03/09/2012 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks, welcome back to the Daily Politics. After the


stunning success of the Olympics it is back to reality as politics


returns to business as usual. Top of the agenda, how to get the


economy growing again. Chancellor George Osborne is promising


billions of Government guarantees for infrastructure. Tory


backbenchers want tax cuts, spending cuts and smaller


Government. David Cameron plots his first major


reshuffle of Government. Who is on the up and who is up for the chop?


The current Education Secretary, Michael Gove, says his new policy


on free schools in England is a success. Over 50 new schools open


this week. Labour disagrees. Remember this? We will bring me up


to speak with every political twist and turn of the summer. You will


not have missed anything. Do not tell us we do not spoil your.


Is that the man who thinks he can be the prime minister? Yes, in that


rather elegant position. He is just hanging around. With us for the


next 30 minutes, because we could not afford them for the next two


hour, two Olympian political commentators. Fraser Nelson, editor


of the Spectator and Polly Toynbee, columnist at the Guardian.


After a summer of marvellous Olympic high is at Westminster gets


back to business today. Parliament has returned to the reality of what


they left before they went away, a flatlining economy. Chancellor


George Osborne it used a television interview yesterday to set out


plans of another goal, just starting UK plc. In the next couple


of weeks you will see us introduced in Parliament legislation to speed


up the processes that mean we can build roads more quickly that it


takes to fight a World War. It means we can guarantee


infrastructure projects. We will have a specific piece of


legislation published next week so that the Government can use the low


interest to underwrite infrastructure projects including


housing. We are doing all these things to use the good name the


Government has built up internationally, the low interest


rates we have got to fund our banks to get the economy moving.


Chancellor on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday from Broadcasting House.


Fraser Nelson, the prime minister says on the Mail on Sunday, they do


an article every week now, he is more determined than ever to cut


through the desert that holds this country back. Can you remind me who


has been Prime Minister by the past two years? He is going to have the


Super planning restrictions, Middle England is not going to like it,


but he lacks a fight that suits him. The Telegraph is going to oppose it.


It is ideal for him, but it is difficult to work out economic glee


how this is going to get the economy moving. There seems to be a


strange love affair between the Government and the housebuilding


industry. They seem to think the way to get the economy moving is to


grant favours to the industry. But Spain and Ireland found this was


not the case. When Government feels the market, disaster is not far


behind. Everybody is in favour of infrastructure. But it is not


necessarily the best and the quickest and even if they succeed


in easing the planning rules, what Mr Barack Obama said were shovelled


moving jobs, there are not many. you look at building schools for


the future, there were lots of projects that could be kick-started.


But they are cancelled and great deal of social housing. The


developers themselves are sitting on 300,000 plots with planning


permission ready to go. They will not go because the demand is not


there. If I was the Government I would say, we will withdraw


planning permission unless you start building. There are lots of


ways the Government can strong arm the industry instead of assuming


they will do it for them. The housing market is complicated. You


want house prices to come down, on the other hand you need it to be


profitable to build and it is a difficult balance. Polly is saying


this attempt to jump-start the British economy will involve the


Government saying, we are going to restore all the programmes be


cancelled a couple of years ago. How does that work? For a start


they could not afford it and even it they could, right now the


British economy has got this habit of when you go through a


construction boom EU import workers rather than shortening the British


dole queues. The majority of jobs created since the Government came


to power have gone to foreign-born workers. What they should be doing


is cutting the taxes of the low- paid and have an incentive to leave


benefits and get back to work. If you borrow lots of money and higher


lots of people it is a very blunt instrument. If they went down this


road, when would we see growth return? You say these things are


ready to be done quite quickly. Even quickly in these circumstances


takes a while and then that money... Not many people would be employed.


The money then has to percolate through the economy from their


wages. Of course it is not the only thing you should do. You should


stop a lot of the cuts now. We have only had 12% of the cuts announced,


88% are still to come. A huge hit is going to come in the next year


when unemployment will rise steeply next year. Stop doing that, stop


digging when you are in a hole and making it worse. How much bigger?


Quite a bit bigger, it has never been cheaper for the Government to


borrow. The size of the deficit is no constraint on the Government at


all? Not no constraint, but you could do a lot more. People like


the IMF are now saying austerity is making matters worse. A bit of


stimulus and getting growth that might be worth the price of


borrowing more for now. Government is borrowing �250


million a day. They are borrowing to pay for the unemployed. It is


not working. I do not think if they were borrowing 280 million that


would make much of a difference. What George Osborne is announcing


now about Government guarantees for more building and projects, none of


that will be real. If it were real, it would have to go on to the


borrowing books and it is not going to. It would be Enron style


accounting. These guarantees will not be worth the paper they are not


yet written on. I were happy think about that. Either they are genuine


guarantees or they are not and I think they are not. It is sub-prime


business. A new term means it must be time for a quiz for Fraser and


Polly. The question for today is all about Margaret Thatcher's


dresses, moving away from the economy, some of which are up for


auction at Christie's. Which of these does not belong to Margaret


Thatcher. There is one little sartorial number that does not


quite fit her style. We will give you a bit of time to get your heads


around that halfway through the show.


Fraser said Margaret Thatcher's dresses are his specialist subject.


I think we will move on. Apart from sorting out the economy,


what else have the political leaders got to look forward to as


the nights draw in? We are expecting a reshuffle quite soon,


leadership plots are growing by the day and there is always personality


clashes which add to the gaiety of the nation. It is business as usual.


It is the start of a new term and for the party leaders memories of


summer holiday fun are already fading fast. David Cameron is back


in the classroom and needs to assert his authority with a


decisive reshuffle. It is going to be difficult if big figures like


George Osborne, William Hague and Theresa May stay put. Lib Dems at


the Cabinet table are going nowhere. He needs to answer criticism from


the right of his party after a summer of nasty name-calling. One


backbencher suggested he was a Mars, another a Lib Dem chambermaid. Many


are urging him to pursue a distinctive Conservative pro-growth


qualities. One MP quest and Nick Clegg's leadership and one said he


was a cork bobbing on the waves with no strategic vision. He will


be under pressure to distance the Lib Dems from the Conservatives at


the party conference. The suggestion his latest wealth tax


idea was written by young kids in Downing Street may not help. Ed


Miliband should have less difficulty maintaining order. His


MPs know they have a ten-point lead in the polls. But this summer has


been punctuated by rumours of staff and hostility by shadowed


Chancellor Ed Balls leaving some to wonder if a feud to rival Tony


Blair and Gordon Brown could be brewing. James Landale is also back


from his holidays with a brand-new uniform and a pencil case and joins


us now. How dramatic and this reshuffle be if nobody is wanting


to buy it? Some people will resist, that always happens during a


reshuffle. This will be a test of the prime minister's authority, man


or mouse to use a phrase which is being invoked by one Conservative


MP. The interesting test one not just be has the Prime Minister


asserted authority? But has he signalled any change of policy?


What matters is does he changed policy? Does he poured example


signal a change on policy towards Heathrow Mr Garbutt does he take


Ken Clarke out of justice? The other key test will be party


management. Does he do it well and does he wield the axe in a way that


minimises the number of unhappy bunnies? It could pose a lot of


problems by David Cameron as he runs up with the election. We are


expecting that in the next 36 hours. What about Nick Clegg? Name-calling


from some in his party as well? How vulnerable is he? If you talk to


some people they say it is amazing it has taken this long for people


on the fringes to call for his head. For the first time you have MPs and


peers saying it openly and in public and On the Record that there


should be a change of leadership. People around Nick Clegg say they


are not worried, but it shows that he is under increasing pressure as


he makes policy choices in the run up to the next election. He is now


hemmed in not just by the fact he is in the coalition, but he is


under increasing pressure from his own party to differentiate himself


from the Conservative Party and that can have an impact on policy.


The sun keeps shining and it is a beautiful day in London today.


Nothing gets as more excited than a Cabinet reshuffle and we talk about


it endlessly although we know nothing at all. Let me put this to


you, given that the major positions are not going to change what this


will amount to is a bunch of people that no-one has heard of getting


the sack to be replaced by a bunch of people no-one has ever heard of.


The night of the very short knives. It will make very little difference.


I do not think Cabinet reshuffles be much anyway even with big jobs.


Their only one that matters is Osborne. It all depends on the


state of the economy. If the economy continues to crash in the


way it has now, they have had it. The only interesting bit of news


would be moving George Osborne, signalling there was a genuine, if


you change in direction. No chance of that. There is no alternative,


back to Mrs Thatcher. Why has there been no chance of Mr Osborne been


removed? Because to use your tonsillar is a major admission of


defeat for a British Government. It would send a very dangers message


around the world that Britain is in panic when it comes to reducing the


deficit. What would you gain from this? There is no suggestion


William Hague has got some fantastic plan for growth. To take


a drastic step like this you need to have a pretty good alternative


and right now there is no suggestion there is anybody out


there who could do a better job. Well he had the guts in a


Government short of women and of non-white people, will he have the


guts to sack the party chairwoman? That is a tricky one for him. She


was quoted the other day saying she is not white and she is a woman and


I think I fit the bill. Those are not credentials if you want to lead


the Conservative Party. She should know better than anybody else.


Again, I do not see how a new chairman would radically improve


the prospects for the Government. It is not about the people, it is


about the policies and the perception they are not working.


Will he have the guts to throw Ken Clarke to the wolves? I think he


probably well, given that Ken Clarke sounds like he has been


embalmed prior to burial right now. I think he would probably cause the


In a sense, what has happened, rather than running the coalition,


they are struggling to run after their parties. I do not think


either of them I am much trouble from their parties. Inevitably,


noise on the right, noise on the left for Clegg, but basically


neither of them are going to be removed in a hurry. The crisis for


Clegg, he has to think that this had, comes nine months before the


election, when he has to decide whether he will run again, should


he stand down himself, and I think he should, new leader, a bit of a


honeymoon, he might save a few seats. But not now, and I do not


think any of this noise is politically significant. It is


interesting ideologically, because the Tory backbenchers do not


understand they have the most right-wing government we have ever


had, far more right-wing than Mrs Thatcher. It is austerity, far more


austere, although they would like more, like you do. You know, this


is more austerity than we have ever had. The Lib Dems do not think it


is a left-wing government. No, the Lib Dems think they have no choice.


Labour does not think that. Labour thinks it is a very right-wing


government. Labour thinks it is an extraordinary right-wing government,


and next April big cuts hit. We are in the middle of the Paralympics.


All of the disability cuts hit in a big way, 90,000 mobility scooters


and motor ability cows are going to be repossessed next April. I do not


think most MPs know this. They do not know what is going to hit them


when 80% of extra cuts is still to come. Polly says Mr Cameron and Mr


Clegg are not going to be challenged, but they are worried


men. Mr Cameron is clearly worried about the lack of support on the


back benches, hence the kind of article he wrote in the Mail on


Sunday yesterday. Mr Clegg is worried he has no favours in the


bag, otherwise he would not come out with the wealth tax plan.


think a lot of Tory MPs are thinking of their futures, and they


are not thinking of Kamal Clegg as party leaders, and that makes it


more difficult to intimidate them. -- Cameron or Clegg. Nick Clegg has


got far more to worry about, because right now the Lib Dems have


seen half of their support eliminated, and they reckon that


the Tory embrace is toxic. When he was attacked by Lord Smith of


Lifton, didn't you have to Google that was?! Matthew Oakeshott, rent-


a-quote. He is a powerful player, because he is a surrogate for Vince


Cable. I think he speaks for Vince Cable, they are very close.


much should we make, or is it just Tory wishful thinking, of the


divisions between Mr Ed and Mr Ed? I think almost nothing. It came out


of nowhere, a real Auguste story that came out of a poll which


showed that by 2% Ed B had slightly more favourable points, and I do


not see this. I think it is true, and I have been told, that if


Miliband loses the next election, there will be another leadership,


Ed Balls would stand aside for Yvette Cooper, that he has given up


leadership ambitions himself. So whatever this friction, which is


inevitable, because most of the Labour Party wants Ed Balls to go


for a bigger and bolder and austerity movement, so it is about


policy, not leadership. There is fiction, and Labour has got to get


a head of the game and be quite a lot bolder. Should Labour be


further ahead in the polls? I think 10 points is not bad. At this time


when we have a flatlining economy, coalition ripping itself apart?


gives them a comfortable overall majority if there were an election.


We know the midterm lead is bigger than reality. We will see what the


reality is. New line assuming we are in a time like any other. I see


no reason why this government should pick up. If Cameron could


not win against Gordon Brown on his knees and a Labour Party exhausted,


how on earth is he going to do better next time? Isn't that the


key watershed moment this summer, when it really dawned on the Tories


that their chances of an overall majority in 2015 was probably the


least likely outcome of the election? You are right. Before the


summer, the tourists thought the balance of probability was then


being re-elected. After the boundary review was kibosh, your


average Tory now thinks it is more likely they will lose than win.


This changes the way in which they behave and plan. That shows how


dumb they are, because they've brought about these backbenchers


who brought about the non-happening of the boundary changes. They have


just woken up to what they have done! Tory backbenchers done?


I will not be repeating that, it is not just MPs who are going back to


school this week. Many pupils will be returning to school and some two


new schools entirely. Some 55 new free schools will be opening this


month. They are state-funded but not under local authority control


and they have more control over teaching and budgets. This morning


Education Secretary Michael Gove has been promoting his policy. He


was asked if money was being taken away from existing schools to pay


for the new ones. We desperately need free schools. People need a


chance to send their children to a good school where schools are not


good enough. People also need additional places because the


population is growing. If all we were doing was hoping free schools,


we would be open to criticism, but we are doing much more. We are in


the largest number of New Academy Schools that were underperforming


under local authority control but now have a great new head teachers


and a chance for the children in them to flourish. We are joined by


Labour Shadow Education Minister Karen Buck and by Craig Whitaker, a


Conservative member of the Education Select Committee. Craig


Whitaker, first of all, we heard Michael Gove say that these schools


are a success, but they are unproven as yet. We do not know how


successful they will be. What we do know is that internationally, when


you give schools autonomy away from local authority control, give them


control of budgets and what they offer the local community, they


work incredibly well, so that is the basis on which the free school


and academies are being put in place. But what do free schools


bring to state education that cannot be achieved in existing


comprehensive schools if it is about raising standards? A whole


heap of people and the country are incredibly frustrated with local


schools. They cannot get in them, a lot are underperforming, so it is a


great opportunity to get local parents and teachers involved in


setting up their own school, and that is what the programme is about.


Are you against, in principle, the idea of free schools? What we need


to have his schools where they are needed, where they meet parental


demand, which is a real issue about free schools. I think the idea of


the dead hand of local authority control is a red herring and has


been for many, many years. Local authorities do not manage and


control everything that goes on in local schools. There is a very high


degree of autonomy within schools. The Academy Schools, which was set


up under the last Labour government, enjoyed a degree of freedom as well.


The point with free schools, I have one in my constituency which opened


last year, it is called a free school but it is actually an


academy, it is fine, it is needed. There are other schools where there


has not been demand and they do not meet the requirements. Andrew


Adonis said that Labour should be claiming the free schools policy as


its own because they are academies in all but name. Frankly, I do not


care what you call an initiative. What I care about is spending the


money where there is demand, and in fact interestingly, in his last


year, we have seen an increase in a 3,000 children whose parents cannot


find any place for them at all. The fact is we have a �900 million


programme investing in free schools which is clearly not meeting demand,


which is not preventing parents from being left with no school at


all for their children, and which is doing nothing for the


overwhelming majority of pupils. Picking up on that point, if they


are in areas where there are already good comprehensive schools,


then it is a waste of money, isn't it? It could be better spent


improving existing schools. No, not at all, because the free school


programme is part of a much bigger picture, you know. It is about


academies, too. You accept they are in areas where there is no demand?


They are in areas where there is a chronic shortage of places, where


local authorities have not been able to create places quickly


enough, and that is where the free schools generally pick up and fill


a niche. You agree with Karen Buck that they could be taking money


away from other schools, and that is self-defeating? Not at all.


Diversity and autonomy are the key things that will drive standards in


the education system. One thing that we know is that standards have


been slipping for a very long time, and we need to raise standards, and


if that means giving more autonomy, more diversity within our community


schools, that is what we need to do. On the issue of raising standards,


with the free schools to raise standards in the sense that they


have marvellous GCSE results or there is a rise in measures of


children's ability, will that be a good thing, regardless of where the


money comes from? Of course, but only if it raises it across the


piece. If they have simply creamed off the best kids and the average


of the area stays the same, nobody is checking. What really matters is


that 20 of the schools which are opening now are in areas which do


not need them. They are using money from that area to build those


schools, taking away from schools that desperately needed, creating


surplus of spaces. Free schools are not one thing. Some are very good,


set up by groups of teachers or other schools, some of them are


religious schools, which we absolutely do not need more of.


Free school covers a multitude of the good and bad, so we should not


talk about them as one type of thing. It depends where and what.


There is a question about regulation. They say they are not


selective, but is there a bit of self-selection. In the end, they


are getting better pupils, so they will get better results, so it will


not be down to improving standards or better teachers. That is not


true. It is amazing to say Polly -- it is amazing to here police say


that these schools are not needed. We are moving into a wonderful year,


moving away from the idea that politicians say this school is


needed, into an era where parents and teachers decide what is needed


and where. There is an incredible power flip going on away from the


government towards teachers, and it is really heartening to see. It is


about parents demand. We must not let the tail WAG the Dog. Of course,


Polly is right, there are examples of free schools being set up which


clearly meets demand, which are based on both parents of and


teacher requests, but some are not, and it is not a good use of public


resources to spend such an amount of money on a small number of


schools which may or may not have anything to do with meeting local


demand. But you are not going to close any of these schools if you


were to come into power, because if they do the right thing, they


should stay. You have to look at the schools in existence and see


what they are doing and see if they are meeting demand, look at the


provision of service in and around them. We are not going to go


stomping in and closing popular and successful local schools of course


saying that the overwhelming majority of children in our schools


need to be served well, not have money being distorted for a tiny


number of pupils in a scheme which simply takes a box and allows


Michael Gove to claim a revolution in schools, which is not touching


the overwhelming majority of pupils. Briefly on the sort of story on the


GCSE results, the number of Dead In The Boot to C grades fell for the


first time in the history of the GCSE results. -- A to C grades.


That is because the boundaries have been reset by the examination


boards, and there is an absolute stopping of this dumbing-down and


sliding towards, you know, as as a nation doing worse. Standards have


got to raise, and this is a great start, I think, in lifting


standards back to where they should be. The end of dumbing-down under


Labour. Pupils who got exactly the same marks in the June examinations,


or in some cases better than they did in the January examination, but


who failed whereas in January they would have passed. It could be as


many as 65,000 students who on not able, in some cases, to proceed on


to A-levels, apprenticeships and further education, which is what we


want them to do. We have asked the Select Committee to raise in the


look into what has happened, and it is essential, it is a question of


fairness that pupils who got as good marks as they did in the


earlier part of being in a summer examination should not be


disadvantaged as a result. Karen Buck, Craig Whitaker, thank you


both very much. It is tough being the leader of a


political party, just as Nick Clegg, or David Cameron, or Ed Miliband,


for that matter. But one party leader is feeling on top of the


world, Natalie Bennett. Who?! Come on, Natalie Bennett, elected the


new leader of the Green Party of England and Wales. We can talk to


them now. Welcome to the Daily Politics. It is a bit of a poisoned


chalice, this, isn't it? Rightly or wrongly, many voters think Green is


for the good times, they do not want to be green when they are


worried about their next pay cheque or whether they are going to keep


Absolutely not. We understand there is a great political opportunity


for the Green Party at the moment. Voters are looking around saying


there are three parties offering exactly the same. The Green Party


is offering the chance for a different kind of economy, where we


invest in the future, housing, jobs, renewable energy and interest in


keeping people warmer in comfortable homes, and this is


attractive to more and more people. Why did only 3000 members of your


party bothered to vote in the election? If you hold an election


during the month of August, you would expect that turn out not to


be high. People could not decide and that is the way it works, and


they felt they did not want to vote. But we have a vision for the future


of Britain that is attractive to large numbers of voters and I am


confident we can elect many more councillors. How many people voted


for you? I think the actual, final count was 42% of the first


preference. Her many? I do not know the numbers of hand. You do not


know how many people have voted for you? No, but I know I got about 500


more votes than the second person. He was an MEP in the north-west.


a year's time if we were speaking to you again, what were you have


achieved? I will aim in the next two years, it is a two-year period,


to see that we have collected many more councillors up and down the


country and that in the European elections week treble our number of


MEPs, which will mean many more people in England and Wales will


have an elected Green representative working for them.


You will treble the number of MEPs you have? That is what we are


aiming for. If you take a blanket swing, it needs a 1.3% swing and


that is achievable. Event that you your predecessors have staked the


Green Party on the left of British politics, and some would say the


far left, if you are eight Tory inclined green or a moderate


inclined Green, they cannot vote for you, can they? I think policies


like the minimum wage should be a living wage, that is a policy I


find resonates with people who live in multi-million-pound houses or


who live in council estates, saying people should get benefits for a


decent light. That his policies people right across the political


spectrum understand. Do you also think the maximum wage should be 10


times the minimum wage? We do indeed and that is a policy we find


is also very popular. We made a great deal of that in the London


elections and we finished third. Let me get this right, let's be


generous and say the living wage would be �20,000 a year. It is your


policy that no-one in this country should be paid more than 2000 --


�200,000 a year? That is something we want to work towards two and


that is perfectly enough to live on decently. So farewell the English


Premier League? Well, I think we would have a healthier team and a


much better English national team if we did that. But there are many


industries in this country, I picked for all because it is the


most easily recognised, there are many recognised industries in this


country that depend on paying their top people more than �200,000 a


year. We can agree the bankers are overwhelmingly over pay, but there


are many industries from the head of Rolls Royce to the head of


Airbus in Britain who will not stay if you keep their salaries at


�200,000. What would you do? First of all, it is worth saying we are


not talking about doing this in terms of putting out legislation.


We want to explain why it is a good idea and have it happen in the


public sector and work on from there. You mention the bankers and


we have got this great talent by paying them lots of money, but it


has broken the world economy. Giving people huge incentive


payments and huge bonuses, it encourages people to play again in


the system, not do their job well. Most people want to do a decent job


during the day, whether you ran a national company or work in a call


centre. Natalie Bennett, thank you for joining us. It is a very green


backdrop, it looks perfect for your election today. Polly Toynbee, D


the Greens have an opportunity now given a lot of younger Lib-Dem


voters, particularly the students who are hardly likely to queue up


to vote again, do the Greens have an opportunity or his Labour were


likely to get the next votes? think the Greens have done very


well, they have done very well in Brighton and they have got Brighton


council and they beat the Lib Dems in the mayoral elections. There is


room in the spectrum for a party to the left of Labour. It used to be


called the Lib Dems. Yes, indeed. We are not talking about outrageous


left like in the days of the eight and sees -- 80s, the Militant


tendency, this is moderate staff. It is not old fashioned Labour left.


They still want to repeal the union legislation, dove. They want to


make friends with the unions and they are quite keen to do that and


quite keen to attract some of that element, but they are of a


different breed and I think they will attract quite a lot of votes,


particularly the Lib Dem ones. There is just time to find out the


answer to our quiz. It was not very difficult, particularly for you,


Fraser, be an expert on Margaret Thatcher's dresses. Which of these


does not belong to Margaret Thatcher? I am going for the pop


left because I think Meryl Streep war that in the film. Did you? That


is a counter intuitive answer. think it is the pink dress, I think


it is not her. You are right. I like the idea you think Meryl


Streep war that dress. Did you say? Yes. You are more observant that I


am. Polly is right, it is the obvious one. Quite rightly for a


lady like her, she never exposed her shoulders. They are bound to


raise about �1,500. So of the others were really lovely. There


was a lovely pink suit number and I thought, I like that, I will buy


that. The Greens want to abolish GDP as a


measure of economic success. So did David Cameron. Thank you to both of


you for being on our first show of the new season. I had a lovely


couple of weeks in the south of France and Jo went camping in


Dorset. We have no idea when Giles is planning to come back, but we


had one of his unpaid work experience chappies to keep an eye


on what happened at Westminster during the summer holidays.


Thank you, I had a lovely time. While you have all been sunning


yourself, I had a holiday at Westminster, keeping an eye on


goings on at S W one and my case is packed full of souvenirs. What have


we got here? An Olympic mascot in gold. David Cameron presided over a


Games that was virtually hitched free and a gold rush for Team GB.


The effect on the opinion polls? Virtually negligible. But perhaps


the biggest winner was Boris, hanging around everywhere, most


notably on this Olympic zip wire. Everybody he thinks they have


reached the highest level, there is no such thing when it comes to the


Olympics as this. After two years in the job the Conservative MP for


Corby stood down to spend more time with her family. Bring on that by-


election. My mug from the House of Lords did not get smashed in


transit. Unlike Nick Clegg's plans for a reform of the upper chamber


which collapsed because of a lack of support. The Conservative Party


is not honouring the commitment to Lords reform and as a result part


of our contract has now been broken. He withdrew his support for changes


to constituency boundaries, which could have benefited the


Conservatives. Why you were hopping on and off real ones of these,


Westminster briefly went plain crazy. A prominent Conservative


backbencher reignited the row over a third runway at Heathrow.


realise we have to do something a bit more to get investment in this


country, we have to do a bit more to stimulate the economy. This was


all I had to read, a GCSE English revision guide. The Education


Secretary Michael Gove denied he pressurised exam boards to be


tougher after the number of pupils getting top GCSE grades fell for


the first time ever. And you always find a bit of leftover holiday


money in the bottom of your suitcase. Except the Government did


not. In July George Osborne had to borrow an extra �600 million, even


though experts had predicted the public purse would show a surplus


of more than �2 billion. So, like the weather this summer, political


fortunes have been a bit mixed. At least if you have not gone anywhere,


you cannot have the holiday blues when you get back.


Adam Fleming reporting. We have been joined by three MPs who will


be with us until the end of the programme. The Conservative MP


Nadim Zahawi, Labour's Tenby Perkins and Duncan Hames for the


Lib Dems. Let's rewind a few weeks because it was a busy summer. Lords


reform was dropped, Duncan Hames, an issue close to the Lib Dems. Was


it right to drop it? Yes, it was the right decision. There was not a


majority to bring the legislation about and the Labour Party made it


clear they might claim to support the principle, but they were going


to obstruct the means of passing the laws necessary. Do you agree


with Nick Clegg when he said the Lib Dems would not be supporting


legislation for boundary changes which could deliver 20 extra seats


for the Tories? I agree with him and I support him in that and he


will have the full support of the party as well. You see it as a


broken contract, what do you say to that? I think it is sad because


Lords reform was not linked with boundaries. It was clearly linked


with the alternative vote referendum which we delivered on.


If they had won that, would they then have delivered the boundaries


or not? We could get on with reform now without elections. I have spent


10 days in America of serving their system. Any American would say you


do not need to follow our example and set up a Senate and put a


gridlock in Government. We could reform the Government now, get rid


of the criminals and the hereditary is, but sadly we are not seeing


that. Is this your attempt to get the Lib Dems to back legislation


for the boundary changes? No, I think the boundary changes is


something that needs to happen and is fair. I hope the Prime Minister


does bring them vote to the house. You think it is to the advantage of


the Conservative Party, but it is making the system fairer. Do we


want a democracy where people in the same size constituencies elect


MPs quizzed Denmark or do we want Labour to get fewer of votes and


form a Government? It is totally wrong. The 12 largest parliamentary


seats are Labour seats. The whole point of the Boundary Change, about


having more equal seats, was put into the purposes of the Boundary


Commission initially and we support their work. But you do not support


the legislation because you are worried about it giving an


advantage to the Conservatives? Every time you do every


organisation of the boundaries, you will benefit the Conservative Party.


The Conservatives always had a big belief in the link between the MP


and the constituency and it there had been more tolerant, you could


have delivered more equal size of boundaries, without the need for us


to break up communities. without the boundary changes the


task of the Conservative Party, the pollster has said, it will be


difficult for them to win the next election. This is just to create a


level playing-field. What do you say to that? Your spike was not


part of the deal, it was the ad The deal was the coalition


agreement, all of it, and the deal was broken by not delivering on


Lords reform, and this is a response which ensures you cannot


have a situation where one group of MPs decide which part of the


agreement will happen. Is it going to fracture the coalition? I think


we are going to move on, because there's more to it. A Tory MPs


going to draw a line under it? have got great respect for Duncan.


If he reads the coalition agreement, we have delivered on House of Lords


reform. I am talking about relations between the parties?


the nation cares about, and we will come to it in a second with Andrew


is the economy. As a coalition government, we need to deliver on


that, because that is what we will be judged on in 2015. So what is


this special ingredient for economic prosperity? George


Osborne's latest answer is �50 billion worth of infrastructure


guarantees, not spending, guarantees, more planning reforms,


and a review of airport capacity in the south-east of England.


Listening to Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems is a short-term wealth tax on


the filthy rich. And then Conservative backbenchers might


like the Chancellor to implement traditional Tory policies, bring


down public spending, cut taxes. Here is David Davis speaking in the


last few minutes. The economics, to understand should not be to excuse.


The circumstances should not be an excuse for inaction, they should be


a spur to dramatic action. Some will say that there are some who


believe that our comparative decline is inevitable. They think


that the growth of the great low- cost powers, China, India, Brazil,


the other emerging markets, make the West and competitive and make


Britain in particular uncompetitive. There -- and competitive. That we


face a future of poor growth, low prospects, that we cannot compete,


that this is the new normal. This is fatalistic nonsense. David


Davies, he is still speaking, so we are not sure what he is proposing,


but that was the beginning of his analysis. Nadhim Zahawi, if we look


at what George Osborne was talking about yesterday, he is talking


about billions of pounds worth of infrastructure guarantees from a


government that continues Labour cuts in infrastructure spending. He


is talking about more planning reform, you are already had to


reform the planning system, and you had to water down your reforms. A


review of airport capacity in the south-east, the transport


department had been conducting that review, but you said you would not


approve a third runway at Heathrow. So it is either a U-turn Orbit does


not add up to a row of beans. not agree with you. You will not be


surprised if I say that, because what was wrong with that was if you


look at where we are today, the private sector has created 900,000


jobs in the last two years. You are right to say we have not got the


growth we thought we would get, but we have had eurozone Armageddon, so


coupled with that we are not in a bad place. Up until last week, we


were borrowing a much higher rate than America. Last week we borrowed


at high -- lower rates than even America, so we must be doing


something right. It cannot all be bad news. You're also borrowing


more. We are, because growth has not come through, because there is


a lack of confidence, but I used to be in business, and businessmen and


women will be looking at the eurozone headlines and worrying


about investing. Their awarding about 750 billion at the moment. --


they are hoarding. That is exactly the point, because business is not


short of money. Business is sitting on billions of pounds. They do not


invest it because they do not trust your government, that is why.


Guarantees only go to businesses that need to borrow. Big business


does not need to borrow, it has money in the bank. The question you


have to ask is why his business not investing when it has got the cash,


and it must be something to do with your government? It is something to


do with the government, absolutely, but it is more to do with overall


confidence. If you were in business today, would you be putting money


into Europe as a whole, which we are part of, our manufacturing, the


bulk of it goes to Europe, would you be effectively making that


decision? That is the big part of it, but put that aside for a minute.


What can we do here to make that decision happen. Things like


learning from Germany, where you take away bureaucracy, where people


can hold one or two or three many jobs, and the employer pays a flat


rate, but the employer has the freedom, if their investment goes


wrong, they can go back to a smaller business. That is the sort


of thing you'll be hearing, I hope, from the Treasury. Really?! I have


not heard that! We have done a hell of a lot on red tape. Are you happy


with that? I'm afraid if right sizing is still a term used to


describe having fewer employees, we are not getting the answer right.


We want to increase employment. There has been nearly one million


more jobs in the private sector since this Government started, but


we need more measures to ensure that those businesses can grow and


that there is more activity to support employment, because it is


only with high levels of employment that we will have consumer


confidence. Your man Vince Cable does not like the regulation and


business. I do not think that is true. What has he the regulated?


For example, there was a proposal about the size of businesses that


had to have their accounts independently audited. That changed


in that department,... That will give us a boom! It has released


small businesses from red tape that they could have done without.


one major deregulation measure that might grow I will tell you. I am


asking him! I have just cited... Let's be honest, one major one,


changing that for small businesses is not going to make Britain a


tiger economy. I used to run a small business, and I could have


done without having to pay accountant's fees on annual


accounts. Labour's position is to have more stimulus, and in a sense


what Mr Osborne is announcing is a kind of moving on to your side of


the argument a bit. But what you can never tell us is how much more


stimulus. I think we have laid out very specifically different


strategies that would introduce growth, reversing the VAT increase,


putting more money in people's pockets, national insurance break


for small businesses to encourage them to employ. Remember, back in


2010 we had growth in the economy, we actually had the first time in


six is falling youth unemployment. We have seen a government coming in,


George Osborne dampened down to that growth, and now what we are


seeing is the Government constantly talking about growth but actually,


as you have alluded to, delivering very little. No matter how quickly


you get these infrastructure investments through, it will still


be a while, and it will be even longer as the money percolates


through the economy. If you cut VAT, you would immediately put �12


billion into the pockets of the British people to spend tomorrow,


why don't you do that? Because we have to be responsible. As I was


saying about the confidence of the markets, we must be able to borrow,


because we are borrowing an enormous amount of money. We have


to convince the markets that we are going to balance the books by 2017,


which is what the Chancellor is heading towards. You know you're


not going to do that. You are going to borrow more money this year than


last. Under Labour's plans, you had to borrow 201 billion more. Hold on


a minute, you are planning to borrow more than Alistair Darling


outlined before labour laws bar. You are going to borrow more


between now and 2017 than Mr Darling was in Beijing -- was


envisaging. The deficit is likely to be 14 billion higher this year


and up to 27 billion higher next year. What he is saying is that it


least if you do it in a way that puts money into people's pockets,


you might get some growth. There is a perfect example of this happening


in Denmark. They have had a new government that promise to do what


Labour wants to do in this country, which is an unprecedented amount of


more spending, which is what they criticised us for not doing, and


look at what has happened. Three quarters of negative growth in


Denmark... Like Britain? No, it is not the same thing, because we have


a debt crisis. You cannot borrow your way out of a debt crisis.


conference last year, Nick Clegg and Vince Cable promised, at the


conference, there would be extra infrastructure spending. That is


one year ago. What extra spending has there been? The green


investment bank has started work a year early. It has not started


lending any money! It has started making decisions about investment.


It has not started borrowing yet... He promised one year ago, you have


passed romance, give me one example. The decision to electrify the Great


Western Railway, that is investing in infrastructure. When does that


start? Well, the decision has been made, at such major projects need


planning. You have at road projects, it is not fair to say that nothing


has started. You can go to all parts of the country, you will see


projects happening on the ground. At the last Lib Dem Conference,


they promised an extra 5 billion over and above what was being


promised. I just wanted to ask what was new, that was all in the plans.


Let us know, we will put it up on the website.


We at the Daily Politics No 8 and Lackham when we see one, so it is


time for a Daily Politics special. -- No a bandwagon. As if our quiz


was not enough, we have commissioned some extra-special


Daily Politics mugs as prizes. We have gold, silver bronze logos. We


do not have buzzers, we are not rich enough for that, so you will


just have to put your hands up in a polite manner, and we will have to


do it fairly quickly. Question number one about summer holidays,


In terms of summer holidays... Miliband! Why? David Cameron and


Nick Clegg both went to Spain. good, one point. No. Two, in a


similar vein, which are these three No? Any clues? He was running the


country? Oh, Theresa May. William Hague was running the country.


is the opposite, Clegg is the odd one out, because both of them were


running the country. No points for that, I am afraid. Number three,


this famous picture that we saw earlier. Boris Johnson famously


became stuck uneasy acquire over the summer, but can you complete


his quote? -- stuck on a zip wire. It needs to go faster? Very good,


Duncan. Louise Mensch announced, in a surprise announcement, that she


was leaving Parliament to spend more time with her family, but how


many days has she been an MP? Let's see how quickly you can work close.


I will take the closest. 810. More than that. That was very close, 847.


The 5th on, this is the favourite They have all been photographed


doing the Mobot, except Prince Harry, who was photographed doing


something else! Any suggestions? The crown jewels! I have to say,


you have done very well, I might have to present you with the gold.


There we go. Silver. That is harsh! At least you still get a man. Do


not say we do not give you anything. Duncan Hames obviously very good at


the pub quiz! Right, that is it, it is good to be back, politics looks


very exciting this September. We thank our guests for being with us


today, and we have plenty more in the weeks ahead. Party conferences


coming up, the One O'Clock News is starting over on BBC One in just a


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