17/09/2012 Daily Politics


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 17/09/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Afternoon folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Goodbye GCSEs,


hello "Gove Levels". Education Secretary Michael Gove announces


plans to shake up secondary schools exams in England to make them more


rigorous. We'll discuss the plan with former Tory Education


Secretary, Ken Baker. Iain Duncan Smith faces questions about his


plan for universal credits with reports that the country's most


senior civil servant is out to block the reform. We'll discuss the


Welfare Secretary's big project. Scores are written every year, but


can political books really change anything? Can writing one really


help your political career? And could Britain see a full state


funeral for King Richard III? We'll hear from one MP who wants a


military procession, lying in state - the whole works - if this


skeleton turns out to be the 15th century king. All that in the next


hour and with us for the duration Patrick Diamond from the left of


centre think-tank Policy Network, he was once adviser to Tony Blair


and Gordon Brown. Don't blame us! And by Ruth Porter from the Free


Market Institute of Economic Affairs. Welcome to the Daily


Politics. Let's kick off though with an interesting line from the


latest British Social Attitudes report which is published today.


The survey reveals the proportion of people wanting increased public


spending - even if it means higher taxes - has gone up for the first


time in a decade. But only by a little. It has gone up to 36% while


55% want spending levels to stay where they are.


Isn't that the dip lem ma for a left of centre party at the moment?


To act collectively in various ways and even at this will time when


public spending has been cut, there is only 36% want more public


spending? That's right. The numbers favouring more public spending have


increased in recent years. That's a sign that people are worried that


the cuts which the current Government are carrying out are


biting hard. It is a dilemma for every left of centre Government.


What's the right balance to strike between taxation and public


spending and do people feel they are getting value for money out of


things like the NHS and schools? have been talking about a small


increase, there is a big increase in the number of people who think


the NHS is in decline. That's surely more worrying? Well, it is


interesting in that when you look at outcomes in health, so far


people have felt that the NHS is delivering and it is not. The


Government is trying to reform the Health Service whilst also trying


to say that the Health Service is delivering. I think at some point


it needs to change that narrative if it is going to get public


opinion on its side. Why do you think people are saying


it is not as good as it was last year? Is that because they have


tried to reform it? Because the media and the Labour Party have


been saying these reforms are terrible? Or do you think people


are experiencing a worse service on the ground? I think people are


bound to be experiencing a worse service on the ground and the


Government needs to play catch-up and start pointing to the fact that


the NHS has not been delivering and make the case.


There is a disjuncture between how people feel about their local


hospital or GP and how they feel about the National Health Service


as a national entity. And there is no doubt that the impact of the


Lancy Reforms has sapped many people's confidence in the NHS.


John Major said yesterday that the economy has, "Passed the the


darkest moment." I think he might have talked about green shoots


which no minister will do. We are used to reporting bad things about


the economy that sometimes we miss a turning point and bad is always a


better story thang good. -- than good. Are there signs that the


worst might be over? It is difficult to tell. There is a


problem with the kind of language that John Major was using in the


sense that there is a lot of evidence that many people out there


in the real world of experiencing problems with the economy, not


least the huge numbers of young people who are unemployed and


haven't been able to find jobs or college places when leaving school.


There are real issues about performance of our economy at the


same time, we have to recognise that the return of economic


confidence is very, very important to us getting out of this economic


mess that we're in. So we're -- restoring confidence is important.


Ruth, it is still bad, but have we passed the worse? It is hard to say.


Things with the eurozone could get worse.


But that got better? It keeps getting pushed into the long grass.


We don't know. Some of it depends on that. But yeah.


Ruth is right, international circumstances matter a huge amount


to the UK. We are an economy that relies on exports, the health of


the eurozone will have a crucial impact on our our ability to


recover. That might be another reason for


being positive. We were covering stories about Kate's pictures, some


events took place in Europe. It is time for our quiz. The question


today is which of these is the odd one out? George Osborne, Alex


Salmond, Theresa May, or Bojo, also known as Boris Johnson!


I have worked it out myself! Have you worked it out? Just about.


Have you? No idea. LAUGHTER


We'll see. We are probably wrong. They are calling them Gove Levels a


new system of exams intending to sweep away GCSEs. The reforms don't


affect Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. The Education Secretary


alooning with the -- along with the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg


who was hostile to the plan will announce the details later today.


So what's it all about? Well, the current system of modules and


assessment, will be replaced by one exam per subject at the end of a


two year course like the old O- levels. Each exam would be three


hours long. They can be as short as 90 minutes. There will be no


opportunity to bump upgrades by resitting parts of the test. If


students are unhappy with the grade, they would have to resit the exam.


The new exams would include more maths and more full length essays


and a return to English to foreign language translation tests. 22% get


an A or an A* grade at present, with a new course as few as a%


would be expected to get a grade one. The Government plans to launch


the new system in the autumn of 2015 which would mean we would see


the the first examinations in the summer of 2017. So that's where we


are. Let's go to our Adam to get a bit on the politics of this. April


dam, are you there for -- Adam, are you there for us? Afternoon, Andrew.


Tell me this Adam, it is good to see new the glorious sunshine there.


Mr Clegg seemed to be against this when it was originally announced,


now he is standing by Mr Clegg to announce it. What happened? Well,


the Government decided to junk this idea of a return to a two-tier exam


system like the old O-levels. Now you might remember right back at


the start of the summer, leaked documents from the Department for


Education suggested that's what Michael Gove wanted to do. Nick


Clegg read about that in the Daily Mail and was furious and took a red


pen to that idea and Number Ten were surprised by it too. That


queued through or four months of wrangling and that's led us to this


point today. Having said that, there is not going to be a two-tier


system, there has been hints there will be some differentation by


ability in the new exams. We don't know what form that will take. We


will have to wait until Michael Gove, the Education Secretary


stands up in there at 3.30pm to outline his plans.


Does This have the hallmarks of a prom pro mice that doesn't --


compromise that doesn't please either side. The Lib Dems wouldn't


have gone back to an O-level system and if Mr Gove got his way he would


be introducing two new exams? the Lib Dems are happy this lunch


time and they are pointing to two things as they see as victories,


one, the stuff we were talking about. They are going to use this


catchphrase, they will have an exam system where no child is left


behind. The other thing they are happy about is the timetable for


this because bear in mind pupils will not start studying for the


exams until 2015 which means they won't be sitting them until 2017.


In political terms that's years away in case there are problems


with the introduction of this new system. Coalition Coalition sources


think this is an example. Example of the way the the parties are


working together. Two new words Prolition and colicios!


We are joined by Kennet Baker who still keeps a deep interest in


matters education particularly in schools. Were you the architect of


the GCSEs? Keith Joseph was. He started them. I implemented them. I


think they have they have watered down over the year. They became


less rigorous, I took a thing called the school certificate. It


was really tough. But it was a certificate that ended education at


16 16 because then you went to work. The first question - why have an


exam at 16 when you are extending the school leaving age to 18?


you keep people in school until 18 who were only doing O-levels? If


you do well at 16, you go on to do A-levels? The real age of transfer


is 14. Test them at 14 and provide the sort of schools that are nooded


for young -- needed for youngsters. This is an academic driven reform


and I welcome it. I guess is... is a radical idea if you are going


to learn a foreign language you should have to translate something


from English into that foreign language? Well, many youngsters in


our schools will not do that. You can forget that.


This is very much a grammar school approach to life. You have got to


remember there are millions of youngsters in our schools who at 14


want a practical vocational, hands on learning. Learning by doing as


well as studying. That's why I'm setting up the university technical


colleges and we are finding by mixing the engineering and maths


together, their maths shoots up. I know you are doing that work in


setting up schools which are more vocational than academic. Are you


sad to see the end of GCSEs are have they become so devalued that


it is time for something new? have to revise the exam system.


They had become devalued, but they are welcome by lots of youngsters.


They are They are proud of achievement, but if you have, you


can't just test at 16 by a three hour exam in every subject. If you


are you are doing a practical subject, you have done project work


and created working together. You have modules. You have got to have


that build in. I don't want vocational qualifications put in


the back yard. They should be there in the front, on the front stage.


I am unclear. Are you in favour of Mr Gove's reforms or not? I am in


favour of the greater rigour in the basic subjects in English, maths


and science. Could that not have been done with


the existing GCSEs? You have to change the syllabus. It takes three


or four years to do that. In trigonometry, how far do you go?


How far do you go? That requires a lot of study and examination and


the syllabuses have to be approved and the teachers have to learn to


teach them. When you want to improve an exam system it is not


like turning up the gas on a cooker to get it hotter. It takes longer


than that to do. And in this change do you fear that


the need for vocational education with rigour? Is not high up enough


in the agenda? Yes, I don't think it is high enough. I am fighting


for it to be high indeed. That's why I am starting these colleges


with Michael Gove's support. I want to make them - look all of Europe


is change to go 14 and America is changing to 14. You have four types


of colleges, liberal arts college, a technical engineering college, a


vocational college and a performing arts college. That's what Austria


does and on Ontario. Is it your under standings that


when the new O-levels came in you would be able to do vocational O-


levels of rigour or will the O- levels be of an academic nature?


There will Be vocational O-levels. I introduced the National


Curriculum in 1998. The National Curriculum should stop at 14 and


you should have a variety of different schools.


This idea that there will be one exam system for each subject,


rather than competing exam systems, providing a range of subjects?


That's good. The big change that Michael is going to do is take out


the exam boards competing with each other. That's been the do you think


grading. That's encouraging the race to the


bottom? That's what happened. It didn't happen in our time,


Andrew. When children took O-levels they were easy.


I I didn't only take O-levels! Isn't the real criticism of Labour


is they spent a lot of money on education and made it a priority of


Government, Mr Blair's famous, education, education, education,


but they seem content to dine out on improving results, even as the


evidence showed that the exams were being devalued. They were becoming


easier to sit? I'm not sure about that. You don't think they were.


a day when we are talking about reforming the qualification for


GCSEs, I think we should remember there are thousands of young people


who have got very good GCSEs grades this year nain previous years, they


deserve them and have worked hard for them. -- this year and previous


years. There is thast' not the issue. There is an issue about the


integrity of the system. I think the point about the competition


between exams boards needs to be addressed and the regulation of the


exam system which again I think the Government will be addressing,


which is welcome. The essential question, which Lord Baker


addressside the question about what is the purpose of GCSE and what is


the purpose of testing people at 16. The crucial question we have to


address as this university technical colleges address, is what


is the route for people who don't want to go on to university but who


nevertheless deserve a hi-quality prestigious alternative pathway. We


don't have that at the moment. Labour may have to implement this


reform and if it gets into power at the next Government, should it or


should it not? I think there are aspects of the package being


proposed that Labour needs to look at. We don't know what Michael gef


is precisely going to introduce but there are aspects that ought to be


looked at by Labour. -- Michael Gove. The original Michael Gove


criticism is you can't have one exam for everybody, one exam for


people who like me read the auto cue and other people who are going


to be nuclear physicists and brain surgeons but we end up with one.


Lord baker is right. We need a system which is more diverse than


what we have. Extra what is extraordinary is the Government has


decided and expended so much political capital in this idea of


just tackling the credibility of our GCSE system. When you look at


the British education system there are far more fundamental issues


which need tackling long before people get through to 16. Looking


at basic skills in things like maths and reading and if you look


at the latest OECD studies we are failing miserably on all of those.


One nice thing is the head boy got a place at Russell university. He


turned it down to do an apprenticeship with Rolls Royce,


because he will get work and probably do a degree afterwards. I


want different pathways for youngsters responding to their


needs. Always good to talk to you on these matters. You may not have


heard for them, su certainly didn't vote for them but the men and women


who work for what we call think- tanks will almost certainly have


had an effect on your life. Why? Because these so-called policy


wonks, who dream up the bright ideas which sometimes form the


policies of our political parties, so they have an influence. Does


that make them a vital part of our democracy or a bnch of theorists


who really should get out into the real world -- bunch of theorists.


As Ken Baker has been saying. Most twopbt Oxbridge. David went to find


This is the natural habitat of the think-tank. It might not look very


exciting but people like these on both the left and right of politics


come up with the ideas which ministers turn into policies which


they use to govern Britain. It's a bigger deal than it looks.


Nick paerdz is one of the kings of the think-tank jungle and a living


example of how xected to Government they can be - nick Pearce. And an


example of how connected to Government they should be. You want


to give ammunition to look into the future. Things that are innovative.


Helping you to think where will we be in two, three, four years' time


and they should be doing things that politicians with their busy


schedules, can't themselves easily do. So it is important for think


tanks to be staying ahead of the curve, and thinking about things in


creative innovative ways, politics is a hard place to do that in.


there are those who believe that governments of whatever colour


could do with a bit less blue-sky thinking and be a bit more real


world. Do I not rely on them to give me ideas and I don't think my


colleagues do. If they need to know something, they go out and find it.


We need to restore our trust with the public. The way of doing that


is to listen to what they have to say and put forward policies they


want. Then there is the question of independence. Think-tanks need


money and it has been suggested one of the best ways to lobby


Government is to sponsor a think- tank event and get them to invite a


sympathetic minister along. There isn't as much money going into


think-tanks so they are having to fund-raise. It is important, if you


do fund-raise to be absolutely clear where you are getting your


money, from what research projects are being funded and you are


transparent and above-board about it. Here is an idea. How about the


people we pay to run the country doing a bit of their own thinking


for a change. If I went out on to the streets of Redditch tomorrow


and asked people what they, were I think I'd get a view blank stares.


I think the people of Redditch expect me and the Government to put


forward policies. That's who they letted to do that sort of thing.


This might look detached from the real world but these people do at


least give politicians something to work, with and you could be


forgiven for thinking they could do with all the help they can get. My


two guests here, Patrick Diamond and Ruth Porter, they are hi-tank


policy wonks themselves, a very weird Westminster breed. Is it


right you should have so much influence on the policy process?


Being -- it's been the way for a long time. I think it is wonderful.


The fundamental principle behind a think-tank is ideas matter. If you


go back that lovely story of Margaret Thatcher throwing down on


the table a copy of skaf constitution of Liberty and saying


this is what we believe in. You have an interesting example at the


moment with Ed Miliband talking about the idea of pre-distribution


and that's clearly going to be something which, whatever name it


ends up with, which is going to influence Labour's thinking over


the months and possibly years to come and the origins and the seeds


for that were in a lecture that was delivered at Demos two years ago by


one of the world's leading political thinkers. I think it is


important. Ideas do have consequences for all of us in the


nitty gritty of our lives. We need it take them seriously. But the


problem is who is coming up with the ideas, the think-tanks, and


there are lots within a stone's through of here. They straight out


of university, wet behind the ears, never had a proper job, never had


to meet a pay bill or done a union negotiation and yet they are coming


up with the way to run the country. Well that's a approximatelyite


description. An extraordinary bit of charm. There are lots of people


working this n think-tanks that come from different backgrounds.


There are people increasingly in think-tanks that come from a jk


ground of having worked in organisations whether they have


delivered things on the ground, whether it is charities or


political enterprise. There is an issue, I think about the proximity


of think-tanks to the political parties. I think where you see


think-tanks making a difference to the debate about the ideas in


politics, it is where they are able to have some critical distance to


what political parties and politicians are saying. When we


have lived through an era in which they have been fundamental


questions asked about our banks system and financial secondor and


fundamental questions asked about how we can fund our public services,


we need think-tanks that have independence from politics and have


the courage to ask more difficult questions than those that are


perhaps asked every day in political debate. In one way you


are not independent, because to get your money, you go to big companies


or vested interests, lobby groups and they finance your seminars in


return for you, because you can attract ministers and shadow


ministers. You give these vested interest of Government ministers.


think there is a difference between think-tanks that do money for


specific research reports. And just having seminars paid for by the


energy industry or the green lobby. Point of independence which Nick


Pearce made in that film, which is very interesting, I think is when


MPs get into Parliament, they are so busy with the day-to-day of


things that they can't take a step back from that and actually ask


questions, genuinely bwhat policies are going to be, not in the


interests of a particular industry, like a trade association, but what


policies are going to be in the interests of the country as a whole.


I think that's the unique space that think-tanks occupy.


I'm still puzzled you can afford to work for a think-tank and live in


London. Because they don't pay very much.


Before you leave, Ruth and Patrick, we need to find out the answer to


our quiz. The question was: which was the odd-one-out, George Osborne,


Alex Salmond, Theresa May or Boris Johnson. Patrick, I think you were


a little bit more sure. I'm going to take a punt at Boris Johnson.


Because... Because he was the only one not to be booed at the medal


ceremony at the Olympic or Paralympic Games. You are almost


right. He was the only one not to be booed but Mr Salmond was booed,


but not at the Olympics. Let's hear a bit of what happened


at the weekend. It was before the weekend, I think. It was in George


Square in the heart of Glasgow. word with the First Minister at the


end here. A proud summer as well. BOOS.


Come on, folks. I think we should say firstly from Glasgow and


Scotland that Colin and his committee in London set the bar


very high indeed. Did a wonderful job. That was at the Olympic


ceremony for the Scottish Olympians and medal winners there. There were


cheers there. It wasn't as quite as clear-cut as Mr Os Gordon Brown.


But we can speak to Torcuil Crichton from Scotland's daily


newspaper. Were you surprised he got booed


even by only part of the audience? Well, you take George Square in


Glasgow where they fly red flags and you take them celebrating the


Olympics and you take a national leader who was disparaging about


the Olympics for seven years, and you just add water. Or maybe oil.


Perhaps. It must have been vicious bus you could tell from the delight


of the reaction from Labour politicians that it had been effect.


Do you think he was surprised by it, he is not used to being booed?


He has been booed in the past. He was booed in Hampden stadium and I


heard at the Military Tattoo. He is a popular politician, he is a


Marmite politician, some like him, some don't, but he has personal


popularity opinions that George Osborne would sell the Crown Estate


for. Don't give him that idea. is satled to this unpopular policy,


independence -- sadled. He is Alex Salmond first leader, associated


with independence. His strategy now has to somehow decouple the


unpopular policy and have a referendum or not and decouple that


from the idea of a popular SNP Government and a popular


nationalist leader because win, lose or draw the referendum, the


SNP will want to carry on governing in Scotland so he has to try to


keep these two, somehow, although it will not be easy, keep these


ideas apart. Is there something significant by the fact that this


happened in Glasgow, which is Scotland's biggest city and the


surrounding area contains about half of Scotland's population and


it is still, as I understand it, quite a tough nut for the


nationalists to crack. It is not national -- natural nationalists


territory and maybe because of Rangers and other things, parts of


it are quite strongly Unionist. because of the working class


protestant inheritance of unionism. Politically Labour, although this


high tide of nationalism, we saw the Scottish Government elections


meant that the SNP now have constituency seats in the Scottish


Parliament in Glasgow. Nonetheless, when they tried to storm Glasgow in


the local government elections, which would have been that next


step towards a successful referendum campaign, Labour stopped


them at the gate. It was a Stalingrad scenario where Labour


had to pile everything into Glasgow to save the day, which they zand


that may well have been the high tide of Alex Salmond's SNP may have


been May 2010 when they won that amazing majority in the Scottish


Parliament. Glasgow has been hard for the SNP.


George Square is where they raise red skies. Thank you for joining us.


A beautiful view of Westminster behind you there.


Thank you for joining us. Patrick and Ruth thauve thank you also for


being with us today. -- Patrick and Ruth. Thank you also.


We have a busy week, today sees the Second Reading of the


infrastructure Bill which gar which allows the Government to guarantee


infrastructure works. And tomorrow Michael gef will


announce the exam restructure. And on Wednesday, Parliament goes into


recess, again, well it has been there for two weeks, there will be


no Prime Minister's Questions. On Thursday, former Liberal Democrat


secretary, Chris Huhne appears in court. That could be worth the


price of admission, accused of perverting the course of justice,


on a speeding offence, a charge he denies.


And the UKIP conference starts in brum on Friday and on Saturday, the


Liberal Democrats begin their autumn skin dig in the delights of


Brighton. To give us more detail we have Westminster insiders, -


actually they are outside Westminster at the moment - and


they may not be allowed back in again. Helen lies of the New


Statesman and Andrew Pierce of the Lots of talk about leadership


threats or unhappiness for Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg. Do we take


any of it seriously? Yes, I think we do. The Tory MPs are very, very


unhappy and unless John Major is right and the green shoots of


recovery are underway I think Mr Cameron Cameron could be in trouble,


but not yet. They will give him a year. The leader who is in most


trouble is Nick Clegg. I think it is inconceivable he will lead the


Liberal Democrats into the next general election. So keep - most


most people are putting their money on Vince Cable. Don't forget Tim


Farran, and he is not a Cabinet Minister so he can speak up for the


Liberal Democrat activist who are fed-up. What have they got out of


the coalition? They didn't get AV or House of Lords reform. They


might get may marriage, but that wasn't in their manifesto.


Helen, do you think David Cameron is not under any immediate threat,


it is the medium-term nonsense? Do you think Nick Clegg is under more


threat? Well, I think Nick Clegg is a useful sponge for the Lib Dems.


There is a testimony temptation that you can pin the unpopular


things on him. But I think David Cameron will be watching Boris


Johnson's conference speech with apprehension.


We all will! LAUGHTER


But more so than anyone else. We know he is a fantastic or ra tor.


He has the freedom of not being in the Cabinet to say the things he


wants to say and he can throw red meat to the Tory faithful.


There is 14 Tory MPs ready to plunge the sword into Mr Cameron. I


suggest to you Andrew there is always in the history of the Tory


Party 14 MPs ready to plunge the sword into their leader? That's


right. You need 46 and that's a long way off, but it is interesting


that one has been publicly outed, Patrick Mercer. He was sacked by Mr


Cameron. Some of the 14 will be people who have been overlooked for


a job and there will be an awkward squad. But there is no doubt behind


the scenes in the House of Commons people are very, very uneasy. They


see how far Labour are ahead in the opinion polls and remember this -


they have not really forgiven David Cameron for not winning the general


election against Gordon Brown who really should have been a walk over.


Helen, what do you make of the love affair now between Mr Clegg and Mr


Gove? They are not out together, indeed we had one description that


now the reform of the GCSEs, that it is a new word colicious? Well,


it it is in the Nick Clegg's interest and the dumping of the


two-tier system. I can't imagine the two of them will be having


country suppers any time soon! They are unlikely bedfellows. I


think David Cameron is - sorry escape Michael Gove is comfortable


working alongside David Laws, it is one of the orange book Lib Dems. A


Lib Dem that most Tories think is in the wrong party.


OK, Helen, Andrew, we will leave it there. Good luck trying to get back


into Westminster. I have spoken to security!


We have been joined by three MPs, the Conservative Chris Skidmore,


labour's representative. Michael Gove and NEC are announcing their


plans to scrap GCSEs. Let's talk about. Is there a concern among


parents and teachers that the exam system in some ways seem to change


every year? Well, for somebody who has taken GCSEs, the real change


that happens is each year that the standards go up and yet, at the


same time, we see from businesses, from universities, they are not


happy with the the results and you have got to take GCSEs in an


international context. You are seeing grade inflation taking place


year-on-year on year and to be fair politicians of all political


parties previously hold your hands up, we have not been honest and we


have not said, "Hang on a second, we have seen past grades going up


from 40% to 70%." And that's what we need to look at. If we are to be


fair on the pupils, if they need to get into university, we need to be


rigorous in our approach to educational stoondz.


-- standards. Did Labour allow the exams to get


easy? No. You have to look at what has been taught at school and the


quality of teaching and I think it doesn't really matter at the end of


the day about the exams. GCSEs are fine and if the Conservatives want


to go back to the old-fashioned system which had a two-tier


system... But they are not going back to that? It might not be the


same. But they are messing up the exam system. If exams didn't get


easier so more and more people get higher and higher marks, how come


more and more people get better and better at exams and yet in every


major international league table we fell down the league tables?


reason people did better because there has been real investment by a


Labour Party Government for 13 years.


Why did they fall down the league tables? Well, they are measured in


different ways. Every one we fell down. Something


is clearly wrong when our exam results showed us getting better


and better and by international international comparisons we were


getting worse and worse, we were below Albania on some things?


mean that's not the real question here. The real question is about


investment in education and about making sure that what has been


taught is being taught well. The children are learning it well and


not messing around with an exam system... Why doesn't that show up


- you are not answering the question. Why doesn't that show up


if we had done this investment and our pupils are getting brighter and


brighter because teachers are getting better and better, why did


we tumble down the international comparisons? Well, there are many


different factors why you can have the comparisons, but to pin it down


to the fact that it is the exam system that has got easier is the


wrong comparison. Why? I am asking you? I am saying


that's the wrong comparison to make. The fact is for some reason we want


to denigrate our young people because they are doing better -


they do. I thought you were against this?


no,, what we are against is having a two-tier education system and


leaving children behind, deciding at age 14 that some children were


less able than others. We have managed to make sure that isn't


what is going to happen in the education system going forwards. We


have problems in the education system. I think the problems we


have is far earlier in the age three to five which is why we have


been pushing the pupil premium, �2.5 billion per year will be going


into educating early years. If Mr Gove hadn't proposed them in


the first place, this is not a route you would have gone down?


is not. But it is a coalition Government.


You don't really believe in it? looked at the proposals. We made


them better. We made sure that no children are left behind.


Children are left behind every day? Well, yes they were.


They have been left behind in the past and they will be left behind


in the future. Look at the number of kids who go to our top


universities who are on free school lunches? The reason that that is


because our children are not getting the basics right at age


three to five. By age five, too many of our children are already


left behind and they never camp up and that's why -- catch up and


that's where we need to be investing most money to turn that


around. I would love to talk more about


this because I am interested. This afternoon the welfare secretary,


Iain Duncan Smith, will be questioned by MPs about his


flagship benefits policy. It is called the Universal Credit. Mr


Duncan Smith wants this to replace other benefits. Reports emerged in


the papers over the weekend of senior politicians against it. The


Social Market Foundation published a report saying that Universal


Credit will lead to increased hardship for benefit claimants.


The Government are trying to prepare families for work and to


simplify the system, but this this single monthly payment is a big


gambling. It is handing overall responsibilities to family and our


research with low income families show many are concern dha concerned


that many will run out of money by the end of the month and it could


cause havoc. Chris Skidmore, the Universal


Credit, what is it? Well, it is a single wrap around payment that


will merge the benefits together. At the moment we have 55 different


types of benefits within the DWP. With that will come a measure where


we will have a tapering system because there is great unfairness


that you can want be in work, but at the same time you haven't got


that cushion because you lose your benefits.


But will it be universal? We don't know what will happen to council


tax benefit? You have got to take that in the context that we have


the highest benefits bill in the whole of Europe and it is


unsustainable. Really? We pay more benefits than


Sweden or France? Yes. Do we? Yes.


Where did you get that from? Western Europe.


Well, Sweden and France are in Western Europe.


More people maybe on it, but that doesn't mean we have the highest


bill? Well, the proportion. We'll look at that. It is not, it


is probably not quite Universal Credit would be a more accurate


name for it, but explain Mr Cameron tried to move Iain Duncan Smith,


but this is very much his baby. The Cabinet Secretary seems to be


against it and the Lib Dems are lukewarm about it. Is the


coalition's heart really in the change? Well, speaking to


constituents particularly at Jobcentre, they think this is a


radical change change that's needed. I don't know, but speaking to other


MPs here, but the number of people I get who have a problem with the


system and the complexity of the system, the number of loopholes and


issues with that needs to be simplified and sorted out. We can't


carried on with the status quo. We can't carry on with the rising


benefits bill. Is Labour, I know you can argue


about details and say you do things in different ways, but a general


proposition, is Labour in favour or against the Universal Credit?


principle Labour said they are in favour of the Universal Credit, but


it depends on how it is put into place. And the fact that you also


have to recognise the fact that there is no one single formula for


each family and what the current proposal doesn't do is take those


into consideration in a Freedom of Information Request about the


Universal Credit to the department which was refused. It seems that


the whole scheme has gone over by �100 million. �100 million wouldn't


be much in a welfare bill of �130 million... �156 billion.


Leaving that aside. More people would go back to work, but that


proposals shows because of the changes to working tax credit,


increasing the hours from 16 to 24, what you are going to have is more


working families lose out on working credits and as a result end


up going into the benefit system system which they are out of.


If Labour wins the next election will you keep the Universal Credit,


or change it in ways you are talking about or scrap it? I think


it will be changed in certain ways. So you will keep it? There are good


things about it. Some things about it are good, but the way it has


been impla thed -- implemented is wrong. Disability benefit benefit


for young children is going to go down. People with young families.


Those are the things we would make sure wouldn't happen.


Would you cut the welfare bill? Some aspects would be cut. What


aspects would you cut? What bits would you cut? Cut down on some of


the benefits. In terms of, for example, we have said that we will


see what the state of the economy is when we get in and then


according to that make an adjustment, but we will not hit the


vulnerable. No, no, you said that. I wonder


Has this policy still got legs? People seem to be undermining Iain


Duncan Smith within the coalition? I don't mean the Liberal Democrats,


I mean the cabinet secretary. It was quite remarkable that Mr


Cameron should try to move Iain Duncan Smith. He has told me both


privately and publicly that this is the one thing that he is in


politics to do, he said to me once - I don't want to do anything else


after this is done. Absolutely and probably the they are probably the


team, in coalition terms that are working best together. Steve Webb


is in there doing the pension side of things and he wouldn't want to


be moved. But they are working well together. All parties would agree


the principle behind this is about making work pay. It's actually how


we do that best. And I think that there are far too many


disincentives in the system as it is at present, as Chris has said,


when you gain work you immediately lose some means-tested benefits and


have to apply for other benefits. By removing a lot of that, it makes


it easier for people to move into work, the taper is far better, so


we can have people working five hours, ten hours, and it still be


worth their while, whereas at the moment it isn't. Is your party


united in this? Only earlier this year, Paddy Ashdown spoke out


against welfare reform and he was against the benefit cap, even


though that will only be reduced to �26,000, which is the average wage


people get when they go out and work, and yet you will still get


benefits equal to the average age of people working, why speak


against it? It is an enormous reform, one of the biggest the


Government has ever tried to undertake which presumably is why


Labour just avoided it for the last 13 years. There will be elements of


Tha'ir lots of people will have issues with. I had issues with some


of the welfare reform as well. You know, I voted against some of the


proposals on under-occupancy, I don't think they are workable in


the present form. But the general thrust of the welfare reform


package, and bringing in Universial Credit, is, without doubt, the


right direction to be going and all parties I think, agree on that.


Have you got a plan B for when the IT system doesn't work? It probably


won't, will it? We have had problems. It won't work. But if you


look at the system currently it is boosted off BBC micro-s. We have to


march forward with this and regardless with technology we will


get there in the end. It is an interesting, huge, reform. Now what


did you read over the summer? That twepbtyi shades of whatnot nonsense


or whatever it was called -- 20 shades. How about Britannia


Unchained. It sounds like it could be written by the same author but


it is a series of essays by proud young Tory MPs who have come up


with solutions for nearly all of the country's problems. They are so


bright, that's what they have done. One of the authors is even sitting


with me here in the studio. But do these books ever change politics?


Adam has been reading between the lines.


Have you got a book called Britannia Unchained? It's by truss


truss truss. -- Liz Truss, Kwasi Kwarteng, Dominic Raab, Chris


Skidmore, Priti Patel. No. They are very up-and-coming.


I'm very sorry. There it is. Now this is a series


of essays about things like the competitiveness of UK industry. How


to cut the deficit, good Tory stuff like that. But it hit the headlines


after the authors accused British workers of being work shy. It's the


latest in a very, very long shelf of political cook books filled with


recipes for policies. Now this is one of the granddadies. The Future


of socialism by Anthony Crosland. Gordon Brown says in the foreword


"It was a wick-up call to a post- war Labour Party. He was a


moderniser before the word became current." Then there is compassion


able Conservatism by Jesse Norman, now an MP. In the mid-2,000s this


is one of the books you reached for if you wanted to know what this new


guy, David Cameron, was all about. And about the Orning Book written


by Nick Clegg, Christopher Huhne and David Laws. Even now, the


Liberal Democrats is split between these guys, who are much more


market-friend lip and those who are much more left-wing. But political


publisher Iain Dale says no MP writes them for the money because


they don't make any. You really write books it make your own rep


pew traigs. Over the past few years you have had a few Conservative MPs


who got in in the 2010 election who are looking it make their names and


stand out from the crowd because there are what, 150 new Tory MPs.


The book-buying public has propelled Britannia Unchained in


7,000-and-something position in the best seller list of a well-known


online retailer but do tomes like this prove more persuasive at


Westminster? What has influence is the ideas of being advanced.


Remember the books are only one aspect. They do it by newspaper


articles, by blogs and interviews on radio and TV. The books by


themselves, no, not many will read them. The view among Parliament's


bibliophiles is that they mark out people who want to get on. It is


not the plot that matters, it is the author. Do you have Full


disclosure by Andrew Neil? You do, and it is only 50p. I'll be


straight around to do it. Thank you very much.


50p. He was robbed. You can get it for 20 on another online list. 20p


that is. So, Chris, what is it like to be 7,430 on the best-sellers


list? It is an honour for a political book. I'm surprised it


got that high so, far. It has only come out. I appreciate the plug.


It'll zm now. You call for - it is a libertarian, Europe sceptic pro-


reform of welfare, further than Mr Duncan Smith could go. There is no


chance that any of this can be done before the next election, in a


sense this is your manifesto for the next election. It is very much


trying to get ideas on the table. There is nowhere on in book that


says this is what the Conservative Party should do to win a general


election. This is about getting ideas out to be debated and


discussed. Very much in the model, - we are now in the 21 century,


looking forward 20 to 30 years. It is an optimistic book. Well there


are two parts, we can keep the stpait us quo or how can we compete


with India and China and the other nations becoming industrialised, in


order to ensure that we continue our place... Are you read this


book? Written one, this one? Written one. No. What political


book influenced you? Well I actually found that the Capital by


Marx and others interesting. There is a bit I particularly liked, but


competition is the last - business people or capitalism needs


competition like it needs a hole in its head. I thought that was a very


good expression. Adam Smith put it much better. When a group of


businessmen get it better, their purpose is to conspire against the


public. He wrote better than Marx. Have you written a bok? I have read


a few. Would you like to do one? Are you going to readbury tan why


unchained? I have to admit I looked it up on a well-known online


retailer. I can get it for �6.28. It'll soon be cheaper than that.


might hold on. But the Purple Book about �6.50. What is that?


Labour Party's equivalent of the Orning Book. You can get it for


�6.50 but you have to pay �10 for the Orange Book. Orange Book must


have been the most talked about Liberal Democrat book of modern


times. People define themselves to it. It is portrayed as being a


left-right split, where your reporter mentioned a number of


people who contributed to it but one of the main contributors was


Vince cable. Nobody would say that the Conservatives look upon him -


well they would say he should be in another party - but not the


Conservative Party. Didn't David Laws call in it for an insurance-


based system of health care. What happened to that? It's ideas. All


out there for ideas. Have you read it It is radical and far-reaching


stuff. Some of the stuff on top-up fees, if we ever get there, will be


welcome. We need to move on. We have an important contemporary


story to do. Very up-to-date. Britain could see a full-scale


state funeral. Oh, yes, for king Richard III. Chris Skidmore here


thinks so, but only if a set of bones that were nound a car park in


Leicester turns out to be the remains of the 159 century king. -


were found. Lin Foxhall is head of the


University of Leicester's School of Archaeology. Does it look like


these are the bones of King Richard III? Well we have a pretty likely


candidate for the body of King Richard III, but at the moment it


is only circumstantial evidence. We have a skeleton, male, clearly


killed in battle and with severe scoliosis, that is curvature of the


spine, buried in a place in the grey friers' Church, where some


historical sources suggested he ought to be buried Grey Friarss


Church. But we need to do more testing to make sure this is really


the right individual, including genetic testing. When skilled


professionals like yourselves and others get to grips with this, will


you be able to tills, reasonably defintively, at some stage, whether


or not this is the king? Well, we hope so. Again, it depends on the


results of the DNA testing. And there are many things that could go


wrong with that. I mean we hope, we're pretty hopeful that we'll get


some good results out of that, but at this stage we can't be certain


and that's going to take about another 12 weeks. I mean it is very


unusual for archaeologists to be able to identify individuals in the


archaeological record. This is extraordinary. And that we have got


this close to even suggesting we have a famous individual is pretty


remarkable. All right let me bring Chris Skidmore in. Why - let's


assume this is the king - why should he get a state funeral?


I think it's followed the traditions of every single anointed


English king or Queen that they are afforded a state funeral at the end


of their lives. We have not dug many up. No but everyone buried has


been given a state funeral. Who is going to pay for the cost? Well it


is something to be debated. I put down the motion to discuss it.


There are interesting things, whether Richard should be buried in


a Catholic orangely cancer mony. would have to be Catholic, he


wasn't Anglican. Well there is a debate. How can you do that in the


modern world, how can you have a Catholic state funeral? Well there


may be Catholic rites so you could have a state funeral wrapped up


within that. But it is worthwhile having a discussion. It is a


remarkable find. Isn't this the chap that killed the Princes in the


tower. Well that's certainly debatable. Tudor propaganda. I am


have written a become about the Battle of Bosworth. I'm having to


rewrite it because of the findings. People went missing. He Boss the


Battle of Bosworth. Professor you must be excited about this, whether


or not the bones should get a state funeral, it is a great find. It is.


This is a debate we need to have further down the line. We're


following, as all archaeologists should, the English Heritage and


the Code of Ethical Practice for dealing on burials. And English


Heritage's view on Christian burials is when you reinter the


bones, where they get reinterred is a matter for discussion between all


the relevant interested parties. Now in the case with a remarkable


situation and a remarkable individual like this, there are


some very important interested parties, including the Church of


England and possibly the Palace, certainly possibly Parliament. So I


think we're going to have this debate later. All right, professor.


I'm sorry I have to interrupt. You will need the professor of


diplomacy when it comes to all that. Thank you for joining us. People


Download Subtitles