03/05/2012 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics. Mervyn King admits


he should have shouted from the rooftops about the risks ahead of


the financial crisis. In a speech last night, the Governor of the


Bank of England admitted mistakes had been made in the past and


pledged that the Bank of England would regulate the banking system


better in the future. ARGUING IN FRENCH.


There were some angry exchanges between President Sarkozy and his


socialist challenger, Francois Hollande, last night in the only


television debate of the French election campaign.


Here, voters go to the polls today in a whole host of elections in


England, Scotland and Wales. And with all the bad weather we


have been having recently, will it affect voter turn-out? We will be


exploding some election myths. All that in the next hour between


now and 1pm. And with us for the duration Howard


Davies. He has done so many jobs, we are losing count, but he's now a


professor at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris. It's


called Sciences Po. Bienvenu, mon petit mange-tout. Now we are not


really allowed to talk about domestic politics today for fear of


influencing your vote. If only we could! So I'm going to sing for the


next 58 minutes. No! La la la! Will you join in? No! I can laugh in


French! OK, I'll put you out of misery and you can watch this. I


think our ratings just went up! I will do what I'm paid to do. Lets


talk about the governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King, who last


night had this to say. Our power was limited to that of publishing


reports and preaching sermons, and we did preach sermons about the


risks, but we didn't imagine the scale of the disaster of what would


occur when the risks crystallised. With the benefit of hindsight, we


should have shouted from the rooftops that a system had been


built, in which banks were too important to fail, banks had grown


too quickly and borrowed too much, and that so-called light touch


regulation had not presented -- prevented any of this all-star the


first radio address by a Bank of England governor for 17 years.


much did Mervyn King actually admit to? I think he is saying mistakes


began in the financial markets themselves and people who run the


banks and their shareholders are responsible, but they should not be


expecting to run for support from the government so the problems


started there, but the lock plot is there was a collective view,


including politicians from all sides, regulators and the central


bank, that things were fine. Inflation was low, the economy was


growing, the Orrell wing was going up, we were having fun -- borrowing.


Somebody should have been the person to shout that the emperor


has no clothes, and I think he thinks in hindsight, that should


have been him. He did hint that he was starting to preach sermons


about the risk of the banking sector and he used the term


"shouted from the rooftops". Was he saying this quietly? If you look


back, you can see some warnings from the Bank of England. The Bank


of International settlements in Switzerland was louder in its


complaints. The IMF was very silent indeed, they said the risks were


very low, so there was not a strong consensus among central bankers


that things were going wrong, but what is interesting about this


beach is that there is within central bank's major rethinking


about what a central bank should be -- about his speech. There was a


view that if you concentrated on inflation, if that was under


control, that was a sufficient condition for financial stability.


Now people have realised that is not enough. We will talk more about


this. So the government plans to scrap


the Financial Services Authority and hand most of its powers to


various committees of the Bank of England. But will the FSA's


replacement really be any more likely to protect us all than what


went before? We sent our own City slicker David Thompson to find out.


Kerry Reed Wharf, where money talks and everything else walks -- Canary


Wharf. At its heart, the Financial Services Authority, at least for


now. The FSA came into being during the Ali days of the new Labour


government and the idea was to create a single regulator for


pretty much everything -- the early days. You could argue it was doing


Panic ran amok in the city. So how long would all this misery last?


All of which sounded the death- knell for the FSA, so clearly it


had to go. Did it? Who was fit for purpose during this financial


crisis? Everybody was lacking? The politicians were lacking, the Bank


of England was lacking, the Financial Services Authority was


lacking, the industry was lacking, foreign banks, hugely. I don't


think it merits searching for who is going to be the scapegoat.


that is not what the government things and the FSA is on its way


out, with the Bank of England seizing the control. There will be


a policy committee to monitor the general state of the economy, an


authority to keep an eye on banks and big business, and a financial


conduct authority to supervise the markets. That is a lot of power for


one person, the new governor of the Bank of England, which worries the


Treasury Select Committee. We need to make sure that this new quango,


and in a sense that is what it is, a very powerful and enhanced Bank


of England, is made fully accountable to Parliament and


forced to explain to the public exactly why it is taking the


decisions it has the power to take. This is a body that will decide


whether you can have alone and a mortgage, and make recommendations


about a raft of other powers as well. But perhaps most importantly,


will these changes actually prevent another financial meltdown? I am


worried we have new committees now been created where we could have


quite a number of conflicts of interest and arguments, which


themselves could lead to bad decision making. In a time of


economic stress, is it right to turn the whole system upside down?


I would suggest it is not the right thing because what we have now is a


more complex system. The present Bill is not clear that in a crisis,


there is someone in charge. government insists the new system


will work but the last lot said that, too. If the FSA was the


watchdog that did not bark, the replacement will have to prove that


its teeth a sharp enough to do the job this time.


And we are joined now by now the editor of City AM, Allister Heath.


And Sir Howard Davies is still with us. Let me cut straight to the


chase. I was quite amazed that the Governor said there was no boom


before bust. We covered that he read it together. I remember a huge


boom in house prices, household debt, corporate debt and on the


stock market! What it did the Governor Miss? There was also a


massive increase in the amount of money in the economy, a massive


increase in credit and quite a few economists in America and London


warning that there was a bubble and that things were out of control,


that the cost of money had fallen, partly because of the behaviour of


central banks and Federal Reserves, and these big economic forces


caused by imbalances between East and West. Quite a few people were


warning that there was a ridiculously cheap and large amount


of liquidity in the system and that this would push it up at that price


is like house prices, and I think the Bank of England did not do


enough at the time and did not listen to people saying that


interest rates had to go up to stop this. Yes, it would have throttled


economic growth but it would have been better to have had a sharp


slowdown in 2005 rather than go to the catastrophe that we went to, so


I do not believe the Bank of England had insufficient tools to


abate the bubble. That is why people do not buy that, with


hindsight, we knew. The politicians and the regulators almost had a


common interest in not doing anything about it because things


seemed to be going too well, but people like Alistair and others


have warned the Governor of the Bank of England that simply


monitoring the CPI, simply monitoring inflation, price


inflation, ignore the fact that there were these huge imbalances


and Broomes going on. -- blues. think Mervyn King is not denying


that. He is not denying there were credit Bubbles. And asset Bubbles.


He is saying that overall, there was no great economic boom.


Therefore what he thing is that interest rates are not necessarily


the most appropriate weapon to deal with the bubble in credit that we


had -- what he is saying. The bank is now getting the ability to


manipulate other controls, potentially things like the amount


of deposit you have to put down to get a mortgage. Those are the sorts


of things you need to deal with the circumstances that we had in the


early years of this century, and on that I agree with him. But the bank


had two major tours as I see it. It controlled interest rates,


independently, and it had leave is to control the money supply.


Absolutely. -- it had a lever. Interest rate is the key thing.


They could have warned much more openly. To me, this crisis was


quite similar to a previous bubble. If you look back through history,


you see dozens of examples all round the world, central bank


making the mistake. I don't think he needed new tools to deal with


that. Ultimately he just needed to put up the price of money. Suddenly


people stop taking mortgages and loans and had he done that, HBOS


would not have lent as much to property, Northern Rock would not


have expanded as much. I don't think they are taking enough of the


responsibility for the bubble. the time it seemed there was almost


a Faustian pact between the politicians and the financial


system, that the banks and people in the City did not want to listen


to people like you because they were getting rich on cheap money.


The government from Gordon Brown down, he didn't want to listen


because all the money they were making was filling his coffers with


tax revenues, which he loved to spend. That is completely true and


Mervyn King may be good point that nobody was taking him into


Parliament and asking him about interest rates and that is a fair


point. Looking just at the Bank of England is not quite fair. You have


to look at the whole climate. But I think you do have to consider


whether, if you give the Bank a different kind of mandate, which it


is now getting, with a more explicit responsibility for


financial stability, that at least gives it a better excuse for


increasing interest rates... People will say, why are you increase in


interest rates when inflation is 2%? At the time they would have


found it difficult to explain that. If they have got an explicit


financial stability remit, they can say, that is our remit and that is


why. But at the moment inflation is much higher than the remit, and


they have found a justification for that, saying they have to do that


to gain stability, so I think they could have done the same under the


old remit. I think they could still have acted. From what we saw last


night and from the changes we know it are happening to the bank's


remit, as the Bank of England learned its lesson? Are we at risk


of a repeat? We know history does not repeat itself exactly, but


could something similar happened again? I think they have learned


some lessons. I think everybody has, but I fear they have not learned


all have the right lessons. We still have a bank that will target


the consumer price index and global central banks of still making a lot


of mistake, there is still a huge amount of manipulation of Monday to


constantly tried to boost economic growth, even when there is far too


much leverage in the system -- manipulation of money and credit.


There is also the incentive to throttle the system too much.


Because it is demanding too much, that they have to have a lot in the


bank? Yes, you can stop a bubble by killing the economy and having


permanent stagnation. That is also a mistake. I think the next mistake


will be quite a different one! is something to look forward to!


is right to point to the fact that the bank has itself published


recently a chart showing that the ratio of credit to GDP, which was


way above its long-term average, of total credit, way above the average,


is now below its long-term average. In the normal way, you would say


that requires some easing of pressures on the banks, maybe some


reductions in the amount of capital that they have to contain because


you could be throttling the economy too much. It is typical. We are


forcing these high credit ratios in the banks because we are fighting


A Cook question about Mr King's replacement. Should it be a banker


foreign economist? I think it should be a banker. I think a pure


commercial banker would not be good. The person needs to understand the


markets. Who are you backing? quite like Lord Greene who used to


run HSBC. A very prudent banker who is now in politics. Didn't he by


all that sub-prime get in America? He did make mistakes. Harry


Redknapp, I think. Who is he? free! Which has School of Economics


is he from? He doesn't believe in tax! And if not him? I am not going


to offer another name. Thank you very much.


Now, I like today's quiz. Which Minister is a fashion icon in


Islamabad of all places? Is it Jeremy Hunt, Danny Alexander, Ken


Clarke or Theresa May? At the end of the show, we will ask our


sartorial expert for the answer. The French go to the polls this


weekend to elect a president. It is the second round. They have


narrowed it down to two candidates from 10. Last night, the candidates,


Mr Sarkozy on the right of centre and Francois Holland, the Socialist,


conducted a heated debate on French television. But was watched in


France alone by over 20 million people. They take their politics


seriously. Here is a clip. TRANSLATION: You criticise me by


saying that you were late in solving the euro crisis. You think


it was easy to negotiate with 27 members? It wasn't easy. We also


saved the euro, and that demanded a considerable amount of work. We did


it mainly thanks to France and Germany. As for the European


Central Bank, they have done a good job. I am not sure, Francois


Holland, but she would have done any better.


TRANSLATION: Europe is not out of the crisis. Austerity may strike


again. This is where the presidential elections are so


important. We need a president who can make Europe change, a President


who can also make Germany move. But we need to borrow some money to


kick-start growth. You might have gone for that type of policy, but


Angela Merkel stopped you. He that was the debate last night,


several hours of free-flowing debate. I don't know why there were


two Ankers, because almost one wasn't needed. But I guess you can


have that kind of discussion when there are only two people vying for


the job. You couldn't do it with more than two. Let's see what it's


like the morning after the night before. Christian Frasier is in


means. Now that people have had time to absorb, is there a


consensus? I know the left and right will have their views, but is


there a consensus among independent minded people have who won last


night? The people I have spoken to today focused very much on Francois


Homs, he is six points ahead in the polls. He was clear right from the


start on his first answer which topics he wanted to focus on. The


Socialists have had some big disappointments, but they seemed to


have learned their lessons in 2007. Francois Holland's partner was


roughed up in those elections. He reacted quite differently last


night. It was Mr Sarkozy who was on the back foot a lot of the time. He


looked quite ruffled. So I think independent-minded analysts will


probably think that if it was an honourable draw, that was good news


for Mr Holland. If that was the view, then that was the last throw


of the dice for Mr Sarkozy. We would have to say that if that is


the consensus, then France Warhol This is the front page which shows


the two main debating here. This is really setting the mood. It is


never your fault is it, Mr President? And Mr Sarkozy saying, I


am not your pupil. I rather brisk riposte from the President. But if


this is a referendum on the style of Mr Sarkozy's politics, that


underlines it. You might say people won't react well. I have picked out


another paper, and we are here because Mariela Pen finished top of


the pile in the first round of the vote. I have looked in one of the


regional papers, and it has a map here of France and where the votes


are concentrated. This is where they did particularly well, and


down in the Deep South, where immigration is an issue, and also


appear in the top where they are closer to Brussels. You can make


what you will have that. But it is here in this region that they have


done particularly well, and I have been be speaking to people about


whether they might switch their vote to Nicolas Sarkozy in the


second round. But Mary in a pen has a long term objective here to build


a far-right party. It doesn't benefit her to throw a lifeline at


this stage in the process. She said at the rally I attended at the


other day that she would leave it to voters to vote with their


conscience, but she would be casting a blank ballot on Sunday.


Fascinating stuff. Thank you for joining us, Christian. Pitt look


like after the first round that the Le Pen that position would be that


she would be hoping she would replace Mr Sarkozy's party on the


right end be the main opposition to the Socialists. They are not and


National Party, they are concentrated on the North East and


the South. Let's see what the implications of this election will


be. I am joined by a Emma Reynolds and the Conservative MEP Daniel


Hannan. Emma, are you looking forward to a Francois Hollande


victory? Very much so. I think the crisis in Europe has been prolonged


and deepened by the right-wing government who are focusing on


austerity alone. Mr Holland was very robust last night and showed


he had a plan to reduce the deficit but also get the economy growing.


Daniel Hannan, I thought this would be a difficult choice the year,


because both Mr Sarkozy and Mr Holland, they are not supporters of


the market economy of the liberal Anglo-Saxon models, so who would


you support? I don't get their vote, Andrew. From a British point of


view, it doesn't make a lot of difference. We have to candidates


who want to defeat the markets and to see free enterprise has the


problem rather than the solution and want to give more power to


Brussels. From that perspective, it doesn't make much difference. The


idea that France is suffering from too much austerity, this is a


country where the state takes 56% of GDP. This is a state where there


hasn't been a balanced budget since 1974. For Francois Homs to come


along and say that he has a plan for growth, this is wonderful. The


truth is we are in danger of accelerated all of the policies


that brought Europe into this mess in the first place, spending more,


taxing more, borrowing more. Reynolds, I guess the. He is making


is that if the state was the solution, given the size of the


state in France, much bigger than Britain, France would be the most


successful country in Europe already. Unemployment is at 10% in


France, and the idea that if the Government gets out of the way in


much the same way as the Government here is arguing, somehow the market


will miraculously solved the problems. No one is arguing that.


The state spends 56% of the GDP in France. It is the highest in Europe,


and tax is the highest as a percentage of GDP in Europe. So


what is it about the state that has resulted in 10% unemployment?


state doesn't need to reduces expenditure, and Francois Honda is


saying that. He is saying that 19 billion needs to be taken in tax


rises or spending cuts. But the issue here is how you tackle


unemployment. The global financial crisis in 2008 shows what happens


if you let the market had its place. That is what Daniel Hannan would


like to see. Market failure has produced a crisis in the eurozone


and in our country. So I don't think that prescription will get us


anywhere. And confused by what you say. It is by letting the market


rip that has created the crisis in the eurozone? Almost every European


economy in the heart of the eurozone, the state accounts for


50% of its GDP. When did the market forces rip? I am saying that a


banking crisis of excessive risk sparked the crisis. They need to be


a reduction of the size of the state in France, I agree with that.


But look at what happened in Spain. The crisis in Spain has not been


caused by overspending of the state. It has been caused by private


sector debt. So I don't think you can just to reduce this to saying


that the eurozone crisis has been caused by public debt alone. I


don't think that is true. Daniel Hannan, if the Socialists win, who


get among them first? Angela Merkel the bond markets? There will be a


queue to mug him. Can I come back to the point that Emma was just


making that this is a market failure because the banks were


unregulated. I used to be in journalism before I got elected,


and I can recognise when a story has passed the point of correction,


but I want to put on the record for the idea that the financial markets


are completely unregulated is ludicrous. It is difficult to think


of a more regulated section in the entire economy apart from maybe


media. What we have is that governments and businesses are all


massively in debt. During the boom years, they spend money they didn't


have. There is now a correction, and the solution proposed to


Brussels is more of the medicine that second the patient in the


first place. They want to treat a debt crisis with more debt. Let me


bring Howard Davies in. Let's assume - we don't know for sure,


but stranger things have happened - let's assume the Socialists have


one. They are pledging 60,000 more teachers, cutting the retirement


age back to 60, taking Angela Merkel head on over the fiscal pact.


How does that play? I think I would distinguish between his domestic


ambitions and what he is saying about what needs to be done in the


eurozone. On the domestic side, he will have to change his mind. He


won't be able to do these things. I don't believe the markets will


prevent him from expanding the French budget deficit. But I do


think that he has a point about the way in which to the eurozone crisis


is currently being handled. And an exclusive focus on fiscal austerity


and the southern European countries, when in some cases like Spain's


they didn't actually have a major fiscal crisis before, this is a


fiscal crisis in the housing market, etc. The exclusive focus on that is


not likely to solve this problem. And so I think he will be pressing


for a bigger firewall for Europe, and a bigger collectively


guaranteed borrowing arrangement, which the Germans would like. But I


think they will be forced to do it. He may be pushing on an open door?


We have lost Daniel Hannan. The line had to be moved to someone


else. We still have and a Reynolds. Emma, I want to ask you a final


question. Isn't there a danger of the British Labour Party are lining


itself too closely with Mr Holland and the French Socialists? If


within six weeks or even six months he is in the middle of all has


caused a major economic crisis in France, you will be tainted by


We don't support every specific policy, especially some domestic


policies. We do not support a 75% tax rate. Why not? We advocate


retaining a 50% tax rate, you know that well enough. What is wrong


with tax and people who make over �1 million submitted a percent? --


taxing people. Who earn over �1 million, 75%? It might lead to a


reduction in tax revenue but let me go back to Europe. A victory in


France for Hollande would change the narrative in Europe, in a good


way, in that it would take away the exclusive focus on austerity and


yes, we do need to cut the deficit in some countries, but it is a


sequencing issue. You need to get growth going first before you can


meaningfully cut the deficit and the failure to do that in the UK...


We do not want to dwell on British politics too much. Fair enough.


it will be a fascinating election result with consequences for all of


Europe, including the UK, and we are grateful for you for joining us.


The engine macro. It is not the only election going on! -- thank


you. The mother of democracies is also


going to the polls this weekend and our correspondent is in Athens. Is


this election really going to be about punishing the main parties in


the current caretaker government and rejecting austerity?


certainly looks that way, if the opinion polls are anything to go by.


The two parties in coalition, the centre right and the Socialist


Party, are at an all-time low in the opinion polls. In the last


election in 2009, they got 80% of the vote together and this time


they are struggling to get 40%. There is immense anger against the


financial crisis, which has brought this country to its knees. So what


voters are saying, and what we are likely to see on Sunday, is a


punishing of those two parties. The smaller, left-wing, anti-austerity


parties are gaining ground. For the first time in four decades in


Greece, it looks like voters will move away from the traditional


dominance of these two towards smaller parties, which will mean a


fragmentation of the vote. It could make it hard to fault a strong and


stable government. Are you saying if there is support for some of the


left wing groups, that they would be able to form a government or is


that still unlikely without the support of one of the larger


parties? It is still unlikely because the leftist parties a very


divided in themselves. They range from the communist, old Trotskyist


parties that want to leave the European Union altogether, to a


centre-left New a party that wants to tweak austerity measures, and it


is very unlikely that they will club together to form a cohesive


opposition to the mainstream. What is more likely is that the two big


parties will try to form some kind of shaky coalition after Sunday's


election and possibly have to bring coalition could be so shaky that it


may not even survive to the end of the year, there may have to be


another election, which again would bring in debility to Greece.


Remember, Greece remains the epicentre of the financial crisis


set in debility here means it will go beyond Greece. -- so it


instability. You are going to Greece. We did not get a sense of


the feeling on the streets. We have seen the images of people


protesting against austerity. If Francois Hollande comes in in


France and the left-wing government comes in, do you think there will


be a challenge to the austerity measures of Germany and Brussels?


Yes, Hollande wants to change the remit of the European Central Bank


to make it more like the Federal Reserve, which is supposed to


control inflation but also promote employment, which is not the remit


of the ECB. I think overall there will be a challenge to the line


that the Germans have been on effectively. But whether that will


be soon enough to help! It is a moot point. We heard from Mark that


it looks incredibly shaky, so how optimistic are you that there will


be as they bought government in the next few months? I am not very


optimistic. -- be a stable government. I think that the


appetite in Brussels and Berlin for yet another bail-out package, or


revising the terms of the existing one, is very, very low. They have


repeatedly said that Greece is a one-off, it is not a precedent for


anywhere else, so I think it is very delicate. Elections are one


thing in Greece, controlling the street is another. We have seen


that the parliament is sometimes besieged by demonstrators. Looking


back, I have to say that Papandreou's idea of a referendum


and Cliff support for what he was doing was not stupid. -- clear


support. He was bounced off that by Angela Merkel and Sarkozy because


they feared it would be too disruptive, but when you have a


very broken political system, with lots of tiny parties and splinter


groups, and you also have a lot of people ready to go to the street, a


referendum, if he hadn't got 55%, would have given him a mandate. I


don't think it was a stupid idea. And also the idea that the far


Right might -- the far Right might do well. They are talking about


putting a land mine on the border! When you talk to people in France


and Greece, one of the things they are concerned about is the politics


of this. If it breaks up, who will benefit? It will not be just


another government of nice chaps from a slightly different spectrum.


The people who are benefiting, the far right, the far-left, Sinn Fein,


in Finland, Ireland... In France. A bunch of guys who marched around in


Hungary with their arms up in a salute. These are some nasty


renewals or forces that we hoped would disappear and it is a very


difficult situation -- off forces. Election results will be coming in


from Paris and Athens and if you are watching the Daily Politics, I


suspect you are into that, so enjoy Sunday night. We will still be


cogitating over the result of our own elections! Now, unless you've


accidentally turned over from the Tellytubbies, most of you guys


should be performing your democratic duty and voting in a


whole host of different elections up and down the country. And our Jo


Voting is taking place across England, Wales and Scotland today.


More than 4,700 seats are up for grabs on 128 English councils, most


of which were last contested in 2008. Every seat on Scotland's 32


unitary authorities is being contested. And the make-up of 21


unitary authorities in Wales will also be decided. Mayoral elections


take place in London, Liverpool and Salford. While, in ten other


English cities, referendums take place on whether they want mayors.


Adam will be staying up all night to watch the results. Here's his


It is Thursday, 10pm. The polls have closed across Scotland,


England and Wales and counting is under way in around half of the 181


local authorities have been contests this year. The election


programme will be starting soon! By 2am on Friday, we should be able to


calculate what the party's share of the vote would have been if this


was the national election. How do my colleagues cope with the all-


nighters? I do not stay up the local elections! I stay up the


general elections, but a local elections, you wake up in the


morning and listen to the gloating and excuses. Two-thirds of the


results will be in by 6 o'clock in the morning, and 11 cities are


holding referendums on whether to have an elected mayor. We make also


know who has been elected mayor of Liverpool -- we may also know. As I


tucked into my super food sandwich on Friday lunchtime, there will be


a flurry of excitement. Doncaster will be counting votes on whether


to abolish their elected mayor. Later Birmingham will be counting


its vote on having one, and we may know who will get the job in


Salford. 5:00pm Friday, I will be cracking open the Irn-Bru as we


find out which party is in control of Glasgow City Council. My


hometown and one of the most symbolic contests in the whole


country. Then it is time for a nap, because cutting for the Assembly


and mayor of London takes quite a while -- because counting. The


results will be counted by the returning officer. Why the long


wait? It is to be elections in one, it is the most complicated one in


the UK, arguably the most complex in Europe. 5.8 million people, each


of them entitled to three ballot paper of. If you go to the chip


shop, make it quick. Although there is certainly bound to be a result


by 11pm... We hope. After, why not relax with a weekend of post-


election punditry, the best of which will be on BBC One at midday


on Sunday Politics. Welcome to the Sunday Politics! Where did that


come from? We didn't even practice that! With us is our political


correspondent. Not the one and only! She is! Give us some facts


and figures. This is not a general election but it is still very


important to all of the parties two years into this Parliament. 30


million people are registered to vote in these elections, including


6 million in London, four million in Scotland, two point three in


Wales. 5,000 council seats are up for grabs and most of these were


last contested four years ago. Nearly 15,000 candidates have been


delivering leaflets. Not all of the seats in England are up for grabs


in a local priorities. Anglesey is the exception in Wales. There are


elections will be delayed for a year. All 32 councils in Scotland.


More than half-a-million postal votes in Scotland. A lot of people


have already cast them. The highest number of candidates in any ward is


in Glasgow in going, where there will be 14 candidates to choose


from, and it is the only statutory elections in the UK with the rules


have been changed so that if you are still in the queue at 10pm, in


Scotland, you will still get the chance to vote. That was terrible


when they were turned away before! What about the different voting


systems? England and Wales, first- past-the-post. The Scotland local


government elections are single transferable vote. In London, it


gets interesting. I have the voting papers here. You have first-past-


the-post for your local election, it is a supplementary vote system


for the London mayor, First Choice and second choice, and a


constituency member to choose for the London Assembly, which is


first-past-the-post, and finally, your London member is the


additional member system, which is the closed list of proportional


representation, so a lot to be thinking about. That is why the


vote takes so long to count. I am not surprised! Thank you very much.


Have you voted yet? No. Me neither. They do not make it easy. Even if


you haven't got around to doing it yet, you can still fill your postal


vote out and take it to any station. Great. Thank you.


If you are going out to vote, you will want to know what the


weather's doing. So don't say we don't make and effort on the Daily


Politics. We have bought in a man who knows. I've always wanted to


say this: Now the weather with John Shades of grey, weather Wise. A


different story for Scotland. If you are voting out there, there is


sunshine. It will almost feel like England and Wales are universally


glum. Nothing relentless in terms of rain, but it will be dampened


drizzly. And temperatures are woefully low for the time of year.


For the big clash in London, ten Celsius as the best I can offer you.


What about the big contenders? For David Cameron's consistency, just


nine. Similar for Clegg and Miliband. For Alex Salmond in


Who wouldn't have thought of Glasgow would be the warmest city


in Britain? That is my kind of forecast, because you didn't tell


us whether to wrap up would take an umbrella. Or any other statements


of the obvious! Any more information you need,


Andrew? How it is actually quite varied


weather, isn't it? Rain being more common than not. And it is cold and


damp, and it will stay that way. When will it get better?


No sign of it. This weekend will be even colder.


So, wrap up warm and get your coat out! You will be the first to know.


If thank you very much. Now, we all assume that when it rains, people


get put off going to the polls, and that may be true. Or is it? Now to


our myth Buster, Giles Dilnot. You think the question of whether


the weather affects our behaviour is something of a no-brainer, and


when it is raining, do you see people sitting outside in the Park


enjoying the outdoors? When the sun is out, everybody is. Ergo, bad


weather is bad for voter turnout? Know. -- no. If you look at the


post-war period, you don't see a correlation. In 1987 when New


Labour first came to power, it was a gloriously sunny day, but the


turnout that election was the lowest on record for the post war


period. Compare that with February 1974, which will obviously be a bad


day, being February, snow in places, turnout was much higher at 79%, one


of the highest turnouts on record. And increasing numbers of postal


votes also affect that particular myth. So how about this one? We


don't like a tidal wave of negative campaigning. That is only partly


true. Take a look at this. A one serial hypocrite exposed. Now


another has emerged. Rick Santorum, corporate lobbyist and a record of


betrayal. Mitt Romney will say anything to win, anything. And just


like John Kerry: He speaks French, too. Bonjour. Je m'appelle Mitt


Romney. There is a reason why our American


cousins spend millions on campaigning - we might not like it,


but we do absorb it. It works. And the final myth is that people in


this country we don't really understand the voting systems


available. There is a problem this busting that. It is not a myth. It


is true. And if you don't understand the voting systems


available, you are not alone, and explanations can be found on the


Electoral Commission website and the BBC's website, which saves me


from having to explain them. I could, I just don't want to.


Howdahs AV work again? Great stuff, Giles. Andrew Hawkins


is here with us. Are you surprised that the weather doesn't affect the


turn out? The evidence is conflicting. It certainly is a myth


that it expects -- affects things to the extent that no politicians


fear it does. Labour in particular fear it. The that is the perceived


wisdom. The academic evidence, such as it can be relied on, suggest


that for every 1% Celsius increase in temperature, we expect turnout


to increase by 1%. The academic literature doesn't tell you which


party that favours. Interesting. And what about the business of


negative campaigning, the great and the good are always down on


negative campaigning, but some people quite like it. I think it in


the States it is one of those things where because everybody does


it, everybody does it. Whether it affects the outcome, I don't know.


It seemed to affect John Kerry in 2004. Possibly, but you think he


was really going to beat George W them? It was narrow. He can speak


French. That seems to be the black market if you are from America.


That is why Sarkozy went win. is your polling tell you about


negative campaigning? The public will always say that they think


there is too much negative campaigning. But is it really news


to us that some politicians don't actually like each other very much?


We are a nation addicted to reading about conflict. That is what sells


newspapers. Is it perhaps something about the human psyche you that we


like to watch gladiatorial contests? And actually negative


campaigning can get people at least talking about the contestants. It


can raise interest in what is going on, even if not in a way that


people always like. Let's finish up on the voting systems. Have we got


ourselves into a bit of a mess in this country with the these


incredibly complicated voting system? I think we are. We are


experimenting in different areas, but that does leave people a bit


confused, because in London, it is partly first past the post with an


extrovert, and then some of it is a regional list. I think people are


pretty confused. If professional commentators are confused, it is


pretty fair to bet that the average voter who has more important things


to think about is confused? I agree entirely. It is the triumph of the


logical neatness of having perhaps a system that produces a fairer


result compared to the other end of the spectrum to something that is


easy to understand. Going back to the last London mayoral election,


the first choice, people understood. There were around 40,000 spoiled


papers. When it came to the second choice, that number have rejected


ballot papers went up tenfold, 400,000. It is extraordinary.


you for coming in and talking to us. If I am glad I am not coming in in


counting the votes tonight! From cricket tours of apartheid that


Africa to the Moscow Olympics, politics and sport often clash.


There are now new concerns over the euro 2012 football tournament, with


European leaders including our own sports Minister Hugh Robinson


threatening to boycott the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.


The problem is the human rights of the Leader of the Opposition in


Ukraine. Many politicians have described her imprisonment as a


politically motivated act. Her daughter is heading the campaign


for her release. We just want to see the Government of Ukraine and


deciding that they will change their ways, solve the political


crisis, release political prisoners, and it is all in their power to do


so. There is no need to boycott them. From their discrediting


something that could have become a democracy in Ukraine. With us now


is the football commentator Garth Crooks. You went to meet officials


in Ukraine some time ago. What did you say? We said that it was


important that the football authorities going to Ukraine looked


at their human rights abuses very seriously. The footballing world


and the rest of Europe will be looking at them closely during the


course of the European Championships. They didn't take us


very seriously then, and they are not now. Do you think that you


Robertson should boycott the tournament. I was very surprised


when he made the announcement, because nobody saw it coming.


was no preparation? No one in football seems to recognise that he


was going to take this stand, but take it he has, and it has drawn a


lot of attention. The issue is it won't make any difference


whatsoever to the football authorities. It went? They have


said they had distance themselves from it. So it will not achieve


anything? It might symbolise a bit of a snowball effect. I understand


German officials and the German government have said they are going


to pull out and not go to the VIP reception, because that is what


they are, basically. What you see here is a gentle development of


political disapproval. Let's just assume that it takes hold, and you


have got 12, 13, 14 governments are saying they are not going to go,


and someone like the Germans take it very seriously and says, do you


know what, we would like our team to pull out. Do you think it would


get that far? No, I don't. There is no precedent. But I think


politically, the Ukraine, because they are inexperienced in these


matters on such a scale, might be thinking to themselves, we do not


want any sort of embarrassment, because we are now under the


European view, and also they want to make sure that they don't upset


their hosts, who are Uefa. Rather like Britain in 2012, they will be


on their best behaviour. The whole point of taking the Games to


Ukraine is to hope that they will conform with the rest of us. Can I


just put into the view of the football authorities here, the FA.


Or will they just not get involved? In the 1980s when the BOA were


asked not to be involved in the Olympics, they said excuse me, we


will make our own decision, but the athletes have a choice. There is


another view that actually going to these countries, because there is a


big divide over Bahrain and the Formula One. And obviously it went


ahead. You can shine the light of publicity even more closely by


going to these countries and be attending these tournaments, in a


sense, were as if you don't go, people would think about the


Ukraine again. I think this is a political problem that should be


dealt with in political forum. I don't know quite why the European


Council of Ministers has been so silent about it. This is a Council


of Europe type interview. They are signed up to the Council of Europe


under a signature of that, and they should not be holding people in


prison and beating them up on trumped-up charges. Maybe the sport


will push that forward, but I don't think the next step should be


pulling out of football team, it should be putting real political


pressure on them. We have got to find that the answer to the quiz!


The fashion icon in Aslam about is, of course...? I think I will say


Gallia Alexander. You are right. That is the right answer, Danny


Alexander. There is no This Week tonight. There is no Daily Politics


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