07/09/2012 Daily Politics


07/09/2012

Andrew Neil with the latest political news and debate, including attempts to resolve the Eurozone crisis and actor Vincent Franklin from political satire The Thick of It.


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Transcript


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. The news from

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across the Channel and sur le continent is the bazooka has

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finally been found. Maybe not a big bazooka, but a bazooka nevertheless.

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The European Central Bank has now fleshed out what it means by doing

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"whatever it takes" to save the euro. But has it really got the

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firepower to consign the eurocrisis to history? We'll hear from Our

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Woman in the City. Barack Obama has made his pitch for

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four more years in the White House. We'll be live at the Democratic

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Convention in North Carolina with reaction to the President's speech.

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As the dust settles, the wine bottles are binned and the tears

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dry after this week's reshuffle, we'll look at the departments and

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ministers to watch in the new Cabinet.

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And after scenes like this, you'd be forgiven for thinking that

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satire's dead. Not a bit of it. We're joined by one of the stars of

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the Thick Of It as the expletive- not-deleted political comedy turns

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its fire on the coalition All that in the next hour. With me

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for the duration, Gaby Hinsliff - once upon a time, she worked for

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the Observer but she's been given a new job over the summer holidays as

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political editor of one of my favourite magazines for

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intellectual insight, Grazia. So, congratulations, Gaby. I know you

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are a keen reader. I publish it in Dubai. And also with me Danny

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Finkelstein, he's a columnist for Times newspaper when he's not on

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manoeuvres for George Osborne. I'm not sure what he's doing here today

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and did which capacity, we will find out.

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Let's start with something that hasn't changed over the summer and

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will soon be longer running than The Mousetrap - the eurocrisis.

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Before Europe's leaders headed for the Med in late July, the boss of

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the ECB, Mario Draghi, vowed to do whatever it takes to save the euro.

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That kept the markets purring through August. Yesterday, with the

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pols back from their hols, the ECB said it would buy, in unlimited

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amounts, the government debt of troubled countries like Spain and

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Italy, as long as they ask for a bail-out and accepted the IMF-

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monitored conditions that came with it. So, a game-changer or just

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another can being kicked down the road? Earlier George Osborne, the

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Chancellor, very popular at the Olympics, gave the news a thumbs-up

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and even said it would help of folks here in Britain. It is a very

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welcome announcement from the European Central Bank and what we

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have been saying for two a year since we really want the

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institutions of the euro to get behind their currency -- two years.

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It is of huge interest to the people of Europe and the people of

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the United Kingdom because one of the things that has hit the British

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economy is the weakness of the euro. Now to find out how the financial

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markets have responded to this latest rescue attempt, we're joined

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by Louise Cooper of BGC Partners in Canary Wharf. Lilies, great to see

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you again. Indeed it is. What a surprise, we are going to talk

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about the euro. Am I right in thinking that in 2010-2011, the ECB

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already amassed over 200 billion euros in sovereign bonds from

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various troubled countries. That didn't seem to make any difference,

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why will this? It has got a different name. That was called the

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SNP and this is the o n t, so it must be a different beast. No, I

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have been sarcastic! Just to get it clear, my understanding is that

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even though the markets see it as a get out of jail card for a while,

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this does not include any help for Greece, Portugal or Ireland,

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because they themselves cannot access the bond markets. OK, what

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this does, the financial markets have loved it since he said the

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"Whatever it takes" speech, the bond markets and equity markets

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have flurried, admittedly on low volume, but it has gone down well

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and short-term borrowing costs for Spain and Italy, one, too, three-

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year borrowing costs, have halved, they have fallen dramatically. It

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sounds like Mario Draghi has come up with at least a step. However,

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if you look at long-term borrowing tests -- borrowing costs for Spain

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and Italy, they are at a high level. It helps in the near term but there

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is still an awful lot that needs to be done. My understanding is that

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Greece, Portugal and Ireland are excluded and even Spain and Italy

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can only expect the ECB to come in and buy their bombs, it will be on

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the secondary market, not directly -- bombs. It is only if they

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formally ask for a bail-out and accept conditions that it will be

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monitored by the IMF. Mario Draghi and the ECB learned their lesson

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from Italy a year ago, when the ECB came in and bought Italian bonds on

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the promise from Silvio Berlusconi that he would sort out Italy's

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budget deficit. Well, he didn't, he got kicked out of office by Angela

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Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy and the ECB has learned its lesson. It will

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only come into ridges country's -- a country's borrowing costs by

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buying the short amount of their debt if those countries accept

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essentially direction, fiscal direction and fiscal control, from

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outside. The conditionality, as he calls it, is an absolute heart

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limit for the ECB now. They have stated they have learned their

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lesson. If you want the help of the ECB, you have to give up your

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sovereignty of controlling your own finances, and that is very much on

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the cards, and unfortunately, Spanish Prime Minister is not keen

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on that, because it tends to be political suicide if you call in

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the bail-out fund and say you cannot control your finances.

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head of the Bundesbank who sits on the ECB council seems to be in a

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minority of one but he says it looks too much like state financing

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via the money presses. Yes, the Bundesbank is not happy about this.

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The hard currency Germans are very unhappy, they don't see it as the

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ECB sees it, as helping Baba pot they call it Monetary Policy

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Commission, so if the ECB sets low interest rates then interest rates

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should be low. The Bundesbank doesn't see it like that, they see

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it as minor ties in government debt. We have already seen two Bundesbank

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head to leave the ECB, it could well be we get a third. What is

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interesting is that the ECB, under Mario Draghi, is almost sticking

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two fingers up at the Bundesbank saying we have pandered to you,

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done everything, but now we are in fundamental disagreement. The

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European Central Bank is not going to be modelled on the Bundesbank of

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old. We think the ECB should be modelled more like the Federal

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Reserve in the States, that has indulged in massive amounts of

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money printing and done all kind of things to backstop America's

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banking industry. So this is a significant change, this is the

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move from a band has backed European Central Bank to a Federal

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Reserve European Central Bank. -- A Bundesbank. This is a significant

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move that this is not the ECB of the past based on Germany. Stick

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with us, I will bring their guests in. E7, why do I feel this is not

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the end of the story -- Danny? Because they have borrowed too much

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and this is an attempt to escape the consequences of it. It can't be

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a long-term solution. If one country is going to stand for

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another country's borrowing, that country will demand political

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control of the first country. That political control will not be

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seeded until they see the problem of the euro that they created is

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that it required a political union that they don't want to rush into

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being, they cannot solve the problem. Until individual countries

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accept they have to get their borrowing down, they cannot solve

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the problem. The financial markets are happy, we are right to be

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pleased because it beats we don't have the immediate crisis in Europe

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that has been holding us back to some extent, but it is not a long-

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term solution. Gaby, from what lilies was saying, if -- lilies was

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saying, the smaller countries are excluded because they cannot go to

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the bond market, the once this is gear for his Spain and Italy, but

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for Madrid and Rome, they will have to ask for a bail-out, that is huge.

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It is a huge loss of face and in political terms, what is the point

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of being a politician if you are giving away your day-to-day control

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for someone else but this is not a new problem. IMF bail-outs carried

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the exact same combination of carrot and stick and it is

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unreasonable to expect Germany to stand behind the rest of Europe

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without any control over what records countries might do. Just to

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finish up, I think most people can see this is not a game the Changer,

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it is maybe just kicking the can down the road -- a game changed.

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While the markets have liked it so far, when they have seen the small

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print and realise the hurdles that Rome and Madrid, the political

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hurdles to trigger this bond bind, will the markets correct

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themselves? It is all dependent on what the Spanish Prime Minister

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does. If he continues to ignore the problem in Spain and does not ask

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for help early, then things could get a beer. If he asks for help

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early, which is politically very difficult -- things could get ugly,

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if he does as they help early, which is politically difficult, the

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contagion may not spread. We need to see Spain sorted out so we don't

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worry about Italy. I fear because of the political situation at home,

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the Spanish Prime Minister is going to wait until he is forced to ask

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for help and ask for a bail-out, and that is when it gets horrid.

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Thank you for that, don't go far away, because we will be back at

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some stage in the weeks ahead. It has been eventful week in

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Westminster, I have been told, with David Cameron's first and may be

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only major Cabinet reshuffle, but what do the changes in personnel

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mean for the direction of the Government and the development of

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the policy in the months ahead? The Health and international

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development bar -- department is now in the hands of Jeremy Hunt and

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Justine Greening respectively and both of them have ring-fenced

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budget. In fact the international budget is rising. But with

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borrowing so high, could these budgets start to St -- shrink with

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new Ministers in place? The Times has questioned whether the new

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International Development Secretary wanted the job in the first place

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and then questioned why the budget was so big and why it was rising.

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She did that on the day of the reshuffle. Cutting aid would

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certainly make her popular with Tory backbenchers. Other changes at

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the Ministry of Justice, now being run by Chris Grayling, who performs

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Ken Clarke and is likely to take a tougher line in many areas

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including human rights and baby injecting new life into plans for a

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UK Bill of Rights. The Lib Dems will have something to say about

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that. Many Tories want a Bill of Rights, a British one, to replace

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the Labour's Human Rights Act. They may also be interesting times at

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the education department, with David Laws their operating as Nick

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Clegg's eyes and ears in that department. It could be an

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uncomfortable prospect for the Education Secretary Michael Gove.

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Indeed, we are told he wasn't happy about it. Danny, give us your

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overview. Everybody always tries to look at reshuffles as a move to the

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left or right, but... We didn't mention that. I did notice that,

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but Choi analysis was correct, you have to look at it department by

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department to see what the impact will be. I think the most

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significant, one publicly mentioned and less so, the move to the

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Justice Department. The Prime Minister has been able to make a

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speech on justice -- has not been able to make a speech on crime and

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justice for two-and-a-half years, and he had to make a change there,

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and the other one is in the week's office, he has a clear problem

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managing the Conservative Party and moving Andrew Mitchell from

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international development, where he was doing what the Prime Minister

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wanted but in a less important strategic area, to the whips office,

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might give him a better chance of managing the party if Andrew

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Mitchell get that right. When I looked at this, Gaby, it wasn't a

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government reshuffle, it was a Tory reshuffle. Not the Government. And

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it seemed to me that in a number of areas, in the environment and

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perhaps even in international aid, Heathrow, this was Mr Cameron now

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getting rid of all of the baggage with which she came to power.

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the baggage that he himself put their in many ways. We are told it

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is a reshuffle for delivery, putting people in charge who can

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push things through and there are two problems with that. They have

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been some great new junior Ministers but in but in some

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departments, health, there has been quite a change and massive teams

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that will take speed to get up -- time to get up to speed. And you

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have to watch the Out Door as well as the indoor. The appointments

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have been well managed, the exit have been messy to say the least.

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We have heard too much of people arguing with the Prime Minister for

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comfort and also some people I suspect will not go quietly. It has

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been quite remarkable and it may speak volumes for Mr Cameron's

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stature amongst Tory backbenchers. We are told Caroline Spelman argued

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with him when she was going to be fired, the brothers to as having a

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glass of wine to calm his nerves. Baroness Warsi goes up in a huff to

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Yorkshire and speaks to there, others were supposed to be in tears,

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although that has been denied, and a number of people when he said he

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wanted them to move, argued with him and Iain Duncan Smith said he

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was not moving and others said they did not want to move. Could you

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imagine that happening under It happens a lot when you move

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people and you sack them, people get very upset. I don't know

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whether this is par for the course. Tony Blair had several problems

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with his cabinet reshuffles. People refusing to move. I don't remember

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crying. It's not his fault, though. Don't you think it's strange?

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not terribly authorityive. The weird thing is people half hanging

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on, sort of attending cabinet and not really. The table looks like a

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family Christmas lunch with all the spare chairs from the loft and

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random people are hanging around. Far too many people for the food.

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The Conservatives and even the liberals are meant to believe in

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limited Government and that smaller Government is better Government,

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that's their general approach. Why have we 32 people around the

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cabinet table? I think actually the size of the cabinet and cabinet

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meetings isn't tremendously important because that's cabinet -

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it operates as a load of committees. The meeting of the cabinet was 25

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and I attended several meetings of 25 people around the table.

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symbolism isn't great. I am not sure that's quite the same point.

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There may be other questions about whether the Government is limited.

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I do happen to think it probably would have made sense to decide

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some people were just out. But we have also just discussed the fact

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you create political problems for yourself. Other people may be, and

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I understand the symbolism, I am not overworried about large cabinet

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meetings. I don't think it impedes Government very much. After his

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stellar handling of BSkyB Mr Hunt goes to health. Will he be rumbled

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at health. It's a good indication that at the end the Prime Minister

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didn't think that was as politically damaging as he thought

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it was at the time. In other words, that he realised that there was a

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lot of media interest in this but less public interest. So he felt he

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could keep Jeremy Hunt and even promote him. I think Jeremy Hunt is

:17:49.:17:54.

a subtle and capable person and I think he will - I think he is one

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of their better Ministers and I think the reason he's moved him to

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health is because he thinks he would be good with professional

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groups and that's where Andrew Lansley didn't work because

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ultimately he produced reforms but couldn't take professional groups

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with. Jeremy Hunt might be able to achieve success there. That's the

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reason why he's moved him. Naturally speaking, people will

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take a different view about BSkyB than me. That's why they'll take a

:18:23.:18:31.

different view of him. Now that we have judges calling burglars

:18:31.:18:34.

courageous, the Tory grass roots and back benches are going to be

:18:34.:18:37.

expecting Mr Grayling to do something about things like that,

:18:37.:18:41.

aren't they? I think he will get a very different tone from Chris

:18:41.:18:45.

Grayling. You will get more tough talk. You will get more combative

:18:45.:18:48.

approach to Europe particularly over human rights issue. People who

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expect him to be a hang them and flog them Justice Secretary aren't

:18:53.:18:57.

possibly going to be disappointed. He is against ID cards, database.

:18:57.:19:03.

He is not easily caricatured. Completely right, because the right

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of the Conservative Party moved a lot on civil liberties issues,

:19:08.:19:11.

partly under David Davis influence over a long period and that means

:19:11.:19:15.

they're not this traditional right- wing. Where he will move the party

:19:15.:19:19.

in terms of preparing to do something on a Bill of Rights and

:19:19.:19:22.

the European convention which is necessary. There's nothing he can

:19:22.:19:25.

do about this, this side of the election. It's a manifesto issue.

:19:25.:19:28.

You can't have a situation in which the Prime Minister can't speak on

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the issue because his Justice Secretary is out of sync with his

:19:36.:19:38.

Home Secretary. It's fascinating what's happened in stage two of the

:19:38.:19:47.

coalition. You have a Mr Hancock and Mr Fallon put in as minders to

:19:47.:19:51.

Vince Cable, and Mr Laws kind of put in as a minder to Mr Gove in

:19:51.:19:55.

education for the Lib Dems. There's a certain degree of what used to be

:19:55.:19:57.

called creative tension there, it has to be said. Whether that's

:19:58.:20:02.

going to make those departments hard tore move because people will

:20:02.:20:06.

be suspicious, clearly the feeling with Laws it's less a feeling that

:20:06.:20:09.

Michael Gove is being watched, more a feeling he has someone who was in

:20:09.:20:13.

cabinet as a Junior Minister and he is not going to be easily rolled

:20:13.:20:23.
:20:23.:20:24.

over David laws, in a way Sarah Teather perhaps was. He is now

:20:24.:20:29.

apparently texting mate of Ed Miliband. What do we make of that.

:20:29.:20:32.

The Liberal Democrats are going to leave their options open to have a

:20:32.:20:35.

relationship with Labour after the next election. The Conservative

:20:35.:20:38.

Party has to understand that. It has to understand what that means

:20:38.:20:42.

in political terms, that it has to produce a stronger relationship

:20:42.:20:45.

with the Liberal Democrats and it has to broaden itself otherwise

:20:45.:20:48.

that's what will happen to it. It's got a warning there. Vince Cable is

:20:48.:20:51.

within his rights to do that. Because of course the Liberal

:20:51.:20:55.

Democrats and the the Conservatives don't agree with each other,

:20:55.:20:57.

they're two vastly different parties. It's remarkable it's

:20:57.:21:01.

happened so well. It's odd moving David Laws there. Michael Gove is

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one of the most pro-coalition, oddly enough, of all the Members of

:21:06.:21:09.

Parliament and I have seen him and David laws together and they have a

:21:09.:21:14.

good relationship. I think it's a bit of a waste of David Laws really

:21:14.:21:18.

putting him there. I am surprised... He is actually probably in favour

:21:18.:21:22.

of free schools, as well. I am surprised they didn't put him in

:21:22.:21:26.

justice. OK, that was our reshuffle. Let's move to the other side of the

:21:26.:21:29.

Atlantic. It was the speech that wowed Democrats at their Convention

:21:29.:21:32.

in North Carolina and made the most powerful case yet for the

:21:33.:21:34.

President's re-election. But enough of Bill Clinton's barn-storming

:21:34.:21:37.

oration on Wednesday, last night the current President accepted his

:21:37.:21:40.

party's nomination with a speech that didn't scale the heights of

:21:40.:21:47.

2008, but offered a more sober message to voters. Let's listen to

:21:47.:21:52.

what he had to say. When you pick up that ballot to vote, you will

:21:52.:22:00.

face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. Over the next

:22:00.:22:04.

few years big decisions will be made in Washington on jobs, the

:22:04.:22:12.

economy, taxes and deficits, energy, education, war and peace. Decisions

:22:12.:22:18.

that will have a huge impact on our lives and on our children's lives

:22:18.:22:22.

for decades to come. I never said this journey would be easy and I

:22:23.:22:28.

won't promise that now. Yes, our path is harder, but at t leads to a

:22:28.:22:33.

better place. Yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together.

:22:33.:22:40.

We don't turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up, we

:22:40.:22:43.

draw strength from our victories and we learn from our mistakes. But

:22:43.:22:49.

we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing the

:22:49.:22:53.

providedance is with us and that we are surely blessed to be citizens

:22:53.:23:00.

of the greatest nation on earth. Thank you. God bless you, and God

:23:00.:23:06.

bless these United States. President Obama being crowned as

:23:06.:23:10.

his party's natural nominee for the presidential election on November

:23:10.:23:15.

6th. He is clearly one of the world's great orators. You saw some

:23:15.:23:22.

of that magic there. But it doesn't quite get the heart

:23:22.:23:25.

strings going, the way it did four years ago. Four years in power

:23:25.:23:29.

changes your view. You are relying on hope all the time when you are

:23:29.:23:32.

Obama. Look, the people have said the speech was a bit flat. I just

:23:32.:23:39.

wish I could make speeches as flat as that. You know, if - I have

:23:39.:23:44.

worked a lot on speeches and people can't do - the end of speeches very

:23:44.:23:48.

well, he really nailed that. It was amazing. Let's first of all, a lot

:23:48.:23:53.

of this is in our perceptions. Obama is still an amazing performer.

:23:53.:23:56.

He has to cope with the reality of a very difficult situation. He is

:23:56.:23:59.

in the same situation the Government is in here, he doesn't

:23:59.:24:05.

have any money to play with. He has an extremely difficult message to

:24:05.:24:08.

convey. America's also a long-term problem, can it maintain its place

:24:08.:24:12.

in the world? It's not surprising people find there is a gap between

:24:13.:24:18.

what they had hoped for and what America is able to deliver and he

:24:18.:24:21.

suffered -- he suffers from that. I still think he is in a commanding

:24:21.:24:24.

position. Favourite to win? remember in the last general

:24:24.:24:28.

election the Conservatives were saying to me if we - to get a

:24:28.:24:31.

majority everything has to go right. We have to win in all the different

:24:31.:24:37.

battle ground ground constituencies. The same is now true of Mitt Romney.

:24:37.:24:41.

Yes, he could win, but if you look at how he might go over the margin

:24:41.:24:44.

in an electoral college system which is based on winning each

:24:44.:24:49.

state, he has to win a marginal states to get past and to win them

:24:49.:24:53.

all in order to win. I think that's unlikely to happen T might, he is

:24:53.:24:56.

definitely in a position to win but I think he is very much the

:24:56.:25:02.

underdog, Mitt Romney. Always when American elections come around in

:25:02.:25:07.

the primary season and election in the the States, we are looking for

:25:07.:25:11.

lessons in Britain, what things we would take and wouldn't take. I am

:25:11.:25:19.

beginning to wonder if American politics are not so different now.

:25:19.:25:25.

We have always overemphasised it. We are different electorates and

:25:25.:25:29.

tend to assume there must be lessons for the Democrats for

:25:29.:25:36.

Labour. The lesson is from combatant to incumbent. There is a

:25:36.:25:40.

message for Cameron, if you hit 2015, not having achieved what you

:25:40.:25:44.

said you were going to, you haven't dealt with the deficit, you are not

:25:44.:25:47.

back to recovery you need a better message than bear with me. If there

:25:47.:25:51.

is a lesson here for Labour, it would be that was a speech very

:25:51.:25:56.

rich on values but you can't eat a value. It's possible that if

:25:56.:25:59.

Americans what are really looking for is a President that creates

:25:59.:26:02.

jobs, there was little in that speech about how it would happen

:26:02.:26:06.

and more in the Mitt Romney speech about how that would happen.

:26:06.:26:09.

Today's Republican party is different from today's British

:26:09.:26:12.

Conservative Party that I suspect a lot of of Conservatives aren't too

:26:12.:26:15.

bothered whether it's a Democrat in the White House or a Republican now,

:26:15.:26:20.

is that true? I think it is true. Some people are. It would cause

:26:20.:26:23.

quite a lot of trouble for the Conservative Party if Mitt Romney

:26:23.:26:28.

were to win, because it - having a Republican foreign policy and

:26:28.:26:33.

Republican economic policy would really destablise the coalition. I

:26:33.:26:36.

suspect it's a headache they could do without. I don't think this

:26:36.:26:41.

Government is going to get itself involved but in previous years

:26:41.:26:43.

Conservative administrations have wanted the Republican candidate to

:26:44.:26:46.

win, thought it would be easier to forge a relationship, I bet it

:26:46.:26:51.

isn't true now. Interesting. They won't be going across to campaign?

:26:51.:26:57.

You know, apart from anything else, President Obama is as Bill Clinton

:26:57.:27:07.
:27:07.:27:11.

was, nuralic about a British British contribution. Continuity.

:27:11.:27:17.

You got that in 2008. There was more enthusiasm for Obama then.

:27:17.:27:20.

shall see, we have to November 6th to find out. The campaign is

:27:20.:27:22.

getting under way across the Atlantic. I am going across today

:27:23.:27:32.
:27:33.:27:34.

to see how it's going. We will report back. Now, these are

:27:34.:27:38.

exciting times for the Greens. Not only did they elect their new

:27:38.:27:41.

leader earlier this week but they also start their party conference

:27:41.:27:44.

today with speeches from Natalie Bennett - she's the new leader in

:27:44.:27:46.

question - and her predecessor Caroline Lucas. It's two leaders

:27:46.:27:50.

for the price of one! As you can imagine, the excitement is at fever

:27:50.:27:52.

pitch down in Bristol and our political correspondent Chris Mason

:27:52.:27:56.

joins us from there now. Over to you, Chris.

:27:56.:28:00.

Yes, hello, Andrew, from a sun- drenched Bristol. It's a different

:28:00.:28:04.

feel a Green Party conference, this is the Green Party of England and

:28:04.:28:07.

Wales meeting here for the next couple of days. There aren't the

:28:07.:28:11.

big security men wearing that trademark severe expression. There

:28:11.:28:15.

isn't the airport-style security. Instead, activists going around

:28:15.:28:20.

with posters and bits of blue tack and shoving them up on the wall and

:28:20.:28:22.

welcoming you in. I was even sitting in a room earlier trying to

:28:22.:28:26.

get a signal on my computer right next to the Green Party leader, the

:28:26.:28:30.

new leader, putting finishing touches to her speech. I don't

:28:30.:28:32.

think we will get that access in a couple of weeks when the

:28:32.:28:34.

Conservatives and Labour and Liberal Democrats get together.

:28:34.:28:39.

Let's have a chat with Darren Johnson, veteran Green I think we

:28:39.:28:43.

can call him. Thank you for your time, Darren. What's the big pitch

:28:43.:28:49.

here? I get the sense we have seen the Tkpwroepb posters -- Green

:28:49.:28:52.

posters and reference to the party but the tone seems to be about more

:28:52.:28:55.

than just Green things? It is absolutely more than just the

:28:55.:28:58.

environmental agenda and we really are on the up as a party,

:28:59.:29:03.

particularly since Caroline Lucas made her massive breakthrough

:29:03.:29:09.

parliament and and in the London elections we came in third, ahead

:29:09.:29:13.

of the Liberal Democrats. We really are making that move now into the

:29:13.:29:16.

mainstream. It is obviously more about the environment. We have

:29:16.:29:22.

clear policies on creating a fairer Britain, we are looking at motions

:29:22.:29:26.

this weekend on tackling long hours culture that we have in the

:29:26.:29:30.

workplace, those things. A real concentration on a fairer, as well

:29:30.:29:36.

as Greener Britain. You say you are progress but still the UK

:29:36.:29:40.

Independence Party have Minister MEPs and around Europe your sister

:29:40.:29:43.

parties, not just in Europe but broadly around the world, do better.

:29:43.:29:46.

Where are you getting it wrong? found is when elections are held

:29:46.:29:49.

under proportion al representation we are getting the same sort of

:29:49.:29:53.

results as they do get in European parties. It has been more difficult

:29:54.:29:57.

under first-past-the-post but we have made that breakthrough now.

:29:57.:29:59.

Caroline Lucas getting elected to parliament was a massive

:29:59.:30:02.

achievement and we do obviously want to see more Green MPs joining

:30:02.:30:07.

her but we are also seeing more Green counsellors getting elected

:30:07.:30:10.

in chambers, making a difference in their local communities. A quick

:30:10.:30:15.

thought about the leadership. Your party for years and years had

:30:15.:30:19.

principle speakers, no single solo leader, lots of speakers. You

:30:19.:30:23.

stkeufped -- ditched that model because you felt you had to have a

:30:23.:30:27.

figurehead and now you have your most prominent Green in Westminster

:30:27.:30:37.

and a separate leader, is that a I think it is a good idea to spread

:30:37.:30:42.

the word -- workload out. Caroline has issued responsibility as the

:30:42.:30:46.

Green voice in Parliament and as a constituency MP in Brighton, so it

:30:46.:30:50.

was right to bring new faces in and I think it is fantastic we will

:30:50.:30:54.

have not only Caroline but Natalie as party leader, here I am sure

:30:54.:30:58.

will be putting a very strong message across about a greener and

:30:58.:31:04.

fairer future. Darren Johnson, a member of the London assembly for

:31:04.:31:08.

the Green Party. We will get, as you say, two leader speeches for

:31:08.:31:12.

the price of one. Caroline Lucas first and then Natalie Bennett a

:31:12.:31:17.

little after that. Live coverage on the BBC News Channel. As with any

:31:17.:31:21.

party conference, a diverse array of fringe events. We have spotted

:31:21.:31:26.

something tomorrow night, Dragon sexing for beginners, 8pm in Room

:31:26.:31:30.

15 if you are free. I am free, but you be careful, the

:31:30.:31:34.

sun is shining and it will go to your head.

:31:34.:31:37.

So, the Greens have got the conference season going and the TUC

:31:37.:31:41.

are next up with their get-together over the weekend. One of the items

:31:41.:31:44.

up for discussion will be the time trade union reps spend on union

:31:44.:31:47.

business while working in the public sector. Today sees the close

:31:47.:31:52.

of the Cabinet Office's consultation on the practice. This

:31:52.:31:55.

is what's at stake. Union representatives in the civil

:31:55.:31:58.

service are currently allowed paid time off work, known as facility

:31:58.:32:01.

time, to conduct union business. The Government announced a

:32:01.:32:03.

consultation into the practice last November, as the Cabinet office

:32:03.:32:11.

claim it currently costs the taxpayer around �36 million a year.

:32:11.:32:13.

Their figures show there are almost 7,000 trade union representatives

:32:13.:32:16.

working across the Civil Service taking paid time off to work on

:32:16.:32:23.

union activities. And they say approximately 250 of them spend

:32:23.:32:27.

100% of their working week on union business. When he launched the

:32:28.:32:30.

consultation, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude,

:32:30.:32:40.
:32:40.:32:45.

But the TUC disagree and say no consideration is being taken into

:32:45.:32:48.

what benefits might be gained by the taxpayer and wider public from

:32:48.:32:58.
:32:58.:32:58.

supporting the work of trade union representatives. Well, we're joined

:32:58.:33:01.

now by Paul Novak, head of operations and services at the TUC,

:33:01.:33:03.

and by Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the Taxpayers'

:33:03.:33:10.

Alliance, who have been campaigning on this issue.

:33:10.:33:14.

Campaigning to get rid of these full-time representatives. Paul, in

:33:14.:33:20.

these tough times, can we really afford to have 6,800 trade union

:33:20.:33:25.

representatives at a cost of 30 odd million pounds.? I would argue that

:33:25.:33:33.

in these tough times, we can't afford to be without it., in the

:33:33.:33:36.

Civil Service and across the public sector. It is important to note

:33:36.:33:46.
:33:46.:33:47.

that this facility time timings are not exclusive. Bizarre arrangements

:33:47.:33:52.

that benefit staff, they benefit employers, -- these are. They help

:33:52.:33:56.

work places run more smoothly and help improve productivity and

:33:56.:34:00.

reduce absenteeism. How many trade union representatives get

:34:00.:34:03.

substantial facility time in the private sector? It really depends

:34:03.:34:10.

on the private sector employer. you go into a larger automotive

:34:10.:34:13.

plant, a large distribution centre or a large unionised call centre,

:34:13.:34:16.

you will often find full-time trade union representatives, there will

:34:16.:34:21.

be thousands across the country is. And whether they are working full-

:34:21.:34:26.

time or as part of their normal duties, it is a valuable service to

:34:26.:34:28.

support those they work alongside and it is all done by voluntary

:34:28.:34:33.

agreements between Pires, public or private sector, and unions and the

:34:33.:34:38.

people they represent -- between employers. So it is part of the

:34:38.:34:44.

modern relations than the private sector? Not really. Facility time

:34:44.:34:48.

is massively concentrated in the public sector and there is a legal

:34:48.:34:52.

right to some facility time, reasonable paid time for very

:34:52.:34:57.

specific duties, and unpaid time for a wider range of activities,

:34:57.:34:59.

but when you have staff working full-time, there is no judgment

:34:59.:35:04.

being made over the extent to which the tasks they are doing of

:35:04.:35:08.

reasonable, or to fit within the kind of duties where they should be

:35:08.:35:14.

taking paid time, and that is particularly the case when, as many

:35:14.:35:19.

public sector employers have told us in response to how much time

:35:19.:35:22.

they are allocating, they do not even know how much time has been

:35:22.:35:26.

given. It is public sector employers increasingly who do not

:35:26.:35:31.

pick up the Bill, it is the taxpayer, and they are giving away

:35:31.:35:35.

time to trade unions so that they have a massive activist based paid

:35:35.:35:40.

for by the taxpayer, who has to pick up the Bill if the activist

:35:40.:35:44.

base succeed. That is not the case, around a quarter of our

:35:44.:35:47.

representatives in the public sector gets no time off paid at all

:35:48.:35:52.

and carry out duties inerrant time. The TaxPayers' Alliance only ever

:35:52.:35:55.

focuses on the cost of facility time, they never talk about the

:35:55.:36:01.

benefits. We estimate for every �1 per taxpayer spends on facility

:36:01.:36:06.

time, it generates a. -- positive return of between �3.90 pounds.

:36:06.:36:11.

is saying we are quids in. Look at the private sector, far more

:36:11.:36:19.

facility time, there are more strikes, better pay and better

:36:19.:36:22.

pensions and the public sector, yet those workers are striking as much

:36:22.:36:27.

as nine times as much per worker, so how are they building better

:36:27.:36:31.

working... If more union staff were the answer to the public sector are

:36:31.:36:37.

being a glorious Wonderland, but This is a politically driven

:36:37.:36:45.

analysis. If it is the reality. is not rooted in the reality of

:36:45.:36:49.

what happens in public and private sector workplaces. Three years ago,

:36:49.:36:52.

the CBI have represented large employers up and down the country

:36:52.:36:56.

and signed a joint statement with the TUC and the then Business

:36:56.:37:00.

Secretary extolling the positive role that union representatives

:37:00.:37:04.

made to work places up and down the country. If the TaxPayers' Alliance

:37:04.:37:08.

spent some time in work players -- workplace is talking to employers

:37:08.:37:12.

and people who make decisions about facility time, we have would have a

:37:12.:37:16.

different answer. This is partly why the Tax Payers Alliance

:37:16.:37:20.

campaign... Why do you want to happen? We think the unions should

:37:20.:37:24.

pay for their own access. Time off when they needed but when they are

:37:24.:37:28.

working for the union, they'd be paid by the union but we think at

:37:28.:37:34.

least the existing rules should be properly enforced so a union has to

:37:34.:37:37.

request time off and if it is for the right kind of duty, they get

:37:37.:37:41.

the time off they should get, as opposed to this cosy Willis injured

:37:41.:37:45.

when employers give us for -- give them full time or don't even

:37:45.:37:49.

monitor it at all. That will be more burdensome and bureaucratic

:37:49.:37:52.

and time-consuming for public sector employers and employees

:37:52.:37:56.

alike. At the end of the day, I stress these are voluntary

:37:56.:38:01.

agreements that benefits not just union members. I can understand

:38:01.:38:04.

that when the private sector doesn't agree, it must clearly

:38:04.:38:11.

think it's too its advantage, but there will be a suspicion that in

:38:11.:38:15.

the public sector, those on the employees' side have no great

:38:15.:38:22.

incentive but to say yes, if you want time off a... A lot of people

:38:22.:38:27.

think it is a way of subsidising the unions. You have claimed on BT

:38:27.:38:33.

use it -- or the TUC has claimed that the economy gets back between

:38:33.:38:43.
:38:43.:38:45.

�3.90 pounds that every �1 is spent -- �3 and �9. This was based on a

:38:45.:38:49.

study by the Department of Business for five years ago. Another big

:38:49.:38:53.

differences the reduced rate of employment tribunals. Unionised

:38:53.:38:58.

workplaces have half of the applications to imply that

:38:58.:39:03.

tribunals and -- employment tribunals, which are costly and

:39:03.:39:08.

time-consuming and if the employee has a good relationship with the

:39:08.:39:11.

employer, there is less likelihood that will happen and real savings

:39:11.:39:15.

to be had. It is important to listen to employers rather than

:39:15.:39:19.

people driven by politics. It is slightly different when the

:39:19.:39:22.

employer is the Government or the Civil Service. Where are you on

:39:22.:39:28.

this? It cannot be right with those statistics, otherwise everyone

:39:28.:39:34.

would go into it and make a fortune. If all 6 million workers were on

:39:34.:39:38.

full-time duties, you would have an argument, but it is they have

:39:38.:39:40.

relatively small amount of people and the cost of facility time works

:39:40.:39:46.

out as 25p per public sector worker per week. There was a moment when

:39:46.:39:50.

people are -- advocated closed shops and sounded as lucid as Judea

:39:50.:39:54.

and said it was a great benefit and now we all look back and think, did

:39:54.:39:59.

we really agree on that? This is the same issue, just to find the

:39:59.:40:01.

facts that Unison gives money to the Labour Party while taxpayers

:40:01.:40:04.

are paying for the Unison representative in the workplace is

:40:04.:40:08.

just ridiculous, and you will not win that argument. This is not

:40:08.:40:18.

about money, �36 million is peanuts A do you think that unions perform

:40:18.:40:23.

a useful function when they are not just a form in the employer of the

:40:23.:40:27.

-- in the side of the employer? Which side of the debate you come

:40:27.:40:32.

down on explains which side of this you stand on. The it is pretty

:40:32.:40:36.

clear which side the TaxPayers' Alliance are run. Let me ask you

:40:37.:40:40.

this. Do you think the Government is set to get you. You don't like

:40:40.:40:44.

this government, you have been going on strike against this

:40:44.:40:48.

government, and the unions have bankrolled the Labour Party, so is

:40:48.:40:52.

this a form of coalition or Conservative government revenge?

:40:52.:40:56.

There is a real danger that the consultation you refer to an ear

:40:56.:41:02.

was strained red meat to Tory backbenchers and is not rooted in

:41:02.:41:06.

reality -- throwing red meat. Of all of the economic problems this

:41:06.:41:11.

country faces and public finances, trade union facilities are not...

:41:11.:41:16.

If you have got ideology and the problem is... That people work for

:41:16.:41:19.

a fair deal. I don't want to pay for them, even if it is a small

:41:20.:41:24.

amount of money. I'd you expect in the Government, now it has this

:41:24.:41:28.

report, because you have been instrumental in putting this on the

:41:28.:41:31.

agenda, are you going to do something about this? They will do

:41:31.:41:34.

something, the question is whether they will do enough. That is always

:41:34.:41:39.

the question for. Who has been the biggest winner

:41:39.:41:46.

this Olympic summer? Usain? Mo? Jess? Well, what about Boris? The

:41:46.:41:49.

Mayor of London's profile has scaled new heights - literally -

:41:49.:41:52.

while we've been away and he's making the most of it, clashing

:41:52.:41:55.

with David Cameron on all sorts of things, from school playing fields

:41:55.:41:58.

to the third runway at Heathrow. But do voters see him as Prime

:41:58.:42:01.

Ministerial material? Adam has been to find out with the Daily Politics

:42:01.:42:06.

mood box. Can people see this guy ever

:42:06.:42:11.

becoming Prime Minister? We have brought the mood box and the balls

:42:11.:42:15.

to north London, where Boris Johnson lives, to find out. First

:42:15.:42:18.

of all, here is a reminder of what the Mayor of London has been up to

:42:18.:42:24.

this summer. In the uncertainty, rule out the

:42:24.:42:28.

third runway. We want to politicians Olympics.

:42:28.:42:33.

Released the wings. Into position. -- release the rings. I think he's

:42:33.:42:38.

a friendly man and a good I can't, so will I put that into yes? That

:42:38.:42:44.

will be a yes. And he has fallen over. He has got that sort of

:42:44.:42:50.

persona of a comedian rather than somebody to be taken seriously.

:42:50.:42:55.

would remind me too much of the George W Bush days, really, of a

:42:55.:43:02.

puppet been in charge. He has the brains, he is wildly popular, but

:43:02.:43:07.

that sort of popularity can very easily go like that. He it is like

:43:07.:43:15.

a young Boris Johnson and the current Boris Johnson.

:43:15.:43:20.

He is a toff. A we have got a top as a Prime Minister. A but he is

:43:20.:43:26.

more of a toff. Boris floods cycling, let's ask some cyclists?

:43:26.:43:31.

Boris Johnson for Prime Minister? think the bikes is excellent and

:43:31.:43:35.

wanting to encourage young people to get out and about, do more

:43:35.:43:40.

sports, encourage schools not to sell off their land. I saw him

:43:40.:43:46.

jogging along the canal. What sort of sign is that? He is not built

:43:46.:43:52.

for jogging, is he? A I think he would be a wicket Prime Minister. -

:43:52.:43:57.

- wicked Prime Minister. Boris, your neighbours in north London has

:43:57.:44:01.

spoken and it is pretty close, but a small majority cannot see you

:44:01.:44:04.

going into Number Ten Downing Street as Prime Minister. That is

:44:04.:44:14.
:44:14.:44:17.

the verdict of the mood box, are as we like to call it the arca

:44:17.:44:18.

cintentia. Actually, Adam's Latin teacher has

:44:18.:44:24.

been on the phone to say he got that wrong. In Ancient Rome people

:44:24.:44:30.

used an "urna" to vote, not an "arca". So he should have said

:44:31.:44:37.

"urna voci populi". He will now write that out of 100 times. Glad

:44:37.:44:43.

to have got that cleared up. Boris is clearly a life-force in British

:44:43.:44:47.

politics, a unique life-force, but is he too much of a buffoon to be

:44:47.:44:52.

Prime Minister? I am sure the metaphor has occurred before but

:44:52.:44:55.

that was literally a load of balls, and people don't know whether they

:44:55.:44:59.

want Boris Johnson to be Prime Minister and it is impossible to

:44:59.:45:03.

imagine what he would be like in that position, because that is so

:45:03.:45:07.

different from what he is doing at the moment. I think he is a very

:45:07.:45:11.

capable, intelligent person and I think he is also, ironically enough,

:45:11.:45:17.

on the Tory Left, and... He is positioning himself on the right.

:45:17.:45:21.

Not always, is that his position on the runways or school playing

:45:21.:45:28.

fields? On taxes are education? think he also said to me was when

:45:28.:45:31.

he was in Parliament and that is why he supported David Cameron in

:45:31.:45:35.

the first place, for party leader, and Ken Clarke before him, because

:45:35.:45:39.

that is where he comes from, so I think he is a politically very

:45:39.:45:45.

interesting figure and I am very probe him, but I also personally

:45:45.:45:48.

wonder whether been Prime Minister is something he would want all be

:45:48.:45:55.

Are you in any doubt he wants it? am. To start off with I wonder

:45:55.:45:59.

whether he can afford it. He would have to take a massive pay cut

:45:59.:46:03.

which even as mayor not wishing to do in the past. If you were

:46:03.:46:06.

ambitious, you would cut off your left arm to be Prime Minister.

:46:06.:46:10.

suppose the cynic in me says when moment comes to it, all this will

:46:10.:46:14.

go and he will probably seize on the chance, I guess, because people

:46:14.:46:18.

do. I think there is a degree of uncertainty in him, I think it's

:46:18.:46:24.

not just financial, I think I don't know how much he wants to do that

:46:24.:46:27.

24-7 intense scrutiny thing and also I don't know how much he he

:46:27.:46:30.

wants to be hated and that's what comes with being Prime Minister. At

:46:30.:46:35.

the moment everybody loves Boris, who wouldn't want to be the heir

:46:36.:46:40.

apparent forever? Everyone loves him and he is popular with everyone

:46:40.:46:45.

else, all that drains once you are in Number 10. Look at what happens

:46:45.:46:49.

to Nick Clegg to Clegg-mania and five minutes later you are one of

:46:49.:46:54.

them and your popularity drains away. Boris likes to be liked.

:46:54.:47:02.

watched them at the Olympics, one being cheered and one being booed.

:47:02.:47:06.

The difference is one is doing something fantastically pop already

:47:06.:47:13.

and one fantastically difficult. I agree with you, I think Boris would

:47:13.:47:18.

find that rather difficult. He does find saying no to things quite

:47:18.:47:23.

difficult. It's hard not to interpret a number of positions

:47:23.:47:30.

he's taken as positioning himself to make a run at Downing Street?

:47:30.:47:34.

He's certainly leaving the door open, shall we say. The meddling in

:47:34.:47:38.

the reshuffle was amazing, that's the moment of a Prime Minister's

:47:38.:47:41.

maximum authority, where you move your people, to have Boris Johnson

:47:41.:47:46.

popping up... The Olympics have put lead in his pencil. He also says

:47:46.:47:53.

what he thinks, which is part of his appeal actually. You think he

:47:53.:47:58.

blurts these things out off the top of his head, you you don't think

:47:58.:48:02.

it's calculated. How well do you know him. I have known him a long

:48:02.:48:08.

time. Nobody gets to know him that well, actually. That's a good point.

:48:08.:48:11.

But I think clearly he is an ambitious person and I am sure

:48:11.:48:15.

there is an element of calculation but probably that's behind the

:48:15.:48:18.

whole stance which is I am my own independent person, I am not going

:48:18.:48:22.

to accept anything and there's also slightly more than competitive

:48:22.:48:29.

relationship which goes back a long time with David. To that Slough

:48:29.:48:37.

comprehensive they both went to. Exactly. We will leave that there.

:48:37.:48:39.

Now, a programme focusing on the policy disasters, communication

:48:40.:48:42.

cock-ups and ministerial mishaps of coalition Government returns to our

:48:42.:48:45.

screens this week. No, I'm not talking about the Daily Politics

:48:45.:48:48.

but the new series of political satire The Thick Of It. In a moment

:48:48.:48:52.

we'll talk to one of the stars of the show, but first let's have a

:48:52.:48:57.

look at him in action. Human snowman is coming in now.

:48:57.:49:04.

Stewart! Great. If it isn't Raffles, the gentleman MP. Why are you two

:49:04.:49:07.

coming in together. We were married in Vegas, didn't you know, we are

:49:07.:49:13.

really happy. Meeting room now. Could you get someone to bring me

:49:13.:49:21.

some chai. Today's headline in font 72, Emma and I broke the fast this

:49:21.:49:25.

AM with the PM. It's a massive yes. Our playground initiative is going

:49:25.:49:29.

to be the standard-bearer for the network nation. It's a double,

:49:29.:49:35.

double win. Double win for both babies of the coalition. Terrific.

:49:35.:49:40.

Shall we do a Mexican wave around the table?

:49:40.:49:43.

And with us now is Vincent Franklin who plays PR guru Stewart Pearson

:49:44.:49:49.

in the show. Now, you are Steve Hilton? Lots of people have

:49:49.:49:52.

suggested I am Steve Hilton but I think I have spoken to enough

:49:52.:49:59.

lawyers to know that I am a little bit - he wears a cross between a

:49:59.:50:02.

short and trouser and we were filming outside Downing Street for

:50:03.:50:06.

this series and it's fairly scary how many men are wearing those

:50:06.:50:11.

ridiculous trousers and carrying a fold-up bicycle and go through

:50:11.:50:15.

those gates. It should be banned. It should certainly be discouraged,

:50:15.:50:20.

I am playing a character sort of like Steve, he is a contrast to

:50:20.:50:23.

Malcolm Tucker, the sweary face of enforcement and I am the new face,

:50:23.:50:26.

let's all imagine a better narrative but equally annoying, I

:50:26.:50:31.

am afraid. I would wonder with this coalition, there's so much material,

:50:31.:50:34.

where do you start? It's difficult, because you find you are trying to

:50:34.:50:37.

produce satire and realise they're writing their own much better than

:50:37.:50:42.

tkoubg it and to begin with it was tricky because the first year

:50:42.:50:46.

everyone seemed happy. We had a few insiders who told us what was going

:50:46.:50:54.

on and they were going it's a big love-in at the moment and luckily

:50:54.:50:57.

after - it started to go wrong and we could write it. What's really

:50:57.:51:02.

important is that it's not what we are doing is satire, but not sort

:51:02.:51:06.

of topical comedy so we are not reliant on tying into specific

:51:06.:51:11.

things happening in Government. It's much more about the stkaoeut

:51:11.:51:16.

the stkaoeut gist. That's why we don't get relegated to Dave if you

:51:16.:51:20.

were the news quiz programmes, jokes now on Dave are ten years out

:51:20.:51:25.

of date we are not interested in. This I hope in 20 years time people

:51:25.:51:28.

will go that's what it was like in the Earl lie years of the 21st

:51:28.:51:34.

century. Meryl Streep went to watch Prime Ministers questions as part

:51:34.:51:38.

of her preparation to play Margaret Thatcher. What did you do to

:51:38.:51:41.

prepare? We had fantastic writers to begin with so we have a lot of

:51:41.:51:45.

material. We have advisers to talk to us but always just about what we

:51:45.:51:49.

are doing wrong. Usually saying there is not enough spwaering --

:51:49.:51:56.

swearing, you need to swear more. I am doing a play at the moment in

:51:56.:52:00.

The National, set in the Callaghan period, for that we have been

:52:00.:52:05.

around the building and it's not the most helpful thing, it's

:52:05.:52:08.

helpful to watch a couple of people drinking more than they should and

:52:08.:52:11.

chatting and going they're actually human beings and the great thing

:52:11.:52:15.

about The Thick of It you see a lot of flawed human beings trying to do

:52:15.:52:19.

the right thing but usually in the wrong way. You are doing this play,

:52:19.:52:24.

which is set in 74 onwards when there was no Government really in

:52:24.:52:29.

charge and you are doing now The Thick of It and you are going to

:52:29.:52:33.

become a world expert on coalition governments. I think I am a kind of

:52:33.:52:37.

kiss of death, if I am in you know there's going to be a coalition. In

:52:37.:52:42.

the 70s, not a coalition, a kind of pact. There was a pact. But not a

:52:42.:52:46.

coalition. So there were no Liberals thankfully actually in a

:52:46.:52:51.

Ministerial post so we don't have the problems that poor old Minister

:52:51.:52:53.

in The Thick of It has of dealing with a Junior Minister from another

:52:53.:52:59.

party. You use words which we as journalists then take on and put

:52:59.:53:06.

into the political lexicon. Omni- shambles. You gave us that word,

:53:06.:53:10.

there was another word we can't really use, beginning with cluster.

:53:10.:53:14.

We are quietly disappointed with that really. Our idea is that The

:53:14.:53:18.

Thick of It is supposed to be satire, not an instruction manual.

:53:18.:53:22.

You are supposed to watch and go that's not the way to behave. We

:53:22.:53:25.

are increasingly - two are to three days after we shoot something we

:53:25.:53:28.

realise something more crazy has happened or something more

:53:28.:53:38.
:53:38.:53:42.

ridiculous has been said. One episode and on Twitter there were

:53:43.:53:48.

serious commentators talking about it. It doesn't really mean anything.

:53:48.:53:51.

You throw the bait in and people take it. Mrs Thatcher once said to

:53:51.:53:57.

me that yes, Minister wasn't comedy, it was documentary. It was a really

:53:57.:54:01.

insight into how British Government works. Can you say that of The

:54:01.:54:08.

Thick of It? I worked... You have been on the inside. There's a lot.

:54:08.:54:13.

I talked to him before they did the first one and when we had meetings

:54:13.:54:16.

there was always someone hoovering, so you would have to do the

:54:16.:54:23.

hoovering during the day, that was there in one of the early episodes.

:54:23.:54:26.

During the 1997 general election we ended up with John Major's

:54:26.:54:33.

Government being opposed bay man in a white suit, you can't make these

:54:33.:54:38.

things up. Somehow they managed to do it. Often it's painfully close,

:54:38.:54:42.

particularly when people are trying to come up with new ideas. Anybody

:54:42.:54:45.

who's worked on a speech - my favourite was a policy on plastic

:54:45.:54:49.

bags. That pleased the Daily Mail. People really do come up with

:54:49.:54:53.

things like that. When you have no money to spend you have to find

:54:53.:54:57.

ways - you shuffle your cabinet, which is a great word to be using

:54:57.:55:00.

because it means something else in the outside world, I don't want to

:55:00.:55:03.

worry you, but having a shuffle can mean something different or perhaps

:55:03.:55:09.

similar. But then you get a situation where somebody who was

:55:09.:55:15.

the Culture Secretary, who criticised - wanted the NHS section

:55:15.:55:18.

removed from his opening ceremony, the ceremony happens, the Games are

:55:18.:55:23.

a success, he is promoted to be Health Secretary in charge of all

:55:23.:55:27.

those nurses and you go brilliant, there is an episode of The Thick of

:55:27.:55:31.

It all just done, prime viced. Scripted for you already. I have to

:55:31.:55:34.

say I am looking forward to the new series, I want to see how you

:55:34.:55:39.

tackle the coalition. It's a coalition that's funny, it's -

:55:40.:55:45.

there's that idea the comedy is always in the gaps. The difference

:55:45.:55:49.

between what the thick of it does brilliantly, is those small

:55:49.:55:53.

humiliations, those tiny aspects of protocol where you are kind of just

:55:53.:55:56.

remorselessly left in this position of haouplg indignity which is what

:55:56.:56:01.

coalition is all about. The Tory Minister is wonderful. You can just

:56:01.:56:06.

see. Half a dozen real Ministers could fit the bill. People go is it

:56:06.:56:09.

Ken Clarke. He suspect any one of those, but he is that. You are on

:56:09.:56:13.

BBC2. We are indeed. On Saturday night after the Proms, I think.

:56:13.:56:23.

Indeed. I know that because I have already set my recorder. 9 9.4 5.

:56:23.:56:28.

Seven parts in this series. After that's that's finished you still

:56:28.:56:34.

have time to go to The National and see This House. Running to December.

:56:34.:56:38.

I will wave to from you the gallery, the cheap seats. Time for our

:56:39.:56:48.
:56:49.:56:50.

roundup of the last seven days of politics.

:56:50.:56:53.

Here's Susana Mendonsa with the week in 60 seconds. Who is out and

:56:53.:56:59.

who is still in. What job have you got? The faces and the speedy

:56:59.:57:04.

departures told the story, we hear some of the losers even shed tears.

:57:04.:57:09.

Have you got the Health Secretary job? Someone was happy. It's the

:57:09.:57:12.

biggest privilege of my life. I am incredibly honoured. But the

:57:12.:57:16.

musical chairs around this cabinet table sparked yet another row about

:57:16.:57:22.

Heathrow. Elsewhere, the Chancellor took up the role of Paralympic

:57:22.:57:27.

panto villain, booed at the Olympic Stadium, still smiling, George? You

:57:27.:57:31.

got to be so macho if you are the Labour leader, or not. Apparently

:57:31.:57:35.

he still has to bring in the coffee every morning. That's just how

:57:35.:57:40.

assertive and Butch the leader of the opposition really is. Mine is

:57:40.:57:44.

milk and three sugars, Ed. Axed Ministers are lining up for honours,

:57:44.:57:50.

even ousted Lib Dems are getting knighthoods. Yes, Sir isn't a bad

:57:50.:57:56.

consolation prize. Does nothing change in this

:57:56.:58:00.

country? You hand out knighthoods to Ministers that you want rid of.

:58:00.:58:04.

Nothing changes in reshuffles, you are always trying to find something.

:58:04.:58:08.

It was probably not a good idea to have a separate honours list just

:58:08.:58:12.

for sacked Ministers, it was bound to cause cause trouble. It's not

:58:12.:58:15.

the biggest issue in the world but it's still probably not a good idea.

:58:15.:58:20.

Didn't leave a good taste in the mouth. Not consistence with a

:58:20.:58:23.

Government saying you shouldn't reward failure. And we are all in

:58:23.:58:27.

this together. When is your knighthood coming? You think that's

:58:27.:58:31.

a reward for failure as well? It's nice being a guest on this

:58:31.:58:37.

programme! You may say that, I couldn't possibly comment.

:58:37.:58:41.

Immediately prompted, that thought. We are going to save up nigh

:58:41.:58:45.

knighthood, you can get them in the shops these days. We thank all our

:58:45.:58:53.

Andrew Neil with the latest political news and debate, including attempts to resolve the Eurozone crisis and actor Vincent Franklin from political satire The Thick of It.


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