13/03/2012 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Rebekah Brooks and


her husband are arrested by police investigating phone hacking at News


International. They are among six people arrested in the early hours


of this morning. We will have the latest.


The relationship is special after all. Last year they flip burgers in


the Downing Street garden. Tonight they will go to a basketball game


in her while, as swing state. -- in Ohio, the swing state.


And top of their agenda will be Afghanistan, following the horrific


killings by erode US soldier. Has the course of the war changed


forever? Come fly with the Daily Politics,


as we examine the arguments for and against airport extension.


All that in the next hour and with us for the duration, Digby Jones,


former director general of the CBI and a trade minister in Gordon


Brown's Government but I promised I would not remind him of that. I


think I just have! Before that, the breaking news that


happened after you had read your morning papers. The former chief


executive of News International, Rebekah Brooks, and her husband,


the racing trainer and Prime Minister's friend, Charlie Brooks,


have been arrested as part of the on-going investigation into firm


hacking. They are among his six -- of their own hacking. They are


among six suspects that have been arrested. She has been arrested


before. What is it this time? first time she was arrested was in


July last year, when she was arrested on suspicion of


involvement in phone hacking. This time it is on suspicion of


conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. She has actually been


arrested a third time previously also by police investigating


allegations of payments to police officers. Third time for Rebekah


Brooks. For the other people arrested today, this is the first


time they have been arrested, so these are new names. We do not have


the names of four of them at the moment but the other person is


Charlie Brooks, the racecourse train and husband of Rebekah Brooks.


He first entered the phone hacking saga last summer, during the select


committee hearings which Rupert Murdoch appeared in front of, and


which generated headlines. At that time there was a small story that


appeared in the media, which reported that police had been


called to an underground car park near the home of Rebekah Brooks and


Charlie Brooks, where laptop belonging to him and some other


items had been recovered from a litter bin. This is the first time


that he entered the saga but this is the first time he has been


arrested. That changes the nature of what is going on. I understand


if you cannot answer this difficult question. There has been a lot of


arrests, including Rebekah Brooks, three times. Can your sources give


you any indication yet whether any of these arrests will be turned


into charges? Frankly, if charges are to follow, and that is and if


at the moment, then that is likely to happen in the next couple of


months. 44 people have been arrested in total. The total number


of arrests is actually higher because some of them, like Rebekah


Brooks, have been arrested twice. We have seen the expansion of the


inquiry, not just phone hacking but computer hacking and police bribery.


And not just journalists and police officers. Recently we saw the


arrest of a Ministry of Defence worker and a member of the armed


forces. So the net is widening, if you like. We presume all of their


innocence until proved otherwise and that is how our system works.


Am I right in thinking that if you are charged with perverting the


course of justice, then that is a much more serious charge than phone


hacking? Yes, it is. That would incur a serious prison sentence. So


would phone hacking, depending on the severity of the crime. It all


has to go through the court and we will see. In theory these carry


prison terms. We don't know what the substance of the suspicions are,


if you like, as they relate to the conspiracy to pervert the course of


justice. But that is a serious crime and a serious allegation.


Thank you very much. Fascinating stuff. 44 arrests so far, some of


them double of course, or triple in Rebecca -- Rebekah Brooks's case.


Now, David Cameron has set off for Washington, lucky guy. So has John


Pienaar. Great to see you with the white -- White House and the


Jefferson monument, my favourite monument in all of Washington. Am I


right in thinking that both David Cameron and Barack Obama must be


thinking privately if not publicly how to get out of Afghanistan even


quicker than we were planning? think they have been thinking about


getting out as quickly as possible for quite a while. The military


chiefs in Washington and in London have at times been worried about


the invasions of their leaders and whether it squared with what the


military want to achieve. Since the killings at the weekend, the


arguments have fled in Washington. One of the Republican runners, mood


Gingrich, has been talking about it being not possible to win. -- Newt


Gingrich. Opinion polls in America reflect those in Britain, that


people do not understand the mission in Afghanistan and simply


want to get out. That adds up to political pressure. The two leaders


will be stressing that it is all about completing a mission and


handing over responsibility for policing and security in


Afghanistan to the police there. The deadline of 2014 will not


change, but the leaders will want the public to see that troops on


their way back. It is clear that David Cameron would like to get out


as soon as is respectable. Barack Obama is under more pressure


because he has got an election this year. It would be popular if he was


to announce some kind of speed up. Keep the 2014 deadline, but move


more quickly to get the bulk of the soldiers out. Yes. I don't think


they will speed up the timetable, but that will be apparent and it


already is apparent as one of Barack Obama's wishes. Just as it


is in -- apparent that the public want to see that as well. From the


right of Republican Party, through the Democrats, through the public,


that is the wish. That will be coming through loud and clear, but


neither David Cameron or Barack Obama wants to be accused of


cutting and running. They will have to square that. The political


pressure is pretty apparent. city that you are in has woken up


to a joint article by the President and the Prime Minister in the


Washington Post. Other than the usual flannel, if I can put it that


way, is there something interesting in it? They are setting out their


agenda. Afghanistan, the shared objectives. Iran, a huge story


around the world. It is a big issue in Washington. Listening to a


senior Democrat, the chair of the defence committee, the other night


he was saying that the strike on Iran's nuclear facilities was very


likely to happen. Maybe not in the coming days and weeks but it was


certainly likely in months. America's involvement, however


tangential, is very much being discussed. That will be discussed


between David Cameron and Barack Obama. Syria, it goes without


saying, is big on the agenda. And the economy, is big on everybody's


agenda. The leaders will be shoulder to shoulder, to use the


old cliche, because they are both putting pressure on eurozone


leaders to act more quickly. That might upset Nicolas Sarkozy yet


again but you can't please everyone. We can't because we are at the BBC,


but am I right in thinking that some people are speculating that


David Cameron would be quite happy to see the re-election of Barack


Obama when he looks at the Republican field? Maybe so! I think


Barack Obama is still in pole position to win the election. There


is no guarantee of that and that is very clear as well. In swing states,


the Republicans are doing really rather well. The approval of the


Barack Obama economic policy is really quite poor. Something like


60% of people are not convinced on the last opinion poll that I saw.


But you would bet if you had to that Barack Obama will be there and


you will but that Downing Street is making the same essential. -- you


would bet. They will be lapping up the plush red carpet that is coming


David Cameron's way. We are not just talking about a flight on Air


Force One, which no other leader has done, but the basketball, two


mates out for the evening. There will be several thousand people at


the White House greeting David Cameron. There is a banquet of


thousands of people including the actor Damian Lewis, big in the


Homeland to the show and an old Etonian. All of that will be going


on. -- television show. It is priceless for David Cameron, and it


will do him no harm at all. And if it turns out that a Republican wins


the presidential race, I don't think they will be breaking down in


tears about it because after all they know the Republicans will be


on the side of a Conservative Prime Minister who supports public


spending cuts and is an ally on the military front. They can build


those bridges if they have to but for now they will be enjoying this


connection with Barack Obama. you. Enjoy the rest of your work


there. For the legal it, I think he has


just given away the answer to our competition! -- for those that were


listening. And with the White House in the background, built by slaves,


with Scottish stonemasons and burnt by the British then rebuilt after


1812. How would you categorise Anglo-American relations at the


moment? Good. I don't see any major falling-out. I think that Barack


Obama has spread his net more widely. There is a special


relationship, other than intelligence sharing. We have


always thought there is one, but the Americans have never really


acted on it. When I was trade minister for the last Government,


which by the way I am the only minister that never belonged to the


party politics... I thought you might get that in! I did it for


Britain and trade. When I was in America, Americans have never


treated the British with the special relationship in terms of


trade. I think John Pienaar's summary of it was excellent. There


will be a subliminal thing of Let's Get More business and trade going


as the two a economies start falling. There is a systemic change


taking place in America's concerns. When it was the defeat of the Nazis,


then the Cold War, and Europe was the crucible of the world's great


fascists, then Britain and America were side to side. The biggest


concern that America has today is the rise of China, and Britain is


almost entirely irrelevant in that respect. So they are looking to


their West. Yes, and what is more, if Britain is fabulously engaged


with this open economy, if it is going to make it then it will make


it by going East itself, going to Ager. -- are going to Asia. The


biggest investor in Britain is still America and vice versa so


there is still something there. On the Afghanistan point, you have


raised this before and I am glad that you do, what does victory look


like? You can tell a grieving mother that he laid down his life


in the Falkland Islands to three people. He lay down his life in


Germany to free Europe from the Nazis. What do you say? At the end


of the day, we know that there will be a deal with the Taliban. Hamid


Karzai is already banning women walking around in public. Victory


is not something that will look very pretty. The more young people


that died, the more the public will ask what it is in a door. I also


hope he brings this up. While he is walking down the red carpet,


sitting in Air Force One, having the banquet, there is a British


person in solitary confinement in a jail in America without charge. He


is not able to defend himself. He has been set because of the British


Government's kowtow to the extradition treaty. He is not the


first and I think there will be many. I would like David Cameron to


change the law on this in Britain and sorry, Barack Obama, that will


make it tricky for your guide to come over before we extradite


people. -- your guys. I was brought up that people are innocent until


proven guilty, but the extradition treaty is the opposite. We will see.


I would not hold your breath. I don't know why I am saying that,


but I will. I don't know why we are bothering with this, but this is


the quid! What we David Cameron have the privilege of travelling on


a while he is on his visit to the USA. This is only for viewers that


tuned in after the John Pienaar At the end of the show, Lord Jones


will give us the correct answer. There has been plenty of


speculation about changes the Chancellor could make to tax rates,


ahead of next week's Budget. So, what measures might he bring in?


Plans to shelve the 50p tax rate for those earning more than


�150,000 have also been discussed. Initial Treasury calculations


estimate the rate currently brings in around �3 billion a year.


The Lib Dems have been pushing for a "mansion tax" on properties worth


over �2 million, as a way of getting more tax revenue from the


rich. There is speculation that this could be offered to ease Lib


Dem concerns on scrapping the 50p tax rate.


He is also looking at scrapping tax relief on pension contributions for


top earners. The Lib Dems say that this could


save �7 billion, and make the system fairer.


These measures are being considered to help pay for raising the income


threshold, before you start paying tax to �10,000. It was part of the


coalition agreement. Earlier this year, Nick Clegg


called for this to brought in faster than planned. A report by


Christian social policy charity Care this week criticised the


threshold rise as an inefficient way to help poor families, and


found that our current tax system means families in the UK with one


working parent are some of the hardest hit amongst the top


developed countries. Former Conservative Chancellor


Nigel Lawson chaired the report, and joins us now.


Outstanding back, as you see the fiscal position the Chancellor is


in, if it was you, what would you be minded to cut, if at all?


should operate on both ends. I would do two things. I would bring


the 50p tax rate down to 40%, which is where I've put it in 1988. You


would lose no revenue at all in my judgment. Because, the Inland


Revenue calculation is assuming no behavioural changes. If you factor


in behavioural changes, it wouldn't cost you a penny. That is my


expense. When I did cut it to 40% in 1988, we got more money from the


rich rather than less money. The other end of the scale. Care. They


are on to a very good point. There is a solution. Not to raise the


threshold, that is inefficient, they are right. But introduce


transferable allowances. In other words, the wife who gives up


working in order to have children and he wants to look after children,


should not lose her renounce, that should be transferred for the time


being to her husband so they get the full benefit. I suggested that


in mind 1985 -- by 1985 Budget speech and brought out a green


paper. But I could not get Margaret Thatcher to agree to it. She felt,


somehow, that women who were staying at home, lacked gumption


and get up and go. She identified very strongly with the woman who


went out to work. Like herself. Very often, the woman who is


bringing up young children, maybe working much harder than her


husband. And she should not be discriminated against. That is


where the poverty is. Where there is only one earner, in a two child


family. And I would do those two things, and get the money which has


been squirrelled away, which is not nearly as important.


Sticking with the thresholds. They have become quite an iconic policy


for the coalition. The Liberal Democrats who think they are


pushing for it, and quite a few Tories like the idea of taking


people out of tax, it has become a litmus test for this coalition.


It is a question, am sure something will be done. It is a question of


how much you do. When I started off, by taking a lot of people out of


tax and raising the threshold this did actually, but subsequently and


felt it was better to cut the rates of taxation. That has a more


dynamic effect, than acting on the threshold. The one thing I would


like to say, and a lot of businesses say this. If someone on


the minimum wage could pay no tax, that would encourage a lot of


people to say, it is not worth being on the dole, it is worth


working. How you achieve that, which is your argument, the one


thing about the single mum at home, it's his her contribution to the


economy, providing a stable environment for a young person.


There is a lot and the press about this. It is a bigger contribution


to society. There is a strong social argument for this change,


yes. Your argument, the argument of the charity, is that, although what


they're doing will take low earners out of tax altogether, it's not


just them who benefit. The bulk of the cost goes to middle and us who


find their first �10,000... As sometimes wonder, is that the


unspoken intention of a policy, a way of putting money into the


pockets of middle income? I do not think the Lib Dems have really


understand what they are talking about. Badenoch think they -- I


think there is another reason for having lower taxes, rather than


people taking out -- taking people out of tax altogether. There is


always a danger, if you take large numbers of people out of tax, then


they will feel that all they can ever actively lobby and press for


his higher benefits. And they don't have to pay. So I think, if you


want an educated political debate, it is better not to do this but cut


tax right across the border. These are straitened times. -- the board.


The government is limited in what it can do now. This particular


proposal has so much going for it and I am glad this charity, Care,


has brought out is well written and well argued report at this


particular time. The Chancellor's big challenge


isn't just to make tax changes which will be regarded as fair in


these times, but to get some growth back into the economy. What would


you do? I would deregulate. There has been some deregulation but


there is far too much regulation. Much more rules and regulations,


which hamper British business. Some of it comes from the European Union,


which is a nuisance. Even so, you can interpret that the way some of


our continental friends interpret it, rather loosely. There is a lot


which is our own regulation which you can get rid of. Give me an


example? That is the important thing to do. You get businessmen


complaining all the time about the amount of regulation areas. I think


also, incidentally, there is another change on the tax front I


would like to see. I'd like George Osborne at least to focus on it. I


am very concerned about the existing system of corporate


taxation as it affects banks'. Because, they get tax relief if


they finance themselves from a loan capital. If they finance themselves


from equity, they do not. As a result, they have far too much


borrowed money and not a big enough equity base. I think we really need


to address that. They get the tax relief on interest but not on the


dividends they pay. Where are you on the 50p top rate? It has become


symbolic in these difficult times. The Chancellor keeps saying we're


in it together. What would you do for growth? I would put the


political argument Ford, what Britain has to do, we have to


increase the amount of money we raise. The politics is in direct


conflict. 50p does not raise the money. There are lots of other


things were you could but you have to when the politics. There is no


energy going into the Liberal Democrats or Tories to win the


politics. They're quite prepared to let the politics when. That really


worries me. We will end up with lots of ways people can avoid it.


One thing I would do for growth more than anything, I would abolish


national insurance had visions for employers for people who employed


fewer than 25 people, for the next people they employ. If you employed


had five and go to 26, he went pay contributions employing the next


person. Why do we have a Jobs Tax? Every other tax in Britain taxes


money in some form, capital, income. This tax taxes you if you just


created job. It is barmy. It is �5.2 billion, so you can't just


abolish it. May as says and then further about deregulation. The


first point, you can stimulate activity by removing these shackles


were it doesn't cost you any thing at all. There is another reason,


internationally. We have always been less regulated than


continental Europe. They had said they would follow us but they're


going back again following the crisis in the euro. And the


Americans now are into regulation in a heavy way. The banking bill.


Other legislation. We have the opportunity to be the less


regulated major economy, and attracted the -- because of it.


are right, that is at no cost. We will see what the Chancellor


says in the Budget on 21st March, live here on BBC Two. A week


tomorrow. The Royal College of GPs has said it is willing to work


again with the government on helping to implement the changes to


the NHS in England. The body had been omitted from talks with


government, after declaring its opposition to the NHS Bill last


month. Dr Clare Gerada, who heads the college, has now written to the


Prime Minister, saying she wants to help find a "way forward". Dr


Gerada appeared on this programme last month. Here's what she had to


say then. I represent 44,000 general


practitioners of which over 90% when we surveyed them recently


wanted me to ask for withdrawal of the bill. Against a background of


1.5 years of consultation, three surveys, five executive councils, a


national conference, endless consultation. I can categorically


tell you my members do not want this bill. Some of the parks of the


Bill of good. Bidding GPs in control of money, but impatience


first. In its totality, the Bill is a best, it is flawed, the Bill will


not achieve what you and Andrew Lansley is setting out to achieve.


Dr Clare Gerada speaking to me last month. The NHS Bill is going to be


under discussion in both Houses of Parliament today. Let's go over to


Central Lobby now, and join Carole Walker.


preoccupying the House of Lords and house of Commons. It is continuing


its somewhat tortuous process through the House of Lords. In the


Commons this afternoon, we are going to have an opposition day


debate with they the same even at this late stage, the government


should stop the bill in its current form. Diane Abbott speaks on health


for Labour. And Lord Jones for the Lib Dems. We heard the Royal


College of GPs, the head, vehemently opposed to these plans,


saying it is time to sit down with the government and work on putting


them into action. Shouldn't you be Her position has not altered and


she believes that it is a bad bill. Some of the GPs are taking these


roles. Some of them are, but the vast majority want the bill to be


dropped. The point about Dr Gerada's position is that it has


not altered. She is opposed to the bill in its current form. The Royal


College would always have worked with the Government if it became


law, and in that sense nothing has changed. Do think there is a change


of position because that after the acceptance, the weeks and months of


wrangling, this bill will become law in pounds less than a week? I


think it is a watershed. It is very difficult to explain to people how


this bill has changed, especially in the Lords over the last few


weeks, on things like competition, regulation of foundation trust,


regulation of private income, things like that. I think that


realisation is beginning to become true to members of the Royal


College of GPs and other Royal Colleges, I hope. I think we are in


the position that the bill will get more acceptance outside now. I


think at the end of the day it will go through. I think that is wishful


thinking. My view is the same as the majority of the Lib Dem members.


In its fundamentals, this bill has not changed. You don't think...


how does she know what the Lib Dem members think? They passed a motion


agreeing that great progress had been made in House of Lords. The


only line they took out of the motion was one are saying to give


it a third reading and that is because they did not know enough


about the bill as a whole. That is a very their position for a stock


that was the key line to take out. -- that is a very unfair position.


That was the key line to take out. If they have been allowed to vote


against the bill, they would have. They were allowed to vote for the


motion that they wanted, which is the one that accepted the progress


that had been made. That is why Nick Clegg had to use an air-raid


shelter. If this bill does go through, as many people expect,


what a future Labour Government overturn it? Oh, yes. Andy Burnham


has said clearly on a number of occasions that if this bill goes


through, when we are in Government we will overturn it and pick the


worst -- on pick the worst of the damage. Even though we are prepared


to make the best of it, there is a consensus that it will be damaging


and it will cause recommendation. It may -- they are hoping to


persuade members of your party to stop this bill. Do you think there


is any prospect of that happening now? It will go through. The


extraordinary thing about Labour is that they have now performed a


somersault, basically. They used to be pro choice and that competition


had a limited place in the NHS. They had to 2006 Act that opened


the door to price competition, which we are now regulating more


effectively. It is extraordinary that they are doing this and many


members will be unhappy if they appealed -- try and repeal this and


later. The 2006 Act did not mention competition. We still believe that


the private sector has a role to play and we certainly believe in


choice but this is the wrong bill at the wrong time. We believe it is


not too late for the Government to drop it. They really got themselves


in a twist last week. They voted against the 49% limit, so they


voted to open it. That shows the confusion within the Labour Party.


OK, thank you very much. There is still a great deal to discuss on


this bill. It does now look as though it is on course to become a


law fairly shortly, but in the Commons this afternoon Labour will


be saying that it should be dropped. Goodbye from Westminster.


Thank you. Last week was brutal in Afghanistan and as we were saying


it should feature high on the agenda in discussions between


Barack Obama and David Cameron. Both are under pressure following


recent terrible events to increase the pace of withdrawal. Yesterday,


there were questions about the killing by the rogue US soldier.


Does the Minister accept that there is a growing feeling in this


country, no doubt and United States as well but certainly in Britain,


that this war cannot be one? This is a war when people no longer


accept the official line. Our security depends on our military


continuing to be in Afghanistan. Barack Obama and the Prime Minister


are meeting this week. Would it not be wise for them to accept that


there is this feeling, this strong feeling, that this war has gone on


now for over 10 years, that it cannot be won? We are on the right


course. We have the right security strategy, but I think what he is


getting at, and this opinion is widely held, that what we need to


find is a political solution to the future of Afghanistan. Although


progress on this has been disappointingly slow, there are now


some signs of encouragement. I believe that there is a realistic


prospect that the political process will be under way within the


timescale that I am talking about. The idea that we can start


challenging the plan to withdraw early worries me a great deal.


Because soldiers need certainty. They need that certainty for their


offices to plan and for soldiers to get used to it. It will be


increasingly challenging for the soldiers over the next two years as


we go towards withdrawing from combat operations. Can I ask the


Minister whether he agrees with that assessment? We have got to


support our soldiers are utterly and completely and the plan is set


and must remain set now. The best thing we can do is for the


international community now have to appoint an international mediator


with international backing, to frame the international strategy


internally and regionally, which is so desperately needed. If we do not


stop working on it now, every day will show we can chances of leaving


Afghanistan. -- start working on it. This is an isolated incident. There


will be some calling for urgent withdrawal, but can I stress this


is not just about security? It is also about governance and I hope


that will be discussed at the summit into cargo. -- in Chicago.


Tobias Ellwood, you saw him on the take and now he is live in the


flesh. He is a former captain in the army and we are also joined by


John Hemming, Liberal Democrat MP. John Hemming, if you were in charge


of our Afghan policy now, what would you do? I would be looking


for a earlier withdrawal. The problem is the dynamic of the


situation is about the occupation, the presence of forces from outside


Afghanistan. In an a symmetric conflict, when one side is powerful


and the other relatively weak, it is a motions that drives things. If


we are looking for real peace, which is the political solution,


then maintaining the forces is not working towards that. Can you give


us an idea of what you mean by an early withdrawal? I understand that


the final combat troops will be gone by the end of 2014 and the


draw down will begin before then. We always have to be concerned


about the future safety of our troops and I will always take


advice from the military about how quickly and then to be they can


withdraw. I voted to withdraw some years ago now. -- and how safely


they can withdraw. What we are doing is very cruel for the troops.


If we gave them a military objective, they could achieve


anything we set them, but a political objective is not


something they can achieve. They will come out anyway, and whether


we have got something that looks like victory or not. We are still


coming up. The case for early withdrawal would be where you leave


Afghanistan and where things would go in the near future? We don't


want to leave an unstable Afghanistan and we don't want


another civil law. -- civil war. We did not start training the Afghans


properly until 2008. And only now are they starting to take over at


the locations that they need to hold to provide that security.


Underneath that a brother of security, what has not happened is


improvements to governance. In the same way as happened in the 1840


and the early 20th century, Afghanistan was never properly run.


We needed divergence of governance so that Afghanistan is properly run,


rather than it is the -- this knee- jerk reaction that we need to get


out which will leave possible civil war further down the line. We have


spent all this blood and treasure already. If we get out too soon, we


will leave the Afghans not ready to take over, so we need to stay, do


we? You are ignoring an important point that Tobias Ellwood is making.


He is one of the few politicians that understands tribal than


foreigners. We are imposing a Western model on Afghanistan which


cannot work. There is a power structure based on tribes and we


are imposing a Western model on that. So it does not matter how


long we stay? Tobias is right. In terms of resolve in the political


side, there needs to be something that recognises the power


structures that exist. We are driving a 1000 years of political


structures in the UK it over 10 years, which is also a mistake.


Lots of people watching this would say that the imposition of a


Western-style on to Afghanistan is wrong. Therefore to get it devolved


down into tried to get the corruption out, to somehow ensure


that the Taliban do not come out of the caves in 2014 and start a civil


war, whatever we do, everybody would say that we are not going to


pull that off between 2012 and 2014. This is cultural change. Either you


are going to be in for an incredibly long haul, which we all


know won't happen, but what is so magical about 2014? Firstly, we are


seeing progress. That -- let's not deny what is happening. We are


taking charge of the security of the country. This is not matched


with improvements in governance and Reconstruction and Development.


This country is rich in minerals and so forth but the economic plan


is not there. As we focus on draw down, we need to press forward to


encourage better forms of governance. To give a brief example,


Hamid Karzai gets to a point every headteacher in Afghanistan, which


is far too centralised. Everybody is appointed by the President. This


sort of reform needs to be focused on. He has just banned women


walking around Kabul on their own without a male consort. We know


that is so that you can go down the road to the Taliban and say that he


is trying to meet them somewhere. If I was a soldier from any country


where life was being threatened every day, I know they are paid to


go in harm's way, but at least they have got to think things are being


changed. We are running out of time but I want to ask you this.


Regardless of the substance of your argument, do you get a sense that


you are pushing at an open door because of what has happened?


difficulty is, one of the eternal problems with any military conflict,


we have to be primarily concerned about our security and the security


of our armed forces. It is difficult to say that what we need


to do is pull out given the sacrifice is that people have made.


But it is worse to have more sacrifices because we are making


the difficult decision to put out now. Are you pushing at an open


door? It is difficult to say because the Government needs to


work with native. If you don't know it is better not to answer the


question. Thank you. We will see what is decided by the President


and the Prime Minister. It is bound to be a key part of any final


statement after the British visit Later this month, we'll get an idea


of the government's vision for the future of Britain's airports. The


aviation industry say that expansion will help the economy,


while environmental groups fret that the green agenda is being


chucked out in favour of growth. Here's Adam.


Ladies and gentlemen, we have begun a descent into Westminster


Right now, politicians have got aeroplanes on the brain. The


coalition agreement between the Tories and Liberal Democrats rules


out any new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. Last year,


the government started a consultation on the future flight


plan in the UK. We will hear their initial thought this month, paving


the way for a full-blown aviation strategy to be published next year.


What are some of the options people have been talking about?


The departure to London Heathrow has been cancelled because the


airport is full. The owners of the UK's biggest airports so that means


they are stuck in a holding pattern. We are short of capacity, which


means we are more vulnerable to delays and congestion, and short of


capacity to put in on new routes, such as to China. We announced one


new route recently but our competitors are lapsing several new


routes, they're getting further ahead of us in terms of trade links


with growing parts of the world. Which suggests either another


runway or permission to operate even more flights.


Check in for the first flight to Boris Ireland will open in 13 years.


To realise the dream of the mayor of London for a new airport in the


Thames estuary, a lot of obstacles have to be overcome, from the risk


posed by birds, to the aviation routes of other countries, and the


enormous cost. For those obstacles can digest, some are more difficult.


What we need is for the government to say this is something they can


look at seriously. The 11:45am flight to Manchester,


Bristol and Birmingham is now ready for boarding. The UK's regional


airports are keen to grab a bigger slice of the growing demand for


flights. But all this horrifies green groups.


Passengers could always forget the plane and get the train instead.


you do not need to fly to Paris, you can take the train. If you can


take a train to Manchester or Edinburgh, let us look at those


options, sensible runway capacity so you're not having to chock-a-


block few runways with those short hop flights and you can have proper


flight space for long-haul flights. So there aren't easy answers when


it comes to aviation policy. Passengers boarding at Westminster


International Airport, prepare for some turbulence. Adam Fleming.


We've still got our guest of the day, Digby Jones, with us. To talk


more about the future for airport expansion in the UK, we are now


joined by the Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee,


Tim Yeo, also Conservative MP for South Suffolk.


Can we clarify, is it your understanding of that the


Conservatives, and the coalition government, they are still opposed


to a third runway at Heathrow? his coalition policy, and happen to


think it is wrong. What would you do? Britain needs a modern


transport infrastructure which means more airport capacity. But it


kick in China we have no direct links and we will miss out.


Provincial cities. We now at last have cover for changing the


coalition position. The EU has applied a new emissions limit. That


means building another runway does not actually increase emissions


because they're already subject to the EU restrictions. So to build a


brand new airport? He is more practical to build a third runway.


The cost otherwise would be enormous. It is also in the wrong


place. People do not live in the Thames estuary, they tend to live


west and north. The journey for most passengers would get worse if


we had a Thames estuary airport. People say we are in danger of


losing out. They say it aviation happens to be an industry Britain


is a world leader. Heathrow was the world's premier airport. Great for


Britain. They now say business is going to Frankfurt, Amsterdam,


Paris. That is so right. We are in danger of ceasing to be a hub for


the developed world. If you look at a brute, about 60% of the


passengers on a route come from somewhere else - route. You have to


feed it through a hub. Frankfurt has 16 destination cities in China.


It brings it in everywhere else from Europe. We're trying to be


point to point and it doesn't work. If you're going into the Thames


estuary, more people belong to the virus pp than to the political


parties in Britain! -- RSPB. It all comes back to a third runway at


Heathrow. If you had the Thames estuary and closed Heathrow, help


any politician can defend the loss of jobs? It has to be a third


runway. The case for a third runway, it reinforces the hub nature. I


interviewed unexamined a couple of weeks ago. He got the sustained


light aeroplane from Aberdeen to Heathrow. It was full of people


going on to the Far East, Singapore. You won't get many direct flights


from Aberdeen to Singapore. They needed Heathrow. They were saying,


you can fly from Aberdeen to Frankfurt, we will go there.


Heathrow remains potentially a world-class airport. It Sadiq is


not that at the moment, some of the tunnels are out of date. It needs


extra capacity as well. There is an interesting environmental argument


in favour of runways, less stacking. Emissions for aircraft are


particularly high when they are waiting to land. You could make a


positive green case for saying reducing the congestion at Heathrow


in the air for people arriving, and on the ground, taking off, to cut


emissions. You have two problems. You have a Conservative Transport


Secretary whose constituency is on the flight path into Heathrow. And


you have a coalition partner who as I understand, their policy isn't


just no runway in Heathrow, they are saying no runways in the south


east. Justine Greening has made a good start as Transport Secretary,


I have to say. I am genuinely encouraged by it. She might like to


pass the decision about the runway to somebody else who does not have


the same constituency problem. My constituency is in East Anglia. I


was concerned when I thought Stansted was going to expand.


Liberal Democrats, they're wrong about this. Britain, if it is going


to be a world-class economy, it needs a world-class transport


infrastructure, which means high- speed trains, and more capacity. We


are falling behind badly on transport issues. We have to be


brave with the coalition partners and say, we want Britain to be in


the Premier League economically, that means more airport capacity.


love -- I'd love the politicians to say to a penance, where you see


this country in 2025. High-speed rail, excellent. Secondly, at the


moment, you would seek a vibrant Paris and Netherlands taking the


growth away. You end up with a second Tear Britain. That is awful.


-- tier. A few days ago, Apple announced


more than 25 billion apps have been downloaded from its app store. And


everyone it seems wants to get in on the craze. The Prime Minister


already has an iPad. We know about his Angry Birds obsession. Not


content with that, he's had a customised tablet computer produced,


costing �20,000. So what special apps might he have on it?


It's thought the PM will be able to access all kinds of stats, with a


data app: Polling trends, the markets, NHS waiting times, and


crime and unemployment figures will all be available. We're not sure if


he'll have a nuclear option on the app, keeping him in control of the


country's nuclear arsenal. But we do expect him to have a personal


trainer app for days when we can't go jogging in St James' Park.


Something to keep him motivated and fit.


We know the PM likes to catch up on episodes of The Killing and


Desperate Housewives. So a film downloads app is sure to feature.


We're joined now by Torsten Stauch, an app designer, from the company


Red C. What to do think the Prime Minister


will have? Apart from those absolute necessity is! I pick it is


obvious, what we are seeing with the promise to getting his own app,


is the fact there is a shift in the world from games, everyone talks


about Angry Birds, to be in productivity tools. The taxpayers


alliance might be say this is a waste of money, I couldn't disagree


more. The more time he spends on his own app, the better it is for


the taxpayer. I have no doubt any iPad usable low productivity


increases when they are using a tablet. There has been a suggestion


maybe MPs should all be given an iPad or tablet, and although they


might cost �400 each, we think, why should we spend money on this?


Would it make them more efficient? Somerset it would save money.


course it would save money. You are saving on paper. There is good


reason to do that at least. You are able to use it in many more


different places. Sitting in a meeting and using the laptop screen


is not the way you want to work. To have a discreet tablet is better,


you can have information to hand way you are not behind your desk.


What sort of app would make your life easier? Seriously, I would


definitely would welcome a locked of the stuff I could read on trains


and in the back of cars were, at the moment, for by printed it out?


Whereas, if it was on a tablet, that would help me. Good for the


environment. The less serious one, definitely, the in-depth analysis


of why Leicester Tigers is the best rugby team in Britain, and why God


is alive and well and keeping goal for Aston Villa! You created an app


for George Galloway? He is well up on understanding how we is


communicating -- he is communicating with his followers.


If you can get into their pocket, they can be watching a video of


your latest campaign or speech while standing in the queue at a


supermarket, that makes sense. They might not be doing that if you're


there -- by their computer. Doesn't it killed the art of


conversation? There is an argument for that. Having my own children, I


try not to get them into technology too quickly. That doesn't mean you


can't use technology well. It must be managed. It learns -- it means


you learn things and gives you something to talk about.


children, we are training children to build the Rhone apps. Previously,


the ICT curriculum was dead boring. Turning the children away from


digital or media careers. This can interest them.


Time for the quiz. What will David Cameron have the privilege of


travelling on whilst he's on his official visit to the USA.


Force One. The first leader from a foreign country ever to be on it.


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