10/09/2012 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon. Welcome to The Daily Politics. The unions appear


to be having a grand day out at their conference in brighten town.


But are more strikes looming? We will be speaking to Brendan Barber,


the General Secretary of the TUC. just want to say what a golden


summer it has been. It has given the country a tremendous lift. It


has brought the country together. We will be looking back at


Britain's golden summer of sport and asking just what we can learn


from it. Can this man succeed where others have failed? He wants to


slash-and-burn red tape. We will see how he will do it. And we will


be asking if the Government can actually do anything about the cost


of living. With us for the first half an hour today, the founder of


moneysavingexpert.com, Martin Lewis. Welcome back. First today, let's


talk about the London Olympics. Alas, it is over. Today, around one


million people are expected to line the streets of London to cheer


Britain's Olympic and Paralympic heroes. This is what the Prime


Minister had to say earlier. At the end of the most unbelievably


successful Olympics and Paralympics, I just want to say what a golden


summer of British sport we have had, and what a golden summer it has


been for the country. It has given the country a tremendous lift, and


it has brought the country together. It has given us memories that we


will be talking about for years and generations to come. I think 2012


will be like 1966, something we talk about without children and


grandchildren, something which will continue to delight us, long after


this time has passed. We can speak now to one of


Britain's greatest Paralympians, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.


Presumably you would agree, it has been the greatest a Olympics and


Paralympic Games ever. It has been amazing, not just because of Team


GB and ParalympicsGB, but because of the organisation. Seb Coe's idea


was to put athletes at the heart of the Games, and it has made it an


amazingly enjoyable experience for everybody. David Cameron said the


UK will -- Lord Coe also said that the UK will never think of


disability in the same way - do you agree? Definitely. There has been a


change of perception. People were coming out of the venues talking


about the sport, much less about the disability. I did not hear


people talking about overcoming adversity, which was a great relief


to everybody. But it is difficult to measure how attitudes will


change going forward. But I think people are more positive about


disabled people. One year on, it is important that we remember back to


how everybody felt at this time. The Olympics and Paralympics, they


are not reality, they are fairy dust. That glow will disappear.


you think it will be different this time, or do you think that in six


months' time, all of that euphoria will have faded? I think they will


definitely have moved forwards. There is a real glow about how


everybody feels at the moment, but I Dusan so different attitude from


people. People are coming up to be in the streets, saying, I have seen


disabled people in a new way. I have realised that I am one step


away from it myself. Anybody can have an accident and it can change


their lives. Yes, that in itself can be hugely positive. All this


talk about harnessing the spirit of the Paralympics, it is all very


well to say it, but how does it work? Part of it is about how we


can join everything up after deep for tears. In politics, we talk


about sport or health or education, and it would be great to link all


of those up. There will be children turning up at sports clubs, wanting


to be the next Victoria Pendleton, or the next Sarah Storey. Then they


will realise how hard it but we have to think about how we can


change the culture of participation. We are becoming more unhealthy as a


nation, and that needs to change. It sounds amazing in the background,


so have a great afternoon on the parade.


Martin Lewis, your impressions, I used adages over? Very much so. I


am a proper track-and-field fan, I go to track-and-field events during


the year. So this was really special for me. And also, it cannot


be underestimated how much it means to have four or five weeks off the


doom and gloom of the economy. It is good for the psyche of the


nation. Now, we have to manage ourselves back into hearing about


the euro crisis and everything. also think it is good for the


country, we have shown that we can organise things very well,


efficiently, and that people in this country will really get into


things. The white elephant in the room is the enormous amount of


money that this has cost. In a way, it almost feels like, let's not get


back into that just yet. Will we recoup what we spent or even come


close to it? But the truth is, that money has been spent, we are never


getting it back if we do not recoup it, everybody has had a good time,


so let's celebrate that. But the real question now is, what colour


medal will be good for legacy? Has the money gone far enough? Teva the


jury is still out on that. We will be talking a bit more about whether


politicians have managed to get some of the Stardust and whether


the economy has benefited, later in the programme. Now, let's talk


about red tape. The Government says it wants to get rid of it, or at


least, rather a lot of it. Hundreds of thousands of businesses across


the UK are to be exempted from health and safety inspections,


under new changes to be introduced next year. It is what ministers are


calling a blitz on red tape, which will see 3,000 regulations


affecting businesses in England scrapped or overhauled. Joining us


now from brighten is Martin Smith of the GMB union. The Government


says this is all to help business - surely it is a good thing? It is a


rehash of an old announcement which was made 18 months ago. We have got


to look at the politics of it. Our view has not changed, which is that


this sends the wrong message to small and medium businesses, who


might hear that the inspection regime has changed, so they might


think they are exempt from health and safety rules. We think it will


save hardly anything, it actually, some people will get into trouble


with their health because of it. It is just not worth doing. So the


Government is obviously not going to get your support, but does that


apply to all of these 3,000 regulations? Well, we do not know


the detail of these regulations, but we are very concerned to make


sure that our members enjoy a health -- healthy and safe work


place. We know that 10% of our members, in retail, for example,


have had an accident in the last year, meaning that they have had


time off work. We spoke to two major retail change, and they said


to us, they do not think these changes will help them. They need


regulations to help them manage risks in the workplace. Which


retail chains are these? We have a lot of members in major retail


change, and two of the big four, we have spoken to this morning. --


retail chains. They are saying, they need to manage risks, they


agree with us, they need the regulatory framework. They need to


make the workplace save, not only for their work force, but for


shoppers as well. What do you make of the new Business Secretary


saying, he wants business to react positively to this? He says he will


be championing business in his new department. I'm sure he will do


that. And the unions will champion the interests of working people.


That is perfectly understandable. But when it comes to health and


safety, we work together with employers, where we can, to limit


the number of accidents and unhealthy work practices. We do not


want to be chasing after employers, after an accident has happened, so


we want a good regulatory framework. But surely, there is also room for


you to be championing small businesses, to take on more people,


to free them up from some of the restrictions and limitations, even


if it is only for a limited amount of time? Well, some of these


limitations which they talk about are making sure that there are


enough wheels on the chairs in the office, making sure there are no


trip hazards. Any responsible employer would do this anyway. I do


not see how this can be a saving for small businesses. It is good


business practice. Unfortunately, some employers will get the message


from this announcement that they are no longer applicable, and


people will get hurt as a result. Of a business minister who I just


mentioned is with me now. Let's just pick up on one of those points,


the possible increase in accidents, and actually, he says, two major


retail chains do not really want this kind of relaxation of


regulation? We are not talking about relaxing regulation on any


kind of high risk area. That means construction sites, chemical plants,


care homes. This is about things like office premises. I visited an


Internet entrepreneurial office today. These are not high risk


environments, but they are still at the moment subject to health and


safety checks, checks which really are not necessary. We think there


is an awful lot that can be done indeed to help the health and


safety people focus on the important areas which are indeed


high risk. Talking about cutting 3,000 - have you got a list of all


of these regulations? Yes, we have been on the case since the


coalition government started. There are around 20,000 regulations


altogether. Some of those are purely nominal. We consulted


business and others, such as charities and voluntary


organisations, to ask them to tell us which of these regulations


really impact on them. There are around 6,500 which really have an


impact. I want to see around 3,000 of those, nearly half of them,


either scrapped or significantly overhauled, to minimise the cost to


business. Call me a cynic, but every government has talk about


this area, even since the days of Michael Heseltine - why do we have


any faith that you will do any better than anybody else?


Governments have pledged this before, I accept that. We are doing


it again, but we have been on the case for two years. What does that


mean? We have challenged business to tell us which of the regulations


are getting in the wake, which challenged charities as well, who,


for example, have to have criminal records checks every time somebody


moves. That can be streamlined. Do you need paper driving licences any


more? There is an awful lot of stuff which can be simplified.


is this going to happen? It will happen from now on. It will go on


until the end of next year. It is an extremely talented and timetable.


regulations by the end of 2013? -- challenging.. How will you know?


are going to report to Parliament. We may miss that target, but we


will try. Not another failed target. We have never done this before,


with a specific number. We have got to try, we have got to do


everything possible, to help business create new jobs. You have


got this target of 3,000 regulations by 2013, and you may


not get all of them - how much money will it save the economy by


then? We have already saved through the regulations we have already


done, the red-tape cutting, some �850 million. Of these 3,000...


do you measure that? You try to make an assessment of the actual


cost of each individual regulation, if businesses did not have to do


this. For small companies, they have not got time to do this, so


they have to pay for a consultant to come in and do it. So, you can


measure some of the costs. They do not all involve cost. For example,


everybody has to have a no smoking sign on their premises, which has


to be displayed in a particular way, with exactly the same wording -


why? What is your response to this? Everybody wants to get rid of


unnecessary regulation, but what about the point raised by the union,


that actually, this will be disadvantageous? We all hate red


tape and regulation, but we all think that employee protection is


an important thing. This is a question of language. Looking at


consumer issues, there are a number of ridiculous regulations. The one


on money laundering requirements, for example, which says that if you


want to open a bank account, you need paper statements, but then, we


are encouraged to back online, so we do not have paper statements.


you trust the Government to make sure they are picking the right


ones? No, I slightly wary about the less a fair attitude. We have pay-


day lenders, with pathetic, Tsar of regulation. We have claims


companies bursting a pall over the place, which in many cases is not


necessary. If these are totally unnecessary, I am sure we are all


with you on things like the paper driving licence. We welcome back.


On the other hand, please not too laissez faire.. Is it really going


Small businesses create the next jobs. We have got to help them do


it. This somebody sets up an enterprise, you cannot put pan


signs on avoiding hassle when you are trying to focus on running and


institution or a business. So that will be welcomed. One of the


biggest obstacles may be your boss. The Vince Cable said very clearly


it is nothing to do with site washers, it is a demand issue.


went on to say that sensible deregulation is supported, it is


sent the coalition agreement. Everybody supported. It is in the


agreement that we are going to do it that is why we started the red


tape challenge, and all Ministers are part of this agenda, as are all


of the other departments. We have got other Ministers asking if they


need that bit of red tape. How are you getting on with Vince Cable?


Very well. Relations are fine. you text in like Ed Balls? We are


talking. We are from different parties, we have different


perspectives and occasionally different language, but all


Ministers in the Department, five Conservative and two Lib Dem, are


working together. I think we have just got time, because it is the


TUC conference, we wanted to hear from Brendan Barber, because one of


the boroughs will be any potential strike action. Let's hear what we


had to say -- the worries. Congress, it is time for change. The


Government's strategy is failing Britain, the economy is on its


knees, services are being devastated and society is becoming


more fractured, as benefits are cut for the poor, while taxes are


slashed for the rich. Austerity isn't just some temporary sacrifice.


It could be with us for the duration. A self- perpetuating


economic nightmare. It is already beginning to happen. Beyond the


boutiques of Notting Hill and the mansions of Kensington, there is


another country, a Britain of boarded-up high streets,


pawnbrokers, food banks, a Britain of stratospheric inequality, where


the rich float free and the poor sink further into penury. A Britain


of hopes denied for millions of our young people. Brendan Barber, the


outgoing general secretary of the TUC. A divided Britain, failed


economic policies. No, we have cut tax for everybody, not just for


entrepreneurs, and we are reforming the benefit system, yes, but that


is to help people who are working hard and are prepared to go for


those jobs. But to squeeze on living standards. There has been a


squeeze because of what has happened with energy prices, food


prices and commodity prices. The Government to try to help by


freezing council tax and by raising the personal allowance. Can they


really do anything? We will be talking about this later on, a


public sector pay freeze, food is on the rise, petrol is still high,


it is tough. Certainly, it has been a very tough time and the problems


in the eurozone and the world economy with rising food prices


have gone on far longer than people predicted, but the Government has


been tried to help and the economy is now revving up. With no growth?


We don't know if there is no growth, there have been encouraging signs


in the last few weeks that the economy may well be starting to


grow again and we need to pick that point and get behind British


business when it does. There is talk of co-ordinated strike action,


what is the message? I would be very sad if that happened, that is


not in the spirit of what we have seen of the Olympics and the


Jubilee, when people have been getting behind the country. The


public sector still has over all better wages than the private


sector, it enjoys higher pensions, even though the contributions have


been reformed and I think it would be a great shame that at the point


at which we need the economy to start growing again, if we had a


damaging strikes. A what is your view about the unions? Brendan


Barber is leaving at this particular point, but there is the


threat of court later strike action because he sees things extremely


different theatre Michael Fallon -- of strike action for? I have no


problem with strike actions as employee showing their displeasure,


but when it becomes a political point and is done as a political


action over the fact that the Government has been elected of the


day is not doing what people want, I find that more difficult, because


that is a democratic process. Labour did not get in, we have a


liberal and Conservative pact and they are doing what the electoral -


- Elektra to put them in full. Unpleasant as it is, so striking


when things are manifestly wrong, I am completely in support. Trying to


disrupt the economy for the elected political party, I find more of a


wrench. A you will want to avoid strike action, so is there any


chance at of reopening talks on pensions or the pay freeze? I think


the trade unions though they still enjoy better pensions than the


private sector, who in many cases don't have them, and they know that


because people are living longer, contributions have to increase, but


I do think they will think again -- I do hope they will think again,


because they went BSP disruption to the economy, there will be


disruptions to parents and everybody else, people trying to


get to work -- they won't just be disruption. My call Fallon, good


luck with your bonfire of the regulation -- Michael. We will have


you back before the end of 2013 to see how many sheep have got rid of.


As we have seen, the conference of the Trades Union is under way in


Brighton, with delegates calling for radical changes to the


Government policies, including the three-year pay freeze and


industrial action. There is one motion that says consideration


should be given to the practicalities of a general strike.


The trade union brings together 54 units with 6.2 million members and


they are not happy. General Secretary Brendan Barber says the


governor's economic policies have failed. Last year saw the biggest


buy-out -- day of industrial action for decades, hundreds of thousands,


maybe millions, of public sector workers went on strike over changes


to pensions. Now the TUC has organised another day of action on


20th October. They wanted end to the three-year pay freeze and the


public sector, the not below- inflation 1% pay rises that the


Chancellor has demanded for the next two years. They also say that


Government cuts will mean 700,000 public sector job losses and higher


unemployment. Without a radical change of approach, the countries


could be facing years of stagnation. Brendan Barber is in Brighton,


welcome to the programme. Should the public be prepared for more


strikes in the autumn as the unions try to make their point about the


economy? We may see more disputes and some of my colleagues in major


public service unions indicated that that is a possibility, but


look, I hope that the Government will realise that the biggest


argument of the lot here is about the failure of their policies to


get any growth in a our economy. There has been no growth since the


coalition came to office. We really need a change of course to give


people some sense of hope and to begin to restore people's living


standards. So you don't support the idea of Cordery to strike action,


or even the idea being debated about a general strike -- co-


ordinated strike action? That is not the way forward in your view?


did not say that. Decisions on strike action are taken by members


and by individual unions through their proper procedures and


certainly from the TUC's position, we very much stand ready to support


unions that make that decision and to co-ordinate unions, particularly


Unions working together in the same sector, teachers' unions and local


government unions, health unions. We very much work to provide that


ordination. What is it going to achieve? Last year, we saw the


biggest day of strikes for decades and it didn't achieve anything. The


Government is not going to reopen talks on pensions, we had from the


Business Minister, or reopen talks will change their policy on pay. --


or change. I hope that they do reconsider some of their policies


on key issues like pay, and certainly on the issue of pensions,


I think the determination of Trade Unionists to support the action


that took place, and it was unprecedented, 30 unions in


November taking industrial action together, that was a major factor


in persuading the Government to revise key proposals on pensions.


But, look, I want to see some genuinely new thinking to get our


economy moving again. We have got this huge squeeze on living


standards that people have been facing, real-terms pay cuts for the


last three or four years, stretching out now into the future.


The Government are saying they are determined to impose a pay cap for


the next two years of only 1%. How long is this misery going to go on?


Particularly when it is not delivering what it is supposed to


be delivering. Borrowing levels are going up. Do you not accept,


Brendan Barber, that the economy needs to be rebalance? That there


has to be a greater private sector creating wealth, creating jobs, and


fewer people employed by the state, particularly in jobs that are not


delivering anything? What we need, I don't think we need a rebalancing


in that crude simplistic way, less public sector and more private


sector, we need economic growth. And it is economic growth that will


deliver higher living standards and also, incidentally, deliver better


public services. We need a decent it funded, well resourced public


services, but we are not getting that growth, unlike other major


economies that have seen some recovery since the crisis hit by a


whole world back in 2008. The United States, other major European


economies, they have recovered the ground that was lost in the depths


of the recession. Our economy is still over 4% smaller than before


the crash. And government policies have got an awful lot of


responsibility for that is more, dismal economic performance. The --


dismal. You are suggesting more money should be spent by the


Government, added to the current borrowing figures and that the


public sector should stay the same size and that should be supported.


What do you think that will do to the economy? It is not as simple as


that. Look, we need a real national project for growth. That has got to


involve real investment in infrastructure. How much money


would you like to see? There have been huge cuts in public money. One


of the first decisions the new Chancellor made after the election


was to cut the school buildings for the future programme, �6 billion of


construction spending that was keeping people in work, modernising


the school system, and the axe was taken to that virtually within the


first week. We need money putting back into that infrastructure. We


need major reform of our banking system, so it is delivering


investment that supports the real economy. We need active industrial


policy, recognising the sectors that have real potential for growth


and putting the levers of public policy and funding behind those


sectors. There are lots of areas where government can act.


support this motion that has just been passed which means the banks


should be nationalised? Has it just been passed at the TUC? We had a


debate on two things, a motion and a statement at the congress this


morning. I said to the Congress the idea of just nationalising all of


the banks, as if it was a panacea, I don't think makes sense. And of


course, we are very much aware that there would be potentially huge


costs in doing that. But we do need, that doesn't mean to say, we don't


need rage a reform of the banking system. -- major reform. We need it


in a number of areas in terms of regulation, new institutions to


make sure investment is getting out to the wider economy, then it's to


be very radical reform. Just briefly before you go, coming to


the end of a ten-year stint, you have been along time, what is your


greatest achievement? -- eight long time. I find it hard to think about


one or single thing. Because you have done so many? The TUC and the


trade union movement play a very important part in the life of this


country, in terms of these great debate about public policy and day-


in, day-out, thousands and thousands of workplaces, millions


of people's lives are made better by the work of unions, so I am very


optimistic we have got a very important job to do for a long time


to come. Brendan Barber, thank you very much. Martin Ellis, listening


unions -- Martyn Lewis? Or is he striking a chord with public


sentiment? If you talk to public sector workers, they don't like


what has happened to their pensions, so they represent a large number of


people. I don't think they are that out of touch. Nationalising the


banks is not going to happen, but I have some sympathy in that we are


mandated to have a bank account, that has to be seen as a public


service and one million people not having them in this country is a


disgrace, so we have to tweak it towards tighter regulation in the


way that banks regulator in that -- work in that core product. But I do


think we perhaps have cut back too much on regulation and do need more


investment for growth. It is that constant friction between deficit-


cutting and the need for investment and I think infrastructure projects,


and I suspect they will come back, I think... The Government says they


are about to come back and are ready to go. He is not that out of


sync with mainstream opinion. the public in general do hate


strikes, because it is them who are If there is one thing many people


like complaining about, apart from that, it is the cost of living. It


is putting the squeeze on everyone's money. But can the


Government do very much about rising prices? We sent David to


find out. Politicians will always tell you they are on your side,


they are listening, and they are fighting to keep the cost of living


down. And we always believe them, don't we? Do you think the


Government is doing enough to keep the cost of fooled -- the cost of


fuel and food down? Definitely not. Absolutely not. There is a lot more


could be done by the Government. think people just have to be more


careful with how they spend their money, and not obviously spend lots


on cake. But is it actually fair to blame politicians for things like


the cost of food, petrol, or commuting into work? Politicians


are pretty powerless, actually, when it comes to global prices and


food inflation. The price of oil going up or down, for example. They


will sometimes blame it on the sunshine and things like that, but


I rarely feel sorry for politicians. On this occasion, however, when the


economy here is influenced by things abroad or by supply and


demand, there are limits to what they can do. So what have they


done? Well, personal tax allowances have been increased. Fuel duty


increases have been postponed, and the Office of Fair Trading is to


probe into the price of petrol. Rail fares are set to rise by


double the rate of inflation next year. But are things as bad as they


feel? Food, fuel and rail prices continue to increase, but they are


increasing at a lesser rate than they were about a year ago. But the


public's perception of that may be quite different. In fact, they


perceive far higher increases in inflation that is reflected by the


numbers. Here's some radical food for thought. Ministers should


forget about public opinion and actually do less, not more, about


the cost of living. The trouble is, politicians are judged by us all on


what they do, and they feel they have got to do something on of the


time. Just make sure that you set broad parameters, and then let his


knees get on with it. There are some examples of governments trying


to mitigate the effects of the markets. In Asian economies, they


have introduced subsidies for food and fuel at certain times. We find


that very quickly, those public coffers are trained in the support


of lower prices for consumers. Politicians like to believe that


they have got on of the answers, but it seems the cost of living is


largely outside of their control. We are joined now by the


Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi. Can politicians actually do anything


about the cost of living? Well, you can do some things. For example,


make sure that the interest rate at which the government borrows it


remains competitive. We have done that, for years, and food and fuel


are still rising. I do not disagree. Commodity prices are going up. But


on fuel, I think wrote is important that we continue to debate what the


oil companies are doing, and we have had whistleblower as saying


that this could be a price-fixing issue. Hold on. I always find this


frustrating, when politicians talk about fuel, and talk about the oil


companies. �1.40 per litre, the majority of that is tax. If you


wanted to win a general election, one of the main things you would do,


and I am not saying it is right to do this, would be to drop petrol


prices down to �1. Ministers said to me recently, 200 of them, said


to me, the first thing they would be doing would be to cut the price


of petrol. Let me take you up on that. If we dropped it by 10p,


which is dropping it quite significantly, and 1p lowered... I


am not saying that his dramatic. We can do lots of stuff, we can start


spending more now, Denmark has just done its, they have effectively


done what Labour are calling for, borrowing more and spending more,


but in the end, they are still in recession, the next generation has


to pay the price for what we spend today. At the end of the day, you


can do lots of popular things very quickly, to become more popular,


but you will pay for them. That so much more honest answer. To say, we


do have the ability to drop petrol down, but the best of the taxpayers


would then have to subsidise the car driver. It is the fact, what


annoys me, is that politicians do not use that type of language. We


can cut gas and electricity prices, too. The question is, who will pay


for it? The average energy price now is more than �1,300. The


cheapest is �1,040. It is a charge for apathy. Those people who are


financially illiterate pay more than serve the people, and wealthy


people, like me, who know what we're doing. You cannot effect


change on that -- you can change that by regulating the market more


strongly, but you choose not to do that. The electorate needs honesty.


Should politicians be more clear run these issues? You cannot get


more honest than people saying, we have inherited a situation where


there is no more money. Liam Byrne told us, good luck to you, there is


no more money. You have got to balance the books somehow, when


your borrowing �450 million per day. But when motorists said, �1.45 per


litre is just too much, we have tried to do something about it, we


have deferred some of the fuel duty rises. It is 10p less, not a huge


amount of money, true. But my children, your children, our


children, will have to pay, if we are irresponsible now. And it is


the same with food prices as well, is it? There is no VAT on food, it


is a very different case. Prices go up around the world, and you have


got to try to do what you can. If interest rates go up by 1%, the


money that we borrow, you will know better than anyone, what that would


do to mortgage payments and all of the other payments. Yes, but we


talk about quantitative easing, which is not really printing money,


and if you look at PPI, it has put more money into the economy, done


more for people with a lack of income, than quantitative easing.


You could give people money. My biggest frustration, if I was


sitting in your chair, the thing that would drive me up the wall, it


is not going to be a quick fix, but the real thing we could do would be


to have compulsory financial education in schools. If you did


that then people would start to have an understanding of the


differentials in gas and electricity. You would avoid a


bloodbath which is coming when universal credit is introduced, and


people who have been budgeting on a weekly basis, to doing so on a


monthly basis, and I tell you, people are not financially literate


enough to deal with that. Pensions as well. Why we do not have


financial education in schools, you refuse to give people the tools to


deal with these things. You cannot say people have to look after


themselves, but not give them the tools. With huge respect to you, we


are doing a lot on education. We are trying to make mathematics...


Not on universal credit, when you move from weekly to monthly.


that point was, what we are doing in schools. I have been campaigning


on this for two years. It is all about having a deep understanding


of maths before we move on from that. We need the basics right. We


had 13 years when nothing happened. I have got to stop you both there.


We will have to get you both on again. Now, after the excitement of


last week's Cabinet reshuffle, become a what's in store for us


this week. In a moment I will be speaking to a couple of political


hacks who can give us the inside track. But first, a round-up. The


TUC conference is taking place in Brighton. Brendan Barber's


successor, the TUC's first female general secretary, speaks tomorrow.


Plaid Cymru are also holding their conference this week in Brecon. The


Hillsborough Independent Panel discloses its findings on Wednesday.


The panel has analysed more than 400,000 pages of documents relating


to the death of 96 Liverpool fans in 1989. Also on Wednesday, the


latest unemployment figures are announced. The Government will be


hoping for good news following positive unemployment figures in


August. We can now go to college green, to speak to Sam Coates from


the Times and Pippa Crerar, the City Hall editor of the Evening


Standard. Starting with you, Pippa Crerar, on those unemployment


figures, how much comfort can the Government take? I think it will be


part of a bigger picture which is going on this week, which is that


the Government is launching a new drive to boost growth. We have had


announcements this morning about cutting red tape, and Vince Cable


will be doing his industrial strategy later in the week. And


then the unemployment figures are a third part of that. It is all part


of the Government's drive to persuade us that they are back on


track, that the memories of the botched Budget and a difficult


summer are over, and that the economy is going to go places. We


have had a reshuffle, we have got a focus on business policy this week,


and they blew be trying to persuade people that the boom was over the


weekend about plots and discontent with David Cameron are just that.


Sam Coates, looking ahead to the growth figures, that's where


everybody will be focusing their attention, because another


contraction would be pretty devastating for the Government,


wouldn't it? Absolutely. It is quite interesting. What we have


seen over the weekend, Tory commentators close to George


Osborne, and a handful of politicians, saying that all of a


sudden, everything is on the up. Unemployment is going down, growth


might have turned a corner, and that actually, after the Olympics,


we should be optimistic about the economy. Experts, outside of the


Westminster bubble will present a slightly different picture. They


say we just do not know that the economy has turned a corner, we


have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in the eurozone,


either. It does not look like the banks have been successfully


encouraged to lend, either. So, there is an attempt this week by


Tory politicians to tell us that things are getting better, but I


think viewers should be slightly cynical about that, it is no more


than positioning before the party conferences. We have had the story


about Colonel Bob Stewart, urged to stand as a stalking horse by two


backbench colleagues - Sam Coates, what is the mood on the Tory


backbenches? They were said to be pleased by the reshuffle, is that


true? The stories about Bob Stewart a curious, I think they are several


weeks old. But I think the discontent which has been generated,


partly by the reshuffle, and partly by the ongoing malaise, is very,


very real. I was picking it up, it was acute last week. I think there


are people speaking about David Cameron's future. I'm not sure


whether it will actually mean anything, but such is the depth of


dislike and high feeling currently in the Tory party, I would not be


terribly surprised if there were other people with half an eye on


what might happen in the future. Last week was meant to see a


reshuffle which would please the right, and indeed, David Cameron


promoted people like Chris Grayling and Owen Paterson. But a hours


before the reshuffle, I was speaking to one why his Cabinet


minister who said, the problem with promoting the right is that the


rest are left without jobs, and they will be just as upset as they


always are. Pippa Crerar, speaking of relations between the back


benches and the leadership, on the Labour side, we have just spoken to


Brendan Barber, but this is a difficult moment for Labour as well,


in terms of its relationship with the unions, isn't it? Very much so.


Ed Miliband was speaking to union leaders this morning, but not


appearing in front of the delegates. It is a tricky one, because Labour


has decided not to oppose the pay freeze, the public sector pay


freeze, and the unions are not happy about that. Also many on the


left of the party, and on the backbenches, share that view. It


will be to the good for Ed Miliband to balance the conflicting demands


on him, as a pragmatic party leader, who wants to encourage mainstream


opinion, to marry that with the views of his union paymasters, who


provide about 80% of the party funding.


We are joined now by our Monday MPs' panel. We are joined today by


By think it is fairly important that we keep up a relationship with


the unions, it is a historic one and we can be mutually supportive


and in our aims, we think that the public sector can do a very good


job and it is not all about privatising the sector's -- the


private sector. One is Ed Miliband hiding away? I don't stay if he is


hiding away or not but the relationship between the unions and


Labour will continue and I think it should continue, it has been good


for the country that we have that relationship. Important in terms of


labour's policy and reaction to the public sector pay freeze, unions


are very upset. Did Ed Miliband do the right thing? I think in the


circumstances, he did, because we are dealing with the reality of now.


Would we have dealt with it defending government, the answer


might be different. -- in government. The Government has now


had to increase its borrowing because it got its economic


strategy wrong and therefore, there is nowhere for the Government to go,


but that is the Government's making rather than anything positive the


Labour Party have done. Do you welcome the overtures coming from


Labour politicians like Ed Balls towards Vince Cable, trying to


forge closer links between the Lib Dems and Labour? With all of these


things, I think there is a fair amount has been going on. In is it


a good thing? A I think any dialogue between any of the party's


in Westminster is sensible when we have such an enormous economic


crisis. I think the unions to have a problem, because Labour


themselves, the Labour leader supports the Government pay freeze,


and that is very difficult and if the unions do decide to hold a


general strike, I think it is the wrong thing for the country and it


will put Labour in a very difficult position. Meanwhile, the coalition


is focusing on what counts, the economy. People feel their living


standards are being squeezed, a pay freeze continues as food and fuel


goes up, don't you have some sort of sympathy? A I have some enormous


-- I have enormous sympathy. As my colleagues said on Saturday,


another by constituents came to see me on Saturday and even those


working and in good jobs, it is difficult. The public to appreciate


the country is in a mess. Economic click it is typical. The ban after


two years of a coalition government? They should even after.


If you compare how we are doing in this country compared to others, it


is difficult for people to understand. They certainly don't


understand are the private sector and even in the public sector,


where it is hard, people understand they have to keep gritting their


teeth. You agree with Vince Cable that it is not to do with supply-


side measures, it is to do with the man? I think it is everything. If


everything was as black as white as everyone who might say, we would


sort it ages ago. It is complicated. Is it as restless on the


backbenches as we heard from Sam Coates? Tories are very


dissatisfied after that reshuffle. A I don't think the Tory


backbenchers I told to are not dissatisfied. He why you talking


to? The 2010 intake. Have we were elected under a pack form put


forward by David Cameron and he is doing a good job -- a platform.


What is your response to these stories of stalking? Why are people


publicly admitting that they were asked to stand against the David


Cameron, or people overtly criticising him or telling him to


get rid of his Chancellor before the reshuffle? What was Bob


Stewart's response to the stalking? That it was silly. Two backbench


MPs asked him to do it. But Parliamentary party, in every party,


is an ambitious pace. People who don't get jobs will always be


dissatisfied. The reality is that I, along with any of my colleagues,


want to see the coalition government getting on with the job


of sorting out the economy and this talk of stalking horses and


leadership challenge as, at this point in the political cycle, is


silly. It is Tory MPs who are talking about it, with all due


respect. It isn't the common Terry at, they are reacting to what has


come from MPs? Did the reshuffle do what it was supposed to do in


quelling doubts among backbenchers? Without doubt, and Michael Fallon


were saying exactly the right things about cutting regulation and


getting the economy moving and creating jobs and that is what a


lot of us want to hear and where the focus to be. I had been a


Conservative for a long time. I looked through the 1990s and I


remember exactly what happened when you had a party divided and could


not work with itself. Have things changed? Boundary changes have gone


down in flames thanks to the Liberal Democrats, a watershed


moment for Conservative MPs, ill to make it harder to achieve that


majority? I was perfectly candid about this because I was one of the


MPs whose constituency was scheduled to disappear. Actually,


boundary changes were the right thing for the Government to do. We


stood on a manifesto that said we would reduce the number of MPs,


make the numbers more equal, so I am very disappointed that the Lib


Dems are not going to support it. There was a coalition agreement and


if it was not met, so be it. Boundary changes are off the table.


Of what you say? You must be delighted in the Labour Party?


Probably, yes, because I think some of my patch -- backbenchers called


it the gerrymandering Bill, that was the purpose behind it, rather


than what the Government said about reducing the size of the electorate.


I was expecting add extra 1,000 majority on boundary changes. And


as politicians, we tend to look very much on our own perspective,


but I think what the coalition will discover is that constitutional


reform can be difficult. It is very easy shouting from the opposition


asking why don't she reform the House of Lords, which the Labour


government did in taking away most of the hereditary peers, but


getting everybody to agree it must be reformed is easy, what is that


the colt is what the reform should be. It's would have helped if


Labour would have supported us -- it would have helped. It wouldn't


have taken 100 years. I was there during all the constitutional


debates during Scottish devolution and never did we have a programme


motion, the kind of programme motion we have Beck, it did not


exist. Nor did we have night sought guillotines, because it was


constitutional and taken on the floor or the House -- of the House.


There was an attempt to stifle debate around what for many people


was a very emotional subject. have been constant negotiations for


over a year between the different parties. My disappointment was with


Labour more than the Conservatives, because I knew the Tory Right would


try and stop it, but for Labour to try and pretend they were


supporting it while people in the know know that they killed it stone


dead was a real shame for progressive politics. We could have


got rid of the House of Lords. Disappointment all round. Back to


the subject we are so familiar with, the straining of sinews, the


pushing of limits, the Blood sweat and tears and that is just working


of course on the daily politics, and the Herculean efforts of our


politicians to hop, skip and jump onto the Paralympic and Olympic


bandwagons. Let's see them all in MUSIC: "Gold" by Spandau Ballet.


I think it has lifted the whole country, it has brought people


together and I am very proud of I want to join the Prime Minister


in paying tribute to everyone involved in the Olympic and


Paralympic Games. Our athletes, our fantastic volunteers and indeed the


whole country that united in support of Team GB and came


Every community in the country will be with the athletes every step of


the way, each triumph, each setback, each joy, each sorrow, each victory


and beach disappointment. I think it is really a great national event,


a national coming together and it remains for me to say the very best


We so often allowed ourselves to believe we are a nation of gracious


losers. We are actually a nation that likes that winning feeling and


we have Team GB to thank for that, they have inspired the whole


I think the whole country look at what you did in all and


stupefaction. The question is, how do we keep it going?


Well, it has been a fabulous sum of sport and you can hardly blame the


politicians for wanting to jump on that success bandwagon -- some of


sport. Has any of the Stade has rubbed off for the Conservatives or


the Liberal Democrats? -- Stardust? A I don't think it matters, what


matters is we have a good legacy and those community grassroots


sporting groups get out there and continue to attract the influx of


people contacting them over the summer saying they wanted to try


whatever sport, and we make sure that we have a good, healthy,


active community taking part in lots of sport. There will be a


spike, I am sure, in terms of participation, but everybody has


and will talked about Legacy and we have heard politicians saying the


confidence to deliver big things. What are these big things and what


is being talked about? The biggest thing is to have a more active,


healthier population. Not to do with the economy, then? The


impression that you get from politicians there is they hope this


will somehow inject some momentum into a fact-finding economy.


think we showcased what is superb in Britain, delivering a fantastic


event and of course she want there to be a put it in tourism, but I


come from a background of local authority being a portfolio for


leisure, and my big thing of the Olympics is I want to see people


taking part out there. We can look at these pictures, thousands of


people lining the streets of the parade and the support that has


been seen all summer, particularly from volunteers... One of the


things Vince Cable said is that business can learn from the


Olympics and the Paralympics. What does he mean, Stephen Lloyd?


Everyone should volunteer to help business grow? He hasn't phoned me


to tell me what it means. The two different bits of Medicine that I


think are incredibly significant -- Legacy, the legacy of volunteers,


the 70,000 plus volunteers were just amazing. The lift they gave to


the Games and the whole country was superb and the other thing, the


legacy of perception. Disability is something I have been batting for


for a long time and for the country and the nation as a whole to see


the astonishing exploits of our Paralympian is, I think that all


changed perception across the board about disability -- Paralympians.


Everyone will agree on that but let's look at the specifics. All of


those people have had a wonderful summer, people do feel good as a


result of Team GB and the pulling together of the volunteers, as you


say, but there have been reports in the paper that growing businesses


will be surrounded by advisers in the same way that athletes are


surrounded by their coaches. There is a sense that this -- this is


rhetoric. What helped enormously for Team GB was money,


straightforward investment of lottery cash, a lot of money went


into sport and that is why we were successful. Is that is what -- is


that what is needed? I agree there was money but also confidence. One


thing Mike Politt will share with me on this, or prior to the


Olympics the print media said it was going down the pan and the


great British public decided they would love it and they proved to be


right and I think confidence equally applies in business. What


about the issue of money? absolutely needs money. The reason


we have done so well as Team GB in Alan Pakes and Paralympics is


because of the lottery money and that is the long and short of it --


in the Olympics. The danger is that we will get a spike, we get on


every year after Wimbledon, and that the enthusiasm will go on. I


hope it does but I fear is that as we get further and further away as


it gets more difficult, no more sporting events to engage in,


hopefully the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will get the same


passion, but then once it is off the news, people forget about it


and the money dried up. Caroline, your best moment? Undoubtedly


Hannah Cockroft. A fantastic model for everybody, particularly women -


- women in sport. If you go to the Paralympics? No, sadly, but I did


go to Greenwich. Thank you to what you, enjoy the rest of this


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