Conference Special Daily Politics


Conference Special

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn will be joined by former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for all the latest political news, including coverage of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

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

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

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

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The process was derailed after the Government finally admitted that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:01:54.:01:55.

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

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

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

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crying. All that in the next hour. Public

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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that actually. Was one nation the name of his

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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has very clearly succeeded today. In addition we got policy

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announcements on apprenticeship ships and voeckation. Announcements

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

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withdrawing the NHS Bill. We got announcements about business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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underwhelmed by everything. They are difficult people to please.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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must have rush Todwickpedia and looked up who Benjamin Disraeli

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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here calling each other comrades and demanding a restoration of

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

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

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

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not the case that after Mr Miliband's performance yesterday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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accepted the economic difficulty and how they are going to address

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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differences between Ed and David Miliband and their policies. They

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

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right Miliband than when they started meeting on Saturday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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are the Torys? Birmingham. Apologies to Douglas Alexander for

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

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

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Asquith. We looked it up. In many ways

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

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

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

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

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

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with unease when in Government Labour showed an authoritarian side.

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The party find being tough electorally helpful and were

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certain potss not just about countering terrorism? We locked

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:13:57.:13:57.

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

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

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

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

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inside somewhere without trial or without having done something. But

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

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Government. The provisions in this Bill have always been about

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protecting the British people. Protecting them from the serious

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

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

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

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

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

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of being anti-authoritarian and defending individual rights and

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

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

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:15:19.:15:28.

name of freedom that actually I think there was something that

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

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

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

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

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you're positioned in response appropriately to the threat level

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

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liberties and those who want minimal liberties or the other way

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

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

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Labour values. They were disappointed. The prevailing

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

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

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

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

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being a decent opposition, taking on encroachments into civil

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

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

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:17:04.:17:04.

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

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Cooper addressed conference earlier and began by paying tribute to PC

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

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

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

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Home Secretary and the whole country in paying tribute to those

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

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:17:43.:17:46.

officers farewell. APPLAUSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Minister join the people of Manchester in paying tribute to

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

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

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

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

:18:50.:18:53.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:19:19.:19:22.

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

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

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

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

:19:37.:19:41.

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

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

:19:45.:19:49.

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

:19:49.:19:52.

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

:19:52.:19:57.

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

:19:57.:20:00.

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

:20:00.:20:05.

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

:20:05.:20:09.

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

:20:09.:20:12.

Complaints Commission is sufficient to deal properly with problems and

:20:12.:20:17.

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

:20:17.:20:22.

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

:20:22.:20:25.

detention of terror suspects without charge and identity cards

:20:25.:20:29.

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

:20:29.:20:33.

authoritarian party. I think control orders was the right thing

:20:33.:20:38.

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

:20:38.:20:41.

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

:20:41.:20:44.

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

:20:44.:20:48.

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

:20:48.:20:53.

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

:20:53.:20:56.

agreed are dangerous and do need particular contraipbts in order to

:20:56.:21:00.

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

:21:00.:21:05.

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

:21:05.:21:09.

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

:21:09.:21:14.

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

:21:14.:21:18.

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

:21:18.:21:22.

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

:21:22.:21:24.

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

:21:24.:21:30.

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

:21:30.:21:33.

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

:21:33.:21:36.

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

:21:36.:21:40.

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

:21:40.:21:46.

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

:21:46.:21:50.

carry out greater surveillance. still think that the threat is

:21:50.:21:54.

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

:21:54.:22:02.

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

:22:02.:22:05.

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

:22:05.:22:10.

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

:22:10.:22:14.

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

:22:14.:22:19.

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

:22:19.:22:22.

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

:22:22.:22:26.

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

:22:26.:22:30.

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

:22:30.:22:35.

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

:22:35.:22:39.

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

:22:39.:22:43.

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

:22:43.:22:47.

make sure that you prevent very serious crimes happening, because

:22:47.:22:51.

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

:22:51.:22:55.

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

:22:55.:22:59.

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

:22:59.:23:02.

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

:23:02.:23:06.

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

:23:06.:23:10.

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

:23:10.:23:14.

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

:23:14.:23:19.

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

:23:19.:23:23.

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

:23:23.:23:26.

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

:23:26.:23:30.

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

:23:30.:23:33.

morning about taking further action on economic crime, also on

:23:33.:23:36.

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

:23:36.:23:39.

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

:23:40.:23:43.

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

:23:44.:23:49.

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

:23:49.:23:57.

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

:23:57.:24:01.

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

:24:01.:24:07.

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

:24:07.:24:11.

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

:24:11.:24:13.

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

:24:13.:24:17.

to be able to keep up with rising technology and increasing

:24:17.:24:21.

technology and new ways of communicating in the hunt for

:24:21.:24:25.

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

:24:25.:24:28.

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

:24:28.:24:31.

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

:24:31.:24:34.

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

:24:34.:24:38.

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

:24:38.:24:42.

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

:24:42.:24:46.

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

:24:46.:24:50.

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

:24:50.:24:53.

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

:24:53.:24:56.

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

:24:56.:24:59.

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

:24:59.:25:06.

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

:25:06.:25:10.

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

:25:10.:25:15.

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

:25:15.:25:25.
:25:25.:25:25.

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

:25:25.:25:28.

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

:25:28.:25:32.

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

:25:32.:25:36.

Government, because the people who are least able to protect

:25:36.:25:40.

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

:25:40.:25:44.

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

:25:44.:25:47.

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

:25:47.:25:51.

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

:25:51.:25:57.

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

:25:57.:26:00.

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

:26:00.:26:03.

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

:26:03.:26:07.

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

:26:07.:26:13.

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

:26:13.:26:17.

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

:26:17.:26:21.

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

:26:21.:26:25.

situation did arise, Theresa May would enact that legislation.

:26:25.:26:31.

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

:26:31.:26:37.

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

:26:37.:26:42.

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

:26:42.:26:47.

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

:26:47.:26:51.

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

:26:51.:26:55.

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

:26:55.:26:58.

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

:26:58.:27:03.

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

:27:03.:27:07.

people were most worried about on the doorstep were crime and

:27:07.:27:10.

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

:27:10.:27:14.

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

:27:14.:27:17.

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

:27:17.:27:20.

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

:27:20.:27:24.

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

:27:24.:27:27.

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

:27:27.:27:33.

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

:27:33.:27:36.

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

:27:36.:27:41.

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

:27:41.:27:45.

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

:27:45.:27:47.

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

:27:47.:27:52.

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

:27:52.:27:54.

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

:27:54.:28:04.
:28:04.:28:11.

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

:28:11.:28:20.

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

:28:20.:28:23.

nomination for Police Commissioner you beat division commander Keith

:28:23.:28:28.

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

:28:28.:28:31.

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

:28:31.:28:35.

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

:28:35.:28:39.

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

:28:40.:28:45.

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

:28:45.:28:49.

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

:28:49.:28:52.

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

:28:52.:28:58.

opportunity that reflects both those experiences, police work and

:28:58.:29:01.

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

:29:01.:29:08.

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

:29:08.:29:10.

current economic climate and Government spending, do you think

:29:10.:29:14.

that if you become Police Commissioner you are going to have

:29:14.:29:18.

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

:29:18.:29:21.

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

:29:21.:29:26.

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

:29:26.:29:29.

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

:29:29.:29:35.

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

:29:35.:29:38.

independent constable Inspectorate has said that that is actually

:29:38.:29:44.

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

:29:44.:29:48.

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

:29:48.:29:52.

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

:29:52.:29:56.

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

:29:56.:30:02.

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

:30:02.:30:06.

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

:30:06.:30:09.

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

:30:09.:30:12.

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

:30:12.:30:16.

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

:30:16.:30:20.

commissioner and I will be reflecting the community vote. This

:30:20.:30:23.

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

:30:23.:30:26.

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

:30:26.:30:30.

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

:30:30.:30:34.

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

:30:34.:30:38.

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

:30:38.:30:41.

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

:30:41.:30:46.

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

:30:46.:30:52.

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

:30:52.:30:55.

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

:30:55.:31:05.
:31:05.:31:11.

Some people regard the Police Service as the last great

:31:11.:31:16.

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

:31:16.:31:20.

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

:31:20.:31:23.

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

:31:23.:31:27.

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

:31:27.:31:32.

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

:31:32.:31:36.

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

:31:36.:31:42.

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

:31:42.:31:47.

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

:31:48.:31:52.

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

:31:53.:31:57.

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

:31:57.:32:00.

police Commissioner over the last five years that the Police

:32:00.:32:04.

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

:32:04.:32:08.

remit. The Police Authority discussed with the Chief Constable,

:32:08.:32:12.

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

:32:12.:32:15.

framework is there. The one essential difference which this

:32:15.:32:20.

Government has decided is basically you negotiate with the Commissioner.

:32:20.:32:25.

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

:32:25.:32:29.

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

:32:29.:32:34.

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

:32:34.:32:39.

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

:32:39.:32:42.

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

:32:42.:32:47.

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

:32:47.:32:50.

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

:32:50.:32:54.

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

:32:54.:33:00.

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

:33:00.:33:04.

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

:33:04.:33:08.

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

:33:08.:33:11.

would. Labour were against the creation of police commissioners

:33:11.:33:17.

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

:33:17.:33:23.

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

:33:23.:33:27.

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

:33:27.:33:32.

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

:33:32.:33:37.

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

:33:37.:33:42.

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

:33:42.:33:49.

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

:33:49.:33:55.

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

:33:55.:33:58.

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

:33:58.:34:01.

inevitably coming from this Government reversing Labour's

:34:01.:34:04.

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

:34:04.:34:09.

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

:34:09.:34:14.

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

:34:14.:34:20.

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

:34:20.:34:23.

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

:34:23.:34:29.

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

:34:29.:34:35.

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

:34:35.:34:45.

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

:34:45.:34:52.

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

:34:52.:34:56.

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

:34:56.:35:01.

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

:35:01.:35:05.

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

:35:05.:35:09.

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

:35:09.:35:14.

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

:35:14.:35:18.

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

:35:18.:35:25.

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

:35:25.:35:32.

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

:35:32.:35:36.

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

:35:36.:35:40.

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

:35:40.:35:46.

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

:35:46.:35:50.

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

:35:50.:35:54.

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

:35:54.:36:03.

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

:36:03.:36:10.

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

:36:10.:36:15.

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

:36:15.:36:20.

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

:36:20.:36:24.

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

:36:24.:36:29.

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

:36:29.:36:33.

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

:36:33.:36:37.

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

:36:37.:36:42.

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

:36:42.:36:47.

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

:36:47.:36:51.

suspicion of the police Commissioner policy is not that it

:36:51.:36:54.

is too much democracy and accountability, but too little.

:36:54.:37:00.

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

:37:00.:37:05.

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

:37:05.:37:08.

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

:37:08.:37:12.

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

:37:12.:37:15.

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

:37:15.:37:18.

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

:37:18.:37:24.

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

:37:24.:37:32.

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

:37:32.:37:36.

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

:37:36.:37:41.

talk about his comprehensive education, but does it wash with

:37:41.:37:45.

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

:37:45.:37:48.

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

:37:49.:37:54.

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

:37:54.:37:58.

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

:37:58.:38:04.

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

:38:04.:38:10.

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

:38:10.:38:17.

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

:38:17.:38:24.

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

:38:24.:38:29.

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

:38:29.:38:34.

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

:38:34.:38:39.

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

:38:39.:38:45.

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

:38:45.:38:49.

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

:38:49.:38:55.

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

:38:55.:39:03.

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

:39:03.:39:06.

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

:39:06.:39:12.

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

:39:12.:39:17.

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

:39:17.:39:22.

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

:39:22.:39:27.

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

:39:27.:39:34.

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

:39:34.:39:42.

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

:39:42.:39:47.

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

:39:47.:39:51.

English. Someone just said I think Ed

:39:51.:39:57.

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

:39:57.:40:07.
:40:07.:40:07.

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

:40:07.:40:12.

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

:40:12.:40:16.

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

:40:16.:40:21.

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

:40:22.:40:26.

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

:40:26.:40:30.

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

:40:30.:40:36.

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

:40:36.:40:40.

discovered that the public in Manchester are almost exactly

:40:40.:40:45.

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

:40:45.:40:50.

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

:40:50.:40:57.

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

:40:57.:41:01.

country's most renowned social anthropologists, from Liverpool Dr

:41:01.:41:05.

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

:41:05.:41:07.

Professor Charles "Charlie" Falconer, the former Lord

:41:07.:41:13.

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

:41:13.:41:19.

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

:41:19.:41:25.

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

:41:25.:41:29.

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

:41:29.:41:35.

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

:41:35.:41:39.

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

:41:39.:41:42.

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

:41:42.:41:46.

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

:41:46.:41:51.

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

:41:51.:41:58.

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

:41:58.:42:05.

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

:42:05.:42:09.

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

:42:09.:42:13.

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

:42:13.:42:19.

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

:42:19.:42:25.

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

:42:25.:42:30.

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

:42:30.:42:33.

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

:42:33.:42:37.

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

:42:38.:42:42.

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

:42:42.:42:47.

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

:42:47.:42:51.

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

:42:51.:42:55.

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

:42:55.:43:00.

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

:43:00.:43:03.

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

:43:03.:43:07.

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

:43:07.:43:15.

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

:43:15.:43:19.

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

:43:19.:43:24.

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

:43:24.:43:31.

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

:43:31.:43:36.

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

:43:36.:43:39.

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

:43:39.:43:44.

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

:43:44.:43:49.

really be seen as someone who identifies with ordinary people.

:43:49.:43:53.

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

:43:53.:43:58.

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

:43:58.:44:04.

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

:44:04.:44:09.

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

:44:09.:44:14.

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

:44:14.:44:24.
:44:24.:44:24.

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

:44:24.:44:29.

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

:44:29.:44:33.

Just as Roosevelt was incredibly be the at expressing against the

:44:33.:44:38.

establishment the views of those in travails during the recession.

:44:38.:44:42.

were talking yesterday that Ed Miliband may have gone to a

:44:42.:44:47.

comprehensive school but he did come from an intellectual elite and

:44:48.:44:52.

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

:44:52.:44:56.

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

:44:56.:45:00.

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

:45:00.:45:04.

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

:45:04.:45:08.

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

:45:08.:45:14.

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

:45:14.:45:24.
:45:24.:45:32.

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

:45:32.:45:35.

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

:45:35.:45:40.

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

:45:40.:45:45.

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

:45:45.:45:49.

authentic? Yes. Because he was apparently speaking about his

:45:49.:45:54.

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

:45:54.:45:58.

out of your background is not necessarily because you are posh

:45:58.:46:04.

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

:46:04.:46:07.

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

:46:07.:46:12.

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

:46:12.:46:15.

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

:46:15.:46:19.

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

:46:19.:46:23.

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

:46:23.:46:28.

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

:46:28.:46:32.

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

:46:32.:46:36.

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

:46:36.:46:41.

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

:46:41.:46:45.

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

:46:45.:46:50.

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

:46:50.:46:58.

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

:46:58.:47:03.

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

:47:03.:47:09.

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

:47:09.:47:16.

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

:47:16.:47:20.

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

:47:20.:47:24.

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

:47:24.:47:29.

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

:47:29.:47:33.

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

:47:33.:47:39.

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

:47:39.:47:45.

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

:47:45.:47:48.

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

:47:48.:47:51.

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

:47:51.:47:52.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, the Government

:47:52.:47:55.

attempted to snatch the headlines away from Labour by announcing that

:47:55.:47:58.

its decision to award the West Coast main line to FirstGroup

:47:58.:48:01.

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

:48:01.:48:03.

of deeply regrettable mistakes in the way the Department for

:48:03.:48:13.
:48:13.:48:19.

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

:48:19.:48:24.

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

:48:24.:48:27.

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

:48:27.:48:30.

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

:48:30.:48:32.

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

:48:32.:48:35.

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

:48:35.:48:38.

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

:48:38.:48:44.

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

:48:44.:48:47.

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

:48:47.:48:50.

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

:48:50.:48:52.

midnight last night Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said

:48:52.:48:54.

that significant technical flaws had been uncovered in the bid

:48:54.:49:00.

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

:49:00.:49:03.

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

:49:03.:49:09.

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

:49:09.:49:11.

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

:49:11.:49:16.

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

:49:16.:49:19.

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

:49:19.:49:24.

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

:49:24.:49:26.

announcement is particularly embarrassing for the Government

:49:26.:49:28.

because it has repeatedly insisted that the franchise deal had been

:49:29.:49:32.

properly handled. Here's the last Transport Secretary Justine

:49:32.:49:35.

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

:49:35.:49:44.

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

:49:44.:49:51.

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

:49:51.:49:56.

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

:49:56.:49:59.

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

:49:59.:50:04.

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

:50:04.:50:09.

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

:50:09.:50:13.

evaluated. We had industry experts involved with the evaluations for

:50:13.:50:17.

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

:50:17.:50:21.

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

:50:21.:50:25.

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

:50:25.:50:29.

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

:50:29.:50:36.

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

:50:36.:50:40.

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

:50:40.:50:45.

due diligence was done by the department and therefore the

:50:45.:50:53.

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

:50:53.:50:58.

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

:50:58.:51:02.

from Manchester, the Shadow Transport Secretary, Maria Eagle.

:51:02.:51:06.

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

:51:06.:51:09.

pursuing litigation against the Government, otherwise we would

:51:09.:51:13.

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

:51:13.:51:17.

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

:51:17.:51:22.

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

:51:23.:51:26.

asuplgtss of the FirstGroup were ambitious and -- the asupplementss

:51:27.:51:31.

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

:51:31.:51:36.

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

:51:36.:51:39.

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

:51:39.:51:44.

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

:51:44.:51:51.

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

:51:51.:51:57.

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

:51:57.:52:02.

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

:52:02.:52:07.

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

:52:07.:52:12.

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

:52:12.:52:18.

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

:52:18.:52:23.

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

:52:23.:52:27.

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

:52:27.:52:32.

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

:52:32.:52:37.

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

:52:37.:52:40.

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

:52:40.:52:45.

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

:52:45.:52:50.

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

:52:50.:52:56.

inflation rate to 2026 and about passenger numbers. Should ministers

:52:56.:53:01.

be held responsible for detailed mathematical mistakes by Civil

:53:01.:53:06.

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

:53:06.:53:10.

this process is run is handled well and there is ministerial

:53:10.:53:12.

responsibility. If there's wrongdoing and if things are

:53:12.:53:15.

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

:53:15.:53:19.

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

:53:19.:53:22.

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

:53:22.:53:25.

saying yesterday, we have a Government that is grossly

:53:25.:53:30.

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

:53:30.:53:35.

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

:53:35.:53:37.

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

:53:38.:53:42.

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

:53:42.:53:48.

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

:53:48.:53:55.

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

:53:55.:53:59.

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

:53:59.:54:02.

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

:54:02.:54:07.

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

:54:07.:54:10.

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

:54:10.:54:14.

quite clear. They have to take responsibility and short this

:54:14.:54:20.

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

:54:20.:54:25.

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

:54:25.:54:28.

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

:54:28.:54:33.

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

:54:33.:54:38.

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

:54:38.:54:42.

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

:54:42.:54:45.

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

:54:45.:54:49.

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

:54:49.:54:54.

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

:54:54.:54:57.

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

:54:57.:55:02.

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

:55:02.:55:05.

completely inappropriate. I had to be impartial and ask difficult

:55:05.:55:08.

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

:55:08.:55:12.

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

:55:12.:55:16.

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

:55:16.:55:19.

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

:55:19.:55:29.
:55:29.:55:29.

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

:55:29.:55:33.

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

:55:33.:55:36.

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

:55:36.:55:41.

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

:55:41.:55:46.

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

:55:46.:55:51.

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

:55:51.:55:54.

difficult for the Transport Secretary to enable one or two of

:55:54.:55:57.

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

:55:57.:56:05.

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

:56:05.:56:09.

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

:56:09.:56:17.

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

:56:17.:56:20.

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

:56:20.:56:25.

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

:56:25.:56:29.

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

:56:29.:56:34.

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

:56:34.:56:38.

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

:56:38.:56:42.

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

:56:42.:56:48.

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

:56:48.:56:52.

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

:56:52.:56:55.

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

:56:55.:57:00.

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

:57:00.:57:04.

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

:57:04.:57:10.

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

:57:10.:57:14.

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

:57:14.:57:18.

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

:57:18.:57:22.

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

:57:22.:57:26.

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

:57:26.:57:29.

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

:57:29.:57:35.

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

:57:35.:57:41.

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

:57:41.:57:44.

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

:57:44.:57:48.

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

:57:48.:57:53.

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

:57:53.:57:56.

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

:57:56.:58:01.

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

:58:01.:58:04.

contract. How much do you think FirstGroup will sue your

:58:04.:58:09.

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

:58:09.:58:14.

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

:58:14.:58:21.

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

:58:21.:58:24.

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

:58:24.:58:29.

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

:58:29.:58:33.

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

:58:33.:58:38.

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

:58:38.:58:42.

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

:58:42.:58:46.

One late tomorrow night after Question Time with This Week.

:58:46.:58:52.

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