18/06/2012 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, welcome to the Daily Politics. The people of Greece vote


in effect to stay in the euro. The New Democracy Party, which broadly


supports the international bailout, achieved a narrow victory in


yesterday's elections and is now trying to form a coalition


government. World leaders meeting in Mexico have welcomed the result.


But the euro's not out of the woods yet. The good ship coalition


appears to be heading for choppy waters. We'll be looking at what


might sink it. They get to smile and wave at the camera but is being


a cabinet minister all it's cracked up to be? And we'll be lending


members of the House of Lords a helping hand over their


pronunciation. It appears some of them need it. President Harland is


not President Hollander. I accept these wires rebukes about my


pronunciation, it has never been very good soul or practise more. --


good, so I will practise more. that in the next hour. And with us


for the first half of today's programme is Matthew Taylor, the


Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of


Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, or the RSA as it's better known!


Welcome. Now Matthew also used to work for Tony Blair when he was


Prime Minister, so we might as well start by asking him about the


current spat in the Labour party. Some trade unions are attempting to


expel the New Labour pressure group, Progress, from the party. On that


basis is Ed Miliband actually listening to progress? Progress is


an open organisation which represents the modernising strand


of thought, Ed Miliband spoke recently and made clear yesterday


he does not support this rather odd idea from the trade unions that he


should be expelled. Saw a thing he has made his position clear. Trade


unions tend to be debated by activists who tend to be more left-


wing than activist so -- dominated. So calling for a think tank is just


a token gesture but it gives Ed Miliband a chance to do what he has


done more loudly, which has to say he is not standing for this


nonsense. Peter Mandelson is saying Ed Miliband is listening closely to


this new Labour think tank. Is that being provocative to the trade


unions? Ensure the existence of Peter Mandelson on this earth is


provocative to trade unions. It is clear he is speaking tour part of


the party because he is leading this policy review so politicians


are looking for good ideas, particularly at a time of austerity


there are not that many around, so you will take them from wherever he


can get them. He was clear yesterday that he wants the Labour


Party to be a broad church. Is this a throwback to the Blair, Brown era,


still in fighting, still splits. It does not give the Labour Party a


great image. Because of our electoral system we have big


parties that range widely. The Conservatives are the same, right


wing, moderate Conservatives, it is the same in labour, they will


always be people who say controversial things. The challenge


for Ed Miliband is to work with that group of people but never


looked like he is beholden to any faction. Now it's time for our


daily quiz. The question for today is... Which of these bailout


countries is no longer in the European Football Championship?


We'll try and find out the answer for you by the end of the show. The


big fear ahead of elections was that Greece may be forced out of


the single currency. Has there been a sense of relief at the news


voters might have backed the country then release supports the


bail-out package. Then joined by its chief economist at Schroders.


Any favourable response seems to have been wiped already. The relief


rally was quite short lived. We got quite a nice start to the morning,


Asia was rallying but what we have seen now as a focus on the bigger


picture and there has been a sharp rise in Spanish bond deals this


morning which have now gone over 7% so it looks like the markets are


moving on from Greece and focusing on the bigger picture and looking


at the problems in Spain. Do you think Greece is a sideshow on that


With Greece, although it is problematic, the European Union has


the resources to be able to solve that problem, they can keep funding


Greece. The difficulty is what tons to they do it on and how much do


they allow? The problem with Spain and the economy is it is very big


and would absorb nearly all the resources that have been put aside


for a crisis in the eurozone. So that is what the markets are


concerned about. A what about looking ahead? If all the leaders


are saying some time has been bought, what -- is their chance the


markets will be calmed or will they just go after the other vulnerable


countries in the eurozone? I think they're looking for the European


Union to come up with a solution and I think that would have to be


one where the debt in the eurozone is neutralised or brought across a


common basis. In other words, Germany putting in funding to help


support those countries through lower interest rates. Unless we see


that I think the markets will continue to pick away at countries


that are weak economically and have big debt problems. That means the


problem could continue into next year and the problem comes back to


the politicians who why the only ones who can provide that


submission. Sajid doubt that it is the Conservative MP and economics


editor of the Guardian, the Larry Elliott. -- Sajid David. I think at


some point Greece may leave the euro of its own will be booted out


by the rest of Europe. It is one of the four options for dealing with


this crisis. Do you think the hints coming out of Berlin that Germany


might relax the terms of the bail- out is going to change anything


dramatically? I don't actually. I think the problems of Greece are so


intractable that even more time is not going to solve the problem. The


Germans are in a position where they do not want be responsible for


breaking of the euro, they don't want to through Greece out, they


want crease to come along and say we have had enough, we cannot cope.


I think the Germans will make life difficult enough for Greece so that


option happens. So that would make the Germans -- the lives of the


Germans easier. Is that privately what the Conservatives would like


to see? I don't think that's correct. Our view is now the euro


has been created the genie is out of the bottle, we cannot reverse it,


the best thing is to try and find a way for it to survive. Even with


Greece in it? The at is up to Greece. The thing yesterday was the


least bad of two options but the problems of the day before I still


still -- still all there. Is David Cameron right to urge closer


integration in the eurozone with a banking union under Germany's


control? There are only four ways out of this crisis, one is that


Greece and the other countries can have austerity forever. The other


is to have high inflation, the third is that the Germans write


cheques in definitely for the rest of the eurozone so they get their


credit card out and fund everybody else's deficit, or they could be


some kind of break-up. Unfortunately the eurozone has


decided it doesn't want any of those options. So the result is


kicking the can down the road and I think we are close to the end of


that road. Why? You just heard about Spanish bombs at 7.1%, that


suggests to me the end of the road is rapidly approaching. -- bombs. -


We are told the issue is the Greek election, it goes the right way,


but it makes no difference. All the small things will not do it, the


only way to achieve change is from a level of leadership which seems


to be beyond our current national leaders. What would that the bishop


had to do? It would have to be what David Cameron is saying, a higher


level of integration with Germany in the driving seat. That is the


only way out of this. Otherwise the question is, is this a rapid or


slow car crash? I think we are in agreement here. A single currency


was never going to work without some kind of fiscal or political


union, one has never survived so this problem was always going to


occur. It requires decisive action by European leaders. Now is a time


to make a decision. If you are talking about banking and closer


fiscal integration, that will not happen tomorrow, that is not going


to happen in a couple of weeks, it will not save Spain. The markets


are now operating in a faster -- at The problem now is any of those


political solutions that David Cameron has offered will take time


and requires countries like Spain to be prepared to bow to German


demands to be able to run their fiscal policy. I somewhat doubt the


Spanish government will want the Germans in their saying you have to


raise this amount of tax, you can only spend it on these issues.


These issues are issues that national governments normally


decide and the idea that Madrid or Rome will say we will allow Angela


Merkel to take -- dictate the terms of our budget is improbable. I do


not think we should let the does off the hook. If there was a short


leadership at the G20 demonstrating politicians have moved to a


different level of understanding of this, if the markets felt it was


being gripped, the fact it might take time to work out the details,


they need to feel there is a qualitative difference in the way


leaders are gripping this. Why did we do it in 2008 and now it feels


like we can't? Whereas the sense of urgency? Why does it appear that


they are powerless to do anything? I think the European leaders really


know what they need to do. Neutralise debts, have a banking


union to have a common treasury. But that won't save the situation


as it is now. Spain and Italy are in a perilous state at this moment.


If European leaders set out concrete steps to achieve it it


would change the situation. cannot ignore the markets. I spent


20 years as a bond trader before it became a politician and you cannot


buck the markets. The markets are looking at these countries and


asking for action. It is up to the politicians in the eurozone to


deliver. Our job is to protect our economy from this debt storm to


deal with the debt we have inherited. How are they doing that?


We cut our deficit for a quarter since this government was elected.


But still no growth. We inherited an economy built on debt, we have a


European debt storm building. At a time like that the main requirement


is to protect the economy. Some of the measures you have seen, like


last week, the funding for lending scheme, designed to protect the


economy. Is it enough? I don't think so. These are stop-gap


measures. The government is worried about the state of the economy.


People I speak to say things have deteriorated in the last couple of


months, the economy has deep structural problems and we're not


going to get through those easily. The European problem makes it much


We need to rebalance the economy away from debt and towards


productive capacity of exports but that will not happen any time soon.


Certainly not with the European debt crisis raging. Leaders can't


really do anything against this, can they? All they can do globally


is to call for leadership. Domestically, I think the problem


is we are trying to move from an old house which was in many ways


built on weak foundations and to actually build a new house based on


strong foundations and it is not clear we can do both. So much


energy is going to manage and the problems of the past and there is a


lack of any credible account of what Britain will feel like in 15


In your book, you have talked about Britain heading for the Third World


economy - how did you come to that conclusion? We have used the North


Sea oil, will have 15 years were a real incomes don't grow at all, we


will be in 2017 by the time in comes get back, we have had


stalling public growth and we are struggling to find new sources of


growth. Britain faces deep structural problems. We have


papered over the cracks for many years, using the proceeds of North


Sea oil, and now the bills are having to be paid. We have suddenly


reached a reality check point and the UK economy is not a pretty


picture. Do you share that gloomy prediction? No, if lorry is saying


we are facing some serious challenges, of course we are. We


are the seventh largest economy in the world and 60% of our trade is


with the eurozone. The key right now is to make sure Britain remains


a safe haven, that we keep low interest rates and deal with the


deficit that we inherited, and try to deal with a lot of those


problems. You will prove him wrong by 2014 then? Absolutely. He makes


an important point, which is that we have not realised how far we


have already slipped behind. Looking at average in comes and


inequality, if you combine those we are falling down the league table


in terms of income and up the table in terms of inequality. Great


Britain is a very bad place to be poor and I don't think people have


noticed how far we have slipped behind other countries. We have got


hold of our correspondent in Athens. Can you hear me? There are pretty


gloomy predictions from our guests here, what is the mood like in


Athens after the election? The mood is pretty sober, to put it mildly.


I am looking over constitution Square. Last night the place was


almost deserted, apart from a few people letting off firecrackers for


the sake of appearances. It is not hard to see why. It was tough in


Greece yesterday, it will be tough for a long time to come. They are


going through the process of trying to put the government together, but


just imagine the coalition talks in Britain in 2010, then think of them


faster and more complicated. At the end of it there will be a


government, but it will have the difficult job of trying to get a


better deal as far as the bail-out is concerned and selling it to the


Greek people. Are you confident there will be some bail-out


government formed in the next few days? They are confident there will


be a government. We can be reasonably sure of that. At the


moment the winner of the election, the New democracy party, is trying


to find the main other party it could do business with, but that


old Labour Party doesn't want to get into bed with the old enemy


without getting someone else in there as well and that is proving


difficult. It is looking like there will be a coalition, and then in


gets really difficult. The powers- that-be are moving to soften the


deal with Greece and that might help but it was tough before the


elections persuading the Greek people the austerity would be worth


it and it will get harder and harder. Thank you.


A failing care system, a billion pound bill, hundreds of children


reported missing and at risk of sexual abuse. An all-party group


today has published a damning report on care homes, and before we


go to the reporter - I have forgotten to say thank you to my


guest - our reporter can tell us more. This report comes just a


month after nine men were convicted in Rochdale of sexually exploiting


young girls, one of hair -- one of whom was in a care home. I am


joined now by Ann Coffey and Councillor David Simmons. What were


the main findings of your report? We think the care system is failing


some very vulnerable young people who go missing and run away, and


thereby put themselves at risk of sexual grooming and exploitation.


Propagator is not being collected, we don't know how many children go


missing and crucially what they do when they go missing. There is


inadequate data sharing between the police and children's services and


the police have a duty to safeguard children. They should share data


properly, and they have poor practices working together at a


local level, which means children are not being safeguarded within


the care system. Councillor David Simmons, why aren't you working


more closely with the police in this terrible situation? This


report makes very uncomfortable reading for anybody, in the police,


the NHS, the voluntary sector responsible for children in the


care system, but it is also clear that the multiple different sort of


regulations, the way in which different police forces, different


council's approach this has created a statistical fog. The key thing to


helping children who are vulnerable is not just sharing data but also


the intelligence about what is going on in their lives. When we


think they might be at risk, we can pick that up and intervene earlier


on. That requires good information sharing, from health professionals,


please, Von Trier organisations and those responsible for running care


homes. That is pretty shocking - the police and councils don't know


where the care homes are, and many of them are in areas where there


was already paedophilia. That is shocking, isn't it? It is shocking


that a sexual predator can be sitting in a car outside children's


home, targeting them, often having followed a child that has moved to


escape sexual exploitation. The children don't even know the care


home exist and sometimes the local authority doesn't even know the


child has been placed there. That is what I mean about having to get


a much better system of working together. Presumably this is about


attracting the right people, some of whom work in a supermarket one


day and next day they are responsible for the most vulnerable


children. It was interesting that the people who came to give


evidence talked about not being listened to, and part of that issue


is not having the staff with the level of training skills that can


hear what the young people are saying, here behind the words, and


it is a big issue. This is why we want to further investigation into


whether care homes are offering the kind of skills in supporting and


protecting, safeguarding, and dealing with the underlying


problems that cause children to go away. Is that a problem you


recognise as well? A very much so, and I think it is a helpful


recommendation that has come forward. At the moment Ofsted,


responsible for regulating children's homes, don't let the


police know where they are or the standard of service. We know they


are required to meet a certain basic standard, but for a council


looking to move a child away from a place where they have been a victim


of abuse to break that cycle of abuse, we need to know that home


they are going to will be providing them with the safe and well,


environment. I spoke to a government adviser earlier who says


they want to rattle the cage and make sure that when children go


missing, alarm bells to ring. At first glance, being a Cabinet


minister might look like a cushy number - lashings of power, civil


servants to do your every bidding, and a nice car. But you also get


intense pressure, ferocious criticism, and that is just from


your own backbenchers, and the constant threat of the sack. Most


of the top team have been under fire at one time or another, so is


being a Cabinet minister all it is cracked up to be? We sensed David


to find out. If you are MMP, it doesn't get much better than this.


Walking into Downing Street for the first time as a fresh-faced newly-


minted member of the Cabinet. But all too soon reality kicks in and


the seat at the big table of British politics gets very hot.


Take the current top team - virtually all of them have been in


hot water. William Hague, hotel room controversy, Theresa May, Abu


Qatada, Andrew Lansley, NHS reforms. Baroness Warsi, rent issues, and


most recently Jeremy Hunt with Rupert Murdoch again. Who would


want to be a Cabinet minister when frankly it is more likely to end in


tears? We thought we would ask someone who knows better than most.


Every minister goes into the thinking I will be the one who


isn't the person who runs into either personal or political


problems. I don't think you could step into it unless you hoped that


would be the case, but for very many people you become the minister


in trouble, the minister who you can see in your colleagues' eyes


they are sympathetic but thank goodness it is you, not me. Some


have already paid the ultimate political price. At the last two


days have been the longest and toughest of my life. David Laws,


Chief Secretary to the Treasury at one minute, out of the Treasury the


next. Liam Fox, the former Defence Secretary, was busted down to


backbencher over his links to a lobbyist. Chris Huhne in the fast


lane as Energy Secretary, forced to resign over problems with speeding


offence fraud. Even though you are under immense pressure, the reason


why you're doing this job is because you think you can make a


difference. You think this is the thing that your political values


have brought you to. It is the peak of your political career, the time


of which you think actually there is something I can do to put into


operation the things I care about. You never think you have achieved


what you want to achieve when it is time to leave that. The next time


you see a member of the Cabinet in bother, don't feel too sorry for


them because the truth is most of them wouldn't miss it for the world.


Let's find out if that is true with Lord Norman Fowler. Let's go back


in time - how did the pressures of Cabinet life affect your family


life? You have less time than you would otherwise have, but in the


main Cabinet life was very good because you could put into effect


the ideas that you had. I started doing transport, I had done it in


the Shadow Cabinet fully three years. I put the plans I had into


effect, that was brilliant. The last thing I did was to abolish the


Dock Labour Scheme, which people had been flapping about four years.


Jacqui Smith is right. Obviously there are things you feel you could


have done, but on the other hand you can and do have the opportunity


of doing so much. When you resigned, did you say it was to spend more


time with your family as well, that it was an opportunity? Was that a


euphemism, or was that what you really meant? No, it wasn't a


euphemism, but I did say other things as well. I have done 11


years in government... You had had enough? I wanted to move on, if I


could put it that way. I had two a small children, both of whom were


born when I was in the Cabinet, and I thought I would miss out on that,


but I don't want to say I was a crusader on the family or anything


like that. There does, time when you have done 11 years of Cabinet


you feel that is enough. What about scrutiny? Do you think there is


more scrutiny for this generation of politicians than when you were


in the Cabinet? That is probably right. I think the worst thing


about the Cabinet and the thing which took most time, and the thing


which caused most aggravation was not the outside scrutiny. The thing


that caused the most problems were the public spending rows each year


when you were attacked from the Treasury, and you would say but you


can't propose that, that was in our manifesto, we were against that.


What about people hounded out of office? Is that worse now? We


listed some politicians who had to resign. He it -- it might be worse.


In Margaret Thatcher's time, almost each year you had regular


reshuffles and cabinet ministers were sometimes simply left out


there with all kinds of predictions being made about the fact they


would be sacked. If you are too sensitive on this, it is a rough


Matthew, is it more a case of personal issues that seem to be the


end of members of some of the Cabinet rather than policy issues?


It tends to be personal issues because of the Prime Minister sat


somebody for personal reasons, it falls back on the Prime Minister


because why have you supported them? Tomorrow apparently we are


going to go to a reform package for the Civil Service and I bet, like


all previous reform packages, it will not grasp the problem of the


interface between politicians and civil servants. Imagine if they


want and Corporation are ostensibly run by a committee of 30 people,


each person has a job that requires them to work 16 hours a day, many


of them do not trust the organisations that work for them,


then you have junior ministers who have no role and just go around


causing trouble? That is a very I was part of the Thatcher


government, I was there from the beginning almost to the end. We


were written down as being the most radical governments since the war


in domestic policy. I don't think we have those problems. Is that


because you ignore the civil service? No, that is the point. We


got the civil service to work with us, we said this is the policy and


they put it into practice. It was a perfectly good partnership. This


government has a lot of briefing at the moment saying they do not feel


the civil services working for them. They also did not have to new --


deal the 24 hour news. I think it was more possible in your time to


say I will address that in a couple of weeks. Now you have to respond


to things immediately. If you have not close an issue within hours to


have Number Ten on the phone saying you have to get out there. Can you


think of a cabinet member handed out who should not have been?


It is clear to me Peter Mandelson resigned for a trivial reason. It


was to do with the image he created for himself which made him somebody


people wanted to have a go at. think your point about the 24 hour


news cycle is a commentary on Number Ten. I was on a phone-in the


other day and a special adviser rang up and said we need to have a


new story every four hours. That is crazy. I agree. A everyone needs to


relax. We should go back to a former age about announcing


policies and the rest. You said you managed to achieve a lot in the


Cabinet. Unless you are in the Cabinet is it really worth being a


junior minister? Only if you were genuinely interested in the area


you're working in. When I worked for Tony Blair I proposed that


junior ministers were asked to make a change happen. You get appointed


for a couple of years to oversee a particular process. At the moment


you are only junior minister because you want to be a cabinet


minister. But if you are doing what I was doing, health and social


security, it is crucial your ministers of state are strong


people. I recruited Ken Clarke, Tony Newton and John Major. With


that sort of support I had an easy life. I rested on them. Tips for


anyone joining the Cabinet after a reshuffle? No. Funnily enough. One


tip. I think you might bring a Malcolm Rifkind back into it. I


don't know if he wants to but he is such an intelligent, good


communicator, I think he is wasted on the backbenches. You heard it


here first! Thank you both. Coalition shinanigans have been


keeping the Westminster hacks busy of late. And on College Green we


have our own little coalition. Anushka Asthana from the Times and


James Kirkup from the Telegraph. Can we start with the Leveson


Inquiry, do you think the decision by the Liberal-Democrats took


abstain was a key moment? It is an ongoing process where both party


leaderships are trying hard to engage in party management. They


are looking for ways of sending signals to the backbenches and


party membership we are still a distinct party, pushing our own


agenda. Nick Clegg is trying to push that independence on Murdoch


based issues and that the same time we are seeing Conservative


ministers pushing a Conservative agenda on welfare, Trident, issues


like that. Are Tory MPs still angry about it or was it a flash-in-the-


pan? Of course they are angry but it is just the latest reason to be


angry. Most MPs have an ongoing frustration at the fact they are in


coalition. That anger express itself in various ways depending on


what is in the headlines. At the moment it is Leveson. When Lords


reform comes back it will be Lords reform. There is always something.


It traces back to the original sin, David Cameron's failure to win the


Tory majority in 2010. I Liberal- Democrat MPs worried about revenge?


We have heard a number of times that they could use Lords reform as


the stick to be the Lib Dems with? I think is sues the Tories to see


this as treachery because it gives them an excuse to go on things like


Lords reform. Lib Dems are worried about that because it is important


to them to get the Lords reform February. -- through. None the Tory


said we never did this to Vince Cable but the response was actually


yes, they did. The Lib Dems view is it was fair for them to abstain. I


think the Tories would uses as a chance to punish them. David


Cameron is clearly attempting to push the eurozone countries towards


closer integration with Britain outside that. What other Liberal-


Democrats thinking about that? Lib Dems are have spoken to mainly


support the idea of closer fiscal pact but they want Britain to be


involved in the conversation and that is where the parties split.


Whilst Cameron might be pushing for that a lot of his backbenchers


think one needs to happen now is that Greece needs to default and


other countries need to follow suit, which is what they will be pushing


for. Do you think the eurozone crisis has masked even bigger


cracks in the coalition? Without the crisis you wonder how we will


be doing on the fundamental question of addressing the deficit.


-- would be doing. I think the severity of the events does hide


various tensions. There are some clear divisions of Tory opinion on


this. George Osborne and David Cameron are pushing for the


eurozone to integrate and push towards a fiscal union. There are


Conservatives who regard the idea of fiscal union as being Anathema.


It flies in the face of 2000 years of Western civilisation. The idea


there is a unified position on be fiscal crisis is not really the


case but because they are secondary to the end of the euro zone


economic crisis it might be getting less attention than it would be


otherwise. On a referendum issue, which seems to have reared up again


because Labour has also been calling for it, maybe not now, is


pressure mounting for that to come sooner rather than later? I think


there are voices in all parties who want to see a promise for a


referendum. What with the question be and is now the right time for a


question? And in out referendum would be dangerous because


Eurosceptics might get the answer they do not want and where does


Britain go from there? I think Cameron will want to resist any


temptation to do that on the table right now. I would expect us to be


seen something like an offer for a referendum in Tory manifesto, maybe


then Labour manifesto as well. joined now for the rest of the show


by three peers of the realm. Labour's leader in the Lords, Jan


Royall, Conservative Peer, Patience Wheatcroft and for the Liberal


Democrats Tim Clement Jones. Last week Liberal Democrat MPs


infuriated some of their Conservative partners by refusing


to back Jeremy Hunt in a House of Commons vote. The Lib Dems


abstained on a Labour motion calling for the embattled Culture


Secretary to be investigated over breaches of the ministerial code.


The good ship Coalition has sailed into choppy waters after the Lib


Dems abstained last week. Conservative ministers are fighting


back, sailing under Tory colours, apparently without much thought for


what their Lib Dem partners think. The Home Secretary Theresa May has


been getting tough on immigration and human rights laws. Oliver


Letwin has suggested that subsidies for onshore wind-power will be


stopped despite strong Lib Dem support for green energy. And


Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has announced a �1 billion contract


for the next generation of nuclear powered submarines. They would be


needed if the Government decided to go ahead with a like-for-like


replacement for Trident, something the Lib Dems oppose. With a further


row looming over House of Lords reform David Cameron and Nick Clegg


could be looking for the coalition life jackets. Have we got to that


stage yet? Not yet. The government has sensible policies it wants to


push through. They will not all be what the Lib Dems would like to see


but coalition is about give-and- take. How would you characterise


the state of the coalition at the moment? I think it is never easy


and certainly not proving to be easy but it is still there and I


think it will survive. The you understand why the Lib Dems were


not right to support Jeremy Hunt on the Labour motion? Not really.


do you think they decided to make that decision? I don't understand


why. I think it was a strange thing to do and played into labour's


hands. I thought the most appalling thing about the episode was the


speaker allowing Jeremy Hunt to be termed a liar in a debate in the


House of Commons. That really was atrocious. There was controversy


over that which we debated at the time. Justify that decision for the


Lib Dems to abstain. It was not a matter of collective Cabinet


responsibility, that was made clear. This was a decision not to refer by


the Prime Minister to Alex Allan which Nick Clegg played no part in.


So it was perfectly proper for us to take a different view as a party,


which we did. But what we did not want to do was to vote with the


Labour Party in the division because we are members of the


coalition and at least we do it to our colleagues not to see the


ousting of a minister. But we wanted to make it clear we felt the


Prime Minister should have referred to a special adviser. But you


agreed on principle with what the Labour motion stated, that you did


not agree David Cameron should have made the decision not to refer it


to Sir Alex Allan so by rights he should have supported it? That is


the nature of coalition, there are some cases were you do not go the


whole hog. -- wear. Abstention is a lily-livered way out. I think it is


a posturing by the Lib Dems that we see a lot in the House of Lords. If


the Lib Dems really believed they should have voted, they should have


made a statement against Jeremy party. I absolutely do not agree.


In coalition there are all kinds of compromises you need to make, even


within political parties. To jump up and down, cry, lack of principle,


traitor, whatever on every occasion that the parties do something


different is just impractical and does not represent reality. Do you


think relations are better in the House of Lords than they seem to be


in the Commons? I think that is right. There are strains sometimes.


Over the health will there were strains, over things are welfare


reform there were strings. But I do we have ways of dealing with them


because the personal relationships across the parties are good I would


say. We're probably capable of separating out the politics from


the personalities rather better Do you think the announcement on


submarines does prejudge the position on nuclear weapons? No, I


think it has been made clear that the investment made in the building


in Derby will be used for whatever happens. The money will not be


wasted, but we do have to start planning now walk in case the


decision is made to go ahead with Trident. Can you see why it would


be viewed as a decision made by staff? In a way, this decision has


been made. No, because the money would not be wasted. I have no


doubt there will be people who interpret it that way but I see it


as a sensible decision on planning. Are you worried about this decision


being made before 2016 as was agreed? Now, the very fact that


Nick Harvey is the minister who has been explaining the decision makes


it very clear. He has made it clear what is a programme over 11 years


of expenditure, that half the expenditure will be going to Derby


facilities. I don't think it will cause a great strain. Do you think


the Tories are trying to flex their muscles on immigration - too hard


line for the Liberal Democrats? amount of debate and discussion


between government departments is enormous. If you look at the


interest of the business department, the Treasury, DCMS as opposed to


the Home Office, there is a debate going on about the way in


particular that students are treated. The debate has been very


clear, that it makes Britain look as if it is closed for business if


you come down to hard on immigrants who would like to come to the


country and contribute something. have many Conservative colleagues


who are just as concerned as I am about this punitive approach, and


this approach to students treating them as permanent migrants. It's as


having a dreadful effect on our universities, which are now finding


it difficult to attract students from overseas. How else do you


bring the numbers down? There is a commitment from all parties to


bring the numbers down. Why are they gunning for students, as it


were? Students are the future of our relationships with these


countries as well so you have to be delicate when dealing with the


policy. I think some of what Theresa May wants to do makes good


sense, particularly looking at the family issue and that human rights


act. On the student issue there is a degree of uniformity in the House


of Lords because treating a student as a permanent migrant is obviously


not a sensible thing to do, it is backfiring, and there is increasing


debate in the House of Lords. Lords reform, will it happen? He


depends on what they do in the House of Commons, I would suggest.


I think the sensible thing would be for the Steel Bill to come in first.


More delay then? They would amount to something happening, whereas the


risk is that there will be more delay if we don't get this.


depends what happens in the Commons. In the House of Lords, we are way


down the track at the moment. There may be a referendum inserted, and


so on and so forth, so who knows? It is premature to write off the


House of Lords reform. Let's not do that.


We are all doomed, that is according to Prince Charles. He has


issued end ominous warning ahead of the global conference on


sustainability. On a video address on the Royal Channel, he was one in


about action on climate change. Like a sleepwalker, we seem unable


to wake up to the fact that so many of the catastrophic consequences of


carrying on as business-as-usual are bearing down on us faster than


we think, already dragging millions more people into poverty and


dangerously weakening global food, water, and energy security for the


future. Do you agree with him? think we are not doing in this


country towards climate change and decisions by this Conservative-led


coalition about junking grants for wind power and solar power


demonstrates this is not the most green government ever. She should


he be saying this sort of thing? he needs a role model, and she has


the -- he has the perfect one in his mother, and she would not be


saying this, but he has kept quiet recently so the board -- occasional


announcement should be allowed. his track record in this area, and


in areas of social responsibility, he has been fantastic. The heir to


the throne is entitled to be saying these things and I might dispute


that if I didn't agree with everything he said in this area but


he has been remarkably sound on the environment throughout the whole of


his adult court basically. Do you agree with that? Does anyone listen


to him? I hope some people listen to him because, as my colleagues


have said, he has done a fantastic job, especially with the Prince's


be listened to, but the decision makers must come to their


conclusions on the basis of evidence. If he becomes a king,


would he have to follow his mother's example and be quiet?


Things are evolving all the time. I think he would find it difficult to


be as quiet as his mother has been, but perhaps there is a compromise.


But should he? The Queen is the model we now have, and perhaps he


will sadly have to stop writing those letters, and he will have to


not make those sorts of public announcements because you can't be


entering into the political arena as the sovereign. It is very


different thing. But then we would expect Prince William to take his


mantle and takeover the charities that Prince Charles foundered.


Is it not diplomatic to continually mispronounce foreign leaders'


names? It appears etiquette is slipping at the Foreign Office,


where ministers don't have the experience they used to. These are


challenging demands unfair obviously creating great strains


and tensions in the countries affected, but my noble friend has


asked me to comment on not only Francois Hollande's which put the


German wish to stick rigidly to certain austere budget disciplines.


Somewhere between these two, and in the talks, there will emerge a


sensible balance. We hope there will and we will contribute to


anything that would achieve that. Would the noble lord the Minister


accept a mild rebuke from me on this matter of the mispronunciation


of the names? I declare any interest. It seems a failing of


successive governments to get the names of French President's


properly pronounced. The previous President was inevitably and almost


always referred to as Mr Sarkozy as that it was rhyming with tea cosy,


and President Francois Hollande should be pronounced like this. I


totally accept these extremely wise rebukes from the noble Lord about


my French pronunciation. I will practise a lot more. The Radio 4


news reader is with us. Maybe you need to train some of those Peers


in terms of their pronunciation? will be passing my card around,


leaving them on the benches. It is quite hard to get names right, what


do you think? It is important. Whether they are presidents,


murderers, victims, whoever they are get their name right. He would


want your name right, wouldn't you? Yes, I have been used to that over


the years. How difficult do you think the French President names


are? Not that difficult. It is Francois


Hollande, with "on" in the surname. With Nicolas Sarkozy, did they say


the emphasis on the last syllable? As a newsreader, we are guided by


the pronunciation Unit at the BBC and we can get into some real


arguments with correspondents who have their way of saying it, but


his name is Sarkozy. Not tea cosy. We have a little quiz for you, I'm


sure you'll be delighted. They are going to come up in just a moment.


How do you pronounce these? You get the easy one, the President of Iran.


Mahmud Ahmadinejad. People think with Arabic names you need phlegm


to deliver them, but this one you are aiming for a sighing sound.


This one is quite difficult. We This one is quite difficult. We


will give you the chance, it is the President of the Ivory Coast. How


do you pronounce that? I think that is a pretty good


attempts. It is spelt incorrectly! Let's gloss over that. It is mostly


a question of emphasis on that one. The life raft is at the end of it.


We will have to have you on regularly when these leaders change.


yours is the prime minister of Turkey. I'll always just say the


Prime Minister of Turkey, if I have to do. You have fallen, I'm afraid,


but what else would you say when looking at that. It is Re-jip. That


is the sort of thing we laugh at. Everybody messes that one up the


first time. I leave this one open to any of you, it is the prime


minister of Sri Lanka. Have always felt that one right? Probably!


wants to have a go. I am saying it as it looks. Whatever the last one


was. I did have to write this one down because it is very difficult.


Again, it is the emphasis. Marvellous. Thank you took all of


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