17/07/2012 Daily Politics


17/07/2012

With Jo Coburn. Guests include Lib Dem Deputy Leader Simon Hughes, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey and Labour's Caroline Flint. They discuss the Olympics, the Coalition and the economy.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics. Just ten days to go

:00:47.:00:50.

to the greatest show on earth! But big questions still remain about

:00:50.:00:52.

the security arrangements for the Olympic Games. The chief executive

:00:52.:00:56.

of G4S is about to start answering questions from MPs. He could be in

:00:56.:00:59.

for a rough ride after his firm admitted they had failed to recruit

:00:59.:01:02.

enough security staff. But ministers warn that now is not the

:01:02.:01:06.

time for a witch hunt. Could the Olympics provide the shot in the

:01:06.:01:09.

arm that the British economy needs? The Government hopes it will but

:01:09.:01:13.

new data shows the economy is still struggling to get back on track.

:01:13.:01:16.

Can the coalition last until 2015? Can Ed Miliband move further ahead

:01:16.:01:21.

in the polls? It is the end of term, so we will be putting these

:01:21.:01:26.

questions and more to three of Westminster's big hitters. And,

:01:26.:01:29.

what do members of the political elite like to read on their

:01:29.:01:36.

holidays? We'll be talking to the man who has drawn up the definitive

:01:36.:01:41.

reading list for MPs. All that in the next hour. The final hour of

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the Daily Politics until September. Yes, we're getting ready for a

:01:48.:01:51.

fantastic British summer: We are predicting endless sunshine, Team

:01:51.:01:54.

GB will be topping the medal table, and the economy will return to

:01:54.:01:58.

robust growth. Hold on, that can't be right! Anyway, maybe our panel

:01:59.:02:01.

of MPs today can offer some slightly better predictions for

:02:01.:02:05.

what is in store as we head in to the summer recess. They are the

:02:05.:02:07.

Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, the Deputy Leader of the Liberal

:02:07.:02:09.

Democrats, Simon Hughes, and the Shadow Energy Secretary, Caroline

:02:10.:02:14.

Flint. Welcome to you all. I guess we should fire the starting gun by

:02:14.:02:17.

talking about the Olympics. With only ten days to go, serious

:02:17.:02:21.

questions are being asked about the security arrangements for the Games.

:02:21.:02:24.

The chief executive of G4S is just starting to give evidence to the

:02:24.:02:26.

Home Affairs Select Committee. He's answering questions from MPs after

:02:27.:02:30.

it emerged that his company had failed to recruit enough security

:02:30.:02:36.

personnel. We'll bring you a bit of what he says later in the show.

:02:37.:02:39.

First though, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, says the row over

:02:40.:02:49.
:02:50.:02:50.

G4S won't compromise security. is a problem that is being rapidly

:02:50.:02:57.

sorted out. The difficulties really got going round about the turn of

:02:57.:03:03.

the year when we had to double up on the number of security guards.

:03:03.:03:07.

It was always expected the Army would come and we would have the

:03:07.:03:12.

large military contingent. My information is they're working very

:03:12.:03:19.

well with G4S and they are delivering the safe security

:03:19.:03:21.

service. Well, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, was called to the

:03:21.:03:24.

Commons yesterday to answer an urgent question about all this. She

:03:24.:03:27.

started by responding to a series of media allegations made about the

:03:27.:03:36.

G4S row. First it was reported that ministers knew there would be a

:03:36.:03:42.

shortfall in security staff last year. This is untrue. HMI see

:03:42.:03:48.

reported at my request of LOCOG security preparations last

:03:48.:03:52.

September. He reported again in February and reported that LOCOG

:03:52.:03:58.

had plans in place to deliver the required number of security

:03:58.:04:04.

personnel. No specific problems were identified with G4S scheduling.

:04:04.:04:07.

No minister for crime and security attended meetings in which he was

:04:07.:04:13.

told there was a security staff shortage. G4S repeatedly assured us

:04:13.:04:18.

they would overshoot their targets. They have failed to deliver their

:04:18.:04:23.

contractual obligations. We have the finest military personnel in

:04:23.:04:28.

the world. Troops who are willing, ready and able to stepping reckon

:04:28.:04:34.

she calls. We can be sure of their professionalism in delivering a

:04:34.:04:37.

safe and secure Olympic Games. Every mum once the Games to be an

:04:37.:04:43.

outstanding success. -- everyone. We need things back on track after

:04:43.:04:47.

the shambles. Can the Home Secretary tellers how many people

:04:48.:04:57.

she expects G4S to provide? -- tell us. They say it will be 13,000.

:04:57.:05:03.

Based say the vast majority are still in process. -- they save. The

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Deputy Mayor said, the issue was flagged up repeatedly by both the

:05:08.:05:15.

NPA and the mayor's office for more than a year, two G4S directly, the

:05:15.:05:21.

Olympic Security Board and the Home Office. They have been discussing

:05:21.:05:26.

the short for for nine days. Last Monday, the Home Secretary told her

:05:26.:05:32.

she was confident our partners will deliver. -- short ball. It is

:05:32.:05:36.

incomprehensible that monitoring was that poor that no one told her

:05:36.:05:42.

until Wednesday. How on earth could the Minister responsible for

:05:42.:05:48.

delivering a Olympics security be the only person not to know? I have

:05:48.:05:51.

explained week commissioned reports into their preparedness. They

:05:51.:05:56.

contained recommendations which were acted on. Subject to acting on

:05:56.:06:02.

those recommendations, it was on track to deliver security personnel.

:06:02.:06:09.

Last Wednesday, G4S told us they would be unable to deliver their

:06:09.:06:19.
:06:19.:06:20.

obligations. That was Theresa May asking questions. Ed Vaizey, it all

:06:20.:06:25.

seems to come down to timing. Is it conceivable that Theresa May only

:06:25.:06:30.

really knew there was a problem last Wednesday? One can examine the

:06:30.:06:35.

timings. We need a safe and secure Olympic Games. Theresa May and

:06:35.:06:40.

LOCOG have made a decision to bring in defence personnel. That is in

:06:40.:06:48.

order to deliver a safe and secure Olympic Games. With all the

:06:48.:06:51.

contingencies for the Olympic Games, there are contingencies in place.

:06:51.:07:00.

You keep monitoring developments as we approach them. You wait. You say,

:07:00.:07:05.

there might be a problem here. You only call on your contingency when

:07:05.:07:12.

it gets to a point way you might need to. There will always be

:07:12.:07:17.

defence personnel helping the Olympics. We have just called in it

:07:17.:07:23.

additional personnel. It still does not answer the question where

:07:23.:07:26.

Yvette Cooper says it is incomprehensible that Theresa May

:07:26.:07:31.

only knew there was a problem last Wednesday. A senior member of the

:07:31.:07:36.

Olympic Security Board was told about this. The question is, at

:07:36.:07:40.

what time to call on the contingency? The problem is such

:07:40.:07:47.

that now is the time to call it in. The problem is now of a nature way

:07:48.:07:55.

you need to call on the contingency. I understand what you are saying.

:07:56.:08:01.

The key point is that on Wednesday the decision was made. It you have

:08:01.:08:05.

answered that marvellously and comprehensively. People should have

:08:05.:08:09.

known about this if there were concerns last year and the

:08:09.:08:13.

Government was doing its job properly. If it was monitoring the

:08:13.:08:17.

progress of how many people were being recruited, we would not have

:08:17.:08:22.

been in this position. It depends on what G4S were telling the

:08:22.:08:26.

Government and organising committee. They are the second largest company

:08:26.:08:32.

in the world - the largest security company in the world. They have one

:08:32.:08:37.

in 10 of the contracts. They should be able to do with good job. They

:08:37.:08:41.

are a reasonable contract had to deliver. I know from constituents

:08:41.:08:47.

and others they do not always do a good job. The really crucial issue

:08:48.:08:51.

is that the Government right fully, it would not have mattered if it

:08:51.:08:57.

were the Labour government or a coalition government, takes action

:08:57.:09:02.

to employ it extra people. You are saying the Home Office basically

:09:02.:09:10.

can put its feet up. Let's answer the question. Theresa May regularly

:09:10.:09:16.

asked the questions and was given information. It seems to me that

:09:16.:09:20.

first and foremost, thank goodness for the police and troops who are

:09:20.:09:26.

going to step in. A number of troops are coming back from

:09:26.:09:32.

Afghanistan. They will step in. They will do there. We are told by

:09:32.:09:36.

the Home Office and Theresa May they were reassured. I wonder if

:09:36.:09:41.

they were asking the right questions. What I would have asked

:09:41.:09:46.

about is, how many people have you got on the books out of the total?

:09:46.:09:51.

How many people have turned up for the training to carry out the

:09:51.:09:57.

security job? In some cases, only 50% of people were turning up for

:09:57.:10:01.

training. For something as big as this commit you would have a team

:10:01.:10:06.

of people acting out what would be the scenarios in terms of things

:10:06.:10:13.

going wrong. You need to ask specifics. It seems Theresa May was

:10:13.:10:20.

not asking specifics. I was not there and did not see the questions

:10:21.:10:24.

that were asked. Ministers and officials and the organising

:10:24.:10:28.

committee would regularly have asked these questions. You cannot

:10:28.:10:34.

imagine he was not passed on a regular basis how many people had

:10:34.:10:44.
:10:44.:10:44.

come to recruitment, a clearance... My judgment is that they did not

:10:44.:10:51.

tell the truth about what was going on. That is fair enough. They

:10:52.:10:58.

waited till the very last minute to say, I am sorry, we cannot do it.

:10:58.:11:05.

If you ask the questions and those are the answers you get. BBC Surrey

:11:05.:11:10.

understands that only 20 G4S staff turned up when 300 where rigid

:11:10.:11:15.

contracted for various duties. Parties according to the Police

:11:15.:11:25.
:11:25.:11:27.

Federation in Surrey. -- were originally contracted. It is worth

:11:27.:11:31.

saying that we have taken this decision in the interests of the

:11:31.:11:38.

security of the Games. It was taken in order to secure the Games. The

:11:38.:11:45.

contingency was in place. You have a contingency because if things go

:11:45.:11:53.

wrong, you can correct that. We can talk about who knew what. One of

:11:53.:11:58.

the key problems was the software used by G4S to Schedule the

:11:58.:12:04.

appearance of security guards. That is where the problem started. You

:12:04.:12:09.

move along this process and the closer to Olympics you get, when it

:12:09.:12:16.

comes to a point when it is essential to make the games safe

:12:16.:12:22.

and secure of, you take that decision. All of us, whatever our

:12:22.:12:27.

politics, support the most fantastic project. It is, for

:12:27.:12:32.

London, the most fantastic thing probably we will ever get in our

:12:32.:12:39.

lifetimes. The Army and the police will step in and do us proud.

:12:39.:12:42.

sure. Well, if the Government was hoping the Olympics would be a

:12:42.:12:45.

distraction from the wider problems of the economy, they may be in for

:12:45.:12:48.

a rather nasty shock. Yesterday, the IMF downgraded the Britain's

:12:48.:12:51.

growth prospects saying that it would grow by just 0.2% this year

:12:51.:12:56.

and 1.4% in 2013. Back in the spring they had forecast the

:12:56.:13:02.

economy to grow by 0.8% this year and 2% in 2013. Because growth has

:13:02.:13:04.

fallen in the last two quarters Britain is currently in recession,

:13:04.:13:08.

although the Ernst and Young ITEM Club has forecast we will return to

:13:08.:13:13.

growth in the second half of the year. However they argue that

:13:13.:13:16.

because of the current recession, growth over the course of the year

:13:16.:13:21.

is expected to be zero. What is more, the National Institute for

:13:21.:13:23.

Economic and Social Research published figures last week showing

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that the UK is trapped in the longest slump in modern history,

:13:26.:13:30.

longer even than that of the 1930s. Today, however, the Government will

:13:30.:13:35.

point to light at the end of the tunnel. This morning's inflation

:13:35.:13:38.

figures show the Consumer Price Index falling to 2.4% in June, down

:13:38.:13:41.

from 2.8% in May and lower than most analysts had expected. With us

:13:41.:13:44.

now is Jonathan Portes from the National Institute of Economic and

:13:44.:13:54.
:13:54.:13:55.

Social Research. How concerned should be paid by this forecast?

:13:55.:14:01.

The IMF is bringing its forecast into line with those and others

:14:01.:14:07.

have had for some time. The economy is essentially flat. We are not

:14:08.:14:13.

really learning anything new. The economy has essentially been flat

:14:13.:14:19.

for the last 18 months. We have all speculated that would continue for

:14:19.:14:28.

some time. Why has recovery been so slow? The Government titled fiscal

:14:29.:14:33.

policy too fast. The IMF recognises that. Yesterday it said that an

:14:33.:14:38.

appropriate place of tightening would be at half the pace the

:14:38.:14:45.

Government did. Second of course, the wider economic environment -

:14:45.:14:50.

the global environment - has also been downbeat. People in the

:14:50.:14:56.

eurozone have made similar policy mistakes. We have also had a period

:14:56.:15:04.

of high oil prices. Really the deficit reduction plan has not been

:15:04.:15:10.

the right way to get recovery. IMF has downgraded forecasts for

:15:10.:15:15.

the whole eurozone. It has predicted Britain will grow faster

:15:15.:15:19.

than the eurozone. Some of the numbers are looking very good.

:15:19.:15:24.

Inflation has come down. It is hoped unemployment figures will be

:15:24.:15:30.

geared as well. We are creating private sector jobs. We are cutting

:15:30.:15:35.

income tax and corporation tax. There is a lot of good news going

:15:35.:15:42.

on in terms of the economy. We all know the global crisis. That is not

:15:42.:15:47.

what was said. The IMF has continually supported the deficit

:15:47.:15:56.

reduction plan. We are borrowing at around 1.7%. That is one of the

:15:56.:16:02.

lowest among developing countries. Let me put that back to Jonathan.

:16:02.:16:07.

That has been one thing the Government has shouted most loudly

:16:07.:16:12.

about. Our debt is affordable. We're not having to pay super high

:16:12.:16:18.

interest rates. That is what has kept Britain that lining but not to

:16:18.:16:28.
:16:28.:16:31.

It is very good news that we can borrow at low rates. We can now

:16:31.:16:35.

borrow at the lowest real interest rates in recorded economic history.

:16:35.:16:44.

We have a lot of unemployed people, and a housing shortage. It is not

:16:44.:16:50.

rocket science. Would that be a policy would support?

:16:50.:16:55.

Government yesterday announced a spending planned on railways. We

:16:55.:16:59.

start now, it is a five-year plan, and it is the most capital

:16:59.:17:03.

effective way of getting the economy going. There will be an

:17:03.:17:08.

announcement after the summer holidays on housing. Jonathan's

:17:08.:17:14.

main critique was that we were too tough in what we did in 2010. At

:17:14.:17:19.

the time, all the advice was that it you are not tough in the UK,

:17:19.:17:25.

you're likely to be having the same problems as your neighbours. That

:17:25.:17:30.

was wrong? No, that was the advice that other countries were going

:17:30.:17:36.

down the plughole. There have been some adverse consequences but we

:17:36.:17:42.

have been gradually pulling through. If we gradually begin to build, if

:17:42.:17:47.

we continue to see unemployment drop, keep inflation down as well,

:17:47.:17:53.

we will be in a much better place. But we were promised the deficit

:17:53.:17:57.

reduction plan, the cuts were going to create better outcomes and we

:17:57.:18:06.

have not seen that. Some of these decisions about improving railway

:18:06.:18:11.

lines were decisions taken by the last government. They were stopped

:18:11.:18:17.

and delayed, and now rehashed. Many of these will not happen until

:18:17.:18:21.

after the next general election, and this is what is worrying. We

:18:21.:18:27.

could repeat the tax, we could build more homes, and helped to get

:18:27.:18:30.

more unemployed people back into work.

:18:30.:18:36.

The Alistair Darling plan would not have deferred that much at the

:18:36.:18:41.

point we are at now, do you agree with that? The forecast before the

:18:41.:18:46.

election was to cut the deficit by a quarter by about now, and that is

:18:46.:18:51.

indeed what has happened. Unfortunately, part of that has

:18:51.:18:56.

been extra cuts matched by extra spending because of the

:18:56.:19:03.

consequences of this prolonged lack of recovery. Simon has got the

:19:03.:19:08.

economics quite wrong. People who understood the crisis, people like

:19:08.:19:13.

Martin Wolf, the economics editor of the Financial Times, they said

:19:13.:19:21.

quite clearly it was not sensible. Unfortunately there was the mistake

:19:21.:19:30.

the government made. If you put to economists in a room, you will get

:19:30.:19:38.

different opinions. Geoffrey Howe was attacked when he was

:19:38.:19:43.

implementing in the 1980s. But the government promised recovery and

:19:43.:19:48.

that it would wipe out the deficit and it hasn't been able to do that.

:19:48.:19:54.

Businesses can't get money... have announced investment in rail

:19:54.:19:58.

infrastructure, we will be announcing housing programmes in

:19:58.:20:04.

the autumn, there is a lot going on. Jonathan is perfectly entitled to

:20:04.:20:12.

come here and spout his own political philosophy, but to say

:20:12.:20:17.

there is ridiculous. You have to look at the facts. Hang on a second,

:20:17.:20:24.

you have had your say. Britain is the only advanced economy to see a

:20:24.:20:30.

major down provision since the spring. You know that part of the

:20:30.:20:34.

effect on our economic recovery is that the eurozone is in recession,

:20:34.:20:39.

we trade with Europe. We have seen China's growth figures coming down,

:20:39.:20:44.

bad figures for the United States. We have a recession made in Downing

:20:44.:20:54.
:20:54.:20:58.

Street. We have reassured the markets, infrastructure investment

:20:58.:21:03.

as well. The would it be so different under Labour? If you

:21:03.:21:10.

think about the Alistair Darling plan, it was also about cutting the

:21:10.:21:18.

deficit. Of course it was about cutting the deficit, we said we

:21:18.:21:23.

would cut it in half over the parliament. They made that choice,

:21:23.:21:26.

and in order to meet their choice they decided on an austerity

:21:26.:21:32.

programme which has sucked the life out of our economy. I know my own

:21:32.:21:36.

area of businesses who have got order books which are full, but

:21:36.:21:42.

they can't get loans from the banks to meet their orders. We have a

:21:42.:21:46.

million young people out of work, and the government also took the

:21:46.:21:51.

decision to delay and stopped what I would call some shove already

:21:51.:22:01.
:22:01.:22:04.

projects to go ahead to build jobs and growth. These will not be

:22:04.:22:11.

happening until after the next general election. Ed Vaizey...

:22:11.:22:16.

real scandal... The you are pointing at Simon Hughes, your

:22:16.:22:21.

coalition party. Is there a real risk to loosening fiscal policy

:22:21.:22:26.

now? You talked about the railways announcement, but something that is

:22:26.:22:33.

more immediate, spending money, the stimulus, wouldn't the Liberal

:22:33.:22:37.

Democrats support that? That is why you will hear an announcement in

:22:37.:22:44.

September to get the housing investment. We have seen the car

:22:44.:22:49.

industry producing a surplus of cars for the UK. The Government is

:22:49.:22:54.

clear that it is pulling every lever to do that. There is no

:22:54.:22:58.

complacency in any part of the country in the UK. We could have

:22:58.:23:03.

made a different judgment in 2010. No one would have predicted we

:23:03.:23:07.

would have such a difficult position. Growth has been slower

:23:07.:23:13.

but it is beginning to turn the corner. It sounds lovely, we look

:23:13.:23:17.

forward to the next few months. England and Wales is bigger than we

:23:17.:23:20.

thought. Well, the population is. According to the first set of

:23:20.:23:22.

results from last year's census, which were released yesterday,

:23:22.:23:25.

there are 56.1 million people living here now. That's an increase

:23:25.:23:28.

of 7% in the last ten years. And the Office for National Statistics

:23:28.:23:31.

say that more than half of the increase is down to immigration,

:23:31.:23:35.

which has sparked a fresh round of debate about the subject. A debate

:23:35.:23:42.

that Adam is going to carry on out on College Green. We have some big

:23:42.:23:50.

numbers to chew over this afternoon. We have a representative from the

:23:50.:23:54.

Campaign Group, migration watch. This will come as no surprise to

:23:54.:24:01.

you, these numbers? It didn't. If anything, they were larger than we

:24:01.:24:07.

thought they would be. The problem is not just the numbers, it is the

:24:07.:24:12.

fact that we are over the next 15 years going to be adding 5 million

:24:12.:24:17.

plus people to the population, that means needed and the facilities you

:24:17.:24:27.
:24:27.:24:28.

will find in the big cities. Are we planning for that? I don't think so.

:24:28.:24:30.

Have these new figures really changed the debate at all? It

:24:30.:24:35.

sounds like it hasn't. It is a big number, and it will take a real

:24:35.:24:42.

effort in terms of planning and so on. The rate of growth is the same

:24:42.:24:46.

it has been throughout our history. Secondly, if you look at different

:24:46.:24:53.

parts of the country and, the picture is very different. If you

:24:53.:24:57.

look at the north, they face the very different challenge is to the

:24:57.:25:02.

south. We should not start by thinking a growing population is a

:25:02.:25:08.

bad thing. More people paying more taxes. That is a good thing. If you

:25:08.:25:12.

look at the countries whose population is shrinking, they are

:25:12.:25:18.

worried about that. To the problem is not the number, just the spread?

:25:18.:25:24.

A no, it is the numbers. If you look at immigration numbers, that

:25:24.:25:28.

is totally unprecedented. We are talking about a quarter of a

:25:28.:25:33.

million net, that has never happened before. Of course

:25:33.:25:37.

immigration is great, but not at this sort of level where you have

:25:37.:25:45.

got to think about jobs, housing, services, roads. What happened

:25:45.:25:47.

yesterday in the south-east with the chock-a-block roads, you had

:25:47.:25:52.

better get used to that. That wasn't because if immigration.

:25:52.:25:58.

Exactly, we had a massive number at one time. If you get the sort of

:25:59.:26:03.

immigration we have been getting over the last 15 years, that is

:26:03.:26:07.

what you will face every day without the Olympics. Matthew, your

:26:07.:26:17.
:26:17.:26:20.

case got helped by the report showing what would happen is

:26:20.:26:24.

migration stopped altogether. extra workers in the economy,

:26:25.:26:31.

whether they are born abroad or here, will obviously help. Some

:26:32.:26:36.

will say that those immigrants get older, so it is not a long-term

:26:36.:26:41.

solution. That is right, but in the short term we are agreed our

:26:41.:26:46.

priority is getting down the deficit, so is now the time to be

:26:46.:26:51.

cutting down on extra workers from abroad? I'm sure you'll agree, it

:26:51.:26:58.

is a bit mad we have to wait for such a long time to find out how

:26:58.:27:03.

big the population is. That's right, but we have been saying all along

:27:03.:27:08.

these are the numbers we can get, so you can project and you can't

:27:08.:27:14.

plan for it. What has not happened so far is that planning. It is all

:27:14.:27:18.

very well to say people will generate activity in the economy,

:27:18.:27:23.

that is a good thing, of course it is, but on the other hand we have

:27:23.:27:29.

unemployment rates at the moment of over 2 million unemployed, youth

:27:29.:27:36.

unemployment running at 20%. Is this the time to be saying yes, we

:27:36.:27:41.

need even more immigration? I don't think so. Another interesting fact

:27:41.:27:46.

that came out of the census data released yesterday is that the UK

:27:46.:27:51.

is the third most densely populated country in the EU after mortar and

:27:51.:28:00.

the Netherlands. -- Malta. For some in Government

:28:00.:28:02.

the summer break probably hasn't come round quickly enough...

:28:02.:28:04.

Economic woes, coalition in- fighting, Labour ahead in the polls,

:28:04.:28:08.

and of course that Olympic security headache. So how did we get here?

:28:08.:28:11.

Giles has been looking back over the last few months. They say a

:28:11.:28:14.

week is a long time in politics so the last few months have seen an

:28:14.:28:19.

age. Storm clouds have gathered, tectonic plates have been shifting.

:28:19.:28:24.

A few months ago, something Labour were concerned about their man at

:28:24.:28:28.

the top. The coalition have forced through tricky health reforms,

:28:28.:28:33.

getting on with government, but basically the ship of state seemed

:28:33.:28:38.

on keel. Today there was a quiet confidence in Labour. Recent pm

:28:38.:28:45.

queues performances have a more relaxed Ed Miliband, a more

:28:45.:28:53.

irritable Prime Minister. This is not have -- not just the rise of

:28:53.:28:58.

Labour. The coalition has gone off course. It is OK to take wise

:28:58.:29:02.

choices if you are competent, give the impression you are not and

:29:02.:29:07.

people will change their minds. They are arrogant posh boys who

:29:07.:29:12.

show no remorse, no contrition no passion to one to understand other

:29:12.:29:21.

people's lives. That Budget - if he had known, and why didn't he know?

:29:21.:29:30.

Asked his opponents, would he have smiled so what? It is one thing

:29:30.:29:37.

cooking up tax breaks, but then spending weeks you turning on

:29:37.:29:43.

pastis and fuel. Where had a collective discussion... That sort

:29:43.:29:48.

of thing burns holes in your credibility. Four weeks on from the

:29:48.:29:53.

Budget, even people in Downing Street are calling it a shambles

:29:53.:30:03.
:30:03.:30:06.

budget. Add to that, a horse, Rebecca, Andy Coulson... Though

:30:06.:30:11.

most are more concerned about the lack of money than Leveson, it

:30:11.:30:15.

hasn't helped. The banking crisis and the Barclays scandal have seen

:30:15.:30:19.

bitter exchanges with each side keen to destroy the economic

:30:19.:30:25.

reputation of the other, descending into a personal boxing match.

:30:25.:30:29.

has impugned my integrity. Coalitions have tension, it is not

:30:29.:30:33.

new, but having lost the referendum, Nick Clegg has put his finger on

:30:34.:30:43.
:30:44.:30:46.

what he wants more than anyone - I also know there will be those who

:30:46.:30:50.

are not interested in rational discussion, opposing whatever

:30:51.:30:57.

reform in whatever century. wranglings have left a chasm

:30:57.:31:06.

between right-wingers and grassrootss -- grassroots Lib Dems.

:31:06.:31:15.

On both sides there would be far less to benefit. Joining us now is

:31:15.:31:20.

the Sun's political commentator. What is urinalysis of the

:31:20.:31:26.

difficulties facing David Cameron? They seem to come on every front -

:31:26.:31:33.

the coalition, George Osborne, the budget, the economy, Europe - and

:31:33.:31:39.

it is immigration. I am not sure he has the answer to any of those to

:31:39.:31:44.

satisfy the voters. You have suggested that getting rid of

:31:44.:31:49.

George Osborne as Chancellor would help. Isn't he one of the stars of

:31:49.:31:53.

the Government and the right hand man to David Cameron? I am not

:31:53.:31:58.

saying he should go. I am saying he should be required to concentrate

:31:58.:32:05.

on one of ah job only. He needs to be the full-time Chancellor. -- one

:32:05.:32:13.

job only. He is also spending a lot of time politicking. He is

:32:13.:32:19.

combining the two when it comes to attacking Ed Balls, in my view, in

:32:19.:32:25.

a way that backfired on him. The budget was a car crash. They spent

:32:25.:32:29.

the next several weeks doing U- turns to try to get away from the

:32:29.:32:34.

brick wall. Either he has to concentrate on one job or find

:32:34.:32:40.

another job. Should he focus on being Chancellor rather than also

:32:40.:32:46.

being a strategic mind within the Government? That label from Labour,

:32:46.:32:50.

Ed Miliband, the part-time Chancellor, has stuck. George

:32:50.:32:56.

Osborne is a very successful Chancellor. He is brilliant. Every

:32:56.:33:03.

senior politician in the coalition is also a political strategist.

:33:03.:33:10.

in any way that George Osborne is. Other Cabinet ministers will

:33:10.:33:16.

contribute. George Osborne is a consummate politician. It is a myth.

:33:16.:33:23.

I do not know where it comes from. The Budget was a success.

:33:24.:33:29.

amount of time he puts in is a factor. The Budget was a success,

:33:30.:33:35.

the U-turns that came afterwards. Let's take it as a whole. It has

:33:35.:33:40.

been very successful. We have done a great many things to put the

:33:40.:33:45.

economy back on track. There is nothing wrong with the Budget, it

:33:45.:33:52.

is the handling of it. The U-turn is that followed it were

:33:52.:33:58.

unnecessary. They were not carefully thought through. When

:33:58.:34:04.

negotiation for U-turn took place, it was bungled. They were

:34:04.:34:10.

constantly in reverse. The point is, the opinion polls by Andrew Cooper

:34:10.:34:15.

show all the things I have been saying. Why don't you just face the

:34:15.:34:25.
:34:25.:34:25.

facts? In an opinion poll today, Conservative support went up.

:34:26.:34:33.

has plunged. That cannot be good, however much you dress it up.

:34:33.:34:38.

are in the middle of a government during an extremely difficult

:34:38.:34:44.

economic period. You do not expect the normal rules. Certain Neath

:34:44.:34:51.

they want to change. That is fine. What about your prognosis?

:34:51.:34:56.

coalition depends not on David Cameron and Nick Clegg, it depends

:34:56.:35:01.

on their troops. What to have been the ranks of the Conservative Party

:35:01.:35:07.

is a lot of unhappiness. -- you have. When Graham Brady has his

:35:07.:35:11.

finger on the pulse of all the views and thoughts of backbenchers

:35:11.:35:16.

and when he starts talking about the early demise of the coalition,

:35:16.:35:24.

I think it is in danger. Boris Johnson has said it is doomed to

:35:24.:35:30.

succeed. Is Lords reform dead in the water? I think so. If it is

:35:30.:35:34.

dead in the water, the Liberal Democrats were not get their way.

:35:34.:35:39.

Hardly any wonder that Nick Clegg feels somewhat lobotomised by the

:35:39.:35:46.

Government. I do not think he does. The budget fundamentally was very

:35:46.:35:51.

good. Pit tip poor people at attacks. What was frustrating is

:35:51.:35:58.

that we did try to persuade the Chancellor it was not a moment to

:35:58.:36:03.

talk about income-tax. I understand why it was turned in economic terms

:36:03.:36:10.

but politically it was a bad call. It was a coalition government

:36:10.:36:14.

budget. The coalition will stay for five years, that was the deal.

:36:14.:36:19.

Everything so far we have agreed has been delivered. Every issue

:36:19.:36:28.

that has come up, some have come from the Tory manifesto... It had

:36:28.:36:33.

338 majority. It was one of the larger second readings of any

:36:33.:36:39.

political reform bill ever. There has to be work done to get the

:36:39.:36:44.

Tories on board. They do have to deliver. The leadership of the Tory

:36:44.:36:48.

Party, from the Prime Minister down, understands that is part of the

:36:48.:36:54.

deal. Coming back as to whether people are willing to deliver Tory

:36:54.:36:57.

MPs, what do you say to the criticism that it was the wrong

:36:57.:37:03.

time to do that? I would not say it either in public or privately I

:37:03.:37:07.

disagreed with the top rate of tax. It is important that Britain sends

:37:07.:37:16.

the signal. Coalition partners did not agree. We argued the case and

:37:16.:37:21.

in the end you need to do a deal. lot of people were taking out of

:37:21.:37:28.

income tax. Treasure -- Trevor has criticised it but the fundamental

:37:28.:37:33.

approach has been delivered by a very effective Chancellor. He is

:37:33.:37:39.

fantastic for the UK economy and very well suspect -- respected

:37:39.:37:47.

abroad and internationally. Trevor Kavanagh does nothing kit will be

:37:47.:37:52.

delivered. The other day I had a conversation with George Osborne on

:37:52.:38:01.

this very subject. The reality is that, with seven changes, for

:38:01.:38:05.

example to protect the House of Commons and MPs from what is seen

:38:05.:38:10.

to be a threat by a second chamber, Tories can be reassured and it can

:38:10.:38:18.

be delivered. What about a liberal/Labour coalition? We have

:38:18.:38:22.

had the Liberal Democrat saying there will be some fracturing in

:38:23.:38:27.

the year before the election. You cannot rule out a coalition with

:38:27.:38:33.

Labour. The issue only arises at the next general election and

:38:33.:38:38.

afterwards. The coalition I want with Caroline and her colleagues

:38:38.:38:44.

progresses the Lords reforms I have been talking about. If Labour does

:38:44.:38:54.
:38:54.:38:54.

not do that, you can expect -- expect any possibility of coalition.

:38:54.:38:58.

One problem for the Government is that the public is confused about

:38:58.:39:02.

what the motivation of this government is and where it is going.

:39:03.:39:07.

Was to talk about the tax cuts, will sit to people in terms of

:39:07.:39:11.

income tax, we know that tax credits will reduce and money was

:39:11.:39:16.

given back to millionairess from tax cuts. We have unravelling from

:39:16.:39:20.

other issues. Discussion was about where people laugh. They are very

:39:20.:39:24.

worried about the future. A lot of people in work have had to take

:39:24.:39:29.

cuts in hours and pay has been frozen. The overall cost of living

:39:29.:39:35.

have gone up. They fear this government is not in touch with

:39:35.:39:39.

that. Whatever the positives about that, it was completely lost by all

:39:39.:39:44.

the other things going on that have affected, I think, the sense of

:39:44.:39:49.

what is his government about, is it in touch with daily lives by the

:39:49.:39:58.

public. When the cost of living and jobs are on the line, that is a

:39:58.:40:03.

worrying. Is the public convinced by Ed Miliband? In the last year, I

:40:03.:40:07.

think what we have seen is a situation develop where some of the

:40:07.:40:10.

things that Ed Miliband has said coming up to party conference

:40:10.:40:15.

season, he has talked about the squeezed middle, he was harangued

:40:16.:40:22.

over those issues. The sense of what he was tapping into, the

:40:22.:40:24.

concern has improvement in the mind of the public. We're getting a

:40:24.:40:28.

hearing now in the way we were not this time last year. Full credit to

:40:28.:40:36.

Ed Miliband for doing that. Thank you very much. Well, as we

:40:36.:40:38.

mentioned earlier, the chief executive of G4S, Nick Buckles, has

:40:38.:40:41.

been answering questions from MPs on the Home Affairs Select

:40:41.:40:44.

Committee. He is still being grilled, in fact, about the failure

:40:44.:40:46.

of G4S to recruit enough security staff for the Olympics. Let's

:40:46.:40:52.

listen to some of what he's been saying. Many will take the view the

:40:52.:40:58.

reputation of the company is in tatters. You would not agree.

:40:58.:41:03.

think, at the moment, I would have to agree with you. We have had a

:41:03.:41:07.

fantastic track record of service delivery over many years in many

:41:07.:41:12.

countries. Clearly this is not a good position to be in. We feel we

:41:12.:41:16.

have to make every endeavour to deliver as well as we can honour

:41:16.:41:22.

his contract. It is a humiliating shambles, isn't it? It is not where

:41:22.:41:28.

we want to be. It is a humiliating shambles for the company, yes or

:41:28.:41:34.

no? I cannot disagree with you. would not have thought he wrote.

:41:34.:41:44.
:41:44.:41:50.

You say you were notified, because you are overall boss, on 3rd July.

:41:50.:41:56.

You knew what was coming up. You knew very well - everyone the first

:41:56.:42:05.

and foremost when the Olympics where due to begin. How is it

:42:05.:42:09.

possible that all these problems accumulated and add to you, the

:42:09.:42:19.
:42:19.:42:19.

overall boss, was only told on 3rd July? -- and that you. Weren't you

:42:19.:42:23.

progress chasing? Weren't you asking constantly your colleagues

:42:24.:42:30.

what was happening? What world are you living in? Trying to explain

:42:30.:42:35.

the process we went through, we had a weekly monitoring process for

:42:35.:42:43.

both parties - very open - about the process. We started out with

:42:43.:42:49.

1000 people during June and we had to build up to 10,000 people for

:42:49.:42:56.

the Olympics. We had a massive pipeline of 20,000 people working

:42:57.:43:02.

towards July. It was about how many people we were getting ready. Not a

:43:02.:43:06.

case of having them on the ground and knowingly had a shortage. It

:43:06.:43:16.
:43:16.:43:17.

was about having an active pipeline. Simon Hughes, he said it and agreed,

:43:17.:43:25.

it is a humiliating shambles. They're the second largest security

:43:25.:43:32.

company in the world. There are lessons to be learned. The select

:43:32.:43:38.

committee system is doing the job it is now intended to do. You get

:43:38.:43:42.

parliamentarians of all parties. Later at the issues about public

:43:42.:43:46.

sector contracts for the private sector, and I think there are lots

:43:46.:43:50.

of questions about human rights of companies who governments engage,

:43:50.:43:56.

about whether they pay their taxes properly. I think a lot of them do

:43:56.:44:01.

not. There are a whole set of issues. Are they capable to

:44:01.:44:05.

deliver? The reality is we have a public sector that is always able

:44:05.:44:12.

to intervene when necessary in times of emergency. We have heard

:44:12.:44:15.

your big defence of the Government over this. Was it a mistake to give

:44:15.:44:23.

the entire security contractor G4S? We can deal with the fall-out of

:44:23.:44:28.

what the chief executive has described. With 20/20 hindsight,

:44:28.:44:35.

you can say what you like. At the time they got the contract, no one

:44:35.:44:43.

can say it was the wrong thing to do. It would strike me strange to

:44:43.:44:48.

have it with three or four companies. G4S should be a great

:44:48.:44:53.

success story. It grew out of Britain. You have a chief executive

:44:53.:44:59.

quite rightly eating humble pie about what happened. As I keep

:44:59.:45:03.

saying, the key is to deliver a safe Olympic Games. We know that.

:45:04.:45:08.

Should there be a cooling off period? Should they be allowed to

:45:08.:45:18.
:45:18.:45:23.

bid for other major public-sector Big black Francis Maude have done a

:45:23.:45:28.

good job, and I am sure they will have a view on the appropriate

:45:28.:45:35.

thing to do. I think it is too soon to say. The have got to deal with

:45:36.:45:41.

these things on the evidence, and that will not emerge for some time.

:45:41.:45:48.

I was speaking to Danny Alexander last night, about making sure where

:45:48.:45:52.

much more rigorous in how we deliver public sector procurement.

:45:52.:45:57.

We have not been tough enough. you agree with that, Caroline

:45:57.:46:02.

Flint? In terms of the public- sector, you are relieved we have

:46:02.:46:11.

one to stand in. Do you think there should be a cooling-off? I think

:46:11.:46:14.

what is important here is that we deal with the situation with them

:46:14.:46:19.

in regard to how they have dealt with the Olympics, and afterwards

:46:19.:46:24.

there will need to be some discussions about how what was

:46:24.:46:28.

monitored because there have been massive contract in many government

:46:28.:46:31.

departments. I don't think a company should have a limit on how

:46:31.:46:37.

many contracts it has, but is the rigour in how they can deliver

:46:37.:46:43.

these contracts? That will be a discussion that has to take place

:46:43.:46:49.

after we have had the most successful Olympics ever. There

:46:49.:46:59.
:46:59.:46:59.

will be lessons to learn across government procurement. There are

:46:59.:47:04.

some fantastic private sector examples of delivering contracts,

:47:04.:47:12.

but sometimes that is done at the expense of the public sector.

:47:13.:47:19.

you be happy for G4S to do the security at party conferences?

:47:19.:47:25.

Everybody will now... G4S will be doubly scrutinised by everybody,

:47:25.:47:29.

but the important principle is that government needs to improve the way

:47:29.:47:36.

it places its contracts and monitors them, which it is doing.

:47:36.:47:40.

MPs are busy getting ready for their summer holidays, were the

:47:40.:47:50.
:47:50.:48:07.

only tough decision will be what to read whilst lazing on the beach.

:48:07.:48:10.

For those who want to show off by the pool they can immerse

:48:10.:48:13.

themselves in all 736 pages of "The Passage to Power". This is volume

:48:13.:48:17.

four of Robert Caro's magnum opus on the life of Lyndon Johnson and

:48:17.:48:20.

certainly not for the faint hearted. Then there's "The New Few", written

:48:20.:48:23.

by Ferdinand Mount, who argues that power and wealth in Britain is held

:48:23.:48:26.

in the hands of a small elite ruling class. That's the same

:48:26.:48:29.

Ferdinand Mount who used to work for the Conservative Party and

:48:29.:48:34.

who's cousin is David Cameron's Mum. For those who are finding coalition

:48:34.:48:37.

politics a struggle Mr Simpson suggests reading "Five Days in

:48:37.:48:39.

London", a book that charts Winston Churchill's difficulties holding

:48:39.:48:42.

everything together in the dark days of 1940, and think themselves

:48:42.:48:44.

lucky. And for those who want something a little lighter they

:48:45.:48:47.

could try Sandra Howard's latest called "Ex Wives". The wife of

:48:47.:48:50.

Michael Howard has written a novel described as a "story of a

:48:50.:48:52.

complicated set of relationships and lovers which should interest

:48:53.:48:54.

many parliamentarians". Finally George Osborne's wife Frances

:48:54.:48:57.

Osborne has written a new book called "Park Lane", set at the

:48:57.:49:00.

beginning of the first world war it's a novel that deals with

:49:00.:49:03.

conflicts in the class system. I wonder where she gets her ideas

:49:03.:49:08.

from? Keith Simpson is with us now. 50 shades of grey is not on there,

:49:08.:49:14.

but we won't talk about that. quite happy to. My wife is reading

:49:14.:49:23.

that book she is quite bored by that. I am asking the questions, Ed

:49:23.:49:28.

Vaizey! Have you read for them? very large proportion of them.

:49:28.:49:32.

William Hague said to the foreign affairs team that they should be

:49:32.:49:39.

doing some summer reading about four years ago. A number of

:49:40.:49:44.

colleagues then said to me can you let us have them? I think it is a

:49:44.:49:52.

very nice idea. Most of them are political, aren't they? Yes, most

:49:52.:49:57.

on conflict, a few novels as you pointed out at the end. Should

:49:57.:50:02.

there be some more light and shade in there? Some novels away from

:50:02.:50:09.

politics? If people want to have the more lighter ones, that is fine.

:50:09.:50:13.

Most colleagues at some stage over the summer holidays tend to read

:50:13.:50:17.

one big heavy book of some kind because to be fair many of them

:50:18.:50:22.

don't have the time when Parliament is sitting. That has been the

:50:22.:50:28.

objective, to give people a whole series of books, some of which are

:50:28.:50:34.

perhaps relevant today. If the coalition things it has problems,

:50:34.:50:40.

think about what they were going through in the summer of 1940.

:50:40.:50:45.

Something you can draw comfort from then. This is wonderful, I have to

:50:45.:50:55.
:50:55.:50:57.

say. Are you giving it to the Lib Dems? I have won in a shiny cover.

:50:57.:51:03.

She gets a brown envelope! For most of the year, Arnside recess, you

:51:03.:51:08.

just don't have time. There are some colleagues who walk around

:51:08.:51:15.

with a book under their arm. Some of them do it! If you have a big

:51:15.:51:21.

heavy tome to read, what Linby? my stairs at home, I have about

:51:21.:51:27.

seven books waiting. I will take as many of those as I can. I want to

:51:27.:51:33.

read some books on Tibet and China, and about some struggles which are

:51:33.:51:43.
:51:43.:51:50.

much more worrying than ours. lined up, Ed Vaizey? Yes, the great

:51:50.:51:54.

thing about this book is it is beautifully written. He began

:51:54.:52:02.

writing it in the early 1980s, but he interview people then who are

:52:02.:52:06.

now dead, but using it for the later volumes. Caroline, do you

:52:06.:52:12.

have more time to read now that you are not the minister? I do get to

:52:12.:52:19.

read more in the recesses, but I do like to last thing at night the

:52:19.:52:25.

Reading, and I tend to avoid the overtly political books. I like

:52:25.:52:29.

history books and I like novels. I have just finished reading the

:52:29.:52:39.
:52:39.:52:50.

Sambourne novel. I am into everything Scandinavian at the

:52:50.:52:55.

moment. Having done the Stig Larsson in one of the summer

:52:55.:53:01.

recesses, have saved Joe for this summer. Final thought from you,

:53:01.:53:07.

which would you recommend as your top book? If undoubtedly Robert

:53:07.:53:16.

Caro because it is about the pursuit and acquisition of power

:53:16.:53:19.

and most politicians are interested in that.

:53:19.:53:22.

Time now for something completely different. If G4S's staff turn up

:53:22.:53:25.

to work this week, one of their tasks will be to stop banned items

:53:25.:53:29.

getting into the Olympic Park and other venues. So what will the

:53:29.:53:32.

security industry's finest be looking for on their X-ray machines

:53:32.:53:36.

to stop spectators smuggling in? We've borrowed Bruce Forsyth's

:53:36.:53:39.

conveyor belt to help you try to remember what to leave at home on

:53:39.:53:43.

games days and in a moment we'll ask our guests to see how many they

:53:43.:53:49.

can name. Simon, Caroline, Ed, just take a look at the big screen.

:53:49.:53:51.

You'll see the banned items moving along the conveyor belt. Afterwards

:53:51.:53:56.

we'll see how many you can remember. Are you ready? Let's start the

:53:56.:54:03.

conveyor belt. And on the Daily Politics "banned

:54:03.:54:09.

at the olympics conveyer belt", we have... A set of balls, a tennis

:54:09.:54:11.

racket, a frisbee, large flags, banners, item of clothing with a

:54:11.:54:13.

political statement, item of clothing with commercial signage,

:54:13.:54:16.

an oversized ha, large golf style umbrella, long lens camera - not

:54:16.:54:19.

banned in the photography area, excessive food, a noise maker,

:54:19.:54:29.
:54:29.:54:38.

liquid greater than 100ml. So, Ed, Simon and Caroline. That's what

:54:38.:54:41.

spectators have to remember. Let's see how many you can recall. Good

:54:41.:54:51.
:54:51.:54:54.

luck with this. We'll give you 30 seconds Starting now! T-shirts with

:54:55.:55:04.
:55:05.:55:06.

political slogans. Excessive food, a large umbrella. Noise makers.

:55:06.:55:16.
:55:16.:55:16.

Liquid over 100 ml. Excessive food. Flags, banners. Tennis rackets.

:55:16.:55:21.

Excessive liquid. The there are just a couple you are missing.

:55:21.:55:29.

Tennis balls, tennis rackets. Frisbee. Something close to our

:55:29.:55:38.

industry. Long-lens cameras. you do the clothing? I said both, I

:55:38.:55:43.

said commercial as well. I'm very impressed, you got every single one

:55:43.:55:53.
:55:53.:55:53.

of them. If we have an even wider coalition, see what we can deliver.

:55:54.:55:58.

He will now be delivering our tickets. For are you going to any

:55:58.:56:03.

of the events? I haven't got any tickets. I tried to, but I didn't

:56:03.:56:09.

get any. I have Football Final tickets and Paralympics opening

:56:09.:56:14.

ceremony tickets. That is through the system. You did well! What

:56:14.:56:21.

about you? Beach volleyball. There is a surprise. New and most of the

:56:21.:56:28.

House of Commons. The my wife was in charge of the ticketing, so...

:56:28.:56:34.

So does that mean you have got some spare? We have four beach

:56:34.:56:44.
:56:44.:56:46.

volleyball tickets. I hate to go back... Ed Vaizey has verbal

:56:46.:56:50.

diarrhoea. I hate to go back briefly to the seriousness of the

:56:50.:56:58.

Olympics but do you think it will field two security heavy? No, No. I

:56:58.:57:06.

hope not is the obvious answer. know people are very enthusiastic.

:57:06.:57:10.

We did better than we might have done in the European football

:57:10.:57:17.

championships, and people remember the medals, the successes. What is

:57:17.:57:25.

wrong with an oversized hat? That is because people behind you can't

:57:25.:57:31.

see anything. As Rooprai, the sun will be shining, but an oversized

:57:32.:57:38.

hat, I think I would be a bit miffed if I was sat behind that.

:57:38.:57:42.

The food and drink is obviously just because they want you to spend

:57:42.:57:52.
:57:52.:57:53.

a fortune. If you go to any concert they stop alcohol coming in. Almost

:57:53.:57:58.

I can't bring the tennis racket in. A mouse you are needed on the

:57:58.:58:06.

court! What about the traffic lanes, do you think they will get on

:58:06.:58:12.

people's nerves? Aren't there are some issues about the markings of

:58:12.:58:19.

the lanes, getting on people's nerves? You can do a story every

:58:19.:58:28.

single day and I'm sure there will be. I came to Doncaster, we had

:58:28.:58:34.

then Parkinson and everyone was very excited, but these kids had

:58:34.:58:41.

made their torches and they loved it. It is the legacy of

:58:41.:58:47.

regenerating that part of London. You get the final word. That is all

:58:47.:58:54.

for today. Well done to you, you did extremely well. That's all for

:58:54.:58:58.

With Jo Coburn. Guests include Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Simon Hughes, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, and Labour's Caroline Flint. They discuss the Olympics, the Coalition, and the economy. It is the last programme until September 3rd.


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