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Aternoon folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics, where I'm not lost


for words. In fact today's top story is "punbelievable", because


the battle over who runs the West Coast Main Line has hit the buffers.


The process was derailed after the Government finally admitted that


the bidding process was flawed. Virgin Trains, which had brought a


legal challenge after losing out to First Group in the fight to renew


the franchise, will keep running the service. After that, who knows?


Crime and health dominate the Labour conference today. We'll have


the latest. Good cop, bad cop. Does this chap look like a Police


Commissioner to you? We'll be asking why John Prescott deserves


your vote. If you live in Humberside that is. And is Ed


Miliband posh or not? Does it matter? Adam had the balls to ask.


How do you know he's not posh then? Because he's an MP and MPs aren't


posh. Who is posh if MPs aren't? The Queen. Posh Spice. She's too


young to know about Posh Spice. She's not posh. It was her little


joke. Only after we had made ate number of times and she stopped


crying. All that in the next hour. Public


service broadcast at its finest. It is not a make-over show.


And with us for the duration, former Labour Home Secretary,


Jacqui Smith. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Now, it's the morning


after the afternoon before so lets talk about Ed Miliband's speech


with the perspective of almost 24 hours. Because there was a bit of a


recurring theme. Take a gander at this. Disraeli called it one nation.


One nation. That spirit of one nation. One nation, a country where


everyone plays their part. So we must be a one-nation party, to


become a one-nation Government, to build a one-nation Britain. It must


be about building one nation together. One nation... One nation


economy... My vision of one nation... One nation, a country for


all, with everyone playing their part. A Britain we rebuild together.


Thank you very much. APPLAUSE I think it sounded quite good like


that actually. Was one nation the name of his


comprehensive school? No, it was Haverstock actually. You might have


been foolinged into thinking it was one nation. Ed Miliband used the


phrase one nation over 40 times yesterday. Jacqui Smith, what did


it mean to you? It was quite clever, quite audacious. First of all it is


a vehicle as a critique of the Government. Secondly I think it is


a positioning of Ed on the centre ground. You do? I think it is and I


hope it is. Thirdly, it is an umbrella under which you can begin


to build a policy programme. In many ways I thought there were more


policy it is in yesterday's speech than I expected. Did you? The


general consensus was the style and the delivery was very good. I think


most commentators agreed with, that but it was light on substance.


Let's not forget yesterday before the speech you were talking about


this needed to be all about Ed the person. He needed to convince


people he could be Prime Minister. I would have said on that test he


has very clearly succeeded today. In addition we got policy


announcements on apprenticeship ships and voeckation. Announcements


on banking, -- vocation, announcements on the NHS,


withdrawing the NHS Bill. We got announcements about business


reporting and how that was going to fit within this one-nation umbrella.


This is still two-and-a-half years before an election. It would be


wholly wrong to spell out your policy programme now but there was


enough to flesh out the one nation idea. You said you hoped he's moved


on to the central ground, if you like. Others, I put to you, are


saying that it was a bit of a Trojan horse, the one nation phrase,


for moving the central ground to the left. Because the things you've


just litsst listed there have a more left -- listed there have a


more left-wing feel. What was there about aspiration? He said we have


to be a party that wins in the south as well as the north. That's


electorally obvious, but it is also about as he said being concerned


about the squeezed middle as well as tackling poverty. It is


aspirational to talk about the 50% of young people who don't go to


university, that it doesn't mean that you don't need to aspire and


have the qualifications to enabling you to do that. You do know what Ed


Miliband would do in Government, what that Government would do in


power? To that extent, nobody knows until the point at which Ed gets


into Government or certainly until the point at which the manifesto is


fleshed out. What people do know much more is I think they know more


about Ed Miliband the person. They begin to see him as somebody who


can be a Prime Minister. They know more about the things that he cares


about and the direction he is likely to be taking the Labour


Party, and if successful in the general election, the country. No,


of course we don't know everything yet and nor should we, but we know


considerably more than we knew yesterday. In term of the tests set


for that speech, I think he passed them. You do agree with reverting


to the 50p top rate of tax? I think the Government's reduction of the


top rate of tax at this moment in time says something about their


priorities that it is right to highlight. Personally, I'm not hung


up on a 350p top rate ofta. I don't -- a 50p top rate of tax. If we can


raise more revenue with a rate that's lower than 50p I personally


would be happy with that. Two of Fleet Street's, how can I put this,


more acerbic writers, that is me being polite. Quentin Letts and


Kevin Maguire. When we spoke to them last week they appeared rather


underwhelmed by everything. They are difficult people to please.


Let's find out in things have improved in Manchester. Quentin


Letts, all this reference to Disraeli and one nation must have


had your little heart aflutter yesterday afternoon. You know what,


Andrew, it reminded me of the old days of British Leyland rebranding.


There was a thing called an Allegro Van Den Plas and underneath the oak


veneer it was a rotten car. We loved Ed Miliband on stage this,


constipated figure. But did it mean anything? I'm not sure. Kevin, you


must have rush Todwickpedia and looked up who Benjamin Disraeli


was? I actually knew. He thought he was a Manchester City centre


forward. He played for Chelsea, midfield. He was pretty good, a


good range of passing. No, it is interesting when a Labour leader


goes back to the Victorian period to steal the clothes of a Tory


rather than mentioning Tony Blair, who I think didn't get a look in at


all in this that speech. He would probably have been afraid of a few


boos. The Daily Mirror having to explain to its readerers who Mr


Disraeli or Lord Beaconsfield as he died, about one nation Toryism, how


you do feel about that as a good Labour leftie? I rather left, to --


I rather laugh, to be honest. Gordon pitched himself as one


nation briefly when he was father of the nation for three months,


including the election that never was. Quentin Letts, yesterday I


read out a list of modern politicians that have tried to wrap


themselves in the one nation mantle. They are all at it. Or they call it


the Big Society. That was a great success that one. I've forgotten


about that! The problem for Mr Miliband is he says these cosy


words about Big Society but at the same time you have trade unionists


here calling each other comrades and demanding a restoration of


public spending after the so-called draconian cuts, which haven't been


draconian in the least, arguably. Miliband centralism isn't true.


That is a problem. Regardless of all of that, Quentin Letts, is it


not the case that after Mr Miliband's performance yesterday


the Labour Party leaves Manchester tomorrow united as a party, largely,


and pretty much 100% at the moment behind their leader. It was a


success. In that respect I would agree. I don't think they were that


divided beforehand. I don't think Mr Miliband was facing any sort of


danger beforehand. But undoubtedly it worked for him as a party leader,


terrific. He got a good reception in the hall. He cut through a


little bit on the national news I think. But you do come back to this


basic problem that the message he was producing yesterday just isn't


in tune with the reality of his party's policies. They haven't yet


accepted the economic difficulty and how they are going to address


those. Qev in, you must be hoping that all this one -- Kevin you must


be hoping this one nation talk is going to take the party left of


centre with good left win policies? We'll have to see how it goes, but


he was never the Red Ed that some of his opponents plan to do so


paint him. He a relatively mainstream Social Democrat. If you


look at the policies he's unveiled so far and in rebuilding Britain. I


accept he has only put the foundations, never mind the windows,


doors and roof. Don't get your pension fund ripped off, build more


houses, train your kids and then the banks, David Cameron could have


set that. It will be interesting where he will go. I suspect his


instincts are slightly left of centre. A lot was to be made of


differences between Ed and David Miliband and their policies. They


weren't that great. More people here now think they have got the


right Miliband than when they started meeting on Saturday.


final question to both of you. Either of you can answer it. Other


than the phrase "one nation" what was Benjamin Disraeli's second most


famous phrase? He wrote Cybill... That's not a phrase, that's a book.


That's Fawlty Towers! I thought I would come up with an answer.


Neither of you know. This is our David Letterman moment isn't it!


His second phrase was, "Keep your eye on Paisley." Wow! I want you to


go away and look up why he said that, in the 1880s. We learn a


little and you learn a lot. Gentlemen, thank you very much.


Thank you so much. Good to see you. Probably see you next week, where


are the Torys? Birmingham. Apologies to Douglas Alexander for


yesterday, not for giling him on his �40,000 stuff, where he


deserves to be grilled. He was right. He said Disraeli, but it was


Asquith. We looked it up. In many ways


Douglas Alexander is right Andrew. And what about Andrew? In a few


ways Andrew is right as well. That's better than I might have


hoped! Or may even be true. Labour historians will tell you the party


has a proud tradition of fighting for the underdog, representing the


oppresses and in the '40s fighting fascism in all its forms. It was


with unease when in Government Labour showed an authoritarian side.


The party find being tough electorally helpful and were


certain potss not just about countering terrorism? We locked


jils in a detention cell to think it over P -- Giles.


There may come a time in the future where a Government of any party


insists we are all IDed and identified, that our DNA is


recorded, whatever we may or may not have done, that we can be put


inside somewhere without trial or without having done something. But


wait a second. One Government has tried to do this and it was Labour


Government. The provisions in this Bill have always been about


protecting the British people. Protecting them from the serious


threat that we face from terrorism. Ever since 9/11 the Labour


Government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown introduced in the name of


fighting terror new concepts to us. 90 and later 42-day detention


without charge. Personal ID cards. DNA and other databases. CCTV


expansion and control orders. This from a party that had a tradition


of being anti-authoritarian and defending individual rights and


liberty from the state. Lots of very, very dangerous short-term


decisions were made. Lots of terrible things were done in the


name of freedom that actually I think there was something that


people felt we've done the Human Rights Act and all the civil


liberties are protected and it doesn't really matter what we do.


There's no doubt, as 7/7 proved, there was a threat. It did and does


exist. But, hold on, was this circumstance or was it politics?


you're positioned in response appropriately to the threat level


at the time and at the same time between those who want maximum


liberties and those who want minimal liberties or the other way


around, you are roughly right. opposition, some expected the


leadership to row back from the policies they felt hadn't been true


Labour values. They were disappointed. The prevailing


science of the rest of the party, the fact that they don't feel that


they can now resile from that agenda, that somehow they would be


showing themselves up, that's very worrying. The trick is whether


Labour can stop apologising for the mistakes of the past and start


being a decent opposition, taking on encroachments into civil


liberties under a new government. All of which we should consider


very carefully for the future. Someone let me out of here now.


Anyone? Is there anybody there? I hope someone has let him out Yvette


Cooper addressed conference earlier and began by paying tribute to PC


Nicola Hughes and her colleague, PC Fiona Bone who died last month.


police have gathered from across the country and so have we, so we


join them and the people of Manchester, the Prime Minister, the


Home Secretary and the whole country in paying tribute to those


brave officers, to all of our emergency services and we bid those


officers farewell. APPLAUSE


Yvette Cooper joins us now from Manchester. Before we get to your


brief, you were talking there about the death of the two police


officers. The city of Manchester will be pausing no doubt to reflect


on the fact that those two young women were killed in the line of


duty and the funeral of Nicola Hughes is in fact taking place


within the hour at Manchester cathedral. Give us your thoughts.


think it just shows huge number of people from Manchester, but also


police officers from across the country, who have come to pay


tribute, because police officers do take risks every day of their lives


and we should never take that for granted. They were killed in a


brutal act. It's right that the whole country and we and the Prime


Minister join the people of Manchester in paying tribute to


them. I understand that people are lining the streets. We'll move on


to some of the specifics. We heard a lot about one nation from Ed


Miliband. What, in your view, is one-nation policing? I think it's


going back to the principles that Robert Peel set out when he founded


the British police, that the police are the public and the public are


the police and they police not through coercion but consent. They


have to have the confidence of the public to do their job. That means


they have to have respect from the public as well. You still believe,


though, like the coalition, although to a lesser degree, in


quite a high level of cuts to the police force and reforms that


should be carried out, despite what you've just said? Well, the level


of cuts that we supported would have protected the number of police


officers across the country, so yes, we supported 12%, but the


Government went for 20% and that's why all the independent expert


evidence shows they are losing 15,000 officers across the country.


I think that's cutting too far, too deep. It's the wrong thing. We just


saw in that film talking about civil liberties. Would you say the


Labour Party is now an authoritarian party? No, I think


the whole point is to have a strong police, but also strong checks and


balances. If you have the police embedded in the communities that


they serve then that's the best way to fight crime, to be tough on the


causes as well as crime itself, but also to have checks and balances


for when things go wrong, which is why I set out proposals for a new


Police Authority, because I don't believe that the Independent Police


Complaints Commission is sufficient to deal properly with problems and


they have to deal with problems. Why is Labour now not an


authoritarian party, if you say so? Labour tried to introduce 42-day


detention of terror suspects without charge and identity cards


and failed. You did introduce control orders. That's an


authoritarian party. I think control orders was the right thing


to do. I think we did do the wrong thing on the 42 and 92 days,


because I don't think that was backed by the evidence. The point


is to respond to the evidence you have. Control orders were right,


because it was about dealing with a very small number of extremely


dangerous people that the courts as well as the Home Secretary, have


agreed are dangerous and do need particular contraipbts in order to


protect the public, because -- contraipbts, in order to protect


the public, because that is the duty of the police. It's


interesting you say there wasn't the evidence for 42-day detention.


What's the evidence backing control orders? I think there was detailed


analysis from the security services and the police. Interestingly, it


was the assessment of the courts was important. If you ensure that


the evidence can go before the courts, the judges themselves have


said in some of the cases it is right for example to put further


restrictions on people or to to keep them out of London if there


might be a terror threat to London. The Government has actually watered


down some of those powers. I don't think that was a very wise thing to


do and that's putting further strains on the police who have to


carry out greater surveillance. still think that the threat is


great enough to infringe people's civil liberties in the waim that


Shami Chakrabarti chabg outlined. - - in the way that Shami Chakrabarti


outlined. Hasn't it changed so we don't need that sort of control?


think in the end this is a judgment that has to be einformed by


intelligence, but also involves decisions by the courts. In a


system like ours we do depend on proper justice on the decisions of


the courts and not simply the decisions of the Home Secretary.


That's the right thing and I think that's also part of one-nation


tradition. What do you say to people like Shami Chakrabarti, are


they being too soft? Well, no, there are areas where Shami


Chakrabarti and I simply disagree and I think that it is important to


make sure that there is sufficient protection and it is important to


make sure that you prevent very serious crimes happening, because


with something like terrorism you can't simply wait for a terrible


event to happen and then clamp down after and prosecute and make sure


people are punished. You have to also make sure you do everything


you can to prevent the loss of life and the terrible things that can


happen. That is the right thing to do. Of course, it's a balance, but


it's a sensible approach to take. Are the principals behind --


principles behind ID cards still a good idea, even though you failed


to bring them in? No, I think the debate has moved on from then. I


think that it's not something that's on the cards or something we


are promoting, but what we are doing is saying there are areas


where we should be cracking down on crime. For example, I talked this


morning about taking further action on economic crime, also on


organised criminals, who I think are getting away with stark away


too much of the money they get through extortion and violence. We


should change the law in both those areas. Do you support all the


information being held on a centrally trond database? Well, I


think you must be talk -- controlled database that? Well, I


think you are talking about the internet and surveillance. We are


waiting for a report from the cross-party committee that is


looking at the detail of these proposals. We have to be quite


cautious about the proposals put forward. Of course, the police need


to be able to keep up with rising technology and increasing


technology and new ways of communicating in the hunt for


dangerous criminals, but there have to be proper safeguards, the checks


and balances that I talked about earlier. You have to make sure


there are limits in place and I'm not sure we have seen enough on the


details to be sure the Government has the balance right. Before we


let you go, the response that the lawyers for Abu Hamza have returned


to the High Court in the last attempt to stay his deportation for


health reasons. Your reaction? think this process has been going


on long enough. I think there have been far too long delays and


serious problems with the European courts on this. I think that Abu


Hamza should be extradited. That is the decision of the courts and I


think we should just get on with it. Thank you very much. We'll let you


go back to the confrens. -- conference. We talked about some of


the authoritarian responses. Was that what's what it was or because


it was popular? I don't think it was either. It was about saying one


of the top responsibilities in government is to protect people, to


protect them in their homes and borders and against terrorism. Not


only is that a role of Government, but a fundamental role of a Labour


Government, because the people who are least able to protect


themselves from crime by moving or by having security, their own


private security arrangements, are those people who are at the lower


end of the income level, who are the least powerful in society.


Putting yourself on the side of the victims of crime, I believe, is the


right place to be. We heard there from Yvette Cooper that the 42-day


detention was wrong. It wasn't backed up by the evidence. Do you


accept that now? I think at the time it was backed up by the


evidence. I've previously said that I think as a Government we probably


spent too long focusing on that. When I withdrew that proposal I


left in place a draft Bill, which if it were necessary, could be


enacted. I don't have any doubt and I would certainly hope that if that


situation did arise, Theresa May would enact that legislation.


are happy with the 14 days, which is what it now is, vbg come back


from 28 days -- having come back from 28 days? I'm assuming as long


as that's the case, I'm content with the current situation. Did it


benefit Labour, their positioning, to be seen as being that tough on


security? You say it was the right response, but did it help


politically as well? Well, I think people do judge governments on the


basis of how well they deal with the issues that worry them and for


most of the time, before the financial crisis, the issues that


people were most worried about on the doorstep were crime and


immigration. The reason was because there is nothing like being a


victim of crime to make you feel powerless, or make you think there


is something the Government should be doing. I think it's the right


political decision, not tactically, but actually out of the set of


values that we have, to place yourself in the position of victims


and do what you can to protect them. It's not the woman walking home


late at night who is complaining about CCTV cameras. It's someone


sitting rather comfortably in an office that's worrying about them.


It's not the rape victim that is worrying about the DNA database.


It's people who have never been in that position and haven't had to


depend on the police and DNA catching the person that raped them.


Thank you. And now to Police Commissioners. We have one wannabe


Deputy Dawg in Manchester. He's the former Deputy Prime Minister no


less. John Prescott. Welcome. One pleb to another. I can see we


are going to get on! As I understand it, for the Labour


nomination for Police Commissioner you beat division commander Keith


Hunter. In what way do you know more about policing and crime than


him? He knows an awful lot about police work, because he's had 30


years and he's a very experienced man. We had a little bit of


division in the party who should be the candidate. I won the vote, but


his experience is inville uebl and he's immediately lined up with me.


It's -- invaluable and he's immediately lined up with me. It's


the police experience and the community work. We are offering an


opportunity that reflects both those experiences, police work and


our partnership, which has led to the biggest decline in criminal


offences. Do you, when you look at the Humberside police budget in the


current economic climate and Government spending, do you think


that if you become Police Commissioner you are going to have


to preside over cuts in the Humberside budget? Well, we made it


very clear that the Government require us to produce a five-year


plan within five weeks, if I'm elected. I've looked at that plan


that's been prepared on the Government's orders and I'm bound


to say, for example, they are going to reduce the police by 400. The


independent constable Inspectorate has said that that is actually


reducing these resources twice as fast as anywhere else. I say to my


Police Authority that people want police, they don't want to see 400


cut and I'm not prepared to accept them in the new plan that I'm now


proposing. We could be up with a clash between Police Commissioner


Prescott and the Government in London? That's what the Government


-, well that won't be unusual. That isn't the point. The Government


have come along and said, look, there will be a commissioner and


he'll negotiate with the chief of the police and they will organise


the plan between them. But the money and the power is given to the


commissioner and I will be reflecting the community vote. This


is no longer the chief of police talking with the Police Authority.


It's the community telling me as the commissioner to which I'm


accountable, what they want to see as the priority in their five-year


plan and I'll work with the police on that and I'll have the resources


to negotiate with him, but at the end of the day I do think the


policy that Labour had, tough on crime and tough on the causes of


crime, led to the biggest decline in criminal offences. I think most


of my people in Humberside, in east Yorkshire, north Lincolnshire, that


what they want and that's what I'm preparing to put forward on their


Some people regard the Police Service as the last great


unreformed public service. If you take Humberside, back in 2007 this


new Chief Constable came in, to give him his credit, we were at the


bottom of the worst-performing police force. He's turned that


round in the last eight or nine years to now a very good police


force. Reducing crime, working with the community, and now he says and


he's been making changes in line with some of the community, I want


to continue that. It worked for us for 13 years, why shouldn't it work


now, even though it would be made more difficult by the Government


reducing police and resources. I want to find the best deal for the


people I represent. Is there mission I would have done as a


police Commissioner over the last five years that the Police


Authority in Humberside did not do? To be fair, they had a different


remit. The Police Authority discussed with the Chief Constable,


he produced the plan. They talked it over with the community. The


framework is there. The one essential difference which this


Government has decided is basically you negotiate with the Commissioner.


He has to decide where the priority of the resources are. He or she has


a to decide what that partnership scheme was. There are some schemes


I want to give higher priority to. I'm concerned about a number of


drugs in areas and particularly the early stages of school. We have to


deal with this in a tougher way than we are doing at the moment. It


is credential to talk about drugs but the PPC should start the debate


and the priorities he sees after analysis and present it to the


electorate. We have a proper debate and set of priorities. That's what


my plan B will be. OK, I'm glad you have got a plan B. Others are


hoping for another one in different circumstances. They could have a


plan B in one nation. I will come to that in a minutes. I thought


would. Labour were against the creation of police commissioners


but the coalition introduced them and you are standing as a candidate.


If Labour wins the election, should they make you redundant? Well, I


voted against this as well. I don't like the idea quite frankly of a


lot of power in one person's hands. I would like to say I might do it


different from some others. I've got candidates against me who want


to get rid of speed cameras. The personality makes the difference.


Should Labour get rid of them? we've asked the ex-Chief Constable


to review and look how police affects him. What we've got to do


is fight the election and try to prevent the damage that's


inevitably coming from this Government reversing Labour's


successful policy. If we are going to change it, wait until the


election. At the moment, let me get on with the fight Andrew.


understand that, I'm just asking, should Labour in the next election


promise to get rid of police commissioners? We'll look at it.


After two-and-a-half years we'll see whether it is workening. Make


the decision then. Alright. Have you been reading up on your


Benjamin Disraeli? You must be over the Moon that your party leader


supports a 19th century Tory. You know I'm not an int electual. Who


the hell is did Disraeli! I'm just Labour. Traditional values in a


modern setting. What Ed was talking about today was identifying himself


as the leader. A procession of change. Look, I was an MP when he


was born. Things are changing. I'm the old man in this, but I still


think when he talks about the health service, he talks about


getting your people back to work, making the changes, having a go at


the banks. Sounds like traditional values to mem. Robert Blake wrote


the biography of Benjamin Disraeli. You don't fancy a read of that?


Cybill was one of Disraeli's novels, wouldn't that be nice bed-time


reader for a essentialist? I'm a guy that lives by my experience.


That's what I call the roots of my belief. Will it be difficulty for


Ed. He has to stay in the modern times. Traditional values in my


life, modern times change. That's what Ed is changing today. I won't


be back to books. I will live on my experience and judgment. Are you


now a one-nation Labour man? I'm a one-Labour man. One country, one


Labour, one leader. I will remember that. Yeah. I'm not going to come


on that that. I'm one Labour, that's all I am. You know I like to


make you smile. You don't do it too often and I always succeed. Know


the second question behind that one. I have forgotten it! John Prescott,


thank you for joining us from Manchester. Pleasure. Sounds from


what he is saying there, Labour was against him, but police


commissioners are here to stay I guess. Even though not many people


may vote for them or even know who their police commissioners turns


out to be, what do you think? suspect you might be right. My


suspicion of the police Commissioner policy is not that it


is too much democracy and accountability, but too little.


John is the epitome of a big beast. I have no doubt if he is electioned


he will do a good job. What he also identified, he will put himself out


to make sure that what he is doing is talking with and reflecting the


views of the community. It is pretty difficult for one person to


do that. To the extent that the police Commissioner, the elections


are opening up to possibility, it's a good thing. It is an electoral


opportunity for Labour as well. To the important matter of the day.


Does it matter if Ed Miliband is as common as muck or as posh as a


cucumber sandwich? Organic bread only of course. He's been proud to


talk about his comprehensive education, but does it wash with


the great unwashed? We've come to Manchester's Arndale


shopping centre to find out what real people think about Ed Miliband.


Specifically do, they think he's posh or not? Do you know who Ed


Miliband is? That guy with the Red Nose? You could say that. Do you


think he's posh or not? No. He said on the news what school he went to,


so... It was a comprehensive schooling. So no. Put it in the no


slot. Compared to me he is definitely posh, so yeah.


It is and Ed Miliband, the Labour leefrpltsd Not posh. How much --


the Labour leader. Not posh. How do you know he's not posh? Because he


is an MP and MPs aren't posh. is posh if MPs aren't? The Queen.


Posh Spice. He's less posh than his brother.


But didn't they have the same upbringing? They did, but le is


less pretentious than his brother. Who would like to do our BBC


survey? Grab a ball and pop it in the slot. Pot posh compared to the


others. Like who? David Cameron. Nick Clegg. He's not an Eton person


like Cameron. I know he didn't go to private school but you don't


need to go to private school to be posh. How posh is Ed Miliband?


posh, but not too posh. I can relate to him. Half and whatever. I


would say more posh than not, be if I was him I would be disappointed.


Yes? What makes you say that? don't know who he is. Leader of the


Labour Party. I'm not really political. They all mess it up.


Miliband, what do you think? White hair? At the Olympics? No, that is


Boris Johnson! What umbrella would you sell Ed Miliband? No speak


English. Someone just said I think Ed


Miliband is really posh and I don't like him. Waited a second and said,


"You're not him are you?" I'm going to go for the posh one.


Why did you go posh? I think he's not telling us the truth about the


way he is. The way he comes across, the way he walks and talks I think


suggests posh. But because he is Labour he doesn't want to say that.


What has he got going for him? is very good looking, a good


personality. Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party? Yes.


think he's a loser. So after almost two hours we've


discovered that the public in Manchester are almost exactly


evenly split and most people don't seem to matter whether he is posh


or not, so that was worth it wasn't it? I enjoyed the case of mistaken


identity. Adam phlegming is Ed Miliband, clear. We have two of the


country's most renowned social anthropologists, from Liverpool Dr


Derek "Deggsy" Hatton, former leader of Liverpool Council, and


Professor Charles "Charlie" Falconer, the former Lord


Chancellor. Thank you very much indeed. Mo motion indeed. Is Ed


Miliband posh? I don't think he is. The way that posh was being read by


people dropping the balls in the boxes means posh means not like me


or somebody I want to be the leader of a political party. Every crime


seemed to be associated with posh. Derek Hatton, to you what's being


posh. I don't think it is so much what Ed Miliband is, but the way


he's perceived. I think he got away with a lot yesterday in terms of


the way he talked about the threat to the banks and the you turning


and everything else. He got away with the sort of language that


people can believe that Cameron or Osborne would never have got away.


They are perceived as "posh" the whole Eton bit. They are doomed.


The fact that Nadine Dorries said that, I think makes it a truism.


Because that is the case, Ed Miliband has a real chance of


starting to say, hang on a minute, I'm not like that. In the main the


perception is people believe him. So it was right to go on about his


education, because in your view going to Eton makes you posh and


unbelievable. The banks are one of the problems we've got in this


country. When Miliband talks about a threat to the banks, people can


believe that. I think if Cameron or Osborne made a threat to the banks,


nobody would believe him. Does it mean that education, and clearly


that's why Ed Miliband made such a play of his comprehensive education,


but as the girl said, is it doesn't matter where you went to school.


Posh is being used as a surrogate for can you connect with the public,


in the sense do I understands what the public is going through at the


moment? I don't think it matters what your background, is though it


is is a means of expressing your values. Roosevelt did brilliantly


in expressing the travails of people in the recession and he was


very posh, but he did contact. Attlee, the most successful Prime


Minister, went to a private school. He spoke a lot about the values and


yet he was able to connect with people who came back from the war.


Isn't it also about perception? I think you are right but the problem


is if someone's been to Eton, talks the way they do, they will never


really be seen as someone who identifies with ordinary people.


What about Boris Johnson? You could arguably say he is posh and he


connect with ordinary people. has got in as a court jester there.


Is always one court jester who will break the rules, likes of Cameron


and Osborne would never break those rule us. If it starts to go wrong


your poshness is a real barrier to reect canning but if you are


reasoning -- a real barrier to reconnecting. Blair was able to


express what the country wanted and he expressed a degree of aspiration.


Just as Roosevelt was incredibly be the at expressing against the


establishment the views of those in travails during the recession.


were talking yesterday that Ed Miliband may have gone to a


comprehensive school but he did come from an intellectual elite and


did mix with people most voters wouldn't have had the chance to


connect with. He was known as a geek and a pointy head. It's not


what you've done but the way you are perceived. Tony Blair did go to


one of the poshest schools in Scotland but people don't identify


that school as an Eton. They know what Eton is. They know the way


Cameron and Osborne behave. They see that's that public school bit


about them. But Cameron still polls $:/STARTFEED. When they see what it


means, whenever it's true or whether he believes it or not, I


don't know the bloke, but I do know he did a very good job of actually


taking that next step. I agree with that. Did it come across as


authentic? Yes. Because he was apparently speaking about his


background. So background does matter? It matters, but what comes


out of your background is not necessarily because you are posh


being a bad politician. Derek is saying it's about perception and it


can change over time, because I would say one of the things about


David Cameron he was successful at the beginning at looking as if he


could connect, despite his very posh background. Over time, what


he's done has suggested to the British public that actually he is


posh to the extent that he prioritises the rich over families,


that he's willing to accept one of his ministers calling a police


officer a pleb. Those begin to change the way people think. Is it


dangerous for Labour to try to exploit that in a sense, to go for


the sort of anti-toff campaign? It didn't work for them when they did


that. I think what is happening is this is Ed Miliband, this is where


he comes from, this is what he's like, take him or leave him, but


it's authentic and the absence is dangerous. Boris is strong because


these authentic and people can relate. Ed is exposing himself and


it's authentic what we are seeing. The public must now make a judgment,


but inauthentic is non-starting. It's about what people see as the


issue. Jacqui Smith was right when she said it was once immigration


and now it's the economy and the banks. People never believe that


the likes of Osborne or Cameron will take on the banks. They do -


but people are starting to believe that Miliband will. Thank you all


very much. Charlie will be joining me on This Week tomorrow night on


BBC One, along with Michael Portillo. It will be a very posh


programme indeed. Yesterday all the talk was of Ed Miliband's big


speech to Labour conference. But in a daring midnight raid by new


Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, the Government


attempted to snatch the headlines away from Labour by announcing that


its decision to award the West Coast main line to FirstGroup


instead of rival Virgin Trains has been derailed, thanks to a series


of deeply regrettable mistakes in the way the Department for


Transport has handled the franchise process. Some may call it a


shambles, other an omnishambles. Jo, bring us up to speed. The West


Coast Main Line, which runs from London to the Midlands, the North


West and Scotland is Britain's most lucrative rail network. It's been


run since privitisation in the 1990s by Sir Richard Branson's


Virgin Rail. But in August this year, Virgin's franchise deal hit


the buffers, when the Department for Transport said Virgin had been


outbid by its arch-rival FirstGroup. There were angry objections from


Virgin, which decided to take the Government to the High Court.


Ministers, however, vowed to press ahead with the new deal, but at


midnight last night Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said


that significant technical flaws had been uncovered in the bid


process, making clear it was the fault of his department.


FirstGroup's contract has now been cancelled and the Government is to


reimburse all four bidders for the line to the tune of �40 million.


They've also suspended all other rail franchsing deals while two


independent inquiries are carried out. It's still unclear whether


Virgin will continue to operate the line when its contract ends in


December or whether it will have to be run by the Government. The


announcement is particularly embarrassing for the Government


because it has repeatedly insisted that the franchise deal had been


properly handled. Here's the last Transport Secretary Justine


Greening and the man who took over from her last month, Patrick


McLoughlin. It's been a very fair and rigorous and robust process. It


was a process that all the bidders bought into. Virgin have now raised


concerns, but it's been a extremely fair process. It's actually so


rigorously structured so it doesn't have political interference, so


that we just get the best deal for the taxpayer and for passengers and


that's the one that we are going with. They were all very carefully


evaluated. We had industry experts involved with the evaluations for


part of that process and I'm confident we have come out with the


right bid. There was the exhaustive procedure that was gone through.


Two companies went to huge amounts of effort to try and win that bid


and it was judged fairly by the department and it is ow intention


to proceed with the bid that the winners made and I'm content with


the way the department exercised its review and I'm satisfied that


due diligence was done by the department and therefore the


intention is to go ahead with the contract when we can. Joining me


now is Kwasi Kwarteng, who sits on the Transport Select Committee and


from Manchester, the Shadow Transport Secretary, Maria Eagle.


Kwasi Kwarteng, you first. You must be great to to Richard Branson for


pursuing litigation against the Government, otherwise we would


never have found out about this cockup? I think he was absolutely


right. I took evidence with other committee members and I think he


gave a good account and identified the risk, which was it was all the


asuplgtss of the FirstGroup were ambitious and -- the asupplementss


of FirstGroup were ambition and it was backended. The Virgin deal gave


the taxpayer more value for money. At the hearings when you accused


Richard Branson of using his prestige and fame to get his own


way, you were wrong? What I said, I carefully put my question, but I


said some people might say. said, "You are resorting to heavy


art tillary ...." If you look at the tape I said people are saying.


You wouldn't have said that unless you sympathised with that view.


job is to be impartial and to ask difficult questions of witnesses.


You don't think you owe him an apology? I can't be a cheerleader


for any other interest. Do you owe him an apology? I don't think I do.


I was doing my job as a member of the committee. Will the Government


lay all the blame on the Civil Servants? I'm not sure how they're


going to deal with it. Should they? I think there should be some


ministerial responsibility. What do you mean by that? I think we should


apologise and say - The Transport Secretary has done that. He's


absolutely right to do that. Marie eagle, it seems that the mistakes


were made by Civil Servants when it came to calculations about the


inflation rate to 2026 and about passenger numbers. Should ministers


be held responsible for detailed mathematical mistakes by Civil


Servants? Ministers have to satisfy themselves that the way in which


this process is run is handled well and there is ministerial


responsibility. If there's wrongdoing and if things are


concealed from ministers, that's something slightly different. We'll


have to get to the bottom of all of this in respect of what happened in


this particular instance, but I think it shows what Ed Miliband was


saying yesterday, we have a Government that is grossly


incompetent. They have redesigned the franchise system, they have set


it out for 13 to 15-year processes and now there are basic issues


wrong and they have to accept responsibility. It's a shambles.


When you were a minister in Government did you check your Civil


Servants and their maths? I did. You did? Obviously, yes. You have


to be careful that you are fully satisfied that processes, which can


result in a serious legal action, which are worth billions of pounds,


are properly handled. It is not apparent to me that they've done


that. We have got incompetence in this Government that goes not only


into Department for Transport, but all the way to the top and that's


quite clear. They have to take responsibility and short this


shambles out. Should alarm bells not have rung, Kwasi Kwarteng, when


- and should your committee - didn't catch that. I've gone back


to Kwasi Kwarteng. Should alarm bells not have rung and should your


committee not have spotted this, that the FirstGroup offer relied on


revenues growing by more than 10% a year? These are questions that were


raised in the committee hearing. When they came in. We asked them.


Why didn't you rumble it? We said they were bold. I said that. My


colleagues on the committee said that. Your committee didn't produce


a report said the Government better look at this again. Maybe we should


have done. We certainly asked the right questions and when you


suggested to me I should apologise to Richard Branson, I think that's


completely inappropriate. I had to be impartial and ask difficult


questions of both sides. You may have asked the right questions, but


didn't come up with the right answer, because you didn't put any


resistance to this deal going ahead. Not you personally, but the


committee? I accept the fact that the committee could have been more


robust in its conclusions. Let me go to Marie eagle. Is it your


position that you want it to be run by the same Government structure


that runs the east coastline? Correct me if I'm wrong about your


policy. Is that a temporary position or a permanent position?


There are short-term and long-term issues here. Give me both.


franchise expires on 9th December and I think it would be very


difficult for the Transport Secretary to enable one or two of


the bidders who are engaged in litigation to continue to run it


making a profit. We would support him in allowing the not-for-


private-profit Government-owned company to run the West Coast Main


Line. That's temporary. What about permanent? In terms of the east


coast -- the East Coast Main Line, which this firm runs returning the


money to the taxpayer that would be shared with shareholders if it were


franchised out, we believe that should stay in the public ownership.


Should the West Coast Main Line return to public ownership? Well, I


think that when the contract expires on 9th December we would


support the Transport Secretary. You have said that. That's


temporary. Should it become permanent? We are going through our


policy review process to come up with the way in which we should


handle Inter city lines in the future. We have a devolution agenda


for local rail. We believe very strongly we should look at getting


better value for taxpayers out of the way in which we run the lines


and we are looking - You haven't got one? Once again you haven't got


a policy? It's not that we haven't got a policy. We are having a


review that looks at the best way of getting best value for money.


This flawed franchise system does not appear to be working well.


Kwasi Kwarteng, if it's a flawed system, which the west line clearly


shows, there are three others coming up, Great Western,


Thameslink, Essex Thames side. Should they go ahead? The problem


wasn't with the system, but the application of their own rules. The


issue with the West Coast Main Line is that the bond that was used to


secure was 200 million and it should have been 600 million.


Should these go ahead or should we not call a halt until we get a root


and branch investigation into this? I think that would be an


overreaction. I think this was a specific problem with this specific


contract. How much do you think FirstGroup will sue your


Government? I don't know. It's up to them. 30 seconds to you. Even


without suing, there is �40 million of taxpayers' money that is likely


to be used up on this. They have to give it back. It's Government waste


and incompetence and it's serious for passengers and it plays into


what Ed was saying yesterday. That's it for today. We thank all


of our guests. Thank you to Jacqui Smith for being guest of the day.


The news is starting over on BBC One. Jo will be here at noon


tomorrow with all the big political stories. I won't be back until BBC


One late tomorrow night after Question Time with This Week.


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