01/02/2012 Daily Politics


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Good morning, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. Today's top story,


you guessed it, stripped of his knighthood, but he was not the only


man -- only guilty man, was he the victim of political opportunism? A


7th defeat in the Lords for the welfare reform plans, will the


Government stick to its guns at the legislation returns to the Commons?


More trouble for the government over its plan for the NHS in


England, ministers are publishing amendments to the Bill, a last-


ditch attempt to win over its critics.


Back in a day, you could murder and pillage and still keep your


knighthood, though you might lose your head. We will look at the


naughty knights of old. All at coming up in the next 90


minutes of public service broadcasting at its finest! Its


finest, I say that because of one of our guests. We will bring you


live and uninterrupted Prime Minister's Questions at midday, and


other public service. Joining us for the duration, Education


Secretary Mr Stephen Twigg, he does not risk losing any titles! But the


Honourable, yes, the Honourable, son of the life peer, Ed Vaizey.


Just you be careful, you could lose that! Threats already! He is the


media minister, we have to be nice to him. Sir Fred Goodwin is no more,


it is just now main that plain Mr Fred Goodwin, but the decision to


strip him has not met with universal approval. Neither from


the City of politicians. We are joined by the Conservative MP for


cities and Westminster, Mark Field. Was it the right decision? I think


the night bird is a bit of a sideshow. The most important they


are the rewards for failure. He was given it in 2004, and there was not


a murmur of disapproval. By the time he got his penchant in 2009,


we were aware that he had been overlooking a vast bank. -- pension.


It is a much bigger question. I am slightly concerned that this witch-


hunt against Fred Goodwin, he has not got too many friends, and most


people come across him in business think he is having his comeuppance,


but by the same token there was no question of illegality or


criminality in what he did. He was monumentally incompetent, but to


have a knighthood taken away on that basis seems to be said in a


difficult precedent. We are a country that wants to be open for


business. What message does it send, do you think? I think the genie is


out of the bottle, and we will see in the next few months a number of


other people in the corporate world suddenly coming under the kind of


scrutiny that has been the case for Stephen Hester last weekend and


Fred Goodwin over the last 24 hours, but I think that is quite dangerous.


We are an open and outward-looking mercantile nation. This is the


message is getting across that we are not open for business, that is


bad news for this country. The Government was wrong to buy so much


rhetoric and one man and one man only? As I say, this will be a


precedent that will be used for There was a campaign started by the


Daily Mail that Fred Goodwin should be stripped Arcos night heard. It


is unusual that this campaign did not have as much leverage in 2009.


-- should be stripped of his knighthood. The government handed


out a very generous pension package It is easy for the political class


to gang up on the city and bankers will our public enemy number one at


the moment, but we have got to get our own house in order. We have a


number of people in the House of Lords to have a lifelong seat in


the legislature will have a time in prison over the expenses scandal.


If we want to reserve the sanctity of the honours system, I hope David


Cameron would get the four budget committee to look at the case of


certain lords who are expense hurdlers who still have their


honours very nicely intact. I am catching the whiff of a witch


and beginning to build up! And we're just the kind of people to


stoke the fires. A quiz, Stephen Twigg, who presented with a gift


over Christmas 2007? Fred Goodwin. Yes, one year later, he presented


them with the cards at RBS. Who said in 2004, you are the wealth


creators, the women and men who can make our nation more successful,


more prosperous, and let me thank Sir Fred Goodwin and RBS? I will


hazard a guess, Gordon Brown. Correct! And I think you are going


for the hat-trick here, who gave Fred Goodwin the Night Herd?


think it might have been Tony Blair, the Queen! Well, it was the Queen


he did it at the end. I think Alex Salmond was a supporter. We got it


wrong, and Ed Miliband has been clear we should not have done what


we did. I suggest to you, Minister, people do not care whether Fred


Goodwin keeps his knighthood or not, but they want to see some of their


money back and the banking system being put on a better basis than


the Bank does not getting showed loads of money from dodgy bonuses.


-- and bankers. He was an independent committee that took the


decision, but it should not be a distraction. I do not think -- we


should think that somehow we have moved on by removing his knighthood.


We will move on when we have got responsible capitalism, when we get


RBS back on its feet, when we put in place systems to try to ensure


we do not have the kind of banking crisis that has put this in so much


trouble. It is important to focus on the future and the changes we


need to make. Are we not meant to think that the Prime Minister leant


on this committee? It is very convenient, at a time when the


government got itself into a complete Horlicks over Stephen as


the's bonus, to have this sideshow. The Roman emperors were brilliant


at this, they called it bread and circuses. The Prime Minister made


his view clear, as has the leader of the opposition, most of the


political classes. It is important there is public confidence in the


system, and there was a sense that the public were angry about this.


It is symbolic, not the main show in town where it came to improving


the banking sector. Fred Goodwin is a finished character, finished, a


pariah now. People throw stones at his house. He has got to keep his


whereabouts secret now and so on. So why just pick on him? Dennis


Stephenson, Lord Stephenson of HBOS, another bank that went down the


Swanee. Why is he still a lot? Your Labour government gave Alan


Greenspan a night heard. He presided over a system which


supported derivatives, one of the things that brought the financial


system to its knees. Do we go back to calling him Mr Alan Greenspan?


There is a difficulty if we open up the floodgates. There is a


particular set of circumstances following the FSA report which made


this a proper decision. There may be some others which need to be


looked at, but we do not get into a situation where dozens of people


are having their honours removed. So you just want to be on him


because he is a useful one to problem a cattle prod. The scale of


what happened with RBS does justify this decision, but this is symbolic.


We need to move on to the much bigger and more challenging


territory are responsible capitalism, the phrase that Ed used.


Hold on, Hector Sants, who appeared before a Commons select committee


was to the executive of the FSA at a time when the ABN AMRO deal was


allowed to go ahead. Indeed, he was part of the system that the Brood


RBS upping its leverage to be able to buy ABN AMRO. -- that approved.


He has apologised and is set to become deputy governor of the Bank


of England. How does that work?! that a reward?! That is even worse!


He did get a going-over, I read the sketches of the Treasury Select


Committee. How I do think it is important... You can play a parlour


game, this is in itself is a parlour game, when the government


put up categories of people who should be stripped of their honours.


I would draw a line under it, I hope the forfeiture committee, I


hope these are exceptions rather than the rule, and I think, as


Stephen said, Fred Goodwin was a particular figure who took a


successful bank and ended up having to be bailed out to the tune of �45


billion by the taxpayer. The other key point is that he got his


knighthood for services to banking. It might have been a different


question it he got it for philanthropy. Which Labour claimed


it was! If you go back to the pub quiz, sitting in the pub say, what


did you get it for, services to banking, I destroyed RBS, why have


you still got it? The First Minister says that although he


agrees that the decision, he wants to know of others involved in the


financial collapse will have their honours reassessed, too. Mr Salmond


has also said that he would be, in retrospect, do things differently,


when asked about his support for Fred Goodwin. We have all said that.


Everyone has a different view in hindsight.


There was a fundamental policy, in 2005, in keeping with our quiz, who


said the following? The new model we propose is quite different, any


risk based approach, there is no inspection without justification.


No form-filling without justification, no information


requirements without justification, describing the new rules for the


City, who said that? Probably Ed Balls. No, Gordon Brown.


acknowledged that we got regulation wrong. It has been acknowledged by


Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. Let's move on to how we can get it right


in the future. If Why have you tried to drop Ed Balls in it?!


Terrible! By had to get one wrong! Are you looking at me? Two years


after, Gordon Brown said, he was complaining about the burdens and


City regulations? I don't know. George Osborne. I would have got


that one right. You are all in this together. We got that wrong on


regulation, we acknowledge that, but last September Ed Miliband was


criticised when he moved on to this territory and talked about the need


for responsible capitalism. I think it is a real achievement of Ed


Miliband's leadership that is a focus of public policy debate.


Shall we leave it there? No, gone, do another question!


MPs will be voting on the Welfare Reform Bill after Prime Minister's


questions following a series of defeats inflicted by the House of


Lords. Iain Duncan Smith and David Cameron are promising to fight all


the way for the changes, including a �26,000 cap on benefits. They


think it is popular, so they quite like the cash with the laws. The


vote could be close depending on how many Lib Dem MPs decide to


rebel. Andrew, for years politicians on


all sides have talked to voters about cutting back on the welfare


bill, which last year cost the taxpayer �192 billion. This


Government has planned a wide- ranging set of reforms, including


the eye-catching and popular cap on a household's benefit at �26,000.


But the Government's plans for reform have suffered a total of


seven defeats in the House of Lords, most recently last night. Labour


peers helped inflict those defeats, but the party officially supports


the benefits can in principle. With the government refusing to back


down, Labour now says the cap should be set locally, higher in


some areas, lower end others. The Welfare Reform Bill returns to the


Commons today, where Liberal Democrat MPs will have to decide


whether to rebel, as many of their colleagues did in the Lords. This


morning the government appears to have offered concessions, including


money to help families affected by the cap. But will it be enough?


We can find out, we enjoyed by Liberal Democrat per year Mike


German. Ed Vaizey, there is some transitional relief to describe


this. We have any idea how much that will cost? If well, the point


about welfare reform is that they will make savings on something like


�1.5 billion a year. The BL package that we will be debating in the


House of Commons is about 1.5 billion. -- the whole package. They


are actually quite small savings when you consider the huge size of


the welfare bill. It is very difficult. We have made these


reforms, and I fully support them, but they have caused controversy,


and we have been defeated in House of Lords. It shows the massive


scale of the task when you try to reform welfare. You do it


incrementally, shave a bit off, and opinion are trying to reduce the


rate of growth of the welfare bill, but even when you take these


measures, they caused a stormy debate. I think we have got a long


way to go in reforming welfare, but we have got to have a consensus


that it is getting out of control. I mean, Liam Byrne, the Labour


spokesman, wrote an article saying that Beveridge would look on these


It's your policy now to have a different cap depending on where


you live s that correct? Yes. would you contemplate a higher cap


for for London? London housing costs is probably the key feature


of this debate. I think the like hihood is if you had ditch local


caps in the most expensive parts of the country the caps would be


higher than in other parts of the country. If I'm on average wage, in


other words, people going out to work can't afford to live in


central London, why should people on welfare be able to live in


central London? The key thing here is the Government's trying to save


money. Ed has said that. What is the answer to the question? I am


starting to answer the question. What the department of local


Government have said is there might be a net cost from introducing a


single benefit cap for the whole country, because of the costs of


temporary accommodation if people are forced out of their homes. If


we are trying to save money, and we support trying to save money, we


have got to do this in an intelligent way, that's why our


amendment today is saying it should be an independent body that decides


on these local caps as to what they should be. But Labour would


contemplate or tolerate a system where maybe you had, let's pluck


figures out of the air, �32,000 cap for London, which would mean you


would have to earn �45,000 to take home �32,000, that's a big salary,


even by London terms, but maybe a �16,000 cap in Liverpool? You would


be happy with regional differences like that? There's nothing new


about regional and indeed local differences in terms of housing


benefits. We have local housing allowances in the system at the


moment. We are responding to what we stheu a rushed reform from the


Government which could have some appalling consequences in terms of


homelessness and more families moving into temporary accommodation,


that's why we are making this proposal. Give than housing costs


are the thing that vary most from region to region, Ed Vaizey, what


would be wrong with a regional based cap? Into it would add a


layer of complexity. It's still I think a generous cap, you can still


live in London on �1,200 a month. So I think the cap is relatively


generous and there are lots of important exceptions for different


categories of people, so it's a very straightforward and simple


reform. I hear what Stephen says, it's interesting the the unions


have always opposed things like regional pay. There hasn't been an


- the Labour Party to recognise there are Reg regional differences


in living standards, if you start a debate about how we take into


account... The principle of London public sector workers earning more


has been established in the system and accepted. Let me bring in Mike


German. Has Government done enough to asaupblg rebels? On the cap it


certainly has. We will see a figure which is considerable about the


amount of money that's going to be put in to help people who are in


the most difficult circumstances, because clearly they're going to be


people trapped by circumstances beyond their control. This is the


transitional arrangement. First of all, there's money and I understand


it's a substantial amount of money, we are not talking about just five


or six million, talking about tens, maybe hundreds of millions of


pounds over a period of time. on, the cap itself only says �275


million, why would you end up spending more? Over a period of


time. Shoug the transition going to be? The transition is as people


need to to adjust. There's one other group of people, people lose


their jobs who will face a period of time to readjust, we don't want


to see them immediately trapped by the cap, give them time to get back


into work and the Government has to give them nine months, which is


beyond what the average is for people to get back into jobs. There


are things that have been done and the Government has done enough I


think for my colleagues to be able to support this as it goes through


tonight. Sounds like it's hardly worth the candle. It's going to


take years and cost hundreds of millions when you are only going to


save 275. You have to start somewhere. By spending more?! He's


just managed to water it down. These are relatively modest reforms,


but they are long overdue and again if you have - to keep coming back


to the principle, which all of us have to decide based on our income


where we live, how we will live. The great prize in all this is the


bit of the Bill going through which allows people to earn more money


and not to lose all their benefits, which is stop people from going


back to work. It's actually a major reform and we got the most complex


benefits structure in the whole of the western world and we are trying


to reform all that and make it sense of it, that's happening now.


And that part of the Bill has gone through both the Commons and the


Lords and thankfully it will mean after today it will mean that we


will be able to put that into practice, roll it out for people so


whatever you do you can get back to work and there will always be a


chance of earning more money. wasn't only the cap the Lords


defeated the Government on a series of other amendments voted on today,


opportunities to protect cancer patients from cuts, opportunities


to protect disabled children from cuts. These are save thags are very,


very modest and there is a basic point of decency here where the


Lords are standing up for what most British people... Funnily enough, I


received this morning from Macmillan cancer care, the people


who have been behind this pressure, a note of agreement, they say we


now find we can work with the Government on proposals, we have


reached... We quoted Macmillan cancer care on this programme.


was you that done it, Andrew. did point out... It's also worth


pointing out, when Stephen says the House of Lords is standing up for


decency and truth a lot of Labour peers rebelled against their


leadership. There is a consensus, although Stephen tries to hide it


in terms of jumping on a band wagon, there are important reforms. And


when you use language like protecting cancer patients you are


means testing people and reviewing benefits. You are - you don't want


to be associated with bankers' bonuses, you don't want to be


associated with people who can make more on welfare than people on the


average wage and people earning �35,000, just as bankers are


difficult for the Conservatives, this is difficult because we know


from the polls Labour voters like these changes. Of course it's


difficult for us, and we're trying to strike the balance between


ensuring that work pays, which is why we support the principle of a


cap, but recognising that for many families in high cost areas the cap


will be a problem. In the end the best solution is to create jobs.


course. So the rebellion is over? Wye have thought this Bill will see


the light of day. It's in a much better place than twhepb started,


that will mean... Down to the Lords? The Lords and the Commons,


there have been changes as well by the way which the Government has


put forward as a result of pressure put on by its own backbenchers.


have often wanted to say that, in a much better place than when we


started! It was you that done it on the


cancer care, I will remember that. We even take the credit, but we


don't deserve it. Regular viewers will know that the Daily Politics


mug, here it is, is a prized possession. We don't give these out


to any old Tom, Dick or Harry. Ed or Steve. Not like knighthoods


and we never ask for them back! If you want to join Britain's most


exclusive club you will just going to have to enter our Guest the --


Guess the Year competition. Let's see if you can remember when this


# This is the time, time for action Housewives came to their senses,


the panic buying stopped which means there should be enough food


After three years in jail Mr Stonehouse sprinted towards the car


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Coming up to midday here, let's look at Big Ben. There it is. I


know it's not Big Ben, but some mistakes are beyond correction!


Just take it like that. Whatever that clock is, it can only mean one


thing, Prime Ministers questions is on the way it means that Nick


Robinson is with us. Nick... Children in the studio! I said it


leans to the north-west. Have you quite finished?! Let's get on with


serious matters. Mr Miliband did did rather well


yesterday when the Prime Minister made his statement on Europe. He is


coming off a high. He is, what is intriguing, he began the year with


these dreadful write-ups, it was really that PMQs before Christmas


in which he had done so badly and the polls were bad and now he is on


a bit of a high. Not just because his call for a vote on Hester's pay,


the chief executive of the RBS, was cited by RBS as the reason why


Stephen Hester was turning it down, but then he discovered a new kind


of way of dealing with David Cameron yesterday, which is


interesting to see if he try it is today, mockery. Up until now it


seems to me, he has deployed a level of outrage which frankly just


bounces off David Cameron, much of the time. But the fun he had


yesterday and, frankly, the Labour whips got their act together, was


to mock David Cameron for what he calls a phantom veto on the EU. He


knew the sceptics were uncomfortable and he got his own


side together to laugh at the Prime Minister. There was much


synchronised laughing from the Labour benches yesterday. Let's


look at what Nick has been talking about, this is from yesterday


afternoon. Mr Speaker, having heard the Prime


Minister's statement on Europe, the whole House now knows the truth,


that with this Prime Minister a veto is not for life, it's just for


Christmas. LAUGHTER. Calm down, calm down,


dear. He said it was a real veto on the use of European institutions


and his backbenchers believed him. Mr Speaker, even his cabinet


believed him. It was funny, but I think the


Labour whips were pumping in some laughing gas just to keep it going


on the backbenches. What does he go on today, probably can't go on


Europe again, that was done yesterday? He is likely to surf off


this wave over bankers' bonuses. I would imagine the tone he struck


yesterday after the removal of Fred Goodwin's knighthood, which is fine


but now what are you going to do, is what he will want to pursue, get


some credit for the fact Stephen Hester lost his bonus, he will want


to accuse the Prime Minister of failing to deal with that bonus and


want to deal with it. He might have another go at health, I only say


that because he asked three questions on health last week. The


reason he did it actually is that he was aware that the Royal


colleges at the time were trying to co-ordinate a letter on protest


against the health Bill, actually there were too many disagreements


at the top level. Between the colleges. They couldn't agree, some


wanted to send a militant letter, others said that they wanted still


to work with the Government to improve it. So he didn't have a


kind of platform to go on. But he will try again because he knows


there is a lot of concern about the Bill, he knows it's coming back to


the House. But the interesting thing is just one last thought,


when we say the hraft certificate co-ordinated, -- laughter is co-


ordinated, don't forget who Iain Duncan Smith said to us in this


studio, former leader of the opposition, said you have to as a


leader of the opposition, have co- ordinated action by your whips. We


can kind of mock it, we can say isn't it pathetic. All ask the same


question, all laugh at the same joke, but you are on your own there.


The party is by definition bigger than you, more resource, if you


don't operate as an opposition together, you are stuffed. I won


ter too, whether the Commons will raise itself above its normal


parochial concerns and do anything, will anybody raise the issue of


this secret NATO report which the BBC News revealed last night, must


have been 3.00am, this report done by interviewing 27,000 Afghans,


research all over the place, shows not only the Pakistan military and


intelligence is supporting the Taliban, which we knew, but NATO


confirm, the Afghan army, the Afghan police, local Afghans are


all supporting the Taliban, as well now. That brings into question ten


years of Labour and Conservative foreign policy. The thing you have


noted a lot of times on this programme is how rarely Afghanistan


has been properly debated. 9,000 troops there. So will someone raise


it, who knows? The truth is it is not given the significance in the


House of Commons that you might think, people are nervous of


questioning the mission, but there are now real nerves at the top that


Obama wants out quick for electoral reasons. Mr Sarkozy. And David


Cameron finds himself in the unusual position of saying hold on,


let's not get out too quickly here. And yet now with this report


suggesting that we are fighting, not just the Taliban, but as it


were the organised and supported and financed forces in part of the


Pakistani intelligence services. heard this morning the Taliban in


parts of Afghanistan have a helpline in place, that the Taliban


are basically running the areas, but if any Taliban leaders gets out


of line the local Afghan peasant can call the local leadership and


say your Guy's out of order here and they can sort him out T would


seem from that NATO report that the moment we, the NATO allies, leave


they're in. All that blood and treasure that's been spent could


end up for nought. The one person who has constantly talked about


this is David Miliband. He has constantly made the case in office


and now out, that because of what you are saying, the only thing you


can do is seek some political settlement with the Taliban and now


we know there were talks, Karzai came here to talk about that, there


have been talks with the Taliban and Afghan Government, but there is


an argument that is the only way The whole house were wants to join


me in sending our condolences to the family's of the servicemen,


dedicated soldiers who were highly respected by their colleagues for


their selfless service which will never be forgotten by our country.


This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others,


and in addition to my duties in his as I will have further such


meetings later today. Paul Farrelly. Can I associate myself and the


whole house with a Prime Minister's remarks? Those brave soldiers have


been the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. In the


past week, chief constables in England and Wales have warned that


policing is on a cliff-edge and facing a watershed moment as


numbers fall to their lowest in a decade. My paws in Staffordshire is


cutting hundreds of police officers and staff. The Prime Minister said


in the debates before the election, we are not seeing enough police on


the streets, we are not catching up burglars, we are not convicting


enough. How does the Prime Minister's rhetoric square with the


reality of frontline policing now? Well, the fact is the percentage of


officers on the front line has actually increased. What we


inherited... We inherited a situation... We inherited a


situation where there were 6,000 uniformed officers performing back


office roles in the police. Now, we have had to make difficult spending


reductions, but I think if he listens to his front bench, he will


find out they support the cuts and the pay freeze, and they even so


strongly support our police commissioners that droves of Len


MPs are going to try to become man! Alok Sharma. Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Tonight his house as an historic vote on other households on benefit


should be able to receive more than ourselves in work. Does the Prime


Minister agree with me that the introduction of a benefits captured


have the support of the whole house? Well, I think my honourable


friend is entirely right. The cap is right and there. It is right to


say that you should not get more than �26,000 per year in benefits,


�500 per week, and it is fair because we are introducing a new


principle in our welfare system that an able-bodied family that can


work should not get more in benefits than the average family


gets from work. The leader of the party opposite has said he is not


against a cap in principle. Tonight when it will more find out whether


he is in favour of a cap in Mr Speaker, can I join the Prime


Minister in paying tribute to the signaller Ian Jones from 20th


Armoured Brigade headquarters signals squadron and Lance Corporal


attached to 1st Battalion the auction regiment? Both men showed


exceptional courage and bravery and our thoughts are with their family


and friends. Before the election, legislation was passed by


Parliament with cross-party support to make all banks disclose how many


people earn over �1 million, but it needs the government to trigger the


change. Will the Prime Minister go ahead and do it? We now have the


toughest and most transparent regime are of any major financial


centre in the world. For the first time, banks are going to publish


the paper are the top eight executors. That never happened in


13 years of a Labour government. On the specific Walker reforms, Walker


himself said that it should be done at the same time in all countries


across the European Union. Miliband! A Mr Speaker, exactly


what we would expect, no leadership on top pay from the Prime Minister.


In case he had not... In case he had not heard the news, they are


more than eight people earning over �1 million at our banks. What did


the Chancellor say in opposition? He said this. We... I think the


honourable gentleman opposite should listen to what the


Chancellor said in opposition. He said this. We support proposals to


make these banks disclose the number of their employees who are


on high salaries. Mr Speaker, he even called for them to publish


their names! It is another broken promise from this Government. I


asked in the question, and again, the legislation is on the books, it


is ready to go, it had all-party support. Why doesn't he make it


happen? We are listening to the advice of the man who produced the


report for the last Labour government! Now, he asks about the


number of people getting �1 million bonuses. Let me remind him of this,


it was the last Labour government, when he was in the Cabinet, that I


read an RBS bonus ball of �1.3 billion! Literally hundreds of


people... Literally hundreds of people were getting �1 million


bonuses, and he signed it off. The issue for the honourable gentleman


is why he is in favour of our things he never did in government?


Some might call it opposition, some might call it hypocrisy! This is


bigger, I will tell him what hypocrisy is. It is saying he is


going to start a �1 million bonus to Stephen Hester and then nodding


it through. -- Stop. I have his say to him, I have to say to him, I


think we have heard it all, because he says that the class war against


the bankers is going to be led by him and his cabinet are


millionaires. I do not think it is going to wash, frankly. Let me as


Tim... Now, let me ask him about another simple proposal. He had no


answer on transparency. Does he agree with me that to bring a dose


of realism to the decisions about top pay, they should be an ordinary


employee on every page committee so that people on a huge salary at


least have to look one of their employees in the eye and justify


it? Order! The Prime Minister will know that the use of the word


hypocrisy in relation to one individual member is not


parliamentary, therefore... Order! Just before the Prime Minister


begins his reply, I would ask into the draw that turns straight away.


I am very happy to do that, this has begun. I think it is just


because we are expected to listen to the people who presided over the


biggest banking and financial disaster in our history, and it is


not as if they had nothing to do with it! One of them was the city


minister and the other one was sitting in the Treasury. I have to


ask, who failed to regulate the banks? Labour! Who gave us boom and


bust? Labour! Who was it who failed to fix the roof when the sun was


shining? Labour! Who presided over a multi-million-pound bonuses and


did nothing? Labour! I have looked very carefully at his propositions.


I do not think it is practical to do what he is suggesting. It breaks


an important principle of not having people on a remuneration


committee who have their own pay determined, so I do not think it is


the right way forward. The house may be interested to know, because


I have looked carefully at all his proposals, he also proposed in


Glasgow to ban performance-related pay in all but the most exceptional


circumstances. I think that is completely wrong. There are people


working in offices and factories and shops around the country who


want poor performance related pay, and if they meet some targets, they


would like to have a bonus at the end of the year. That is pro


aspiration, doing the right thing for our family, and it shows he has


not got a clue how to run an economy. Mr Speaker, now we know


where the Prime Minister's stance. No to transparency, no to an


employee on the remuneration committee, and what was the


Chancellor doing last week when supposedly cracking down on top


pay? He was going to Davos to tell the business community to lobby for


a reduction in the top rate of income tax! We know the truth. We


know the truth. When it comes to top pay, his government and this


Prime Minister are part of the problem, not part of the solution.


Mr Speaker, I do not know what the word is for criticising someone who


went to Davos when he went to Davos I think... I think the word Peter


Mandelson used when he was in Davos was struggling! The Prime Minister


is exceptionally well educated, and I'm sure he has got a very full


vocabulary and can make proper use of it. Mr David Davis. Yesterday it


was announced that the French company that sold one the first


round of a contest for the 10 billion Biden contract with India.


That is disastrous news for thousands of workers up and down


the country, particularly in my constituency. Given the long


relationship between India and Britain, given the fact that we


give many times more aid to India and France ever did, would he


engage himself and the full force of the government in attempting to


reverse his decision? I would do everything I can, as I have already,


to encourage the Indians to look at Typhoon, because it is such a good


aircraft. The decision is disappointing, but it is about to


the Indians have assessed as making the lowest bid and asked to enter


into further negotiations. They have not awarded the contract. I


would say to my honourable friend, who cares deeply about the people


in his constituency, we do not expect any jobless as stemming from


this decision, and it doesn't rule out A iPhone 4 India. -- job losses.


This is a superb aircraft man we will encourage the Indians to take


that look. -- that view. The Deputy Prime Minister said that means-


testing may be brought in for pensioners' bus passes. Was he


speaking for the government, as does the Prime Minister think that


is fair? I made a very clear commitment at the time of the last


election about pension and bus passes, about winter fuel payments,


apart free television licences, and we are keeping all those promises.


Order! The house must come down. I want to hear Penny Mordaunt. If a


local supermarket closes down, another quickly takes its place. If


Portsmouth Football Club closes down, the Pompey fans will not be


content with buying a season ticket from Southampton. Will the Prime


Minister at his boys to mind in club so it recoups the tax it is


owed that our club survives and the fans have their chance to become


its owners? I will certainly do that, and acting she is absolutely


right to raise this issue. Knowing what to Pompey fans, I can


understand. Their idea that they could support Southampton is


completely incredible, and we must do everything we can to keep this


friendly rivalry going. Mr Ed Miliband! Mr Speaker, this week,


this week the British Medical Journal, the Health Service Journal


and Nursing Times published a joint editorial that said, and I quote,


the Prime Minister's reorganisation has destabilised and damaged one of


this country's greatest achievements, a system that


embodies social justice and has delivered a widespread patient


satisfaction, public support and value for money. We must make sure


that nothing like this ever happens again. Mr Speaker, why does the


Prime Minister think he has so comprehensively lost the medical


profession's Trust? I noticed he does not run on to raise the well-


backed cap today! Peel up and down the country will recognise that. --


he does not want to raise the welfare cap. There are tens of


thousands of General Practitioners up and down the country who are


implementing our reforms because they once decisions made by doctors,


not bureaucrats. They want to see health and social care brought


together, and they want to put the patient in the driving seat. What I


would say to him is look at what is happening in the health service,


waiting times are down, infection rates are down, the number of


people in mixed sex wards that we put up with for 13 years and a


Labour is down by 94%. He should be praising the good things that are


happening in the health service, rather than having his policy,


which is to say an increase in NHS resources is irresponsible. That is


their position. This government is putting the money in and getting


Every time he talks about the NHS he just shows how out of touch he


is with what is happening on the ground. Let me now tell him who is


lined up against this Bill. 98% of GPs against the Bill. The Royal


College of Nursing against the Bill. The Royal College of Midwives


against the Bill. The Royal College of Radiologists against the Bill.


The British Medical Association against the Bill. The Patients'


Association against the Bill. Mr Speaker, he knows in his heart of


hearts this Bill is a disaster. Now there were rumours last week that


he was considering dropping the Bill. He has a choice, he can carry


on regardless, or he can listen to the public and the professions,


will he now do the right thing and drop this unwanted Bill?


If you are trying to bring in to a public service choice, competition,


transparency, proper results and publication of results, you will


always find that there will be objections. The question is, is it


going to improve patient care and the running of the health service?


I apologise for interrupting, the Prime Minister's answer must be


heard. Order! There is excessive noise on both sides. Members must


calm down, let's hear the Prime Minister's answer. Let me tell him


something that Tony Blair once wrote about the process of reform.


I know, there is a man who knows a thing about bonuses and pay. He


said this: Listen, listen! It is an important lesson in the progress of


reform, changes proposed, it is announced as a disaster. It


preseeds with vast opposition, it is unpopular, it comes about.


Within a short space of time it is as if it has always been so. The


lessen is instructive f you thing is a change is right, go with it.


The opposition is inevitable, but it is rarely unbeatable. Someone


who knew a thing or two about reform. Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Order!. The honourable member will be heard. Thank you, Mr Speaker. A


year ago I asked the Prime Minister for help when there was the


announcement of the Pfizer closure in Sandwich, would the Prime


Minister agree that the support and help from his Ministers that's


delivered us an enterprise zone and �40 million for jobs in east Kent


ensures that we are still a leading centre for life sciences? I am


delighted with what the honourable lady says. It was a tough and


difficult time when they made that decision, but I think it's shown


that Government and industry and local people in organisations


coming together, we have been able to keep a lot of jobs and a lot of


investment and research and development in that area. What Wye


say to all pharmaceutical companies is this Government has the patent


box, if you invent things in this country and develop them in this


country you only pay a 10% corporation tax rate, that enables


us to say to pharmaceutical ap -- companies all over the world, come


and invest in Britain. This week temperatures across Britain have


dropped drastically and last winter 200 people died every day from


preventable cold weather-related illnesses, but in in Barnsley,


instead of being able to focus resource on promoting the dangers


of cold weather, we have had to set aside �17 million for an


undemocratic, top-down reorganisation of the NHS. Can the


Prime Minister tell my constituents if this really is a responsible use


of public money? First of all, what I would say to


him and everyone in Barnsley, this Government has been able to keep


higher level of cold weather payments introduced before the


election and we have kept them for all years and that will be a real


help along with the winter fuel allowance. What I would say about


the NHS is to simply look at the figures, if you look since the


election there are 4,000 more doctors working in our NHS, there


are 620 more midwives working in our NHS. And we are actually


treating 100,000 more patients per month in our NHS. That's what is


actually happening in the NHS, if he looks at what's happening in the


hospital, rather than repeats what the trade unions are telling him.


The Prime Minister will be aware that talks between St George's and


Epsom and St Helier Trust have been abandoned regarding a possible


merger. Could I seek reassurances that the Trust will be able to


engage with local partners such as local authorities and the clinical


commissioning groups to come forward with a proposal that meets


local health needs and also that the �290 million allocated for the


hospital is still available? Well, I totally understand my


honourable friend's concerns about this issue. The priority for the


Trust remains to secure the future of Epsom and St Helier and Sutton


hospitals. I understand the board and those working on a possible


merger had already started to look at the other options in case this


didn't happen. I understand they're now looking at the next steps and I


am sure the Department of Health will want to engage closely with


him as this unfolds. Prime Minister, you are keen to


tell us that work should always pay. Therefore, what do you say to my


constituents from low and middle income family who is have contacted


me to convey their fears about the measures being brought forward by


the Government such as the removal of working and child tax credits,


these are working people who are already facing severe financial


difficulties and the current proposals could cost these hard


working families with disabled children in receipt of the lower


disability premium over �1300 per year?


Well, I make two points. Of course we have had to reform the tax


credit system when we came to office, tax credits went all the


way up the income scale so actually people even in this House were


eligible for tax credits and we have taken it further down the


income scale. In terms of what she says about disability, I would make


two points. Disability living allowance is going up by 5.2% this


April, which will be well ahead of inflation. The point I would make


about the universal credit issue is as she knows there is the lower


rate for disabled children at �53. Anyone on that level is going to be


completely protected through transitional payments. We haven't


yet set the higher rate, but I can tell the honourable lady it will be


at least what it is now, and possibly higher.


Will the Prime Minister, as a matter of urgency, look into recent


shocking report into allegations of overcharging of vulnerable adults


on which arele and cases of violence and intimidation under a


Labour-led council control, making sure those responsible are brought


to account and never work in adult social services again?


Well, I will certainly look at the report that she mentions. It's


clearly a serious matter. Also ask the Minister responsible in the


Department of Health to look into this matter further and speak with


her. Clearly CQC, which has had a difficult birth has a really


important job to do in terms of making sure inspections are


thorough and targeted in the areas where they're most needed and


clearly it sounds from what she said, is there is a great need for


this to happen on Merseyside. again today the Prime Minister has


denied that he is cutting benefits for disabled children, but the


lower rate of disability living allowance for disabled children has


been reduced from �54, almost �54 to almost �27, a cut of practically


50%. 100,000 children are going to be affect. Is that not correct,


Prime Minister? What is correct is that anyone on


that lower rate of payment, no one will receive less as a result of


their move to universal credit. No one will be affected by that.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. Does the Prime Minister agree that a


meaningful cap on benefits is essential if we are to end the


something for nothing culture which developed under the last


Government? I think that is absolutely right.


It is right to bring in this cap T does introduce a new principle,


which is you shouldn't be better off on benefits than the average


family is in work. But what we have had from the party opposite is a


complete silence. Are they going to be supporting us tonight in the


lobbies? Why not just nod? Nod? I thought it was all about taking


tough decisions, that they were in favour of a cap. They were going to


tear up some of Labour's history. It was time to make bold decisions.


Come on, one bold decision, just nod. Are you with us or against us?


A great big vacuum. Can the Prime Minister explain why


my 65 kwraoerbld conconstitute --- year-old consit kwrepbt who


couldn't debt a council home has to pay �100 because of his housing


benefit reforms? Why is this Prime Minister so much tougher on the


vulnerable, than he is on the powerful with their excessive


bonuses? We know they're not going to back


us on the welfare cap, and now we can see they're against the housing


benefit reforms as well. Let me just remind her what her own


welfare Minister said. He said it's completely unacceptable that


housing benefit has rocketed to �20 billion. This is what he said.


Where is - he is not at home today. He said this: Beverage would


scarcely have believed housing benefit alone is costing the UK


over �20 billion a year. Now, this Government is reforming it, that


opposition is doing nothing. Does the Prime Minister agree that


all members of this House who claim they're on the side of hard working


families across the country should vote with the Government tonight to


cap benefits at �26,000, which is after all the average income of


hard working families? She's absolutely right. People up


and down the country will be completely amazed that supposedly


the party that's meant to stand up for working people thinks that it's


OK to get more on benefits, than a family gets from working. Let me


give them one more go. Are you with news the lobbies tonight -- with


you with us in the lobbies tonight? Absolutely hopeless. It is now


clear that the single biggest funder of the Prime Minister's


party got his peerage on false pretenses. Can the Prime Minister


guarantee that Lord Ashcroft has now told the whole truth about his


connections with the building company Johnson International, or


is it yet again one rule for his rich friends, and another rule for


everyone else? I have answered this question many


times. I I might point out to him the largest funder of his party has


been based offshore. There are eight million houses who have to


make do with earning �26,000 or less before tax. What message does


my right honourable friend think we will be sending to those people if


we are to renege on to cut benefits. Many people who do criticise the


benefit cap and say actually �26,000, �500 a week is too high. I


think it is fair, I think it is right but I think they have got -


people have an expectation of their politicians that we are going to


make it clear that you are better off in work than you are in


benefits. There are plenty of people who are excluded from the


cap because they're on disability living allowance, they're not able


to work and the rest of it. But if you can work, you shouldn't be


better off on benefits. A simple principle. I find it amazing that


the party opposite can't agree. One more go, one little nod? Nothing.


Mr Speaker, in opposition the Prime Minister told millions on TV, if


you work hard, I will be behind you. 82% state owned RBS hasn't signed


up to pay the living wage of �8.30 in London and �7.20 per hour


elsewhere for all its staff and contractors. Why does his


Government support low wages for workers, but big bucks and bonuses


for bankers? I thought by saying standing up for people who work


hard he was beginning to get the hang of it and we might have a


supporter tonight. What this Government has done with RBS is


radically cut the bonus pool that was massive under Labour, is say


there should be a �2,000 cash cap, unlike the massive cash increases


under Labour and actually beginning to get this bank under control.


Liberal Democrat plan to increase the income tax threshold to �10,000


was on the front page of our manifesto. It will give many


working people an extra �700 a year and lift millions of poorly paid


people out of income tax altogether. At a time when many working people


are struggling to make ends meet, will the Prime Minister agree to go


further and faster on this much needed tax cut?


I think the honourable gentleman is right to raise this issue and I am


proud of the fact we have taken 1.1 million people out of tax, those


are some of the lowest paid people in our country, the majority are


women and we are committed to making further progress during this


parliament with this policy. Prime Minister, before the general


election you told midwives that you would make their lives easier and


that you would recruit 3,000 more midwives. Since the general


election nurses and midwives have been downbanded, working harder for


less, and midwives in training have been reduced by 3% a year. Will the


British people wrong to take you at your word?


I am very sorry but the honourable lady's figures are in fact wrong,


compared with the election there are over 620 more midwives working


in the NHS, and there are record numbers in training. Now we want to


do more. But will only be able to do more if we keep funding the NHS


and her party is committed to cutting it, saying NHS funding


increases are irresponsible. And will only be able to do it if we


keep cutting back on the bureaucracy which we are doing


successfully with our reforms and making sure the money goes into the


front end. But there are more midwives, more in training. I am


afraid her figures are wrong. you, Mr Speaker. On New Year's Eve


2010 my constituent Jamie Still was killed by a drink driver who was


more than twice over the limit. And yet his family had to face the fact


that the person who killed him continued to drive for a further


eight months until sentencing. Will the Prime Minister agree to meet


with the family and consider their campaign that people who are


seriously over the limit in a death by dangerous driving case should


have as part of their bail conditions their driving licence


withdrawn? My heart goes out to my honourable


friend's constituents for the loss they've suffered. I think he raises


a very important point about what happens in cases like these and


what you can and cannot do with bail conditions. I will certainly


go away and look at that. It may well be this is something we can


consider alongside the recommendations we are considering


about drug-related driving. I think there is more work for the


Government to do in this area and I will certainly listen to his


concerns. We believe on these benches that the Government's


welfare cap is both fair and reasonable and we will be


supporting the Government in the lobbies tonight but we also believe


that the Lords' amendments affecting vulnerable people, cancer


patients and disabled people are also fair and reasonable. Not least


because of the disproportionately detrimental effects on Northern


Ireland which the Prime Minister will be aware of. Why is it,


therefore, that we are so limited in time in terms of debating these


crucial issues which affect so many of our most vulnerable people?


First of all, can I thank him for his support in the lobbies tonight


and look forward to seeing him there. On the issue of the cancer


sufferers and the plans, let me explain that the number of people


under our plans, the number of cancer sufferers that will get


extra long-term help through the support group is actually going to


increase. And we are going to reduce the number of people that


have to have face-to-face assessments. These proposals have


been fully supported by Professor Harrington Harrington who we asked


to look into this issue because we weren't happy with the previous


Government's arrangements and the way these things were dealt with.


The point Wye make is there are two types of employment and support


allowance, the support group who will always go on getting support,


not means tested, as long as they need that help they will get it and


the work-related activity group, people who with help are able to


work and I think it's right to ask them with support to get into work


and that's what we are going to do. Who does the Prime Minister think


is on the side of hard working low paid families in doesn't eaten? The


Conservative-led coalition that's taken the lowest paid out of tax


and capping benefits or the party opposite who took away the 10p tax


rate and flip-flopping over the benefit cap?


I think my honourable friend is being chartable, they're not flip-


flopping over the benefit cap, So Mr Mellor and went on bankers'


bonuses, asking the Prime Minister to do even more following the loss


of the knighthood from Fred Goodwin. -- Mr Miliband. He then went on the


NHS reforms, which the government is still struggling to get through


the Lords, pointing out that most of the medical establishment is


against the reforms. The Prime Minister pointed out that the


medical establishment is usually against any kind of reform. What


was not mentioned, dogs that did not bark in the mother of all


parliaments, Afghanistan did not rate a mention, despite the NATO


report we are talking about earlier. The eurozone, despite the failure


of Greece to agree the size of its haircut, and Portugal looking as if


it will be next in line to take a haircut as well. There was not even


a passing reference to Mitt Romney winning in Florida in the early


hours of this morning, which I thought they might have mentioned.


We will hear what our panel thinks in a moment, but first what were


the e-mails about? The leaders' performances and the NHS, in the


name. Ian Jordan from Tamworth, suddenly Ed Miliband has the


measure of David Cameron, who seems rattled and weak by comparison on


key issues. David Cameron does not do himself well when he loses his


temper and personalises his attack. This is from Damian in Manchester,


David Cameron is quite right to repeat the fact that Labour left us


with such a mess, many people in the Labour Party are very fickle


and need a reminder, hence the lame class division Jan. This is from


Liam in addition, fed up with David Cameron refusing to answer the


questions, the response about NHS reform proved that he is genuinely


at of touch. But this is from Damian, all right, two goes, here


we go again with desperate veto using the NHS card. -- desperate Ed.


Time to hose down our automatic accent, back to class war!


thought that was the striking thing, there is no doubt that Ed Miliband


that the Prime Minister on the back foot, just by quietly asking


questions that he knew the answer to already, the answer was no. Why


not implement the Walker report which would mean that bankers


salaries over �1 million were published? Why not put an employee


on the remuneration committees? But then he is an extraordinary phrase


when he said that David Cameron and his Cabinet of millionaires, of his


political strategy, could not lead a class war on bankers. I think he


might come to regret that phrase. If I was a businessman, sitting in


New York right now, and I am thinking of relocating and putting


a new investment into Europe, and I am watching British politics at the


moment, what do I see? I see politicians in the keirin on how


much I can pay senior executives, those who pay a lot being pilloried,


and whatever I pay, the state will take 52%. Why come to Britain?


not think it is only in Britain that these debates are happening.


They are happening in America and other European countries, and it is


about getting a proper balance between open for business and


having proper remuneration for people, and understanding the


causes of the collapse in 2008. are meant to be open for business,


we have to rebuild our economy after the Great Crash of 2008, and


this would not seem to be a great way of going about it if we want to


have a business-friendly environment. Of course, we have got


to have a business-friendly environment, and it is right that


we strike a proper and correct balance and avoid being anti-


business. Ed is promoting a devout about responsible capitalism, which


a lot of people in the business world recognise needs to happen.


The problem for the Conservatives is that you unleash the dogs of war,


the Tories in opposition loved banker bashing. Indeed, your


rhetoric often outbid Labour, and it has come back to bite you in the


bottom. I do not think so, if you are sitting in New York, you will


see the Occupy Wall Street protesters down the road. This


debate happens all over the world. The day are not saying how much you


can pay people. Net but the focus on business. Nobody objects to


people starting a business being rewarded for it. -- let's put the


focus. Are people being paid large bonuses went by and large they are


only in business because the taxpayer has bailed them out?


People object to the one-way bet, where if you do well, you get a


large bonus, and the same if you do badly. There's nothing wrong with


politicians pointing that out. If you were in New York, I hope he


would say this was a great place to do business for a technology


company, but also it if you are a banker, let's show a bit of


humility and understanding that you live in a society where people have


real concerns. I understand the point that if we bailed these


bankers out, it is rather frustrating to see them still being


on huge salaries, even though they have not put their banks on to an


even keel. But you NPower, and when you took over, you both agreed that


that decision on pay and bonuses were not be yours. -- in power. You


and sauced it to a quango, and you do not have the direct power to


determine pay. -- out sourced. reality in the case are RBS is that


the state had to intervene to save RBS. That is not my issue. You did


not take direct control of pay and bonuses. You out solstice, and the


Conservatives in government have kept it that way. -- Alex Horne


state. I thought you were linking Andrew is putting his finger on


something interesting, which is the concern that business has and is


beginning to articulate, the arbitrary nature of political


intervention. They can cope with rules. If you change the tax system,


they have got predictability. If you want to change the rules on


transparency, for example, or how pay is set, whether there should be


bonuses, in the end they make a judgment. The thing that is really


an ailing business at the moment is the fact that when political


pressure gets great enough, when there is contest on the front


benches as to who can be holier than now, suddenly this arm's-


length relationship with RBS goes out the window when the Prime


Minister desperately tries to stop Stephen Hester's bonus. People


expect politicians to talk about the businesses -- issues of the day.


I seem to remember the chairman of RBS waved his bonus before Stephen


Hester made his decision, leaving Stephen Hester even more exposed.


There was a public debate, and he knew he was taking on a publicly


owned bank and the brokers would be on hand. The share price has halved,


people are wondering why he should get a �2 million bonus. Mash the


It needs to be about changing the rules, and what was striking today


was that Ed Miliband put to the Prime Minister some pretty modest


changes to the rules that have been recommended by the High Pay


Commission, and the Prime Minister parted them away. The Walker report


says do not introduce those rules unless they are global. The idea


that the Prime Minister is holding back on his is not right. One issue


that we have not talked about as we come to the end of our time here,


as a country, we give almost more than �250 million the year in


foreign aid to India. I understand we have given about �1.3 billion in


the last four years, and yet we learned last night that the Indians


have decided not to buy the Eurofighter, the Typhoon, of which


we make a big chunk, but to buy what most people regard as an


inferior French fighter, the Rafale. It has not been money well spent.


do not think we gave money to India... France is nothing to India.


France has no one aid to India. are a generous nation. Comic Relief


has raised more money in a recession than they did before. We


give that money to the Indian people. We give it to people who


are in poverty, suffering from illness and disease. It goes to


government quangos. It is moving to a position where India will no


longer receive aid over the next three years. That is the direction


of travel. We have supported programmes which deserve to be


supported. The Prime Minister indicated that this was not yet a


done deal. If that is true, we are going to go back in Anne and Pitch


Again. He seemed to suggest the Indians had opened negotiations


with the French because they had given the lowest bid. He seemed to


suggest it might yet unravel and that there would be another go for


British Aerospace. I have not seen at anywhere else. Neither have I.


David Davies, along with Alan Johnson, the former Labour Home


Secretary, both MPs in hull, have been campaigning together to try to


defend jobs in the area, and this will cause them real angst. Thank


you for being with us, we're holding hostage until one o'clock,


so do not think about leaving! gets to leave early? For good


behaviour! He is a member of Her Majesty's BBC. He has got to get to


the news. I can check whether that is true! It is out! The Government,


about to publish what could be as many as 100 amendments to its


controversial Bill to reform the NHS. After the furore caused by the


original proposals on the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, there


was a redrafting of the legislation. Doctors and nurses have been on the


warpath again, calling for the plans to be abandoned. I'm joined


by former Labour Health Minister Lord Warner. Do you think it is


still possible politically to push these reforms through? I have


little doubt that the Government will get its bill at the end of the


day. Now, they would get that bill at a price. They will have


alienated quite a lot of people. They certainly will not have


achieved cross-party consensus. The uproar that will come from


implementing the Bill will disrupt the NHS from delivering the �20


billion savings over the next four years that have to be delivered.


the bill should be scrapped? have got to that rather strange


point where the Bill is a good way up the hill, and it is a tough


judgment as to whether you march everybody back down or continue to


the summit. I think we are at the point where you are got to carry on


and make the best of a bad job. that is the problem, it seems


impossible to get rid of it, even if there are people across the


political spectrum who feel it is too difficult to achieve while


making savings. I think there is a danger that we end up with a


financial train crash. I mean, there is no doubt about that. Most


organisations would not try to overturn the organisational


structure at the same time that they are trying to produce �20


billion worth of savings over a period of years. They would try to


keep more managers in those posts to deliver the changes, but they


have chosen, the government, to go the hard route. What about the


amendments themselves? We are expecting about 100. Will that do


anything to dramatically changed the bill? It is a very able


minister in the Lords, but he got a fair old kicking from across the


benches and quite a few issues. They are not issues which have been


in the public eye, but they are important, education, training,


research, public health. The conversation I had with him this


morning, where he courteously rang me up, suggested they have listened


to some of the concerns that were expressed in the Lords from


different parts of the house. So I think we are going to end up with


probably a better built than it Thank you very much.


Now, you might well be confused about what these reforms to the NHS


actually mean. We certainly are, but the politicians they must


understand it, right? Well, just to be sure we have a


little test for our two politicians, test number two. I would like to


ask you, Ed, you are going to start us off, to arrange these cards on


the flip chart, which has been brought in very ably by John, to


show us the structure of the NHS will look like under the


Government's reforms. I might help you. Stephen, you are going to tell


him if he is right or not. Can you be - this is a flow chart, you


remember these from school. Starting at the top with the chain


of responsibility. Have a go. think it's unfair to ask me,


because I came early to the programme and walked in and was


told I wasn't allowed in the studio and saw the entire arrangement.


mean you cheated! I will say that is my flow chart. This is what


these reforms are about. Obviously, they will be helped by your


clinical commissioning groups, go somewhere over here. You want to


put patients at the bottom, you are the BBC, but I would put them at


the top. This is the Government's reforms. I do want to put Andrew at


the top, he is a great man. I think they go to the side here, clinical


Senates, linking in to the groups. GPs and dentists and the national


board under Andrew, of course, very important people. And hospitals


over here. But the key point is patients. That's what it's all


about. I want to put them at the top. This is a BBC flow chart.


key thing happened there is when things started to fall off, that's


what has been happening throughout this process. It's a disaster and


big waste of money what the Government are doing. What is a


waste of money? Labour have said handing over a slice of the budget


to GPs, cutting out the middle management is not a bad idea.


started some of this with practice- based commissions, Andy Burnham


when he became shadow Health Secretary made an offer to Andrew


Lansley to work together to spread clinical commissioning but we don't


need this legislation in order to do that. Isn't the problem really,


as the Health Select Committee said, - I will change those. Listen, we


have 100 amendments coming on. was so nervous! Shouldn't GPs be


closer? You get a point. Do you want to swap those around. Utterly


humiliating this programme! I only come on it waupbs year -- waupbs


year. There is unhappiness on your benches with this, even if you


agree with the reforms it's not possible to do the same thing as


taking that money out and carry out reforms at the same time. Well, I


think the reforms are long overdue and I think they will put power


into the hands of GPs and you will remember the letter from the


commissioning groups published I think last week, saying this is a


huge opportunity for the NHS. There have been reforms, reforms under


the last Government. I remember as a new MP we had five Primary Care


Trusts, we went down to down. We want to simplify the structure. I


thought would you produce a much more complicated, one that closely


resepl pwepled the BBC perhaps. studio is not big enough for that!


This puts power in the hands of GPs to commission the services that


patients need. As a constituenty MP, I am sure Stephen has a different


experience, I am not experiencing in my postbag in terms of people


saying this is a distraction... heard Conservative MPs who are


worried about the effect of taking that money out at the same time.


constituency, including people who have been involved with this


clinical commissioning the Government says it's based on the


evidence is 98% of GPs are opposed, yet it's supposed to be putting


more power. It's been rushed and the Government need to go back to


the drawing board. You think it should be scrapped altogether?


can't see how this Bill can be salvaged. It's been changed


funmently. That's part of the problem, you have the combination...


Norman Warner said �20 billion is being taken out of the system as


well as a reorganisation, so it's a waste of money on the


reorganisation at a time when when services are being cut. It would be


much better to work together on a cross-party base which is doctors


and nurses to make clinical-based practices actually work which they


could do. It will be in the end down to what the Liberal Democrats


do, won't it in terms of numbers and politics? Yes, I think it will.


I think, you know, in general, yes, the Bill will go through and I


think the amendments, I haven't seen the amendments, but they're


technical amendments as as -- as I understand it, people are much


clearer. It has been - again what the Prime Minister said at PMQs,


you will always get opposition to reform, and then once it goes


through people will adapt it, but I think will produce a simpler system


and for me the key is giving power to GPs. After After - some of the


colleges are against it. Despite that, it will still go through,


probably. Someone has tweeted that you demand


fresh fruit and cab both ways when you appear on the BBC. Is it true?


No, in fact, we don't get cars at all now. We inherited a �300,000


bill from the last four Labour Ministers who were in there.


BBC would be paying for the cab? walked here. You can categorically


deny that? Yes, I walked here. Forget about hug a hoody, the


latest policy is to deknight a hoody. Fred Goodwin may be one of


few. History is full of Sirs who perhaps should have been


dishonoured as well. Giles has been looking at when knights go bad.


The idea of the bad knight is not rare, it's a caricature in medieval


history, but some titled terrors really do stand out. In 11 70 Sirs


hacked at the head of an Archbishop, and redecorated the cathedral with


the insides. And murder is no stranger to knights of the Realm.


Sir James confessed to the murder of the Princes in the tower, in


1483. Although he might have been tortured. No, I don't mean he was


racked with guilt. Frankly, France sis is a bad name if you want a


good night. Sir Francis in the 1570s was a shifty but effective


chief spook for Elizabeth I Sir Francis Bacon's life ended in


disgrey, barred for bribery. And Sir Francis Drake was a killer,


thief and slave trader. In the 17th century Sir Henry Morgan proved the


rule if you mug and kill someone on land you are a thief and if you are


at sea and they're Spanish you are a hero. Sir Roger Casement was


convicted of spying. He was stripped of his honour and executed.


And a spot of Soviet spookery, led Mrs Mrs Thatch tore remove the


knighthood on Sir Anthony Blunt, the lesson being murder might be


bad, but it's spying that actually gets you stripped of your honours.


Bluntly put, a spot of regal sword play on the Commons shoulder might


make a Sir but doesn't necessarily make a noble human being. We are


joined now by the historian Dan Snow. Welcome to the show. Good to


see you. Was Fred Goodwin in the wrong time,


the wrong place, the wrong era? think he was, what's interesting


about that piece there it shows sometimes knights are denobled,


whatever the word is, for evil deeds, but often it's because their


politics, they fall out with the people in charge. Of course, James


I decided Sir Walter wasn't his cup of tea and and he was far too


towards the Spanish, he got in trouble, he was executed. Most of


the time, unfortunately, they find themselves being Lorded by one


regime, the regime changes, or circumstances change and events


change, and like Fred, you find yourself on the receiving end of


some punishment. We have moved a long way from medieval times when


knights were supposed to live by a code. I don't think that many who


are called Sir this and that these days live by that kind of code, do


they? Of course, arguably that code is a massive spin exercise, anyway.


Of course, the basis of knights, in fact, was probably around 9th and


10th century France where thugish provinesal war Lords emerge and


they become knights, they exercise local power and they have an uneasy


relationship with a central Government that they hold land in


return for vague service to the Crown. It's only later in the


middle ages people start saying if you are going to be one of these


thugish locals cow be nice to people and women and children and


stuff like that. British history is littered with - don't forget,


perhaps the greatest knight of them all, Sir Winston Churchill, a man


who took risks, he risked the entire future of Britain and The


Empire, possibly the entire future of western civilisation of his


tkpapl bell of stopping Hitler. Bomber Harris was knighted after


effectively incinerating a huge number of Germans during the war.


It's not necessarily the deeds that are notable about these knights and


Fred took great risks whilst he was at RBS, bomb is Harris, Churchill.


What I have been watching the last few days, frankly it all comes down


to luck F you are on the right side of events you are going to do fine.


It reminds me of Napoleon, who asked off his Generals, are they


lucky? Do you think in the 21st century we should be still spraying


around these knighthoods? Shouldn't we get rid of it altogether or keep


it for the truly exceptional, like a Winston Churchill, so you only


have maybe about 20 knights at any one time? Like the knights of the


Garter, for example, which is an extraordinary extraordinary


medieval hangover that's survived. Possibly, our hopb honours system


is slightly absurd, but as - people the point is people will be feted


and if it's not knighthoods, it will be some other way, Chancellors


of the university or whatever it might be and then events will


change, luck will change, decisions that were welcomed in different


circumstances will now look completely inabgriesic. It won't be


long, Sir Dan. Fingers crossed! will put a word in for you, that


will make sure you never get it! Time to give you the answer to


Guess the Year. 1979. The road hauliers strike was the clue. You


can pick the winner, Ed Vaizey. Stephen guessed the year.


haven't that much time to be polite! Politicians! Cameron


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