09/03/2012 Daily Politics


09/03/2012

Andrew Neil's studio guests are journalist James Delingpole and political commentator Gaby Hinsliff. Children's Minister, Tim Loughton MP talks about changes to adoption rules.


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Transcript


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:41.:00:45.

Some decent news from Greece at last. But there's plenty more pain

:00:45.:00:49.

to come. Athens has reached agreement with most of their

:00:49.:00:52.

private creditors, to write off billions of pounds of debt, which

:00:52.:00:55.

triggers more bailout money from Europe and the IMF. But Greek debts

:00:55.:01:02.

are still gigantic, and even more austerity looms.

:01:02.:01:05.

Plans to speed up the adoption process for thousands of children

:01:05.:01:08.

are to be announced by David Cameron, including making it easier

:01:08.:01:13.

for white couples to adopt black children. We'll get the details

:01:13.:01:17.

from the Children's Minister. More protests are expected in

:01:17.:01:21.

Russia this weekend, against Vladimir Putin's election victory.

:01:21.:01:24.

We'll get the thoughts of a former Foreign Secretary and a former

:01:24.:01:32.

British Ambassador to Moscow. And, find out why the European

:01:32.:01:42.
:01:42.:01:43.

Commission has got into hot water All that in the next hour. And I

:01:43.:01:46.

also bring you good news. According to the papers, it turns out spring

:01:46.:01:52.

is here ten days early! The birds are singing, the trees are

:01:52.:01:58.

blossoming, and the daffs are almost out. And I'm pleased to say,

:01:58.:02:02.

that keeping me company in the studio this lunchtime, are two

:02:02.:02:05.

spring chickens. James Delingpole, who tells us in the Telegraph today

:02:05.:02:08.

that he still has the energy to do manly things, like swim freezing

:02:08.:02:15.

Welsh rivers. And the former Observer political editor, Gaby

:02:15.:02:18.

Hinsliff. We're not sure whether she's prepared to swim a Welsh

:02:18.:02:26.

river or not. I have never been prepared to swim

:02:26.:02:31.

a Welsh river, even when I was young. Let's start with the news

:02:31.:02:34.

that the Greek government has announced it's reached a deal with

:02:34.:02:37.

most of its creditors to accept steep losses, staving off an

:02:37.:02:40.

official credit event default, and paving the way for the next round

:02:40.:02:44.

of European and IMF bailout money. Speaking earlier today, the Greek

:02:45.:02:54.
:02:55.:02:56.

Finance Minister said this. TRANSLATION: We can't have an

:02:56.:03:01.

investment friendly country and job creation without having a banking

:03:01.:03:05.

mechanism which supports investment. All these things should happen for

:03:05.:03:09.

us to have total success in private sector involvement. We should agree

:03:10.:03:14.

this is the only way to put the country back on its feet and give

:03:14.:03:21.

it a second historic and much- needed chance.

:03:21.:03:25.

The man who hopes to be the next Greek Prime Minister. They have

:03:26.:03:34.

done this deal. Debt in Greece now falls to 160% of GDP. They now have

:03:34.:03:41.

to do spending cuts equivalent to 20% of GDP. Last year, the economy

:03:41.:03:48.

declined by 7% of GDP. And 50% of young Greeks are now unemployed. So,

:03:48.:03:55.

job done!? I would say this is a classic example of kicking the can

:03:55.:04:01.

down the road. If we think of this financial crisis in World War II

:04:01.:04:06.

terms, will probably end the phoney war stage. We have a long way to go

:04:06.:04:10.

before this is resolved and it won't be resolved by delaying it.

:04:10.:04:15.

We have to face up to reality. Greece will eventually lead the

:04:15.:04:21.

eurozone. Absolutely no question. rough time scale? If I could do

:04:21.:04:25.

that I would be making a lot of money on options. I thought you

:04:25.:04:32.

did! Her I lost the last time... lot of the more hard headed

:04:32.:04:37.

commentators are saying this is in itself an achievement to get all of

:04:37.:04:43.

these private creditors to take a massive haircut, avoid an official

:04:43.:04:49.

default. But look at the pain to come. It is better than a messy

:04:49.:04:59.
:04:59.:05:03.

collapse right now. The suggestion from Christine Lagarde that it is

:05:03.:05:08.

spring-like. This is a British type of spring where it is snowing one

:05:08.:05:14.

minute, sunny the next. It is quite remarkable, the pain that the

:05:14.:05:20.

European elite is prepared to inflict on people, to keep the

:05:20.:05:24.

project on the road. There is a massive political constitutional

:05:25.:05:29.

question. All this pain being inflicted on Greece from outside,

:05:29.:05:36.

on a country which doesn't have its own elected government. That has

:05:36.:05:42.

been pushed back. For Greeks, the historical suspicion of Germans

:05:42.:05:48.

anyway, this is painful. At the same time, if you look at the

:05:48.:05:52.

opinion surveys and the Greeks have persuaded themselves that the euro

:05:52.:05:59.

is somehow good for them. I can't see that lasting. I would say one

:05:59.:06:06.

thing. Keep your eye on Portugal. That could be next in the frame. A

:06:06.:06:10.

diplomatic row is brewing with Italy, over the tragic deaths of an

:06:10.:06:13.

Italian and a Briton, after a failed attempt to rescue them in

:06:13.:06:16.

Nigeria. Politicians in Rome have been demanding to know why their

:06:16.:06:19.

government wasn't consulted on the military operation, and why they

:06:19.:06:27.

were only informed once the action was taking place. We can speak now

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to our political correspondent, Iain Watson.

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He has been getting briefings. A general question, bring us up today

:06:38.:06:41.

on what we now know about this operation?

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Some of the details are not clear. I had a briefing for an hour with

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the Prime Minister's spokesman. He said some of the details are yet to

:06:51.:06:55.

emerge, he didn't want to give inaccurate information. What is

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clear is that the two hostages were killed in an operation which went

:07:00.:07:06.

on for some hours, as many as six or seven hours. That the British

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Prime Minister David Cameron gave his authorisation but the Italian

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Prime Minister was not asked for his authorisation at the same time.

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We have been told, I quote, from Downing Street, there have been

:07:19.:07:24.

close contacts with the Italians over nine months. It was always the

:07:24.:07:29.

case that a rescue operation was an option, but the Italians were

:07:29.:07:34.

conducted after the operation got under way, because it was a fast

:07:34.:07:37.

moving situation and they were responding to advice from what was

:07:37.:07:41.

happening on the ground. That is the official explanation from

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Downing Street. But the Italian government is saying this was

:07:46.:07:51.

inexplicable, and they want to get further clarification. What was

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interesting, in this long briefing, some a bit no clearer than we were

:07:57.:08:03.

last night. Apparently, no formal complaint has been lodged with the

:08:03.:08:06.

British Government by the Italians over how this was handled, no

:08:06.:08:11.

complaint was made to David Cameron when he spoke to Mario Monti last

:08:11.:08:17.

night. And Britain has offered simply an explanation, not an

:08:17.:08:22.

apology. So will there be a diplomatic row between Rome and

:08:22.:08:27.

London? Have we established from both Rome and London that the

:08:27.:08:32.

British and Nigerians went ahead, without informing the Italians? Is

:08:32.:08:37.

that now agreed on bedsides? That is agreed on their sides. It is

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clearly the case, what Downing Street has emphasised, this was a

:08:44.:08:48.

Nigerian led operation. But David Cameron was asked for his

:08:48.:08:53.

authorisation. The Italians were asked on a government to government

:08:53.:08:58.

basis after the operation got under way. The reason for that appears to

:08:58.:09:03.

be, as we are being told off the record, perhaps the hostages were

:09:03.:09:07.

felt to be in grave and imminent danger, and the events were fast

:09:07.:09:16.

moving. Then, we get into really questions of politics and diplomacy.

:09:16.:09:20.

If a rescue operation was always a possibility, did the Italians at

:09:20.:09:26.

any stage attempt to veto it? I am told they didn't. Could they have

:09:26.:09:30.

vetoed it when it went under way? I was told that might not have been

:09:30.:09:35.

possible had they tried. In fact, they didn't do so and again I have

:09:35.:09:39.

been told, if this was the other way around, if the British had been

:09:39.:09:44.

told after the operation got under way, rest assured British

:09:44.:09:49.

politicians would be kicking up a fuss. There is an understanding in

:09:49.:09:55.

diplomatic terms. You described it, I know the Nigerians were involved.

:09:55.:10:01.

You described it as a Nigerian led operation. Does that mean that the

:10:01.:10:07.

Nigerians were first in? Or, where British special forces the

:10:07.:10:13.

spearhead? We do not know that. On five separate occasions, we asked

:10:13.:10:17.

the prime ministers spokesman, he repeated the phrase, this was a

:10:17.:10:22.

Nigerian led operation, but did not give any details whether British

:10:22.:10:29.

forces arrived first. From what I have been picking up, it seems that,

:10:29.:10:34.

for some time, there was some information where the hostages were

:10:34.:10:39.

being held, and fears they may be in imminent danger if the cat has

:10:40.:10:49.
:10:50.:11:00.

knew the whereabouts had been exposed -- -- the captors.

:11:00.:11:09.

Thanks for joining us on that. A lot still unknown here.

:11:09.:11:13.

Barack Obama. You have to be lucky in these things, taking these

:11:13.:11:17.

difficult decisions. Barack Obama got it right. David Cameron was

:11:17.:11:21.

unlucky and it turned out wrong. And that is part of leadership. We

:11:21.:11:26.

saw it with the deaths of the six soldiers in Afghanistan, one of the

:11:26.:11:29.

worst things about being a Prime Minster when you take decisions

:11:29.:11:37.

which leads to the death of your citizens. You don't launch a

:11:37.:11:43.

scrambled rescue mission unless you take a chance.

:11:43.:11:48.

Parents of the victims, that seems to be their attitude in their agony

:11:48.:11:52.

as well. The promise to was giving some

:11:52.:11:56.

interviews in an entirely unrelated matter yesterday afternoon. I am

:11:56.:12:01.

told by the people there, that this had got to him, he was devastated

:12:01.:12:07.

by the failure. I do not think he could have done much else. There

:12:07.:12:13.

are two main terrorist types in Nigeria. One of them is the type

:12:13.:12:18.

that kidnaps boiled eggs it is, for ransom, let them free. This is

:12:18.:12:22.

different. These are Islamist terrorists with a track record,

:12:22.:12:28.

they killed 40 people in a church on Christmas Day, 20 more people in

:12:28.:12:34.

a bomb. They have a record of killing people. David Cameron could

:12:34.:12:39.

have done no other. Not a good week for Britain given the events in

:12:39.:12:42.

Afghanistan. Later today, David Cameron will promise to tackle what

:12:42.:12:45.

he calls the "absurd barriers to mixed-race adoption", when he

:12:45.:12:48.

announces proposals to speed up the process. Under the plans, local

:12:48.:12:51.

authorities will be required to reduce delays, and not slow the

:12:51.:12:54.

process down by trying to find the perfect match. However, Matt

:12:54.:12:57.

Dunkley, the head of the Association of Directors of

:12:57.:13:07.
:13:07.:13:11.

Children's Services, said that it's a difficult balancing act.

:13:11.:13:15.

Adoption is always complex because it has to revolve around the needs

:13:15.:13:20.

of the child. Finding a permanent home, changing the child's identity.

:13:20.:13:24.

You have to be very sure that the parents you are matching with the

:13:24.:13:28.

child are right for that child. Sometimes, you have to balance

:13:28.:13:32.

various factors to decide whether the quickest option is the best or

:13:32.:13:36.

whether you should wait longer for a family that would be a better

:13:36.:13:40.

match. It is not straightforward and each child's needs are

:13:41.:13:45.

individual. It is a complicated process. We can now speak to the

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Children's Minster, Tim Loughton, who's in Brighton.

:13:50.:13:57.

Thank you for joining us. Just summarise for our viewers what the

:13:57.:14:04.

major changes are going to be? We have been working on adoption

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for the past 18 months and next week we will publish a

:14:08.:14:12.

comprehensive adoption action plan. What David Cameron will detailed

:14:12.:14:16.

this afternoon is three particular things. Largely around the issue of

:14:16.:14:21.

delay. The first is delayed is a very important factor when the

:14:22.:14:24.

place children for adoption and the longer you delay, the more damage

:14:24.:14:29.

it can do to those children and the less likely that option is to

:14:29.:14:34.

succeed. In too many cases, social workers seem to be waiting for that

:14:34.:14:40.

perfect match, would it be an ethnic, cultural or racial match,

:14:40.:14:46.

and those children are staying in care. That is damaging. We need to

:14:46.:14:50.

improve the law to say the most important thing for finding a

:14:50.:14:54.

placement foray child for whom adoption is the right course, is to

:14:54.:14:59.

find a safe, loving, stable family. If we can find a perfect ethnic

:14:59.:15:07.

match, that is perfect but it should not be used as an excuse.

:15:07.:15:11.

What do you say to some of the professionals in this part of the

:15:11.:15:16.

public service, that the reason for delay is often because these are

:15:16.:15:22.

sensitive issues, they are complicated issues as well. And

:15:22.:15:32.
:15:32.:15:32.

I agree with that. They are very complicated dishes. Matt Dunkley

:15:32.:15:36.

has been working closely with us on this. The most important

:15:36.:15:42.

consideration must be the best interests for the child. We think

:15:42.:15:46.

we cannot compromise the quality of the placements for a larger number

:15:46.:15:50.

of children who we think would benefit from adoption by speeding

:15:50.:15:55.

up the system. It is taking far too long and it is far too bureaucratic.

:15:55.:16:00.

We are deterring too many prospective adopters, who could all

:16:00.:16:04.

her children homes. In the care system, there are

:16:04.:16:09.

disproportionately black kids in particular, three times less likely

:16:09.:16:13.

than white kids to get adopted. When they are adopted, it takes

:16:13.:16:18.

twice as long to get them adopted. That is not fair, and it is not

:16:18.:16:23.

acceptable. We have to go reds of some of this political correctness.

:16:23.:16:31.

-- get rid of it. Is it your view that adoption services go out of

:16:31.:16:37.

their way to avoid placing a black kid with a white family? I think

:16:37.:16:42.

there is a bit of a hangover of that culture, going back many years.

:16:42.:16:49.

The vast majority of Social Workers, working in the Children's Services

:16:49.:16:51.

department have the best interests of children at heart and are doing

:16:51.:16:55.

a good job. But we see huge differentials between different

:16:55.:16:59.

local authorities and adoption agencies in how good they are at

:16:59.:17:03.

adopting children and how long it takes. The key point of what we're

:17:03.:17:06.

trying to achieve is trying to speed up the system in terms of

:17:06.:17:09.

finding appropriate families and identifying children when adoption

:17:09.:17:14.

is the best option, and getting the system to work better in the

:17:14.:17:17.

interests of the child. The children should not be left in

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limbo because the system is cumbersome. Stick with us and we

:17:22.:17:27.

will get some reaction from our guests. What is your take on this?

:17:27.:17:30.

I do not think anyone wants to see children in care longer than they

:17:30.:17:35.

have to be. It is ridiculous that it can take two and a half years

:17:35.:17:41.

from start to finish. You have to be careful not to throw the baby

:17:41.:17:45.

out of -- out with the bath water, to coin an appropriate phrase. That

:17:45.:17:50.

period of delay is not always about safeguarding the child, sometimes

:17:50.:17:54.

it is about knowing that the parents are to coping with what

:17:54.:18:00.

they have to copy -- cope with, perhaps taking a six year-old who

:18:00.:18:04.

might be very damaged back home with them. They have extensive mean

:18:04.:18:08.

sometimes. Finding families that cope with that is important. We do

:18:08.:18:11.

not want to end up in a place where the adoptions break down more

:18:11.:18:17.

regularly because there speedier. think the Minister was being very

:18:17.:18:21.

diplomatic. -- they are speedier. This is a rare case of

:18:21.:18:27.

Conservative-led coalition having the courage of its convictions and

:18:27.:18:30.

taking on one of the great shibboleths of the left-liberal

:18:30.:18:33.

establishment, which is this ludicrous notion that it is better

:18:33.:18:40.

to leave a black child without a loving family because of this

:18:40.:18:46.

theory, this bankrupt theory that somehow skin colour is more

:18:47.:18:51.

important than finding a fat -- finding a happy home. Are you being

:18:51.:18:57.

diplomatic, look Minister? I am always diplomatic, Andrew, but I am

:18:57.:19:00.

not concerned with political ideology. I am concerned with

:19:01.:19:05.

getting a better deal for children in care, and I think many more of

:19:05.:19:09.

them could benefit from the stability and love that comes with

:19:09.:19:13.

a decent adoptive placement. have 65,000 children in care at the

:19:13.:19:18.

moment. If your reforms go through, will we see that number fall

:19:18.:19:23.

substantially? I do not know. The numbers of children coming into

:19:23.:19:28.

care has been going up. We must remember that the great majority of

:19:28.:19:31.

those children are there temporarily and will return to

:19:31.:19:35.

their families. The number of children that I would like to see

:19:35.:19:39.

adopted, it is more than the 3050 who got adopted last year, and that

:19:39.:19:44.

number was down on the year before. I will not set any targets because

:19:44.:19:49.

this is all about getting the best deal for each individual child. The

:19:49.:19:52.

each have different circumstances. We believe that we can get better

:19:52.:19:57.

quality placements, more people coming in and offering a home to a

:19:57.:20:01.

child. That is a big ass, particularly with kids from

:20:01.:20:05.

difficult backgrounds, kids who are not getting picked up at the moment.

:20:05.:20:12.

We can do it quicker. Two months is 1% of a child's's childhood. All

:20:12.:20:19.

the evidence says that the sooner you can get a child adopted a, the

:20:19.:20:22.

more likely they are to have a successful adoption and a happy

:20:22.:20:32.
:20:32.:20:34.

childhood. Thank you for joining us. Now, in under a couple of months,

:20:34.:20:39.

voters in 10 towns and cities across England would get to vote on

:20:39.:20:44.

whether they want a directly elected mayor. According to polling

:20:44.:20:48.

produced by two regions, many of them do not know a thing about it.

:20:48.:20:53.

In Birmingham, 59% of those polled said they did not know there was a

:20:53.:20:56.

referendum. Even though it was the first time many of them had heard

:20:56.:21:01.

of it, more than half thought that Birmingham should have a directly

:21:01.:21:05.

elected mayor. Although you might take this with a pinch of salt

:21:05.:21:11.

given the usual low turnout in local elections, 74% said that they

:21:11.:21:18.

planned to vote. Our West Midlands political reporter joins us now

:21:18.:21:23.

from Westminster where she is visiting. It is good to see when

:21:23.:21:29.

London. What is the mood like in Birmingham? -- see you in London.

:21:29.:21:32.

When you go out on the streets and ask people whether they want an

:21:32.:21:36.

elected mayor, they look at you with confusion. In my experience,

:21:36.:21:40.

they do not seem to know that this is happening. And then, when you

:21:40.:21:44.

explain it, they say they like the idea of having a porous in

:21:44.:21:47.

Birmingham. But the figures of the poll certainly suggest that that

:21:47.:21:53.

may be the case, not just anecdotally but wider afield. Six

:21:53.:21:57.

out of 10 people in Birmingham do not know this is happening. 54% are

:21:57.:22:06.

saying that they would vote for an elected mayor, but 23% say no and

:22:06.:22:11.

23 say that they do not care. sounds like if you know you're for

:22:11.:22:17.

it, and by definition if you do not know, you will not float, it looks

:22:17.:22:20.

like this could go through and Birmingham. -- you will not vote.

:22:20.:22:25.

The feeling you would get from the findings of this poll, and in terms

:22:25.:22:28.

of the campaigns we have seen, the Yes campaign has been very vocal.

:22:28.:22:33.

They are holding debates left, right and centre. There is one in

:22:33.:22:37.

Birmingham later this evening. All of these debates are going on, and

:22:37.:22:45.

the no campaign, they have an interesting name, they're called

:22:45.:22:49.

"Vote No to power." They think the idea is been shot down people's

:22:49.:22:57.

throats. The Yes campaign is being pushed ahead. -- shoved down. They

:22:57.:23:00.

have more influence in terms of people being interested in this

:23:00.:23:06.

subject. When you ask people about it, they tell you that, yeah, be

:23:06.:23:10.

like the idea of leaders have been more power. The real question is

:23:10.:23:13.

whether they will have the powers that Boris has, because we do not

:23:13.:23:17.

know what powers an elected mayor in Birmingham would have. I think

:23:17.:23:23.

you better go and ask that question. In Yorkshire, voters will be asked

:23:23.:23:27.

if they want a mayor in Bradford, Doncaster, Leeds, Sheffield and

:23:27.:23:32.

Wakefield. According to the poll, 62%, even higher than Birmingham,

:23:32.:23:39.

had no Whitey about the vote on May 3rd. Again, there was a fair bit of

:23:39.:23:42.

support for the principle of directly-elected mayors. -- had no

:23:42.:23:47.

idea. As in Birmingham, a big proportion said they intended to

:23:47.:23:56.

vote. Seven de 1%, more than a general election. It appears that

:23:57.:24:01.

turnout -- it beats the turnout for the AV referendum and the last

:24:02.:24:06.

local elections. James Vincent is in Leeds. As in Birmingham, if you

:24:06.:24:11.

know about it, you seem to be in favour of it. It is strange. When

:24:11.:24:16.

you don't speak to people in Yorkshire, they think may has have

:24:16.:24:20.

chains around their neck and open up garden festivals. It has been

:24:20.:24:24.

interesting to explain what an elected mayor actually has to

:24:24.:24:29.

people. To say that 60% of people did not know about the referendum,

:24:30.:24:33.

actually 90% of people here say they have been given little or no

:24:33.:24:38.

information about the referendum whatsoever. There is an admission

:24:38.:24:42.

from the Government to explain exactly what they mean, and why

:24:42.:24:45.

they want cities to go for them. The problem they have in places

:24:45.:24:50.

like Sheffield, the politicians do not want it. Both sides, Labour and

:24:50.:24:54.

Lib Dem councillors agree that they do not want an elected mayor. It is

:24:54.:24:59.

one of the very few things they agree about. Thank you for that.

:24:59.:25:08.

Very interesting. I felt as if I was back on Nationwide again. Let's

:25:08.:25:12.

go back to London for some context with Tony Travers, visiting

:25:12.:25:15.

Professor at the London School of Economics and the man we turn to on

:25:15.:25:19.

matters to do with local government. Do you get the feeling that the

:25:19.:25:23.

time has come for this idea? might be. The polling is

:25:23.:25:27.

fascinating. We have not had this level of detail before. It suggests

:25:27.:25:30.

that even though there is a relatively low level of knowledge

:25:30.:25:35.

about whether the vote will take place, that it will take place, on

:25:36.:25:39.

balance people seem to be pretty strongly in favour, not only in

:25:39.:25:47.

another West Yorkshire cities. is interesting, what James is

:25:47.:25:49.

saying in Yorkshire, not many people know and those that do know

:25:49.:25:52.

rather like the idea. But the political establishment, left right

:25:52.:25:59.

and centre, does not want it. You're going to get a fight in a

:25:59.:26:04.

low turnout between the political establishment united in saying no

:26:04.:26:08.

and those who do want it are not going to vote in huge numbers.

:26:08.:26:16.

Possibly. There is no doubt that many politicians and cities are not

:26:16.:26:18.

enthusiastic about Mears because they think it will take power away

:26:18.:26:23.

from them and concentrated in one pair of hands. Of course, Tony

:26:24.:26:26.

Blair and David Cameron are a supporter. Michael Heseltine is a

:26:27.:26:31.

supporter. There is much national political support, from of a

:26:31.:26:36.

presidential politicians, for the idea of this role. The idea that as

:26:36.:26:39.

people go to vote, remembering that they will be voting in local

:26:39.:26:42.

elections anyway, they will then be faced with this question and

:26:42.:26:48.

whatever they think, they will have to make the choice. The polls

:26:48.:26:52.

suggest that on balance, they will vote yes. The supporters claim that

:26:52.:26:58.

if you believe in devolution, to the major English cities, towns and

:26:58.:27:02.

districts, the only sure way of getting things done is to have an

:27:02.:27:06.

elected mayor, to have someone around to that power can coalesce.

:27:06.:27:11.

It is easy to forget what a centralised country Englanders. It

:27:11.:27:13.

is one of the most centralised countries in the world. Scotland,

:27:13.:27:18.

Wales, Northern Ireland have devolved power... People in

:27:18.:27:21.

Scotland think it is very centralised in Edinburgh! That is

:27:21.:27:26.

also true. That being the case, what for England? We have seen in

:27:26.:27:29.

London, and there are mayors in other places, like Middlesbrough

:27:29.:27:33.

and Hartlepool, that have been very successful, if we had more Meyers

:27:33.:27:38.

in big cities, in many ways they could be more powerful in the City

:27:38.:27:41.

than the Mayor of London. True, it is not entirely clear what their

:27:41.:27:45.

powers are, but in a city like Birmingham or Leeds, and remember

:27:45.:27:49.

Liverpool has already decided to go for it, these people will have all

:27:50.:27:53.

the powers that London boroughs have, and some of the mayoral

:27:53.:27:59.

powers. It is going to be a powerful role and some MPs are

:27:59.:28:02.

thinking of leaving Westminster to stand in mayoral elections. That is

:28:02.:28:06.

a sign that they must think they will have power, more power than an

:28:06.:28:12.

MP. Is it true that if you get elected mayors, and they are

:28:12.:28:16.

regarded as a success, it is inevitable that more power will

:28:16.:28:21.

flow to them? It is certainly what has happened in London. Another

:28:21.:28:25.

city that now has won his Leicester. We have Leicester, Liverpool,

:28:25.:28:35.
:28:35.:28:36.

Salford, I think when we have a separate big-city mayors, they will

:28:36.:28:41.

be a powerful base for demanding more powers, the new is that

:28:41.:28:45.

England will get to devolution. Where are you on this? I am in

:28:45.:28:49.

sympathy with the good people of Yorkshire, whose eyelids droop at

:28:50.:28:54.

the very mention of the word. I can see why people would not be

:28:54.:28:57.

necessarily grabbed by the idea because it is hard to know what

:28:57.:29:01.

you're choosing. You do not know the candidates, are they going to

:29:01.:29:04.

be washed up local politicians who have decided that the Westminster

:29:04.:29:08.

career are -- is not going anywhere or will they be transformative

:29:08.:29:14.

personalities? I think they have the capacity to serve as an -- a

:29:15.:29:22.

pressure valve, because the cry about Scottish independence will

:29:22.:29:29.

end up with a cry in England, where his England's voice? I think there

:29:29.:29:32.

is another reason why it is catching the imagination. One of

:29:32.:29:36.

the developments taking place in this country at the moment is

:29:36.:29:40.

London, Greater London and the south-east becoming more and more

:29:40.:29:44.

divorced from the rest of the country. It seems to me that one of

:29:45.:29:49.

the few ways you might rebalance that is to put real powerhouses

:29:49.:29:53.

into Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle. And there is a sense

:29:53.:29:57.

that the Government does not understand anything beyond London.

:29:57.:30:00.

The argument about mansion tax is all about London and the south-east.

:30:00.:30:06.

Benefit capping is about London. If you live in Leicester or Birmingham,

:30:06.:30:10.

you might not think anything about it. More direct democracy has to be

:30:10.:30:14.

a good thing in principle. If you look at the Scottish Parliament and

:30:14.:30:19.

Welsh Assembly, you wonder. But London has been a pretty obvious

:30:19.:30:24.

success. Is it Doncaster that has a very good mayor? I think Doncaster

:30:24.:30:28.

there has been a problem. But in fairness, it is because there was a

:30:28.:30:31.

political problem inside local politics that the mayor could not

:30:31.:30:35.

solve. But Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Watford, these have all

:30:35.:30:45.
:30:45.:30:49.

We have 14 elected mayors, I am told. But in Stoke-on-Trent, they

:30:49.:30:54.

have got rid of theirs! The mare was seen as a way of sorting out

:30:54.:30:58.

the political problems and it didn't work out, local politics was

:30:58.:31:05.

so difficult even a mayor could not solve it. He am I right in saying,

:31:05.:31:12.

do you agree with the point I made, it seems that London is becoming

:31:12.:31:16.

more and more divorced from the rest of the country? There is no

:31:16.:31:20.

question. If you look at the economic growth figures in London

:31:20.:31:24.

and the south east, the area has pulled away from the rest of the UK.

:31:24.:31:33.

The City, anything to do with it is dominant. I absolutely agree, a

:31:33.:31:38.

mare in Birmingham, Bristol, might create a counterbalance and their

:31:38.:31:42.

boys might be heard in the way that the London mayor has been

:31:42.:31:46.

successfully heard, for example, in bidding for transport resources. In

:31:46.:31:53.

that sense it would create a counterbalance. It would give the

:31:53.:31:58.

media a focal point on who speaks for each city. It would also create

:31:58.:32:05.

competition for London, which is no bad thing. I do think that the

:32:05.:32:09.

mayor of a big city like Birmingham or Leeds or Bristol would become a

:32:09.:32:14.

national political figure, much better than any MPs, or many MPs,

:32:14.:32:24.
:32:24.:32:27.

dare I say. The Tomorrow, tens of thousands of

:32:27.:32:30.

people are expected to gather in Moscow, to protest against Vladimir

:32:30.:32:32.

Putin's victory in the presidential elections. International observers

:32:32.:32:34.

have alleged widespread vote rigging, although Mr Putin has

:32:34.:32:37.

claimed that, if violations had taken place, they had been too

:32:38.:32:40.

insignificant to influence the final results. In a moment, we'll

:32:40.:32:43.

get the thoughts of the former Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd, and

:32:43.:32:49.

former British Ambassador Tony Brenton. But first, we can go live

:32:49.:32:55.

to Moscow, to speak to our correspondent Daniel Sandford.

:32:55.:32:59.

Harvey's protests going to be significant? Are they a threat to

:32:59.:33:04.

the new President? I think that is the big question. We don't know the

:33:04.:33:08.

answer but we will get an idea tomorrow. If they go on

:33:08.:33:12.

consistently getting 100,000 people or more out on the streets of

:33:12.:33:17.

Moscow, it will keep up the pressure on President p 10 when he

:33:17.:33:21.

becomes President in May, and it will make sure, to my degree, he

:33:21.:33:26.

gives some of the democratic reform these people are seeking. But

:33:26.:33:30.

democracy in Russia it is a completely strange affair. This is

:33:30.:33:35.

a place which looks like a democracy but it really isn't. The

:33:35.:33:42.

TV channels are not giving balanced coverage. All opposition figures

:33:42.:33:47.

are squashed down. This is not a small matter of making sure that

:33:47.:33:52.

voting is more fair, this is a very big affair to try to reform, and it

:33:52.:33:57.

will take a long time for the protesters to achieve any results.

:33:57.:34:07.
:34:07.:34:07.

One of the problems for you, you are closer to London in Moscow than

:34:07.:34:12.

to Vladivostok. And it is hard to know how hard -- of how widespread

:34:12.:34:18.

this is. Is it a Moscow phenomenon? It is essentially a Moscow

:34:18.:34:25.

phenomenon. There is a reasonable movement in St Petersburg. We have

:34:25.:34:29.

travelled across the country, and what we find is when you get two

:34:29.:34:35.

cities, you find small pockets of people who are following the

:34:35.:34:39.

protest movement on line, trying to get organised in their own cities.

:34:39.:34:45.

But it is much harder, and more dangerous further away from Moscow.

:34:45.:34:49.

People in Moscow feel less threatened by the authorities. If

:34:49.:34:57.

you are neurone, you are much more at risk from the local authority.

:34:57.:35:01.

We look forward to seeing your reports over the weekend. Douglas

:35:01.:35:10.

Hurd and Tony Brenton are with me now.

:35:10.:35:16.

Douglas Hurd, welcome to the programme, good to see you. Should

:35:16.:35:25.

the British attitude be, We know the dodgy things about the election

:35:25.:35:28.

but whatever happens, Vladimir Putin will be President. We must

:35:29.:35:33.

get on and deal with him. Of course we have to get on and deal with him,

:35:33.:35:39.

there is no doubt about that. But, the tone of voice has to reflect

:35:39.:35:45.

the fact we have a row with Russia, not just about human rights in

:35:45.:35:52.

general but eight particular episode. Therefore, we cannot be

:35:52.:35:59.

absolutely extreme in our response. Do you detect any change in Russian

:35:59.:36:02.

foreign policy? We have had some difficulties with them over Syria

:36:02.:36:07.

where they have blocked any progress in the United Nations

:36:07.:36:11.

Security Council. There are difficulties over Iran. They are

:36:11.:36:16.

hard line in confronting what we perceive to be Western interests.

:36:16.:36:21.

That is unlikely to change. It is very unlikely to change, that would

:36:21.:36:26.

involve him saying he had got something wrong in the recent past.

:36:26.:36:31.

They will be slow to acknowledge any fault. Ambassador, do we have

:36:31.:36:39.

any idea, he has never left the scene. He was President. His mate,

:36:39.:36:45.

some would say his puppet, became President one he was Prime Minister.

:36:45.:36:50.

He is back in the top seat. What are his strategic goals over the

:36:50.:36:59.

next six years? He is a Russian Padgett -- pitch yet, he wants to

:36:59.:37:05.

rebuild Russia and prosperity, pride, stability. And that, I am

:37:05.:37:12.

sure, remains the centre of what he wants to do. He is running out of

:37:12.:37:22.
:37:22.:37:23.

people. One of Russia's problems is the population is going down.

:37:23.:37:28.

Western media, including the BBC, we give greater emphasis to these

:37:28.:37:32.

demonstrations on the streets of Moscow. We're not used to

:37:32.:37:36.

demonstrations in Russia. They clearly have some significance. Are

:37:36.:37:41.

we giving them too much significance? Are they

:37:41.:37:46.

overwhelmingly a cosmopolitan protest? Undoubtedly something

:37:46.:37:51.

profound in Russia has changed. You have the urban, young middle class

:37:51.:37:56.

on the streets saying, we want the same civic rights as in the west.

:37:56.:38:03.

We don't want corruption. That is a profound change. Some people have

:38:03.:38:09.

said, Vladimir Putin has only two years left. Even after the flawed

:38:09.:38:13.

elections, he retains the support of perhaps more than half the

:38:13.:38:20.

Russian people, and he knows it. he did win. Even though big parts

:38:20.:38:26.

of the elections were dodgy? undoubtedly one, and because he has

:38:26.:38:30.

brought prosperity and straight to Russia, he still remains Russia's

:38:30.:38:37.

most popular politician. He faces an awkward choice. He can carry on

:38:37.:38:44.

with corruption, top-down authoritarianism. But he has an

:38:45.:38:48.

alienated middle-class, which brought down governments in Korea,

:38:48.:38:55.

in Chile, and most recently in Egypt. He has looked at what has

:38:55.:39:01.

happened to President Mubarak, and didn't want that to happen to him.

:39:01.:39:06.

He will be looking at accommodating some of the demands. And there are

:39:06.:39:13.

signs of him identifying ways. The Parliament, opening up the

:39:13.:39:20.

electoral system. There has been a move by Dmitry Medvedev, to look

:39:20.:39:28.

again at the sentence on the oligarch in prison. That may not

:39:28.:39:32.

mean anything, but if it does, it is a sign he is beginning to look

:39:32.:39:37.

for some accommodation with his new social movement as a way of moving

:39:37.:39:40.

Russia a bit more in the direction we want to see it. The other way he

:39:40.:39:50.
:39:50.:39:51.

could take is the Syrian way, lock them down, lock them up. Ex KGB,

:39:51.:39:57.

the best and bright Russians joined the KGB. He certainly could pursue

:39:57.:40:02.

the Syrian route. I don't think he wants to be casinos the costs he

:40:02.:40:05.

brings to the country which he loves. He can't be confident it

:40:05.:40:09.

would work. There have been security men among the

:40:09.:40:15.

demonstrators, famously back in August 1991. That failed is because

:40:15.:40:19.

the Army would not go into the White House. There is a limit to

:40:19.:40:24.

the extent to which he can rely on his security forces. The cover

:40:24.:40:30.

story of the Economist, one of our more serious public issues, said

:40:30.:40:34.

this was the beginning of the end of Vladimir Putin. Everything is

:40:34.:40:39.

the beginning of the end of something. That is life. There

:40:39.:40:47.

speaks a man from experience! he has got a long way to run.

:40:47.:40:53.

there for six years. The Russians will get fed up with him after a

:40:54.:41:00.

time. That is the nature of it. They're quite expert at endurance,

:41:00.:41:10.

the Russians. I doubt if anyone will remove him by force. I think

:41:10.:41:17.

people will go on ensuring. It is a presidential system. Personality

:41:17.:41:22.

matters. He is the biggest personality in Russia today. How

:41:22.:41:26.

does an alternative personality emerge? That is the problem. The

:41:26.:41:31.

problem of authoritarian rulers is the exit problem, protecting

:41:31.:41:35.

yourself from the people you have alienated one you have been ruling.

:41:35.:41:39.

How you break up a successor who does not become a threat. Vladimir

:41:39.:41:45.

Putin I think genuinely intended to go away, in 2008. But decided he

:41:45.:41:51.

hadn't solved the problem enough. So you think this wasn't a

:41:51.:42:00.

cynical... Let us be clear. In 2007, there were clear signs he had had

:42:00.:42:08.

enough, he didn't like meeting ambassadors, he wanted to enjoyed -

:42:09.:42:14.

- enjoy being a former President. But his whole system virtually fell

:42:14.:42:18.

apart and it became clear he had to stay as the linchpin, so he

:42:18.:42:23.

installed Dmitri Medvedev as a stop gap. Now he is back with the same

:42:23.:42:28.

problem of passing things on in such a manner that he can be

:42:28.:42:32.

confident. Another way of dealing with it, he could set himself to

:42:33.:42:37.

root out corruption. Is that a feasible thing in Russia? It is

:42:37.:42:41.

very hard, corruption goes very high in the Russian system. It is

:42:41.:42:46.

part of the way Russia works. But one hopes there will be moves in

:42:46.:42:56.
:42:56.:42:59.

that direction. Dmitry Medvedev did a bit in that direction.

:42:59.:43:02.

Liberal Democrats are heading to Gateshead today, for their party's

:43:02.:43:04.

spring conference. This time last year, delegates voted against the

:43:04.:43:07.

government's health bill, a vote which they say was responsible for

:43:07.:43:10.

the much-heralded pause in the process. Lib Dem conference

:43:10.:43:13.

delegates aren't known for giving their leaders an easy ride. Last

:43:13.:43:16.

year, they voted that the party's MPs should resist the health bill's

:43:16.:43:19.

"damaging and unjustified market- based approach". Despite many

:43:19.:43:22.

changes, this year, some delegates want to vote on a new motion that

:43:22.:43:25.

calls for the "deeply flawed" bill to be withdrawn altogether. Members

:43:25.:43:29.

also want the party to confirm its backing for a mansion tax, with no

:43:29.:43:32.

sign that they're prepared to compromise with their coalition

:43:32.:43:37.

partners. And it's not just their own party leader that delegates

:43:37.:43:47.
:43:47.:43:47.

have in their sights. A motion on Europe says that David Cameron

:43:47.:43:50.

"imperilled British influence in Europe, and thereby in the wider

:43:50.:43:53.

world" when he wielded the veto in December. Earlier today, former Lib

:43:53.:43:57.

Dem MP Evan Harris told us why he now thought the health bill should

:43:57.:44:07.
:44:07.:44:17.

be dropped, despite the amendments that have been agreed.

:44:17.:44:21.

While some changes have been made, it is quite clear that the majority

:44:21.:44:26.

in fact of the calls in the Liberal Democrat motion exactly a year ago

:44:26.:44:33.

have not been delivered, and on that basis, the government have not

:44:33.:44:36.

listened to the Lib Dems and the Lib Dems should recognise that this

:44:36.:44:40.

Bill will therefore be bad for the health service, does not represent

:44:40.:44:44.

Liberal Democrats's approval to go beyond the coalition agreement,

:44:44.:44:50.

which was always what was agreed by the Liberal Democrats. And is also

:44:50.:44:54.

politically extremely bad news for the Lib Dems and indeed for that

:44:54.:44:58.

matter for the Conservatives. The best thing to do would be for a

:44:58.:45:02.

line to be drawn under this matter by the Bill now longer proceeding.

:45:02.:45:06.

I think there are huge numbers of people in the Liberal Democrats to

:45:06.:45:10.

recognise this Bill is bad for the health service, it hasn't got a

:45:10.:45:13.

Liberal Democrat party approval, and is politically very damaging.

:45:13.:45:18.

The question will be whether they will be persuaded by the leadership

:45:18.:45:22.

that the least damaging thing is to keep with this flawed Bill. I'd

:45:22.:45:26.

think it will be a close debate and I hope the Liberal Democrat

:45:26.:45:29.

representatives will look at the detail of what Liberal Democrats

:45:30.:45:33.

have said before, the detail of what the healthcare professionals

:45:33.:45:39.

say, since this is a friendless Bill, and look at the prospects

:45:39.:45:43.

politically for us being tied to a policy that is not in the coalition

:45:43.:45:50.

Listening to that with some mirth on his face, joining us from

:45:50.:45:54.

Newcastle is the Liberal Democrat local government minister, Andrew

:45:54.:46:03.

Stunnell, beautifully framed by the bridges of Newcastle. Let me come

:46:03.:46:07.

straight to the point. If the conference votes to ditch the Bill

:46:07.:46:13.

altogether, what happens? First of all, I'm told that it is Gateshead,

:46:13.:46:17.

Newcastle, I have to be very careful to say the right words. I

:46:18.:46:22.

have to say, I listened to Evan a very carefully and I seldom agreed

:46:22.:46:26.

with him as a Member of Parliament and they do not agree with them now.

:46:26.:46:34.

The Bill is fundamentally different to what it used to be. It is now

:46:34.:46:38.

the Bill that I believe should be passed. We will see how the debate

:46:38.:46:42.

goes and I am sure it will be lively. But I know that some very

:46:42.:46:45.

important figures in the party, including Shirley Williams, will

:46:45.:46:50.

say that this is the right Bill to pass and I hope very much that is

:46:50.:46:52.

what representatives to come from across the country decide to

:46:52.:47:00.

support. Let it take it as read that it is a different Bill and

:47:00.:47:04.

that Shirley Williams has got many of the changes, and that even she

:47:04.:47:08.

thinks it is time to proceed as amended, let us take that as a

:47:08.:47:13.

given for the sake of this question. If the party conference decides

:47:13.:47:16.

that they do not want the Bill and they fought against it, they vote

:47:16.:47:22.

for ditching it, what happens? guess there will be a good deal of

:47:22.:47:26.

talking but of course, the fact of the matter is that it is for MPs

:47:26.:47:30.

and Lords in Parliament to decide what legislation goes through.

:47:30.:47:34.

Clearly, last year there were some very serious concerns expressed and

:47:34.:47:38.

there was a pause, which was agreed across the coalition. In much

:47:38.:47:44.

better Bill is emerging now. -- a much better. I believe that is what

:47:44.:47:48.

we will see at the end of the process. Nobody disputes that there

:47:48.:47:53.

is a need to reform the NHS, to get people to the front line, to get

:47:53.:47:56.

public health back to local councils and to get more decisions

:47:56.:48:00.

taken by clinicians about health and how it is delivered, rather

:48:00.:48:08.

than managers at the back. That is what this Bill is setting out to do.

:48:08.:48:10.

Despite the Lib Dem tradition of listening carefully to their

:48:10.:48:15.

activists, and the activists have been the power of policy, it is the

:48:15.:48:19.

reality we were in government, particularly in coalition, I would

:48:19.:48:25.

suggest, that in the end a spring conference of your party cannot

:48:25.:48:28.

determined exactly what your health policy should be, you have to go

:48:28.:48:32.

ahead with his Bill. What happened last year demonstrates that you

:48:32.:48:36.

were not entirely right, but absolutely it is the case that MPs

:48:36.:48:41.

and members of the House of Lords are not poppets. We are there to

:48:41.:48:46.

exercise our judgment and I think you will find that that is what we

:48:46.:48:50.

will do. But let's speak... If push comes to shove, you are ready to

:48:50.:48:58.

defy the conference? You were prepared to defy the conference?

:48:58.:49:02.

do not think we will be defined a conference. Let us wait and see how

:49:02.:49:07.

the debate comes, let us see how it pans out on Sunday. It will be

:49:07.:49:11.

lively but I believe that the very common sense approach that we are

:49:11.:49:14.

taking will be the one which will prevail. You have another motion

:49:14.:49:19.

before you, produced by a member of the Federal Council, which is that

:49:19.:49:23.

Britain should sign up to the fiscal union pact that has been

:49:23.:49:29.

pushed by Germany and France. How will that go down? It will be

:49:29.:49:34.

interesting to see. Of course, that is not going to be binding one way

:49:34.:49:39.

or another on the government of the country, but I think that shows

:49:39.:49:43.

that this was a business partnership, the coalition is a

:49:43.:49:46.

business partnership. The Conservatives agreed that we would

:49:47.:49:49.

not go backwards as far as our European relations were concerned

:49:49.:49:53.

and we agreed that we would not call for her word -- go forward,

:49:53.:49:57.

and that is precisely where the agreement takes us. We will have to

:49:57.:50:01.

go sideways because we are about to lose the line. Andrew Stunnell,

:50:01.:50:09.

thank you for joining us. I got the impression, listening to

:50:09.:50:13.

the Minister, that they do not want the boat to go against them,

:50:13.:50:18.

obviously, but even if it does, they will tough it out. I think

:50:18.:50:25.

they think that the mood among activists is not necessarily to

:50:25.:50:29.

kill it stone dead but for a few more concessions, to take more out

:50:29.:50:35.

of the other half. They are probably right. There was a poll

:50:35.:50:38.

done by a Lib Dem grassroots website that found opposition not

:50:38.:50:43.

as high as thought. Most of them wanted more concessions. A wonder

:50:43.:50:47.

how much this is motivated by wider considerations. Clearly, for the

:50:47.:50:51.

kind of people who go to a spring confidence -- spring conference,

:50:51.:50:59.

you have to be pretty dedicated. They're pretty much root and branch

:50:59.:51:03.

Lib Dems. To make a song and dance about this is a metaphor for making

:51:03.:51:06.

a song and dance about a coalition with the Conservatives in which

:51:06.:51:12.

they are not happy. I think they have done pretty well for

:51:12.:51:16.

themselves. Tim Farron is boasting about the fact that three-quarters

:51:16.:51:19.

of their manifesto is now government policy. I think they

:51:19.:51:24.

would be entitled to stage a triumphal entry into Gateshead do

:51:24.:51:27.

with Nick Clegg in purple and members of the Tory party being

:51:27.:51:31.

tried in chains behind them, to be ritually strangled in celebration

:51:31.:51:37.

of the Lib Dem triumph. I could see a leading that sort of thing. While

:51:37.:51:44.

we have been talking about that, we have some news. Eric Joyce, the

:51:44.:51:52.

Labour MP who got into a bit of a fractious -- fracas in a bar in the

:51:52.:51:56.

Commons, he has pled guilty this morning in court and has been

:51:56.:52:02.

sentenced to community service, 12 months. He may not enter any bar

:52:02.:52:06.

premises for three months or licensed restaurants or off-

:52:06.:52:13.

licences. He has been fined �3,000, compensation of �350 each of his --

:52:13.:52:18.

to each of his four victims. He may not leave the UK until 9th

:52:18.:52:25.

September of this year, and the judge has imposed a curfew from

:52:25.:52:27.

Friday to Sunday, covering the weekend, indoors from 8pm until for

:52:27.:52:37.
:52:37.:52:39.

a am, for four months until July 9th. -- 4am. No wild lights for

:52:39.:52:49.

Eric Joyce. -- wild night. Time for a week in 60 seconds.

:52:49.:52:52.

Vince Cable gave us an insight into budget negotiations when he said he

:52:53.:52:58.

would be prepared to let be 50p top rate of tax be abolished if a

:52:58.:53:01.

mansion tax was introduced instead. Would you get your way? We will

:53:01.:53:05.

wait and see. MPs from all sidelined up to give the Queen a

:53:05.:53:10.

humble Address as she began her Jubilee celebrations. The father of

:53:10.:53:13.

the House led the celebrations by revealing how the Queen maintained

:53:13.:53:22.

her stamina. By not eating salads, shellfish and watermelon while

:53:22.:53:29.

travelling. The EU got itself into another mess. Not over its finances

:53:29.:53:36.

but because of a Lews Castle kill Bill style video made by a young

:53:36.:53:41.

people. After accusations of racism, the video was withdrawn. And the

:53:41.:53:46.

spoof Twitter account although David Cameron's strategy adviser

:53:46.:53:54.

signed off. He told us he had left the wigwam. -- left the wigwam of

:53:54.:53:59.

trust. We are already missing that wigwam of trust, and the jacuzzi of

:53:59.:54:04.

justice. I think we should look again at that EU video. Roll the

:54:04.:54:14.
:54:14.:54:14.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 41 seconds

:54:14.:54:56.

It's the way they tell them. Let's get some expert opinion on this.

:54:56.:55:01.

What on earth possessed them to do that? And madness, I think. The

:55:01.:55:04.

question I was asked is, is a racist. I think the answer is, it

:55:05.:55:12.

is not racist but it is gibberish. It is terrible. Did not occur, I

:55:12.:55:16.

can see you could make too much of the racism aspect, but did it not

:55:16.:55:23.

occur to them that having a vulnerable white woman surrounded

:55:23.:55:30.

by a fierce looking black and brown and might not be seen as just

:55:30.:55:34.

slightly racist? Yes, it is remarkable that it did not. I

:55:34.:55:38.

cannot believe it. Someone should have said, maybe we should not do

:55:38.:55:42.

this. You would have thought voices of reason would prevail but the

:55:42.:55:52.
:55:52.:55:56.

problem is it is a classic tada ad, which means that for the first few

:55:56.:56:03.

seconds you do not know what it is about. What is it about? I think it

:56:03.:56:06.

is saying that the Europe -- European Union is capable of

:56:06.:56:10.

dealing with its enemies. But that comes back to the point that it

:56:10.:56:14.

depicts our enemies has been fierce looking black and brown man. Which

:56:14.:56:19.

is ridiculous. A whole thing is misconceived. -- Brown man. They

:56:19.:56:24.

spent a few bob on this, I would suggest. Our money. Our money. It

:56:24.:56:29.

is hard to believe that anyone could justify that, because the

:56:29.:56:33.

audience who would respond to this in any way must be tiny. Foreign

:56:33.:56:37.

Minister has perhaps? Who will see it, it is not running on TV.

:56:37.:56:41.

whole thing is pointless. Other than that anybody would even dream

:56:41.:56:46.

of doing this, the most surprising thing for me is that the European

:56:46.:56:50.

Commission, or whatever part of it did this, which is the most

:56:50.:56:52.

politically or deny it -- politically-correct organisation in

:56:52.:56:57.

the world, did not see this. Do you remember the no pressure video

:56:57.:57:01.

where the school children exploded at the touch of a button to raise

:57:01.:57:06.

awareness of climate change? This is an epic fail in the same way,

:57:06.:57:10.

people so blinded by their ideological cause that they cannot

:57:10.:57:15.

see how crass their product is. knew we would get at Eurosceptics

:57:15.:57:18.

then on that! It is an open goal for them. I am not going to sit

:57:18.:57:22.

here and defend that advert, it is ridiculous and I do not think

:57:23.:57:27.

anyone should. It is a classic example of the EU in action. As a

:57:27.:57:32.

reporter, I always thought it was never less pro-European than when

:57:32.:57:37.

you were in Brussels. He Tony Blair felt like this! This is not

:57:37.:57:41.

anything you can stand up and defend. -- Tony Blair felt like

:57:41.:57:47.

that. There is the idea that we are stronger when we Act in concert and

:57:47.:57:52.

when we Act alone, and presumably when we Act in matters other than

:57:52.:57:56.

when people run at us with swords, that is a defensible concept. In a

:57:56.:58:02.

networked world, in a tiny country like ours, we are no longer be

:58:02.:58:05.

ranking military power and our economy is flatlining, what do we

:58:05.:58:09.

have to say for ourselves? That is not a bad arguments to make. Why

:58:09.:58:15.

now? Now is not a brilliant time to sell people on the idea of Europe.

:58:15.:58:19.

Someone had a budget to spend. they spent it. You should bid for

:58:19.:58:27.

the next contract. I think so. could do better than that! Think

:58:27.:58:32.

you very much. That is it for today. Thank you to her guests, for being

:58:32.:58:36.

with us for the duration. -- our guests. The One o'clock News is

:58:36.:58:40.

about to start on BBC One and I will be back on Sunday with the

:58:40.:58:46.

Sunday politics as usual. This time, it is that the earlier time of

:58:46.:58:50.

11:00am on Sunday morning. BBC One. I will have the welfare secretary,

:58:50.:58:54.

Andrew Neil's studio guests are writer and journalist, James Delingpole, and political commentator, Gaby Hinsliff. Children's Minister, Tim Loughton MP talks about changes to adoption rules. Lib Dem minister, Andrew Stunnell MP, is in Newcastle ahead of the Lib Dem spring conference. Former Foreign Secretary, Lord Hurd, and former British ambassador to Russia, Tony Brenton talk about Russia following the election of Vladimir Putin.


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