19/06/2012 Daily Politics


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Welcome to the Daily Politics. Despite the current state of the


world economy it was all smiles at the G20 summit in Mexico, but what


can they actually achieve? It used to be that a job in the civil


service was a job for life. Not any more. Later today the government


will say it wants to run Whitehall more like a business and make it


easier to sack staff, so is this a "very brave move" by ministers?


Cheaper childcare. All working parents want it, the government


thinks it knows how to get it. We'll look at the details. And is


it time to Go Dutch? We'll look at the calls for our towns and cities


to become a cyclist's best friend. All that in the next hour. And with


us for the whole programme today is the Guardian journalist, author and


chairman of the National Trust to boot, Simon Jenkins. Today world


leaders are preparing for their second day of talks at the Mexican


resort of Los Cabos... Poor things. The economic crisis in Europe is


naturally dominating proceedings. World leaders have urged Europe to


take all necessary steps to deal with the problems. However, the


talks were last night in danger of deteriorating into a damaging row


after comments from the President of the European Commission Jose


Manuel Barroso. Speaking to journalists Mr Barroso said the


crisis in Europe was, in fact, the fault of American banks. This


crisis was not originated in Europe, North America, but in North America.


Many of our financial sector were contaminated a buy, how can I put


it, unorthodox practice from some sectors of the financial market.


But we are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of


democracy, or how to handle the economy because it the European


Union has a model we should be proud of. We're not complacent


about the difficulties, we are open, I wish all partners were so open


about their own difficulties. We are engaging with partners but


we're not coming here to receive lessons from anybody. He lost it a


bit there. Is he right though, should people in North America not


try to dictate to Europe when it was their fault the crisis started


there in 2000 an eight and somehow the eurozone is also their fault?


Everybody was burdened with this debt, it is ridiculous. I can see


how you loses his rag. These occasions really are pointless. Why


they have to go to Mexico and come to no agreement. They are not the


government of anything, they are a group of people gathering in Mexico,


wasting their time and clearly losing their re-rack. I honestly


find these things completely pointless. -- their re-rack.


2008 the G20 was worthwhile, sometimes -- somehow there was a


common cause to save the banks and the summit was a success and that


it is just they don't seem to know what to do, rather than the


institution itself is wrong? It has become the international


conglomerate for saving banks, it does not save the economy. 2000 an


eight was some time ago. Does not achieve what it set out to. Any


fool can save a bank by tipping money into it. But going to Mexico


does not save a bank. They are saved by governments putting money


into them. If Europe is to be saved at all it will be saved by the


Germans decided to do the right thing but they won't because they


will do what Germany has in its interests, which is to save German


banks. A do you think it is the end of the G 20? They will go to these


things up nauseam. There is a Euro- summit every three months now. What


is a telephone for? It was invented. They keep boasting about the


digital age, why do they have to go to expensive hotels were they just


row. And probably some nice dinners. You always get to know the menu.


Now it's time for our daily quiz. The question for today is... At the


end of the show Simon will give us the correct answer. I am sure you


can hazard a guess! Should our civil servants be a bit more, "Yes,


minister" and a bit less "that would be very brave, minister"?


Today the Government will tell us how it plans to improve the Civil


Service. The Civil Service currently employs around 430,000


people and has existed as a politically neutral, merit-based


bureaucracy since the 1850s. But recently ministers have been


complaining that the mandarins are not up to the job, even getting the


blame for the recent pasty tax, caravan tax and charity tax fiascos.


And now Government ministers think it is time for a shake up. Steve


Hilton, the Prime Minister's former blue skies guru, was reported to


have wanted to cut the civil service by 90%. Cabinet Office


Minister Francis Maude won't go that far but he will unveil a


series of reform proposals, including allowing politicians to


choose. -- choose the Civil Service heads of each department,


outsourcing policy-making to the private sector and plans to tell


the bottom 10% of civil servants to shape up or face the sack. Joining


me now is Peter Thomas from the Institute for Government, who's a


former Civil Servant who was involved in the government's


consultation on the civil service. What are ministers trying to


achieve that these reforms? The one to make sure they have a civil


service that can get through what is an unprecedented level of cuts


and deliver the best services it can for significantly less money --


they want. Are they saying it can only be done making cuts? Civil


servants are also clear that the scale of the challenge is


unprecedented since the Second World War. They know they need to


do things differently and stop doing things if they are going to


deliver a civil service that can support whichever government they


are there to support. What is it being proposed here? What will


achieve it? We know they are going to try to get rid of the worst


performing 10%. What else will change that vision of the Civil


Service and Howard works in practice? We will see when it is


published later but what is much more important than some of those


elements is what is the Civil Service going to look like, what


kind of civil servants do you need? What job should be doing and what


should be stopped doing? It will obviously look smaller, it is clear


you need people who can work effectively with the private sector,


the public sector, more commercial skills, the pressure to increase


productivity is huge, so financial skills, good disciplines of basic


management. But it is politically neutral, unified, will be


threatened? I don't think so. It is one of their strengths, there are


plenty of structures in place to protect it. I would be surprised if


there was a significant change to that. Do you think you should be


protected above all else? That is the kind of signature of the


British political system that you have an independent, impartial


Civil Service working with the political government of the day.


don't see any great challenge to that. I would be surprised if we


saw something that substantially altered that. But you think with


these proposals it will look different and productivity will


improve? It has to. The Civil Service is already on a march to


being 25% smaller, some departments are taking out 50% of their costs.


Top teams have been halved in some departments. They have to do things


better. If they are going to minimise the impact on the front


line services that missable servants are involved in them they


have to raise productivity, they have to pick from the best practice


of the private sector, from of a public sector. It will be a test of


this plan. Is it addressing what most civil servants do, or just


plain with some interesting novelties around Whitehall and bits


of policy-making? Thank you. Let's get more on this with the


Conservative MP Nick Boles and the former London Mayoral candidate and


former civil servant. --, Siobhan Beinta. We heard earlier that of


ministers are going to appoint directly to the top, it will no


longer be a civil service? I don't You would actually have ministers


bringing in somebody to run the department, like in the US, I don't


think that is right, or the British way of doing things but I think the


idea that a minister can have influence over which civil servants,


independent, non-partisan, they work with, because the truth is


personalities matter, the fit and skills of a politician and civil


servant matter. I think it is reasonable as long as the people


they offered on all people who would pass the test of impartiality


and the qualifications for the job. But wouldn't it stretch the feeling


of impartiality if ministers are allowed, in whatever way you want


to describe it, basically a. People who they know will do the job they


want and in the way they want? That is no longer totally impartial, or


politically neutral. I think it is. The Civil Service is there to


deliver the policies of the elected government. They have always done


that without being appointed by ministers. All political parties


will agree on this - in the past the deliveries have not been


effective, or as quick, and the reason there are so many programmes


about this is because of this problem. I think it is a reasonable


way to deal with the problem of delivery without afeared --


interfering in any way with the political impartiality of the civil


servants themselves. Do you accept that? There are many things about


the planned -- in the plan that I think will be welcomed. The bit I


think people will be most wary about is this thing about ministers


being able to appoint permanent secretaries. The reality is there


is always discussion when a new permanent secretary has appointed


anyway about whether they will fit with the minister. So to somehow


say we need to make this official does worry me. One of the big


things that is indeed about our civil service is its impartiality


and this seems to be removing that. This is thing I would be most


worried about. But are they a roadblock to reform? They are not


helping with delivery, then you run into problems with policies not


being implemented. It is always about human behaviour and how


people get on and if the relationships at the top of the


department are not working well, there has always been the ability


to move people around Whitehall. That has happened anyway. It is


this making it official that worries me. If it is a blockage and


things are not working well in a department people do get moved


around, that has always been the case. This is going a step too far.


Let's look at where it might have been a problem in terms of delivery.


The Budget. Do you blame civil servants for the shambles? I am


glad to say my colleagues stick to the principle that ministers take


responsibility for the things that go wrong. George Osborne as take


responsibility for those things in the Budget he has since had to


But in reality you cannot expect politicians to be able to be on top


of every single detail of implementation and so when things


don't work well I think it is reasonable to look at whether this


informal practice - and I think that is a problem in the civil


service, there are so many informal ways of doing things, we will sort


things out an hour classic way, if you are not happy with someone, we


promote them to another department without telling the other


department why we're not happy with them, let's bring this out into the


open, make it clear, a minister will have to justify in the Civil


Service and the Commission and the media why the move this person.


Isn't that a better way of dealing with it? Do you accept that? For me


it is crazy to think that something like the Budget could have got


there without ministers signing them off. It is very easy for


ministers when the going gets tough, when things go wrong, for them to


turn around and blame senior officials. I specifically did not


do that. You did not but others did. There were things about it that the


Budget was pet project of civil servants that slipped through. Is


it the case every administration cut that the policy through a few


years in and blame the civil service? Yes. I think it is a


sensible way of approaching it, the simple thing is the calibre of the


civil servants and the problem there is you have a huge wall of


lobbying facing Whitehall to the extent that it was not the case 30


years ago. In those days the Civil Service was more self confident,


Now, it is taken this way and that. Ministers understandably want


better civil servants. Isn't it the pressure to try to politicise the


Civil Service? I think that is a red herring. On the whole, civil


servants do what they ministers want. The problem now, in


experienced ministers are up against... There are not 50


political lobbyists for nothing. These people are very potent in the


Government now. I joined the Civil Service in 1996, it was in reform


then and it has been in constant reform. One thing that does not get


addressed his ministerial behaviour and performance. It is about making


Government work better. I would like to see a plan on how to make


Government more effective and that it would involve ministers as well


as officials. What do you think of that? I had some sympathy for it.


Most ministers are drawn from a relatively small pool of MPs are


elected for the governing parties. But the Institute for Government,


the gentleman you interviewed earlier has made some proposals and


done some work with this Government and the opposition, to help get


ministers ready for the duties they will have to fulfil, how to deal


with a crisis for its sample. Maybe go through crisis-management with


people who have done it professionally. Or you can do is


make ministers better prepared for their job. Just before we leave it,


this 10%, the worst performing civil servants who will have a year


before they face dismissal, is that just amongst senior civil servants


or all rebels? My understanding is, one of the regular things that


comes up in surveys is the frustration that civil servants


have with the lack of performance management. People don't like to


work with other people who are lazy, incompetent or feckless. There is


no proper performance management in the Civil Service. I suspect it


goes through organisations as it will do with television talons as


well. As any working parent knows


childcare is an expensive business. The Government, which is keen to


encourage more parents back to work, has this morning launched a


consultation into how to make childcare more affordable. It could


lead the relaxation of some of the rules surrounding looking after


children and extending after school clubs. Kate Conway is on College


Green with more. Downing Street regards the costs of child care as


one of the most pressing issues for families worried about their living


standards. One MP has been pushing for changes in the childcare sector,


who joins me now. We also have the shadow children's minister. Liz,


what would you like to see change? Britain spends a lot on child care,


we spend more as the Government's, but we get less for our money.


Parents are paying 27% of their income in child care. I would like


to see the regulatory system slim down. I would like to see just


Ofsted regulating. I would like to see the ratios moved. We do have


the lowest ratio which pushes up costs for parents. I want to see


the funding streams reduced to just one funding scheme, so we are not


wasting money on the bureaucracy in the system. Lisa, we know one of


the reasons childminders have left the procession is because of the


curriculum in the system and the bureaucracy. What do we do about


that? The real reason childminders leave the profession is because of


the devaluing of the profession itself. 85% of child minders say


they welcome the individual inspections Liz is not keen on.


What we need to do if we want to cut costs to parents and the


Government, if we want to increase the clock -- quality and supply of


childminders, we have to raise the status of the profession. I am


concerned at some of the suggestions about removing what are


actually the props to increase standards for children Colton the


break -- ultimately is not in the interests of children. I am not


talking about reducing standards. The average child minder earns


about �11,000 a year. It is not enough to attract more people to


the profession. We have to look at what the rest of the world are


doing, they have Orazio of 5-1, and not 3-1. They can look at the more


children and offer better value. I am saying, let's slimline


deregulation has. At the moment, childminders are checked by Ofsted


and local authorities. Let's give nurseries are more power over what


they do, academy status like we do it in schools. We spent 7 billion,


3.5000 for each child care place. It is a lot of money and I want to


see more of that in the hands of parents going into higher charity


Best high quality childcare. It is because of the skills are working


in the industry in our country, but that is a contradiction. It is a


chicken and egg problem. If we are playing in a month wage, �11,000 a


year, it is difficult to recruit skilled people. Nurseries are


struggling to keep afloat, childminders are leaving. We have


half as many childminders as we did 10 years ago. In Holland, they have


a higher ratio, twice as many childminders per head as we do and


parents are satisfied with the flexible childcare they get. Lisa,


women are leaving the workplace and the number of women working has


been a problem for the past decade, it is not a recent problem. It


requires billions, in needs to be committed to proper universal


childcare we can all afford? Government has to make this a


priority. If we were in Government it would be the same. If you go to


countries like Sweden, Norway Denmark... It means billions though


doesn't it? It's is a priority in terms of raising the status of the


profession. I do disagree with Liz, the great parallel but this is in


social work. The Government had issued a report, which means


raising the status of the profession is the way to attract


good quality people. I support raising the status of the


profession. That is what I'm talking about. But that is not


about having tick box exercises and ratios out of line with other


countries. Thanks to both barer much -- very much. It will be a key


issue at the next election among women voters.


My guest, Simon Jenkins is the Chairman of the National Trust


which is probably best known as the organisation which looks after the


nation's historic houses and opens them to the public. But it's not


all Downton Abbey and cream teas. It's also Europe's biggest


conservation charity and a powerful voice lobbying the Government on


heritage, the environment and food policy. The National Trust was


founded in 1895. It looks after more than 300 historic houses along


with areas of natural beauty and hundreds of miles of coastline.


Membership now stands above four million. And with so many


supporters the Trust has a lot of clout. Last year it organised a


petition against the Government's proposals on planning reform


leading to significant changes. They were also involved in the


campaign that led to a government U-turn on plans to privatise that


nation's forests. And they've been raising concerns about the some of


the potential impacts of HS2. Some people have suggested that by


becoming involved in these campaigns, the Trust has become too


political. Simon Jenkins is of course the Chairman of the National


Trust and I'm also joined by Claire Fox from the Institute of Ideas. Do


you think the allegation it has become too political is true?


are having an impact on the body politic. I was frustrated in


relation to the planning discussion. One of the big things we need at


the moment is to build more houses. It is hardly a great insight as the


housing stock has not been renewed and is at an all-time low. There is


something like -- about the National Trust, whilst I always


enjoyed the houses and natural beauty, they have become the


leaders of the green take brigade that stop us developing. And


because they are the National Trust, they get away with having the


credibility that comes with it, that means everybody has to stop


and listen. I kind of which they would keep out of the politics and


just look after the houses. They should keep out of the politics?


are not allowed to be political, we are a charity. We do campaign very


rarely. The any campaign we have launched in decades was on the


Planning Bill. It is usually political. You cannot save the


National Trust does not get involved in political campaigns?


Those campaigns to have political impact, there is no question about


that. But we do very little of it. But we were founded as a political


party. When you have a discussion on the need to develop on green-


belt land, often the National Trust, whether you like it or not is a


voice that suddenly gets heard. And the high-speed train is another one.


It is one thing about not liking the nitty-gritty of the Planning


Bill, but what is argued is, we shouldn't touch this green land,


places of natural beauty. It is scaremongering of the worst order.


We are going to build over every part of the natural world. Only 10%


of the UK is developed. You must be the last person speaking on the


first draft of that bill. arguments used was not nit-picking?


We criticise the document. It was something like this will lead to


the greater sprawl into the countryside since the 1930s. That


is true. That came from the CPRE, but we supported little stock it


was a quote from your website. point I'm making it is was not on


the finer details, it was a broad brush, frightening tactics. If you


look at the amendments, it will hold things back again. On the main


point, no one is opposing development. This was a question of


whether you give in to two lobbies. One was a high-speed train


construction lobby and the House builders Federation. They want to


build on green land which is cheap and profitable. We want to build in


towns, where the infrastructure is in place. There is no shortage of


land in this country. There is no shortage of land in this country,


some of it is green. There is nothing wrong with building there.


Sprawl is what is called ordinary people having homes in new places


and not being crowded in around towns that are already overcrowded.


What you had just said is a broader, ideological political statement and


fiddling around the edges of the bill. Should you be playing that


role? Our mission is to defend the open spaces of England. I cannot


pretend we are in favour of building houses every work. We


wouldn't have done this if it wasn't for the first terrible


document. It was a building permit system. Nobody in England wants to


see the sort of thing you have got in Ireland. Claire's general point


is the National Trust has a vision clearly set out. Is it using that


romantic vision for Britain which does not represent all parts of the


country, but it has so much power and clowns that it is being


unfairly represented? It has no more cloud than anybody from the


Guardian would have said. Most people want to defend green belt.


The National Trust is in danger of getting jumbled up with the kind of


environmentalism default position, which is to argue against


development. I don't think the National Trust should do it.


There's nothing wrong with the National Trust having old houses.


I'm not suggesting we knock-down all the great places you defend and


built tower blocks. But there is a danger there is a sense we are


saying, sustainability. That means limits. There is endless attempts


to say that we shouldn't do. We need more high-speed rail. My


problem with it is we haven't built at high speed link since the


Victorian era. Just because they hold the opposing view and it is


the National Trust, it is still legitimate? I'm not arguing they


shouldn't speak. This was set up as that kind of discussion. We should


be open about the fact you are lobbying and political. So we


should have a political argument about it. We are lobbying. I won't


buy into the high-speed rail lobby, it is a commercial, industrial


lobby. Our argument is dispassionate. We are not opposed


to development. I travelled the country looking at brownfield sites.


I have never seen so much land. think we should build on them, too.


We will get you to back together. It is 38 days and counting since


the Olympics gets under way. The Government say it will come in on


time at around half a billion pounds under budget, and most of


the buildings have commercial plans agreed by after the Games. So for


those like Simon Jenkins, who criticised the plans, and wrong


after all? Under budget and on time - the kind


of headline Olympic organisers would have dreamed of when this


project first got off the ground. The venue's completed a year ago


were built by thousands of different companies simultaneously.


Allergist will challenge that deserves applause, according to the


firm who built the aquatic centre. We have had multiple contractors.


Most of the big names in the industry have been working on the


infrastructure. Most of the people involved in the delivery, the


establishment of the logistics centres for materials and equipment


moving. It was a complicated undertaking and underlines the


achievement of having done it in the time and ahead of when it is


It was a different picture in Athens eight years ago and the


government has been keen to point out the 2012 games will come in


under budget. It was announced early this month that �476 million


will be left over from the entire budget. And that the extra �19


million needed to cover crowd control and public information


costs would be paid for from money within the Olympic budget. But the


cost of building all of this have been estimated at 2.4 billion when


first -- London first got the game's seven years ago. -- the


games. Simon Jenkins was watching that and I'm also joined by soon to


be Dame Tessa -- so it has cost more then than it was thought it


would. But what happens after the Games are over? This man spent the


last three years working that out. The Olympic Park is not just a


sports stadium but also communities, five new neighbourhoods, 7,000


homes, it is all integrated. Most of these venues already have their


legacy uses secured so we know there will not be white elephants


here. But will there be ducks? This was Barcelona's diving Centre on


our last visit, now largely unused since the 1992 games but there have


been success stories in Barcelona like the beach built for the


Olympics Andy games enhance the city's image with visitor numbers


of -- visitor numbers doubled in the decade that followed. You have


the largest urban Mall in Europe, an interest in housing all around,


you cannot get the housing development and that is because the


Olympics accelerated that process. It would not have happened but for


the Olympic Investment. So there is confidence here that the Games will


not be overshadowed by a less than lasting legacy.


Simon Jenkins was watching that as well as Dame Tessa Jowell, Olympics


minister under the last government and now a shadow minister for the


Games. Welcome. So it has come in on time under budget. Are you


relieved? I expected it. If you travel the budget. That is not an


issue. I have always been impressed by the capacity of the British


construction industry to do a good job. I congratulate them on it. It


is also a wonderful sight, park, I am still sceptical about all the


legacy but there will be legacy there. You can argue whether it


should have cost 9 billion and yesterday it was at Greenwich which


has been completely destroyed by a huge stadium. It was supposed to be


in a park. Some of the things work, like Stratford, some things have


not worked, I think Greenwich is an outrage. It is a great triumph for


British construction, no argument. What about the issue of legacy. We


heard there that that part of London would not have got the


regeneration it clearly has an that will benefit not just that area but


will have wider repercussions economically, too. Maybe. There is


no evidence it has affected house prices. But that aside, if you have


to have an Olympics to find 9 billion to regenerate east London


it is a poor, and on our democracy. Is this really the only way to


regenerate the East End? Is it? it would not have happened had we


not won the right to host the We have accelerated the


regeneration of that area in six years with regeneration of 60 years.


We submitted an indicative budget which did not take full account of


our regeneration. 75p of every pound of the roundabout 7 billion


that will have been spent on building the park will have been


spent on regeneration. Cleaning the soil, decontaminating soil, getting


rid of the waterlogging. So we not only have the largest new urban


parking Europe for 150 years but new homes, 2,800 homes after the


Games. More homes to be built over the next 15 years. Is that down to


the Olympics legacy, or improve transport links. The improved links


were intensified and increased by virtue of the Olympics. Certainly


the Westfield shopping centre was planned for some time but remember,


a round-the-world, retail developers were pulling out of


shopping centres. The Lowing family said with that -- stuck with that.


The Retail Academy is training and people from the area in the retail


industry. -- young people. Do you think the economic boost will


In a way, part of the legacy has been realised and �6 billion into


UK plc not just in London but firms around the country so when you look


at the Olympic Park, the stadium, you can tell a story of


construction and skill brought from the whole of the UK. That was very


important in 2008 when the downturn really hit the construction


industry. What about the effect on other lives of Londoners? I don't


It is going to be a disaster for London's hotels. One third of them


will be empty in August. It is a catastrophe for anybody working in


London. Raising the expectations that everybody will make a mint out


of it was unhelpful because it will lead a lot of people to invest in


things which will not be there for the Olympics. It is wrong to


persuade people this is a fantastic event, it will be some Olympic


Games, let's enjoy them. Have expectations been ever managed in a


sense? There is a worry at the lives of Londoners will be a


nightmare trying to get to work, carrying on normal business. They


have been told not to work. Or to work from home. But many people in


London already do. I think they will be days in London where it


will be very hard to go about your normal business. But five days in


an Olympics, and overwhelmingly London is looking forward to this


and looking forward to welcoming people from around the world. And


of course there will be days there will be difficult and there were


days when if you are not going to see something in the mouth I would


probably stay away from central London and go and watch the events


on the big screens. But is it justified to making London's


subservient to Olympic the IPs, with special lanes and extra fast


emergency treatment, it was Olympic lanes are to avoid the


situation that happened in Atlanta where summer Olympic -- athletes


missed their events because of traffic. And what about the media?


They are the greatest users, 18,000 media will use the Olympic lanes.


Why can't they get their earlier? It is so the games out in East


London can get easily to the park, but the quickest way if you are not


in an Olympic Lane is to get public transport. Seven minutes from


King's Cross to Stratford would not have happened without the Olympics.


Are you going? Like almost all Londoners I have been told to get


out. The government is engineering a recession this summer. I would


like to know how it can be a profit for London. I hope they are a great


success but honestly, to inflict this on London was not kind. Ready?


Is that not a bit killjoy? There has been no boost when the Olympic


city so the argument for London was it would be different, it will not


be. The displacement effect is distinctive. No other tourists are


coming to London this summer. That is a big loss. But they will come


after this year, which is how you build the long-term tourism legacy.


They were coming anyway. I will stop you there. Enjoy. I don't


think you'll get anywhere with that. It has been going on for years!


Conservatives' chief fund raiser has been forced to resign. Lord


think has been accused by Labour of breaking parliamentary rules after


he agreed to host a dinner for American Express cardholders. He


said he had agreed to sponsor the dinner in return for a donation to


Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital in London but Labour says this was a


"flagrant attempt to breach the rules" and have called on him to


resign or be sacked. The Conservatives say the event was


cancelled last week when it became clear it may have been in breach of


the rules. Lord Fink was appointed to treasurer in March, replacing


Peter goddess. He had to resign after being secretly filmed


apparently offering access to David Cameron for a donation of �250,000.


Labour said yesterday that he should resign, is that still your


position? He certainly has to consider his position. The rules


have been very clear after this practice of selling space in


Parliament came a few years ago. What we all are you claiming Lord


Fink has broken? It has been categorical you cannot use


Parliament for fund raising -- rule. You cannot even have a charity


auction, those are the rules. Whether that should change is


another matter but those are the roles and the reason they are there


is because one person's charity as another person's political


operation. But you would not argue Guy's and St Thomas's is not a


valid cause in a sense. And charities do advertise openly on


line dinners, don't they? So I don't see how this was a fundraiser


in the way you put it. It was not for commercial benefit. It was a


fundraiser for charity and the danger with that there are good


charities and ambiguous ones. It is to stop parties and politicians


using Westminster to fund raised. That was endemic and it should not


be allowed, that is why it. To. The rules are clear. Endemic under


Labour? All parties were doing it, particularly the Tories. The rules


are clear and the Tories do not seem to have any systems in place


for keeping control of their top You have set out it is a breach of


the Rolls. But is it really appropriate to say he should


resign? The dinner never happened. I would call it a minor breach of


the rules. However, he is a major figure Andy. It's if you are in


charge of fund-raising for the Conservative Party and you are


breaking rules on the fund raising there is a hugely bigger problem --


and the point is. People doing fund-raising have to be absolute on


the Rolls, otherwise everything is a grey area. We have had enough


problems with politicians and money, which is why the rules must be


absolute. It is a minor breach of the rules and although there has


been a lot of controversy about fund-raising and donations, it is


not the same as the allegation against the former treasurer.


do not want to abuse Parliament but in all my life I have been going to


events in Parliament which are quite clearly designed to raise


money for somebody somewhere. I would get the whole lot out. It is


a place for MPs and secretaries and that is it. You go there now and


the place is of Rausch -- awash with the lobbyists and others.


they being fairly used and attributed? If it is going on all


I was amazed to hear this rule. There are going on all the time.


The rule came up after another MP and myself could do about the party


political funding. The dining rooms were full of it every night, people


bringing people to sell spaces, access. Parliament belongs to the


Is it just too much of an exaggeration to say Lord Fink


should resign, and is it failure in the Conservative Party? Who is


running the Conservative Party at the top. It is not a minor MP. A


man at the top doing fundraising. If you are breaching the rules,


however minor on fund-raising, there is a bigger problem. If you


breached one well, the danger is you will reach another one. The you


are happy to go through labour politicians? Every politician,


every politician. It's very rare these days that a British


politician is proud to say they are taking their policies from Europe,


but the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson seems to be the exception.


Under pressure from cyclists during the mayoral elections, Boris


Johnson signed up to the "Love London, Go Dutch" campaign,


agreeing to adopt some of the cycling policies from Europe's


number one cycling nation. So could our towns and cities be as cycling


mad as the Dutch? Andrew Cryan went to Holland to find out.


No helmets, no high-visibility jackets and no panic look on


people's faces. Welcome to Holland, the No. 1 Cycling City. Between 50


and 60% of Transport is done on a bicycle. Compare that to London,


which is only 3%. But this is down two decades of sometimes very


controversial decisions. Once upon a time, Holland had similar traffic


to the UK, congested roads were hard for cyclists. By the 1970s,


the soaring number of road deaths involving children became an


outrage. Dutch politicians are made an enemy of the car and a friend of


the bicycle. This man was one of them. There was a strong resentment


towards the car. The idea this street is something you play on as


a child, that you should had comfort, it should be comfortable


to shop and walk around was a strong sentiment. We did not call


it ecological, but it was in a sense. What was important is there


was a strong political debate on who is the owner of the street.


winner here was definitely the bicycle. It is easy to see how they


did it. Cars and bikes were separated whenever possible. And


where they meet, cyclists have the priority, like on this roundabout.


There are special traffic lights and parking your bike is very


rarely a problem, at a local railway station they have 6,000


spaces. At London Bridge there is just 400., this is beautiful to


cycle, but can we apply it to London? A lot of cyclists think we


can. Before this Lord Mayor election, the streets of the


capital were filled with people who want to go Dutch. The Lord Mayor


signed up to the campaign. But anyone expecting London's roads to


be the same as the Netherlands, after just four years, shouldn't


hold their breath. Joining me now is Mustafa Arif,


Chair of Campaigns at the London Cycling Campaign. Are you


advocating cyclists should own the streets of London? The people


should own the streets. We want London to be a more Liverpool city


for everyone by making it as safe and inviting the cycling as in


Holland. How do you make those streets safer? You saw some


techniques in the film where they have reduced and closed off through


traffic in busy, urban centres. But there is a whole range of solutions,


that is used in some places. In other places they will separate and


segregate the traffic on the streets so they have separate lanes


for the cycles. You're talking about a different infrastructure on


the roads. Separation of cyclists and vehicles and better lanes for


cyclists, even when they are Longside vehicles? Separation and


better quality. Were that be better for London, less dependency on the


car and public transport? There is a lot of traffic, and most of that


film was taken in small backstreets of small towns. Be could work in


other cities across the UK? It does, it works in Oxford and Cambridge


and plenty of places I have been through. But the great breakthrough


will come, if you don't endlessly separate. You create a pattern of a


street in which everyone is using it all of the time. Traffic is


slowed down but you don't separate. You make sure people, cars, buses


and cyclists police each other. As in Germany, in Holland and other


places in Europe, accidents reduced. Speed reduces, and it is safer.


That is changing culture which will be hard to do it you don't do


anything to the infrastructure? Dutch do not wear helmets. Why


don't they were Helmut? They know it is safe. Sometimes it is


mechanical, to make it easier for people to use the streets. If you


have endless flights, signs and lanes, cars think they are safe,


everybody thinks they are safe when they are not. His that the vision


on how we should progress? Hands Mandolin is not seen as the


authority of traffic engineering in the Netherlands. There is a quote


from the head of bicycle lane design in Amsterdam, he said he had


not heard of this policy. They do have reduced accident rates, but


you see in those areas that people cycle less. I used to be a student


at Imperial College and I did campaign for the scheme will stop I


do regret that because I know from students and staff who last over,


they hate it. It as made this street more dangerous because they


did not reduce the amount of traffic to make it work. Traffic


speed has gone down. But the number of cyclists have gone up. In London,


and other cities, and in other cities around the UK, it might be


easier to use the technique, but in London it is not safe enough is it


with the high number of vehicles that exist without separation?


You'll not get exclusive cycle routes in London. The most


problematic thing in London, is a lot of people using the street.


There is no way you can separate them, but you might make them safer


by slowing the traffic. There are a dozen different ways on slowing the


traffic, you have to do it. Transport for London assumed half


of all car journeys are under two miles. A lot of the journeys could


be done by bicycle. People will do it if they felt it is safe enough.


It is viable on the main roads to have separate space.


The next instalment of the Alistair Campbell Diaries is out and yet


again it's causing front page news. However there's another set of


diaries from that era that's also been causing quite a stir, so much


so that they've been turned into a play that's about to hit the West


End. Called 'A Walk-On Part', it's been adapted from the diaries of


the former Labour Minister Chris Mullin, and gives a unique insight


into the workings of the New Labour government. Here's a sneak preview


of their rehearsals where then Prime Minister Tony Blair, is being


quizzed about plans to clip Rupert Murdoch's wings.


I am much sure it is a good idea. He is trying to sink his


competitors with pricing? Are we sure that is what he is trying to


do? He is trying to destroy the Independent and we have to stop him.


Somebody, even myself might be tempted to put it back in. If you


think it is a good idea, Chris, go ahead but Tom's amendment must go.


We have to come into line with Europe. They have Murdoch and we


haven't. I have a date with Bill Clinton. All affability again, the


man is off to catch Concorde. Joining me now is Chris Mullin and


the actor who's playing Chris Mullin, John Hodgkinson.


Why do you think it works so well on the stage? It is presenting a


different view of politicians. The general public, most of us feel


with justification, politicians are crooks and charlatans, and this is


one who isn't. You could not have put it better yourself, Chris


Mullin's Bostock I could not. It does work very effectively?


Astonishingly well. I was sceptical when they said they wanted to do it.


There is some brilliant acting, and standing in the case of John.


has got your voice quite well. is quite similar in many ways.


long did you have to practise that? Not long. When I went to see the


rehearsal in Newcastle, they asked what I thought of his performance.


I said the last person who played make was John Howard, he was better


than John Hurt. The other actors made him a T-shirt with "better


than John Hurt". We played the clip talking about Rupert Murdoch. An


example that deep-seated problems affect all governments, and things


don't change that much? Howard Flight to thing I saw Rupert


Murdoch coming slightly ahead of the curve. Within a few months of


Tony Blair being elected I pursued the matter with him. -- I would


like to think. There has been a trip through political history in


that sense. From an acting point of view, do you have to be interested


in politics on note the subject matter? Not from an acting point of


view, but I was already a fan. I was enthusiastic. It is not the


actor's job to be interested in the subject matter, it is the actor's


job betray it interestingly and truthfully. You do play different


roles. Without knowing the subject matter, having to come in so


quickly would be difficult, if you weren't familiar with what had gone


wrong? We have all developed an interest than most of us already


had, in the rehearsal. Are you surprised it was Chris Mullin's


diaries that made it to the stage? No, we do share a publisher, so I


might as well not be too flattering. I am fascinated about diaries. The


best diaries are often not from people who get to the top. The


great thing is the self deprecating quality. It also makes it a very


truth. The diaries just rang true. And they rarely translate it on


stage. I don't think Alastair Campbell's diaries or make it.


does not always work and it does not always work when it is


political. Just time be far we go Simon Jenkins, what happens. They


get fatter. I am still the same weight as I went in. Thanks to both


of you and thanks to my guests. Particularly Simon Jenkins. The


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