19/09/2012 Daily Politics


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Morning, folks, this is the Daily Politics. Are we heading for a


European foreign policy, a European army and a European border police?


That is what the foreign ministers of the EU's biggest countries say


they want. Not including Britain, of course, where the idea of a


powerful new pan-European foreign ministry -- midges -- ministry and


a shared defence policy could be a hard sell.


Whispers of green economic ships. Britain's businesses tell us what


could help them prosper. Is the Football Association done


enough to stamp out racism? MPs think it could do more.


# Outsourcing jobs, playing cover- up, two years of tax returns really


ain't enough. # And we will be asking, is Mitt


Romney's campaign heading in the wrong direction?


You never thought you would see one direction on the Daily Politics,


and you didn't. It is a cover-up. All that and more coming up in the


next hour. No PMQs today. Parliament has shut up shop for


three and a half weeks. They have been back for two weeks, so only


right that they should go away again to their party conferences.


But never fear, Digby Jones will soon be here to find us. He is a


former trade minister under Gordon Brown. He will be with us for most


of the programme when he has sorted out his transport issues.


First today, let's turn our eyes to the tragic shooting of two female


police officers in Greater Manchester yesterday. Fiona Bone,


who was 32 and Nicola Hughes, who was 23, were killed when they


responded to a false report of a burglary of a hat as the housing


estate in Mottram. The suspect, Dale Cregan, is also being


questioned on suspicion of murdering a man and his father in


two attacks in Greater Manchester earlier this year. It has emerged


that he was initially arrested three months ago as part of that


inquiry, but was released on bail. Earlier I spoke to the chairman of


the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz. I put it to him that


people would find it hard to understand why a man wanted in


connection with two other murders was out on police bail. They are


right to be concerned. This is an issue that has been raised in the


past by myself and the Home Affairs Select Committee. We need to look


at the whole issue of bail. Baileys of course granted in the end by a


judge. We don't know the circumstances as to whether the


police objected to bail. I imagine they did, but that is just a guess.


I think this forms part of the inquiry that needs to happen,


conducted by Greater Manchester Police. The inquiries that the


Chief Constable spoke of yesterday, in order to find out what brought


these two young police officers into this position where they lost


their lives. It is essential that we know why. The figures are


shocking. 142,000, 537 crimes were carried out by suspects already on


bail for a separate events, according to official figures. That


can't go on. These are shocking figures and it can't go on. We need


not just an ability to understand why this happens, it is also a


proper dialogue between the prosecution part of the criminal


justice system and the judiciary. We are not trying to put pressure


on judges to find out why they make these decisions. But it is


important to go back to the judiciary and say to them in an


open way, as a result of the decisions that have been taken, X


number of people have subsequently committed offences. The point of


putting someone on bail is to give them their freedom in exchange for


them not committing offences. This therefore adds a new dimension to


already tragic events. What about the case which will now be argued


no doubt more forcefully for arming police officers? Britain has always


been proud of the fact that we don't wittingly armed police


officers. They don't walk down the streets with heavy weaponry. Should


that change? I am certain that this will be a debate we have to have. I


am against the idea of arming our police, and I think the police


service itself is against having answer on a routine basis. But do


you think it will happen? For no, I don't, because once you start


arming your police force, it will mean those who are criminal


elements will ensure that they also carry arms. And that will start an


escalation process. In America, of course, police officers routinely


carry weapons. But the situation in America is quite different. Here,


even if they want to use Tasers, they have to be specially trained


and a senior officer has to authorise it. This is something we


need to ask the police. I am personally against it. But at the


end of the day, circumstances of this kind will raise these issues.


On the issue of capital the -- capital punishment, it has been


debated long and hard, but now there are renewed calls for that to


be looked at in the context of police officers being murdered, not


just from the families of the victims, but also from Norman


Tebbit, not surprisingly, and another Tory MP. I can perfectly


understand what the families have said and I can understand why they


want to take this course of action. However, I am against the death


penalty and I don't think one can extend it to certain classes of


people and professions. If you want to have a debate about the death


penalty, the place to have that debate is in Parliament. I am not


surprised Norman Tebbit has said this. He has always held this view.


I hold a different view. This is something that members debate from


time to time, but I don't think we should change our position.


Digby Jones, welcome to the programme. What is your response?


It is an absolute tragedy. Arming those two female police officers


would not have stopped them being killed. They would not have gone


into this situation with guns drawn. That is not what this is about. In


my view, this guy should not have been out on bail. In America and


France, he would never have seen the light of day when they


suspected what he had done. There is a problem with a lot of the


liberal elite, which is that they concentrate more on the freedom of


the individual, which in other circumstances is acceptable, rather


than the Risk Society has won a certain sort of person goes back


out on the street. If there is going to be interference or


pressure put on judges to make decisions... Well, we are back into


the whole issue of 42 days and all that, which was probably too long.


But the whole concept of how to protect society from people who,


without charge, can walk the streets. This is not about arming


the police. 80% of the police, when polled, say they don't want guns.


But they want to be protected. we want them protected. I can


remember as a kid when Harry Roberts shot those three police


officers in 1966, and this is the worst one since then. I remember


seeing those bodies on the street of those three detectives, and I


was about 10. It had quite an effect on me. And yesterday brought


it all back. We have to look very seriously at the rules about bail,


release and charge, as opposed to arming the police. It would not


have helped those poor ladies yesterday.


Now, some of the more keen-eyed viewers among you may recall a


speech we reported last week by this man, a Jose Manuel Barroso. He


is the president of the European Commission. Here, he was giving us


his so-called State of the Union address in Strasbourg, in which he


called for a federal Europe with a directly elected President. Now a


group of the EU's most powerful foreign ministers have weighed in,


calling for radical new steps to strengthen the EU foreign, defence


and security policy. Funnily enough, this group does not include Britain,


surprise, surprise. So what is this group saying, and how seriously


should we take the proposals? What do you know, JoCo?


The future of Europe group, as it is known, consists of 11 EU


countries, not including Britain. The group, which also includes five


of the six biggest EU countries, has spent months brainstorming


ideas for the future of the EU. Yesterday it published a report at


a meeting in Warsaw, headed by the German foreign minister Guido


Westerwelle. The report says the EU must take decisive steps to


strengthen its act on the world stage. It suggests creating a


powerful new pan-European foreign ministry. It also suggests creating


a new police force to patrol the borders of the Schengen passport


free zone. And it suggests greater defence co-operation, including the


possibility one day of a European army. The report is a long way from


becoming a reality, but will obviously raised more questions for


David Cameron and issue of Britain's ongoing relationship with


Europe. We are joined now from Brussels by


the German member of the European Parliament Elmar Brok, who chairs


the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee. Good to see you


again. There has been talk of a European foreign policy, a European


army and European security for some time. Should we take this report


seriously? Go I think so. We have already made a lot of progress in


this sector on implementing the Treaty of Lisbon, but we have to


come forward with a response which includes the possibility of a


coalition of the willing. But Europe's roar around the world


cannot be handled by nation states, only by pulling and sharing out of


-- abilities have we a chance to be taken seriously. If you look at the


differing European attitudes, say, to the second Iraq war or even the


invasion of Afghanistan and other foreign policy issues, Libya, for


example, why would it be possible to ever have a common European


foreign policy, given the disagreements on this? Your country


would not get involved in Libya. not everyone has to take part in


everything, but they should not stop others if they want to do


something. Germany supported the Libyan case, but because of certain


problems, including the reform of the German army, Germany did not


take part in that militarily. But we supported everything else. We


still have a lot of shortcomings. That is why we have to build things


up further. Then Europe can play its role. The citizens, including


British citizens, believe we need - - we need more foreign and security


policy. Again, looking at opinion in your own country, in Germany,


there was a poll this week showing that 65% of Germans wanted no


further European integration. How does that square with what you have


just said? We have totally different opinion polls. The


majority of Germans are 70% in favour of Europe, but some are not


happy with how we conduct Europe at the moment. But I did not say


Europe. I did not say they were not in favour of Europe, of course they


are. They are also in favour of keeping the euro. But the poll said


65% of them did not want more European integration. And another


poll said that 65% of French people, if they had a vote, would not vote


for the treaty of Maastricht, which was, of course, the previous


integration. So where is the democratic mandate for these


foreign ministers calling for these changes? These foreign ministers


have developed these ideas in order to bring the debate forward. They


cannot decide anything, but I think it is a very good thing if such


foreign ministers try to develop European debate. Others may come to


different opinions. I would like to have an open debate between


different opinions in Europe. If the German and Polish foreign


ministers agree on such positions, that is a remarkable step forward.


Stay with us, we have Digby Jones with us in the studio in London. He


was once a government trade minister and is also head of the


CBI, the British business organisation, a few years back.


Where are you on this? The problem is that you get polemic views, and


then you get the Euro-sceptic and the Europhile debate, instead of


looking at the actual strengths of Europe. If you stop the average guy


in the street in most countries, especially northern Europe, they


will say this was about free trade between 500 million people getting


richer, and probably about the environment as well. By the Germans


and French have gone well beyond that. That is not where we are now.


The problem is, if you look at Britain in this, we have a


different world aspect of virtually every other country in Europe. We


have a Commonwealth, we have a different relationship with America.


And at the same time, we are a powerful economy and a powerful


nation. We are militarily different to everybody else, with the


possible exception of France. And because of all that, 54 I would not


Is it your view that if Europe and there is a constituency for this,


Elmar Brok is quite right, but if Europe wants to go down this route


or a big chunk, which would be significant, no mainstream British


politician could sell this to the British people? Absolutely spot on.


What you'll end up with is you'll end up with the - a country called


Europe and then there will be a trade relationship with others who


are geophotographically in Europe. We'll be one of those who have a --


geographically in Europe. We'll be one of those who have such a


reslaitionship. It won't include -- relationship. The Swedes would


never be part? No doubt about that. Elmar Brok, coming back to you,


isn't it a bit daunting, like Groundlog Day that the British,


whether it's Labour or Conservative government, are going to be yet


again a drag on all the things you want to do? Firstly, we have to


debate this. We would not leave the debates on Europe to the euro


sceptics. We do it in a positive way. Everyone has to make its their


minds. Even the conclusions - this was always about politics, not just


trade from the very beginning. one told the British people that.


That is your problem. It's not my problem. I agree with that. It was


discussed that way. Secondly, Britain is not the most powerful


country. Economically it's not a force in the EU. We have to see


that on the world stage. Britain doesn't matter very much, that's


what you are saying? Neither Britain nor Germany matter very


much in the future. None of our countries will matter very much in


the future. This special relationship with the United States,


I think there are also other countries. If you had a referendum


- You can become the 51st state of the United States. If you had a


referendum in Germany now or in the next couple of years, saying you


will abolish the German army and it will become wholly part of a


European army, how would Germany vote? First of all, it's to develop


a different direction, but we have all low budgets. Not every country


should do everything. Europe has 40% of the military like the United


States, but only with 10% - understand that. I asked you how


would Germany vote? Germany will vote in this case with yes. What's


the evidence for that, because I've seen no poll that would suggest


that at all? It was never asked for that. If we talked to citizens it's


very much not so. There isure poon and defence policies. -- European


and defence policies. If you had a French general in charge of German


soldiers, do you think the people of Europe would vote for that?


have it already, a big part of the German army and 80% of the Dutch


army are together. They are having one who is Dutch and then another


germ nan and it works. There's a French and German brigade. We have


similar things with Denmark and Poland and Germany, on top of that.


Elmar Brok, it's always great to talk to you. Thank you for joining


us. It's time for our quiz and today we are going to be marking


education secretary Michael Gove on his French. He wants all of us to


parlez Francais, so Digby watch this. Which one is direct? Vive le


delifrpbs. -- difference. Let' find out whether he scored nil points.


can answer now. Don't give me it. You'll muck it up. Don't give the


answer now. Come closer. Closer. Whispering. Some people are


beginning to talk about green shoots of economic recovery. Green


shoots! Not Government ministers of course, they're not that stupid,


well most of them. Even those using the words say it's all very early


and it's fragile, but let's just assume for a couple of minutes that


it's true, that there are some green shoots around. What sort of


fertiliser is required to make them grow? You like this?! Here's what a


few experts thought. # I want to break free... # For the


economy to grow, businesses need to be set free, which means less


regulation, simple taxes and lower tax rates and the second to be more


connect today the world. That means the Government should unblock the


planning delays that are stopping us getting new airport capacity,


rail and road projects. # God knows I want to break free...


# Access to finance is a problem for small businesses who can't get


the finance they need for business, so we very much welcome the


Government's announcement around the formation of a small business


bank. # It's strange, but it's true... #


British businesses are crying out, especially the smaller ones, to be


set free from the legislation that makes their life a nightmare.


need to look to the future to get the right technology for the


internet age to actually deal with people in this country and abroad


to strike new deals. Another initiative that we think they ought


to look at, as we come up to the autumn statement, is the extension


of the national insurance contributions holiday to all small


businesses. Another thing the Government needs to do, it needs to


use its force to convince, especially smaller companies, to


export more. The way out of our present economic woes is through


exporting, especially to the big countries. The Government needs to


make sure it gets that message across with the most force possible.


I'm joined by the Conservative MP Mr Quateng. Have you spotted any


green shoots? It's too early to say. There's optimism. You haven't


spotted them? It's dangerous to say we're out of the recession. That's


an aunt Sally. I didn't ask you if we were out of the recession.


Nobody is saying that. I simply asked you if you had spotted -


There are certainly green shoots, and whether they rise and grow we


have to wait and see. Have you spotted them? If you are making


things, which Asia wants to buy, you are having not a good time, but


a very sustainable time. Good employment and good levels of


profit. If you are doing something which is only dependent on the


British or Western European market there are no shoots whatsoever.


need some green shoots, don't you now, politically, because there's


been a long time acoming? Absolutely. I think we are gripping


the nettle, if you like. You should never grip a nettle. Well the


problem. I think there's the bold policies on welfare in terms of


trying to freeze benefits and cut spending and I think on the supply


side, business side and growth side, we'll have very bold policies


hopefully in the next year or so. Isn't the real problem as to why


the economy's been in these quarters of no growth, indeed,


decline, is not the supply side at all, but a lack of demand?


Households' real incomes are cut and export markets have not been


growing that fast until recently, public spending's been cut as well,


business hasn't been investing. There's a lack of demand in the


economy? You're right to focus on the lack of demand, but there's a


thing called business confidence and the whole point about the


supply side and low taxes is that it will actually increase business


confidence. I was looking at Nigel Lawson's book and his account of


when he cut the top rate of tax from 60 to 40%. That was an


unfunded tax cut. He didn't know the consequences, but it was a


strong signal of intent. I think we have missed a trick slightly.


are saying it's a lack of big confidence and the balance sheets


of Britain are full and they are not investing, but when you see a


Secretary of State for business, who buys his cars from Tokyo and


his trains from elsewhere, why should people think the Government


is behind the country? I think it's very good for Government to give a


clear signal of intent over how and what we value in terms of people


going out and making a living. you get demand up, you need more


people in work. You could put one million people in work if every


small business in Britain employed one more person? That's right.


tax jobs? Why do you tax jobs and not profit. You could do that in a


stroke? Sure. Why don't you? not here to defend Government


policy. As head of the group I'm suggesting that - I'm on your side.


I understand that. Why are David Cameron and George Osborne so


reluctant to go down the route you are advocating? I think there are


issues with the coalition. Digby's mentioned the fact that Vince Cable


is the Business Secretary. This was a gentleman who until he was my age


was a Labour activist, I think he was a Labour councillor and his


instincts are not as free epbt surprise focused as some of ours --


free enterprise focused as some of ours. There may be issues in the


Treasury in terms of unfunded tax cuts. You will probably know, that


in the run-up to the last Budget there was a major move in Downing


Street to have a dramatic cut in corporation tax. I favoured that.


It never reached the Lib Dems, but it was stopped by the Prime


Minister and the Chancellor. not privy to discussions.


telling you it was, so why the reluctance? There are issues with


the coalition. The Liberal Democrats didn't stop this? You can


understand that if they are within a coalition they will know what


appetite there is for the coalition partners to adopt or promote


policies that we have put forward. They probably felt this was


something perhaps that the Liberal Democrats would not have supported.


If I can put some words in your mouth, which I appreciate given who


your boss is, you might not say - He's an MP. I meant your leader,


I'm not too sure that David Cameron has business through his veins. I'm


not - he's accused of being too business friendly, but business


doesn't see him like that. I don't mean against, but he's not perhaps


absolutely on the wealth creation message as business would like him


to be. He's not just there all the time either. Could I put words in


your mouth? I wouldn't disagree with that entirely. You would say


he's probusiness? I think so and the Government. If you look at


Michael Fallon and Matthew Hancock, pro-business people. To keep an eye


on Vince Cable? Yes. There's only one department in Government that


has capitalism at its core and that's the department of business


and the Secretary of State of that department is in the gift of the


Prime Minister. That's right. put someone who is a Labour Party


activist in charge of it? Let me remind you, we're in a coalition.


lot of people on the backbenches and you know this as well as I, so


let's be honest here, they don't - people like you say to me privately


they don't think, when it comes to all the lists of things that you


want, they don't think David Cameron's heart's in it. I think


he's a Conservative and a strong probusiness leader who is


constrained by a coalition. It's that simple. We are going to move


on, but I'm told privately by the Treasury and the Cabinet Office as


well and even by Downing Street that they expect - they will never


say this publicly, but expect third-quarter growth, the quarter


that is just coming to an end, to be at least 0.5%. There won't be


another decline and some people think 0.7. They won't say this


publicly. That's what they're hoping for and what the early


indications they believe say. That will be the real test, won't it?


The growth will be a real test of green shoots? Of course. If you are


suggesting that we can see the green shoots and we get a positive


number, then that would confirm that. Don't go away. We are going


to keep you hostage for a few minutes. There will be a lot of


sighs of relief in Number Ten. If there isn't there will be some real


trouble. Which is why they won't say it. How do you give an


advantage to local business in tough economic times? Yes, we'll


ask you two how to encourage people spending cash locally and give a


strong sense of identity to your town or city. The people of Bristol


have come up with a cunning plan. It seems that money talks. So does


our west of England reporter David Harvey. What's this all about?


extraordinary. Right here we have the first Bristol pound. I'll just


show that to you. Steal it. That is a Bristol pound, printed specially


for this city. The Mayor has bought this loaf of bread. You better have


it back and give the local baker his pound, because that is the


first transaction made here. This is the centre of trading and


finance and banking and now very much a local market. They are


trying to bring the two together, finance and local trading by


printing their own currency. Do They do fivers, tenors and twenties.


Lots of interest. Quite a celebratory feel. The exchange rate


is 1-1 with sterling. Technically, I had better keep quiet, because


people don't like this - it is actually a voucher, because you


hand over your sterling, and you are given over Bristol pounds in


return. You can use them in many places in the city. They include


the old marketplace here. You can see the sort of independent local


traders you often find in places like this. So here we have lots of


local Bristol T-shirts. Are you Bristol born-and-bred? Yes, indeed.


Why are you taking this currency? think the Bristol bound is


celebrating everything that is great about Bristol, and we support


everything that is local. So it is a lovely local feel-good factor.


This morning, lots have joined in that spirit. Do you think your


actual customers, after the launch has died away, will come back and


use this can see? At our customers already shop local. So when they


see their friends using it, they will join in. If it is certainly


something that the politicians want to have a slice of. There is a


mayoral election under way here in Bristol, and all the would-be


mayors have been here this morning. I have seen several MPs. Let's keep


the politicians out of it for a moment and have a word with Chris


Sunderland, one of the directors of the Bristol pound. You want to


change the way we think about money? Yes, I suppose we are trying


to say you can use your money to back your city and your local


independent traders, who need a leg-up in these times. Also, with a


local currency liked this, which, say it changes hands eight times,


each Bristol pound, then it is like there are �8 for every �1. It is


called the local multiplier effect. The have done some serious research


on this, and they discovered that if you spend with a multi-national


retailer, it disappears? Absolutely. Money spent with a chain store goes


straight to London. We have all got suspicious about that process. Our


local currency is for the city region. And it will ricochet around


the city region and add to its wealth. Lovely idea, lovely


aspiration, interesting theory. Will people really signed up? They


have to hand over sterling for this stuff, it is not just toy money.


They have already sold out on that store, and they are telling me I


have to rush up and get some more. So there is enormous interest in


this, and we know there are 300 businesses either signed up or


signing up right now. In a year's time, we expect there will be at


least 1004 stores who are part of this and 2000 in two years. They


say it is the biggest scheme in the world already. There are big


schemes in Germany and America as well. To give you an idea of how


the world is watching this city, somebody from Russian television


told me the people of St Petersburg would like to have their own


currency, but he doesn't think they will get one any time soon.


Well, it looks great. It is a good idea, but will it actually work? My


immediate thought was, would I go down and take my pounds and


exchange them for those vouchers? Give me your �20... That can go


from Sydney to Sweden. Give him a Daily Politics voucher. This is a


really interesting initiative. Why wouldn't it work? We it make people


spend more? We were talking about lack of demand and trying to


encourage people to spend more in Bristol. It might have a short-term


effect. Clearly in the long term, it will not solve the economic


problems. It is good for two things, one being City morale. It is good


to get a connection between what you spend in your city and your


small trader employing someone because of it and feeling you have


contributed something. It is a gimmick, but what is wrong with


that? If you do it well and you are a trader, suddenly you have 1000 of


these and you go to somebody and say, I would like some more of


these. But the problem is that this will give you what you want all of


the world. If somebody says I will give you 99p for yours, you have a


problem. But if businesses locally do better as a result even in the


short-term, they will then put at that extra money back into the


economy, whether with their Bristol pounds ore than normal British


pounds. Does it matter? In terms of business confidence, we mentioned


the idea of getting people out there and spending money. An


initiative like this can work. always frustrated at the fact that


politicians and journalists think business at is somewhere over there


and everything else happens around here. Business is part of society.


Therefore, by the use of a transferable currency, if you can


get a job related to buying things, then suddenly business takes its


place in the core of our society instead of being seen as out there.


Do you think it would take off in other cities? It might. But then


would you have a Birmingham pound O brave Bristol Crown? We will have


that talk another day. Now, is another general strike on


the cards? We have not really had one since 1926. I was driving the


buses. Or not. It is highly unlikely, although not impossible


after the TUC voted to explore the practical it is a staging one at


their conference last week. Some Conservatives believe this is why


new laws need to make it harder for unions to call their members are


out. Boris Johnson, forever differentiating himself from Mr


Cameron, has been demanding that kind of action. But have we


actually become more militant in this country, or is the trade union


much less representative of the country as a whole. Do we really


need tough new legislation? The General Strike of 1926, an


iconic moment in trade union folklore. 86 years on, the TUC


votes to explore the practicalities of reviving these scenes live, and


in colour. This will be the finishing point of a major demo


next month, which the organisers hope will see thousands of people


marching in protest against the coalition's spending cuts. But some


union leaders want it to be at the start of a bigger campaign up to


and including a modern-day version of the General Strike, which is why


some Conservatives think it is time to nip what they see as a


groundswell of militancy in the bud. We need a threshold so that unless


you have 50% support from your own rank-and-file membership, you can't


inflict chaos on the rest of the public with strike action. We could


keep appeasing this militant minority, which don't represent


their run wider membership, or we could protect the hard-working


majority. Union membership peaked in the 1980s, at more than 30


million. It is half that now. But almost 1.4 million working days


were lost to strike action last year, a 20 year high. However, most


of those were down to last November's day of action, and we


still lose about five times fewer days than the French. It is a lot


lower than the 1980s, when an average of 7.2 million days were


lost every year. Some experts believe tough and distract laws


would actually be counter- productive. If you make it harder


for people to strike lawfully and put up more obstacles in the path


of legitimate strikes, there is always the danger of more wildcat


spontaneous action out of the control of union leaders. A general


strike would be upping the ante a lot, if the unions decide to do it.


I think we will see a lot of co- ordination between unions, in the


same way we saw last November with the big protest over pensions, when


almost 30 unions took part. No one would call that a general strike,


but there were several million workers out on strike, and I


suspect we will see something similar in the future. The problem


with having a general strike and calling it a general strike is that


under current employment law, that is unlawful. But if something looks


and works like a political strike, isn't it a political strike? These


strikes are less about call workplace issues or issues


affecting rank-and-file members and more a concerted attack on the


coalition and the government's attempt to try and rain in debt and


rising public spending and a period of huge financial constraints. That


is why we need a voting threshold to safeguard the hard-working


majority. The general strike was a key moment in the history of


Britain had the 20th century. If push comes to shove now, it could


become one in the 21st. We are joined now by Sarah Veale, head of


employment rights at the TUC. I find it hard to take this talk of


a general strike seriously. Am I right or wrong? You should take it


seriously, because the congress expressed its anger about the


difficulties now faced by working people in the UK. But we were not


asked to call a general strike, we were asked to look into the


possibility. How likely is it? There is likely to be industrial


action. A general strike would be almost impossible, partly because


the laws in this country are very restrictive in terms of what trade-


union leaders can do. It would be illegal unless they could find a


legitimate dispute in every industry. From our point of view,


some people do not make the choice to be in a trade union. Most people


do not. Not in the public sector. And in the private sector, you are


down to 15%. So I am right not to take a general strike seriously?


You should take seriously the industrial militancy. That is an


expression of real anger. Let's come on to that. There was a lot of


talk of industrial militancy at the TUC conference. And the leaders of


the big public sector unions are now largely militant and are on the


left of the union movement and on the far left of the Labour Party.


would not go that far. McCluskey? They are not far left.


They are on the far left of the Labour Party. They are on the left


of the mainstream Labour Party, but this is a diversionary arguments.


Where is the evidence that the top third and -- tub-thumping we had at


the TUC is reflected in the public mood? A few look at the numbers


that turned out 18 months ago in our big demonstration in March 2010


and the numbers that turned out last November when we called a day


of action, they are massive. one day. To leave work for a day


and sacrifice a day's wages is a big gesture of anger. People are


not well paid these days. If you are willing to stop work to express


your anger, the Government should take that seriously. A but if you


call people out on strike in the public sector, because they hardly


ever do in the private sector, and when they do, they usually use,


which happened with British Airways, most people do not even vote in the


public sector. A lot of people do vote. The turnouts for some of


those ballots have been very high. In the teaching and other


professions, it varies enormously. People are still angry enough to


come out on Saturday and have a demonstration. They have plenty of


grievances, that is not my argument. They are obviously concerned about


public sector cuts. I understand that, and many jobs are in jeopardy.


I just don't see the connection between the kind of rhetoric we


heard at the TUC from the hardline union leaders, and the ordinary


union members. Unions are very democratic organisations. They do


now use modern technology to consult. They get Twitter and


Facebook comments from their members, and they can't legally do


these things unless the majority want it. There is great support in


the unions for these activities. Unions are not suicidal. They would


not do these things if they did not have permission to do them. If they


were suicidal, we would not have any public services! If you look at


some of the great success stories of creating jobs, creating wealth,


Nissan, Honda, Toyota, JCB, they are all fully unionised. And the


unions are so responsible. They give the management a hard time,


and so they should. Welcome to negotiation. But they understand


that the nation will only get out of trouble if these companies work


together. In the private sector, you just don't get the same rapid,


irresponsible rhetoric you get in the public sector. If you do it in


the private sector, you can move to China. But you can't move a


hospital to China. But in the public sector, there are


negotiations going on all the time. They do not get written about. The


media abscesses with industrial militancy and strikes. It was the


only part of our conference that got any attention. But if there is


a call to go on strike, don't blame the media. The members do a lot of


work within the Union. These things that get people excited are a tiny


little pinprick, compared to the hard work the armies of unpaid


Eknows that when he says it. You know that and I know that. I'm not


going to comment. Thank you very much for joining us. Is racism


still a big problem in football? A committee of MPs seem to think so.


The Culture, Media and Sport Committee have published a report


which says that the Football Association need to take more


action following the recent high- profile cases of ex-England captain,


John Terry and Liverpool striker, Luis Suarez. Well, joining us from


outside Parliament is Therese Coffey, who is a menmber of the


Culture, Media and Sport Committee, and Garth Crooks, former footballer,


now TV commentator. Thank you both for joining us, Garth Crooks, is


racism, as the report suggests, still a big problem in football?


you read the report that's just been issued and I've read aspects


of it, I would agree with it. I think there's still a lot of work


to be done in the areas of racism, or dealing with racism in football.


In my experience, when Government inquiries get involved they respond,


so I welcome this. When you say you agree with aspects that it's a big


problem, how is it manifesting itself these days? A number of ways.


One is when Football Association, who are the organisation that


organises the coaching qualifications for jobs, who they


employ at the clubs, not enough people have been qualified for


group and that's been a consistent thing for 20 years. Recruitment


policy. Do you think that would make a big difference, but there


are recommendations about training for stewards to spot abuse and


encouraging more black coaches and referees. Will that be enough to


tackle the problem? It would give the clubs the qualification of


individuals to employ them. It's critical. I don't see why football


should be different than any other employer throughout the country.


This is one of the reasons I feel the Government get involved because


it's only when the Government get involved that the Government


respond. Miss Foffey, what would you like to see? Several recent


high-profile incidents showed racism has not gone away. Some of


it may be quite casual. There's too much excusing of banter, so there


are elements of stamping out the casual side that needs to go.


do you do that? It's very difficult? One of it to some extent


will be about players holding each other to account and one is about


encouraging our referees at the grass roots games to make sure that


people are reporting this, to their county FAs and stewards have better


training so they tackle it. You are not going to necessarily challenge


the guy next door and you become the torrent of abuse, but we should


be encouraging people to say it's not acceptable and tackling it and


more exclusions from grounds and similar. It's only when you start


to exclude them perfect their passion that you make others


realise what's going on. You are nodding your head there, you think


that's the right approach? We are not where we were in the 70s and


80s, but that's largely due to progressive legislation. Not self-


regulation. Let's be clear here. In terms of taking people - making


people accountable, the rules exist. The referee has the rules. He can


employ them on the field of play. The governing body have the rules.


Something has to be done. They can take action. For example, the issue


surrounding John Terry. He's been charged by the FA and acquitted by


the court, but that hearing to support the charge is not been made.


Why are we waiting? That of course is talking about the footballers


themselves, top professional players, you know the pressure that


they should set examples, but what about at the grass roots? It's not


just about the players. Obviously, there's a very big burden on them


to behave, but what about at that level? Absolutely. It's one of the


key challenges. That's why we are encouraging monitoring and


reporting of particularly incidents, so that the FA can focus. We have


also suggested they have an independent assessment and the


effectiveness on some of their education programmes. I understand


the FA is trying hard, but if it's not tackling the problem then


they've got to think again about how they tackle that. Thank you


both very much. In one moment we'll talk about all things America, but


first a little earlier, we tested Digby's command of the language of


love. And diplomacy, that will be French. We asked him to tell us


which of the following is correct. Veef la difference. Veef le


difference. French is no longer the language of diplomacy. English is.


I don't think it's the language of love. It's vive la differs with an


acute on the last E. -- difrpbs with an acute on the last E. We do


know the right answer, but Michael Gove when he spoke to MPs earlier


this week. Let's take a look at what he said. The growth of


language teaching is central to what this coalition Government


wishes to achieve. We diverge from the last government vive le


difference. He said le. I wish he had done something else. I get this


all over Britain. If you are watching this programme and you


have got children thinking do they do languages, the answer is


definitely yes, but there should be two. Chinese and Spanish. If you go


into the world anywhere in the world equipped with English,


Spanish and Chinese you have equipped yourself for the 21st


century. With great respect to our friends over the channel rblgs


French and German, their -- the Channel, French and German, they're


yesterday's language. It's true. Schools aren't putting them in.


French and Germans will hate it. But they're having a common foreign


policy soon. It's not easy. Things have been holding up in the race


for the White House no more ways than one. Cop a whack at this.


# You're insecure # Some say a bore


# Not only branch rupt, but your profit is needed more


# Outsourcing jobs # Two years of tax returns


# Really ain't enough # Everyone else can see it


# Everyone else but Fox News # You lied to voters like nobody


else # Your super pac gets them


overwhelmed # But when you smile at your wealth


# It ain't hard to tell # You won't show


# What you're hiding downbelow # We understanding the voters


matter so desperately # You won't show


# What you're hiding down below # You have got to tell us... # Are


they coming on the show? That wasn't One Direction I'm reliablely


informed but Full Frontal Productions. I wonder why they're


called that. I've no idea. Apparently they like making


political films. Apparently that was one. It was a take on One


Direction's What Makes You Beautiful. That's what it says here.


They don't think much of Mitt Romney's tax return record. We hope


to be joined by Charlie Wolf, but he's late and Marcus robe erts is


here working for the Fabian Society -- Roberts is here working for the


Fabian Society. Does President Obama have it in the bag? Probably


yes, because what has happened now to Mitt Romney is just about the


worst thing that can happen to a politician. He's lost control of


his public imagine and been defined by his opponents and now reading


from ray script that seems like it's been written by the Obama


campaign. The problem with this gaffe is that and why it's more


than just a normal Washington gaffe, is that it confirms the very idea


that the Obama campaign has been trying to put into the minds of


swing voters - the idea that Mitt Romney is against people. That Mitt


Romney is against the middle class. You can't be against 47% of America


and say you're going to be a President for all Americans. That's


why he's in such trouble now. American election campaigns partly


because they are so long, are strewn with gaffes. Ours are too,


thanks to Mr Brown in roach Dale, but particularly because of the


length of time. Am I right in thinking though that this in the


league of gaffes this is premier division tough? Absolutely. There's


a difference -- stuff? Absolutely. There's a difference between the


little-league gaffes that Mitt Romney made. That was over the


Olympics. It turns out that was a dress rehearsal for how things were


to get. If this is what he's liked now, I would be concerned about the


debates too. Charlie Wolf has finally made it here. He has given


a small tip to Digby Jones' taxi driver, the late one. Exactly.


me ask you this on what he said, he talked about the 76 million, it's


46% of the people who file taxes who don't pay federal tax. I have


been looking at this and two thirds of them pay federal pay roll taxes


so they are taxpayers, two thirds of them. Most of the 76 million are


either elderly, what we call old folks, or they are on less than


$20,000 a year, so I think everybody agrees they shouldn't be


paying tax. Why is he not interested in their votes? Well,


what he was saying was, listen, these are people who will not vote


for me. I'll not waste my time just as you wouldn't if you were a


Conservative go to the safest Labour seat in the country. Did he


conflate some numbers? Was it inarticulate, yes? Why would he not


be interested even if they don't pay tax or a striver? 20,000 a year


in America is peanuts. Why has he said, "I'll never get their


votes."? There are some people who will not vote and it's clear it's


split right down the middle, even after gaffes and conventions or


whatever, it's still 47 or 47%. It's pretty much a dead heat. One


poll had Romney up on a few points. I still don't understand why he's


riding -- writing off 76 million people, which is what the clip says,


however you try to gloss it. Also those who don't pay federal tax.


There are 13,000 people earning over $500,000 a year who don't pay


federal income tax. Does he not want their vote either? I'm sure he


does. He wants the vote over half a million, but not less than 20,000?


Andrew, listen, he was in a campaign fundraising speech. He was


not giving a statement to the press. He was not giving a policy speech.


He was raising money. Under false pretences? No. What he was stating


was obvious. There are a group of the population that is not going to


vote for him. Including swing voters? No, he wants those. Aren't


they included? No, he was saying he's not going after Obama's voters.


The great leaders on both sides of the Atlantic in electoral winning


terms, if you look at them, they were the people who actually said -


Blair said to the richer, "I want to take my message to you."


Thatcher said to Labour people, "I want to bring the message to you."


We have only got 50 seconds. Why should Obama get a second term?


He's provided healthcare to millions of Americans and bailed


out the economy and he has begun cleaning up President Bush's mess.


Wait a minute. There are 23 people out of work in the United States.


Want to talk about gaffes. The President of the United States who


doesn't know if Egypt is an ally or not. That's a gaffe. I lit the blue


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