10/02/2012 Daily Politics


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He says it's time for David Cameron to drop or at least emasculate the


health reform Bill or risk disaster at the next election.


We will be joined live by health Minister.


Should we ignore the rulings of European judges and kick Abu Qatada


out of the country? All three main parties want him


deported. But the European Court is more worried about his human rights.


Labour's leader in the Lords says Nick Clegg and David Cameron should


drop their plans to reform the House of Lords. Helpful advice or a


sraeled threat? We will ask her.


And, how prepared are we for is worried the Government hasn't


learned the lessons. All that coming newspaper the next


will see this on no other channel, for which the other channels are


grateful. With me Andrew Pierce and the Guardian's Zoe Williams. I


don't know if you know, it's Andrew's birthday. Happy birthday.


I will go easy on you. 24 again! Thank you so much.


First, let's talk about bank bonuses, why not, we seem to do it


every day. Barclays has published its full-year results and given


details of bonuses handed out to staff. The bank, whose chief


executive is Bob diamond, he's reported a 3% fall in profits to a


mere �5.9 billion for last year. Mr Diamond says the total bonus pool


for the group is also down by 25%. tell ITV what he was going to do


with it either. There are reports that he is entitled to arpbtd --


take all that remains to be seen. Barclays not owned by the state.


so we don't have any call to give them a hard time one way or the


other. I wonder, still benefiting from the implicit state guarantee


it won't go bust. The problem is, I mean, if you want to talk logically,


Barclays will say we never had a bail-out, we went to the Saudis.


The Qataris. We are fine, let us get on with our own business. As


soon as you start having these bonuses and everybody scrutinising


them carefully, people will come through your business practice with


a fine toothcomb and there is no large business in the country that


hasn't benefited in some way, either from the financial


underwriting of the Government, or from low wages which are


supplemented or from a whole raft of things. You know, so basically,


it's a toxic issue, it will be impossible for a bank to take what


a member of public would think was matter for the shareholders and the


company. But we just point out that if he gets �1 million bonus, we the


taxpayer will get �520,000 of it. Cameron is not going to do that.


Why doesn't he, we get more hapb hapb half -- more hapb half the


bonus. Ed Miliband made the speech last night reminding people that


guarantee, therefore, we all as taxpayers have a stake in the bank


and they should pay what is seen as reasonable. I had a wonderful


letter from a reader who had written to Lord Ash, head of BP in


1995 complaining about his bonus bonuses so they can buy wonderful


things and go on wonderful holidays. That may seem disproportionate to


you but I can assure you it is a business necessity. We used to call


that trickle down. It shows the trickle down rhetoric is so


disgusting. There is a tick nickical point that's -- technical


point point which is important if I was a shareholder, which I am not,


the profits of just shy of �6 billion, the bonus billion of �2


billion, that's a big percentage of the profits at a time when banks


are under pressure to recapitalise balance sheets, which if do you


that the share price would get stronger, so if I was a shareholder


I wouldn't be too happy. If you look at the actual stats for


shareholders in all businesses, they used to hold shares for an


average of five years, now three and a half months, they're not that


emotionally invested in the business shares in. They're paying


massive bonuses to each other but still not lending money to small


and medium-sized businesses. They haven't met the targets. Barclays


says it has done better. What did you get for your birthday?


haven't opened my presents yet. That's coming later. We have a quiz


lined up for you, it's our present. Which of these does not want to be


a new police commissioner. The Iraq veteran Tim Collins,


Falklands veteran Simon Weston or political veteran John Prescott, we


will give you the answer later in the show.


Are the health reforms for England as bad for the coalition as the


poll tax was for Thatcher? Not my words, but those of a Conservative


cabinet Minister according to the influential right leaning blogger


Tim Montgomery. This morning he published an article for the


Conservative home blog, read by a lot of Tory grass roots, saying any


problems the NHS will face in the future will now be unfairly blamed


on the Bill and a Bill that is not evenly o only mangled and


bureaucratic but unnecessary. He goes on to say the Bill is an


unexploded bomb beneath the Tories' electoral prospects. Cameron must


defuse it. The health Bill is having a tough


time in the House of Lords where the Government's made 136 changes.


There's concern this won't be enough to appease some Liberal


Democrat peers. Labour is to stage an all-day debate in the Commons on


February 22nd on the bill. So, what are the bill's chances of


now. Welcome back to the daily politics.


You have been encouraged to do this by three cabinet Ministers? That's


right. There was a very important piece in Tuesday's Times by Rachel


Sylvester which... Which you the srael, not on Liberal Democrat


disquiet about the Bill which we have been familiar with but Tory


disquiet and she quoted a Tory insider in Downing Street who


talked about Andrew Lansley having to be taken out and shot. I was


approached -. I began a ring around and was able to establish the


extent of unhappiness amongst a lot of Conservatives at the health Bill.


I think Conservative home was meant to represent the grass roots, not a


hotline for distressed cabinet Ministers. Maybe we can do both.


The Tory grass roots seem to be in Conservatives would like to see the


National Health Service reformed, the question is do we have all the


pre-conditions in place to make this a successful reform. Do we


have a health saeg who has the confidence of the professions, who


is able to communicate these reforms in a compelling way? Have


we prepared the public for reform? Have we got a Whitehall machine


that's on side? I don't think these pre-conditions exist. None of these


pre-conditions were there there from the start. What has changed...


Why didn't you say it then? Some of us were surprised when this health


Bill came forward at the beginning. But... You weren't alone in that.


We could see the case for it. Over time, you have just talked about


the scale of amendments, it's become more mangled, more


bureaucratic. Further detached from purpose. The headline, The Guardian


report and others that have followed on your your article, say


when I read it you don't really want to kill it, you want to


emasculate it. That's closer to the truth. I believe it needs to be


killed as far as the public are Bill, like the public health die


mention, that could -- die mention that could enjoy support. The


Government is doing enough incredibly important things on


schools and welfare and the deficit, that's what it should be focused on.


It doesn't need to be distracted by this health reforms as well. What


do these cabinet Ministers want to you do? I think I have done what


they wanted me to do. They're hiding behind you? Well, you were


editor of the Sunday Times, you know how this works, a lot of


people do not want to put their head above the phet, I have


reported this. Are there more than three on the Conservative side?


spoke to a lot of people after these approaches and I couldn't


find others. Others thought it was too late now to retreat and we had


to go on with the reform. These Ministers, just to clarify, these


Ministers and perhaps others, these cabinet Ministers, they want the


Bill to be emasculated or... Exactly, what I cannot find is any


senior Tory, any MP who thinks that this is either been handled well or


some think we still need to progress, because to retreat is the


worst outcome, it's a terrible mess. I think I found a Tory that may


just fit that Bill. Andrew Lansley? Not yet, almost. Tim Montgomery,


thank you for joining us. We are joined from Chelmsford by Simon


Burns, the health Minister. Three cabinet Ministers briefing a


Conservative blog against your boss. Downing Street letting it be known


that someone there wants to take your boss out to be shot. Can you


ever remember any cabinet Minister being briefed against by his own


mates like this? No, but what you are referring to is tittle tattle


that appeared in the press in recent days and in the blog on


Conservative Home. But what is important and we must not lose


sight of, is the importance of modernising the NHS because,


frankly, what is the key component of the modernisation is having the


patient and the patient's interests at the heart of the NHS and the


treatment of that patient, improving the quality of care and


the standard of treatment for that patient, cutting out the


bureaucracy in the NHS and getting greater integration of services so


that we can have a more cost- effective delivery of service with


improved standards so that the money that is generated, which will


be about �4.5 billion between now and the next general election, that


will be completely invested in frontline services. That's the


important issue. I understand, and I want to come back to the


substance of your reform in a minute. Let me clarify something,


are you saying that when three cabinet Ministers brief a well


known Conservative website against your Minister and his reforms, that


that's just tittle tattle? I am saying that is tittle tattle


because what is far more important is it is quite clear the Prime


Minister has made it clear that he supports the modernisation


programme, and that the Bill will continue because the NHS needs the


legislation to be able to modernise to meet the challenges it is facing


through an ageing population, massively increasing drugs Bill and


improved medical science. If what you say about these reforms is true


and it will result in a better health service, as you in your view


have outlined, why have you managed to unite almost every professional


health group in the country against you? Well, if you look at the


responses from the Royal colleges, the BMA, the RCN -- RCN, when they


responded to the White Paper, responded to recommendations that


the future forum made that we adopted and amenned the Bill to


take into account last June, there were elements of the legislation


that they liked, for example, the BMA voted at its special general


meeting last summer that in favour of GP commissioning, which is a


core component of the legislation. But it's against the Bill?


minute, if you look at the surveys that have been based on taking


decisions by, for example, the Royal College of GPs, it's not


representative. 8% of members of that Royal College took part, it is


a self-selecting opinion poll and people could multiple vote.


understand that. It was not the poll that would stand up if you had


a political one trying to determine which party had what support in the


country. I understand that. I have not used the poll. That shows


distorted basis. The people who run the Royal College of Nurses, of


Midwives, the British Medical Association, the Royal College of


GPs are all against the Bill and the Prime Minister said change, if


it is to endure, if it's really to people who work in the NHS. We have


to take our nurses and doctors with us. By that criteria you have


I disagree. As you have acknowledged earlier, in your


statement, those surveys were flawed, and what is more important,


I go around the country, I meet GPs' who are now actually engaged


in commissioning care with PCTs, and they are enthusiastic about the


fact that they are now empowered to take decisions to provide the


finest quality care for patience, because of the modernisation this


will give them. That is more important. Are you seriously


telling us that if a proper opinion poll was done of nurses, doctors,


clinicians, midwives, there would be substantial support for your


reforms, is that what you're claiming? No, what I'm saying...


That is what you were implying. what I'm saying is that the


important judgment of what people think of the modernisation


programme can be judged by speaking to those who are carrying it


through on the ground. GPs, who are part of clinical Commission groups,


who are now working with primary care trusts to commission care for


their patients. And if you speak to them, you will find they are far


more enthusiastic than you have been led to believe by the press


and comments on blocs. That is only anecdotal evidence. If I meet and


talk to people, it is anecdotal, it may be right, it may be wrong. But


the evidence suggests overwhelmingly that you have not


carried the health professionals with you, you have not carried the


Liberal Democrats with you, you cannot even carry Alan Milburn with


you, and now you cannot carry parts of the Cabinet with you - it is not


a great result, is it? As I keep saying, there are a number of


organisations within the NHS which have not mentioned which to support


the modernisation. The Royal College of gynaecologists, the


family doctors' Association, the National Association of primary


care, all do. They all support the bill? Yes, they do. And you have


seen that, even though it gets lost in the telling. The key thing which


I keep coming back to his, if you go and speak to GPs on the ground...


You have made that point very well, you have made it twice, actually. I


would be grateful if you could send us press releases from these


organisations, coming out in favour of the bill, and we will put them


up on our website. That would be very interesting to see that. Just


finally, the constant complaint is that your boss, Andrew Lansley, has


not sold this bill well. So, if you were given 30 seconds to tell us


just the headline of why the Health Service will be better in five


years' time than it is now, it is yours... Thank you. Patients are at


the heart of the modernisation, giving them increased care,


improved care, Greater outcomes, cutting bureaucracy, so the money


can be put back into health care, and moving forward, making sure


that you do not have political micro management of the Health


Service by politicians and civil servants in Whitehall, but you


allow practitioners on the ground around the country to take


decisions in the best interests of patients. That was a little more


than 30 seconds, but we are very fair on this programme. Thanks for


joining us from Essex. What did you make of that? It is such a car


crash, isn't it? This morning I was trying to step outside my political


identity and imagine what it is like to be David Cameron. I thought


you were going to say Andrew Lansley. It is incredibly difficult


for them, it is absolutely toxic. This whole idea that the country


wants civil servants to be removed from healthcare, nobody came into


this election thinking, civil servants are involved in my health


care. They have concocted a completely false problem that


nobody had, and now they have devised a sledge hammer to solve it.


I would suggest that these three Cabinet members which Tim


Montgomerie was talking about are kind of malicious in this, because


if they really think this, they should stand up and be counted, and


also, it is a bit late, is it not? The legislation is now back in the


House of Lords, and I suspect what they're privately wishing for will


be that the legislation will be defeated in the House of Lords, and


then the Government can move away and say, we tried. But before the


general election, David Cameron said, there will be no unnecessary,


top-down reorganisation of the NHS. After the election, Andrew Lansley,


the Secretary of State for Health, a friend of David Cameron, which is


part of the problem, says it is the biggest and most radical shake-up


of the NHS since 1948 - what changed after the election?


person said, this would be like, if my editor said, you go away for a


year and think up whatever story you like and then come back and we


will put it on the front page. And then five minutes later, before you


go on to press, -- and then five minutes before you go to press,


they say, no, it is rubbish. think it will go through? I think


it will be badly battered, but as some Tories are saying, this is


going to turn out to be David Cameron's big test. I think it


could be the thing which crucify as the coalition, and then... We have


to move on. There's a Row as you all know about what to do about Abu


Qatada, which is rumbling on. On Monday, the President of the


Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that the radical,


some might say extremist - did I say that? - Islamist cleric should


be freed on strict bail conditions, because his deportation had been


blocked by the European Court of Human Rights. And the judge, Mr


Justice Mitting, has said that even those strict bail conditions could


be revoked within three months, unless British officials make


progress on a new deal with Jordan. Last night, the Defence Secretary,


Philip Hammond, outlined the Government's position. We are going


through the process to try to see if we can get him back there. The


Prime Minister has spoken to the King of Jordan this afternoon. A


Home Office minister will be going out there next week. We are trying


to establish with the Jordanians a set of assurances which will


satisfy the court that we can send him back. This is not a good place


for us to be, but the best thing... Which caught is this?


Immigration Appeals Tribunal here, to allow us to send him back to


Jordan. With us now, the Conservative MP Mark Reckless, and


David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of Terrorism legislation.


Mark Reckless, what would you like to do with Abu Qatada, what do you


think should be done with him? would like to send him back to


Jordan, everyone is agreed he is a very dangerous man. He came here in


1993, applied for asylum, he has gone through every avenue. Our own


highest court has determined that he can be sent back to Jordan.


would you do that, would you whisk him out in the middle of the night?


If the Government announced that it was going to defy the European


Court, the Government would immediately be injected by Abu


Qatada's lawyers. Well, I understand the Prime Minister has


spoken with the king of Jordan. if there is not an arrangement, how


would you send him back? You said we would be injected, but actually,


what Mr Justice Mitting said was that we could not send him back


without taking on the political and reputation will cost, whatever that


might be, of defying a European Court judgment. We have had a


decision by our own highest court that he can be sent back.


understand that, but it am asking you about the practicalities,


because unless you whisky about in the middle of the night, his


lawyers, if you announce you're going to do it regardless of the


Strasbourg ruling, would immediately be on to it, and you


would have to wait for that action. I'm not sure, because the


Government would be acting contrary to an international treaty


commitment, but it would be acting in line with the judgment of our


highest court year. It has become clear that the Strasbourg court has


gone so far off where it was, and is no longer I think a serious or


credible court, that it is not unreasonable for the Government to


act on the basis of what our court has said. David Anderson, if the


Government decided, regardless of the Strasbourg court, if there is


not another deal done in the desert, with the Jordanians, we're going to


send him back, could they just do that, or would they face more legal


action which could delay them doing that? They could certainly face


legal action, the outcome of which nobody knows. More fundamentally


you have got to decide whether you want to be bound by this court will


not. If you want to be bound by it, you cannot pick and Jewish which


judgements to abide by. Suddenly pick and choose. From time to time,


a judgment is not complied with. Prisoners' voting, from 1995, we


have not complied with that one. But in general, they are complied


with. But the French and Italian equivalents of Abu Qatada were sent


back to other countries, even though the court heard ruled


against doing so. And last time I looked, the French and Italians


still have one judge each in the Strasbourg court, as part of the 47.


That's quite true. At the end of the day, the enforcement mechanism


of the court is a political one, through the Committee of Ministers.


If a state is continually in breach, then you get into difficult


territory. Russia is continually in breach, but it is still a member.


It has got a surprisingly good record, on most cases. There are


several hundred Russian cases which are in breach at the moment. Turkey


has more than Moldavia, and almost as many as Russia. But they are all


members of the court. The last president, in his farewell speech,


put it fairly well - governments are often reluctant to comply, but


they generally get round to it in the end. The criticism from Britain


is that the Strasbourg court changed the goalposts. Article


three, Against torture, there are no caveats on that, and the British


Government went to the Jordanians to get an agreement that he would


not be tortured if sent back. That then went before the Strasbourg


court again, and the court said, yes, we will have that, we accept


that, but oh, hold on, he also cannot face any evidence which has


been extracted by torture. To which, we said, you have never mentioned


that before. Well, last time Abu Qatada went on trial in Jordan, he


was convicted and the evidence of two men who had been tortured, they


had been drugged, beaten on the soles of their feet. What the


Strasbourg court was saying was that, if you want to send him back


again, please can you get an Assurance first from Jordan that it


will not happen again. Far from moving the goalposts, all it was


doing was saying exactly what our own Court of Appeal had said in


2008. A excuse me, the Court of Appeal was overruled by the Supreme


Court. It was indeed. You always mention the Court of Appeal, you


never mention the Supreme Court. You did the same on the Today


Programme. You know better than I, the Supreme Court is superior to


the Court of Appeal - why do you do that? I was addressing the question


of, was the Court of Human Rights coming out of left field with


something completely absurd and unprecedented? No, it wasn't. It


was applying the law, as well understood. If we cannot get an


agreement on evidence gained by torture, which satisfied the


European Court -- satisfies the European Court, is it your view


that we should withdraw from the European Court? Yes, it is, but we


should take as many people with us as possible. That means trying to


go through due process. David Cameron is trying to get reform of


the court, and that is going to be very difficult to get that agreed


by the 47. But by doing everything possible, it will then strengthen


the ground, were we to find it necessary to leave the court.


you remind our viewers of the only other European country which is not


a member of the European Court? only other European country is


Bella Russia. Which is also the last totalitarian state. But other


countries not that far short of the Munros are appointing judges who


are overruling our own Supreme Court. -- short of Belorussia. One


of our law lords then says, no-one is suggesting that you cannot send


anyone abroad just because their standards are not as good as ours.


I'm afraid that is what the European Court is saying. We need


to deal with that. Given the kind of things which have been said,


that if you are the Sun or the daughter of an apostate, you can be


killed, and we have seen his videos, people watching this programme will


be wondering, how come we have got John Terry on trial, and we cannot


I think they will. What's the answer? The European Court, it's


going to further contaminate people's dislike and distrust.


not the European Court's fault we are not putting him on trial in


England. The Supreme Court should be on a matter of national security,


it should be the view of the the court that prevails over a European


court. That should be the end game. Cameron should, as soon as he


secured some agreement with the King of Jordan, deport this man.


think that's a bit ridiculous, frankly. You cannot blame Europeans


in any shape or form for the fact we won't put him on trial ourselves


F we have a problem - I mean, obviously the two arguments against


it are if it were open court it would compromise other


investigations and then we have to pay for his prison care for amount


of time necessary prison. I can see both those points but we have to


take on both those points, we can't invoke - you can't do that.


can't seriously want this man running, he is going to be a curfew,


for two hours a day he is allowed to wander freely and he is a


security threat. It is strange we can't try him ourselves. If you do


want to walk away from Europe, it's a little bit reckless to assume we


won't then have to have a bill of rights our own. The Human Rights


Act in our domestic law and our top judges have decided it's OK to send


him back to Jordan, but then that's overruled by someone else's sper


pretation of the con-- interpretation of the convention.


You are both going to be on a lot of programmes like this, we have


not yet resolved prisoners' votes either. Plenty to keep us busy. We


like keeping lawyers busy, because they don't get well paid.


Ten million animals were slaughtered to control foot-and-


mouth when it wraut the -- brought the countryside to a standstill in


in 2001. It has since recovered but one of the big controversies over


whether it is best to cull or vaccinate animals and that remains


unresolved years on. What lessons have been learned since the foot-


and-mouth outbreak? Max Cotton has been finding out what happened


In late January and early February 2001 a highly contagious disease


was quietly spreading through the British livestock industry. Foot-


and-mouth disease was discovered in Essex on the 19th February that


year, and led to the slaughter of ten million animals. It thraeued a


-- delayed a general election and cost the farming industry �3.1


billion. It's a horrible thing to just come


in and shoot everything on farm and just leave it there and just burn


it, it just seemed a total waste and against everything that we had


ever believed in. Philip rebuilt his Dartmoor farm after foot-and-


mouth, and he's diversified. Horse riders on holiday come here to


gather and drive cattle off the moors. The disease changed this


farm in one positive way. I think farming has a much better view in


the public eye now. There was a time perhaps in the 80s and 90s


where farmers were demons of of the countryside, they were heavily


subsidised and not overly efficient producers, I think that's changed


now. There was a political undercurrent to the 2001 foot-and-


mouth outbreak. Were farmers, particularly in Cumbria, and here


in Devon, suffering at the hands of a terrible disease or at the hands


of a terrible policy? Philip's farm was culled out because a farm


nearby might have had foot-and- mouth. In fact, it didn't. Why kill


millions of healthy animals, why not vaccinate?


The problem with vaccination is that you then can't tell if the


animal actually has foot-and-mouth, because it doesn't show any


symptoms and so consumers here and across the EU would have to agree


to eat meat from vaccinated animals. And it might take months or even


years to prove that foot-and-mouth had been eradicated. Nick Brown,


the agricultural Minister at the time, insists that he was right


then, but thinks we should now be planning a new strategy. I would


like to see a clearly established and properly honoured vaccinate to


live strategy adopted worldwide and the best time to do it is when


there isn't an outbreak and so people can discuss it in


theoretical terms, rather than with there being practical and as ever,


with these things, the trade consequences, I am not certain it


has. After the storm three inquiries were used to draw up a


new contingency plan against foot- and-mouth. But the vaccination


versus culling debate which caused so much controversy for Nick Brown


is still unresolved. Nothing's changed on that front at all. We


still have the issue, do we cull cattle so people can farm again or


vaccinate? If you vaccinate you then have the issue of whether they


can go in the food chain. We also have the issue of smallholders


having animals who probably haven't registered them with the ministry,


so these people have sheep, pigs, that can all harbour foot-and-mouth


and they wouldn't recognise it because they're not experienced


farmers. 11 years after the epidemic and British farming has


recovered and is thriving. But if foot-and-mouth did get a hold once


again the former Agriculture Minister and one of the country's


leading dairy farmers say that Government policy has a long way to


go if it's to protect us from millions of burning carcasses and


another very big bill. That was our Max. Joining me now


the Conservative MP Neil Parish, who is also a farmer. Welcome to


the Daily Politics. As we look back, almost 11 years, the pictures still


seered in our minds, of course, because it's hard to forget, what


is the single biggest lesson that we should have learned from that?


think the single biggest lesson and I was part of an inquiry done by


the European Parliament into the disease, was to close down all


movement of animals immediately and also manage it very close to where


the outbreak was. The Scots they manage their smaller outbreak of


foot-and-mouth from the locality. We managed everything from London


and of course very huge problems there for farmers, for the burial


of sheep and the general handling of the whole outbreak. So, of


course clampdown immediately on any movement of animals whatsoever.


There was a great argument, I wonder if it's resolved now, many


people, some people, not many, some people said we should not have gone


in for this multimillion animal slaughter, we should have done


vaccination instead. The Dutch, I am told, did more vaccination than


we did. Where do staupb on that? -- stand on that? The Dutch couldn't


then put those animals into the food chain, they did sraeubgs Nate


-- vaccinate, they then had to slaughter animals afterwards. We


have to agree a policy through the single market of Europe, as whether


the supermarkets and the buyers all across Europe will accept


vaccinated meat. There's nothing wrong with eating it whatsoever,


it's very often the perception. There was I think a little bit of


resistance from the supermarkets as well at the time as to whether they


were going to want to sell vaccinated meat. It's something we


have to deal with. The other thing we needed to deal with is we didn't


need this massive cull, these were animals that were very close to an


outbreak but didn't have the disease. I always feel there was a


lot to do with getting the general election on the way and stamping


out the disease quickly and too many animals were slaughtered, even


under a slaughter policy. So you are saying that a large degree of


slaughter was inevitable, but not as much as we ended up doing?


and also when we ended up burning those huge funeral pyres, there


were valleys in Devon when they set fire to these animals, then the


farms all through that valley were then infected with the disease. We


have never been able to prove scientifically whether the disease


was borne through the air or not, but it's one of those suspicions


that lay there and we just basically slaughtered too many


animals, and we allowed the movement to carry on for some five


days when the outbreak started and that's where the disease got out of


control. Now the outbreak that happened that came from Our own


laboratories the disease escaped from, at least it did actually shut


down - we shut down much quicker and we didn't have the spread of


the disease. It is about the spread of the disease. Vaccination on its


own unless you vaccinate all your cattle all of the time, would not


have helped in this instance. Finally, have we improved our early


warning systems to nip any future outbreak, because there will be one


inevitably in the scheme of things, in the bud? I believe we have. But


I also think it would be right for Defra and the ministry to actually


do a spot check and actually have - - and deal as though an outbreak


had happened and see if the procedure is fit for purpose. I


worry sometimes with our bureaucracy, especially ruling


everything from London, we sometimes don't get it right in


Cumbria or Devon or Wales, where the outbreaks were. I have noticed


that too on many things, Mr Parish! Absolutely. Thank you for joining


Plymouth, Essex, we are getting around today. Back to London. The


coalition agreement included plans for an elected House of Lords. All


the parties backed reform at the last last election but previous


attempts have failed in the face of opposition from peers themselves.


Now Labour's leader in the Upper House, Jan Royall, says it would be


wrong for the Government to press ahead with change now. That's


likely to put her on a collision course with Nick Clegg, who sees


Lords reform as a critical part of the Lib Dem bit of the coalition


programme. Here he is talking about it all just before Christmas.


The Lords is perhaps the most potent symbol of a closed society.


Because we are in the process of building support for a Lords reform


package, I am often advised not to be too outspoken on this issue. But


I am afraid this is one boat that urgently needs rocking. Lloyd


George described the House of Lords as being a body of 500 men, chosen


at random, from amongst the unemployed. To be honest, it would


be better if it was. Of course among our peers there are those


with valuable experience and expertise, but a veneer of


expertise can surely no longer serve as an alibi for a chamber


which legislates on behalf of the people, but is not held to account


by the people. The Lords is currently constituted, is an


affront to the principles of openness which underpin a modern


democracy. Joining me now Jan Royall, Labour's


leader in the House of Lords. Are you really telling us that even in


the 21st century we can't move towards an elected second chamber?


I am not saying that and I heard your introduction in which you said


I had said they shouldn't go along with reform, that's not what I said.


What did you say? I said that if and when I hope they do go ahead


with it, I am just sort of giving them, I am observing that it will


clog up the House of Lords, that's not to say I don't want it. Tkoeu


want it, I am I am saying it's going to be extremely difficult.


Not if you helped? I will be helping, absolutely. If you have


the coalition and the Lords helping together, why will it clog it up?


Because although I am very pro- reform and my front bench is very


pro-reform, I cannot take the whole of my benches with me and certainly


most importantly, I think that a huge percentage of the Tory benches


will be against reform and they will be the people who are stopping


reform, not my people. I have covered House of Lords reforms


since it was stopped by Enoch Powell and Michael Foot, there's


never a good time to reform it, let's get on with it. I agree.


There is never a good time. Constitutional change is incredibly


important. I say bring it on, but I also say that if this is to be the


absolute sort of - the most important part of the coalition's


programme for Government in the next session, I just wonder if the


people of Britain will understand that constitutional change is more


important than their standard of life, jobs for kids, etc. You can


say that at any time. You can't. You could, cow have said it when --


you could have said it when the IMF were brought in to save this


country and Lords reform was on the agenda. I wouldn't have said it in


97 were things were rosy and we did got in. Start is the operative word.


We made a huge, huge change by getting rid of the majority of


hereditary. It's still unelected. probably want an elected house more


than you do. You don't know what I want and you won't find out either,


because it's not my job to tell you. Well, dam! It seems interests a --


there is a huge vested interest among the existing members of the


Lords, which is a kind of club for the establishment, just to stop


A lot of peers want to stop it, but I would not call them a club for


the establishment. But there's about 800 of you. There are far too


many, that is one of my problems. Here's one difference, the Senate


in America actually matters. You've got 800 people, and very limited


powers. Yes, we have got very limited powers. How many would you


have? How many peers? Would you still call them peers? Would you


call the monkeys? No, I would not. What would you call them? Well,


senators has been positive. As a socialist, do you think anybody


should be called Lord in the 21st century? I would go with senators.


But one of my problems is that at the moment, there are rumours that


the coalition government is going to put in 60 or more peers, how mad


is that, when you have got a House of more than 800 people? It keeps


them off the streets. But it is completely mad to put in more peers


now. I understand. It is mad and less you lose every single bill,


and then it makes sense. -- unless you lose every single bill.


country is about to go back into double dip recession, there is


massive unemployment, and what is the response of Nick Clegg and the


Lib Dems? Let's two with the constitution. That is not what


people want, they want growth to get us out of recession. Can they


not have a strategy for growth, and a second chamber which represents


the country in the 21st century? They are on an exceptionally sticky


wicket, in as Lara's, they have not got a mandate, and many of the most


important policies were not announced in any manifesto.


Effectively, when they were unelected themselves, they will be


opening up... They are not exactly unelected, if you add together the


Tory and the Lib Dem vote... Sure, but people will say, I did not vote


for this or that, and I did not vote for this government. This is


just because Nick Clegg failed so miserably on the alternative vote


referendum. It strikes me, if you are as enthusiastic about House of


Lords reform as you say, you should be sitting down with the Tories in


the Lords, and the leader of the Lib Dems, working together to get


this through. I'm sure that we will get together and try and get this


bill through. However, I still say that there will be 70% or 80% of


people in the House of Lords... you think there is a big


constituency in the chamber against reform? I think there is, but it is


because a lot of them are concerned about the powers of the House of


Commons. The majority of people want the House of Commons to be the


prime chamber, they want the House of Commons to have primacy, and


there concern is that the bill, as it was drafted, makes a mockery of


that. People think the House of Commons is the most important


chamber. And it is. And it should remain so. When you come back and


see us? I will be delighted to. Over in the Commons, another topic


which has been around for some time now, MPs have been discussing


Afghanistan, asking, crucially, when will it end? In Helmand and


across Afghanistan, is the Foreign Secretary seriously suggesting that


British military personnel will be involved in combat operations for


potentially between one year and 18 months after the Americans have


transferred away from combat operations? We cannot be complacent,


as gains made are fragile and not yet irreversible. But we are firmly


on track for the Afghans to have lead responsibility by 2013. They


will have full security responsibility by the end of 2014.


This means that plans for British combat troop draw down by the end


of 2014 also remain on track. hope you will excuse me if I return


to the issue of the attitude of the United States and of the French.


There is of course a common background - in each country, they


are in the throes of a very acrimonious presidential election,


which leads me to the conclusion that statements may be made for


political rather than military reasons. Can he say more about the


negotiations going on in Qatar? Is there anything we can do to get


more impetus to those negotiations? We all want an Afghanistan which


can maintain its own security, and which is not used as a safe haven


for international terrorists. Our strategy is to help the Afghan


Government to build security forces, to make progress towards a


sustainable political settlement and to support the building of a


viable Afghan state. Joining me now, the former leader of the Lib Dems


at Menzies Campbell. It is hard to avoid the impression that we are


moving towards the end game in Afghanistan. Undoubtedly. First of


all, we had the statement from the Lisbon conference about combat


troops coming out by 2014, but you may have noticed, I know you're a


keen student of American politics, Mr Pennetta, the Secretary of State


for Defence, hinted very strongly that the Americans would start a


serious draw down before that. In the exchanges we had yesterday in


the House of Commons, William Hague was endeavouring to put a slightly


different interpretation on it, but Mr Pennetta has never would go on


that. When you add to that the fact that Sarkozy has said that the


French are coming out at the end of 2013, then, there is a lot of


political stuff going on. It is election time, isn't it? You have


got it in one, there are two presidential elections taking place,


in the United States and in France. Obama was able to blame the


previous administration, Iraq was George W Bush's war, and he had


been against it. By agreeing to a surge, putting 30,000 more troops


on the ground, then Afghanistan became Obama's war. He will not


want to face the electorate in November of this year with it still


hanging over him. He will want to show that there has been some


serious reduction. What did you make of the confidential report


which was leaked to the media by NATO, which told us things we knew,


though the fact it came from NATO still made it important, but it


added to it, saying not only was Pakistani intelligence and the


Pakistani military supporting the Taliban, but part of the Afghan


army and the Afghan police are close to the Taliban, indeed, in


some areas, the Taliban are so on the present, that they have a


hotline in the village, if the chief is behaving badly, you call


up the Taliban - I mean, in some shape or form, they and up taking


over, do they not? That document was not based I think on close


analysis, it simply recorded what people were saying. But we are


talking to the Taliban, they have been allowed to establish not an


Embassy, but it in the office in Qatar. For a long time, the Afghan


Government, Hamid Karzai, has been very sensitive about the whole


notion of whether or not we should talk to the Taliban. Remember, two


civil servants were thrown out of Afghanistan because they had been


doing just that. But there is no doubt, if we're going to have


anything approaching political, and, we hope, peaceful agreements, then


it can only be done by talking to the Taliban. Some will wonder what


could see the blood and treasure that has been spent has been for,


if we end up with the situation where the Taliban are either in


power completely, or the dominant faction in a new government.


Remember that our purpose in going to Afghanistan was to prevent any


further acts of terrorism from Al- Qaeda, based in Afghanistan, based


there with the consent, sometimes perhaps even the encouragement, of


the Taliban. To that extent, we have succeeded. But you're quite


right, it is an issue which came up almost on the sidelines of that


exchange which we saw a moment ago, in the position of women. If, after


all of this, the position of women in Afghanistan goes back to what it


was before Hamid Karzai, before our intervention, then a lot of people


will feel very disappointed and let down. But your point about blood


and treasure was very well made. it was the position of women which


mattered, we should have kept the Soviets there. There were more


women in professional positions in those days. Indeed. It reminds me


of the Jill Dando crime Institute been set up when Jill Dando was


killed. Someone said, it is a brilliantly successful Institute


because no more Jill Dandos have been killed. There was not another


Osama Bin Laden. We went in there to close down that situation, and


of course, that situation has not been duplicated. I'm glad Menzies


Campbell reminded us why we were there, it was to do with


suppressing Al-Qaeda. A lot of people thought it was to try and


topple the Taliban. We did that many years ago. In which case,


pull-out now. And where are they now? They are in Somalia, and the


Yemen. So far, we have not had a major attack since 7/7 in this


country. Fingers crossed, with the Olympics coming up. 600th


University of your university this year? Because we are not exactly


sure of the date, it has lasted 14 the years! Time now to see what


else has been happening over the Transport Secretary Justin Greening


said she would vote against bonuses for Network Rail executives, but


she got what she wanted on Monday anyway, when they decided to forgo


their payouts. William Hague returned from the United Nations


and accused Russia and China of a... Grave error of judgment.


Government's Health Bill came in for more criticism. Andrew Lansley


came under sustained fire, from Labour, and later closer to home.


That is why his people are saying that the Health Secretary should be


taken out and shot. His career prospects are a lot better than


those of the Leader of the Opposition. The Bank of England


pumped more than �300 billion more into the economy through


quantitative easing. And David Just time before we go to find out


the answer to our quiz question. The question was, which one of


these does not want to be a Police Commissioner? What was the answer?


I think it must be Simon Weston who doesn't, because otherwise...


think it is John Prescott. You're all wrong, all three want to be.


Does he really want to do it, John Prescott? Yes, he's standing for


the Hull area. It brings a salary of �100,000. It was the first job I


could imagine John Prescott in and not mind. Now, it is your birthday,


we wanted to light the candles, but we were told we had to go on a risk


assessment course first, and we did not have time. Sadly, would you...?


not have time. Sadly, would you...? Shall I be mother? Am going to cut


you a piece of cake. So, I have not had a answers to every question


today, so let's see if I can get one. How old are you? 51. Was that


necessary? You are wearing well, I might say. By sue. Are you going to


have some? No, not yet. I will have some after the programme. -- bless


you. Are we seeing a turning point with Ed Miliband, he has done well


at three PMQs in a row now? Well, maybe it got to the point where


things were going so badly... remember, William Hague did very


well at Prime Minister's Question Time against Tony Blair, it did him


no good in the end. On that note, we say thanks to our guests, the


One O'Clock News is starting on BBC One. I will be back at midday on


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