18/09/2012 Daily Politics


18/09/2012

Jo Coburn with the latest political news and debate. Featuring economist Jonathan Portes and a look at what makes a Brummie.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 18/09/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Good afternoon, and welcome to the Daily Politics. Is Britain's Afghan

:00:39.:00:43.

strategy in disarray? After a spate of attacks on allied troops by

:00:43.:00:48.

rogue Afghan soldiers, NATO suspends joint ground operations.

:00:48.:00:51.

But that was only hours after the Defence Secretary told MPs that the

:00:51.:00:56.

attacks would not lead to any change in strategy. But they've

:00:56.:00:59.

demanded that Philip Hammond comes back to the Commons today to clear

:00:59.:01:06.

up the mess. We'll have all the latest.

:01:06.:01:08.

Former Prime Minister John Major says the "green shoots" of economic

:01:08.:01:11.

recovery are starting to emerge. Is he right? And will any current

:01:11.:01:14.

politicians be brave enough to come on and say that?

:01:14.:01:18.

How can the Government bring down the welfare bill? The Government is

:01:18.:01:21.

apparently looking at radical ways to cut billions from benefits

:01:21.:01:31.
:01:31.:01:31.

payments. But could it prove too controversial? What is England's

:01:31.:01:35.

second city? Manchester. Wrong. Does Birmingham have an image

:01:36.:01:39.

problem? Politicians there are trying to boost the city's image,

:01:39.:01:43.

but does anyone down south know where it is?!

:01:43.:01:47.

All that in the next hour. And with us for the whole programme today is

:01:47.:01:50.

the economist Jonathan Portes. He heads up the National Institute of

:01:50.:01:53.

Economic and Social Research. Welcome to the show. Let's start

:01:53.:01:56.

with the news that the Government is considering changing the way

:01:56.:01:59.

that annual rises to benefits and pensions are calculated. For a long

:01:59.:02:02.

time the rise in benefits was pegged to one measure of inflation,

:02:02.:02:05.

the Retail Price Index. The coalition changed that so benefits

:02:05.:02:09.

are now related to the rise in the Consumer Prices Index, which is

:02:09.:02:17.

usually lower than RPI. And now, we understand, they're considering

:02:17.:02:22.

another change: to link benefit rises to average wage increases,

:02:22.:02:25.

which for the past few years have been lower still. Any such change

:02:25.:02:30.

could save billions from the annual welfare bill. Would it save

:02:30.:02:35.

billions? Only in the short term. Remember, over the medium term,

:02:35.:02:40.

wages tend to raise higher than prices pause we see improvements in

:02:40.:02:50.

productivity and we all get richer. Over the past three years or so

:02:50.:02:53.

earnings to value has fallen. Benefits would rise hire. What this

:02:53.:02:58.

means is this is a strange idea. It would save money in the short term

:02:58.:03:02.

but would cost a lot in the long term. Is the implication they'd

:03:02.:03:08.

only do it in the short term in order to recoup some of the �10

:03:08.:03:12.

billion they're hoping to save even further from the welfare bill and

:03:12.:03:16.

link it to inflation, not wages? What we have seen reported at least

:03:16.:03:20.

by the BBC is that the linking to the wages would be going forward,

:03:20.:03:26.

so it would be linked to wages going forward, and it would be

:03:26.:03:29.

rather odd because what that would mean would be you'd be taking money

:03:29.:03:34.

out of the economy in the short term, reducing the deficit in the

:03:34.:03:37.

short term, which is the wrong Qing to do from an economics point of

:03:37.:03:41.

view but you would be costing a lot of money in the long term.

:03:41.:03:45.

Politically, it would be quite popular. Surveys show,

:03:45.:03:48.

unsurprisingly, the majority of the British public would favour that if

:03:48.:03:54.

it meant reducing welfare payments. That's true, but it is rather

:03:54.:03:57.

illogical to make the saving in the short term then do something which

:03:57.:04:01.

would cost the country more in the long term. You're of course basing

:04:01.:04:05.

that on the fact the rate of inflation would change that

:04:05.:04:08.

dramatically. At the moment wages have been lower than inflation.

:04:08.:04:11.

Although inflation is coming down, we don't know what's going to

:04:11.:04:15.

happen in the future. We don't know, but it would be absolutely

:04:15.:04:20.

astonishing if over the next ten or 20 years wages didn't rise

:04:20.:04:24.

considerably faster than inflation that would be unprecedented in

:04:24.:04:27.

recent British history. I don't think that's going to happen. Over

:04:27.:04:32.

ten or 20 years wages will rise faster than prices. The idea was

:04:32.:04:35.

floated by the Prime Minister earlier this year. He said

:04:35.:04:39.

increasing the rewards of work is only possible if out-of-work

:04:39.:04:42.

benefits rise in line with pay, again, a political justification

:04:42.:04:47.

for this, but also that will strike a chime with many members of the

:04:47.:04:52.

public. Well, you can perfectly well argue it's quite reasonable if

:04:52.:04:56.

you want to keep the ratio of benefits to pay roughly constant,

:04:57.:05:00.

then over time, having benefits rise roughly in line with earnings

:05:01.:05:06.

or pay does make a lot of sense. I can perfectly well see the logic of

:05:06.:05:10.

that but we also have to accept historically and over the medium to

:05:10.:05:13.

long term that'll mean benefits rising faster, not slower. Thank

:05:13.:05:22.

you. There seems to be major confusion

:05:22.:05:24.

over the Government's strategy in Afghanistan following the latest

:05:24.:05:27.

attacks on NATO troops by rogue Afghan forces. Last night the

:05:27.:05:29.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said there would be no change of

:05:29.:05:31.

tactics to deal with so-called green-on-blue attacks. However,

:05:31.:05:34.

within hours the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF,

:05:34.:05:36.

announced that joint operations with Afghan troops would now be

:05:36.:05:39.

scaled back after a loss of trust between NATO and Afghan forces. So

:05:39.:05:43.

far this year there have been at least 51 deaths caused by Afghan

:05:43.:05:48.

forces or militants wearing their uniforms. Of those, nine were

:05:49.:05:52.

British. That compares to 35 for the whole of last year, one of

:05:52.:05:54.

which was British. This morning the Foreign Secretary has been

:05:54.:06:04.

answering questions from MPs. He insisted the move did not represent

:06:04.:06:08.

a major policy shift for British forces. Like the great majority of

:06:08.:06:15.

Afghans in my experience and our troop, they want us to succeed. The

:06:15.:06:18.

future of Afghanistan remains clear, and the Taliban should be very

:06:18.:06:23.

clear, and I make it very clear to them now that our strategy hasn't

:06:23.:06:27.

changed in Afghanistan and it will not change in the face of these

:06:27.:06:32.

attacks to. Give any other response, of course, is to increase the

:06:32.:06:36.

incentive for such attacks. That was the Foreign Secretary.

:06:36.:06:41.

Joining me now is our defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt. There

:06:41.:06:44.

does seem to be confusion. You just heard William Hague saying there is

:06:44.:06:54.
:06:54.:06:57.

going to be no change in strategy but a suspension of joint NATO

:06:57.:07:01.

missions has been suspended. Out of Kabul, a statement that came from

:07:01.:07:04.

ISAF, the International Security Assistance Force, did imply what

:07:04.:07:10.

sounded like a fairly major change but with further clarification this

:07:10.:07:17.

morning from ISAF and the Ministry of Defence it man made clearer. It

:07:17.:07:22.

is a temporary measure being put into place to protect troops more

:07:22.:07:28.

at a time of heightened sentiment with a film that is stirring up

:07:28.:07:35.

sentiment in that area but with the green-on-blue attacks attacks on

:07:35.:07:38.

NATO's forces. This has already taken effect. We have had statement

:07:38.:07:43.

coming out of the MoD saying this tactical measure will have a

:07:43.:07:47.

minimal impact on our operation. "We have a strategic plan that

:07:48.:07:53.

hasn't changed. We're confident about the way the plan is being

:07:53.:07:59.

executed." The MoD says. "Some temporary measures have been taken

:07:59.:08:03.

to reduce our vulnerability to civil disturbances and insider

:08:03.:08:09.

attacks and further assessments will go on in coming days." There

:08:09.:08:13.

is an effort to protect British forces. It does send out a signal

:08:13.:08:18.

to the Afghans that that strust and has been eroded to a certain degree.

:08:18.:08:22.

Have I understood it right that actually UK-Afghan joint patrols

:08:22.:08:29.

will continue despite the fact that we have heard from General Alan

:08:29.:08:34.

that actually joint Afghan missions - is he talking about US Afghan

:08:34.:08:37.

missions will now stop, and what's happened to the chain of command

:08:37.:08:42.

here? All of these are good questions. It seems to me the

:08:42.:08:46.

initial statement from ISAF didn't make clear what this meant. Further

:08:46.:08:50.

clarifications we have had over Kabul but also out of the MoD now

:08:50.:08:54.

are saying that is temporary measure. They haven't been

:08:54.:08:59.

suspended but permission for lower level operations - for example

:08:59.:09:05.

going out on a foot patrol would seek a greater risk assessment. But

:09:05.:09:09.

we have heard from Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, speaking

:09:09.:09:13.

outside Downing Street perhaps 20 or so minutes ago saying in fact

:09:13.:09:17.

British troops have been cleared to take those decisions at a lower

:09:17.:09:19.

level. Caroline Wyatt, thank you very much.

:09:19.:09:22.

With me now is the Liberal Democrat former Defence Minister Nick Harvey,

:09:22.:09:25.

who lost his job in the recent reshuffle. Denis Macshane is a

:09:25.:09:29.

Labour MP who summoned the Defence Secretary to the Commons yesterday.

:09:29.:09:32.

And Patrick Hennessey is a former British Army officer who has served

:09:32.:09:37.

in Afghanistan. We have had some clarification

:09:37.:09:40.

there. Why didn't we hear that from Philip Hammond last night? There

:09:40.:09:44.

has been a change, hasn't there? Well, it seems that something was

:09:44.:09:49.

announced by General Alan in Kabul last night, which reading between

:09:49.:09:54.

the lines it looks to me as though it has slightly taken London and

:09:54.:09:59.

Washington by surprise. There has been a refining of his message this

:09:59.:10:04.

morning, but it's clear this is not a major strategic shift. It is some

:10:04.:10:09.

sort of enhanced risk assessment at a heightened time of tension, but

:10:09.:10:14.

our approach - the British approach of close partnering and mentoring

:10:14.:10:20.

of the Afghan troops in Helmand is going to continue. It has to

:10:20.:10:23.

continue because this is basis upon which everything we're doing is

:10:23.:10:28.

founded. Before we go on to the fact that the UK joint missions

:10:28.:10:32.

will continue, let's go back to the way it was communicated. How on

:10:32.:10:36.

earth could that sort of message be broadcast by ISAF without our

:10:36.:10:40.

Defence Secretary know or being told? I think ISAF viewed this as

:10:40.:10:43.

an operational and tactical decision and have probably been

:10:43.:10:47.

taken by surprise the extent to which back here in London and

:10:47.:10:51.

Washington it is being seen by the political community as something

:10:51.:10:55.

more strategic. There is your answer. There has been slight

:10:55.:10:59.

communication, but nothing more serious than that. Come on. Let's

:10:59.:11:02.

get serious. This is the beginning of the end. Yesterday Philip

:11:02.:11:07.

Hammond had to be dragged to the Commons to explain why British

:11:07.:11:10.

soldiers still were being sacrificed to no evident purpose.

:11:10.:11:13.

Today again he's had to be dragged to the House of Commons. He didn't

:11:13.:11:17.

volunteer the statement. He has been walking up and down Whitehall

:11:17.:11:22.

asking what his policy would be. Mr Hammond and Cameron for months -

:11:22.:11:26.

Nick, a very loyal Minister, also said, "We're there to patrol, fight,

:11:26.:11:31.

train, mentor the Afghans. Now Washington has decided that's over,

:11:31.:11:35.

and I just can't any longer as a Parliamentarian say more British

:11:35.:11:41.

men - boys - very often young boys - should be sacrificed for a policy

:11:41.:11:44.

that's just been totally thrown overboard from the United States."

:11:44.:11:48.

Exempt it sounds like they'll be more protected if there is going to

:11:48.:11:53.

be a more vigorous vetting procedure before joint patrols are

:11:53.:11:56.

allowed, that would surely protect British troops. We should have the

:11:56.:12:00.

guts to take the decision the Canadians, New Zealanders, the

:12:00.:12:04.

Dutch, very brave people have taken to say our role in Afghanistan - we

:12:04.:12:08.

went there with honour. There is no more terrorist threat. It's over.

:12:08.:12:12.

We should come back and secure basis. We're not talking about

:12:13.:12:17.

scuttle, but no longer reporting every week, as the Prime Minister

:12:17.:12:21.

has, to that some British boy has been killed for no discernible

:12:21.:12:24.

national interest. The politicians and the Ministers have to get a

:12:24.:12:27.

grip on this and the Prime Minister should take charge of this

:12:27.:12:30.

personally. Is this the beginning of the end of the British role and

:12:30.:12:32.

strategy in Afghanistan? I am not sure this is particularly the

:12:32.:12:38.

beginning of the end. I think there was clearly confution. Apart from

:12:38.:12:42.

everything else, what surprised me when I was there is it didn't seem

:12:42.:12:46.

to take accountability of life on the ground. The British live in

:12:46.:12:52.

shared bases with the Afghans. You're all living together anyway.

:12:52.:12:57.

It wouldn't work practically anyway. The threat of the insider attacks

:12:57.:12:59.

isn't coming from Taliban infiltration. It's coming from

:12:59.:13:03.

soldiers who have a lot of stress who turn their weapons on the

:13:04.:13:10.

British and Afghan allies. There are twice as many Afghan-on-Afghan

:13:10.:13:17.

attacks as there are green on blue. To say you're not going out on foot

:13:17.:13:20.

patrol together, it doesn't address that you live together. Why the

:13:20.:13:28.

change of strategy? It's come from Central Command to deal with the

:13:28.:13:34.

immediate effect. You don't see that as a permanent shift, the

:13:34.:13:37.

increase, the spike, in the number of people that have been killed in

:13:37.:13:40.

these attacks you think will go back down to the levels we have

:13:40.:13:47.

seen in the past? I am not sure it will but I think it's a symptom of

:13:47.:13:53.

the Afghan security forces rather than a technical strategy from the

:13:53.:13:59.

forces. It has to carry on if there is any chance of handing over to

:13:59.:14:04.

the Afghan forces? I don't think British sacrifice should be

:14:04.:14:09.

sacrificed to cultural tensions in Afghanistan. I don't know if we

:14:09.:14:15.

stay there another 12 months, 12 years, 120 years we'll make a real

:14:15.:14:18.

difference. I think our mission is accomplished. I cannot bear the

:14:18.:14:21.

thought that because politicians will not tell the military what to

:14:21.:14:26.

do that more British boys will lose their lives. Well, he's right,

:14:26.:14:32.

isn't he? A lot of the public agree with that. Dennis has had this view

:14:32.:14:35.

for some time. I don't think there is anything that's happened in the

:14:35.:14:40.

last 24 hours that impacts that one way or the other. The Afghan forces

:14:40.:14:44.

have grown quickly to their strength of 150,000 from a very

:14:44.:14:49.

slow start, and it is this close working with them and the mentoring

:14:49.:14:52.

with them that's caused their competence to develop frankly

:14:52.:14:55.

faster than anybody believed possible. We have two years left

:14:55.:14:59.

there if a combat role before the Afghans take full responsibility

:14:59.:15:04.

for their own security and we move into a more of an International

:15:04.:15:09.

Development role there. If we're going make the best of the two

:15:09.:15:12.

years there and not negate everything that has been achieved

:15:12.:15:15.

to date, we have to work their competence up to the maximum

:15:15.:15:18.

possible level, and to do that you have to be integrated with them.

:15:18.:15:24.

You can't do it in a stand-off-ish sort of way, or you'll slow the

:15:24.:15:27.

whole thing down. Do you think the message that came out of ISAF was

:15:27.:15:32.

wrong? No, I don't think it was wrong. I think as Patrick was

:15:32.:15:35.

saying it was a perfectly sensible response to the heightened tensions

:15:35.:15:40.

at this moment. Similar things have actually been done in the past when

:15:40.:15:44.

there have been heightened tensions when things have kicked off around

:15:44.:15:47.

international films and things in Afghanistan. Before we just ease

:15:47.:15:52.

back a bit... Why was the MoD not told? I think the MoD heard about

:15:52.:15:56.

it as ISAF were doing it, and because General Alan evidently

:15:56.:16:01.

thought this was an operational thing that was right for him to

:16:01.:16:05.

decide. If chain of command at the end of the day do have to take

:16:05.:16:08.

responsibility. It is they who make these risk assessments from day to

:16:08.:16:13.

day, and I acknowledged at the start this seems to be a bit of a

:16:13.:16:17.

communications muddle which is hopefully... That is very, very

:16:17.:16:21.

serious issue if even if you don't see the particular... If I may,

:16:21.:16:26.

this is a made-in-Washington, decided-in-Washington policy.

:16:27.:16:31.

not. They don't consult with the MoD. Mr Obama has a very difficult

:16:31.:16:34.

election to get through. America also wants out of Afghanistan. Why

:16:34.:16:39.

can't you accept you're an elected politician, a decent guy. It's over.

:16:39.:16:43.

Stop saying... But why is this particular - we have heard now both

:16:43.:16:47.

from Nick Harvey and Patrick Hennessy. That's your view. But why

:16:47.:16:49.

has this particular incident suddenly propelled your rhetoric

:16:49.:16:54.

ever further down that line? Why has it changed it so dramatically

:16:54.:17:00.

when we have heard the policy... be honest, as Dick Fairly says,

:17:00.:17:03.

with the Prime Minister in a responsible way I have been saying

:17:03.:17:07.

strategically there is not much point in British soldiers staying

:17:07.:17:10.

in GM. We're going to come out. You can't say we're staying there

:17:11.:17:16.

forever. That's just silly. It's not my rhetoric. I think Philip

:17:16.:17:19.

Hammond should have come and made a statement to the Commons yesterday.

:17:19.:17:23.

I think he should have been on top of the process. He self-evidently

:17:23.:17:26.

isn't. It has been decided in Washington. The policy that has

:17:26.:17:30.

been defended that we're there to trade jointly with our Afghan

:17:30.:17:40.
:17:40.:17:40.

friends is is now out of the window. We have heard it is not out of the

:17:40.:17:48.

window. My understanding is not out of the window. This has no impact

:17:48.:17:53.

on the training missions going on, ongoing training. How all

:17:53.:17:57.

advantages has that been, what has been achieved by the kind of policy

:17:57.:18:04.

we heard about, these joint missions with Afghan forces?

:18:04.:18:10.

spent several months working with the Afghan army and they are now of

:18:10.:18:13.

a different army in how they conduct themselves. There are no

:18:13.:18:17.

longer led by the British and Americans but are working with them.

:18:17.:18:22.

They still require a huge amount of support which we are providing. But

:18:22.:18:27.

it is nonsense to imagine that there is suddenly a Chinese wall

:18:27.:18:32.

between afghans and British especially in Helmand. They co-

:18:32.:18:42.
:18:42.:18:44.

exist. I have been in Afghanistan also and I think we just have to

:18:44.:18:48.

take a strategic decision. The Russians have had to come out after

:18:48.:18:53.

they lost too many men. The Prime Minister it said he was going to

:18:53.:19:02.

get on top of this policy in 2010. Because of all the deaths, you

:19:02.:19:07.

cannot add more bodies to that funeral pyre. Let us stop the blood

:19:07.:19:14.

sacrifice now and we think what we are doing. You do not honour the

:19:14.:19:17.

sacrifice that has been made in a ten-year period by packing in

:19:17.:19:22.

before you finish the job. There is an internationally agreed timeline

:19:22.:19:29.

that we will lease by the end of 2014. It is essential for the

:19:29.:19:32.

Afghans that they take over responsibility from that stage. We

:19:32.:19:37.

have two years left to continue the work and increase the confidence of

:19:37.:19:42.

their security apparatus to enable it to stand on its own two feet

:19:42.:19:47.

when we moved out of a military role. If we do not finish that work

:19:47.:19:51.

to the best of our ability then that is what will dishonour the

:19:51.:19:54.

contribution that has been made over the decade we have been there.

:19:54.:19:58.

The in terms of viewing those opinions about should we use this

:19:58.:20:03.

as the reason to pull out now, or does Britain have to stay and

:20:03.:20:11.

finish the job? Well more broadly it seems difficult for me just as

:20:11.:20:16.

an ordinary citizen to determine what the strategic objective of are

:20:16.:20:22.

staying there is. It is quite unclear to me and to most people

:20:22.:20:27.

what we are actually trying to achieve. The answer to that is

:20:27.:20:30.

Afghanistan was in lawless state that became a haven for

:20:31.:20:34.

international terrorists. But the goalposts have moved. Of course

:20:34.:20:40.

they have, we have achieved a great deal. But we can only safely leave

:20:40.:20:44.

when the can be confident that our departure will not lead to the same

:20:44.:20:48.

lawless state all over again. And we are making very good progress

:20:48.:20:53.

towards that end in my judgment and that of Western governments and

:20:53.:20:59.

military, but we have not finished the job.

:20:59.:21:04.

So, top marks or an ignominious fail? The Education Secretary's

:21:04.:21:10.

proposals to replace GCSEs were examined in Parliament yesterday.

:21:10.:21:12.

Michael Gove said the new English Baccalaureate would end years of

:21:12.:21:16.

"drift, decline and dumbing down". In a moment, we'll be getting a bit

:21:16.:21:18.

of reaction from Giles and some guests. But first, here's what the

:21:19.:21:28.
:21:29.:21:30.

Commons made of it last night. Some will argue that more rigorous

:21:30.:21:34.

qualifications in these subjects will lead to more students failing.

:21:34.:21:40.

But we believe fatalism is indicative of a dated mindset. One

:21:40.:21:43.

that believes in the distribution of abilities so fixed that great

:21:44.:21:48.

teaching can do little to change them. We no great teaching is

:21:48.:21:53.

changing lives even as we speak. What does this new system to have

:21:53.:21:56.

to ensure that all young people are studying English and maths until

:21:56.:22:02.

they're 18? How does it help that 50% who do not go on to higher

:22:02.:22:07.

education, how does it help the bottom 20% who are most at risk of

:22:07.:22:12.

becoming not in education, employment or training? There is a

:22:12.:22:15.

place for course work and examinations especially in the

:22:15.:22:19.

subjects I used to teach, history and geography. There are also some

:22:20.:22:24.

pupils were simply do not test well because they are not supported at

:22:24.:22:27.

home in the same weight more privileged children may be. What

:22:27.:22:32.

will he do to support those young people from generally poorer

:22:32.:22:37.

backgrounds who struggle in exams? Coursework and controlled

:22:37.:22:40.

assessment often works to the benefit of middle-class students

:22:40.:22:46.

whose parents can better support them and actually the form of

:22:46.:22:47.

examination so we're putting forward a better designed to

:22:48.:22:50.

support students from poorer backgrounds to show what they can

:22:50.:22:56.

build rather simply showing what their parents have achieved. Can I

:22:56.:22:59.

press the minister further on children who leave school with

:22:59.:23:06.

nothing, those on the corner of the street drinking cans of beer. We

:23:06.:23:12.

all have them in our constituencies. Why are there left on the shelf?

:23:12.:23:16.

Does my Right Honourable friend agree that it is not just good for

:23:16.:23:20.

children but also essential for our country that we are internationally

:23:20.:23:24.

competitive in our exam results. Where we fall behind is in the

:23:24.:23:31.

European Union. We are 12% of the population of the European Union

:23:31.:23:36.

but now we have fallen to around 4%. One of the key reasons being that

:23:36.:23:40.

we're not good enough at speaking battling grimly to be able to

:23:40.:23:45.

compete in such an essential area. The growth of language teaching as

:23:45.:23:49.

an integral part of our education is central to what the coalition

:23:49.:23:55.

government wishes to achieve. We do verge in this from the last

:23:55.:24:05.
:24:05.:24:15.

government. Welcome. The ebank is just around

:24:15.:24:24.

the corner. Nick Dakin joins me now. And Damien Heinz, the Conservative

:24:25.:24:30.

MP. What is wrong with adding up rigour into the examination system

:24:30.:24:39.

with an exam that we know the grades have been inflated. Everyone

:24:39.:24:42.

agrees with rigour but I'm interested in what we're doing for

:24:42.:24:46.

young people to prepare them for the real world of today. There was

:24:46.:24:51.

a lot in what Michael Gove said yesterday, I believe, I know, but

:24:51.:24:56.

he gave no evidence that a three hour exam at the end of two years

:24:56.:25:00.

is the best way to assess people and prefer them for the modern

:25:00.:25:05.

world. No evidence to come back Lord Baker's opinion that there

:25:05.:25:09.

needs to be practical tests within it any assessments going forward.

:25:09.:25:13.

So I think the statement yesterday for Michael Gove begs more

:25:13.:25:17.

questions than it answers. What would be wrong with looking at the

:25:18.:25:22.

system and saying, we have a way of changing it but you cannot call it

:25:22.:25:26.

the same thing because otherwise it would still be devalued by

:25:26.:25:32.

association. There's nothing wrong with changing the name. What we

:25:32.:25:35.

need is some stability in education to allow professionals to get on

:25:35.:25:40.

with the job and continue to do a great job for young people. We do

:25:40.:25:43.

not want this perpetual change and both political parties are guilty

:25:43.:25:50.

of that from time to time. I find it ironic that in searching for

:25:50.:25:55.

rigour we have to take a French word to describe a new English exam.

:25:55.:26:01.

That could only come from a government such as we have today.

:26:01.:26:11.

Well calling it E Bac does not make it a bad exam. Some think-tank this

:26:11.:26:14.

are broadly persuaded of your politics but not persuaded of this

:26:14.:26:21.

change. I'm not usually accused of being pro-European but young people

:26:21.:26:25.

are working harder than ever before, being examined more than ever

:26:25.:26:30.

before and are being let down by the system. GCSEs have been eroded.

:26:30.:26:34.

We have broken all domestic records in terms of grades but have fallen

:26:34.:26:38.

down International League tables so we do need reform and an exam that

:26:38.:26:46.

everyone has a Trust in. Let us go back to the old exam. If I'm 14 or

:26:46.:26:51.

15 I will be asked by the system to concentrate on the working very

:26:51.:26:55.

hard to pass a set of exams that I already know the Secretary of State

:26:55.:26:59.

for this country has said is not worth having. We know that changes

:26:59.:27:05.

coming and we have a timetable and proper consultation. That is

:27:05.:27:11.

absolutely right. I was at the tail-end of O-levels and a new exam

:27:11.:27:15.

was about to come in in the form of the GCSE. We still worked for those

:27:15.:27:22.

exams, that is what we did. You're doing what you're paid for which is

:27:22.:27:26.

analysing government policy and criticising it. But they did change

:27:26.:27:29.

from the O levels to the GCSEs, there were complaints at the time.

:27:29.:27:35.

I have taught O levels and GCSEs and the worst exam I ever taught

:27:35.:27:39.

was O-level English language. A total lottery, not fair, not

:27:39.:27:44.

rigorous. If we go back to those days I think we will quickly feel

:27:45.:27:53.

the pinch of that. As he knows we're absolutely not talking about

:27:53.:27:57.

going back to the O-levels. These will keep the best features of the

:27:57.:28:02.

GCSEs but get rid of the bad ones like the competition between exam

:28:02.:28:07.

boards will DUP and the capping of aspiration at the foundation levels.

:28:07.:28:12.

Thank you for doing your homework. That is it from me.

:28:12.:28:18.

Turn out of 10! Now, whisper it, is the economy quite as bad as

:28:18.:28:22.

everyone is saying? Amidst all the doom and gloom that fills our

:28:22.:28:23.

newspapers and television screens, some economists are rather quietly

:28:23.:28:30.

suggesting there could finally be signs things are turning around.

:28:30.:28:33.

Back in 1991, when Britain was in the middle of a recession, the then

:28:33.:28:35.

Chancellor Norman Lamont said in a speech written by our guest of the

:28:36.:28:37.

day Jonathan Portes, that he detected "the green shoots of

:28:38.:28:42.

economic spring", and he was heavily criticised for it. So will

:28:42.:28:44.

we ever hear another Minister mention that loaded phrase "green

:28:44.:28:49.

shoots"? This morning the latest inflation figures were announced

:28:49.:28:52.

showing the Consumer Price Index was down to 2.5% in August from

:28:52.:28:54.

2.6% the previous month, the Retail Price Index was down to 2.9%, from

:28:54.:29:02.

3.2% the previous month. The latest employment figures show the number

:29:02.:29:04.

of people in work has increased by 236,000 to 29.6 million, the

:29:04.:29:07.

largest quarterly rise for two years, and even the markets are

:29:07.:29:09.

showing positive signs, with the FTSE 100 rising steadily over the

:29:09.:29:19.
:29:19.:29:21.

last three months. We're even making more things, Britain's

:29:21.:29:25.

industrial output rose by 2.9% in July, its fastest pace for 25 years.

:29:25.:29:31.

And manufacturing output for July rose by 3.2%. So what's going on?

:29:31.:29:33.

We can speak to our Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders who joins

:29:33.:29:43.
:29:43.:29:44.

What is happening is something that was expected at the start of this

:29:44.:29:48.

year - the story the Chancellor, the Bank of England, Ministers were

:29:48.:29:51.

telling themselves at the start of the year is there was light at the

:29:51.:29:54.

end of the tunnel. Things would start to get better in the second

:29:54.:29:59.

half, around now, because you would have, as we have seen this morning,

:29:59.:30:03.

inflation coming down, stopping - taking quite a bite out of

:30:03.:30:08.

households' incomes. You might see a bit more forward activity from

:30:08.:30:12.

businesses and the High Street, and things would stop feeling worse. I

:30:12.:30:15.

think the surprise we had - I am afraid that explains some of the

:30:15.:30:18.

good figures the last month or so is that the first half really was

:30:18.:30:24.

much worse than expected. We had that big fall in GDP. Some of that

:30:24.:30:27.

was due to the extra Bank Holidays. I am afraid we're sort of catching

:30:27.:30:31.

up on that, in a sense that some of that big rise in industrial output

:30:31.:30:35.

in July was actually just to recover from that extra Bank

:30:35.:30:39.

Holiday, so we need to be a bit careful in looking at the latest

:30:39.:30:42.

figures, but there are certainly signs things are levelling off.

:30:42.:30:45.

There may be more confidence coming from those strong employment

:30:45.:30:50.

figures. We created almost as many jobs in those three months as

:30:50.:30:54.

America, which is a seven-times larger economy and growing much

:30:54.:30:58.

faster, so there has to be something good going on in the

:30:58.:31:03.

economy. The economists are talking about a levelling off, a sort of

:31:03.:31:07.

rea guning of a generally flat position rather than a sort of big

:31:07.:31:12.

feeling that now we're heading off on a strong recovery. Yes. On that

:31:12.:31:15.

basis, although we might be through the worst point of the recession,

:31:15.:31:19.

you don't predict this is going to signify the start of growth of any

:31:19.:31:23.

major description? At the moment, given what happened in the first

:31:23.:31:27.

half, we'd be very lucky - in fact, quite unlikely we'd see growth over

:31:27.:31:32.

the course of 2012 as a whole, and I am afraid you would find it hard

:31:32.:31:36.

to find anyone in the City predicting strong growth from here.

:31:36.:31:39.

We're still way behind where we were when we started the recession,

:31:39.:31:44.

which is unusual to have had such a slow recovery with so many bumps.

:31:44.:31:48.

It is possible things are going to start to feel a bit better, not the

:31:48.:31:52.

least because confidence over the eurozone is feeling stronger.

:31:52.:31:53.

you very much. Funnily enough, no Minister was

:31:53.:31:58.

keen to come on today to talk about green shoots - I can't think why -

:31:58.:32:02.

actually, I can't blame them, but I am pleased to say we have been

:32:02.:32:06.

joined by the Conservative MP Andrea Leveson, who sits on the

:32:06.:32:11.

Treasury committee, and Lord Myners. Do you agree with John Major, green

:32:11.:32:18.

shoots are appearing? No, I think it's apparent we want green shoots.

:32:18.:32:20.

Of course. But in reality what the Conservatives were determined to

:32:20.:32:24.

achieve in Government was to eliminate the structural deficit,

:32:24.:32:27.

rebalance the economy. We have seen evidence of that with over a

:32:28.:32:32.

million new private sector jobs. That's really good news and to

:32:32.:32:35.

invest proceeds into hardworking people. We have cancelled tax

:32:35.:32:42.

freezes and with raises in tax-free personal allowance, so on. In a

:32:42.:32:46.

workman-like fashion we're trying to get out of the worst crisis ever.

:32:46.:32:51.

It can't be underestimated. We have come from so far behind. As

:32:51.:32:55.

Stephanie said, there is an awful long way to go, so you don't want

:32:55.:33:00.

to be too optimistic. Andrew doesn't want to say green shoots,

:33:00.:33:04.

and who would because people have been pilloried for saying it in the

:33:04.:33:07.

past. There are indicators that perhaps the worst is over. Do you

:33:07.:33:10.

agree? The problem with economics is you'll get conflicting

:33:10.:33:13.

indicators at any point. It's wonderful to see the rate of

:33:13.:33:17.

unemployment coming down, but remember, we still have long-term

:33:17.:33:21.

unemployment at a 16-year record. John Major talked about the stock

:33:21.:33:24.

market being high. The UK stock market is actually lagging other

:33:24.:33:28.

stock markets and is almost certainly the beneficiary of

:33:28.:33:31.

quantitative easing rather than true economic recovery. We've got

:33:31.:33:36.

very low long-term interest rates, which are consistent with people

:33:36.:33:40.

believing that the economy is still in recession, so, no, I would not

:33:40.:33:44.

use the term "green shoots". I would say that the economy is

:33:44.:33:49.

probably flat lining at the moment across the whole country, but it's

:33:49.:33:53.

very, very unwell in the north of England and Wales, parts of the

:33:53.:33:57.

country Tories don't normally go to, whereas in the south-east it's

:33:57.:34:00.

probably a little better. Let's talk about that. There is a

:34:00.:34:04.

perception - as you say, these things often are about perception -

:34:04.:34:08.

that London and the south-east may not be suffering in quite the same

:34:08.:34:11.

way generally as the rest of the country do you agree with that?

:34:11.:34:16.

Well, when you look at what you have done policy-wise, we have

:34:16.:34:21.

created the lowest corporate tax rates in the G7. We're focused on

:34:21.:34:23.

getting businesses able to recover. We're creating private sector jobs

:34:23.:34:29.

across the country, and so actually, it's not for Government to call

:34:29.:34:34.

sectors - to impose its own strategy on different businesses.

:34:34.:34:37.

The industrial policy recently announced - did indicate you would

:34:37.:34:43.

be doing that. We want to support private sector. The Government

:34:43.:34:48.

can't call private sectors. How do you read it, particularly with

:34:48.:34:51.

unemployment? Because the figures have been coming down. Is that

:34:51.:34:56.

misleading? No. What it shows is - I agree broadly with Stephanie. The

:34:56.:35:00.

economy has essentially had no growth over the last two years, so

:35:00.:35:04.

the perception we'd fallen back into a severe double-dip recession

:35:04.:35:08.

earlier this year was a statistical fluke and wasn't really happening.

:35:08.:35:12.

Equally, the idea we suddenly have a sharp recovery isn't right. What

:35:12.:35:16.

we have had essentially is two lost years partly because the Government

:35:16.:35:20.

took the mistaken decision to tighten policy too hard, too

:35:20.:35:24.

quickly. That's of course backfired. We know that's what happened.

:35:24.:35:28.

What's happening in the labour market - I think what has really

:35:28.:35:31.

surprised people is how resilient it has been despite how weak the

:35:31.:35:36.

economy has been overall. That reflects very well on the

:35:36.:35:39.

underlying strength and flexibility of the UK labour market which is

:35:39.:35:43.

due not particularly to what's happened in the last year or two

:35:43.:35:46.

but structural reforms made by governments of both parties over

:35:46.:35:54.

the last 30 years. We actually have a labour market that's worked well.

:35:54.:35:56.

That's made this recession considerably less painful than it

:35:56.:36:00.

otherwise have been. You have talked about the wrong policies of

:36:00.:36:05.

the Government over the last two years. That's what's led to this

:36:05.:36:10.

flat-lining growth of growth. of it. Actually, the coalition

:36:10.:36:13.

hasn't cut in the way it said it would anyway. I think if you look

:36:13.:36:17.

at the figures - for example, in public sector, net investment has

:36:17.:36:25.

been cut by 40%, and if you look at the most recent GDP figures, what's

:36:25.:36:30.

depressing GDP has been to a large extent construction. Where is that

:36:30.:36:34.

coming from? Reduced public sector spending on social housing. You can

:36:34.:36:39.

draw a very direct connection from the mistake this cuts the

:36:39.:36:43.

Government did make. They have hardly reduced the current deficit

:36:43.:36:48.

over the last year or so. Almost all the reduction has been done in

:36:48.:36:52.

cutting investment, which is the wrong thing, any economist would

:36:52.:36:57.

tell you, to do in a recession. What do you say to that? I think

:36:57.:37:02.

that is completely wrong. Which bit is wrong because the deficit is

:37:02.:37:05.

going up again even though it was cut last year, and they have had

:37:05.:37:08.

cuts to investment. Let's be clear about this. The Government was

:37:08.:37:13.

determined to cut the structural deficit. We were left by the last

:37:13.:37:18.

Government with over 11% structural deficit. That's wrong. What do you

:37:18.:37:22.

mean? That wasn't the structural deficit in the last Government. You

:37:22.:37:27.

have cut the deficit by 25%. Most of that cut has been by cutting net

:37:27.:37:32.

investment - public sector net investment which isn't part of the

:37:32.:37:35.

structural investment. You should read the figures before you try and

:37:35.:37:39.

talk about this. The structural deficit was never 11%, and the cuts

:37:39.:37:45.

that cut the deficit by 25% was predominantly over two-thirds and

:37:45.:37:49.

three-quarters in the most recent year has come from cutting public

:37:49.:37:53.

sector net investment which isn't... Do you accept that there have been

:37:54.:37:57.

cuts in investment that public sector projects are a big cut.

:37:58.:38:02.

That's part of where the lowering of the deficit has come from?

:38:02.:38:11.

Government this week has announced an enormous guarantee in public

:38:11.:38:14.

sector - private sector funding for infrastructure has been

:38:15.:38:18.

extraordinarily difficult. What the Labour Party is saying, and I know

:38:18.:38:23.

Jonathan also advocates - is yet more spending. The Institute for

:38:23.:38:26.

Fiscal Studies has said under Labour Government we'd have had

:38:26.:38:34.

�200 billion more of borrowing. cost of borrowing is more too.

:38:34.:38:39.

is not a deliberate policy. What the Labour Party are advocating is

:38:39.:38:43.

yet more borrowing that would have a massively negative impact on our

:38:43.:38:47.

entire economy, pushing up interest rates. That is the fee, isn't it?

:38:47.:38:53.

If you're spending more money, that is not going to boost - necessarily

:38:53.:38:57.

boost growth in the economy, going to lead to higher borrowing and

:38:57.:39:00.

higher rates of deficit. At what point, Lord Myners, do you think

:39:00.:39:03.

the markets and credit ratings agency are going to say hang on.

:39:03.:39:08.

We're going to put up your interest rate payments? First the Chancellor

:39:08.:39:15.

is going to have to reduce deficit as a percentage of of GDP. He's

:39:15.:39:21.

going to have to announce fairly soon that drop isn't achievable.

:39:21.:39:26.

What he's missing is the role of the public sector to reinsert

:39:26.:39:29.

demand in the economy... subsidise jobs that aren't

:39:29.:39:35.

worthwhile and don't do anything? Exactly. The lessons we learnt from

:39:35.:39:39.

the '30s is when we have a demand deficiency, the Government should

:39:39.:39:43.

step in. How much would you like to spend? We're going into a spiral of

:39:43.:39:48.

decline. You also have to talk more positively. We didn't speak enough

:39:48.:39:51.

about that early on. All of this talk of austerity from the

:39:51.:39:55.

Government is having a draining effect on economic confidence.

:39:55.:40:00.

That's so wrong. Time and time again it was said the biggest

:40:00.:40:03.

problem is consumer confidence, consumer demand because it has been

:40:03.:40:08.

talked down. That's not the case. What we did is we had a debt crisis.

:40:08.:40:11.

What the Government was determined to do was put the economy back on

:40:11.:40:14.

the straight and narrow. By talking about the austerity measures and

:40:14.:40:18.

being clear about the task that lies ahead that gave the

:40:18.:40:21.

international capital market the confidence to continue to lend to

:40:21.:40:25.

Britain. That's why we have public sector debt figures that look like

:40:25.:40:28.

some of the southern European countries and borrowing rates that

:40:28.:40:32.

look like Germany's. It's because the international markets have

:40:32.:40:34.

confidence in our ability to rebuild the economy. That's key to

:40:34.:40:40.

our economic growth. We don't want to squander that, briefly, Lord

:40:40.:40:45.

Myners? No. And announcing a big spending package would. The markets

:40:45.:40:48.

would respond quite well because they're increasingly worried about

:40:48.:40:53.

the absence of growth and the fact that's now driving the deficit up

:40:53.:40:56.

rather than reducing it as the coalition claimed it would. Let's

:40:56.:41:01.

talk about green shoots - was that your invention in the speech with

:41:01.:41:07.

Norman Lamont? I co-wrote the speech with Norman and Andrew

:41:07.:41:11.

Tirery. I don't know who takes credit for the phrase but I

:41:11.:41:15.

contributed. Is it wise the talk about green shoots when you're in

:41:15.:41:20.

the middle of a recession? You know, the Government and, indeed, all of

:41:20.:41:24.

us do have a responsibility not to try to talk the economy down

:41:24.:41:27.

unnecessarily. We shouldn't be talking about austerity. The

:41:27.:41:31.

Government made a big mistake in the first few months after the

:41:31.:41:35.

election by saying we're like Greece... It was essential to get

:41:35.:41:39.

credibility. And the public, Jonathan Portes, seemed to support

:41:39.:41:43.

it. On that note - Andrew, thank you very much. You're staying with

:41:43.:41:49.

us, though I have made a confusion of who is staying and who isn't.

:41:49.:41:52.

Could Britain learn anything from the United States? The United

:41:52.:41:56.

States economic recovery might be sluggish, but it's doing better

:41:56.:41:59.

than Britain are they doing anything over there that we should

:41:59.:42:09.
:42:09.:42:13.

be doing over here? We sent Susana to a little bit of Americana right

:42:13.:42:18.

here in the UK, the All Star Lanes in London's Holborn.

:42:19.:42:22.

Which is the best lane for recovery? If you're in President

:42:22.:42:25.

Obama's America, the answer seems to be to throw public money at the

:42:25.:42:29.

economy - so-called fiscal stimulus, and if you're coalition Britain,

:42:29.:42:34.

you could roll out spending cuts, otherwise known as austerity. The

:42:34.:42:38.

US economy has been growing, while Britain's has been shrinking, so is

:42:39.:42:48.
:42:49.:42:49.

it time to switch lanes? I think there are lessons we can learn. The

:42:49.:42:52.

stimulus plan, which has been carried out in the United States,

:42:52.:42:56.

has made a big difference to growth and jobs. We ought to try that in

:42:56.:43:04.

the UK. We have already been trying on American shoes for size, so says

:43:04.:43:10.

free market think-tank. There is a myth about fiscal stimulus. We

:43:10.:43:13.

somehow believe Barack Obama is pumping huge amounts of money into

:43:13.:43:17.

the economy and David Cameron and Nick Clegg are practising austerity.

:43:18.:43:23.

Actually, the amount of debt that has been added to year on year is

:43:23.:43:27.

almost the same. The reasons America is bouncing back in the

:43:27.:43:33.

last three or four years have to be different reasons. Despite all the

:43:33.:43:36.

spending, almost 12.5 million people are out of work in America.

:43:36.:43:40.

Unemployment is still a major problem. The proportion of people

:43:40.:43:44.

without jobs has risen above 8.2% of the United States population.

:43:44.:43:48.

That's a slightly higher proportion than the UK where the unemployment

:43:48.:43:53.

rate has been falling. Here, the number out of work stands at just

:43:53.:43:58.

2.6 million. The last set of unemployment figures show the

:43:58.:44:02.

numbers not working fell by 7,000 in the three months to July that

:44:02.:44:06.

doesn't mean the agenda is working in the UK according to one American

:44:06.:44:11.

economist. Well, the growth path of the UK has been worse than in the

:44:11.:44:16.

US, and so it's hard to argue that short-term policies that were

:44:16.:44:21.

enacted in the past couple of years are a major factor in the low

:44:21.:44:26.

unemployment rate in the UK. Then there is the battle of the AAA

:44:26.:44:31.

triple credit rating. Britain has so far held on to its prized rating

:44:31.:44:35.

though it's on a negative outlook. The United States has already been

:44:35.:44:38.

downgraded by one ratings agency and might be again if Congress

:44:38.:44:41.

doesn't decide on a deficit reduction plan. I wouldn't worry

:44:41.:44:45.

too much if I was an American about perhaps the rating going down

:44:45.:44:51.

further. I wouldn't be too hung up as a Brit about our AAA rating.

:44:51.:44:54.

There are many, many, many other criteria the look at. So stay the

:44:54.:44:57.

course, or mix in some American flavour? The trouble is you don't

:44:57.:45:07.
:45:07.:45:10.

know what it's like until you taste Lord Myners and Jonathan Portes are

:45:10.:45:17.

still with us. What has the stimulus package actually achieved?

:45:17.:45:23.

The American economy is now 1.5% bigger than when we went into the

:45:23.:45:33.
:45:33.:45:33.

global recession. The UK economy is 4.3% smaller. We are one of only

:45:33.:45:39.

two G 20 countries that still has economic output below the level of

:45:39.:45:44.

the previous peak. The stimulus policies that Bagger bummer have

:45:44.:45:47.

followed have undoubtedly contributed towards increased

:45:47.:45:51.

output in America. But record numbers of people are still

:45:51.:45:56.

dropping out of the work force and that tells a different story.

:45:56.:46:02.

tells a story that is not great but it would have been even worse if we

:46:02.:46:11.

have not had fiscal stimulus. terms of the stimulus, it may have

:46:11.:46:16.

created demand and kept the economy moving, but would it do so in a

:46:16.:46:20.

sustained manner? I think sustainability comes from the fact

:46:20.:46:25.

that if the government puts more demand into the economy at a time

:46:25.:46:29.

when there is more supply and demand, it gets the economy going.

:46:29.:46:33.

And because it gets going, businessmen feel more confident.

:46:33.:46:38.

They see their customers coming back into their shops. I was the

:46:38.:46:42.

chairman of Marks and Spencers and that is how it works, the customers

:46:42.:46:46.

come back, the company begins to invest and then you have a

:46:46.:46:50.

beneficial cycle in which government contribution to the

:46:50.:46:55.

economy can be reduced. But to cut back now is suicidal in terms of

:46:55.:47:00.

the contribution of government expenditure to economic activity.

:47:00.:47:05.

Except that it does keep the markings on side -- the Markets on

:47:05.:47:08.

site. And it does mean that interest payments are low and that

:47:09.:47:14.

must be a good thing. We know what happens now when the ratings

:47:14.:47:19.

agencies downgrade some were like America, we saw that last September.

:47:19.:47:26.

What happened? Interest rates on US government debt fell. They felt and

:47:26.:47:30.

they stayed at their lowest rates in many years. But would that

:47:30.:47:39.

happen here? There's every reason to believe it would not. Do you

:47:39.:47:43.

know when the ratings agency started to downgrade Japan? More

:47:43.:47:46.

than 10 years ago. And what has happened to their interest rates

:47:46.:47:53.

since then, they have stayed at the lowest recorded interest rates

:47:53.:47:57.

since the Babylonian Empire. terms of the stimulus that you're

:47:57.:48:04.

both advocating, how much should it be? My personal opinion is that a

:48:04.:48:11.

short-term stimulus on the order of 2% of GDP, around �30 billion,

:48:11.:48:15.

directed in the first instance and public sector investment. So the

:48:15.:48:20.

kind of things the government is trying to do it anyway. But just

:48:20.:48:24.

off the balance sheet. The government does want more

:48:24.:48:32.

investment, but it does not want to be seen to be borrowing more.

:48:33.:48:38.

it does not want to add to borrowing. His 30 billion enough?

:48:38.:48:42.

It is less important how much it is that how it is spent. I would

:48:43.:48:47.

disagree with Jonathan. I think infrastructure is important. The

:48:47.:48:52.

others are trying to put back in some Infrastructure Investment that

:48:52.:48:58.

they pulled out. But are much like more to be done, not through

:48:58.:49:08.
:49:08.:49:09.

monetary policy, but short-term cuts in VAT, tax concessions

:49:09.:49:13.

favouring the low paid. Let us go back to the issue of jobs. Lord

:49:13.:49:19.

Myners said earlier that cutting public sector jobs was not the way

:49:19.:49:21.

forward but you're not agreed with the government policies that says

:49:21.:49:24.

that many of those public sector jobs are wasteful, but they do need

:49:24.:49:28.

to go in order to rebalance the economy so when it comes out of

:49:28.:49:34.

recession it is in better shape? think over time the size of the

:49:34.:49:41.

public sector does need to be reduced. In the medium to long-term

:49:41.:49:47.

the books have to balance. The government is correct about this.

:49:47.:49:51.

The question that I and most economists have is about the timing

:49:51.:50:00.

of this. And on this I do agree with Lord Myers. To take demand out

:50:00.:50:04.

of the economy precisely in the middle of a recession. It is a

:50:04.:50:09.

question of timing and not of the long term strategy which most

:50:09.:50:14.

economists would agree. You should only be spending what you can fund

:50:14.:50:18.

through taxes. Well defence secretary Philip

:50:18.:50:22.

Hammond has made a statement in the Commons on NATO strategy in

:50:22.:50:32.
:50:32.:50:32.

Afghanistan. In respect of the ISAF statement

:50:32.:50:36.

issued on Saturday the media have become over-excited. It might be

:50:36.:50:40.

helpful to quote from a press release issued by the commander of

:50:40.:50:45.

ISAF forces this morning. Recent media coverage regarding the change

:50:46.:50:50.

in ISAF's model of security force assistance to the Afghan national

:50:50.:50:54.

security forces is not accurate. ISAF remains committed to

:50:54.:51:00.

partnering with, training, advising and assisting our counterparts. The

:51:00.:51:05.

ISAF model is focused at the battalion level and above with

:51:05.:51:09.

exceptions approved by senior commanders. Partnering a prayers at

:51:09.:51:14.

all levels from platoon to core. This has not changed. In response

:51:14.:51:19.

to elevated track levels resulting from the innocence of Muslims video,

:51:19.:51:23.

ISAF has taken some prudent but temporary measures to reduce our

:51:24.:51:29.

profile and vulnerability to civil disturbances or insider attacks.

:51:29.:51:33.

The security force assistance model is integral to the success of the

:51:33.:51:37.

mission and ISAF will return to normal operations as soon as

:51:38.:51:42.

conditions warrant. Defence secretary Philip Hammond

:51:42.:51:48.

speaking to the Commons a moment ago.

:51:48.:51:50.

There are a million of them - and they've been behind some of the

:51:50.:51:52.

greatest scientific discoveries and technological advances in British

:51:52.:51:56.

history. So why is Birmingham City Council organising a meeting today

:51:56.:52:01.

to ask what makes a Brummie? Well, they're worried that

:52:01.:52:03.

Birmingham's status as the country's second city isn't

:52:03.:52:06.

recognised widely enough by people from elsewhere. We sent Adam out

:52:06.:52:13.

onto the streets of London to find out if that's true.

:52:13.:52:21.

Dino what England's second city is? I have no idea. Do you know any

:52:21.:52:29.

other cities in England? Oh, yes. It is Birmingham? Correct. Would

:52:29.:52:35.

she ever think of relocating to Birmingham? I would not. I have

:52:35.:52:42.

never been to Birmingham in all honesty. You have a lot of

:52:42.:52:52.
:52:52.:52:56.

landmarks up their full stock like what? The big cow! The Bull Ring?

:52:56.:53:04.

What else has Birmingham got going for it? The train station! What is

:53:05.:53:10.

England's second city? Manchester. Would you like to try again?

:53:10.:53:20.
:53:20.:53:21.

Liverpool. And again? Leaves. Dublin? That is in the Republic of

:53:21.:53:27.

Ireland! Have you heard of a place called Birmingham? Never heard of

:53:27.:53:36.

it. Where are you from? Coria. would you say is England's second

:53:36.:53:44.

city? What do you mean? Do you think it is a good second city?

:53:44.:53:50.

really. Why not? It is in the Midlands, there's nothing much

:53:50.:54:00.

there. Can you do a Birmingham accent? It is tricky to do a

:54:00.:54:09.

Birmingham accent... That is a Liverpool accent!

:54:09.:54:16.

I thought that was not bad. But it does sound as if Birmingham needs

:54:16.:54:23.

to do some publicity. Waseem Zaffar is in a Birmingham studio now. That

:54:23.:54:26.

will not have filled you with any great jury listening to those

:54:26.:54:30.

people who could not name Birmingham as the second city. Why

:54:30.:54:35.

does it seem to punch below its weight? There are a number of

:54:35.:54:38.

issues that we need to look at. I do not think the people of

:54:38.:54:47.

Birmingham themselves do not know enough about their history. We ate

:54:47.:54:51.

in the council are looking at what we need to be proud of and what

:54:51.:54:55.

attracts people to this great city. We have people who have been here

:54:55.:55:00.

for generations but also people from up to 150 different countries

:55:00.:55:05.

around the world who have made Birmingham their home. What makes

:55:05.:55:12.

you proud? It has fantastic places, the best sporting venues,

:55:12.:55:16.

incredible shopping-centres. But what makes me most crowd is the

:55:16.:55:24.

people of Birmingham, we are of the warmest, most friendly people. You

:55:24.:55:27.

can make Birmingham your home straight away. And that is because

:55:27.:55:33.

we hope people to settle and integrate here. We have incredibly

:55:33.:55:38.

diverse and friendly communities. Do you think the city centre is

:55:38.:55:42.

attractive? It has changed a lot and I think has been vastly

:55:42.:55:47.

improved. Do you think it is now an attractive city? Without doubt it

:55:47.:55:51.

is an incredible city centre pub there are also other places around

:55:51.:55:56.

the city equally as good. There's still a long way to go before it is

:55:56.:56:03.

a perfect city. Clearly some of the people you interviewed do not

:56:04.:56:09.

recognise it as the second city. This inquiry will look at that and

:56:09.:56:13.

address some of those issues. do you think would be a good way to

:56:13.:56:17.

start at Birmingham campaign to convince Londoners that this is the

:56:17.:56:24.

destination? One thing we need to do is educate the young people in

:56:24.:56:28.

that city, the people of Birmingham, on the heritage and history of the

:56:28.:56:33.

city and what it is today. We can sell the city far better than

:56:33.:56:43.
:56:43.:56:45.

anyone else. But we did have an adoptive son, Usain Bolt! Do you

:56:45.:56:50.

think if they had chosen to have an elected mayor, would that help?

:56:50.:56:58.

was part of that campaign and I think it would have helped. But we

:56:58.:57:00.

met with the Prime Minister at last week to talk about punching our

:57:00.:57:06.

weight. What do you think about Birmingham, Louis Oosthuizen's I

:57:06.:57:10.

have been there a number of times, my sister lives just outside

:57:10.:57:16.

Birmingham. I don't know it. There is a tremendous advantage to the UK

:57:16.:57:20.

as a whole in having London as a global city but it has led to a

:57:21.:57:30.
:57:31.:57:31.

somewhat distorted model of economic development. We are in

:57:31.:57:34.

possession of major cities which have plunged below the wait for too

:57:34.:57:39.

long. And we needed to get behind those cities and let them take some

:57:39.:57:44.

of the weight in generating sustainable economic growth. Do you

:57:44.:57:47.

think it has been to the detriment of cities like Birmingham, would

:57:47.:57:52.

you like to see that addressed? London is absolutely vital to the

:57:52.:57:58.

economic future of Britain, we should not downplay that in any way.

:57:58.:58:03.

But we cannot have a model of economic development solely based

:58:03.:58:08.

on London's advantages as a global city, we also have to insure that

:58:08.:58:13.

the regions and in particular the big regional cities also develop.

:58:13.:58:17.

What would be one bit of advice for Waseem Zaffar in terms of what they

:58:17.:58:23.

could do to promote Birmingham? What I know about the evidence of

:58:23.:58:30.

the city development is what really matters is people. From an economic

:58:30.:58:34.

point of view of what that means is skilled workers and in particular

:58:34.:58:37.

universities. It is getting good universities and making sure they

:58:37.:58:43.

work well with local business communities. And people go to those

:58:43.:58:47.

universities and want to stay there afterwards. Good luck with your

:58:47.:58:52.

campaign. That's all for today. Thanks to our

:58:52.:58:56.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS