14/03/2012 Daily Politics


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Could morning, folks. This is the Daily Politics. David Cameron


continues his trip to the United States. Last night to watch a


basketball game with Barack Obama. Today it is down to business with


the official talks at the White House.


Top of the agenda is the military operation in Afghanistan and the


timetable for withdrawing troops. We will be looking at so called


endgame in a campaign that has been going on for over a decade.


Back home, the latest job figures show that unemployment has risen


again to 2.67 million. The number of people in work has also


increased. And with just one week to go before


the Chancellor delivers his spring Budget, and -- an influential


Conservative thinker delivers his advice. My biggest brokers would


not be the eurozone or the deficit. It would be the rise of China and


other new economies. All of that to come before 1


o'clock today along with Prime Minister's Questions. The novelty


value, it is Nick Clegg and Harriet Harman because the Prime Minister


is in Washington DC. With us for the duration, Cabinet Office


minister Mark Harper and shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan.


Welcome to you both. So David Cameron's American road trip is


under way. He touched down in Washington yesterday afternoon and


after checking into Blair House just opposite the White House,


where dignitaries stay if they are in favour, he was whisked off by


Air Force One with Barack Obama. There he is watching a college


basketball game in Ohio. The leaders chatted about the game,


there's a surprise. Apparently it was not particularly good but not


that we are bothered about that. Andy wolfed down a hot dog and a


can of Coke, which is mandatory. -- he wolfed down. Otherwise you get


stuck in the slammer! We assume he had a refreshing


night's sleep back in DC but his body clock must have been all over


the place! David Cameron is due to arrive in the White House this


afternoon for formal face-to-face talks with the President. We are


told they will discuss a range of issues including the timetable for


withdrawing from Afghanistan. Let's go live to Washington, the White


House, and our political editor Nick Robinson. Tell me, Afghanistan,


is that top of the agenda and what shape of the discussions likely to


take? It is. Even though these talks were scheduled long before,


the recent problems that have beset the Afghan operation, the slaughter


of six British soldiers and then of course here in the United States


the real focus on one rogue American soldier massacring a


series of Afghan civilians, even though the trip was arranged long


before, these guys needed to talk. They are preparing for a NATO


summit to be held in Chicago in May. What does it need to do? Fill out


the detail beneath the headline. The headline says that our boys


will be home by the end of 2014. That is the message that the Prime


Minister and the President want to give to their electorate. They have


not said exactly when and exactly how fast and under what conditions.


What is interesting is that in recent weeks, the Americans have


begun to shift forward, to speed up, if you like, a possible withdrawal


plans. Leon Panetta taught about the -- talked about the Afghans


taking control towards the end or the middle of next year. That is a


few months earlier. That would speed up the moment that British


and American combat troops can come home. The Prime Minister tends to


do this when you ask him a question. He uses his arm. He says he wants


to see a gradual reduction in the number of British troops, not to


see the numbers high and then for of some sort of cliff edge. What


this means is that by the beginning of 2013, I think they will agree


today that quite significant numbers will come back. It looks


like this, tell us if we are right, that they will keep the 2014


endgame, the final withdrawal, but they would both like to see a


substantial reduction in British and American troops involved in


combat operations taking place in 2013. That is what will get


confirmed at the news conference in a few hours' time. I think you


should not prepare for detailed answers from them. They will want


to put that back to the NATO summit in May. There is no doubt that


there is huge electoral pressure on the President here to have


something to say about when the boys come home. He wants to go to


the electorate in November with a positive message, that the


withdrawal, the ball down, is beginning to start. The British


cannot afford to be out of step. It is a phrase that the Prime Minister


likes to use, being in lockstep with the President. What that means


is, frankly, that Britain's contribution is so tiny compared to


America. There are roughly 10,000 for the UK and over 100,000 for the


US. If the Americans start to move on a certain date, we are going to


start to move on a certain date. That is why when the US Defence


Secretary made that speech about mid-to-late 2013, the British were


unsettled, unnerved, and then within a few days the British said


OK, that is our timetable, too. miss you but it is good to see you


there. I will try to get you a White House baseball cap. Now you


are talking! And I will hold on to the Daily Politics mug for you!


also want some Air Force One chocolates. We are ready to be


bribed at every opportunity. Thank you for joining us in the early


hours of Washington as the US capital is waking up.


On his way out to the United States the Prime Minister had time to


brief journalists travelling with him on a plan being considered by


George Osborne to issue 100 year Government bonds. They would mature


in 100 years' time. Some of us may not be alive by then. They would


take advantage of record low interest rates that British debt is


enjoying at the moment. Let's talk to Louise Cooper. I notice that the


Office of debt management has said they will put this idea out to the


market. They are not just offering it, they are seeing if there is an


appetite for it. Will there be if - - and appetite? I don't know. 100


years is very unusual. In Austria and France, the term is 50 years


and in Japan it is 40 years. This would be a very bold and brave step


for the UK Government. We do have some perpetuities, these are bonds


that pay for ever and you never get your money back. They were issued


in the period after the First World War and before the Second World War,


between 1921 and 1946. Really, the only long-dated issue for the UK is


a 50 year issue which came into the market two years ago. It sold very


well but 100 years is a different kettle of fish entirely. I can see


those looking at the long-term horizon would like the certainty of


the longer term. But his and 50 years long enough for anybody? --


isn't 50 years long enough? regulator is forcing us a liability


matching. That means that if you have a 50 year pension liability


that companies have to pay out, then they have to own assets of the


same timescale. So absolutely. But I am not convinced that many


pension companies have 100 year timescales. 50 year debt has gone


very well. I am not sure that 100 your debt would go equally well.


Pricing it will be very difficult because there is nothing comparable


out there on the international markets. Finally, is there any idea


where you are in the City about what the yield would be about the


100 yr bonds? The 50 year bond is yielding 3.3% so potentially it


could be up to 5%. But 100 years, that is a huge risk on the UK


Government and economy. Who will be in charge in 100 years? One would


hope that investors would demand a premium for that risk. In the crazy


world of low interest rates, who knows? Maybe they should issue them


in Chinese because we might all be speaking Chinese by then. And can I


say that I have not got a mug! Leave that to me. You get me a 100


yr Bond and I will get you a mug! Thank you for joining us.


One do you make of it? I heard Robert Peston this morning querying


it being a publicity stunt but I have no problem with George Osborne


exploring this. We have low interest rates and it is worth


exploring whether we can get lower yields in relation to 100 years


bonds. We can get a lot of debt a way for 2% at the moment that this


would be more expensive debt. is exactly why what we are talking


about is consulting with the market on whether this is a good idea. She


said there were lots of uncertainties about it. That is why


there are consultations going on. Also whether Perpetual's would make


sense. We have to use the strength of our debt market to see if we can


unlock the existing low interest rates. I understand that, but it is


not a lower rate if you have to pay higher rates on a 100 yr Bond. In


the early years you will be paying out higher debt. One of the huge


costs on the Government purse at the moment is servicing debt. Why


would you take out debt where you are paying more than you would if


you took out a shorter term debt? And we have no idea what the


economy will be like in 50 years. We don't know about next year,


never mind 100 years. We certainly won't be there! You will be, Andrew.


That is the bad news for our viewers! What do you think about


the bonds? That does not seem like a safe bet to me. When it matures,


you will be beyond caring, I think. The David Cameron's flight to the


United States turned out to be busy for the journalists. Speaking to


the press on the plane, David Cameron talk about his plans for


reform and human rights law. He suggested it was not in the


coalition Government but if it was he would be going faster towards


changing human rights laws. The European Court of Human Rights has


ruled that prisoners should get the right to vote. Plans to reform the


court would be very difficult to carry out and would risk friction


and divisiveness in the 47 states signed up to the European


Convention on Human Rights. Much of the criticism of the court may be


manufactured by the British popular press. There is a mischievous


report that since 1966, dealing with the United Kingdom alone, we


have found violations against the United Kingdom. That was in three


out of four of all cases brought against the country. This is a


gross distortion, to my mind, and one that was clearly designed to


undermine the reputation of our court. Sir Nicholas Bratza giving


evidence to the Human Rights Committee in Parliament yesterday.


Mark Harper, he says it is a gross distortion, the way the court is


being presented. Do you see him as a block to reform? What we have


said we are going to do, which is agreed on by both parties in the


Government, is reform. Despite what he says, the 47 countries in the


Council of Europe have a lot of agreement about speeding up the


decisions, looking at the recruitment of judges, and dealing


with the fact the courts have got a backlog of 150,000 cases, which is


not working. But not reducing the scope, which is what David Cameron


would like to see. That is the big stumbling block. We have talked


about the level at which decisions are taken. We have agreed that the


national court system is why you should predominantly -- where you


should predominantly deal with human rights. That balance has not


been right. In a number of cases recently, that has not happened,


and we are discussing that with the other 46 members of the Council of


Europe. The hint from David Cameron and the Conservatives is that the


Liberal Democrats are holding back the Government on this area. Do you


agree? It is clear that the two coalition parties, and this from a


different perspective. There are things that we agree on, and we are


doing this. Reforming the court, the bill of Human Rights. But that


is in disarray, if you listen to the commission. There are some


things that the commission do agree on. There will be some things that


they do not agree on and we will debate those things during the next


general election campaign and the public will have the opportunity to


decide what direction the Government should take. And if you


do not get anywhere with reform, which lots of people are saying,


should Britain consider pulling out if only for a temporary period of


time? That is not something we want to do. We are one of the architects


of the Convention. Britain stands up for human rights around the


world. The test is getting it right. We want the court and the


convention to work. That is why we want to work with other countries


Would Labour like to see this to, but they wouldn't have the power to


supersede Parliament? There are issues with the European Court


needs reform. The backlog is important and the quality of the


judges,... How do change that? There are few instances where we


would be the church. The last time was 1992. -- chair. You speak to


your 47 partners, work with them are so when it comes to you being


the chairperson, you have a plan in place. The third issue is the


margin of appreciation, individual countries getting within the family


of 47 nations. And saying to the Turkish Supreme Court, and the


Russian Supreme Court, if a Russian citizen goes to a court, they can't


now go to the Supreme Court. We think that's a step too far. I just


want to let you know about a fantastic programme on BBC Two


tonight presented by someone called Andrew Neil. I have been


investigating human rights for a programme called Rights Gone Wrong


which is broadcast on BBC Two tonight at 9pm. Viewers might


recall my interview with a man called John Hirst, convicted of


manslaughter and, while in prison, fought the right for prisoners to


have the boat. That's how the Strasbourg court ruled. -- though


two. Then parliament voted 10-1 To do you understand, when you see


human rights rulings have allowed you to claim that it's now time for


murder is, rapists and paedophiles to celebrate, it risks undermining


the concept of human rights in a lot of ordinary people's eyes.


refer you to the answer I gave a few moments ago. If you can't


accept the truth of the answer, I'm sorry. The highest court in Europe


has have voted mayor Droz, rapist, manslaughter, -- murderers, it's


not undermining it at all. brought some vegetables afterwards,


though. Rights Gone Wrong, tonight on BBC Two.


When David Cameron and Barack Obama sit down in the Oval Office for


their official bilateral meeting later today, top of their agenda


we're told will be the so-called end game in Afghanistan. It is


still a little bit away, though. Both leaders are keen to see a


speedy withdrawal of troops. But the question is how quickly can


that be done while handing over to the Afghans in an orderly manner.


That's probably more difficult than most people realise. Yesterday, the


Prime Minister said Afghanistan will not be a perfect democracy by


the time British troops return home. I think we had worked that out. Jo,


give us the background to this. in the wake of the killing of 16


civilians by a US soldier and the deaths of six British servicemen


last week, tensions are running high. The UK currently has just


over 9,000 troops in Afghanistan. Last year, David Cameron promised


to reduce the number from the original peak of 9,500 by the end


of 2012. America is a far bigger player with over 100,000 people


stationed there. And President Obama has also already started


withdrawing troops. He's said he's aiming to pull out a total of


33,000 by this summer. Both are signed up to a ISAF and Nato plan


which sees combat forces aiming to leave the country by the end of


2014. Subject to conditions on the ground and the rate at which Afghan


forces can be trained. But Leon Panetta, Obama's defence chief said


David Cameron has talked of not wanting to "See a cliff edge in


2014 when all of the remaining troops come out at once." So,


Andrew, it looks like the two men will have a lot to talk about today.


Thanks, Jo. We've been joined by the Conservative MP John Baron, who


sits on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. What is the mood in your


view of the Government backbenchers about Afghanistan at the moment?


Great concern, a lot of things going wrong in the short term and


is a feeling if we don't have the orderly withdrawal, in certain


sections, we could have another Vietnam on our hands if we don't


open meaningful, nor unconditional talks with the Taliban. Part of the


withdrawal must involve the Taliban? Yes, it's essential. The


problem with the mission so far is the under-resourced the task,


underestimated and have been playing catch-up ever since. We


have confused the mission. Building human rights and democracy. We have


confused the enemy because there are fundamental differences between


Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. It is not automatic but if we allow the


Taliban to remain in control in certain areas, they will allow Al-


Qaeda back into the country. have no evidence Al-Qaeda is still


there. Good point. The evidence suggests Al-Qaeda left many years


ago and we have more for this battle into the Taliban. As we


showed in Northern Ireland, you can fight and talk at the same time.


Soldiers only by times the politicians must now negotiate


otherwise we risk a disorderly end it. What do we talk to the Taliban


about? A common ground. There's no love lost between Al-Qaeda and the


Taliban. Let's remember why we initially went into Afghanistan, to


deny Afghanistan two Al-Qaeda. could say it's job done. But since,


the mission has moved into building democracy and human rights. It's


confused. We should explore common ground with a Taliban because


there's no love lost between them up, although there is different


shades of Taliban. In doing so, we would have to accept for example


that all this stuff we used to say about the number of girls in school


and women in Parliament, that's all going to go, isn't it? To a certain


extent, yes. It depends which part of the country they are in control


of for so it's important why it's important to focus on the original


mission. My understanding is that we are there to protect the streets


of the UK and the west from Al- Qaeda. They left many moons ago and


we have got to remain clear on what our mission is. Isn't that broadly


the Opposition's attitude, as well? There needs to be game-plan. For


example, the regional players are crucial. Pakistan, China, very


important. What is their stance? Secondly, they in need to be talked


to. The Taliban had opened at negotiations in Qatar. They had


shown a willingness but the American position so far have been


at they will not talk to the Taliban unless they accept the


constitution. This may or may not be the right thing to do, it's not


for me to say. If we do talk to the Taliban and tried to come to a


political settlement, we are handing over at least part of the


country to the Taliban. Correct? Yes, by definition. Pakistan is a


pluralist society. I don't accept they would revert to what would


happen Al-Qaeda was in charge of. The Taliban were in charge. They


did a pretty good job of putting women back to medieval status and


blowing up Buddhist temples and stoning people they didn't like and


be heading others. Your political strategy may be right or wrong, but


let's not denied that an element of that would happen again. We have


got to talk to them. That would be the consequence. I'm not sure.


There needs to be game-plan. You can't have a game plan to withdraw


the military by 2014. They need to do with politics. That is the


consequence of it. It includes talking to Pakistan. And China and


India and the regional players. course we should talk to Pakistan


but you don't need to talk too much to Pakistan to know what they want.


They prefer the Taliban in there because it's a bulwark against


India. Their nightmare is India taking over Pakistan. This is the


reason why we need to have a clear plan to withdraw but also we can't


make the main -- same mistakes are made in the 1980s when the Russian


troops withdrew. It's the cliff- edge nightmare scenario. Are we


talking to the Taliban already? Answer my question, please. We know


from the political discussions the Taliban have made some moves in


talking. There will clearly be political discussions going on.


we talking to the Taliban? I don't know is the honest answer. That's a


good answer. I don't think we are. I think we are looking to the


Americans on this and the American position so far is we will not talk


to the Taliban unless they accept the constitution and that will not


happen. We need to open on conditional talks with the Taliban


and that's where the at Americans are failing. I'm going to give you


the final word. Our troops are working with the Afghan security


forces to make sure they are growing in strength, sufficiently


well-trained so when we leave in an orderly manner, they can provide


security for their country. According to a noticeable, they


have been infiltrated by the Taliban. I'm not sure that is true.


The Afghan national army, there is a difference between them and the


police force. The Afghan national army has done well. It is right and,


unfortunately, Afghan security forces when they are in control of


a district have proved themselves almost worthless put up I have a


feeling we will be returning to this. Then there will be continue


discussions on this in the States. Now it's time for our Guess The


Year. We will remind you how to enter in a minute, but let's see if


you can't remember when this President Gorbachev, tear down this


There has not been a storm like this for as long as anyone can


David Owen at heard the result at his room in that house of Commons.


-- don't they all look young in Let's take a look at a big banner,


time for the week of a For the the price minister is in


the USA for his talks with Barack Obama and it means this week we


have the battle of the deputies. Last week at Prime Minister's


Are you up for it? People don't believe it. It's not that


complicated to resolve. This afternoon, it is the battle of the


deputies. Nick Clegg and the coalition. Harriet Harman and the


Labour Party. Who will win the I don at my black silk pyjamas


every night and dream of these things. It is time to face the


Oh, the drama. I'm exhausted just watching that. James Landale joins


us. Are the Tory backbenchers going to chair on Nick Clegg today?


Tory MP has already been tweeting this will be a target rich


environment, what should I ask? Nick Clegg will have to look over


his shoulder as much as in front. Presumably Labour will ask as many


embarrassing questions as possible to Mr Clegg? Yes, health,


unemployment figures, the secret courts, the Justice white paper.


European Human Rights. He's not done one of these before for over


one year. This is because the Foreign Secretary is in Washington


with the Prime Minister. The Deputy Prime Minister does stand-in when


he's away normally but when he's away on trips,. He has been up


against Harriet Harman once before. He's only done this once or twice


before. And against Jack Straw. Harriet Harman was interim leader.


This was before Ed Miliband was leader of the Labour Party. The be


unemployment figures are out this morning, too. We don't want to miss


anything. Let's go straight over I have been asked to reply. My


right honourable friend the Prime Minister is visiting the United


States. I am sure the whole House would like to join me in sending


our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the


servicemen who died in Afghanistan last Tuesday. Sergeant Nigel Coupe


from the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment. Corporal Jake Hartley.


Private Anthony Frampton. Private Christopher Kershaw. Private Daniel


Wade and private Daniel Wilford, all from 3rd Battalion the


Yorkshire Regiment. These men had outstanding courage and


selflessness. This tragic incident will long be remembered by our


nation because it reminds us all of the immense danger that our armed


forces regularly endure to guarantee the safety and security


of our country. Mr Speaker, we are also deeply shocked at the


appalling news that a number of Afghan civilians were wounded and


killed in Afghanistan on Sunday morning. We send our sympathy to


the families affected by this terrible incident. I had meetings


this morning with my colleagues and others in addition to my duties in


his house and I will have further such meetings today. I would like


to associate myself with the Deputy Prime Minister's comments about the


tragic events in Afghanistan. I am sure that members on both sides of


the House will express their deepest sympathies to families that


have lost loved ones at this deeply distressing time. Today the Prime


Minister is in America where unemployment is coming down... When


an implement is coming down and the economy is growing. -- where


unemployment is coming down. In Britain, unemployment is at its


highest for 17 years and the economy is flats lining. Can the


Deputy Prime Minister explain what has gone wrong? What went wrong was


the Labour Government for 13 years! Creating the most unholy mess in


2008 which we are now having to clear up. The only way... The only


way to get the economy moving is to fix the deficit, get banks lending


again and have a tax and benefit system that pays people to work.


Will he introduce a Freedom Bill to get rid of a lot of bossy and


unloved regulations? As my honourable friend knows, we have


already introduced a large set of measures, which has removed a lot


of unnecessary clutter from the statute book. Any further


opportunity to do so, we would grab that with open arms. Harriet Harman.


So Mr Speaker, can I joined the Deputy Prime Minister in paying


tribute to Sergeant Nigel Coupe of 1st Battalion the Duke of


Lancaster's Regiment and from 3rd Battalion the your to regiment,


Corporal Jake Hartley, Private Christopher Kershaw, Private


Anthony Frampton, Private Daniel Wade, Private Daniel Wilford? They


served our country determination. Their deaths remind us of the great


sacrifice our servicemen make on our behalf. I joined with the Prime


Minister in expressing our horror at the murders in Afghanistan on


Sunday of 16 civilians including nine children. We deplore the crime


and express our deepest condolences. Today's figures show unemployment


up and the hardest hit are young people looking for work and women


being thrown out of work. The Deputy Prime Minister says that the


Liberal Democrats are making a difference in this Government.


With more than 1 million women looking for work, what difference


does he believe he has made to those women? Mr Speaker, of course


these figures are disappointing, any increase in unemployment is


disappointing. It is a personal tragedy for anyone that loses their


job and for their families. She should be careful not to pretend


that his problem was invented by this Government. The unemployment


of women went up by 24% under Labour. Youth unemployment went up


by its 40% under Labour. It was remorseless since 2004. We all need


to work together to bring unemployment down. Is the Speaker,


when we left Government, unemployment was coming down. -- Mr


Speaker. Their policy is not only driving up and implement but they


will have to borrow more. It is hurting but it is certainly not


working. For all his bluster, the truth is that having five Liberal


Democrats seated around the Cabinet table has made no difference


whatsoever. Listen to what the Business Secretary said on economic


policy. This Government has no compelling vision. These days,


nobody agrees with Nick. Does he agree with Vince Cable? It is worth


looking at the details published on the unemployment statistics. Behind


the headline figures, long-term Annapurna actually came down in the


quarterly figures. -- long-term unemployment. And importantly, the


number of jobs created in the private sector outstripped the jobs


left in the public sector. Under her Government, the Labour Party


sucked up to the City of London and relied too much on jobs in the


public sector. We are having to remedy those mistakes and we are


creating new jobs in the private sector. Mr Speaker, he is


complacent about unemployment under his Government. The Lib Dems are


making no difference on unemployment, just as they are


making no difference on the NHS. When it comes to the NHS, the


Deputy Prime Minister obviously thinks he is doing a stunning job.


Can he explain why he has failed to persuade the doctors, nurses,


midwives, paediatricians, fizzy -- physiotherapists and patients?


Speaker, the Labour Party used to believe in reform. Now they believe


in stopping the NHS of cash and failing to provide reform. Her own


manifesto... Order, order. We must hear the response from the Deputy


Prime Minister. Indeed. Her own manifesto said, to safeguard the


NHS in tougher fiscal Times, we need sustained reform. The Labour


Party was right then and from now. What happened? -- and at the wrong


now. We are prouder what Labour did when we work Government -- we are


proud about what Labour did when we were in Government. And nobody


believed him. No wonder he cannot convince those that work in the


health service. They cannot even convince his own Government. People


are still against this bill because it has not changed one bit. It is


still a top down reorganisation. Order, order. I said a moment ago


that the Deputy Prime Minister's response must be heard. The


question from the deputy leader of the Labour Party must be heard.


That is the be-all and end-all of it. Harriet Harman. This bill is


still the top down reorganisation and it will cost the NHS of fortune.


It will still lead to fragmentation and privatisation. It is clear that


the Deputy Prime Minister will not stand up for the NHS. The only


thing that to stand up for his when the Prime Minister walks in the


room. -- he stands up for his when the Prime Minister walks in.


Speaker, Mr Speaker... Some of her colleagues must think the Liberal


Democrats make a difference because they were handing out leaflets at


our conference in Gateshead while their leader was throwing SAK and


going to watch Hull play football. -- throwing the sick day. Is she


proud of the fact that the Government spent �250,000 of


taxpayers' money on sweetheart deals for the private sector that


did not help anybody in the NHS? Is she proud of the fact that under


the 2006 Act, which a friend worked on, it was a privatise its charter


in which a Government offered an 11% premium on the private sector


to undercut the NHS? Is she proud of that? We will... A order, order.


Some members are perhaps not initiated in the ways of PMQs. The


Deputy Prime Minister does the answering and that is the situation.


Harriet Harman. We will compare what our Government did on the NHS


with what his Government is doing any day. He says that the problem


with this bill is that doctors and nurses just don't understand it.


But the problem is that they do. However, even at this late stage,


it is within his power to stop this bill. Next Monday, the bill reaches


its final stage in the House of Lords. There are nine to Lib Dem


peers, and their votes will decide whether or not this bill becomes


law. Will he instruct Shirley Williams and his peers to vote to


stop the bill? Mr Speaker, the right honourable lady has invited


me to make a comparison. Let me make three comparisons. Order. I


say it again. The response must be heard. That is all there is to it.


The Deputy Prime Minister. right honourable lady has invited


me to make comparisons. The shadow health secretary has said that it


is irresponsible to increase NHS spending. They do not believe in


more money for the NHS. We do. Comparison number one. They indulge


of the private sector with sweetheart deals which we are


making a legal in this bill. They one sweetheart deals for the


private sector and we do not. They presided over inequality in the NHS,


which began we are making a statutory obligation in is built to


deliver a more equal at come on the NHS which they failed to deliver in


13 years. -- in this Bill to deliver a more equal outcome.


Absolute rubbish. And in undermining the NHS and making


Shirley Williams vote for he has trashed not one but two national


treasures. He did not mean to sign the bill, but he did. He could stop


the bill, but he went. He says the Lib Dems make a difference, but


they don't. What has happened to that fire liberal tradition? They


must be turning in their graves. The party of William Gladstone. The


party of David Lloyd George. Now the party of Nick Clegg. I know she


has a pre-prepared script that she sticks to religiously, but it is


worth having a question and answer thing, that is what this is about.


What we are doing on this side of the house, the two parties that


have come together in the coalition, is to sort out the banking system


that she left in a mess. Sorting out the public finances that she


left in a mess. Sorting out the economy that she left in a mess.


Stopping the offered through privatisation of the NHS, which she


left in a mess. -- stopping the arbitrary privatisation of the NHS.


In opposition they are running out of ideas. In Government they ran


out of money. My right honourable friend may be aware of figures


released this week which showed that there has at least been some


progress towards the target of 15% of women on boards by 2015. What


can our coalition Government do to ensure that they meet this target


and enrich our boards with a diversity of talent to achieve the


growth that we need as a country? think it is excellent news that


there has been real progress in a few short months that we have been


in Government. Far more progress than in 13 years under Labour. I


think everybody now agrees that there is a real consensus that


having women on boards is good for all of the companies involved.


There was a woefully a representative mixed on our boards


and I hope that we can continue to improve that. -- unrepresentative


I hope you enjoyed the support of the police at his conference in


Gateshead. When there will be 3,000 extra police you promised at the


general-election will be imposed? Mr Speaker, as her own party


acknowledges, the police need to make savings. The key thing is, not


exactly what the total number is, but where are the police? Or does.


I don't know what members are having for breakfast. His answers


must be heard. Where police officers are properly deployed. In


the last decade, far too many police officers were filling out of


paperwork in the back of this rather than on the streets where


they belong. Does my right honourable friend share the


priorities of my constituents who believe that this Parliament should


focus its attention on cutting the deficit, promoting growth and


getting people off welfare into work? And would be bemused at they


learned we were going to spend much of our time discussing the reform


of the House of Lords. How shall I explain that priority to them?


suspect in the same way he will no doubt explain to them that there


are other priorities like changing the boundaries, of constituents,


but I know was close to his heart and his party. Government can do


more than one thing at once. I also believe there's a simple democratic


principle that people are make the laws of the land should be elected


by people who have to obey the laws of the land. Mr Speaker... Mr


Deputy Speaker... Mr Speaker, my apologies. Study after study,


services with social care is crucial for older people. That's


what's happening in my constituency, so can I ask the Deputy Prime


Minister why he is still cheerleading for a Bill which


scraps trusts and Corporation and puts the future health of older


people, including my constituents, at risk? I am a backing a bill


which includes a new statutory obligations to integrate social and


health care of. He is quite right. It's one of the abiding failings in


the health service, these two services not properly integrated.


They haven't been integrated and the last 10 years and that's what


we are trying to do now. The Health and well-being board will bring


representatives together. Can I begin by congratulating the


Government on its efforts to tackle the irresponsible pricing of


alcohol by supermarkets. I commend the Government for that but does he


agree with me that the safest place to drink is in the community pub,


beer is a lower strength a drink, and it would create 5,000 jobs,


scrapping the duty escalator, so will he take his colleagues out for


a beer and tell them not to put up the duty on the great British pint?


All those questions are for the Chancellor to announce at the time


of the Budget but I'm sure everyone agrees with his a sentiment that we


should support committee pubs with just such an important part of the


fabric of our communities up and down the country. Mr Dennis Skinner.


Is he aware that now the gang of four Tories are gallivanting around


America, he has got the chance to shine? Now, what does he really,


really think about this Murdoch sleaze and the latest developments,


the Prime Minister riding borrowed police forces, and playing Andy


Coulson in the heart of government, man to man, what does he really


think that? I'm giving Emma chance to separate from the ranks of the


Tories behind him. Come on, be a Order, order! Let's hear the answer.


Mr Speaker, we had to wait a while for him to get going, but he was


great. I think we are soon going to celebrate, it that the right word,


boarded two years of the honourable members presence in this House, and


then delighted to see, in all that time, he has not mellowed one bit.


Will the Deputy Prime Minister join me and my right honourable friend


in congratulating the citizens of Chelmsford on their newly acquired


status following her Majesty's announcement that Charles would is


to be a city? Does he agree that it's entirely appropriate in an


Olympic year that Essex's first City should be chosen but it's also


looking forward to hosting the mountain biking competition during


We are aware of the Colchester and Chelmsford rivalry but I can


confirm the results of a civic honours competition in honour of


the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Chelmsford, Perth and St Basayev


have been at awarded to be rights to call themselves a city. I know


there will be disappointment in other communities who ended the


contest, but I think it's another announcement which lifts the spirit


of the nation in the year of the Diamond Jubilee. Before the general


election, the Deputy Prime Minister said he was profoundly hostile to


the closure of Remploy factories. Now 1,700 disabled people are


losing their jobs because of the closure of 36. What difference has


he made? As she will know, this is a consequence of review conducted


by the head of the UK Disability Forum. Her conclusions are


supported by a organisations like mind and Mencap and I don't want to


disagree with them, because this is their conclusion and what they


think we should be doing. They believe a segregated employment


which was started in the aftermath of the Second World War, is not the


best way to promote the interests of disabled people in this country


in the 21st century. Last weekend, adapted Prime Minister spoke about


the need for a tycoon tax. Does the and 10 that to include individuals


who claim they want tax on the rich but said of companies that they


only pay 20% are not 50% of their income, such as Ken Livingstone?


is worth dwelling on the explanation provided by Ken


Livingstone for his exotic tax arrangements. I quote from


interview he made this weekend. "I get lots of money from different


sources and I give it to an accountant and they manage it. That


Thank you, Mr Speaker. In September 2010, I raised with the Prime


Minister the case of a college in my constituency which lost �4


million following the closure of the regional development agencies.


I ask him for a hand up, not a handout, for young people in my


constituency. Lastly, but college was officially opened yet, 18


months on, there's no progress in addressing the short ball. There


should be no barriers to people's talent and aspiration -- short 4th.


Will he give the UN people of West Lancashire a handout? -- a


shortfall. Of course we will look into the case of a college. They


are unbelievably important providing skills and support to


young people seeking to get the right qualifications to get into


work. We have been working with a government to provide a hugely


expanded apprenticeship programme, the largest ever in our country,


and I am prepared to make sure ministers look SHE raises. After a


2004 copper because disaster, began Masters licensing authority was


created. -- cockle pickers. Can you assure me that any cuts in red tape


will not lead workers unprotected, in particular the shell fisheries


industry? I hear what he says. It an important issue to get the


balance right and I know DEFRA is working to make sure the gang


masters Licensing Authority works in a manner which has affected and


there is down on the abuse. But does so in a business friendly


manner, to minimise the amount of unnecessary red tape. I'm sure


would up the Prime Minister would like to heartily congratulate the


city of Perth for its restoration of city status. He will know that


fantastic cross-community support which has led to the restoration of


this honour. Can I thank him and his department for organising this


competition. Those are the kinds of questions I like. I think it's a


good thing, of course, on behalf of everybody in the House, and I would


like to convey my congratulations to the people of Perth who have


worked on a cross-party basis to get his accolade today.


treasured piece of green space near Cheltenham is attracting a lot of


sporting attention this week. But other green spaces will be at risk


it the national planning policy for framework doesn't follow Germany's


example of combining economic success with tough controls to


protect the countryside balls can he reassure us a truly green of


planning framework is still a safe bet? The Government will be


publishing it shortly. I think it's important we do everything to


promote growth because we need jobs and new homes for young families


who are not able to have a home that they can call their own, but


that should be tempered by social environmental considerations and


that the balance will be properly reflected in the planning framework


when it is published shortly. Monday, the housing minister told


me the Government had no plans to introduce rent controls in the


private sector. Is he aware that the rising of the private sector


rents in central London, capping housing benefit, means many


families on benefit are being forced out, a process of social


cleansing. Will he give a commitment to the Government will


examine the case for private sector rent control? As he knows, are at


the same time as announcing the restraint on the housing benefit


budget, which was a commitment in his own party's manifesto to bring


that part of the benefits system under control, with a major fund to


deal with hard cases. We have unveiled a number of measures which


should lead to a sick of a good increase in affordable homes bought


up it's the lack of supply or affordable homes which is the


problem in London -- are significant. Changes to child


benefit will mean a single income family earning �43,000 a year and


one parent stays at home to care for children will subsidise a


couple earning over �80,000. Does he think this is fair? I think it


is there that someone who is earning far beyond the average


should not be subsidised with child benefit from people are much lower


income support of he raised a perfectly valid point which is the


cut-off point can create these anomalies which you can have one


earner on a 40 Preet �1,000 having child benefit removed while a two


earners earning �80,000 will not. We were looked at implementing this


in a sensitive manner. The DUP the Prime Minister will be aware of the


Series incidents been my constituencies including explosives


planted on Friday, adjacent to schools. Will he condemn those


things which bring misery to the committee and can be sure of a


house in the absence of the international monitoring commission,


they will monitor any linkage between such activity and


proscribed organisations? The Of course I utterly condemn the


cowardly attacks in East Belfast which endanger the lives of all


those areas, including young children attending school. A


totally reprehensible bring. I understand these attacks are being


investigated and has no remit that these are terrorist attacks. The EU


is presently consulting on changes to the rules governing the state


aid in assisted areas. The Government has shown commitment to


Northern Lincolnshire by establishing an enterprise zone in


order to attract a larger business. The changes will restrict aid. Can


he assure me the Government will fight these proposals?


delighted that the enterprise zone in north Lincolnshire is now taking


shape and it will be a huge boost for investment from major investors


in renewable energy, in that part of the world love. I hear what he


says about the reviews about the rules being applied for regional


aid of. We are extremely mindful we don't want those rules to undermine


the excellent work taking place in North Lincolnshire. The Ministry of


Justice announced today that it had given two new contracts worth �30


million of public money. This company has been under


investigation by the police, the Department of work and pensions,


the Public Accounts Committee, and since I had been raising concerns


about it, I have received 15 the e- mails, public alleging a bad


practice and fraud. Will it the public continued to give them


public money? She raises a serious issue. The police investigation


into the allegations of fraud where contracts entered into by the


previous government. We have now launched hour alone audit of the


existing contracts which they have received from government and if


there is any evidence of systematic abuse, we will end contact with


them. The six British servicemen killed in Afghanistan last week


will be repatriated next Tuesday. And would include three of my


constituents. At this difficult time for the families, or will the


Deputy Prime Minister assure me and my constituents everything is being


done by the Government to support the families? I know how strongly


he must feel about this terrible accident it. Three of his


constituents have sadly lost their lives. The MoD would wish to


confirm with him that they would do everything they can to make sure


the bodies are returned to the families as soon as possible.


the Deputy Prime Minister consider the implications of the Treasury's


planned changes in the controlled foreign companies are rules? They


will in cent advise multinationals having recourse to tax havens.


Opening this new tax rule is estimated to cost developing


countries �4 billion in much needed revenue and the Exchequer here, �1


billion. World this invidious change be corrected in forthcoming


Budget measures? He raises an important issue. I have spoken to


campaigners on this myself and I know action Aid has been speaking


to Treasury ministries as well. It's incredibly complicated ones


you get into the detail but it's something which was not dealt with


in the last 13 years which we are now prepared to look into. Will my


right honourable friend join me in welcoming the launch today of the


Government's adoption action plan which sets out how we can achieve


more adoptions, more quickly? Does he agree that making adoption work


well everywhere should be the priority of everywhere who have the


interests of of vulnerable people at heart? It is so frustrating for


couples and parents who want to adopt children and not good for the


children concerned when they are in order that delays and that is why


it's a very good thing this seems to be a general consensus recently,


Prime Minister to accelerate the adoption process and it will now


indeed happen. Is it right that when your constituent it took a


young daughter to the Indy and later received a letter from the GP


saying the but it was inappropriate and also reminded of the costs of


up to visit, is this the future of the NHS under this government where


elderly and bomber will people are going to be scared to ask for


treatment? Of course not, and that letter was issued under the current


system. He does touch on a very serious issue which not only we


face in this country but every single developed society around,


faces bore for we have health care systems are not designed for a mass


of the ageing population where a large number of older people have


chronic conditions and spent much longer in hospital than before and


that's why we need to make sure they are kept strong in their homes


and in their communities support for that is what this NHS bill is


all about. Students at comprehensive schools are just as


likely to study A-level history as their private school counterparts.


However, only half as likely to study maths and physics. What is


the Government going to do about the social mobility issue that we


had in the sciences? Does he support the proposed as Sir Isaac


Newton at Maths School in north book to address this issue? It's an


important point. It's all the reasons why the new English back


Laura places emphasis on those scientific disciplines and why we


have protected the science budget in order to send out a clear system


that we value sciences for the that's why we place an emphasis on


a young youngsters take not maths and science for our collective of


He says the health bill would be going through unamended without the


Liberal Democrats, but will he listen to people up and down the


country that know the real truth? The Tories would not be getting


their shambolic bill at all without him and his MPs propping them up.


would have thought he would welcome legislation that gets rid of the


practice of sweetheart deals for the private sector which his party


Harriet Harman went to begin with on the unemployment figures which


were out this morning. They showed another rise. But then moved on to


the NHS where we had a number of exchanges. I'm not sure it added


too much of to the some of your knowledge on this issue. But Labour


continuing to oppose the NHS reforms and urging the Government


to drop the whole Bill entirely. I think they both survived to fight


another day. First we are going to There was a bit of ping-pong about


the style of both deputies today. This on Twitter, Nick Clegg giving


Harriet Harman a rough time. Nick Clegg every week, police. This


email. I was pleasantly surprised with Nick Clegg's performance at


PMQs. He made Harriet Harman look like an amateur. And this on


Twitter, stop whining about the mess and start governing. And this


on Twitter, Cameron is eating hot dogs while the back bed and Tory


MPs give Nick Clegg a kicking. Not as many as expected of those,


perhaps. And on the Mile, Harriet Harman has shown Ed Miliband how to


handle PMQs. -- on email. There were relatively few questions for


Nick Clegg. Yes, this was very benign. He normally get hostile


flat from all over the house. Remarkably steady this time. Only


two a really difficult questions, one from Peter Lilley about why the


Government should bother with Lords reform when there are more


important issues and also the question of child benefit and


dealing with it. The rest of it was remarkably benign. The two issues


that Harriet Harman chose to go on, the health service and the economic


policy, they are two issued that the Liberal Democrats and the


Conservatives are broadly in alignment on. Therefore I think it


was difficult to drive a wedge through the Conservatives and the


Liberal Democrats on that issue. looked reasonably confident and his


performance was reasonably assured, I think most fair-minded people


would say. I agree with that. It is the first time he has done one of


these, standing in for the Prime Minister, for well over a year.


Clearly that time in Government of absorbing the material, going to


the meetings, doing more Deputy Prime Minister's Questions every


month, that means you get better at these things and you get more used


to it and you are better able to deal with whatever is thrown at you.


The criticism thrown against him in the early days was that he would


get too tetchy and his own irritation would show. He has


clearly worked on that. He had the few good lines in terms of


attacking Ed Miliband for his sick day over the weekend. I think he


will be quite satisfied with that. Are you going to throw a big party


when health bill becomes law? It has been a nightmare for you.


has been difficult in Parliament. When we had the debate about it


yesterday and Andrew Burnham was challenged to save what it was that


he was opposed to in the bill, and he could not tell us. The health


bill is full of things that Labour was in favour of in opposition,


social care working with health care. Taking bureaucracy out of the


doctors' hands and into the public's hands. Labour cannot tell


us what they don't like about it. Rebels are always more attractive


to the press than the opposition. But Labour has made the running. It


seemed to be with the grain of public opinion, which does not


really like the reforms. Public opinion does not usually like


public service reforms to begin with. You have not just said that


this would make the NHS was, you have not just said that we do not


like it and it would be more bureaucratic and more difficult,


you have said it will destroy the NHS. You have said it will


privatise the NHS and it is the end of the NHS as we know it. If by


2015 it is still functioning roughly the way that it does now,


that is a problem. We hope that the NHS does function. Nobody wants to


see patients suffering for political advantage. The shore. But


the NHS will be very different. If there is a postcode lottery,


millions of pounds spent on reorganisation, if hospitals get


private patients which means waiting lists grow longer, if GPs


are compromised into choosing profit over patients. All of these


things will mean that the NHS that we know and what we were raised on


will be very different. Some of these changes are already taking


place and that is why we have seen these exchanges in PMQs. What do


you say to that? The things that people value about the NHS, being


treated based on need and not ability to pay, that is absolutely


staying in place. What about waiting list times? She cannot


afford waiting-lists to go up, can you? They are not, they are going


down. We do not have to look at what Labour would do for comparison.


My constituency is on the border with Wales. In Wales, where Labour


is in Government, they are cutting spending on health, waiting lists


are twice as long. Welsh Labour was against the reforms of Tony Blair


Labour as well. In it is a very good example. If you want the


health service to be successful, you have to put the money in, which


we are, and you have to reform it, which we are. Labour have put the


money in Government and throw it away in opposition. You work with


Nick Clegg in the Cabinet Office. Let me ask you about the


constitutional side since we have got you here. You saw that question


from Peter Lilley about the House of Lords reform. How much


resistance is there to House of Lords reform on the Tory


backbenches? Some people are not keen on it but lots of people agree


with the central proposition that people that make laws should be


elected. Lots of people on that programme have discussed the House


of Lords and welfare and the health bill. When you challenge appears on


that central proposition, they do not defend it. -- challenged peers.


They pretend that they do not make the law and they just offer advice.


That is rubbish. We can deal with the deficit, we can reform welfare,


and we can make our Parliament more democratic. You can do more than


one thing at to time. I understand that. I was more interested in the


process. The impression that I get one I talked to Tory MPs is that


there is no real enthusiasm for this. -- when I talk to Tory MPs.


They just wish it would go away. You will have to whip them through


big time. It was in our manifesto in 2001 and in 2005 and 2010. It is


clearly true that the Liberal Democrats are more enthusiastic


than we are but lots of Conservatives think the House of


Lords should be more democratic, and when you point out there are


800 of them, they get paid, they are former MPs, actually having


fewer is something that the public would agree with. It is not at the


top of their list of priorities. Has Labour made up its mind? We do


not know the nature of the reforms exactly but it is a working


assumption that it will be staged towards an 80% a elected Lords. Has


Labour made up its fight if it wants to go along with that? --


made up its mind. It must be tempting to oppose it. Our policy


is clear. We believe the second chamber should be fully elected. We


need to resolve the issue of what powers they had. And what should be


The draft Bill publish last year had huge problems with it. We will


see at the committee can improve it. The problem with doing that, if


you're going to make a huge changes, the way to do it is by doing it


with consensus rather than papering over the tracks. They know they


might do little but was at the general election. A balance of


power? Many people say, this is an opportunity to mess up the


Government's programme. Let's do what we can. I think from a twinkle


in his eye, that's the way he's going for so there are many in the


Labour Party... I just like watching the House of Commons


reform. What do sent to Conservative backbenchers who say,


I'm not going to work for this? If we have a second elected chamber,


there will be able permanent balance of power in a high and as


of the Lib Dems? Firstly, in the last Parliament before the


coalition government, the Lib Dems had a balance of power under the


existing system. I set out the case for why actually, having a House of


Lords elected, where you want a wide spread of opinion, actually


works very well the House of Commons were used to draw the


Government based on first-past-the- post. 15 year terms of a lot longer


than... Less than life. It would be up to the public and the way they


voted in the general election. It depends how many people vote for


them. That's totally logical. Now we will move on. James, banks of


being with us. George Osborne has had plenty of advice ahead of his


Budget next week. Should he drop the 50p tax rate? Introduce a


Mansion Tax? Hit high earners with pension changes? Whatever he


decides on tax, Tim Montgomerie, the editor of the Conservative Home


website, wants the Chancellor to If I were the Chancellor, my


biggest focus would not be the eurozone, and the deficit. It would


be the rise of China and other new economies. Up until recently, China


had no high-speed rail. Now they have as much as Europe, and soon as


much as the whole world of. Half of all degrees are awarded in China,


Singapore and Japan are for Science and Engineering. In Britain, it is


under one third. The number of elevations in China is up by 1,000%


but it is falling here. In order to compete, I know what we have to do.


Unpopular things but necessary We need a new airport in the south-


east of England. Replace employment laws would stop firms from taking


on extra workers. Pace science teachers more than geography


teachers, we need profit-making schools, privatise roads. And we


need to link the retirement age to life expectancy. I'm told by spin


doctors that these are impossible unpopular things to do. But


sometimes, the things which are not right for a politician are right


for the country. There's no point doing these things at half measures,


just like there is no point dieting one day and pinching the next. If


we are going to make a difference, we might as well do all of these


things and that's what I would do. I would end axe every single one of


his unpopular measures. My great Britain plan will be a climb to


more jobs, higher incomes, and prosperity for everyone. And Tim


Montgomerie joins us in the studio. As we were just saying, you're not


the Chancellor. Perhaps you would not be an acting of these unpopular


ideas. Why do you think that list you read out, profit-making,


privatising roads etc, would transform the long-term prospects


of this country? Like with any reform, and this is the main thing


I wanted to communicate with that a video, NHS reforms, unless the


public first double think there is a problem, it's hard to end at any


reform which is why I talked about the innovation in China, they


invest so much in infrastructure. Once we understand the nature of


the competitiveness we face as the country and the risk to jobs and


income, then there will be a hunger for the radical reforms I suggest.


I'm happy to go through each one of them. George Osborne has often


talked about the rise of emerging countries, and China, so he


obviously has identified the problem but has not come to the


same conclusions as you. What makes you think he would look up these


ideas, when the main aim of the Government is reducing the deficit?


Vince Cable wrote a letter last week where he said he thought the


Government lacks a compelling message. I think there is a danger


of that, yes, because if you ask the average person what they think


the Government is about, they will say it's about the big society, and


deficit cuts. I think a big message that it's about competitiveness and


growth is a better method of the Government should focus on. The do


you like any of those proposals which have been listed? The I'm not


going to go through them. It's a matter for the Chancellor to


respond to. Do you like a new airport? What Tim is right about


his it is about competitiveness. We have talked about being more


competitive abroad. That's why we talk more about the Commonwealth


now and some fast-growing countries and a lot of what the Chancellor


will be talking about is making us more competitive ness, which is why


we encourage companies to... Don't you need to take a more radical


look at? There is certainly an appetite to take difficult


decisions. We have spent the last two years making difficult


decisions, not always popular, but necessary. If ideas come forward we


conclude will have those effects which are unpopular, we have to


make the case to people. The are what about dropping the 50 p tax


rate? The Chancellor will set out our views on that next week and has


commissioned research allowed how much money it raises. The priority


is to help low income families have more money in their pocket. In my


constituency, I doubt anybody pays the 50 pence tax. I'm concentrating


on the thousands of people for the you have to earn over one and in


the �2,000. -- �150,000 a year. I want to focus on modest families. I


want to cut taxes for them to make their lives easier. It won in by


people aged between 16 and 24 are not in work, training, education,


our ability to compete is diminished, not enhanced. America,


India, Brazil, you have an active industrial policy creating jobs and


growth. You don't talk about the importance of what the Government


can do to stimulate growth when it is flat lining. We are going to


come to America. While David Cameron is rubbing shoulders with


Barack Obama in America, Ed Miliband tried to show that he is


the true ally of the President on Monday when he talked about the US


economy. Here's what he said in his pre-budget press conference. Labour


warned 18 months ago that cutting too far and too fast would not work.


And we, and other economists, have been proved correct unfortunate


leak in what we said would happen. If you look at what is happening


with Barack Obama, in the USA, growth is stronger, and, indeed,


jobs are being created much more quickly in that economy. The result


of him taking a different approach. The first thing George Osborne


should do is change course. A Ed Miliband calling for a change of


course. He points to America saying growth is on its way, unemployment


is on its way down, but its debt is unbelievably high, borrowing costs


are up because they lost their triple-A rating, so it's not


exactly clear to say if we follow the path of the USA, Britain would


do better. EU countries also have no groat or you can try to


stimulate growth by getting policies. -- growth. You're more


likely to do that if people are paying taxes and national insurance


rather than out of work. It's difficult when you see a better


picture Look Now the unemployment statistics than here. What you


don't do is sold a borrowing problem by spending more money and


giving up fiscal control -- solve the. Sir Nicol forebears is across


the country they need to keep borrowing costs low so they can


continue to invest and create jobs. We are still creating more jobs


than are being lost the public sector. Part-time jobs. But not


able to keep up with the losses. There are more jobs in the private


sector than being lost in the public sector. There are more


people in employment today than in May 2010. Can David Cameron learn


anything from Barack Obama? I agree with him on the debt is at issue.


That Continent is bogged down by the eurozone problems but America


is not anywhere near so connected. We cannot solve a debt crisis by


increasing our debt. In terms of looking further afield, if the


Chancellor thought he wouldn't be able to do anything, because his


inner coalition... One of the great things about the coalition in the


beginning is they had the rose garden moment where we had welfare


and education reforms, the vote on the Alternative Vote and raising


the tax threshold and I think we need another moment like that where


the Lib Dems stop fighting over small issues and go bold again.


It's not worth the paper they are written on. Attacking the Lib Dems


will not do you any good. If you read what Nick Clegg said, to get


his Senate, David Cameron could have said it exactly. Don't confuse


good Lib Dem activists with Billie Dove. Thank you. No time to pick


the winner of the guests the air competition. We will try to do that


tomorrow. The answer was 1987. Mrs Thatcher's second landslide of.


Tune in tomorrow. We thank all of our guests. The One O'Clock News is


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