08/02/2012 Daily Politics


08/02/2012

Political magazine. Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by Alan Duncan and Liz Kendall. Plus, Lord Owen on the health reforms, Ann Widdecombe on the winter fuel payment, and PMQs.


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Transcript


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Morning, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. Today, we are only

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mid- banker bashing season, but the Chancellor thinks it has already

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gone too far. Is Britain in danger of becoming the enemy of business?

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The Health Secretary is under fire over his NHS reforms. Number 10

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insists that Andrew Lansley and his bill will survive.

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As the temperature outside goes down, the elderly turn it up inside,

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but should more affluent pensioners get extra payments from government?

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Ann Widdecombe is here to explain why she is giving her as a way.

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And why everyone from the Prime Minister down is going nuts for

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everything Nordic. All that in the next 90 minutes of

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cockle warming TV this freezing February morning. Are your cockles

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suitably warmed? Not yet. It takes a lot to warm her cockles.

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Providing the heat on your electronic hearth are Labour's Liz

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Kendall, the Shadow Health minister. And the International Development

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Minister, who just can't give his money away. He has responsibility

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for the Caribbean, among other places. Alan Duncan. Surprised you

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are not there. First, is and anti-business culture

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developing in the UK? The Chancellor George Osborne warned

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last night that the row over bonuses and pay threatened to

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undermine jobs and prosperity in a free-market economy, and he

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defended the principles of rewards for success. His comments come in

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the wake of last week's furore over a proposed bonus payment of almost

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�1 million to the chief executive of state-owned RBS bank Stephen

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Hester. Mr Hester, who eventually turned down the bonus, was on Radio

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4's Today programme this morning. The central question that I am

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charged with is how to make a commercial success of RBS. And one

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of the central questions for society is not how we divide the

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pride but whether we have a prior tour. How do we get economic growth

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and how do we be successful? The question is not how we divide the

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pie, but whether we have a pie at all.

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A last night, George Osborne said he wanted to fight an anti-business

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culture. There is a distinction between Steve Goodwin -- Fred

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Goodwin and Stephen Hester. This man, Stephen Hester, was not in

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banking before. He was taken on to clear up the mess and he should be

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rewarded if he is successful. We want RBS to be back in private

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hands and put in money back into the coffers. When it comes to

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higher earners, 1% of income taxpayers pay 28% of the income tax

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intake. So should you have taken his bonus? I think the bonuses

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should not be in cash, but in shares, invested over a number of

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years so that they are not just a short-term reward for short-term

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success. Did you agree that he should not take it on this

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occasion? What a good guy. He said, I am not going to take it. One can

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hear from the tone of the interview this morning that we should not

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underestimate the pressure we put people under when there is a sudden

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press attack on them over so many days. This is the good guy who is

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trying to put things right. Then why did the Government have not

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defend him at the time? As you say, there is a distinction between

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Stephen Hester and Fred Goodwin. Why did someone not say, let him

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have his bonus? Were did defend him. That is not quite true. David

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Cameron said not to take the bonus. We do not want anyone to take a

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cash bonus. His bonus was shares. It was never to be a cash bonus.

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have to be sensitive at a time of austerity when many are finding it

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difficult to pay their bills about how something like this, in the

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eyes of the public, can look excessive. In my view, we want to

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reward these people over the long term for successfully turning

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around a bank that became a disaster. That would be good for

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the country and the business image of Britain is important, because if

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we do not attract businesses, we will not get the growth we need.

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Labour claimed that this was their success and that they persuaded

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Stephen Hester to waive his bonus. No one in Labour talked about

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bonuses or people waving them when they were in government. I actually

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think the issue of bonuses is related to a very pro-business

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agenda about how we get our economy growing again. If I think about the

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small businesses in my constituency, one of the things they regularly

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raised is the fact that banks are not lending. It was interesting

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that Robert Jenkins, a member of the Bank of England's financial

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policy committee, told the Treasury Select Committee recently that for

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every �1 billion less in bonuses, that could translate into �20

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billion worth of lending to small businesses. We need to promote and

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champion our entrepreneurial businesses to get the country

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growing again. This is not an anti- business agenda, but a pro-business

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agenda. But do you accept that it is only in difficult times that

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people are talking about bonuses? You did not care at the time when

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things were going well. We did have a bankers' bonus tax. But before

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that, it was all about light touch regulation, according to Ed Balls.

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The Conservative Party would have wanted even more of a light touch

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regulatory approach. In the future, we need to look at how we have a

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system where people are rewarded for success, but bonuses are about

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exceptional success. She under Labour, even when RBS had bitten

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the dust, the bonus pot approved by the then Labour government was �1.3

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billion. They have completely changed their tune. In 2009, the

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Walker review looked into bankers' bonuses. It talked about there

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being far greater transparency in the remuneration of people working

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in banks. The Government have not taken action on that. Do you want

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to see chief executives of state- owned and part-owned companies

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beyond Network Rail and RBS, do you want the Government to look at

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their bonuses and say they cannot take them? A big bonuses should

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exist, but the genuinely exceptional performance. But should

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we be looking at state-owned companies? We need to look at

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bonuses across the board, particularly in backs. What are we

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trying to achieve here? We are trying to achieve a banking system

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where exceptional success is rewarded. But we have to get them

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lending again. How do we move our banking system forward so that it

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promotes jobs? Do you think it is helpful to talk about predators and

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producers? Does that not sound and the business? Be is important to

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talk about how we get responsible businesses. I think Ed has helped

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set the agenda here. When he first gave his speech at party conference,

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raising these issues about what responsible capitalism looked like,

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he was pooh-poohed by the press and others. It does look as if the

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coalition government has followed his lead. I think the Ed Miliband

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approach to this, in many things he is very rational. And that is good.

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But because he has been in a slightly desperate position with

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his leadership, he has rather whipped up hatred to garner support

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for himself. He has regularly been making this point since he became

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leader. If Labour goes on about growth, fair enough. But you have

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to have a successful business community.

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The coalition came to power determined that it would not make

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the same mistakes as the last government by becoming embroiled in

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was in the Middle East. But that was before the Arab Spring, and

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particularly the rebellion in Libya. Now there are questions about

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whether elements of the successful operation in Libya could be

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replicated in Syria. Libya provided a template for

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successful intervention. Make sure any action has UN backing. Allow

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local rebels to take the lead, with foreign air support and equipment.

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And limit the involvement of Western military forces. Fighting

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in Libya went on longer than some expected, but basically everything

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went according to plan. You showed the world you could get rid of a

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dictator and choose freedom. worsening situation in Syria has

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led to demands for more of the same. It seems as though Nicolas Sarkozy

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would like to see a repeat of the success in Libya. The EU has

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strengthened Scots' actions. France wants to establish a contact group

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of supportive countries, and there is talk of arming rebels. But with

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Russia and China vetoing un resolutions, it is not clear what

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can be achieved. Then there is Iran. Again, sanctions have been imposed,

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including an EU or embargo, which Iran is threatening to respond to

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by closing the Straits of Hormuz, a crucial area for oil tankers. With

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the prospect of unilateral action from Israel, how should Britain and

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the rest of the international community respond?

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Alan Duncan, as a result of the apparent success in Libya with our

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intervention, are you worried that that has made some people in your

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government more interventionist mine did? At do not think so. Even

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in Libya, we were cautious. It was a no-fly zone supported by a UN

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resolution. Most of the rebellion activity came from within.

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Crucially, differently from Syria, everything depended on Gaddafi, the

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man. The regime in Syria is more complicated. President Assad, who

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has become very nasty, was almost accidental President upon the death

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of his father. Behind him is a much more nasty group of people. I think

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Syria is different from Libya. Libya was a great success and a

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real feather in the cap for the Prime Minister. He stuck his neck

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out when others mocked him. Did you agree? Yes, I did. There are a

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number of neo- Conservatives in the government who do not agree.

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Setting aside that distinction about whether you are Rania

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Conservative or not, I am not -- I am not a neo- conservative. But I

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do not think the Libyan no-fly zone and conflict can be defined as

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being either near a Conservative or not. It was the right thing to do.

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And I think the revolution in Libya was generated from within. Now we

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see what was going on, thank goodness it was. Syria is more

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difficult. Iran is very complicated. You touched on oil sanctions. They

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are now beginning to bite in Iran. You mean the not buying of Iranian

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oil? Yes. It is not a total blockade of all of their exports,

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but it is affecting their revenues and their economy. The more

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targeted sanctions on people and money are biting effectively. It is

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the right thing to do on a round, whose belligerence and reckless

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talk about nuclear weapons is a danger to the world. Is there

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anything practical we can do in Syria now? It is extremely

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difficult. It is difficult even to work out what the dividing lines

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are in terms of who are fighting room and what the differences are.

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I accept that the regime is fighting its own people. It is

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difficult to do anything when you do not have a UN resolution, as we

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had in Libya. If it is blocked by the Russians and Chinese, there is

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no framework of law within which we might be able to act. It is the

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biggest difficulty in the Near Room at least. Horrid and awkward that

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we appear to be helpless, but we can only behave within the

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framework of international law. There is no real morality in

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depending on the UN, though. There is no morality if you are dependent

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in the end on two dictatorships called Russia and China. There is

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morality when it permits you to do something. Buff -- but if it does

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not reach that collective decision, it can block what might otherwise

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be regarded as moral action. That is the problem with the UN. It

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requires collective consensual and Dortmund. Which means that

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sometimes, you need the support of the bad guys, governments which are

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good at redressing their own people, Russia and China. They do not care

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if another government is repressing its own people. You are right, it

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does sometimes require the support of people who are not entirely

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savoury in everything they do. But that is the nature of the United

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Nations. I understand that, but I was thinking that perhaps the

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moralistic talk of the UN should be downgraded, as there is not much

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morality in the UN when you have Saudi Arabia on the human rights

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commission and you have our policy determined by China and Russia. It

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may be realpolitik and it may be legal, but it is not moral by any

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definition I would understand. me question the tone you are

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adopting about the UN itself. You are somehow blaming the UN for this,

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when it is in fact two members of the Security Council who have

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rejected a necessary resolution. By all means blame them. Do not blame

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the UN, because that is a different phenomenon. There is bipartisan

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support on Syria, isn't there? I want to come back to a question

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you raised earlier about the practical action that can be taken.

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Alan is right about the difficult circumstances that there are.

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William Hague said in the House this week that more needs to be

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done working with the various opposition groups within Syria. I

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also think that building more support and working closely with

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the Arab League so that members in the region are prepared not only to

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support proper steps towards democracy, but play a role in that,

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that is important, as well as continuing to work with our

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European and wider international colleagues. We have discussions

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between America and Turkey taking place. It is important to see what

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more turkey can do. There are practical steps, though it is

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You may have to get the Arab League to become democratic since I don't

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think there is a democracy... Yesterday papers were full of

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speculation about the future of Andrew Lansley and his Health and

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Social Care Bill. There is support from Number Ten today as the Bill

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goes back to the House of Lords today where it is it is expected to

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face opposition from peers. Andrew Lansley's reforms of the NHS

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have under gone major problems. He introduced over 100 amendments to

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the Bill last yeebg. The Health Secretary had to broaden the role

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of the regulator by replacing its duty to promote competition. Nurses

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and other healthcare professionals will be able to take up roles on

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commissioning bodies. And the Health Secretary, himself, will

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remain responsible for the delivery of healthcare, something which many

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peers were concerned about. The trouble is the surgeries failed to

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cure the original complaints from many Liberal Democrats, cross-

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benchers and Labour peer in the Lords. Now the Bill is coming under

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attack from bodies and MPs that previously supported it. They are

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claiming the surgeries remove the guts from the Bill. The Financial

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Times quotes worried Conservative Thank you, Jo.

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We are joined by David Owen. Welcome back to the programme. Alan

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Duncan, one of your backbenchers is quoted as saying, "we could end up

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as the party that messed up the NHS.". We are doing our best to

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shape the NHS for the future needs of the country that we can see with

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a greater focus on elderly care and on community community need and to

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try and empower GPs to be able to commission what they think is best

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needed for their patients is what this Bill is all about. It is

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taking out a layer of administration, people so often

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complain about there being too many managers and not enough doctors.

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You put more layers in. The Bill is so complex, it changed so much.

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Over 100 amendments last week, 1,000 in total since it was

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presented. It has just become a mess? Well, a lot of Bills have

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many, many amendments so that's not exactly unprecedented. The whole

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process of amendment is designed to improve legislation and we should

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welcome anything that genuinely does improve the legislation and

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the House of Lords today will start its report stage and I have to say

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the Lords is often, it looks at legislation better than we do in

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the Commons. So we have got to look at what they say and take a view

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about whether it will improve the legislation.

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Even the the few leading clinicians who supported your Bill, they say

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as a result of the changes you made, it is a dog's breakfast.

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reforming piece of legislation, you know, upsets existing ways of

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behaving and therefore, is invariably going to provoke more

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opposition than support and that is where we are with this Bill at the

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moment. Andrew Lansley should be taken out

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and shot, he messed up the communication and substance of the

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policy. That's from Downing Street. I don't think that would be from

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Downing Street. It is from Downing Street.

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And it is it is not a comment comment with which I agree.

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I wonder when you fought the last election when you had what was in

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store. I interviewed Andrew Lansley and I had no idea this was coming.

:20:11.:20:14.

The House of Commons and House of Lords is paid to examine the

:20:14.:20:20.

legislation and try and make it as It has been massively changed.

:20:20.:20:24.

There is deep unhappy about it, but it looks with the Prime Minister

:20:24.:20:29.

backing the Health Secretary, it is going to happen? Well, I hope it

:20:29.:20:35.

doesn't. I only think the Prime Minister can stop it. He did stop

:20:35.:20:38.

forestry. People thought it would be a big blow. It was forgotten

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within days. Actually, I had forgotten it until you mentioned

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it! If he did it, the NHS would rally because there are many

:20:46.:20:50.

reforms which they are committed to under the existing legislation you

:20:50.:20:55.

could do, Stephen Dorrell said they didn't need this. It is a massive

:20:55.:21:01.

legislation. Far bigger than the original original Health Service

:21:01.:21:05.

Act. They promise nod top down reorganisation, this is the mother

:21:05.:21:08.

and father of a top down reorganisation and now they are

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saying this argument that because it has gone so far, they can't stop

:21:13.:21:18.

it. But it will cause chaos, but they have broken all the

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conventions which exist in the House of Commons for many, many

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decades. You can implement some of the legislation after second

:21:25.:21:30.

reading, but you cannot pre-empt the democratic process, what they

:21:30.:21:34.

have done is pre-empt the democratic process and it is a

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profound constitutional issue here. And you believe a number of reforms

:21:38.:21:42.

which you would be consider to be worthwhile reforms to improve the

:21:42.:21:46.

NHS could go ahead without this Bill? Well, you are a young man,

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but you will remember when I was involved with the Health Service

:21:49.:21:55.

and then with the SDP, I was the architect of the internal market, I

:21:55.:21:59.

sometimes regret it now, but the internal market was an attempt to

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get the cost effective pressures that every Health Service has to

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have. This is a rationed Health Service. But it is a popular

:22:05.:22:09.

service. It is rationed because most people think it is democratic

:22:09.:22:14.

and fair. One of the other big issues is pulling out the role of

:22:14.:22:19.

Government and putting in quangos. This quango, the National Health

:22:19.:22:22.

Service commissioning board is the biggest quango that has been

:22:22.:22:27.

created. This was a Government, a lot of people agreed, was going to

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get rid of quangos. That was the point I made to you.

:22:31.:22:35.

You created the biggest quango in an attempt to keep the show on the

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road? I see in my own constituency GPs

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preparing for this. I don't think certainly in the case I have seen

:22:44.:22:48.

that they are pre-empting the legislation in the way that David

:22:48.:22:55.

Owen suggests and I think think their preparedness is enthusiastic

:22:55.:23:00.

to assume... David Owen's point is that a lot of that could be done

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without the Bill? The Royal College of General Practitioners are not

:23:05.:23:10.

involved in pay or pensions against the Government. They have come out

:23:10.:23:16.

against it. It is unprecedented for the NHS to be so critical.

:23:16.:23:23.

We know Labour is against it. We know your leader would like the

:23:23.:23:30.

Bill could be withdrawn, but does Labour have a policy for reforming

:23:30.:23:35.

the Health Service? Absolutely, we need as our population increases

:23:35.:23:38.

and we have more people living with long-term and chronic conditions,

:23:38.:23:42.

we need to put a greater emphasis on services in the community and in

:23:42.:23:46.

people's homes and making sure the NHS and local council services for

:23:46.:23:50.

older people work closely together. That's the subject of the Health

:23:50.:23:53.

Select Committee's report on social care out today and what is very

:23:53.:23:59.

interesting that report says some of the best example of integration

:23:59.:24:02.

have been delivered by organisations that pool the money

:24:02.:24:05.

and the staff together. They are going to be swept away by this

:24:05.:24:09.

Health Bill. We are going to see major changes

:24:09.:24:12.

in hospital services. We have got to have an information that

:24:12.:24:16.

delivers more with less money. The way to do that is not to set all

:24:16.:24:21.

the parts of the system against one another and it is not to have a

:24:21.:24:24.

massive distracting wasteful information reorganisation. Let's

:24:24.:24:29.

be clear, the Government's plans now include at least five layers of

:24:29.:24:33.

management in the NHS. That's not what Tory backbenchers supported.

:24:33.:24:38.

It is going to cost billions of pounds. It is a big distraction and

:24:38.:24:42.

patient care is already suffering with waiting time going up. That is

:24:42.:24:47.

why this Bill is such a disast are, not because we are against change,

:24:47.:24:50.

but because this won't help us make the changes we really need to see.

:24:50.:24:55.

Five layers of management. They will soon catch up with the BBC!

:24:55.:24:59.

David Owen, it looks like the Lib Dem peers are swinging into line

:24:59.:25:02.

behind the Government. Is it a lost cause for you? The House of Lords

:25:02.:25:09.

doesn't have the right to stop a Bill because they find this

:25:09.:25:13.

politically disvan tainlgous. They are allowed to reform it. It is a

:25:13.:25:18.

whipped Bill and there is no doubt when the whips of of Liberal

:25:18.:25:21.

Democrat peers and Conservatives, they can force it through as they

:25:21.:25:25.

did in the House of Commons. I think we have to reluctantly say

:25:25.:25:29.

only the people of this country by writing to the Prime Minister and

:25:29.:25:33.

saying to him, "You said a very different message to us in the last

:25:33.:25:40.

election and why have you made this change? Admit it is a mistake." His

:25:40.:25:44.

own adviser said it was a tactic, this pause which they introduced

:25:44.:25:47.

into the summer. They nearly got away with it and suddenly the

:25:47.:25:51.

medical profession which is slow, you know, the non political element

:25:51.:25:55.

to stir has realised this Bill is a disaster.

:25:55.:26:00.

We have to leave there. You should come back and see us more often.

:26:00.:26:10.
:26:10.:26:10.

Oh, it is me! I'm going to do this!

:26:10.:26:14.

Now, there is con son nation across middle Britain. Teapot sales have

:26:14.:26:18.

fallen by 40% over the past five years. I will have more difficulty

:26:18.:26:22.

pouring the tea. Instead of making a proper cup of tea with tea,

:26:22.:26:30.

leaves, pot and strainer and milk added after, never before the tea.

:26:30.:26:35.

Brits are taking to brewing their tea in a mug using a teabag, heaven

:26:35.:26:43.

forbid! Fret, not it is a storm in the

:26:43.:26:48.

teapot. The tea can be brewed in a Daily

:26:48.:26:55.

Politics mug! It transforms builder's tea into something

:26:55.:27:00.

sublime! At least that's what run of the runners on this programme

:27:00.:27:03.

told me! If you pay attention, you could win

:27:03.:27:09.

one! After all that, we remind you how to enter in a moment. Let's see

:27:09.:27:16.

if you can remember when this # Let's get in the mood

:27:16.:27:20.

# A real groovy mood # Let's have a party party

:27:20.:27:26.

# Let's get in the mood # A real groovy mood to have a

:27:26.:27:36.
:27:36.:27:44.

# I've got a man crazy for me # I believe that for every drop of

:27:44.:27:54.

rain that falls, a flower grows # My my worry throughout the assent

:27:54.:28:04.
:28:04.:28:16.

was the question of the supply of Everybody in Britain hopes the

:28:16.:28:26.
:28:26.:28:35.

Ashes aren't in a hurry to leave I think that was from Half a

:28:36.:28:39.

sixpence. To be in with a chance to win a mug,

:28:39.:28:46.

You can see the full terms and conditions for Guess The Year on

:28:46.:28:56.
:28:56.:28:57.

It is, ing up to -- it is coming up to midday. Let's look at Big Ben.

:28:57.:29:02.

I'm told it is bitterly cold across the nation. It can only mean one

:29:02.:29:05.

thing, it is Wednesday and Prime Minister's Questions question and

:29:05.:29:10.

it is also Nick Robinson. Nick, is health a big issue? Ed Miliband has

:29:10.:29:15.

been trying to get this story going. Each week reading out a list of the

:29:15.:29:18.

bodies opposed to the Health Bill. He will be be able to read out

:29:18.:29:25.

another, there is another health body against it. The story is

:29:25.:29:32.

embargoed until 12.15! I can't tell you which body at the moment.

:29:32.:29:38.

Break the embargo? That would be shocking. Parliament is covered by

:29:38.:29:41.

embargo rules. It comes a day after, I know you were talking about the

:29:42.:29:46.

article in the in the Times that suggested someone inside Number Ten

:29:46.:29:52.

wanted Andrew Lansley to be taken out and shot... Yes, I put that to

:29:52.:29:59.

Mr Mr Duncan. And presumably not patched by the men and women of the

:29:59.:30:04.

NHS whom we owe so much. With Andrew Lansley's poor presentation

:30:04.:30:07.

of the Bill and people looking for a sign that the Bill is going to be

:30:07.:30:10.

scrapped, always a possibility because even supporters of the

:30:10.:30:13.

reforms argued that some of it could be done without legislation.

:30:13.:30:17.

. David Owen was saying that. You get people who are both opposed

:30:18.:30:24.

to the Bill who say scrap the Bill and you get people in favour of

:30:24.:30:31.

elements who say scrap the Bill. Yesterday, the firmest, clearest

:30:31.:30:34.

briefing you could have got that not just David Cameron, but Nick

:30:34.:30:39.

Clegg after a meeting that the two had with Andrew Lansley know they

:30:39.:30:43.

want to plough on. They want to stick to the Bill and that given

:30:43.:30:47.

two opportunities to as it were to politically go out and shoot Andrew

:30:47.:30:54.

Lansley, the resignation of Chris Huhne and the resignation of Liam

:30:54.:31:01.

Fox before Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner Chris Chris -- Christmas.

:31:01.:31:06.

The Prime Minister has shunned them all and says, "Plough on.". I get

:31:06.:31:09.

the impression reading the Times which is clearly a result of

:31:09.:31:11.

briefing from Downing Street, that the Prime Minister is behind it.

:31:11.:31:16.

Nick Clegg has been squared. But we will find out. Let's go over to the

:31:16.:31:26.
:31:26.:31:27.

I am sure the house would join with me in pay tribute to her Majesty

:31:27.:31:32.

the Queen in what is an absolutely historic week marking the 60th

:31:32.:31:36.

anniversary of her accession to the throne. Her Majesty's 60 years of

:31:36.:31:39.

remarkable leadership and dedicated public service are an inspiration

:31:39.:31:43.

to us all and something the whole country and Commonwealth can be

:31:43.:31:49.

proud of. Members will obviously have the opportunity to pay

:31:49.:31:52.

individual attributes during the humble Address debate on 7th March.

:31:52.:31:55.

This morning amid ministerial colleagues and others and in

:31:55.:31:59.

addition to my duties in this House, I shall have further such meetings

:31:59.:32:05.

later today. Mr Speaker, I am sure the whole house, not least myself,

:32:05.:32:14.

will join the Prime Minister in his warm tribute to her Majesty. Mr

:32:14.:32:22.

Speaker, last March, the Prime police officers. Can the Prime

:32:22.:32:28.

Minister now confirm that frontline officer numbers have been cut in 14

:32:28.:32:33.

out of 43 police forces? proportion of officers on the

:32:33.:32:42.

frontline is up. I am sure he will want to join me in congratulating

:32:42.:32:46.

mayor Boris Johnson on his excellent record on crime in our

:32:46.:32:50.

capital. Total crime is down, violent crime is down on buses and

:32:50.:32:56.

tubes. 11,000 knives and guns have been taken off our streets. And

:32:56.:33:01.

there are 1000 more officers on the streets of London at the end of his

:33:01.:33:05.

term than at the beginning. That, together with his reminder of the

:33:05.:33:13.

rule of the dangers of tweeting, is a good start to the day. Does my

:33:13.:33:19.

right honourable friend share my disappointment at the overthrow

:33:19.:33:21.

yesterday of the first democratically-elected President of

:33:21.:33:26.

the Maldives in a coup d'etat? Given our historic links with the

:33:26.:33:31.

islands, will the Government, by way of a message, do all they can

:33:31.:33:39.

to ensure that no violence results and that the democratic

:33:39.:33:40.

institutions remain? My honourable friend is right. This country does

:33:40.:33:45.

have strong links with the Maldives and does has have a good

:33:45.:33:49.

relationship with the president. But the president has resigned, and

:33:49.:33:52.

we have a strong interest in the well-being of several thousand

:33:52.:33:55.

British tourists and in a stable and democratic government in the

:33:55.:34:00.

Maldives. Our High Commissioner is in the capital meeting all of the

:34:00.:34:03.

political leaders. We call on the new government to demonstrate its

:34:03.:34:06.

respect for the rights of all political parties and their members

:34:06.:34:11.

and to ensure that the constitution is upheld. We advise British

:34:11.:34:17.

tourists to advise non-essential travel and those using the airport

:34:18.:34:27.
:34:28.:34:28.

should exercise caution. Mr Speaker, can I join the Prime

:34:28.:34:31.

Minister in pay tribute to her Majesty the Queen, as we celebrate

:34:31.:34:36.

her diamond jubilee. Her dedication to the country and public service

:34:36.:34:41.

is and inspiration and example to us all. We look forward to the

:34:41.:34:45.

official celebrations later this year, which will enable us to

:34:45.:34:51.

celebrate both her Majesty and our country. Mr Speaker, on the day the

:34:51.:34:57.

Prime Minister completed his NHS listening exercise, he said this.

:34:57.:35:03.

"some of the people who work in the NHS were sceptical of our changes.

:35:03.:35:13.
:35:13.:35:15.

Today, we are taking people with us". And it is in that spirit of

:35:15.:35:22.

unity that we want to continue. Why does he think he has failed?

:35:22.:35:27.

today, 95% of the country is covered by general practitioners

:35:27.:35:31.

who are not only supporting our reforms, they are implementing our

:35:31.:35:41.
:35:41.:35:43.

reforms. For order. The house must calm down. There is a long way to

:35:43.:35:51.

go. Let's hear the answers. There will be plenty of time. Just today,

:35:51.:35:56.

50 Foundation trusts have written to the newspapers in support of our

:35:56.:36:00.

reforms and objecting to what Labour proposing. The signature at

:36:00.:36:05.

the top of the list, which he may not have noticed, is 1 Anne

:36:05.:36:10.

Campbell, the former Labour MP for Cambridge. She, running her local

:36:10.:36:16.

Foundation Trust, supports the reforms. That is what happens.

:36:16.:36:20.

Labour MPs leave this House and start implementing coalition policy.

:36:20.:36:25.

A Mr Speaker, even he does not believe that nonsense he just came

:36:25.:36:30.

out with. Last Friday, the Royal College of General Practitioners

:36:30.:36:36.

said this about his health bill. "it will cause irreparable damage

:36:36.:36:45.

to patient care and jeopardise the NHS." the Health Secretary is

:36:45.:36:55.
:36:55.:36:56.

shouting from a sedentary position. It is nice to see him here. Some

:36:56.:37:04.

distance away, I notice. The Prime Minister says he wants the voice of

:37:04.:37:09.

doctors to be heard in the NHS. Why doesn't he listened to them? It is

:37:09.:37:13.

always good to get a electron happy families from the right honourable

:37:13.:37:19.

member. -- to get a lecture on Happy families from the right

:37:19.:37:22.

honourable member. I care passionately about our NHS, not

:37:22.:37:26.

least because of what it has done for my family and because of the

:37:26.:37:31.

amazing service I have received. I want to see that excellent service

:37:31.:37:35.

implemented for everyone. That means two things - we have to put

:37:35.:37:40.

more money into the NHS, and we are putting the money in. But it also

:37:40.:37:45.

means we have to reform the NHS. He used to be in favour of the reform.

:37:45.:37:51.

Let me read him this. "to safeguard the NHS in tougher fiscal times, we

:37:52.:37:56.

need sustained reform". That was in the Labour manifesto of the last

:37:56.:38:06.
:38:06.:38:07.

election. And on the issue of Money, we are committed to �12.5 billion

:38:07.:38:16.

in this Parliament. And yet his health spokesman said "it would be

:38:16.:38:21.

irresponsible to spend more money on the NHS". They are not in favour

:38:21.:38:31.
:38:31.:38:32.

of the money or of the reform, they are just a bunch of opportunists.

:38:32.:38:36.

Isn't this interesting? He says this is all about reform. The Tory

:38:36.:38:46.
:38:46.:38:47.

Reform Group has come out against these proposals. It comes to

:38:48.:38:53.

something when even the Tories don't trust the Tories on the NHS.

:38:53.:39:02.

Listen to what the chair of the Royal College of GPs... Oh, Mr

:39:02.:39:08.

Speaker! So when the people they want to put at the heart of the NHS

:39:08.:39:12.

says things about the bill, they just grown. It says it all about

:39:12.:39:18.

the benches opposite. This is what she said "this bill is a burden. It

:39:18.:39:22.

makes no sense. It is incoherent. It will not deal with the big

:39:22.:39:26.

issues, and it will result in a health service that certainly will

:39:26.:39:32.

never match the health service we had 12 months ago". Mr Speaker,

:39:32.:39:36.

which part of that doesn't he understand? Let's look at what has

:39:36.:39:41.

happened to the NHS over the last 18 months. Let's look at the

:39:41.:39:46.

figures. 100,000 patients treated more every month. 4000 extra

:39:46.:39:52.

doctors since the NHS. The number of clinical staff up. The level of

:39:52.:39:57.

hospital acquired infections down. The number of people in mixed sex

:39:57.:40:02.

wards down by 94%. That is happening because you have a

:40:02.:40:07.

combination of money going in and reform. We know what happens if you

:40:07.:40:11.

do not put in the money and do not do the reform, because there is one

:40:12.:40:16.

part of the NHS that is run by Labour, and that is in Wales. So

:40:17.:40:21.

let's look at what is happening to the NHS in Wales. They have cut the

:40:21.:40:27.

money, and one-third of people are waiting longer than 18 months -- 18

:40:27.:40:32.

weeks. That is happening in Labour's NHS. If he did not have

:40:32.:40:37.

the money or the reform, it would happen here, too. I am not

:40:37.:40:43.

surprised that he is getting so agitated, because he thought the

:40:43.:40:48.

NHS was his way to modernise the Conservative Party. And I'm afraid

:40:48.:40:53.

it is coming apart. And I will tell him why, because the promises he

:40:53.:40:58.

made before the election are coming back to haunt him. We all remember

:40:58.:41:05.

that promised - no more top down reorganisation. And now he says he

:41:05.:41:09.

knows better than the doctors, better than the nurses, better than

:41:09.:41:14.

the midwives, better than the patients' associations, people who

:41:14.:41:17.

day in, day out rely on DA and devote their lives to the health

:41:17.:41:23.

service. This is a matter of trust in the Prime Minister. Can he

:41:23.:41:27.

honestly look people in the health service in the eye and say he has

:41:27.:41:33.

kept his promise of no more top- down reorganisation? We are cutting

:41:33.:41:40.

the bureaucracy in the NHS. We are taking out for �0.5 billion of

:41:40.:41:44.

bureaucracy that will be ploughed into patient care. If you do not

:41:44.:41:48.

support the reform, you will not see that money going to operations,

:41:48.:41:53.

doctors, nurses, hospitals, healthcare assistants. That is

:41:53.:41:57.

happening in the NHS. But there is one group of people I will not

:41:57.:42:01.

listen to, and that is those who ran the NHS under Labour. This is

:42:01.:42:08.

what they did - �6 billion wasted on the NHS computer. �250 million

:42:08.:42:14.

spent on private sector operations that were never carried out. We

:42:14.:42:18.

still have Private Finance Initiative agreements where we pay

:42:18.:42:23.

�300 each time someone changes a lightbulb. That is what we got from

:42:23.:42:27.

Labour. We are putting the money and the reform in. The operations

:42:27.:42:32.

are up, the waiting times are down, the NHS is improving, and that is

:42:32.:42:37.

the way it is going to stay. I will tell him about our record on the

:42:37.:42:43.

NHS. The shortest waiting times in NHS history. More doctors and

:42:43.:42:48.

nurses than ever before. The highest level of patient

:42:48.:42:54.

satisfaction ever in the health service. But everyone will have

:42:54.:42:57.

heard a Prime Minister unable to defend the promise he made, the

:42:57.:43:03.

promise of no more top-down reorganisation, a Prime Minister

:43:03.:43:07.

who has broken his word. The reality is this. All his attention

:43:07.:43:12.

is on this point was top-down reorganisation, and the frontline

:43:12.:43:16.

is suffering. The number of people waiting more than 18 weeks is up

:43:17.:43:22.

under him. A&E targets being missed, cancelled operations. Why won't he

:43:22.:43:28.

just give up and stop wasting billions and drop his bill? If the

:43:28.:43:37.

record was so good, why were they thrown out at the last election?

:43:37.:43:44.

Order! I am worried about opposition members. They must calm

:43:44.:43:52.

themselves at straightaway. Let me rind -- remind the honourable

:43:52.:43:56.

gentleman of the test he said for the reforms and the Government. He

:43:56.:44:02.

said the test was whether waiting times would come down. Let me give

:44:02.:44:08.

him the figures. In-patient waiting times - down. Out-patient waiting

:44:08.:44:12.

times, down. The number of people waiting more than a year, down to

:44:12.:44:17.

its lowest ever. The number of people waiting for six months, down

:44:17.:44:22.

to its lowest ever level. And the number of people on the waiting-

:44:22.:44:28.

list. What he said was the clear test, that is down. Even when this

:44:28.:44:32.

Labour leader moves the goalposts, he can't put it in the back of the

:44:32.:44:38.

net. Mr Speaker, the person moving the goalposts is the Prime Minister.

:44:38.:44:43.

The reality is that the key test that was set for the health service

:44:43.:44:48.

was the number of people waiting more than 18 weeks. That number is

:44:48.:44:53.

up 43% since the general election. However much he twists and turns,

:44:53.:44:58.

that is the reality. He knows in his heart of hearts that this is a

:44:58.:45:03.

complete disaster, this bill. That is why his aides are say the Health

:45:03.:45:06.

Secretary should be taken up and shot, because they know it is a

:45:06.:45:10.

disaster. The reality is that doctors know it is bad for the NHS.

:45:10.:45:14.

The nurses know it is bad for the NHS, and patients know it is bad

:45:14.:45:20.

for the NHS. Every day, he fights for this bill. Every day, trust in

:45:20.:45:24.

him on the NHS ebbs away and every day, it becomes clearer that the

:45:24.:45:34.

health service is not safe in his I got to tell him the career

:45:34.:45:37.

prospects for my right honourable friend are a lot better than his!

:45:37.:45:42.

This is not a campaign to save the NHS. This is a campaign to try and

:45:42.:45:46.

save his leadership and I make this prediction, the NHS will go on

:45:46.:45:54.

getting better and his prospects will go on getting worse.

:45:54.:46:00.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. When the work programme was introduced in

:46:00.:46:10.
:46:10.:46:12.

Burnley in October 2010, the people inactive was 76. Would the Prime

:46:12.:46:17.

Minister congratulate the people of Burnley for that success?

:46:17.:46:22.

I certainly join my honourable friend in congratulating not only

:46:22.:46:27.

the people in Burnley, but the people con conducting the work

:46:27.:46:31.

programme because I think what we are seeing is more people becoming

:46:31.:46:35.

able to work and therefore, able to enter the workforce and to raise

:46:35.:46:39.

not only the country's living standards, but raise their own

:46:39.:46:43.

living standards too. The people of Preston are furious

:46:43.:46:49.

that the Indian Government selected a French company as the bidder for

:46:49.:46:52.

the Indian Air Force jet. The Prime Minister goes on about rebalancing

:46:52.:46:55.

the British economy. This is a major blow to manufacturing in this

:46:55.:47:00.

country. Other European leaders can go and help their companies get

:47:00.:47:03.

major contracts, why is this weak Prime Minister not doing that and

:47:03.:47:09.

why haven't we got this contract? The honourable gentleman ought to

:47:09.:47:14.

think about the fact that all European leaders are actually

:47:14.:47:18.

backing the Eurofighter project. It is a German project. It is an

:47:18.:47:23.

Italian project, a Spanish project and a British project. I am

:47:23.:47:28.

disappointed by what has happened in India, but euro fight

:47:28.:47:32.

certificate not out of the con dur euro fight certificate not out of

:47:32.:47:39.

the contest and we need to reengage to make sure we get the best deal

:47:39.:47:45.

for those who make Eurofighter. This is something that ought to

:47:45.:47:48.

unite parties in this House, getting behind our defence

:47:48.:47:51.

producers. In order that a constituent of mine could access

:47:51.:47:55.

the drugs and treatment she was entitled to under the NHS

:47:55.:48:00.

constitution, her GP, her consultant, her specialist

:48:00.:48:05.

oncologist and the Secretary of State Secretary of State for health

:48:05.:48:11.

and I had to write letters. honourable lady raises an important

:48:11.:48:15.

point, since the introduction of the Cancer Drugs Fund, 10,000 more

:48:16.:48:20.

people have been able to get cancer drugs drugs that are essential. Let

:48:20.:48:29.

me tell you one that would damage cancer drug, that's the proposal

:48:29.:48:35.

from the party opposite to cap drugs at 5%. In the Royal Marston

:48:35.:48:41.

they would have to cut by a quarter the services they deliver. What a

:48:41.:48:45.

crazy left-wing plan that only the right honourable gentleman could

:48:45.:48:50.

come up with. In three months time, just before

:48:50.:48:54.

the Olympics, Abu Qatada, a truly dangerous man will be roaming the

:48:54.:48:59.

streets of London with his mobile phone and internet access, thanks

:48:59.:49:04.

to the Prime Minister, abolishing control orders and house arrest

:49:04.:49:09.

provisions. How can the Prime Minister justify putting the

:49:09.:49:14.

public's right to life at risk in order to give over to the Liberal

:49:14.:49:18.

Democrats on their plans to demolish control orders?

:49:18.:49:21.

situation with Abu Qatada is unacceptable. As I said, I when I

:49:21.:49:25.

went to Strasbourg to make a speech in front of the Council of Europe

:49:25.:49:29.

about this, it is not acceptable that we end up with a situation, we

:49:29.:49:33.

have someone in your country, that threatens to do you harm, that you

:49:33.:49:36.

cannot try, you cannot detain and you cannot deport and that is why

:49:37.:49:41.

the Government will do everything it can, working with our Jordanian

:49:41.:49:44.

friends and allies to make sure that he can be deported and again,

:49:44.:49:48.

instead of sniping about this, the whole House ought to unite to help

:49:48.:49:57.

sort this out. Recently as last September, only a

:49:57.:50:03.

tiny handful of the 165 acute mental health, adult inpatient beds

:50:03.:50:10.

in Hampshire were vacant. Yet the trust concerned proposes to cut

:50:10.:50:17.

those 165 beds to 107, replacing them with something called a

:50:17.:50:22.

hospital at home or a virtual ward. Given that I believe that the

:50:22.:50:28.

statistics on which this is based are inconsistent and unreliable,

:50:28.:50:33.

will the Prime Minister support my call for independent experts from

:50:33.:50:36.

the Audit Commission to look at those figures before those beds are

:50:36.:50:40.

closed? Well, I think the honourable

:50:40.:50:43.

gentleman makes an important point. We are putting the extra resource

:50:43.:50:47.

into the NHS, but there need to be a clear series of tests as there

:50:47.:50:51.

are now under our plans before any facilities are changed or closed

:50:51.:50:56.

and that is about making sure there is GP back for what is proposed and

:50:56.:51:00.

making sure that any such changes will improve the health of that air

:51:00.:51:05.

casmt I will -- area. I will look at the issue he raises and ensure

:51:05.:51:08.

that the Department of Health engage with him on that.

:51:08.:51:12.

Four police authorities including one I share with the Chancellor,

:51:12.:51:19.

have just started buying Hyundai cars imported from Korea, add to

:51:19.:51:26.

that the Thameslink fiasco and Olympic tickets, when are we going

:51:26.:51:30.

to see leadership from the Prime Minister about public procurement

:51:30.:51:35.

in his country? Police forces get together and procure together to

:51:35.:51:40.

cut their costs. We have all lost count of the times of wandering

:51:40.:51:43.

through police stations and seeing countless different types of

:51:43.:51:47.

vehicle all costing a large amount of money. What the public want is

:51:47.:51:53.

police on the streets, not money spent on unnecessary procurement.

:51:53.:51:56.

The Prime Minister will have seen this morning's Select Committee

:51:56.:52:00.

report on Libya. Could my right honourable friend tell the House

:52:00.:52:04.

what steps he is taking to ensure the UK will be able to evacuate all

:52:04.:52:09.

UK nationals from conflict zones and reduce our reliance on civil

:52:09.:52:15.

charter aircraft? My honourable friend raises an important point.

:52:15.:52:20.

The Libya evacuation have brought home to us the importance of having

:52:20.:52:25.

transport aircraft in the MoD and in the RAF and I can announce today

:52:25.:52:28.

that because the Ministry of Defence's finances are better run

:52:28.:52:32.

and better managed and because we have found savings, we will be able

:52:32.:52:38.

to purchase an additional C17 for the RAF, this aircraft is becoming

:52:38.:52:42.

an brilliant work horse for the RAF in terms of bringing men and

:52:42.:52:47.

material into a war war zone like Afghanistan, but evacuating

:52:47.:52:50.

civilians in times of need. It is an important investment for the

:52:50.:52:53.

country and I am glad to announce that we can make it today.

:52:53.:52:58.

May I first of all associate myself with the tributes to Her Majesty

:52:58.:53:02.

The Queen. Yesterday, the all party

:53:02.:53:06.

independent group on stalking published its report. The Prime

:53:06.:53:11.

Minister knows about my interest in this subject and the Government

:53:11.:53:14.

consultation concluded yesterday. Will he now please meet meet with

:53:14.:53:17.

myself and a small group of all party members to discuss this

:53:17.:53:23.

urgent need for a stalking law? We do take this issue seriously. I

:53:23.:53:26.

am happy to meet with him and discuss it. I know he conversations

:53:26.:53:29.

with the Home Office. We want to get this issue right and if there

:53:29.:53:34.

is a need for legislative changes, there maybe opportunities in the

:53:34.:53:37.

next session for that criminal justice legislation and I will

:53:37.:53:43.

happily meet and talk with him about it.

:53:43.:53:47.

During apprenticeship week, I am proud to announce that a college

:53:48.:53:51.

has increased the number of apprentices from nine to 160 and

:53:51.:53:57.

the Government increased the number by 170,000 in the last year. Does

:53:57.:54:03.

my right honourable friend agree that achievements like these

:54:03.:54:10.

illustrate the importance to give apprenticeships the attention they

:54:10.:54:13.

deserve? It is one of the most important investments we can make

:54:13.:54:18.

in the future industrial base this country and helping young people is

:54:18.:54:22.

investing in apprenticeships. The number over the last year is up by

:54:22.:54:27.

60, 457,000 people starting apprenticeships and in

:54:27.:54:29.

apprenticeship week, it is important to stress what we are

:54:29.:54:32.

doing to get over the objections in the past that people had, making

:54:33.:54:37.

sure there are more apprenticeships easily had by small businesses, by

:54:37.:54:42.

the paper of a simple fee, making sure that we have more high level

:54:42.:54:45.

apprenticeships so we we show that apprenticeships are every bit as

:54:45.:54:50.

good as having a university degree and involve a university degree and

:54:50.:54:55.

cutting the bureaucracy by allowing big businesses to run the tisship

:54:55.:55:03.

schemes rather than doing it via a training provider.

:55:03.:55:08.

Why hasn't the Government launched an appeal against the Abu Qatada

:55:08.:55:11.

judgement? Aren't you being dangerously complacent, Prime

:55:11.:55:15.

Minister? We are doing everything we can to

:55:15.:55:19.

get this man out of the country. The absolutely key thing to do is

:55:19.:55:23.

an agreement with Jordan about the way that he will be treated because

:55:24.:55:27.

the European Court on Human Rights has made a very clear judgement on

:55:27.:55:30.

that. I happen to think it is the wrong judgement. I regret that

:55:30.:55:34.

judgement. This guy should have been deported years ago, but

:55:34.:55:37.

nevertheless, if we can get that agreement with Jordan, he can be on

:55:37.:55:42.

his way. Complex employment law makes small

:55:42.:55:45.

businesses nervous about hiring new staff. Would the Prime Minister

:55:45.:55:50.

agree we need a simpler alternative for our smallest firms for

:55:50.:55:54.

dismissal rules? I think my honourable friend is

:55:54.:55:57.

right to raise this issue. If every small business in the country hired

:55:57.:56:01.

an additional worker that would go a long way to curing both long-term

:56:01.:56:05.

and youth and total unemployment at one stroke. We have got to make it

:56:05.:56:08.

easier for businesses to take people on. One of the key

:56:08.:56:11.

considerations businesses have, is how difficult it is to let someone

:56:11.:56:15.

go if it doesn't work out and that's why extending to two years

:56:15.:56:19.

the amount of of time you have to work before you get access to a

:56:19.:56:23.

tribunal can make a difference in terms of small small business

:56:23.:56:25.

employment. We have heard from the Prime

:56:26.:56:29.

Minister how Italian governments and German governments are out

:56:29.:56:33.

there fighting for British jobs. Can the Prime Minister tell us

:56:33.:56:37.

exactly how many phone conversations he had directly with

:56:37.:56:42.

the Indian Prime Minister about the typhoon bid and when the last

:56:42.:56:45.

conversation actually took place? raise this issue with the Indian

:56:45.:56:51.

Prime Minister repeatedly on my visit to India and indeed, at the G

:56:51.:57:01.
:57:01.:57:02.

keep 20 in in Cannes. When I loaded an aeroplane up with British goods,

:57:02.:57:07.

who was it that attacked me? Who put out the press releases? Who was

:57:07.:57:15.

it that doesn't stand up for British industry, and British jobs?

:57:15.:57:25.
:57:25.:57:25.

It is Labour. On Monday, I visited the offices of

:57:25.:57:31.

the Bucksburry Press. I can tell the Prime Minister that Labour's

:57:31.:57:37.

leg legacy in my constituents constituents is distrust. The right

:57:37.:57:43.

way to deliver local accountability in our constituency is clinical

:57:43.:57:48.

commissioning and foundation trust status? The whole point of the

:57:48.:57:53.

reforms is to put the power in the hands of local doctors so they make

:57:53.:57:56.

decisions on behalf of patients and what is good for healthcare in

:57:56.:58:01.

their local area. We may find that the community hospitals that were

:58:01.:58:05.

repeatedly undermined by the party opposite will get a boost because

:58:05.:58:08.

owe lol people and local doctors want to see them succeed. That's

:58:08.:58:17.

what our reforms are all about. There are 40,000 women sick with

:58:17.:58:21.

anxiety because of faulty medical products and now they are being

:58:21.:58:25.

failed by private clinics and by an NHS which is dithering about what

:58:25.:58:31.

to do. We can see the future of a privatised NHS. So will the Prime

:58:31.:58:34.

Minister pledge, will the Prime Minister pledge to support those

:58:34.:58:39.

women in the NHS now and claim against the clinics later and will

:58:39.:58:43.

he drop the Health and Social Care Bill so we we don't have this

:58:43.:58:48.

happening across the NHS? I will take the question in two halfs. She

:58:48.:58:53.

is write about the scandal of the PIP implants. The Government has

:58:53.:58:57.

made clear that we will offer every one of those women a free

:58:57.:59:00.

consultation and making sure that on the NHS we do everything we can

:59:00.:59:04.

to help them. It is a scandal and the private clinics that carried

:59:04.:59:09.

out the operations, they should feel the maximum pressure to undo

:59:09.:59:14.

the harm they have done. But let me just say to her about the issue of

:59:14.:59:17.

greater competition and choice within the NHS, I actually think

:59:17.:59:19.

she should listen to past Labour politicians who have said

:59:20.:59:23.

themselves that actually greater greater choice, greater competition,

:59:23.:59:26.

the involvement of the private sector, that can help raise

:59:26.:59:31.

standards in our NHS system and that's why we should support it.

:59:31.:59:41.
:59:41.:59:44.

Thank you, Mr SPeabg. Speaker. The threat to ship building jobs

:59:44.:59:51.

threatens 32 jobs in the regional supply chain. Will the Prime

:59:51.:59:59.

Minister commit to do all he can to protect this site? The honourable

:59:59.:00:03.

lady is right to speak up for Portsmouth and to speak up for ship

:00:03.:00:09.

building. BAe Systems Has not approached the Government with any

:00:09.:00:13.

proposal to rationalise ship building. What I would say in terms

:00:13.:00:19.

of this Government's commitment to the Royal Navy, better building the

:00:19.:00:29.

new frig ats, there is the plans for replacing Trident and the plans

:00:29.:00:36.

for aircraft carriers. Treasury tax rates on North Sea Oil

:00:36.:00:44.

and gas are putting 1500 jobs at ONG North Tyneside at risk. Can I

:00:44.:00:48.

ask the Prime Minister not to be complacent about north-east jobs,

:00:48.:00:57.

but to insent advise off --ent sen ta vice in the Budget and to meet

:00:57.:01:01.

with me and others about the the jobs situation in the north-east?

:01:01.:01:05.

The honourable lady raises an important point. I saw for myself

:01:05.:01:10.

when I went to Aberdeen how vital this industry is and indeed how

:01:10.:01:16.

much investment is taking place in the North Sea. The reason we put up

:01:16.:01:20.

the tax on North Sea was actually to cut petrol duty for families up

:01:20.:01:23.

and down the country, but we will make sure that...

:01:23.:01:28.

THE SPEAKER: I don't know where members are falling about unable to

:01:29.:01:31.

contain themselves. I want to hear the Prime Minister's answer.

:01:31.:01:33.

The Prime Minister. We will make sure there is a good

:01:33.:01:36.

tax regime for the North Sea, whether that is servicing jobs in

:01:36.:01:44.

England or indeed in Scotland. Mr Speaker, last Wednesday, the

:01:44.:01:49.

Commons rejected the Lords attempt to wreck the Reform Bill. On seven

:01:49.:01:54.

occasion the Commons voted, the Prime Minister and a Deputy Prime

:01:54.:01:59.

Minister voted, but the Children's Minister, the honourable member for

:01:59.:02:02.

Brent Central, refused to support the Government and has spoken

:02:03.:02:08.

against the policy. Now Mr Speaker, on occasion, I have spoken against

:02:08.:02:11.

the Government and then supported them, but I am not a Government

:02:11.:02:19.

minister. Why is she still a Government minister?.

:02:19.:02:29.
:02:29.:02:29.

I thought thought... THE SPEAKER: We want to hear the

:02:29.:02:31.

Prime Minister's verdict on the honourable member for Brent Central

:02:31.:02:33.

and we won't if there is too much noise.

:02:33.:02:36.

I thought he was going to say yet. The honourable lady is a Government

:02:36.:02:37.

minister. She supports Government policy as all Government ministers

:02:37.:02:45.

15,000 young disabled people are going to be affected by the changes

:02:45.:02:52.

to contributory employment support allowance. That's 1500 now

:02:52.:02:59.

claimants are going to lose �5,900 a year. Is -- �4,900 a year. Is

:02:59.:03:04.

this the Government of value that the Prime Minister spoke about in

:03:04.:03:08.

May 2010. We are We are there are two groups. There are the support

:03:08.:03:14.

group. People who ant able to work. People who deserve to get that

:03:14.:03:18.

support for as long as they need it without any means-testing. The

:03:18.:03:22.

second element, are people who need help to get work, but will be able

:03:22.:03:25.

to work. That's why they are in that group and they are they are

:03:25.:03:28.

going to get help and support under the work programme to get them into

:03:28.:03:33.

work. I know the Labour Party has set its face against all of Welfare

:03:33.:03:38.

Reform. They are making a massive mistake in doing so.

:03:38.:03:42.

What confidence can we have that universal intervention by Russia

:03:42.:03:46.

will put an end to the terrible violence in Syria?

:03:46.:03:51.

I think we can have very well confidence in that. Russia and

:03:51.:03:55.

China set themselves against Arab opinion and world opinion in

:03:55.:03:59.

passing what would have been a strong and good UN resolution and I

:03:59.:04:02.

think the Foreign Secretary was right to push for that resolution.

:04:03.:04:06.

What we now need to see and Britain will be playing a big part in this

:04:06.:04:10.

is real engagement with the Opposition groups both inside and

:04:10.:04:14.

outside Syria, bringing together the strongest possible

:04:14.:04:18.

international alliance through a contact group so we can co-ordinate

:04:18.:04:22.

efforts with respect to getting rid of this dreadful regime and making

:04:23.:04:27.

sure we continue with the sanctions and pressure. The bloodshed in

:04:27.:04:31.

Syria is appalling. The Russians have to look at their consciences

:04:31.:04:34.

and realise what they have done, but the rest of the world will will

:04:34.:04:40.

keep on fighting to give the Syrian people a chance to choose their own

:04:40.:04:43.

future. Yesterday, I heard an expert, a

:04:43.:04:48.

health expert, who is visiting the UK say that the NHS remains a

:04:48.:04:53.

beacon for care and effectiveness in the world. And that it needs to

:04:53.:04:57.

be improved and perfected, not changed. Will the Prime Minister

:04:57.:05:03.

accept that advice and abandon the Health Bill?

:05:03.:05:07.

I will tell you what needs to be abandoned, and that's Labour's

:05:07.:05:10.

approach to the NHS in Wales. Well, he shakes his head. This is what is

:05:10.:05:14.

happening in Wales. This is what Labour are doing in Wales. They

:05:14.:05:21.

have cut health spending in Wales by �400 million. That is a 6.5% cut.

:05:21.:05:27.

27% of people in Wales wait over six weeks for diagnostic services.

:05:27.:05:33.

The figure for England is just 1%. As I said earlier, a third of

:05:33.:05:37.

people waiting over 18 weeks for their operation in Wales. That is

:05:37.:05:42.

what you get if you get Labour. No money, no reform. No good Health

:05:42.:05:50.

Service. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Many of my

:05:50.:06:00.
:06:00.:06:00.

constituents are among the 337 redundancies announced by Kerry

:06:00.:06:07.

Foods. The honourable gentleman from Great Grimsby and I have

:06:07.:06:12.

approached various departments for support. One possibility is the

:06:12.:06:17.

extension of the enterprise zone. Can the Prime Minister give give

:06:17.:06:20.

comfort to my constituents by looking at that proposal?

:06:20.:06:24.

I am grateful for the question. He is right to speak up for his

:06:24.:06:28.

constituents in this way. The Chancellor is very happy to look at

:06:28.:06:34.

the idea of expanding ther enterprise zone and -- the

:06:34.:06:38.

enterprise zone and see what else we can do to help his constituents

:06:38.:06:48.
:06:48.:06:48.

That has overrun by six minutes. Clearly, what I sent the Speaker

:06:48.:06:53.

for Christmas has not worked. Interesting for Prime Minister's

:06:53.:07:03.

Questions to finish with the Tory backbencher, Peter Bone,

:07:03.:07:06.

criticising a Lib Dem government minister for not being there for

:07:06.:07:12.

some of the votes on the welfare benefit cap. But the men exchange

:07:12.:07:15.

was between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition on the

:07:15.:07:25.
:07:25.:07:25.

all of the questions he is entitled to on that one subject. Before we

:07:25.:07:29.

discuss that, let's hear your e- mails.

:07:29.:07:32.

To too much all of the e-mails were in response to the discussion on

:07:33.:07:37.

health. By Anne says David Cameron may care about the NHS, but he is

:07:37.:07:42.

allowing Andrew Lansley to destroy it. Liam in witness said, why does

:07:42.:07:46.

Mr Cameron believe he is right and the health bodies opposing the bill

:07:46.:07:51.

are wrong? His personal attacks are not befitting of a Prime Minister.

:07:51.:07:56.

Graeme Knowles says when in a deep hole, David Cameron always gets out

:07:56.:08:00.

the David Miliband knife. But Geoffrey from Hampshire says

:08:00.:08:05.

Cameron runs circles behind the Red Ed again. The opposition front

:08:05.:08:08.

bench is so full of opportunists, they should concentrate on

:08:08.:08:13.

healthcare and not points-scoring. And Helen says sorry, but Ed still

:08:13.:08:16.

can't even score with an open goal like the NHS reforms. He still

:08:16.:08:21.

comes across as stilted and over prepared. His responses are weak

:08:21.:08:26.

and lack conviction. Anyone who has spent time in NHS hospital knows it

:08:26.:08:30.

cannot carry on as cities and needs reform. And there were many more

:08:30.:08:40.
:08:40.:08:46.

like this, but the majority were critical of David Cameron.

:08:46.:08:51.

A more confident and assertive Mr Ballam up -- Mr Miliband, I would

:08:51.:08:57.

suggest. But you would think there was an election around the corner,

:08:57.:09:02.

in a way, because they were not just arguing about the merits of

:09:02.:09:08.

health reform, but a kind of you are rubbish, we are great attitude?

:09:08.:09:12.

In a sense, Ed Miliband made his mirth -- most impact on health a

:09:12.:09:17.

couple of weeks ago, when he unveiled the list of public bodies

:09:17.:09:27.
:09:27.:09:28.

that were turning against it. He revealed another public body today

:09:28.:09:34.

that is opposed. They are now saying the bill should be scrapped.

:09:34.:09:39.

It is hard to get the same impact for three weeks running. But he

:09:39.:09:41.

looked comfortable and the Prime Minister looked pretty

:09:41.:09:45.

uncomfortable. You can always tell the Prime Minister is uncomfortable,

:09:45.:09:51.

because he shouts more. Ed Miliband was quieter. David Cameron also

:09:51.:09:55.

goes for more lines at David Miliband's expense. It is

:09:55.:09:58.

proportional to how comfortable he feels on the policy. The most

:09:58.:10:02.

striking thing about the exchanges was the deliberate, planned,

:10:02.:10:07.

scripted and organised move to support Andrew Lansley as Health

:10:07.:10:11.

Secretary. He sat forward in his seats. Helpfully, the cameras at

:10:11.:10:15.

the House of Commons kept taking pictures of him. The Prime Minister

:10:16.:10:20.

said his career prospects were better than Ed Miliband's. This

:10:20.:10:23.

followed that flurry of speculation fuelled by the Times yesterday that

:10:23.:10:28.

he was on his way out. We were told when you were in opposition in the

:10:28.:10:32.

run-up to the election that the Tory strategy in health was to

:10:32.:10:39.

sideline it, just to park it. "we are going to ring-fence it, and not

:10:39.:10:44.

cut funding". Health and your department were to get more. But

:10:44.:10:47.

defence and police and the Tory litmus tests were not to get

:10:47.:10:52.

funding. The less we talked about health, the better it was for your

:10:53.:10:58.

party. There were endless briefings. In some ways, that was the strategy

:10:58.:11:02.

in the studio. We had lots of debates. Don't rock the boat was

:11:02.:11:07.

the Tory attitude. But now health is dominated the headlines.

:11:07.:11:12.

never said we would pocket to one side. We said we would support it.

:11:13.:11:18.

You wanted to sanitise it. But you cannot fossilise the NHS either. It

:11:18.:11:22.

takes an enormous amount of money, which we are increasing, in a world

:11:22.:11:26.

whose demands are changing significantly as the nature of

:11:27.:11:31.

disease need and age profile changes. If you do not change the

:11:31.:11:36.

NHS and make it able to respond to the needs of the elderly and the

:11:36.:11:40.

challenges of obesity and things like that, it will not be an

:11:40.:11:43.

efficient organisation serving the needs of the people. So within this

:11:43.:11:49.

increased budget, we want to reform it so that it can. It is not a top-

:11:49.:11:55.

down, it is actually bottom-up, because we are empowering GPs and

:11:55.:11:58.

people at that level to be able to offer patients what they need best

:11:58.:12:03.

by commissioning the resources. it is not a result of a clamour

:12:03.:12:08.

from GPs to have these reforms. That would be bottom-up. This is

:12:08.:12:11.

coming from the top, telling GPs that this is how it will be in the

:12:11.:12:19.

future. But the empowerment is that the lower level. But it comes from

:12:19.:12:24.

the top. My definition would be different. It will not be an

:12:24.:12:28.

organisation where people at the top pull all the levers. It will be

:12:28.:12:31.

an organisation where people who have faced time with patients can

:12:31.:12:38.

pull the levers. For the moment, health is a Labour issue. You

:12:38.:12:43.

usually pull back on that than the Conservatives. But there is a

:12:43.:12:46.

danger for you. Ed Miliband said there are three months to save the

:12:46.:12:49.

health service. I would suggest that in three months, the health

:12:50.:12:55.

service will still be around and still treating millions of patients.

:12:55.:13:01.

If in 18 months' time, these changes have taken place and bedded

:13:01.:13:04.

down and there is not a material change to the standards of our

:13:04.:13:07.

health service, it may even be better if the Government is right,

:13:07.:13:11.

you will be seen to have made a song and dance about not much.

:13:11.:13:15.

not think people will think we have made a song and dance about not

:13:15.:13:20.

much. The tough it doesn't get worse? I think there is a chance we

:13:20.:13:24.

can stop the bill, but even if it goes through, that will not solve

:13:24.:13:29.

the government's problems. Their problems are going to get worse.

:13:29.:13:35.

There is a danger for David Cameron. He said his personal priority were

:13:35.:13:41.

three letters - NHS. At best, he has lost control of the policy. At

:13:41.:13:48.

worst, these changes are wrong for the future of the NHS. And it will

:13:48.:13:52.

really start to bite when patients who we are already seeing wait

:13:52.:13:56.

longer than 18 weeks, the government are say the average wait

:13:56.:14:00.

is the same, but as people have longer waits, it pulls up the

:14:00.:14:05.

average. People are waiting longer for their diagnostic tests. That is

:14:05.:14:10.

frightening. We will see problems with money building up. They have

:14:10.:14:17.

wasted 20 months. It was going to be tough for the NHS to save �20

:14:17.:14:20.

billion in efficiency savings. would have had to do that. And it

:14:20.:14:27.

would have been tough. In Doncaster, we have just heard that they have

:14:27.:14:31.

spent �3 million on redundancies already. That is a waste and it

:14:31.:14:36.

should go to patient care. A but this is all about cash. People

:14:36.:14:40.

forget that even though David Cameron had those posters about

:14:40.:14:44.

cutting the deficit, but not the NHS, even though the Conservatives

:14:44.:14:47.

said they would increase spending on the NHS, it would be the

:14:47.:14:51.

smallest increase in a long period of time since the creation of the

:14:51.:14:55.

NHS. People often talk about Thatcher's government cutting the

:14:55.:15:02.

NHS. But the spending on the NHS increased in real terms by 4.3%

:15:02.:15:06.

every year. Effectively, there is no real terms increase in NHS

:15:06.:15:12.

spending. It is about flat. There is an argument about numbers, but

:15:12.:15:18.

it is about flat. The NHS has never done that. Not in one year, let

:15:18.:15:24.

alone a year after year. It seems to me that tactically, Labour want

:15:24.:15:28.

to not allow the Tories to say, as you have just done, that would have

:15:28.:15:31.

happened under you and it is because of the deficit, but to say

:15:31.:15:36.

that when things get worse in the NHS, which objectively, with less

:15:36.:15:42.

money, you would think they want -- Wood, to say that it is ideological.

:15:42.:15:46.

It is because you are fiddling around with it. A much better

:15:46.:15:50.

argument for the Government would have been, if they had killed the

:15:50.:15:58.

bill, would have been to say, you are right. We are giving him -- the

:15:58.:16:04.

best advice possible - drop the bill. But your exact words earlier

:16:04.:16:08.

in this programme were that in the NHS, we have to make less go

:16:08.:16:13.

further. I assume you meant was not the budget should be lower but that

:16:13.:16:17.

given �100, you have to get more out of it. That is always a

:16:17.:16:21.

challenge with the NHS, because demand is almost infinite.

:16:21.:16:25.

Resources are finite. David Owen said earlier that things have to be

:16:25.:16:31.

rationed. So to get efficiency in the NHS is a permanent challenge.

:16:31.:16:35.

We have to leave it there. They are not going to withdraw the bill, so

:16:35.:16:42.

we will have plenty of time to talk about it. You said you wanted to

:16:42.:16:47.

come back on Sarah Teather, the Liberal Democrat minister. She went

:16:48.:16:54.

to Sheffield for the vote on the welfare cap. She is known to have

:16:54.:16:57.

raised worries about the number of families with disabled children who

:16:57.:17:05.

might be effective. Tory backbenchers sick of compromises

:17:05.:17:09.

such as the one on Abu Qatada want to have a go at her and the

:17:09.:17:14.

coalition. Now, it is cold outside, in case

:17:14.:17:17.

you had not noticed. Many pensioners will be glad of their

:17:17.:17:21.

annual winter fuel allowance from the Government. But everyone over

:17:21.:17:25.

60 get offered the money, including the comfortably off and even the

:17:25.:17:29.

wealthy. So is it to good use of our taxes? Former Conservative

:17:29.:17:33.

minister Ann Widdecombe does not think so, and she gives her

:17:33.:17:42.

allowance away to charity. Here, she explains why.

:17:42.:17:48.

Every winter, pensioners die of cold. As temperatures begin to

:17:48.:17:51.

plummet, there are people who are having to make the choice between

:17:52.:18:01.

eating properly and keeping warm. And it is estimated that every year,

:18:01.:18:04.

inadequate heating contributes to the death of thousands of

:18:04.:18:14.
:18:14.:18:18.

pensioners. The �200 winter fuel allowance goes into it any

:18:18.:18:22.

household where there is a pensioner, irrespective of how much

:18:22.:18:32.
:18:32.:18:35.

money is coming in. And the over '80s get a �300. So far, the

:18:35.:18:41.

campaign has persuaded better-off individuals to give up some �2

:18:41.:18:46.

million. And that has been enough to help about 20,000 poorer

:18:46.:18:52.

pensioners. But there are still millionaires getting government

:18:52.:18:56.

handouts while thousands of pensioners struggle just to keep

:18:56.:19:02.

warm. David Cameron says he will not touch the winter fuel allowance.

:19:02.:19:07.

And indeed, that pledge was included in the coalition agreement

:19:07.:19:13.

with the Liberal Democrats. One might argue that he should break

:19:13.:19:21.

that pledge, and thereby save part of the �2.1 billion that the

:19:21.:19:27.

allowance cost the Treasury every year. But I think it would be even

:19:27.:19:31.

better if the money that now goes to well-off pensioners were instead

:19:31.:19:36.

to be used to raise the allowances for the pensioners who really need

:19:36.:19:42.

them. But until that happens, we have to persuade as many people as

:19:42.:19:49.

possible to donate their run needed allowances.

:19:49.:19:53.

-- and needed allowances. And Ann Widdecombe joins us now.

:19:53.:19:57.

Presumably it is not politically power -- palatable for David

:19:57.:20:07.
:20:07.:20:09.

You have go to ask what is the common sense thing to do. I am well

:20:09.:20:14.

aware of all the problems that is caused by means-testing. I am not

:20:14.:20:19.

proposing full means-testing. You are not? No. Where you have got

:20:19.:20:26.

pensioners in the 40% or 50% tax band they should not get it. If

:20:27.:20:32.

they can do with child benefit, why not this? If you can do it with

:20:32.:20:38.

child benefit, why not this? This is the argument about means-tested

:20:38.:20:41.

versus universal benefit and they made a straight decision on this

:20:41.:20:44.

for it to be universal. It was a Labour Party decision and no doubt

:20:44.:20:48.

at the time there was an element of politics in this that they wanted

:20:48.:20:52.

to Woo as many people as they could. If you were to have means-testing

:20:52.:20:56.

it would be more complicated either by clawing it back in the tax

:20:56.:21:00.

system or picking which people qualified or not.

:21:00.:21:04.

But do you agree with the principle? I think the outcry of

:21:05.:21:07.

introducing means-testing, the Labour Party has been against

:21:07.:21:11.

means-testing and now maybe they are in favour of it.

:21:11.:21:15.

When this was introduced you had to apply. My mother did not apply for

:21:15.:21:19.

it even though she was in her 90s and could have done, but once you

:21:19.:21:24.

put it in bank accounts, it is like the �10 Christmas bonus, it arrives

:21:24.:21:28.

in your bank account, automatic. I think there are many ways in which

:21:28.:21:31.

we could ensure that this is properly directed. Some people

:21:31.:21:39.

would love �400, I don't need �200. There is another side to this which

:21:39.:21:42.

is Cold Weather Payments, if the temperature for a week or so

:21:42.:21:47.

doesn't go above freezing there was be an automatic payment and it will

:21:47.:21:52.

only be to those on benefit. It is the principle of universal benefits.

:21:52.:21:58.

Why can't this Government in these austere times, they seem to be able

:21:58.:22:03.

to do it with everything else, break this universal benefit?

:22:03.:22:09.

that were to happen there would be an outcry and not least the Labour

:22:09.:22:14.

Party who were against means- testing. Once you have got a a

:22:14.:22:19.

system, it is difficult to unravel Do you think it should be looked

:22:19.:22:24.

at? All things should be looked at all the time, you know, I am not

:22:24.:22:28.

one who says that just because it is there, it has to be there

:22:28.:22:31.

forever. Alan, there is a simpler, I

:22:31.:22:35.

hesitate to interrupt you, there is a simpler approach to this. Even if

:22:35.:22:41.

you don't go for fuls means -- full means-testing, why don't you go for,

:22:41.:22:47.

you have to ask for it or 40% and 50% bands out. That's That's

:22:47.:22:53.

relatively easy to do. I undertake to pass on your

:22:53.:22:57.

suggestion to George Osborne. Why doesn't Labour come forward and

:22:57.:23:01.

say that too? We are trying to look at the real issue which is the high

:23:01.:23:07.

costs of bills. With due respect... I know that's what you want to talk

:23:07.:23:12.

about. There is the underlying issue for many of my constituents,

:23:12.:23:16.

they are worried about the costs of heating. There is more we can do.

:23:16.:23:21.

We have come forward with the proposal that the energy companies

:23:21.:23:25.

should put people who are over 75 on the lowest possible rate. We

:23:25.:23:30.

need to open up that market to get more competition.

:23:30.:23:38.

Should I get the winter fuel fuel allowance? There is a real issue

:23:38.:23:42.

here about the costs of means- testing? But should I be getting

:23:42.:23:50.

it? Well, you don't you should be getting it. What about people in

:23:50.:23:54.

the House of Lords, should they receive it? There are a number of

:23:54.:23:58.

issues that need to be looked at and Ed Miliband said that.

:23:58.:24:03.

Tas difficult issue, isn't -- it is a difficult difficult issue, isn't

:24:03.:24:13.

it? We want to be kind to you to you to you Ann! We don't want to be

:24:13.:24:17.

hard on you! How do you identify yourself,

:24:18.:24:26.

English, Scottish, or Nordic? The Prime Minister is going to put on

:24:26.:24:32.

his thermals and head off to Stockholm for the Nordic Baltic

:24:32.:24:38.

summit. Here is Max Cotton on our new friends friends from the north.

:24:38.:24:43.

Who are our friends? It is a serious serious question. There

:24:43.:24:46.

come moments in political life when we need to look out there for

:24:46.:24:50.

allies! There have been very different

:24:50.:24:54.

answers to that question from our political leaders over the years.

:24:54.:25:00.

Churchill was the great Atlantis cyst who believed the future of the

:25:00.:25:07.

UK lay with our American cousins. Then came along Ted Heath. Suddenly

:25:07.:25:11.

we were in the EEC and had Continental quilts and cappuccino,

:25:11.:25:15.

but that's a complicated relationship and in the last few

:25:15.:25:19.

months, we have been told to get lost by the French and by the

:25:19.:25:24.

Germans! So what is the answer? Nordic. This

:25:25.:25:31.

man is our future ally. Norwegian, Scandinavian, Danish, it doesn't

:25:31.:25:36.

matter. He looks great and we have got him some snow!

:25:36.:25:41.

Millions of years before the Vikings invaded Norwich and grabbed

:25:41.:25:46.

all our lands after a good bit of pillaging, Britain was part of

:25:46.:25:56.

Scandinavia, but the tectonic plates or that maybe tutonic plates

:25:56.:26:00.

priced us apart and created the North Sea leaving Britain too close

:26:00.:26:08.

to France for comfort. Look at the culture Scandinavia brought to

:26:08.:26:18.

Britain's shores. If Stig Larsson hadn't of died so young, WH Smith's

:26:18.:26:24.

would have lobbied to have him knighted and crucially every home

:26:24.:26:28.

in Britain is furnish with something that arrived in a flat-

:26:28.:26:38.

pack. Finns and nor weeg -- Norwegians, are they our new best

:26:38.:26:48.
:26:48.:26:48.

Did you debt that Andrew? That's why he was in Bill and Ben!

:26:48.:26:56.

We are joined by a lover of all things Nordic, Frazer Nelson of the

:26:56.:27:01.

Spectator, would the Nordics like us to join their little club?

:27:01.:27:07.

don't think so. They are flattered all this attention they are getting.

:27:07.:27:12.

We are fascinated by Swedish schools and you name it, we are

:27:12.:27:18.

trying to nick it? Right now, the Nordic countries are standing in

:27:18.:27:21.

isolation from the terrible things that are happening in Europe.

:27:21.:27:29.

Sweden doesn't have a deficit. They don't want the likes of us bringing

:27:29.:27:35.

the economic IQ down. They would rather we admire them from afar.

:27:35.:27:40.

The centre left was obsessed with Sweden. That was the role model for

:27:40.:27:44.

social democracy. It is the centre right that looks to Sweden for

:27:44.:27:51.

ideas? The left love Sweden's huge tax rates. It is the highest tax in

:27:51.:27:56.

the whole of Europe, but the right love the fact that their market

:27:56.:27:59.

orientation means they have private companies running the Tube, running

:27:59.:28:04.

the hospitals, running the schools. In Finland, almost all the school

:28:04.:28:09.

system is independently run. Organisationally it is to the right

:28:09.:28:13.

of Britain. What's Mr Cameron hoping to get out

:28:13.:28:19.

of the trip? I don't know, perhaps a few more pictures of huskies and

:28:19.:28:22.

an iceberg. He will be there to learn and with any luck he will

:28:22.:28:30.

learn that cutting tax for the low paid boosts the economy. And that's

:28:30.:28:33.

what they are doing and it is working.

:28:33.:28:43.
:28:43.:28:44.

What is Swedish for goodbye? Hewa! Here is the answer to Guess the

:28:45.:28:47.

Year. The end of sweet rationing was the

:28:47.:28:53.

clue. But did you remember when it happened?

:28:53.:28:58.

What was the year? I don't know. 1953!

:28:58.:29:03.

The programme ends in chaos. usual.

:29:03.:29:08.

That's it. Thanks to our guests. We will be back tomorrow at Noon with

:29:08.:29:13.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn have live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions and the latest political news, interviews and debate.

Conservative MP Alan Duncan, the International Development Minister, and Labour MP Liz Kendall, the Shadow Health Minister, join Andrew and Jo in the studio.

Former Foreign Secretary Lord Owen, now a crossbench peer, discusses the government's health reforms, and former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe explains why she thinks the winter fuel payment should be means-tested.


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