23/05/2012 Daily Politics


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Good morning, folks. This is the Daily Politics. Today's top story:


It should we be waving farewell to plan A and embracing plan B? How do


you stimulate growth without borrowing even more? That is the


$64 billion question. After the G8 get together in the


USA which resolved nothing, European leaders meet in Brussels


tonight in yet another attempt to sort it all out. We will have the


latest but don't hold your breath for a breakthrough.


Get your bunting out, it is the last PMQs before the Jubilee and a


rather long recess. Is this man in a hard hat the


Socialist? And are you depressed over


impending eurogeddon and the possible grexit? If you are,


chillax. Let me guess, nobody has a clue what I am talking about. For a


change! What does that mean? How much do we spend every year on


education?! All that and more coming up in the next 90 minutes of


should the award-winning television. You do not need to be at the Cannes


Film Festival, but I wish I was. You just need to be at home


watching BBC Two because we have some wannabes on the programme


fighting it out for the leading actor award. Brad Pitt, eat your


heart out. Jeremy Browne, a Lib Dem. And the shadow health secretary,


Andy Burnham. Welcome to you both. Let's turn our attention to Iran.


Diplomats are meeting in Baghdad today to discuss their nuclear


programme. Israel along with America has views to rule out a


pre-emptive strike on their nuclear facilities. Senior ministers in the


UK have taken legal advice on what role if any Britain might play in


the event of an attack on Iran by Israel, America or by both. Is it


true that senior Lib Dems have been getting together to discuss what


your party's position would be if an attack took place? I think we


have to plan for every possible scenario. That is the Government as


a whole, but also each individual political party, which needs to


think through what its response would be. So we are going through


those contingency planning exercises. But we do not wish for


that end. Nobody does. We hope the talks are successful. We agree with


the Iranians. They say they don't want to clear weapons and we don't


want them to have them. The question is how we get to that


point and that is what we are trying to achieve. I get that the


Government is doing contingency planning, they do that all the time.


The National Security Council, that is part of their function. But what


about a political party getting together? The Lib Dems are not


doing contingency planning. You are working out what your response as


the party would be. I understand the point that you are making but I


think you are magnifying it. So you have met? We have our own party


mechanisms were discussing big issues that are potentially


contentious. Including Iran? pleading Iran. And what conclusion


have you come to? -- including Iran. We have not come to a conclusion as


such, because we are discussing their thinking, which is true of


other areas as well. There is no view at all? I think one of the


things that the party is interested in discussing is that there are so


many different aspects of what the impact would be on the wider Middle


East, on oil supplies, on human rights. There are all kinds of


features of this very difficult situation. I think people will want


to discuss that. It would be hugely disruptive and a massive moment for


foreign policy if it gets to the worst case scenario. It would be


strange political parties only started thinking about their views


on the subjects if and when that day arrives. Is it possible to say


what Labour's response would be if there was an attack on Iran?


don't think it is possible to say that today. This weekend there was


a worrying development. A senior figure in the Iranian military was


talking about for annihilation of Iran. -- full annihilation. That is


the first time a military figure has used that kind of language.


That is the language of a nuclear attack. I find that very worrying


indeed. Jeremy is absolutely right. Of course parties will discuss


these things in private, and the Government will discuss these


things in private. That is apparently what happened at the


National Security Council last week. The surprising thing is the


decision to brief that the conclusions of the National


Security Council on the day that very important talks are taking


place in Baghdad. The question I would be interested in hearing from


Jeremy Browne on, is why the Government is interested in doing


that today? It seems to be a deliberate move and it has raised


the temperature and made it less likely for the talks to be


successful. How do you answer that? I am not aware of how that came to


be in the media and on the BBC this morning so I cannot discuss the


communications of it. We are looking at how we can make the


talks successful and that requires us to have a very tough and unified


diplomatic stance on EU sanctions on oil, for instance. I was in


Japan and South Korea last week, and they have difficulties with oil


imports. They need to import it to keep their economies going and they


import from Iran, so we are conversing around the globe about


how we can keep the club on the Iranians in that way but also


keeping the door open to political settlement. This is political


policy, and it is boiler plate stuff, to be honest. Let's cut to


the chase. If there is an attack on Iran, which is nothing to do with


us, but if there is and the Iranians move to close the Straits


of the news, where huge amount of the oil is taken out, do we join


with the Americans to keep it open? -- the Straits of Hormuz. I cannot


speculate on that. 20% of the world's oil goes through those


straits. The impact on the global economy would be a massive one, if


that happened but me idly speculating will not help. It does


not help, so let's move on. The David Cameron once said that


giving prisoners the vote made him feel physically ill and it has


never been a popular plan. In February, 2011, MPs rejected the


idea by 234 votes to 22. Yesterday the European Court of Human Rights


upheld a ruling that a blanket ban on inmate voting is unlawful. They


said the Government has six months to come up with changes. This does


not mean that all prisoners will be given the vote. The court has said


that each state has a wide discretion as to how it regulates


the ban. If the Government does not change the law, they could be


liable for millions of compensation payments. This paved the way for


further constitutional clash between Parliament and the European


Court, with MPs arguing that the UK Parliament should be sovereign.


Dominic Raab, welcome to the programme. What is your reaction to


that ruling being upheld? It is important to put it in some context.


In my view, this is an abuse of judicial power. There is no right


to prison are voting in the Convention and this is something


they have made up along the years. -- prison are voting. It is not the


first time we have seen this, with Abu Qatada, and a range of


decisions. The coalition is trying its best to negotiate reform with


the Strasbourg court, but in the Brighton declaration we have not


seen a mandate for that kind of change. What people will be asking


is what is the diplomatic safeguard of continuing abuses of this


judicial power? I think the answer lies with Parliament. I think


Parliament will oppose this measure again. Do you think that should


happen? Another vote to demonstrate that MPs feel as strongly as they


did when that vote was taken last year? The process for implementing


the judgment means that the technical requirement is to


introduce a bill. That will happen anyway. Parliament will have to


have a say on that bill. Within six months? The introduction has to be


within six months. My suggestion would be that there should be a


free vote on that and I think we should let Parliament decide. That


would allow the Government to go back to Strasbourg. They should say,


look, we introduced the bill but our democratically elected


representatives said no because this was not envisaged and the


public do not support it. What would happen? Would Strasbourg come


back and say that you did not vote? With an unmanaging this democracy


in that way? I think that is unlikely. I think they have backed


themselves into a constitutional corner on this. You don't think


that they can impose their will on us? Parliament has been told that


if Britain does not comply, then we could be open to compensation cases.


First of all, there is no enforceability in UK law of those


compensation awards. This is a question of political Jaws, in the


same way that we have the political choice to implement it. So David


Cameron should put it on this? democracy it is not just a


political show where we fudge the difference between the elected and


the legislature. Let the elected write the law of the land, which


would comply with the judgment and send a clear message to Strasbourg.


We need to draw a line in the sand on this. That is the way you


interpret it. That is a fact. but the Europeans are seeming to


expect changes to be made to that blanket ban. Is there any option


that you would support if for instance there was some sort of


limit put on prisoners who are convicted for two years, whereby


they could have the vote? First of all, there is no blanket ban.


Remand prisoners do not forfeit their votes. They view it as a


blanket ban. What is the threshold at which a forfeiture should


happen? There is no better threshold than a custodial one. The


court looks very seriously at the severity of the offence. I can't


think of a better one, so the short answer is no. What do so to that


scenario that he has set out, that there should be another


parliamentary vote? There should be a free vote and if it is voted


against yet again, then that is it, we should say fingers up to Europe?


There are two separate issues that people can float. -- conflict.


Should prisoners have the right to vote and should we refuse the


sovereignty of the European Parliament? But do you think the


Parliament should push this as far as it can? We have already voted


against Europeans imposing their will hear. We want other countries


to abide by European Court rulings. We voluntarily are part of that


arrangement, that organisation. I think that we are in an invidious


position if we choose to take the position of not abiding by those


Rawlings ourselves, but it is difficult. -- and those rulings. I


have no personal appetite for prisoners to vote at the moment,


but the Government might think it is wise to come up with a


compromise option along those lines. Do you think the Government should


comply? No. I think the court has crossed the line with this one and


we should take a stand. It is not acceptable to intrude on domestic


policy. I always agree with the anti-European rhetoric, -- I do not


always agree. And I do not want this to be seen in that way. I


think there is an important issue of principle here and I would not


want to play party politics. Together we should send a clear


message back to Strasbourg. support the convention. I want us


to stay with the convention. But unless we have some democratic so I


got on the abuse of judicial power, the voices of those calling on us


to withdraw... It is a question of sovereignty. I support the Human


Rights Act, and I think it does not help always will the Court to be


undermined. It is doing itself no favours with this ruling.


Britain is found to be in breach of human rights, surely we have to


abide by that ruling. I don't think so. It is the clear will of the


British Parliament. There is no fundamental right enshrined in that.


The must be a point in which the Strasbourg court is so outside its


mandate that there must be a democratic safeguard. It is built


into the convention because their rulings are not directly forcible


in UK law and we should rely on that. Blanket ban? If the British


Parliament voted to say that all prisoners who get more than a six-


month sentence will lose the right to vote, and if you get six months,


only very few of them will be in prison when there is a general


election, we would have complied with the ruling. We will be back


within two years with them saying that is not good enough. All right,


they have given a very wide discretion. The Italian ruling said


that it was fine. With the greatest respect, the Strasbourg court


behave like a drunk that cannot walk in a straight line. Look at


other judgments. It changes its mind each time, two steps forward


and one back. The goalposts keep shifting and this is not going to


solve that problem. That is a case for not being part of it altogether.


But how do they regulate the ban? Just before they tell us we have to


give prisoners the right to vote. Would that not be good enough, six


months? Then you comply and only those convicted for short terms are


given the vote. That is a potential outcome that is no doubt being


You won't tell us if you are going to... It was Lib Dem policy, no?


You won't tell fuss you are going to back prisoners' votes. It won't


solve the problem. Tphouf sense from Strasbourg that they would


stop there. That's the key point. We would end up kicking the can


down the road again. Also, can I just name the other countries where


prisoners can't vote. Armenia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Slovakia...


What's the point there? Are you happy? You lose rights to


participate in society. Any non- European examples like America,


Australia. What about the Commonwealth? We have just run out


of time! I was quite enjoying that. European leaders gather tonight in


Brussels for an informal dinner, I am sthaour will be lavish, to


discuss thousand promote economic growth across not just the eurozone,


but the whole of the European Union. Of course, tonight's soiree will be


a far cry from the stringent, dare I say, dour formalities of the G8


at Camp David at the weekend. Here they are taking a solemn,


formal stroll in the woods in Maryland.


Sitting around at Camp David formally sorting out the euro.


Obviously, not at all enjoying the fresh air as they buckle down.


And formally, sombre, they soberly watched the football. That's David


Cameron being told he has won a Daily Politics mug. He was very


happy. Then he was told it's a game with a


round ball. And he said really, I don't remember that at Eton? Only


one can imagine the scenes tonight in Brussels at what's meant to be


an informal event. The former ambassador to the US, Christopher


Meyer, is here to discuss it. Let me surprise our viewers,


nothing will be decided at this dinner tonight. I think nothing


will be decided at this dinner tonight. Let's move on! Time for


Prime Minister's questions! There is a lesson here, Merkel and hol


Londone -- Hollande have been close to each other the last few days, at


the summit in Chicago, at the G8, there is a possibility of a dirty


deal between them, which they will then announce the surprise of


everybody around the table tonight. I think it's unlikely, but it's a


possibility. What will the elements of that dirty deal be? Even my


cryst alball is getting cloudy, some kind of understanding about


what is meant by growth, and by strengthening the firewall between


Greece and the rest of the... done, off to the races? I don't


think. Even if they have come up with a form of words, if you can't


act together at least you can write words together. If they come up


with a form of words, it will be full of fudge anyway and we will go


on to the next stage of the crisis, which is going to get hotter before


June 17th and the Greek elections. They'll have a nice dinner tonight.


And they'll say we can't decide anything until the proper summit,


which is next month. Another meeting next month. If the number


of meetings determine the success, the eurozone would be the most


successful economy in the world, wouldn't it? I take your point.


There is a bit of an institutional inertia and we are reaching...


not commit to anything on the Daily Politics this morning! Have Have hu


a little injection! It what happens if you have been in the tpoufs so


long -- Foreign Office for so long! There is a fork in the road moment


where the country of the eurozone are going to have to decide to get


closer together or envisage the breakup and that's a big moment.


It's such a big decision that it's being deferred because it's easier


to discuss than to resolve it. is right in Labour's view, or even


in your personal view of Labour policy, on the issuing of euro


bonds which would be bonds, credits, loans issued with the whole of the


eurozone on it, rather than just individual countries? That's for


them, for the eurozone to decide. I think... This may surprise you, but


you have obviously had the same injection. I understand, the clue


is in the name eurozone bonds. is right between who? I wanted your


view on the matter. We are clearly on the side of growth. We have


argued consistently since this began that the Cameron-Osbourne


policy - let me answer the question. Clearly has run its course. Is that


yes or no? I think they've got to be considered. The danger is at the


moment we are having a situation where individual countries are


being picked off. The eurobond I think is an idea that needs now to


come forward and they can't keep prevaricating. That's what you are


doing, you won't tell me if you are for or against them. It's not for


me to say to the eurozone whether they should go this way. Clearly


they need to take decisive action to get get growth going. Without


having a view, let me tell you what is going to happen, is the Germans


will say no, because if you neutralise the issuing of credit


across the eurozone, into eurozone bonds the price of German bonds


would have to rise and they would become liable for the other euro


bonds issued by Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. In a


sense, ambassador, it isn't going to happen. It may happen. But I


think the pips are going to have to squeak even tighter than they are


already. It's unlikely to be tomorrow - tonight t could be


tonight, but I very much doubt it. It's only when Athens is in flames


that maybe the power of the argument to neutralisation will


prevail. What is your view? Into it may --. It may happen the bottom


line commit splt to keep the eurozone together and it's hard to


see how you can cope it together without the sharing of risk.


word from Berlin is if Greece has to go, it has to go. They're bound


to say that up to the very last moment when they may change their


mind. As I said, it could well be before June 17th. Do you follow


German politics? A bit. How much detail are you going to ask me?!


are not going to test you. Mrs Merkel has just lost in the biggest


region. She faces an election in 2013. No German leader is going to


go to the people and say by the way, you are securing Greek, Italian,


Spanish debt and by the way, you will be paying more for your own


debt. It's an extremely hard sell. It's the consequence of being in a


single currency. They've only the small countries with them. They've


the Netherlands and some Scandinavian countries. Behind


Francois Hollande you have Spain, Italy, really two big kind of camps


doving here on the Dishdasha developing on the -- camps


developing on the issue. It's become a cheap line in the press


that the Germans are isolated. Mrs Merkel isolated for the first time,


normally the French and Germans go to these things togts, -- together.


How seriously should we take that and can't the Germans be afford to


be isolated if they want to be? Well, it is actually it's an


historic development, for the first time we see the Germans either


completely isolated as they were at the G8, apparently or almost inside


the EU EU EU-eurozone. They can afford, if up to the point the


argument prevails because the Germans won't do what is necessary


the whole ediface will come crashing down. You are right, it's


a hard sell in an election year in 2013 but coy see a situation which


Merkel could go to those elections and say Germany has achieved it's


destiny, we have saved Europe. She could turn the argument. Could I


point out that this whole euro crisis started because all these


club Med countries were able to borrow unlimited amounts of money


at record low interest rates because the bond markets treated


all the individual members of the eurozone as if they were equally


safe. If you move to euro bonds where they are all guaranteed by


the Germans, what will stop them borrowing like mad? I mean, at the


moment the issue is... That's what Germans are worried about. When you


asked would me sign up and that's the issue, what are conditions


attached to public spending and the... The German attachment to


keeping this together is a big political factor in Germany, as


well. How long before Hollande's honeymoon ends and by autumn he is


forced to introduce his own austerity programme? Are you asking


me? Yes, I am looking at you! were a French President I wouldn't


start down that path. May have said it in the campaign. I may be saying


it now but what I actually do will be carefully calibrated because


after all he worked for M erbgs itterand. We will have to leave it


there. We have obviously solved everything. We know our leaders are


a smart lot, after that I am not sure, sartorially, as well as


intellectually but I can't help thinking they pushed the boat out


at the G8 and we like to reward effort. We have decided to give a


Daily Politics mug to the best turned out global leader. Is it our


own David Cameron with his chillaxed grey number?


Could it be the European Council President, lovingly known as little


Herman Van Rompuy on this programme, with his splendid salmon pink V-


neck or possibly the Japanese premiere, Yoshihiko Noda, with his


man-about-town top? Our mug goes to Herman Van Rompuy. No longer the


so-called low grade bank clerk look, take that, Nigel Farage! You don't


have to spend time and money on knitwear and treufrps to Camp David


-- treufrps to Camp David to win a mug. You can do it right here.


Let's see if you can remember when # The time has come to push the


I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in


Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any


To be in with a chance of winning that Daily Politics mug you don't


have to get a salmon pink sweater, send your answer to our special


quiz e-mail address. You can see the full terms and


conditions on our website. Right, it's coming up to midday


here. Summer has arrived in London. I hope it's where you are, too.


Let's look at Big Ben. There is a glorious May Day here, it can only


mean one thing, Prime Minister's questions on the way and Nick


Robinson is here. The last questions for three weeks. You have


been talking about the National Security Council in London, talking


about Iran and consequences if it's attacked. I don't know if you saw,


but we heard from Jeremy Brown confirming what you are telling me


that Lib Dems have been meeting to decide a party line. This is a


potential coalition breaker. Remember, of course most people


will care much more about other things, the potential loss...


it happens. A war in the Middle East, oil that could go up to $200


a barrel. It's worth spelling out some of those, because when we talk


about this story it would wipe any other story we are talking of,


completely out of our memories, frankly, if this were to happen.


But, in political terms it's a potential coalition breaker. The


Liberal Democrats, we know, opposed the war in Iraq. In large part


because they believed it was illegal under international law. If


Britain were asked by the Americans and Israelis to play some role,


lend a base, use the Royal Navy to police where so much of the oil


travels through, give diplomatic support. First question, legal or


illegal? Well, it's a question that's being discussed now by


Ministers, by Government law officers, in part, because they're


trying to prepare the ground for something that may come from


outside and could do the coalition irreparable harm. Having tried and


failed to get answers to these questions from our guests, I will


come to what is obviously a much bigger question, much, much bigger


than Iran, and it's this - is Vince Cable a socialist? You weren't


expecting that! I don't think he is. He is a social Democrat. Tphefs the


party before he joined the Liberal Democrats. Before he was that the


Labour Party. He is a socialist? The Labour Party have some


socialists in. If he is not a socialist, could you name a problem


Vince Cable has ever confronted with which a solution was more


Government money or just more Government? I think - I have worked


a lot with Vince and think a lot of the media analysis of Vince's


thinking is far too simplistic just to say he is left-wing. He is in


favour of open markets, free trade, kpre to say to say -- competition.


He is an interesting figure in terms of his sort of political and


economic views. But they're too simply caricatured as left-wing.


What's the buzz? The buzz is that this is about a debate at the heart


of the coalition about whether to deregulate. I happen to think


that's not true. I don't think there is a central argument between


the Chancellor and the Prime Minister and the Business Secretary.


I actually think, and perhaps far more revealingly, this is what in


military terms you call a blue on blue, parts of the Tory right...


This is the Beecroft report, argument around freeing up deraeg


lating -- deregulating the labour market, making it easier to hire


and fire. A story that has run in The Telegraph. We need to go


Thank you, Mr Speaker. I had meetings with ministerial


colleagues and others and I will have further such meetings later


today. People in Staffordshire recognise that the Government needs


to take difficult decisions to deal with the deficit, but does the


Prime Minister a shiver about what would have happened if he did not


have a credible fiscal package? think it is worth while listening


to what the managing director of the IMF said yesterday. She said


this. When I think back myself to May, 2010, when the UK deficit was


at 11%, and I try to imagine what the situation would be like today


if no such fiscal consolidation programme had been decided, I


shiver. That is what she said. We should remember who is responsible


for leading that situation. Dublin the national debt, a record deficit,


a catastrophic inheritance, for which we have not had an apology. -


- doubled national debt. Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker, Adrian Beecroft, the


Prime Minister's adviser, says the law should be changed to allow


employers to fire people at will. The Business Secretary says it is


the last thing Government should do. Who does the Prime Minister agree


with? We need to make it easier for businesses to grow, for businesses


to take people on, for businesses to expand. The Beecroft Report,


which I Commission, had a number of excellent ideas that we are taking


forward. We are doubling the qualifying period for unfair


dismissal. We are accepting businesses with less than 10 people


from EU regulations. We are exempt in them from health and safety. We


are defaulting on no fault dismissal but only on a micro


businesses. It was a good report and it is right that week take for


of its best measures. The Prime Minister did not answer the


question. -- it is right that we take forward its best measures.


Adrian Beecroft made a proposal that employers should fire their


employees at will. The people behind him think that the B --


Beecroft Report is the bee's knees. The people over there think it is


bonkers. The Business Secretary has been going round saying it. We just


want to know where the Prime Minister stands and who he agrees


with. It is rather sad that he did not listen to my answer. Yes, we


have evidence on no fault dismissal for micro businesses. We are not


proceeding with it for other businesses and that is the position.


I know he worries about being fired at will for being incompetent.


wonder how long it took him to think that one up! Mr Speaker, the


Prime Minister says that he is consulting on the proposal. This is


what the author of the proposal, Adrian Beecroft, said. Some people


will be dismissed simply because their employer does not like them.


While this is that, I believe it is a price worth paying. -- this is


sad. That is what they used to say about unemployment. Is he really


telling us that with the record numbers out of work that sacking


people for no good reason is a price worth paying? He might


welcome that inflation and unemployment is falling and


discover -- this Government has cut the deficit by 25%. We are cutting


regulation by �3 billion. We are scrapping 1500 regulations. We are


looking at introducing fees for employment tribunals. We aren't


taking all of these steps, which led to the greatest number of small


business start-ups in the country last year. -- we are taking all of


these steps. He cannot agree to this because he is in the pocket of


the trade unions. In case he is not noticing this, his Business


Secretary does not support the proposals. What double-standards.


Oh, yes. When it comes to ordinary workers who wants to make it easier


for employers to sack them. When it comes to Andy Coulson and the


culture secretary, it is all about second chances. Can the Prime


Minister tell us what impression he thinks it gives about his


Government that the commission's advice from a multi-millionaire who


recommends making it easier to sack people on low pay, at the same time


as giving people like him tens of thousands of pounds in a


millionaire's tax cut? I tell you what we do on this side of the


House. We commission a report, except the bit we agree with a


project the bits that we do not. What he does is take instructions


from his trade union paymasters and he cannot accept any changes. He


asks what we are doing for the poorest people in our country. It


is this Government taking 2 million people out of income tax and


increasing tax credits for the poorest. We have more people in


work with 600,000 private sector jobs and we have frozen council tax.


His record was completely the opposite. This is not about the


trade unions. It is about millions of people... It is about millions


of people up and down this country, in fear of their jobs. The only


answer this Prime Minister has is to make it easier to sack them.


This proposal is a symbol of the Government's failure on growth. We


are in a double-dip recession. Unemployment is high, businesses


are going bust, bad retail figures today. Doesn't the Prime Minister


understand how out of touch he sounds to families when he said


last week that things are moving in the right direction? I have to tell


him that this is about the trade unions and I will tell you why. He


is getting �900,000 from Unite and they are threatening a bus strike


in the Olympics. What have we heard from him? Silence. He is getting


�400,000 from the GMB union, holding a baggage handlers strike


over the Diamond Jubilee union. Absolute silence from him. People


need to know that we have two parties on this side of the House


acting in their national interest and that side of the House acting


in the trade union interest. Let's talk about donations. On March 21st,


the Chancellor cut the top rate of income tax and then the money comes


flooding in from the Tory millionaire donors. It tells you


all you need to know about this Government. They stand up for the


wrong people. He may have changed the image of the Tory party but the


reality has not changed. Tax cuts for millionaires, making it easier


to sack people. The nasty party is back. It is this Government that


has cut corporation tax, that set up the enterprise zones, that his


reform under planning law, that has boosted the apprenticeships, that


has scrapped the jobs tax. That cut taxes for 24 million people. It is


only Labour, only Labour, who think the answer is more borrowing, more


spending, more debt. Exactly the problems that got us into this mess


in the first place. We will have more, but it will be from Mr David


Mowat. Thank you, Mr Speaker. In 1993, the IRA bombed Warrington,


killing two small boys and injuring 50 others. Last week a memorial


plaque with the scrap value of �40 was stolen. The Government has


already legislated to prevent the sale of scrap-metal for cash. Would


the Prime Minister consider further legislation that the theft of


memorials such as this is an aggravating factor? You make an


important point. The whole country was shot by the theft of that the


moral and everybody remembers the Warrington bombing and the people


that died. -- that memorial. We have legislated and we are doing


everything we can to sort out the problems of the scrap-metal trade.


I will look at the suggestion of an aggravated offence. Any Court is


able to hand out the exemplary sentences because the public is


appalled by what has happened. There are two ways of measuring


youth unemployment. The first definition includes both full and


part-time students, which is just over 1 million. The second, the


claimant count, stands at 466,000. Youth unemployment is clearly too


high on either measure, but I know it rose by 40% under the previous


Government. Recently it fell by 17,000 in the last quarter. If you


look at the claimant count and include people on out of work


schemes, then a number of unemployed young people has fallen


since the election. The number of young people unemployed, and


employed, and with less opportunities in my constituency


greatly increased in the last year. -- under employed. We are setting


up attacks forced to deal with this increasing scourge. Will the Prime


Minister commit the active participation of every Government


department in our task force's work? I will certainly do that


because there is vital work to be done to help unemployed young


people. What we are finding with all of the schemes that we have,


the work programme and the youth contract, that the most useful


thing will be the work experience scheme because it gives young


people a real leg-up, an experience of the workplace, and removes some


of the disadvantages they face against older workers. We are


finding that it has a better record than other schemes and I hope that


he will be able to pioneer that in his constituency with the help of


all the agencies, as he says. my right honourable friend the


figures released last week showing that since May, 2010, at the number


of people waiting for an operation on the National Health Service has


fallen by over 50,000? Does this not demonstrate that our commitment


to increasing health funding and our health reforms are beginning to


bear fruit? I am grateful to my honourable friend for that question.


We did make an important, difficult decision, that while other budgets


were being cut, we would protect the NHS budget. That was not


supported by the party opposite. The fact is that we now have the


best ever performance for patients waiting after 18 weeks. The numbers


waiting 26 weeks and 52 weeks have also reached record lows. If we


look at average waiting times for in-patient and out-patient, they


are lower than they were in 2010. The party opposite asked whether


the test should be the number of people waiting over 18 weeks, and


if that was the test, we passed with flying colours. Just over a


year ago, the Prime Minister launched his flagship export


Enterprise's finance guarantee scheme. We now learn that only five


companies have benefited from that scheme. Hard-working businesses in


Birmingham who would like to participate are quite keen to know


who the five lucky companies are and why the scheme has been such a


dismal failure? I will certainly right to the honourable lady


because the truth is that export scheme has been rolled into the


export guarantee scheme more generally, and the amount of export


support is massively up on their last election in terms of billions


of extra money that is being spent. -- the last election. Exports


compared with 20 tent were up 12% last year as well. -- 2010. Will


you join me in congratulating the parent partnership conference where


27 local authorities were represented? If we are serious


about strengthening our society, then providing psychotherapeutic


support for families that are struggling to bond with their new


babies is absolutely key. Does he agree? I know the right honourable


lady speaks with considerable experience, having set up an


agreement in Oxfordshire that is having a major impact. All the


studies show that real disadvantage for children kicks in right from


the moment they are born, if they do not get the love, support and


help that they need. That is why the projects that she is talking


about and expansion of the Health visitors' scheme, 4200 extra health


visitors, can make a real difference. And I also point out of


the measures we took last week, to make sure parents get proper


contact and information from the midwife before and after the child


is born, so we do everything to remove the disadvantage in the


early months and years. Will the Prime Minister give an undertaking


that he will not succumb to the tick tack from the European Court


of Human Rights in relation to prisoners voting? And will he stand


up for the resolution that was passed in his House by an


overwhelming majority? When you stand up for the sovereignty of his


House and the British people? -- will he stand up? The short answer


is yes. When you go to prison, you lose certain votes, including the


right to vote. Crucially this should be a matter for Parliament


to decide and not a foreign court. Parliament has made his decision


Today in my constituency a new facility for engineering,


manufacturing and export of electronics in which Stafford is a


world leader. Following the news of the first trade surplus in motor


vehicles for more than 30 years, what measures does my right


honourable friend consider to be essential to continue and increase


investment in manufacturing? Well, I very much remember visiting


there when I contested his constituency, rather unsuccessfully


in 1997. What is essential for manufacturing, engineering and


technology-based businesses like that is the support that we are


giving to apprenticeships where we achieved over 450,000


apprenticeship starts last year. Also, the lower rate of corporation


tax and the links between our universities and these new centres


to make sure technology goes into our businesses and makes them world


beating. If you look at our exports, not just overall up 12% last year,


tpwou India, China, they're up 20, 30, 40%.


Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister pledged to give England's great


cities a seat at the heart of Government. Yesterday, Labour took


control of Birmingham City Council. The first thing the new council did


was to agree to ask the Prime Minister to receive a delegation


from the council and Birmingham's MPs on a fair deal for Birmingham.


Will the Prime Minister make good his pledge and agree to meet with


that delegation? Of course I am happy to meet with


leaders of Birmingham City Council as I meet with leaders of councils


up and down the country. I think what is important is focusing on


what needs to be done in Birmingham to drive economic growth and to


make sure that you provide good services, but I very much hope the


new council will match the record of the old council in providing


value for money. In Blackpool we are awaiting the


sentencing of two parents who have pleaded guilty this week to keeping


their ten-year-old son in circumstances in a coal bunker. At


the same time, the charity Action for Children has highlighted the


fact that the law on child neglect dates from 1933. The demands of


modern parenting, does the Prime Minister agree it is time to ask


the law commission to look at this law once again?


He is right to raise this. It was a completely shocking case and for


anyone to try and understand how a parent could treat their child in


that way, it is just completely unfathomable. I will look at what


he says about the law commission and modernising the law. I would


make this point, that in terms of dealing with these appalling cases


of child neglect and where families have completely broken down, we do


have so many agencies currently working on this, including


crucially, social workers, and the most important thing is for there


to be a real system of passing on information and passing on concerns


rapidly and then acting on those concerns, just passing another law


won't make up for the common sense and action that we require our


agencies to deliver. Can I thank the Prime Minister and


the Chancellor for joining with so many of their colleagues yesterday


in abstaining in voting against the save Bianca amendment and ask, give


than 65% of the public want to see caps on the cost of credit when


Ministers will finally give in and do something about ending loan


sharking in the UK. We have this new new pow forethe agency which


has been established and also the OFT has powers, so it's very


important to talk to those agencies and make sure they can act.


The local council tax frozen for two years, the lowest inflation


rate in three years and biggest monthly fall in local unemployment


in five years, is great news for jobseeker's, pensioners and savers.


Does my right honourable friend agree that although times are tough


and much still needs to be done, this Government and this country


are on the right track? Clearly we do face difficult


economic times and will go on to talk about the plans required in


Europe. What we have to do in this country is rebalance our economy


that had become overreliant on the public sector, on financial


services, not fairly spread around the country, and we need a growth


of the private sector, of manufacturing, technology and need


it more fairly spread across the country, including in the area he


represents. What you see from the employment figures is yes, a


decline in public sector employment which frankly, would be inevitable,


whoever was in power, but the 600,000 net new jobs in the private


sector shows some firms are expanding and growing and we must


be on their side. Unemployment in Hartlepool in the north-east is


higher now than in May 20 so. -- 2010. How much of that is gown to


his -- down to his Government policy as soon as. The last


Government excluded from the unemployment numbers people who


were on temporary employment schemes. We included those people,


people on the work programme are included in the unemployment


numbers. We measure these things accurately and if you compare like-


for-like, youth unemployment has fallen since the election.


Britain has an excellent track record in scientific research and


development, despite historically low levels of funding. For this to


continue and to continue to drive so much economic growth, sustained


funding is required. Can the Prime Minister assure me that this will


be delivered for this parliament and the next comprehensive spending


review? Obviously, I can't bind the hands of the next spending review,


but we did make an important decision in this comprehensive


spending review, which was to protect the science budget T would


have been an easy target for reductions and perhaps we could


have spent that money on politically more attractive things


but we decided to take the long- term view to save the science


budget because it's a key part of Britain's future.


It was recently announced 800 frontline police officers will be


cut in Wales. While the chair of the Welsh Police Federation that's


going to be closer to 1600, equivalent of the entire Gwent


police force, who is right? truth is whoever was in Government


right now would be having to make cuts to police budgets. That's what


the Labour - the Labour Party has committed to a cut in the police


budget. We have made reductions. The key to having police officers


on the street is cut paperwork, reform pensions and deal with pay


issues. We have the courage to do that and his party should support


it, as well. Last weekend network of Brighton


and Hove invited friends around Europe to campaign against what


they call weatherley law. Will he condemn the Green Party support for


squatters and welcome the criminalisation of squatting?


certainly support what he says. I think this law was long overdue. I


think it's very important that home owners have proper protection from


people effectively stealing their property which is what squatting is.


It is a criminal act. It's now a criminal offence.


Last week it was revealed that officials at the UKVA received


bonuses. Given the queues at airports, 100,000 files have been


archived by the UKBA and 185 people have absconded. Can I ask the Prime


Minister does he agree in future we should be rewarding success, not


failure? I completely agree with the honourable gentleman. There is


absolutely no place in the modern civil service for a presumption of


good performance. I do believe in actually paying people bonuses if


they perform well and meet targets. But if they don't perform well and


don't meet targets, they shouldn't get a bonus. In terms of Heathrow


and our airports, I think it's vitally important that we continue


to make progress. This is an urgent issue for Britain. It's vital for


our trade, vital for inward investment that people have a


decent experience when they arrive at our airports. We have a new


control room opening at Heathrow this month. There's extra 80 staff


for peak times at Heathrow. An extra 480 people during the Olympic


Olympic period. I am still not satisfied we need to do more more


including this week and next week to get on top of this problem.


constituency is relieved to learn this Government has already cleared


one quarter of the record irresponsible deficit left by the


party opposite. They understand that you cannot keep spending what


you do not earn. But what they would also like to know is has the


Prime Minister received just one quarter of an apology?


He makes a good point and I notice that the party opposite didn't


really want to go near the International Monetary Fund today,


perhaps that's because of something else the director general said


yesterday, you have to compare the British deficit situation against


other countries which experienced severe deficit numbers, did not


take action right away, and are now facing very, very stressful


financing terps that is putting their situation in jeopardy. He


would have been in jeopardy if we hadn't taken the brave steps we


took. Very necessary they were, too. The Electoral Commission figures


show the Conservatives got over �500,000 already this year from


people attending secret soirees at Downing Street or Chequers. Is the


reason the Prime Minister is out of touch and listens to these clicques,


rather than decent hard working people like those in Scunthorpe?


There is a big difference between the money that the Conservative


Party raises from business and individuals and the money Labour


get from unions. The money that the Labour Party gets from unions


determines your policies, sponsors your members of parliament, and


elects your leaders. They own you, lock, stock and block vote.


Order! Order. I am quite certain Conservative backbenchers wish to


hear Mr Steven Williams. Mr Speaker, the coalition


Government has restored order and stability to the public finances.


And is therefore won us international confidence, is it not


now the right time in order to put renewed effort and vigour into


returning growth into the economy by the Government facilitating and


guaranteeing investment in housing and infrastructure?


I think the honourable gentleman is entirely right and I am sure he


welcomes the enterprise zone in Bristol and also the support for


the animation and television industries. What we need to do,


both in Britain and Europe, is to combine the fiscal deficit


reduction which has given us the low interest rates with an active


monetary policy, with structural reforms to make us competitive, and


with innovative ways of using our hard-won credibility which we


wouldn't have if we listened to the muttering idiot sitting opposite me.


Order, order. I am very worried about the health


of the Health Minister who is so overexcited he might suffer a


relapse and I am a compassionate chap. I don't want that to happen.


The Prime Minister will please withdraw the word "idiot", it's


unparliamentary. A simple withdrawal will suffice. Of course,


I will replace it with a man who left us this enormous deficit and


financial crisis. Thank you, Mr Speaker. After six


months in Government the Prime Minister announced that his


Government had created 500,000 private sector jobs. After two


years he's now giving us the figure of 600,000 since the election. Why


has the rate of growth slowed down so much?


Well, there were 100,000 extra people in employment over the last


quarter. In the last two months we have seen repeated falls in


unemployment and increases in employment. I would have thought


the honourable lady would want to welcome that.


Mr Speaker, with unemployment down in Lancaster last week, I visited A


and G precision engineering, a company of only 40 employees, who


supply the hawk jet, high precision work nationally and internationally


and told me they turned two work experience places into full-time.


Does this show that things are moving in the right direction in


Lancashire? I am grateful for what he says. I


am sure he will be pleased as well with the order that BAE Systems


have for Hawk aircraft today from Saudi Arabia, which is more good


news for British jobs and British investment and British Aerospace.


Some of our constituents would be hungry today if it was not for the


work of Food Bank and similar organisations. If current trends


continue, Food Bank reckon by the next election they will be feeding


half a million of our constituents. Might I ask the Prime Minister,


before he completes his engagements today, he might plan what the


Government might do to counterthis terrible trend and and report back


to the House? First of all, let me join the right honourable member in


welcoming what Food Bank do and the work and I visited one of the sites


myself to see what they do. What is absolutely vital in these difficult


economic types we do what we can to protect the poorest people in our


country and that's why we have we have frozen council tax, increased


basic state pension and we uprated benefits in line with inflation


which has protected people who need protection the most. Yes, we have


had to cut the tax credits from those people on 30, 40, 50,000 but


increased tax credits that the poorest people receive.


The Prime Minister and I might not agree about everything but we agree


with certain things, for example, we both agree I should never be


promoted. One thing that we also agree about is that the necessary -


need to put public sector pensions on a sustainable and affordable


footing. But in that context, judges are being asked to pay 2% of


their salary towards their pension, whereas the taxpayer pays 33%.


That's neither affordable nor sustainable. Given the increases in


pension contributions we are expecting from other lower paid


public sector workers, will the Prime Minister make sure we apply


the same tests and same requirements on judges, too?


Well, my friend makes an important point. I would say is that judicial


judicial pensions have always been treated separately because of what


judges do for our country. But in terms of public sector pensions


more generally, what we have managed to do... Order. A reply to


a serious question. Let's hear it with with with a degree of respect


and restraint. What we have done with public


sector pensions more generally is reduce by half the future cost but


while maintaining a public sector pensions system that's more


generous than people are able to access in the private sector. As


for his earlier remarks, I have plans for the honourable gentleman.


Mr Speaker... Order! The House will be relieved to know I don't intend


to go into any of that but I want to hear Mr McCann. Mr Speaker,


prison officer, abused young men in centre before he was prosecuted and


sentenced for some of his crimes. A constituent who was abused by


Husband has given me information which suggests that senior figures


in the establishment knew what was going on. The CPS refuses to pursue


these matters and and indeed the Home Office has sought to issue


compensation payments. Mr Speaker, young men were detained by the


state and abused by the state. Does the Prime Minister agree that a


full inquiry is necessary to ensure that justice is done and a seen to


be done? Well, I think the first thing that


the honourable gentleman should do and I am sure he already has, is


make sure that any evidence he has of abuse or of coverups of abuse or


compliance with abuse is given to the Crown Prosecution Service and


given to the authorities so it can be properly investigated. The home


affairs select committee looked into this issue and and made a


number of recommendations, so I will look carefully at what the


honourable gentleman said and see if there is more advice I can


PMQs comes to an end and you will not see it for three more weeks so


I hope you enjoyed it. The front bench was dominated by the Beecroft


Report and the labour market. We will come back to that. David


Cameron described the Shadow Chancellor as a muttering idiot and


he was forced to withdraw it because that is not parliamentary.


It was not a fulsome withdrawal, I think. There are questions about


how much wine they had had to drink following the story at the weekend


about him having four glasses on a Sunday but last time I looked, this


was Wednesday. I doubt he has a glass of everything before PMQs,


but he will be furious with himself because he allowed Ed Balls to get


under his skin it yet again. Interesting that there were no Lib


Dems sitting next to David Cameron today. The big story was what the


Prime Minister had to say about the European Court ruling that Britain


cannot continue with its blanket ban on no votes for prisoners. That


it has to come up with some kind of formula, which excludes some but


includes others. The Prime Minister said he wanted no truck with what


European Court of Human Rights. He wanted no truck with doing that on


this very programme, and Andy Burnham agreed with that. Looks


like we are heading for a major clash between Westminster and the


Strasbourg court. We will talk about that as well because it will


be in the news for the rest of the day. What are you thinking? There


was a flurry of emails at the end because the muttering idiot, and


came towards the end. This is pathetic politics, says Jonathan


Paxton of Bedfordshire. PMQs should be about debating policy and


finding out what is going on in Parliament. Perhaps he has not been


watching recently! Rick Morris and says that David Cameron is losing


the plot if he is resorting to language like muttering idiot.


Adrian Beecroft attracted most of your comments. His questioning is


poor. Beecroft is talking about overall reforms leading to higher


levels of employment overall. The tension between the Tory left wing


and the Liberal Democrats is rising and David Cameron appears to be the


startled rabbit between the headlights. And when his David


Cameron going to answer a question? He never gives an answer and always


resorts to Sidey Commons and being offensive. And -- snide comments.


And this, the media have whipped this up. What we do a thing like


that? Never! -- would we? This is something that we have not whipped


up. The low surrender vote. We have a situation now where the European


Court has said, ruling on an Italian case, that it is not for us


to say which prisoners should have the vote and which should not. But


a blanket ban on all prisoners is against the European Convention of


Human Rights. It is up to the British Government and we have six


months to come forward with proposals designating which


prisoners should and which should not, if you wish. Both Labour and


Conservatives are seen in to say that they are not on. They are


declaring war on the Court, and saying it is a foreign court is


very provocative. Believers in the European Convention on Human Rights


would say that this is not foreign and was created in large part


thanks to a British initiative after the war to make sure that


human rights were spread in the countries that formally had


despotic regimes. That is a provocative thing to say. It might


force Nick Clegg as the minister responsible, which she is, or his


deputy, conveniently, because Nick Clegg might be rather busy, to


explain why he is not sticking with what he sold Parliament a few


months ago. The official line from that dispatch box was that this is


their legal obligation to give some prisoners a vote, and it is the


right thing to do because it stops Britain being sued and prisoners


getting compensation, the implication being that those of you


that don't like prisoners voting will dislike them being given huge


sums of money because they have not got the vote. And the Government


has a legal international obligations. The Prime Minister has


torn that up and says he does not care and Parliament has made its


view clear. This begs questions for the Attorney-General, the top near


in the Government. He has always said that it is the law. You might


not like it. But we have to go along with them. Further thoughts?


We are in unprecedented territory, I think. We have been in the stand-


off with the European Court before. I sent my clear feelings out


earlier. But having seen that PMQs I clear feeling was that the


language was not helpful from David Cameron. -- my feeling. His comment


to Ed Balls was not prime- ministerial. This will not help the


matter. He is not popular with his own backbenchers at the moment so


this could be read need for them. think this is what it was designed


to do. -- red meat for them. actually think it puts off people


like me that think that this is not unacceptable intrusion into British


politics. Your thoughts? A thought the Prime Minister may be


Government's position very clear. The only thing I would add to that


is that I sometimes think we have a debate in Britain about human


rights, as though human-rights were intrinsically a bad thing, a


foreign imposition. We should allow ourselves to get into the mindset


that we set an international example in terms of human rights


law. We should not feel defensive about human rights, as if they are


an alien imposition. We have done a documentary for the BBC on this,


and Winston Churchill was behind the original convention, a very


right-wing Tory Home Secretary was as well. But I don't think they


ever envisaged that it would be used to give prisoners votes.


incarceration, you surrender rights. You go a cross that line, and you


surrender your rights. Non all of Dems agree, but I do agree. In --


not all of the Lib Dems agree. We should not sound like we have lost


faith in the rights of individuals to have their human rights upheld.


Let go back to Adrian Beecroft. I assume Labour's in position is that


you are against all of the proposals in the report? They are


some things worth considering. I do not have a blanket opposition to


everything that this man says, but let's go back to the thing that is


causing controversy, unfair dismissal. His proposal to have


this ability for companies to fire people but with a small payment,


can this be the response to what we have been through? That the most


powerful people in society can pull the rug from people at the bottom?


If that is where we are going, that is not the country I want to live


in. The Government has changed it so that you can basically fire at


will for up to two years after hiring somebody. If you do not know


after two years if somebody is any good, you should not be an employer.


It seems to me that the problem is not supplied, but a lack of demand


in the British economy. -- not supply. I want is the protection


for people at work but I think flexible labour markets are a big


asset. We have one of the most flexible labour markets. We are


talking about unemployment. The reason youth unemployment is at 21%,


too high, and we want it to be lower, but it is 50% in Spain and


Greece, from memory. I think it is important to have employee


protection, but we do not want to be in a position in this country


when employers are deterred from employing people because they


feared that they cannot reorganise their work force. The Labour Party


has the right to hire and fire his whole team not based on well, not


on any objective criteria. The job creation scheme! On the principle


of being inside the tent but not out, and I will not give the exact


quote, but he has to hire some people for the Shadow Cabinet.


Their more PMQs for three weeks and a big story on the European Court.


-- no more PMQs. Yes, I think it will be a big story. We have not


talked about the muttering idiot stake when. I -- statement. I don't


think people realise that the microphones are very direction will.


This is not a technology point. You only here what is switched on and


you do not hear the extraordinary amount of noise that there is. What


Ed Balls does, it is the equivalent of what they call sledging in


cricket. Ed Balls tries to put him off. He finds a new story that is


awkward about drinking wine at the weekend and keeps on saying it. And


it works. We have to talk more about economic growth. We are


sledging ourselves! Thank you, Nick Robinson. Enjoy the Jubilee.


can't wait. I will be celebrating in the Republic of the United


States. The First Republic! Have you had enough of the recession,


the eurozone crisis and this talk of austerity? Would you like to


fast forward to a golden era of growth? George Trefgarne thinks


that to do so we need to rewind to another era. Here is his soapbox.


An implement, dole queues, poverty and misery. -- unemployment. It


must be the 1930s. But the view of this decade as a destitute period


is a myth. Of course the mood was depressing in 1931, and there were


pockets of severe poverty throughout the decade in Britain.


But there is also another story to If you were a a Lufhwaffe pilot a


huge new building would have Serbed -- serveded as a useful navigation


aid. Completed in 1933, just in time for the world's first National


Grid to be switched on, bringing electricity to every home in the


land, Battersea power station is a classic example of the sort of


infrastructure investment and technical innovation which took


place at the time. By the middle of the decade, a British boom was


under way. Neville Chamberlain was Chancellor.


He might be reviled now for his subsequent role in appeasing the


Nazis, but he was surprisingly good at running the Treasury. This


Budget, which I introduced today, has been made possible by sound


finance on the part of the Government and by hard work on the


part of the people. About 2.8 million new homes were


constructed as suburbs expanded. Car and aircraft production boomed.


And firms like Austin and Morris were internationally famous names.


Unemployment fell by almost a half between 1932 and 1937.


The economic recovery they stphau the 1930s is in sharp contrast to


the rather flimsy recovery we have experienced today. So what lessons


can we learn? Well, I think there are five steps we need to take to


restore the economy to health. Spending cuts work. A 10% cut in


unemployment benefit and civil service salaries helped balance the


Budget. But this must be offset by an effective cheap money policy


based on low interest rates, so the private sector can invest to expand.


Confidence in the financial system must be restored and in the 1930s


there were several high profile trials as crooks who thrived were


brought to book. Tax cuts work. In his Budget of 1934 Neville


Chamberlain was able to cut income tax for the low paid and for


families. Finally, press on with welfare


reform. The 1930s governments didn't do enough for the long-term


unemployed. The truth is that all financial crises, even the current


one, will come to an end, as long as we are prepared to learn the


And George is with us now. You have pointed to some of the upsides as


you say by the mid-1930s, some of the investment that you say was


going on. But you don't balance that with the economic pain that


was obviously suffered at the 1920s, into the 30s, do you accept that,


high unemployment, businesses going to the wall? What I tried to do in


writing this paper was to - we all have opinions about how to restore


economic growth, I thought let's find evidence of what worked in the


past and it is true at the beginning of the 1930s there was


terrible unemployment. There was effectively a double dip recession


first the Wall Street crash then a crisis in Europe and then drastic


spending cuts over here. So, there was about three million unemployed,


it was about roughly speaking 15 or 20% of the workforce at the


beginning of the decade. But I suppose if you look at what other


people have said, for instance, the Shadow Chancellor, saying those


policies then that were introduced in terms of spending cuts were


wrong and that's why those unemployment figures and businesses


- were so high? One of the reasons I wrote this is I was struck by how


Ed Balls always brings up the 1930s, he is a bad historian. It's simply


not true. He has his facts wrong. Which bit wasn't true? He is


questioning the policies at the time what were made it so bad, not


that the recovery happened. There was a financial crisis, the Wall


Street crash and other banking crisis in Europe. Those were the


really big contributors to the big unemployment at the beginning of


the decade. But then Britain, unlike America, and I think Andrew


said this before, people always think of the 1930s and think of


America, but in Britain there was a strong economic recovery. Do you


think that was as a result of cutting as harshly as they did then,


that was the right policy? It was part of the policy but it was


offset by some very important softening aspects. One was a


restructure of the national debt and the debt conversion, which is


one of the biggest events of the time. They had low interest rates.


They had a huge house building boom. They had amazing new industries


from aircraft, car production, that sort of thing. Do you agree with


this report published last week which called the debate on public


spending in the UK a phoney austerity, that actually the rate


is not fast enough. I do agree with that, but they haven't done enough


to try and create growth. I think the Labour Party have said some


important things on this. The Government is not focused enough on


growth. It's simply focused on deficit reduction. What do you sty


that? I don't think it's an either- or with austerity and growth.


Everybody wants growth, apart from a few people in the Green Party.


Let me talk - we have kept Bank of England base rate at half a percent


for I think over three years, the whole time in this Government. We


have cut income tax, in fact we have removed about 2 million people


from income tax altogether. Allowed them to spend more of their money.


The Deputy Prime Minister is interviewed today about


infrastructure, spending, we are making improvements in education


system. Would you like interest rates to be cut even further?


much lower they can they can go from half a percent. We are in - we


are spending over �300 million a day of public money, borrowed money,


on stimulus for the economy. So there are all kinds - as well as


all things we are talking about earlier, which is about making sure


that we attract inward investment, increase trade with fast growing


mark nets Asia. Tkrbg -- markets in Asia. There's something slightly


different I want to ask Andy, about the issue of the trials for those


financial people who were blamed for what happened, in part n the


1930s, do you think something like that would have helped here? It has


been happening to a degree, there's parliamentary inquiries, the media


looking at great detail. People have lost honours. Do you think


there should have been more of that? The public want to see those


responsible held to account, no doubt about that. I agree with some


of the things George was saying. The tax cut issue is obviously


something we would agree with, we said the VAT increase last January


was damaging. I would say that's one of the things that's not helped


and tipping us back into recession. You are possibly in danger of


rewriting history a bit yourself, in America, they had two new deals


and the feeling was they stopped them too early and the States went


back to recession at the end of the 30s. I have to say thank you very


much. Andrew, what are you doing? Sorry,


I was chillaxing there! Very funny, I fell for it.


Let's go to Adam. The last few weeks has seen the


proliferation of a plethora oria of new words related to the news. This


hat is full of them, let's find out if any are catching on with the


What did you get? Chillax. Does he seem like a chillaxed person, David


Cameron? He does, with his rolled up sleeves, no tie. It represents


everything that's wrong with the world. The simple word? Yeah, it's


just, you know, it's just not right. Have you heard that word? I have,


but I am trying to remember where from. You said you were a viewer of


the Daily Politics. I know, I know. It's embarrassing. What does that


mean? Twitter for Italian? Remode. What does that mean? I have no idea.


It's actually the word the department for transport used for


us changing our way we get to work during the Olympics.


Oh, yes, it all makes perfect sense now!


Also known as walking. Oh, right! Yes, I can see that. Have you heard


that word? No. Would you like to guess what it means?


Do you know what it means? Greeks exit out of the euro,


perhaps? Correct. You are the first person to get it. What do you think


of that as a word? I think it's quite cool actually.


I think it will become very much a real word in a few days, I think.


Geuro. Have you heard of that? That's basically a parallel


currency for Greece, because of the economic problems. OK. Do you think


it's going to catch on? Not really. What is sweatworking? I am guessing


it's working really hard until you break out in sweat. It's instead of


a meeting, you go to the gym with your colleague. Fantastic! Do you


know what it means? Haven't a clue. You are tkpwog get fired! Oh, no.


Producer guidelines? It's The hat is empty, and it urns out a lot of


the words we have been using every day the public don't even know what


they mean. Oh, dear. Nice hat. Joining us now from


Oxford the associate editor of the Oxford English dictionary and in


the studio Quentin Letts. Isn't it one of the strengths of the English


language that we keep on adding new words to it, that's what keeps it


alive? It's what keeps me in work. Here we are monitoring the language


and people have been adding words for political reasons, and for


other reasons, for centuries. It's a very creative language. But do


you think the pace of modern life and developments, are we also


seeing the pace of new words on the up, as well? I think two things


have changed, more people are speaking English and the world is


much more interconnected, so you might have a sort of political wag


decides to coin a word in his newspaper column and it goes around


the world so everybody can pick up on it. We are more interconnected


and more of us speaking English so that's going to make us more


productive of new words. So many words we take for granted now, even


OK comes from President van Burin. Chattering classes. Dog whistle


politics a few years ago. Bromance just two years ago. It no longer


seems to be the case. But these things can acquire a political


potency and chillax will probably never again be thought of in


Britain without people thinking about David Cameron. It takes us


right back to the early days of Cameroonism when he launched his


leadership bid for the Conservative Party and we all went to a place


where there was aromatherapy music playing and I am not sure it's


actually that damaging to him because you could argue that Harald


Macmillan chillaxed, he happened to read Trollope. David Cameron


allegedly plays computer games. Thank goodness we could have Prime


Minister who does do that, rather than bungs mobile phones at the top


of stumps. What's to happen before the word gets into the dictionary


then? Like chillax. It's online. It's an older word than you might


think. What about omni-shambles? have been monitoring that, that's


rather newer. We have to collect evidence and see that the word has


become established in the language. What should get in? I wish tax cuts.


We seem to have forgotten that one. Omni-shambles, I am not sure, it's


too long and doesn't seem... I like it. The other word used is


unrepeatable. That's not going to get into the dictionary. Stitch and


Butch, anyone, any idea about that?? All right, it's a gather of


people who knit and gossip at the same time. I am right!


I am going to get the knitting tomorrow. We are going to give you


the answer to question the -- guess the year. The answer was 2005.


Press the button now. What's going to happen now? You disappear.


is the winner. Mike Dodsworth from Huddersfield, it's your mug. Thank


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