01/03/2012 Daily Politics


01/03/2012

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.

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The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has withdrawn all diplomatic

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staff from its embassy in Syria and suspended its services. The move

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comes amid esculating violence in the country. -- escalating. UN

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diplomats have backed a resolution condemning the Syrian government

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for human rights violations. We'll be talking to the former Foreign

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Secretary, Lord Owen. We'll be talking to the son of

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businessman Christopher Tappin, who was extradited from the UK to the

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US over arms dealing charges. Is Nick Clegg getting into deeper

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water over the Government's health reforms? Liberal Democrat activists

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say they'll propose a motion at next week's spring conference

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calling for them to be scrapped. And to tax or not to tax. 500

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business leaders call for the 50 p rate to be scrapped, claiming it's

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damaging the economy. Are they All that in the next half hour, and

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with us for the whole programme today is the businessman and doctor,

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Chai Patel. Welcome to the programme. Nice to be here.

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First today, let's talk about welfare because the Government's

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Welfare Reform Bill, which introduces an annual cap on

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benefits and overhauls many welfare payments, has passed its final

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hurdle in Parliament. It has been hailed as an historic moment. But

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do you agree with the Government that this is one step towards a

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revolution in welfare? They have been trying to do this for a long

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time so in that sense it is historic. They have been trying to

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get the people abusing the system to not be doing it and that is the

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right thing. We are capping this so that is the right thing. We are in

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centre rising and motivating people to work to earn more whilst taking

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away some of the disincentives. All of those are very positive.

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agree that it will lead to a reduction in workless nurse in that

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sense? And it will be an incentive for people to work? Looking at some

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of the areas of complaint around the changes to disability

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allowances, and housing benefit, those fears are still there. Those

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are my two caveats. It is great to incentive vies for jobs, but this

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is coming at a time when jobs are very hard. We will have to see how

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that is managed and how these people train. Otherwise it will

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take something away without putting something in. I am particularly

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concerned with where people have disabilities. They can't be

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penalised by an arbitrary cap. you think there should be more

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allowances made for people either making the transition or should be

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getting more money than 26,000? it to work effectively, that is

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what is needed to happen otherwise we will have an outcry M we will

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once again be discussing the bits that did not work rather than the

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broad stream of this change, which is obviously the right way to go.

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It is all in the execution. If we executed in the right way -- if we

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don't execute it in the right way, we will be discussing the failures.

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The Leveson Inquiry has been back in the spotlight this week and it's

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been the relationship between the police and the media that has taken

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centre stage. On Monday, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers

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gave a damning account of illegal payments at the Sun newspaper.

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There also appears to have been a culture at the Sun of illegal

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payments and systems have been created to facilitate those

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payments whilst hiding the identity of the officials receiving the

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money. The e-mails indicate that payments to sources were openly

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referred to within the Sun. In which case, the source is not named,

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but rather the category public official is identified rather than

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her name. Also on Monday, the former Deputy Prime Minister John

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Prescott waded into the debate. He argued there was more than enough

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evidence in the original hacking investigation to show that it was

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more than just one or two people involved. There's all sorts of

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evidence we know about. There's a blue book with all the names. It

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wasn't just one rogue reporter, it was more. They have all this

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information, now they are saying we only got it through another source.

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That is having told the courts, basically, and misleading the first

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inquiry. The information was there, whether it is payments to be made,

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names to be used. How much evidence do you want unless you don't want

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to look for it? The inquiry also heard a personal account from

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Jacqui Hames, who's a former police officer and Crimewatch presenter.

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She explained on Tuesday how her family were put under surveillance

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by the News of the World after her then husband, also a police officer,

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reopened a murder inquiry that had connections to a detective agency

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that itself had connections to the paper. In some ways, by coming here,

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you stick your head above the parapet because you are angry and

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distressed about what has happened. The impact on us, I think, is

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important. It is very easy to compartmentalise people in as much

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as celebrities have clearly suffered in this whole process, as

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have many others. Sometimes it is easy to dismiss certain people

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because they should be able to put up with it. But I don't think

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anybody from any walk of life should have to put up with it. I

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would hate to think of any other person in the future having to go

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through what we have had 10 years off. Peter Clark was a deputy

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assistant commissioner at the Met during the first investigation. He

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was the officer who decided not to continue with the inquiry into

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hacking and he said he would do the same again. He said the

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investigation was stopped because of pressure on resources due to

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ongoing terrorism operations and a lack of co-operation from News

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International. The minute she died of whether there was circumstantial

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evidence against the certain journalist is a minor consideration

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in comparison with the consideration of what poses a

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threat to the lives of the British public. Invasions of privacy are

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odious, obviously, they can be very distressing and at times they can

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be illegal. But to put it bluntly, they don't kill you, terrorists do.

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Brian Paddick is with me now, and joining me from Cambridge, the

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director of the Society of Editors and a former News of the World

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journalist. Do you by Mr Clarke's reason why it was right not to

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continue the investigation? afraid not. Whilst he might have

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been under pressure and the officers in the anti-terrorist

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branch might have been under pressure, there are 45,000 police

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officers in the Metropolitan Police, I'm sure they could have rounded up

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a couple of dozen. One of the reasons they did not proceed was

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because News International did not co-operate. That means if you catch

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me with a bag of swag coming out of someone's house and I said yeah,

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well, you caught me but are not co- operating, you will let me off.

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That is not a good excuse, I don't think. Are you confident now, under

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Sue Akers, that there's a proper independent inquiry determined to

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get the truth? I have got the advantage over most people in that

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I know Sue Akers personally. She is of the highest integrity, I would

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not doubt her for a minute. Unfortunately a lot of members of

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the public don't know her that well. To have a combination of a

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committee set up by NewsCorp, the parent company of News

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International, the investigating themselves, working with the Met

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Police against whom all sorts of allegations have been made, corrupt

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payments, not investigating it properly first time round, I don't

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see how the ordinary member of the public can have confidence that

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that combination will get to the bottom of things. Perception is

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important, but from what you've said, and you said you know Sue

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Akers, that perception may be understandable but is wrong. Well...

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The difficulty is everybody has bosses. Sue Akers has bosses. What

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does -- what do her bosses say if she were to come up with something

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absolutely horrible that was very detrimental to the Met Police and

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News International? Would she be allowed to say it? She is welcome

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to come on this programme and say it! One of the benefits of a free

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society is if your bosses don't let you say it, there's other ways of

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getting it out. You heard in the evidence on Monday that you gave.

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You said you had a working relationship with journalists. We

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have to be careful not to stray into a necessary territory. Having

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policeman on a retainer, clearly wrong. Paying police for stories,

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Ron. Speaking to police to get a story, not wrong. No. What I said

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did Lord Leveson was an acid test of whether the police officer or

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public official was giving the right thing in the public interest

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was whether they were prepared to put their jobs at risk and not be

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paid for that information. As soon as you get into a situation where I

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will only tell you if you pay me for it, fantastic cast doubt on

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whether the story is in the public interest. You had lunch with the

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Guardian and with the Daily Mirror and the Financial Times. You said

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the Mirror was more an audience with Piers Morgan. I'm grateful you

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should have been for it as well, many of us would like an audience!

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You only dealt with left-wing papers. No. That is the three you

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named. The right-wing papers didn't like me so I never got invited.

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They wouldn't even pay you. Absolute Lee not. Let's speak to

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Bob Thatcher will. Didst journalism in some trouble? Are we in danger,

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as Sue Akers rightly get to the bottom of wrongdoing that seems to

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have happened at News International, that we are going to interfere with

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what can also be a healthy relationship between police and

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journalists? I think that is obviously the danger. What we have

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to do is try to let Sue Akers do her job and get the evidence out.

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What we are hearing all the time at the moment are allegations,

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suggestions, what it may seem like. In the end, we need to know the

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full scale of what has gone on before we can make final decisions.

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But already, my fear is that we will have police officers at all

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levels saying they can never speak to a journalist again or at least

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be frightened off, having a chilling effect on those kinds of

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relationships, which are vitally important. After all, the

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relationship between the police and the media is not just for the two

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of them, it is on behalf of the public because the media is simply

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a conduit. We already have a situation where I believe the

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police tell the public far too little and the press, in fact, the

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media generally, reveals far too little. That is the thing we have

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to avoid. Let me put that to Brian Paddick. That is absolutely right.

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There's not enough openness or transparency. Don't you want Aironi

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to be formal relations in meetings between journalists and police? You

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testified it to be on a formal basis. You will not tell us

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anything on a formal basis. That is about what is going on at the most

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senior levels way you have senior police officers were there to

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investigate a newspaper or not and meetings with newspaper editors. I

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had always spoken openly and freely with journalist when I was in the

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police, it is very important to do so. Sometimes you might have to say

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things that your boss was not too happy about. That is healthy, but

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when it gets into corrupt payments, when it gets into newspaper editors

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and senior police officers being so close that went unlawful activity

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is discovered, the police are reluctant to investigate it, it has

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gone too far. We all know that journalists speak to the police and

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quite often the police use journalists. That is partly the

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basis of the Crimewatch programme. Every local newspaper... A lot of

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local newspapers of bunging the local police station to be tipped

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off about things that happens. That is the way of the world. Were you

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not surprised at the industrial scale of the Sun's relationship

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with the Met? You say surprised at the industrial scale. We haven't

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seen the evidence yet. Sue Akers said that was happening.

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understand. She was giving a briefing on the record, whereas

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often it is the kind of briefing which are given to journalists of

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the record. Suppose she's right. She does carry some authority. I

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take your point that this is only the police investigation. Any of

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that evidence has yet to be tested in court. Supposing she was right,

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what would you make of it? Quite frankly, I think most journalists

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would be astonished if it is of that sort of scale. Relationships

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were there. As she mentioned, and it is perfectly reasonable for

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journalists to by coppers a pie and a pint, was her phrase. Those

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things have happened. I can remember many years ago when I was

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at the News of the World, long before we had mobile phones I

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hasten to add, I had very good relationships with very senior

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officers at Scotland Yard, but at the same time, with other officers,

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I was threatened with prosecution when we had uncovered the drugs

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ring. I happened to have the drugs in my possession in order to take

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them to an analyst and I was told the next time... Her a likely

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story! For the idea about the relationships, just because you

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have a relationship with senior officers... I don't believe they

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would be so unprofessional not to prosecute someone if they saw

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evidence, real evidence, of We had meetings between senior

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people at News International and senior police officers at Scotland

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Yard, whilst News International was under investigation.

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Let me bring in Chai. I I think the more you look at this, the more you

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begin to conclude, but you begin to feel there was an incredibly close,

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almost incest uous relationship between News International and the

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Metropolitan Police on the other that went up to some of the highest

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levels? It doesn't meet the smell test. The facts are whatever they

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are, but you clearly feel that this was way up and it wasn't just

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happening - we are making the distinction here, it is not about

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the relationships, we need more media input all of those are valid

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points and the use of techniques and the cosiness.

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It went to the extent of horse trading.

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Horse trading now as well! It was reported that the horse was handed

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back in worse shape than it had been given out. But that's another

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matter! We are going to have to leave it there. Bob, I am surprised

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you got away with that that story, but at least you are still out. I

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am surprised that you got away with a pie and a pint!

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It is one of the most difficult aisles on the political agenda, how

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do we pay for the non medical needs of the elderly. It means things

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like washing and eating a and a solution has I will lewded

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politicians of all -- eluded politicians of all parties. We sent

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David Thompson to fin out more. This is what social care looks like

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in action. Music therapy for the residents of this elderly person's

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home in North London. Mind you, here they call it a bit of a sing

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song. The three main political parties

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recognise that social care shouldn't be about politics, it is

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about people and they have been talking to one another in an

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attempt to find consensus. The only problem is, they tried that before

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and it didn't end well. Before the last election, Labour

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tried to get cross party agreement on this issue and this was the

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result. So what's different this time? I think trying to get cross

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party agreement three months before a general election is always more

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difficult for obvious reasons than trying to get cross party long-term

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agreement in the middle of a Parliament as we are now. I think

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at this this stage it's better, these talks are better timed than

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the talks just before the last general election.

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As it happens, there is a plan on the table which has broad cross

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party support. The the economist Andrew Dilnot put forward a set of

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proposals on how social care should be funded.

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He wants to see a cap of around �35,000 on the amount individuals

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are expected to contribute with the Government meeting the rest. And he

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wants the amount of savings someone can have before they have to pay

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for help with washing, dressing and eating raised from over �23,000 to

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�100,000. We should know in a few weeks

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whether the Government will adopt these proposals. If they do, it

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will cost �1.7 billion a year and money is tight. Which is something

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that makes some people in the care sector nervous. The Government must

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resist any temptation to go for a stop gap solution on care. We're

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united in our belief and they say they are too that care is in crisis

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and it needs reform. A sticking plaster won work. That's why --

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won't work, that's why we need need them to be bold and radical.

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Some Conservatives think that tinkering at the edges is not an

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option. In individual parts of the country

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as experienced by individual families, there are documents of it

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failing and it is failing often. That doesn't mean it fails

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everywhere, it done, but it fails often and if we put in place

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structures that work, we can reduce the number of failures.

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But who wouldn't want that? The question is, is it affordable?

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can't afford to support people in their own homes with eating, with

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feeding, with toileting, with basic exercise and support. We would have

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to think really strongly about whether that is a country we would

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be proud to live in. We have to reframe and re-think about our

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ageing population and how we support and provide care.

:20:33.:20:37.

Individuals will need to pay more. And that's the thing. It is not

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just politicians who have to face up to the problems of paying for a

:20:40.:20:50.
:20:50.:20:55.

Well, Chai Patel is here. You agree, everyone agrees, that social care

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is in crisis. That it is an urgent issue. Is that how you see it?

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is in crisis. The funding and with the new cuts that are coming, we

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are going to go back to the spending levels of of 2001, but

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that's a separate matter to what Dilnot is about. For �1.7 billion

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which is what we heard last night, the cost of changing the structures

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in the NHS for the new healthcare Bill to throw this into the long

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grass, to kick this into the long grass would be a travesty. People

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have waited. We have had commissions and and white papers

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and Green papers and people are waiting for a solution and the

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Government needs to create a consensus. One of my key pleas here

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is this is not a party political matter. This should be a cross

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party matter. We have had the politicians on say,

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"Yes, we're going to move towards consensus." They always say that on

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big issues like this. Is it less about party politics now as it was

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before the election and more about affordability? Can the country

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afford it? We heard from the lady who said we can't afford not to do

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anything. Can we afford to to put the costs in? We are at a

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particular point in our cycle economically, had is a long-term

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solution. We are talking about a new arrangement. Social care

:22:19.:22:22.

happened by slight of care. The older people today used to think

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the care was going to be free at the point of delivery, at some

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point somebody called it social care and and started means-testing

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it. You don't know if you will have to pay for it and how do you

:22:36.:22:43.

provide for T the money issue is a small issue. Andrew Dilnot shows a

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chart on what we spend and �1.7 billion is not the issue. The issue

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is do we want to find a new settlement that's fair?

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consensus has got to be around a cap, if you like, that people have

:22:53.:22:57.

to save to pay for themselves because it is not going to be free

:22:57.:23:02.

anymore. You run a whole set of care homes. You took over Southern

:23:02.:23:08.

Cross when it failed last year. part of scrost.

:23:08.:23:14.

-- -- -- -- Southern Cross. Do you think that's a reasonable

:23:14.:23:19.

cap? The average length of stay in a care home is 18 months and that

:23:19.:23:23.

amount of money would mean the majority of people who are means-

:23:23.:23:26.

tested would be paying for themselves if they could afford it.

:23:26.:23:30.

The overall cost to the Treasury is not very high. That captures the

:23:30.:23:32.

current people. What it would do however, is tell people that if

:23:32.:23:37.

they needed care for a longer period of time, then the State

:23:37.:23:42.

would step in so they wouldn't be left to worry about what is going

:23:42.:23:45.

to happen when I run out of money. Would I be moved to a different

:23:45.:23:51.

home? Would I not be able to afford the care? It would mean the

:23:51.:23:56.

Government wroont wouldn't be crippled by the number of people?

:23:56.:23:59.

You are only funding the people who could afford to pay, but not

:23:59.:24:02.

increasing the pot. What I'm concerned about, what we should get

:24:03.:24:10.

is to get Dilnot as as a way of having an open discussion and

:24:10.:24:14.

discuss the cap, but more importantly alongside this, there

:24:15.:24:18.

has to be a discussion of how we shift the budget from the health

:24:18.:24:21.

budget into social care because it is the interface of social care and

:24:21.:24:24.

healthcare where the problems are lying right now and there is a huge

:24:24.:24:28.

waste in the system that could pay for this and I'm happy to talk

:24:28.:24:33.

about either now or either because this could be self-funded. This

:24:33.:24:36.

isn't about the size of the pot actually, it is about how we use it.

:24:37.:24:41.

The story around care homes is they ran into financial difficulty. In

:24:41.:24:47.

your case, how is HC 1 going now? We are in the middle of 120 days at

:24:48.:24:52.

the moment. We have had a lot of change. We have absorbed a lot of

:24:52.:24:57.

issues, but we are making progress. A lot of what we stand for which is

:24:57.:25:01.

the whole issue of kindness does not cost actually, it is about

:25:01.:25:06.

culture and values really. You are being monitored by the

:25:06.:25:09.

Department of Health? Well, one of the things I have been saying today

:25:09.:25:12.

at a conference is that's a sideshow, but you can do the

:25:12.:25:14.

financial monitoring, we have bigger issues than financial

:25:14.:25:18.

monitoring. I wondered who the two large guys

:25:18.:25:25.

were outside! Monitoring them! I took you seriously there!

:25:25.:25:26.

LAUGHTER I'm very trusting.

:25:26.:25:30.

She is. She will never learn! Businessman, Christopher Tappin,

:25:30.:25:36.

who has been extradited from the UK to the US over arms dealing charges

:25:36.:25:40.

faces a bail hearing tomorrow in the United States. It comes in a

:25:40.:25:44.

week that the Home Affairs Select Committee heard from Mr Tappin's

:25:44.:25:49.

wife and son as part of their inquiry into this extradition. We

:25:49.:25:54.

will hear from Neil Tappin in a moment. But first here is what his

:25:54.:26:00.

mother had to say about the lead-up of her husband's extradition to

:26:00.:26:04.

America. In the end, we had nine days notice.

:26:04.:26:11.

We stared into a wholy uncertain future for us both. How did we

:26:11.:26:18.

feel? Incredulity, frustration, heart-rendering sadness, despair

:26:18.:26:25.

and utter disbelief. Chris solicitor injured on, trying to --

:26:25.:26:30.

soldiered on trying to sort out the necessary practical issues, selling

:26:31.:26:36.

his car, our house, etcetera while saying farewell to his friends and

:26:36.:26:44.

colleagues. Not knowing when or if he would see

:26:44.:26:54.

them again. Early morning on... Clearly a difficult time for the

:26:54.:26:57.

Tappin family. Joining me now is the son of

:26:57.:27:07.

Christopher Tappin, Neil Tappin and David Bermingham.

:27:07.:27:13.

Let me start with you, Mr Tappin. Have you heard from your father

:27:13.:27:16.

since arrival in the US and what do you know of his treatment?

:27:16.:27:21.

mother heard from him on, I think, it was Wednesday evening. She was

:27:21.:27:26.

calling his American lawyer and he was sat opposite his lawyer so she

:27:26.:27:31.

spoke to him, the conversation got cut off ten seconds, he said he was

:27:31.:27:35.

What conditions is he enduring? Well, this is the thing that's

:27:35.:27:40.

upsetting us at the moment. He is in a cell on his own which in some

:27:40.:27:43.

ways you might think is a good thing, but he is left in the cell

:27:43.:27:49.

for 23 hours a day. One hour a day outside. He has no reading material

:27:49.:27:53.

at all and... He is not allowed to have anything in the cell? It was

:27:53.:28:02.

reported in the Press he took his two books with him, a Seve

:28:02.:28:09.

Ballesteros biography and a Jeremy Clarkson biography. One of the

:28:09.:28:13.

distressing things is the light is being left on 24 hours a day. He

:28:13.:28:16.

has nothing to keep him occupied. It is just him and his thoughts.

:28:16.:28:20.

Are you surprised that he has to endure that, given that he is still

:28:20.:28:23.

innocent until proved guilty. I mean, these seem harsh conditions

:28:23.:28:27.

for someone who has yet to be found guilty? Well, you said. Innocent

:28:27.:28:32.

until proven guilty. He has never once had the opportunity to show

:28:32.:28:36.

any of the evidence on his side of the argument. So in the hearings in

:28:36.:28:40.

this country, the US put across their side of the story, as it were.

:28:40.:28:45.

Then our lawyers had to argue a few points of technical points of

:28:45.:28:49.

extradition which to be honest with you were pointless. He goes out

:28:49.:28:53.

there. He is in a cell on his own. No contact with us, 5,000 miles

:28:53.:28:59.

away from home. It It really, really feels as if his presumption

:28:59.:29:03.

of innocence has been lost. Can you explain what it is he has

:29:03.:29:10.

been accused of? He has been accused of conspiring to export

:29:10.:29:15.

cell missile batteries to Iran. Which fell foul of the sanctions

:29:15.:29:17.

regime against Iran? I suspect so, yes.

:29:17.:29:22.

Happens now? He has a bail hearing on Friday evening. The US

:29:22.:29:26.

Government are opposing bail based on him being a flight risk. Again,

:29:26.:29:32.

I need to underline, he is 65 years old. He is in the US and he has

:29:32.:29:37.

surrendered himself to Heathrow Airport last Friday. He has has

:29:37.:29:40.

$250. He never committed a crime in this country and yet, there is a

:29:40.:29:46.

case to be said that he should be kept in prison without the prospect

:29:46.:29:50.

of release in the near future. Is his lawyer giving you

:29:50.:29:54.

encouragement that he may get bail? They are taking a cautious approach

:29:54.:29:58.

on that. They are trying not to get anyone's hopes up about bail. It is

:29:58.:30:02.

in the balance, we don't know. If he got bail, he wouldn't be

:30:02.:30:05.

allowed to leave the United States or the State of Texas, he would

:30:05.:30:09.

have to get accommodation nearby the court until it was time to be

:30:09.:30:12.

in court? Exactly, right. He would stay out there and they

:30:12.:30:15.

would build their defence case outside of the prison. If he

:30:15.:30:19.

doesn't get bail, he has to build that defence case in prison with

:30:19.:30:23.

only limited access to his lawyers which obviously makes that harder

:30:23.:30:27.

for him to do. And hard for your mother as we saw,

:30:27.:30:31.

for all of you. Really hard for mum. She has been dragged through just

:30:31.:30:35.

hell on all of this and then, you know, last night to find out that

:30:35.:30:39.

he had, that the light has been left on 24 hours a day, it is

:30:39.:30:44.

sending her, you know, into a bad place.

:30:44.:30:47.

It is like when you see in some movies when a terrorist has been

:30:47.:30:50.

caught? That's how it feels. He is very British. He has done his

:30:50.:30:54.

business, a small businessman in this country, he lived his life

:30:54.:30:58.

here and never left the UK in these dealings, I don't know why we feel

:30:58.:31:08.
:31:08.:31:16.

as if the judiciary can't deal with By we have Neil Tappin with us, and

:31:16.:31:20.

also David Birmingham, who had gone through this process in America and

:31:20.:31:26.

is now back here. Explain to us, what were you extradited for and

:31:26.:31:31.

then put in jail for? We were accused by the United States

:31:31.:31:37.

government of defrauding NatWest Bank in London. It was in a

:31:37.:31:45.

transaction connected to Enron. played guilty? We did. The

:31:45.:31:50.

statistics on this are truly terrifying, if anyone analyses them.

:31:50.:31:55.

98% of people in the federal system in America who are indicted will

:31:55.:31:59.

enter into a plea bargain rather than going to trial. They will do

:31:59.:32:03.

that for a variety of circumstances, but the system is almost set up to

:32:03.:32:07.

guarantee you will get a plea bargain as soon as somebody is

:32:07.:32:12.

indicted rather than going to trial. You were sentenced to 37 months.

:32:12.:32:19.

Correct. You served seven in the US and tent in the UK. That's right.

:32:19.:32:25.

In the US, what conditions both when you were on remand and after

:32:25.:32:31.

the sentence did you endure? remand, our position was all but

:32:31.:32:36.

unique. Because of the furore surrounding our extradition in 2006,

:32:36.:32:40.

Tony Blair intervened with the US government to get them to allow us

:32:40.:32:44.

to have failed. We were the first people ever to have been extradited

:32:44.:32:48.

to America to have been granted bail and are not aware of anybody

:32:48.:32:52.

else who has contested extradition since has enjoyed that luxury.

:32:52.:32:56.

Prior to entering into a plea agreement, which took two years, we

:32:56.:33:00.

did want to fight this case. We eventually found ourselves unable

:33:00.:33:06.

to do so. We were therefore out on bail, we were electronically

:33:06.:33:10.

monitored, we were living in Houston, we were unable to be

:33:10.:33:13.

together as defendants other than in the presence of attorney's.

:33:13.:33:20.

least you were out. Exactly. Once you had played guilty and was

:33:20.:33:24.

sentenced, what were the conditions for the seven months? You were in a

:33:24.:33:29.

federal penitentiary? That's right. Over those seven months I was in

:33:29.:33:35.

five different places. I spent most time in California. Part of our

:33:35.:33:39.

deal, one of the reasons we agree to enter into a plea agreement, was

:33:39.:33:42.

the prosecutor said if you sign this paper, we will ensure you get

:33:42.:33:46.

sent home quickly. If you go to trial and lose, we will make sure

:33:46.:33:51.

you never go home. Quite a strong motivation. A gun to your head.

:33:51.:33:56.

is how business is done over there. It is not just a system as we would

:33:56.:34:01.

recognise. You were not in a cell with a light on for 24 hours a day

:34:01.:34:06.

with nothing to read. Nope. What Mr Taplin is going through at the

:34:06.:34:12.

moment is not untypical of remand conditions. The remand conditions

:34:12.:34:16.

are part of the game, if you wish, to get somebody to enter a plea

:34:16.:34:19.

agreement. They will make it as unpleasant as they can. If you

:34:19.:34:23.

decide to plead guilty, it shortens the romance period because you

:34:23.:34:28.

don't need to prepare for a trial. Remand facilities are different to

:34:28.:34:32.

the facilities when somebody has been convicted. In California, I

:34:32.:34:37.

was in the dormitory of 250 people with bunk beds two feet apart. That

:34:37.:34:41.

is a much more normal scenario for people once they have been

:34:41.:34:46.

convicted. What kind of prison did you end up in Britain? Five

:34:46.:34:51.

different prisons. I started in Wandsworth, a remand prison, two to

:34:51.:34:57.

a cell, and I ended up in an open prison. Rather more pleasant than

:34:57.:35:02.

what Mr Caplin has had? Indeed. As a foreigner in the US, you're not

:35:02.:35:07.

entitled to be in an open prison because you are do portable alien.

:35:07.:35:10.

There is a prejudice against foreigners in that system.

:35:11.:35:15.

could not be in the equivalent of a US Open prison? No. All of the

:35:15.:35:21.

closed prisons are run by gangs. there any word of encouragement for

:35:21.:35:27.

Neil Tappin? Yes. The mere fact he is out there means he is one step

:35:27.:35:31.

closer to coming home. I said this did Chris Ann Neale the other day.

:35:31.:35:35.

This is the worst time because from here on in, he is beginning their

:35:35.:35:40.

journey home, no matter how long that is. When you go out to America

:35:40.:35:45.

to see your father, when is that? We have to wait to see whether he

:35:45.:35:50.

gets bail or not. If he does, I'm sure Mum will go up to see him and

:35:50.:35:54.

I will go out as well. If he doesn't get bail, it will be very

:35:54.:35:57.

distressing for mum to go and see him in an orange jumpsuit with

:35:57.:36:01.

shackles. We are not a family that has been through this before.

:36:01.:36:05.

Nobody knows what to expect. I will certainly go up to see him, but it

:36:05.:36:10.

is up in the air at the moment. Abu Qatada hasn't been deported.

:36:10.:36:17.

know. Let's leave it there. So, Britain has shut its embassy in

:36:17.:36:20.

Syria and pulled out all of its diplomats because of the

:36:20.:36:22.

deteriorating security situation. The announcement came as UN

:36:22.:36:24.

diplomats voted to condemn the Syrian government for human rights

:36:24.:36:28.

violations and called for immediate access for aid agencies. The

:36:28.:36:31.

resolution is aimed at stepping up the pressure on Damascus. Our

:36:31.:36:36.

correspondent Imogen Foulkes is in Geneva, where the UN is meeting.

:36:36.:36:40.

I spoke to her earlier and began by asking her whether the UN

:36:40.:36:47.

resolution had been passed. Yes. It is a very tough resolution. The

:36:47.:36:51.

thought that the UN Human Rights Council has passed condemning Syria

:36:51.:36:59.

for what it terms brutality against its own citizens, widespread,

:36:59.:37:04.

systematic human rights violations. The resolution then calls for an

:37:04.:37:08.

immediate end to the violence, and immediate access for humanitarian

:37:08.:37:13.

aid agencies. It was passed pretty overwhelmingly, three countries

:37:14.:37:23.

voted against. Russia, China and Cuba. Human rights groups accused

:37:23.:37:30.

them of being out on a limb now and undermining attempts to try to

:37:30.:37:34.

bring some resolution to this crisis in Syria. Does this mean

:37:34.:37:39.

there's more optimism that the resolution being put together by

:37:39.:37:42.

the Americans also about humanitarian aid, is there more

:37:42.:37:51.

likely had that that will pass? is really hard to say. Initially,

:37:51.:37:56.

myself and other people watching this meeting thought Russia might

:37:56.:38:01.

not vote against, given what we have been seeing for example from

:38:01.:38:04.

the City of Homs and the relentless shelling that has been going on

:38:04.:38:11.

there. But Russia voted against and we know it has vetoed resolution at

:38:11.:38:16.

the UN Security Council before. The question now is will it go a long

:38:16.:38:20.

with this new attempt at the Security Council being drafted by

:38:20.:38:24.

the Americans or will it oppose again? I think Russia will find it

:38:24.:38:31.

difficult, but the signs this morning are not good.

:38:31.:38:38.

David Owen is with us now. I am asking you this question, mindful

:38:38.:38:42.

of the Rolls you have played. Is this beginning to look more like

:38:42.:38:48.

Bosnia than Libya? It has never looked like Libya. Libya is a very

:38:48.:38:53.

different situation in all aspects. This does look like it is coming to

:38:53.:38:58.

one of these civil wars where you were locked with both sides having

:38:58.:39:04.

the capacity to halt the fighting and no outright winner. These are

:39:04.:39:12.

the most dangerous civil wars. you see Homs, it is hard not to

:39:12.:39:20.

think of Sarajevo. Yes. But I think it is better to think of Hamann.

:39:20.:39:27.

President Assad's father. And his family. They wiped out a whole tone

:39:27.:39:31.

and they got away with it. We did not take enough concern for it when

:39:31.:39:36.

it happened in 1982. This is where history is repeating itself. What

:39:36.:39:40.

can we do? There isn't a day these days that I don't wake up thinking

:39:40.:39:44.

what can you do about it. It is a hugely difficult thing to see a way

:39:44.:39:49.

through it. I have always repeated the country that holds the key to

:39:49.:39:53.

it is Turkey and Turkey have looked at it and mighty hard. They have

:39:53.:39:58.

concluded there is no military role. It they say no military role, it is

:39:58.:40:03.

pretty hard for anyone else to have a military role. It is end of story.

:40:03.:40:07.

They are the country that could use NATO, they are a member of NATO,

:40:07.:40:12.

and go to NATO to ask for help, but they would have to be the country

:40:12.:40:16.

that did the heavy lifting. They have to make an assessment. They

:40:16.:40:22.

have assessed so far that it can't be done. The other issue is that

:40:22.:40:26.

China is getting concerned about this issue in the Security Council

:40:26.:40:28.

and I don't thing Russia is having it all their own way in the

:40:28.:40:34.

dialogue with China. If you could start to prise China away from

:40:34.:40:41.

Russia, China might bend. There was talk earlier of Turkey looking at

:40:41.:40:44.

almost a safe haven zone on the Syrian northern border with Turkey,

:40:44.:40:50.

which the Turks themselves said they would protect. Has that faded

:40:50.:40:56.

away? Did that not come to fruition? I was always opposed this

:40:56.:41:00.

safe havens in Bosnia Herzegovina and look at what a tragedy that end

:41:00.:41:05.

up with. It is no good calling them a safe haven if they don't provide

:41:05.:41:10.

the troops for it, which is what we did not do in Bosnia. Srebrenica

:41:10.:41:15.

was an accident waiting to happen. I am very unlikely to support safe

:41:15.:41:20.

havens. Also it means you are giving up. Basically you would be

:41:20.:41:23.

encouraging the civilians to depopulate, come to this area, and

:41:23.:41:27.

you would effectively be going for politician. I don't think that is a

:41:27.:41:33.

solution. The question is, from the air, can you interdict the supply

:41:33.:41:38.

lines of Assad's forces in such a way as to be a serious threat to

:41:38.:41:44.

continuing this type of violence? It would be challenged. It would be

:41:44.:41:47.

challenged by sophisticated aircraft, it would be challenged by

:41:47.:41:54.

a country that has the support of Iran and has the support of Russia.

:41:54.:41:58.

And Iraq will not get involved, they will probably be neutral, but

:41:58.:42:03.

they might be in part on their side. Then there's the closely as to the

:42:04.:42:08.

Lebanon, closeness to Israel. You are playing... It is a powder keg.

:42:08.:42:13.

At the moment, as you look at the British foreign policy response,

:42:13.:42:16.

and to the Western foreign policy response, how would you

:42:16.:42:20.

characterise it? The British response has been first class, I

:42:20.:42:26.

have no criticism of it whatever. Both William Hague and the prime

:42:26.:42:32.

minister have got this right. I think they got Libya right. I don't

:42:32.:42:40.

look for policy disputes unless I have to have them. You have enough!

:42:40.:42:44.

What are your thoughts, Chai Patel? It is a tragedy of the highest

:42:44.:42:48.

order. If we haven't learnt anything from these interventions,

:42:48.:42:54.

it is that judgments have to be fine. If our neighbours in Turkey

:42:54.:42:58.

and people know much more about it are wanting to jump in, jumping in

:42:58.:43:04.

is not the right thing. Final question to you, David, can you see

:43:04.:43:08.

a time in the near future where we may consider arming the rebels?

:43:08.:43:12.

I think that is perfectly possible. We did that in Libya and that is

:43:12.:43:16.

one case where there's a possibility. But you are adding

:43:17.:43:21.

fuel to a civil war. In the past, the issue has often been that

:43:21.:43:25.

nobody supplies weapons to a civil war and that was what was done in

:43:25.:43:29.

Bosnia, but that came under a huge attack because of its unfairness.

:43:29.:43:33.

You have to be very careful on this sort of thing. It is happening and

:43:33.:43:38.

it is being done by tacit support from most Western countries. It is

:43:38.:43:43.

happening at the moment. This is not, I don't think, the big problem,

:43:43.:43:48.

weaponry. So far they have conducted a very skilful campaign.

:43:48.:43:52.

They fight in the suburbs, in the inner cities, and then when they

:43:52.:43:57.

know the game is up, they move and fight somewhere else. This is what

:43:57.:44:02.

they have on their side. There's also continued defections from the

:44:02.:44:09.

Syrian army. Thank you. No easy solution to it.

:44:09.:44:11.

Now, remember those heady days of December, when David Cameron

:44:11.:44:14.

exercised what he called his veto over EU-wide measures to tackle the

:44:14.:44:18.

eurozone crisis? Well, today the Prime Minister returns to Brussels

:44:18.:44:24.

for a European leaders summit. Iain Watson is there.

:44:24.:44:30.

What reception do you think awaits Mr Cameron? I think what David

:44:30.:44:34.

Cameron wants to prove is that he is no longer isolated in Brussels.

:44:34.:44:38.

He looked rather lonely after he vetoed that EU treaty in December.

:44:38.:44:44.

First thing tomorrow in Brussels, 25 of the 27 EU countries will sign

:44:44.:44:48.

what would -- what would have been in that treated. The two countries

:44:48.:44:51.

that were not signed up Britain and the Czech Republic. The Prime

:44:51.:44:55.

Minister is travelling to Brussels with the prime minister of the

:44:55.:44:59.

Czech Republic. Much more significantly than that, Britain

:44:59.:45:02.

has also signed the letter effectively saying that the EU has

:45:02.:45:07.

not been doing enough to boost economic growth. 12 countries have

:45:07.:45:12.

signed a letter. To give you a flavour of it, it says it is a

:45:12.:45:15.

perilous moment for economies across Europe, we need to show

:45:15.:45:19.

leadership, take bold decisions, achieve results. But France and

:45:19.:45:22.

Germany have not signed a letter and I have seen what is the draft

:45:22.:45:26.

conclusions of this summit even before people have met. It talks a

:45:26.:45:32.

lot about economic growth, but it doesn't have specifics on

:45:32.:45:35.

deregulation that David Cameron is looking for. He may not be isolated

:45:35.:45:42.

this time, but he will have his He might be disappointed that, he

:45:43.:45:48.

is not Billy No Mates as you have said, but in terms of ratifying

:45:48.:45:51.

this fiscal come fact, Ireland and France, depending what happens in

:45:51.:45:55.

the election, that ratification has to take place and there are doubts

:45:55.:46:00.

about it, aren't there? Yes, there are. I mean this is the other area

:46:00.:46:04.

where Britain may not be isolated. Although 25 countries are signing

:46:04.:46:07.

this, it has to go back to their parliaments to make a decision. The

:46:08.:46:10.

Irish are having a referendum on this, but it is not clear that they

:46:10.:46:15.

will go along with it and the candidate who is leading in the

:46:15.:46:18.

opinion polls for the French presidency says he will not ratify

:46:18.:46:21.

this. He was in Britain yesterday, of course, he won't ratify this

:46:21.:46:25.

unless there are changes. He thinks it is restricts European debt too

:46:25.:46:29.

much. However, only 12 of the 25 countries have to ratify it for it

:46:29.:46:35.

come into force, imagine the row, the row may shift from Britain, but

:46:35.:46:39.

imagine the row if the EU tries to impose this on a newly elected

:46:39.:46:41.

Government in France. Indeed.

:46:41.:46:49.

I am joined by the the Conservative MP, Bill Cash and Emma Reynolds.

:46:49.:46:55.

Bill Cash we talked about happened in December, but Britain has been

:46:55.:47:00.

banging on about growth in the eurozone. Is there any point in

:47:00.:47:04.

depriving the eurozone of the instruments they need to put it

:47:04.:47:08.

into effect? Most people believe that it won't work anyway because

:47:08.:47:10.

the trillions that they are pouring in, are not going to produce the

:47:11.:47:14.

answer they really need which is to have growth. The other thing which

:47:14.:47:19.

is really important and why I got this emergency debate yesterday in

:47:19.:47:23.

the House of Commons is that the method that they are employing is

:47:23.:47:26.

according to much of the evidence that we're receiving, and I believe

:47:26.:47:32.

that the Government knows this, is that they are using a system which

:47:32.:47:35.

will effectively break the rule of law in Europe, by using the

:47:35.:47:38.

European Commission and the Court of Justice. This is a serious

:47:38.:47:41.

problem because they are using rules to break the rule of law.

:47:41.:47:48.

Right, would it affect us in a very negative way? Even if they are

:47:48.:47:52.

breaking the law, would it have any effect if as what we want is growth

:47:52.:47:56.

in the eurozone? As David Cameron indicated because he sent this

:47:56.:48:02.

letter to the letter European Council. We reserve our position

:48:02.:48:07.

and David Liddington said yesterday it would be a dangerous press den

:48:07.:48:11.

and the problem with that -- precedent and that the problem with

:48:11.:48:15.

that, they are creating to Europes built on sand. The truth is this is

:48:15.:48:19.

a new kind of Europe. We are at a crossroads and I don't think it is

:48:19.:48:24.

good to cry wolf to say, "We are going to take legal action." And

:48:24.:48:31.

then not do it because it it makes you look like a straw man.

:48:31.:48:37.

Emma Reynolds, Iain Watson, mentioned the meeting Ed Miliband

:48:37.:48:47.

had with the candidate for French President. Do you gree that this --

:48:47.:48:53.

agree that this shouldn't be ratified? For too long centre right

:48:53.:48:57.

Governments have focused on austerity alone.

:48:57.:49:01.

He will have come here to say, "I am not going to ratify it unless

:49:01.:49:05.

there are big changes." Does Ed Miliband agree? We agree that the

:49:05.:49:09.

treaty as it stands focuses too much on austerity and doesn't

:49:09.:49:14.

involve any commitment to growth and that's what he is saying. He is

:49:14.:49:19.

saying not scrap the treaty, he is saying there should be additions to

:49:19.:49:26.

the treaty. If there were the additions that Ed

:49:26.:49:31.

Miliband and the French presidency candidate would support it?

:49:31.:49:39.

problem is timing. If he was French President in January, it would have

:49:39.:49:44.

been easier. What happens if he gets elected in

:49:44.:49:48.

May, what happens the agreement that has been reached in January?

:49:48.:49:52.

This could be tricky. This is a jigsaw. The one thing you

:49:52.:49:56.

could look at Bill Cash, with so many countries signing up,

:49:56.:49:59.

ratification, let's leave that aside, with so many countries

:49:59.:50:04.

signing up, it could boost market confidence which would be a good

:50:04.:50:07.

thing for the British economy? Every time they produce the

:50:07.:50:10.

treaties and agreements and they have been having summit after

:50:10.:50:15.

summit after summit and they pour and more trillions into it.

:50:15.:50:19.

It is an important thing in these issues, isn't it? Market confidence

:50:19.:50:22.

is important. There is no doubt about that. But this is not the way

:50:22.:50:28.

to achieve it. The way to achieve it is to put oxygen into the small

:50:28.:50:33.

and medium sized businesses, not not to go in for Leaties --

:50:33.:50:36.

treaties which are unlawful and to generate growth which is the only

:50:36.:50:42.

way of achieving advantage with the countries like China and the rest.

:50:42.:50:45.

We have got to get down to the serious business of generating

:50:45.:50:55.
:50:55.:50:58.

growth. It will be interesting to see if he

:50:58.:51:08.
:51:08.:51:11.

does what in opposition what he Now, the latest in the seemingly

:51:11.:51:21.
:51:21.:51:21.

never ending battle over Andrew Lansley's Health and Social Care

:51:21.:51:23.

Bill, Lib Dem will push for a vote at the conference.

:51:23.:51:26.

I am joined by Vicky Young. I notice that the Liberal Democrats

:51:26.:51:30.

or the Government have put out saying they are confident that he

:51:30.:51:35.

wouldn't lose the motion, but there could be a debate? It is fair to

:51:35.:51:39.

say that the Health Bill is going at a snail's pace through the House

:51:39.:51:42.

of Lords. Nick Clegg this week really tried to talk about the

:51:42.:51:45.

great work that the Liberal Democrat peers have been doing in

:51:45.:51:50.

the House of Lords to change it to improve it, the problem is they

:51:50.:51:54.

have a problem here, because they positioned themselves with the

:51:54.:51:58.

party that made a lot of changes, especially watering down parts of

:51:58.:52:00.

the Bill which are about competition. If you have got MPs

:52:00.:52:07.

sniping from the sides, it undermines their argument.

:52:07.:52:12.

The motion is to be debated. Is it becoming worse than tuition fees?

:52:12.:52:16.

The problem is as someone said to me today, it is becoming like

:52:16.:52:21.

tuition fees did really for the Liberal Democrats. The spring

:52:21.:52:23.

conference kicks off a week tomorrow. There has been a critical

:52:23.:52:27.

motion put forward. It is certain there will be an emergency motion

:52:27.:52:31.

on health debated. The one that has been suggested and put forward

:52:31.:52:35.

calls for the Bill to be withdrawn or defeated and dropped and it says

:52:35.:52:40.

that the Bill has failed to win the support of the public or health

:52:40.:52:43.

professionals and it will make reorganisation of the NHS worse.

:52:43.:52:48.

Many MPs, Liberal Democrats MPs, aren't happy where we are, but they

:52:48.:52:51.

feel dropping it now is too late. If they were going to drop the Bill,

:52:51.:52:55.

they should have done it months ago and saved themselves the agony. The

:52:55.:53:00.

Lib Dem leadership is confident it if they have peers on side, they

:53:00.:53:06.

can see down this activists conference motion.

:53:06.:53:10.

Chai Patel, we have been through the wringer on this on the Health

:53:10.:53:15.

Bill. The issue has been about competition. Do you fear the

:53:15.:53:17.

cherry-picking element that has been talked about by the Liberal

:53:17.:53:21.

Democrats? Competition exists in the NHS, but does the Bill lead to

:53:21.:53:26.

a new level of it? The changes that the Lib Dems brought in has now

:53:26.:53:31.

made sure that that won't happen. The recent LSD report showed that

:53:31.:53:35.

competition is good for the patients, it is good for healthcare

:53:35.:53:41.

outcomes, but it pointed out that the private healthcare sector had

:53:41.:53:47.

the option to cherry-pick the stuff. We have to make the Health Service

:53:47.:53:51.

more effective and efficient. One of the of the worries that GPs

:53:51.:53:56.

put, they don't want their patients to think they are thinking about

:53:56.:54:00.

the cost and profit margin and they are only thinking about care?

:54:00.:54:05.

have been commissioning for a while in a a variety of ways. What

:54:05.:54:08.

patients want is the best care at the right right place at the right

:54:09.:54:14.

time. They don't mind who delivers Is the 50 pence rate of tax

:54:14.:54:18.

damaging the economy? More than 500 business leaders think so in a

:54:18.:54:22.

letter to the Daily Telegraph they claim the tax is reducing

:54:22.:54:26.

Government income and it is not raising it and they are calling for

:54:26.:54:32.

to to be axed in the Budget. I'm joined by Charlie Mullin and

:54:32.:54:36.

Richard Murphy who is an accountant. They have been squabbling on

:54:36.:54:43.

Twitter. So let's going now! Charlie Mullin you said, "We

:54:43.:54:48.

believe the richest should help the poorest in society." So why scrap

:54:48.:54:53.

the top rate now? It is having a vice versa effect. Since they

:54:53.:54:58.

brought in the 50 pence tax rate, it has been proven that �500

:54:58.:55:01.

million less in revenue has been raised from the top tax earners.

:55:01.:55:05.

It is not getting money? It is having the vice versa effect. It is

:55:05.:55:07.

stopping people expanding and stopping people investing in

:55:07.:55:11.

business. It has gone the wrong way around.

:55:11.:55:15.

The case against it, it is not bringing in any dosh and it is

:55:15.:55:19.

having a detrimental effect on the economy? Is wrong. First of all,

:55:19.:55:22.

there has been no prove on this. There is no evidence which is firm

:55:23.:55:26.

and fast as yet... We have had initial figures. We have had

:55:26.:55:32.

figures, but they are wrong. Let's look at the data... How much do you

:55:32.:55:42.
:55:42.:55:47.

think it is bringing in I think it will bring in �5 billion. There

:55:47.:55:51.

will be people earning quite a lot. Even the tax in the Labour Party

:55:51.:55:55.

and the Lib Dems, I have never heard any of them claim it will

:55:55.:56:00.

bring in �5 billion. Are you putting your name? Yes.

:56:00.:56:07.

Will you come back on? I will. It will either be a triumph for you

:56:07.:56:11.

or not? There is a lot of tax avoidance going on which we would

:56:11.:56:16.

have to tackle. It is impossible though and I am hanny hanny to say

:56:16.:56:22.

dp habby -- happy to say. Is it going to generate jobs? Of course,

:56:22.:56:26.

three billion which is the minimum, if all the avoidance was done that

:56:26.:56:30.

it could generate is the entire capital of the Green Investment

:56:30.:56:33.

Bank. If the top rate was cut, what would

:56:33.:56:36.

you do with the money? I would reinvest it into the business.

:56:36.:56:41.

Richard, you are talking rubbish, mate. Absolute rubbish. You are

:56:41.:56:45.

talking rubbish. Time will prove right or wrong.

:56:45.:56:49.

don't run a business. I have run businesses. Lots of

:56:49.:56:53.

businesses. I was a serial entrepreneur.

:56:53.:56:58.

You should be dealing with tax dodgers, not the good guys pay the

:56:58.:57:04.

tax. I paid over �0.5 million in tax last year.

:57:04.:57:07.

Charles Charlie, your assumption is the only way you can get more money

:57:07.:57:11.

in, first of all, you run a limited company, almost 0% of the -- 90% of

:57:11.:57:17.

the people who signed that letter run limited companies? Why do you

:57:17.:57:22.

run a limited companies because the tax rate is 20%. So you have the

:57:22.:57:26.

tax break for enterprise. You are confusing people with

:57:26.:57:31.

figures. They are stopping people reinvesting. It had the vis versa

:57:32.:57:35.

effect and -- vice versa effect. I don't think you have got a clue,

:57:35.:57:38.

mate. Who is right or wrong here? We have

:57:38.:57:43.

to wait for the numbers on this. We don't have to wait long.

:57:43.:57:48.

And then we can make a decision. Normally, it has been a disentive

:57:48.:57:51.

to growth. It shows more money has come in,

:57:51.:57:56.

will you settle? If he is right, I will carry on paying it. But I'm

:57:56.:58:00.

telling you now, you're wrong. 500 business leaders put their names to

:58:00.:58:07.

this. They are not stupid people. You know why you are wrong, you are

:58:07.:58:10.

paying yourself more because the tax has gone up so you have got the

:58:10.:58:14.

same net pay. We have got to do Guess The Year.

:58:14.:58:19.

Our prize is tax-free, it is not �5 billion!

:58:19.:58:29.
:58:29.:58:30.

If we take 50%, half the mug goes. The answer was 1983. The winner is

:58:30.:58:35.

Mr Swindle. What a great name.

:58:35.:58:40.

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