted that Steve has decided not to take the bonus, it


is the right decision, and I think the government taking the position


that the board has allocated the bonus but we hope he will not take


it... That is a weak position, isn't it? They should have just


blocked it. No, because then you have a situation where you might


have the boardwalk out and Stephen Hester walking out. He is doing a


good job... Then he should get the bonus! I want him to recognise that


he is paid well, and even though he is entitled to the bonus because of


the contract on the last government, he is not going to take it because


he wants to complete the job at a lower pay. What about other bonuses


at RBS? What should happen to people within the investment arm


who are said to have big bonuses, bigger than Stephen Hester's?


is a question for David Cameron. What is the Labour position on


that? Can I reply to what am I said? There is a limit to how many


things his government can blame on the previous government. The Prime


Minister said on the 19th and January, when he was asked if he


would block the �1 million bonus, he said the short answer is yes,


and yet he did not take action in this case. He shrugged his


shoulders. To some extent, we have had the Stephen Hester and, if you


like, and is not taking the bonus, and Labour will try to take credit


for that, rightly or wrongly. But what about other RBS executives?


Should they also forgo their bonuses? Well, George Osborne, when


he presented the Merlin projects to Parliament, he said that one of the


tests would be lending to SMEs, and in the third quarter are plastic,


are this did not meet that target. I think we need to listen to the


public, and this has been the main mistake of the government, they're


out of touch with public opinion. The next round is not going to be


about RBS executives but the hundreds of investment bankers who


are paid large salaries, and that is an issue. We cannot have a


nationalised investment bank. Unfortunately, whatever decisions


will be taken for political reasons, shutting down investment bank or


selling it cheaply, it will hurt the taxpayer. For political reasons,


not to maximise the amount of money paid back to the taxpayers, that is


my big fear. The taxpayers will lose because of short-term politics.


The taxpayer will not thank you if that is what happens. The taxpayer


as an expectation that we see some Venice introduced into the system.


The fact that these people are still in a job is because the


public bail out the bank in the first place. Yes. What would help


us if we had representation from the workforce perhaps.


workforce in this context of people earning millions of pounds, because


you are talking about ordinary traders and so on. I do not think


RBS should have been bailed out. We are at a stage when politics, when


it comes to try to extract value back, that is the real issue.


you say to that, Gordon Birtwistle? Is it fair that Stephen Hester does


not take his bonus but other members of the investment arm of


RBS do? Is it fair that Barclays chief executive could get a bonus


of up to �10 million? It is one of those words that is bandied about,


fairness. Or of these people have contracts that if they do a certain


thing, they get paid a set amount of money. Barclays is nothing to do


with the government. But they benefited hugely from the measures


that the government to have the time. Well, indeed, but the people


in work for them have contracts, and they create wealth for the bank.


Now, I agree with Vince Cable. They should be broken up, we should not


have banks that are too big to fail. They should be broken up so that


the people in the casino banking side go off on their own and stand


by their own failures or successes. The banks that we are concerned


about, high-street banks, the banks that deal with normal people in the


street, they are the ones that we need to run properly. At the end of


the day, we have got to get back our �50 billion that we are owed by


Should Vince Cable have come out more strongly and said they are


going to block the bonus? At the end of the day, the board of


directors decide the bonus. could have made a statement?


could have made a statement, it is no good making a statement that you


cannot carry through. The whole board would have probably resigned.


Stephen Hester would have resigned. Do you think he will walk anyway?


think there is a good chance. The situation is unsustainable. There


is no way he can be paid a bonus again, regardless of what has been


agreed or what is in his contract. There will be a big row about the


investment banking division. We would end up with civil servants


running the RBS, and that would be a disaster for the taxpayer.


agree, it would be a disaster. At the moment, it is the best possible


world, he is not taking a bonus and he is staying on.


The referendum on Scottish independence is not for two years,


but battle lines are already taking shape. Ed Miliband entered the fray


this morning, telling an audience in Glasgow that he is prepared to


go toe-to-toe with Alex Salmond to argue the case for the survival of


the United Kingdom. Here he is, speaking earlier. What is the most


urgent task facing us? Putting up a boarder cross the A1 and the M74?


Or the task of creating a more equal, fair and just society? I say,


let's confront the real divide in Britain. Not between Scotland and


the rest of the United Kingdom, but between the haves and have-nots.


I'm joint from Inverness by John Finney. Welcome to the programme. A


message that will chime with Scottish voters? It is very clear


that Ed Miliband has no message for the Scottish voters. He is at an


all-time low poll rating, and the Scottish people are not going to


take lectures from a man whose party offered her as cuts deeper


and more savage than Margaret Thatcher. We are in favour of


social justice and we will work to achieve that, not just within


Scotland but elsewhere. But lectures from the Labour leader? I


don't pig so. The question, as proposed, it is designed to elicit


a Yes? I would hope so, yes. Agreeing that Scotland should be


independent, rather than saying independent or leaving the United


Kingdom. Why did you say it as it is? The referendum will follow the


highest terms of international law. I am sure it will, but could you


answer the question? I am trying to answer the question. The reality is


that the advice is that it is a clear and concise question. It is


the question the Unionist parties have been asking us to ask. That is


what we are going to do. Will the UK Electoral Commission have a veto


over the question? Why would they? Alex Salmond has conceded that it


will have a role in assessing the questions. Who will have the final


say on the wording? I think the whole tone of the question suggests


a misunderstanding about the situation. The Scottish people gave


a clear indication in May of their wishes, with unprecedented support


to my party. That is recognised by other parties in the parliament. We


have a wholesale change whereby none of the parties in the Scottish


Parliament accept that the status quo is acceptable. All of them what


additional powers. The question will be outlined by the First


Minister and it will subscribe to the highest possible terms of


international electoral law. are saying the Electoral


Commission's role in terms of wording is minimal? I have answered


to say that there will be no issue with legality or indeed the merit


of the question, which quite simply could not be more straight forward.


The issue of devo-max is one that seems to be preying on people's


minds. In terms of civic Scotland, as Alex Salmond has talked about,


is that the only option in terms of getting a devo-max style question


on to the ballot paper? It is a peculiar situation. The reality of


the situation is that the Scottish government clearly is in favour of


independence. There is a significant voice, and I have


already alluded to the other parties wanting additional powers,


that the somewhere between the status quo and full independence.


We have a peculiar situation where the Unionist parties on one hand


appear to be advocating that, but see no role for it in the


referendum. The First Minister has said that we are nationalists, but


also Democrats. He will listen and take great heed of what comes back


as a result of the consultation process, which is ongoing. Thank


you for joining us. Fiona, no lectures from Ed Miliband or Labour.


That is because Labour took Scotland for granted and they


deserve the lack of support they are getting? Ed really cannot win.


On the one hand, the SNP say they want to move the debate on to


substantive issues. When he goes up to do exactly that, to talk about


the big challenges that we are facing in Scotland, then he is


accused... The question I would like to have asked John Finney is


why it wasn't devo-max in their manifesto, as a commitment to be


part of the referendum? The only reason they are pushing the issue


now is because they are worried they will not get the support.


has been widely debated. Let's get back to the substance of the issue.


Why is it and -- Ed Miliband talking about the substance of a


natural social justice? Why not talk about the economic


implications? Why doesn't he go on hard finances? I think that was the


right thing for Ed to go on. The fact that we are politically


different from Scotland, that we only elect one Tory member of


parliament, there is more of a sense of egalitarian society in


Scotland. These are the issues that Scottish people are concerned about.


Do you think Labour has done enough in Scotland? In terms of...


terms of its heartland. Clearly not, that was the message we were sent


in the elections. We accept that lesson. Part of today is about


seeing the real challenges and -- the challengers are best met with


Scotland within the UK. They are better equipped than the


Conservatives, who feel it is better to keep quiet in case


anything else pushes them into the arms of Alex Salmond? We are not


very good at keeping quiet. It is a great loss for us and Scotland that


there is only one Conservative MP. But we do need to lead on the


business of selling the union to Scotland. Ed Miliband's speech,


historically around the likes of Clement Attlee, that put it into an


historical perspective. I hope we can win the battle by selling


Scotland to England, as well as England to Scotland. Your


constituents, what they like Scotland to stay or go? I would say


they have not thought about it. At the moment they are thinking about


what the Government is doing and what goes on with the economy. We


get lots of the males saying it is time for Scotland to go. I think


that is exactly why Alex Salmond is making this such a long, drawn-out


campaign. All of their politics are about division. He wants to create


as many divisions as he can before autumn 2014. What do you think the


Liberal Democrats should be doing? Having lost out in Scotland, they


are in a very weak position. agree with Amber. We have to keep


the union, I agree with that totally. I also think we should


have this referendum sooner, rather than later. I think it is causing a


lot of problems to people wanting to invest in Scotland. The critical


thing to me is that it has to be a decisive election. It has to be yes


or no, to throw other things on the ballot paper would confuse people.


It is not acceptable. Who should lead the Unionist campaign? I think


there is room for everybody. That is the difference. The nationalist


campaign has a man Who Would Be King of Scotland, as he was seen in


the papers this weekend. There are people from civic Scotland, all


walks of life, the businesswoman throwing her hat in the ring, our


politics are about building consensus. The SNP had never been


good at working with others. Well, you have until 2014 to do it.


needs to be before them. There is so much confusion in Scotland,


firstly about the time being spent on it and also about what is going


on the ballot paper. They cannot have es, no or something else like


devo-max. I have to have yet honour, if they want devo-max they can


negotiate with the British government. We all agree that the


Scottish maybe should have more powers, but I don't agree with


independents. The first in a series of films


demystifying sometimes arcane and mystifying procedures in Parliament.


This is where public broadcasting is at its finest, as my absent


partner likes to say. Let's start Adjournment debate. These are


strange little to debates of sparse significance in law-making process,


but they allow a parliamentarian to let off steam about an issue that


he or she might feel strongly about, normally from a constituency point


of view. Hospital closures, road repairs, local industry expansion


or job losses. These are the sorts of things that MPs will choose to


talk about in adjournment debates and get ministers to reply to. That


is useful. The question is that the house does now a gym. Mr Steve


Baker. Thank you, a huge pleasure this evening to address the future


of the Royal British Legion hall. Seagulls are part of the fabric of


seaside Britain. A historically, other than following the plough,


they have kept themselves to the coast. In recent years they have


moved inland. It is an issue that has brought together an


extraordinary coalition of local residents and organisations, united


in their concern to maintain pedestrian access through our


station. Adjournment debates last half an hour and it happens at the


end of every day's session in the House of Commons. You get an


adjournment debate by putting your name into a lucky draw and sending


it off to the Speaker's office, hoping for the best. Adjournment


debates do not tend to draw much of a gate, to use the football term.


But they forced right all -- Whitehall to come to a conclusion


and tell the MP what it is. They also have the adjournment debates


in a House of Lords, but they call them Questions For Short Debate.


Dean House of Lords, they go on for an hour-and-a-half. They can't do


anything for a short time. They may seem piffling, but they can lead to


moments of history. May 1940, the war is going badly at the House of


Commons adjourns of a motion concerning the prosecution of the


war in Norway. As a result of the debate, the Government falls. All


because of a little adjournment motion. Adjournment debates are a


problem for ministers. All the more reason to like them. The ministers


have to stay until the end of the parliamentary day. That any means


about 10:30pm nowadays. In the old days it could mean waited until


dawn. They also did a highly personal nature to the


parliamentary day. An individual MP can wrap himself in a particular


issue. That is great. Adjournment debates also provide a bit of


variety. And we all need that, Are they really worthwhile?


Definitely. They are excellent tool for backbenchers to do. You can


hold a Minister to account, get answers to your question. The first


time I did what, I was surprised to find myself almost the only person


in the chamber. That is not very encouraging! The minister or


Secretary of State has to answer and you get a full 15 minutes of


them having to answer. It is a pick before getting a real answer.


Quentin Letts has to go back to 1940 to find one that had that much


impact, it doesn't seem like they have much effect? It can for the


people you represent. constituents, yes. I spoke about a


case about disability living allowance, where I cannot get an


answer from the DWP. It was a way to bring the minister to the


chamber and get that answer. Just a consensus, it should stay? I add a


new MP, and I agree. That is all for today. Thanks to our guests and


all of those I forgot to thank during the programme. Our guest


tomorrow is educationalist Toby Young. If you have anything to ask


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