05/10/2012 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics. The party


conference bandwagon enters the home straight as the Conservatives


prepare for their little shindig in Birmingham next week. But can David


Cameron rally the troops like Ed Miliband did? He has a bus on his


hands. Behind in the polls and facing criticism from all sides


about his leadership. We will speak to one of his ministers.


The got a spare 10 billion euros? De EU has a past be run out of cash.


We will speak to the French MEP who thinks it is time to cough up.


Thousands of BBC employees as well as other public sector workers have


been helped to pay less tax. MPs issued a damning report.


And who is up, who is down? We will have a round-up of the last seven


All that in the next hour. With us is Rachel Sylvester from the Times


and Steve Richards on the Independent. Welcome to both of you.


Let's start with the news that tax arrangements for some public sector


workers have been criticised by MPs. A Public Accounts Committee report


says too many make their own arrangements to pay tax and


national insurance, which could allow them to pay less. The chair


of the committee, Margaret Hodge, says public sector workers have to


be whiter than white. If you work in the public service,


it is upon you to lead by example. Hard-working families up and down


the country are paying a lot in tax, and it is wrong that individuals


working in the public service, whose money comes from the tax


those families pay, are not paying their share.


Margaret Hodge. Rachel Sylvester, at what point does it become


immoral to try to reduce the amount of tax that you pay? It is not


illegal. The Times has had a huge reaction


to its campaign on tax avoidance. There is a difference between


something illegal and something immoral. There is a grey area, but


I think there are times when you are within the law that it is not


right. Interestingly, politicians have cottoned on to this. It is a


way in which the Tory party can be criticising wealthy billionaire's


who are avoiding tax, and their way of making themselves seem not just


on the side of the rich. Labour get to hit at them, too.


What about it being targeted at public sector workers or those who


work in the public sector? Somehow they should not be allowed to


reduce their tax rate, even within the law?


Margaret Hodge summed it up when she said that they are being paid


through the taxation system. Therefore they have a moral


obligation. I think others do as well, actually. I can't see the


case why some should pay 40% or whatever and others 21%. There is


no logical moral argument justifying it. Also, now, we need


the money. Where do you draw the line? You


agree with it in principle, saying it was a populist campaign. Where


do you draw the line on avoidance? How do you legislate for people not


to have accountants who can reduce tax?


There are mechanisms that are clearly aggressively designed to


avoid paying tax. It is not just using the system in a way that is


clearly fair and above board. It is aggressively going out and trying


to avoid paying tax. That is wrong. Let's move on to our quiz. Today is


the 50th anniversary of the release of the first James Bond film, Dr No.


The question for today is which Cabinet minister has a Bond poster


of themselves? David Cameron, William Hague, Theresa May, or Eric


Pickles? What a fine bunch! At the end of


the show, our guests will try to give us the right answer.


As David Cameron... Something for you to think about! As David


Cameron packs for Birmingham, he may think that the backdrop to the


conference is not all he would have hoped for. The blunder over the


West Coast rail franchise has revived claims that his government


is incompetent, perhaps it is still in the grip of the budget


omnishambles we started back in the sprint. It Miliband's pitch to


represent One Nation at his conference has caught some movement


in the polls, with 27% of people in one survey saying the Labour leader


would make the best Prime Minister. Only just behind Mr Cameron, who is


on 31%. And Mr Cameron has got friends like Boris Johnson


challenging the way he is leading the party. The London mayor has


accused the government of complacency over airport capacity


in the south-east of England. Liam Fox from the right of the party


says today that the Tories are being ban by a metropolitan elite.


Wonder who he could have in mind! Believes Mr Cameron with a tricky


balancing act. Does he defend the coalition or find some red meat for


the party faithful? Let's be to our political correspondent, Chris


Mason. Let's look at the slogan. Britain can deliver. Is it an


attempt to reclaim the One Nation idea from Ed Miliband?


To an extent. The banner has just been unveiled in the last hour or


so. The security sweep is under way before people start to arrive.


Britain can deliver - the response to all of the Labour stuff we had


earlier in the week. The emphasis is on a job that is continuing to


be done. That is the subtext of the slogan. The emphasis is that 25% of


the deficit has been paid down. There is big reform going on in


education in England, in the welfare state and the benefits


system, and there is more to achieve. They say, they will argue,


that the Conservatives can achieve it in coalition and even more


quickly if there was a Conservative majority government after 2015. The


party chairman started off a few days of banging the Conservative


trump. He has given an interview to the Evening Standard. He was asked,


will be Conservatives show mercy to the Lib Dems at the election?


Answer? Absolutely not. Lord Ashcroft, the former chairman,


has carried out some polling to find out why certain groups are not


voting Conservative. Interesting reading?


Very interesting. What he has done, and of course, any attempt to


conduct a poll and then trunk up segments of society into categories


and attach a label, that runs a risk of being lampooned as quiet


that people, it be like in the sitcoms. It is a thoughtful piece


of work, though. It also about suspicious strivers. It seems a bit


like the Labour idea of the squeeze to mid-off. He feared that the


Conservatives have alienated those people who fear that there are


those who are reliant on the state, who are helped by government, and


there are those at the top of the pecking order who are helped by the


state as well. But there are those suspicious drivers -- strivers who


have Conservative ideals but fear the state does not help them


sufficiently. He fears those people have peeled off in the direction of


Labour in the last couple of years. If the Conservatives can secure the


majority, they need to win them back before 2015.


With us now is the Conservative Home Office minister James


Brokenshire. Welcome back to the Daily Politics. We just discussed


the slogan. If you can't deliver the West Coast Mainline, the at


said the government has earned irritation for incompetence?


-- do you accept the government has earned a reputation for


incompetence? The mood of the conference will be


how we need to continue to deliver for Britain, supporting those


people who are striving in difficulty to ensure that we are


helping those in to work. Some things we have already done, like


cutting the deficit, the work programmes supporting 330,000


people into employment. It is that Focus that we will have during the


conference. But what will be at the forefront


will be the tax bill of a least �40 million because of this West Coast


Mainline fiasco. It is right Bedi Transport


Secretary is taking the steps in terms of the two reviews being


taken. -- it is right that the Transport Secretary. That is the


right thing for him to do. He is taking clear action in this regard.


Clearly, we need to sort the issue out.


As a Home Office minister, you must be pleased the focus is not on your


department for once. Are you relieved?


The Home Office is always an interesting place. But no, our


focus is on securing the public, making sure we have the police


doing the job we want them to do, free of the bureaucracy of the last


government. That is our focus, and clearly, the issues that the Home


Secretary and also the Justice Secretary will be taking forward,


they are how we can deliver the scent of safety. The Justice


Secretary has met an interesting comments about how we can get


community punishment. We will come onto that. Do the


comments attributed to be Andrew -- to Andromede due -- to be to do


Andrew Mitchell will be harmful? That was utterly wrong.


It was right for him not to go to the conference?


That is a matter for Andrew. He has made that decision. That is for him


to decide. We do respect our police at this time, when we have seen of


the real dangers that they can be involved in. I understand that.


That is why we want to support the police, ensuring that government


itself, central government, is His Boris Johnson...


I think people will vote for the Conservatives. They will understand


the power people will have over law and order on their streets.


Somebody else who talks about that in London is the mayor, Boris


Johnson. He is a friend of the government, or an enemy?


He is a fantastic advocate of the Conservative Party and of London. I


worked alongside him during the Olympics, as well as the Prime


Minister. It is a powerful show they can bring to the fore. I think


he will be a great advocate for the party. He is doing his bit for


London, in his way. It is right that he should do so.


But do you agree with his comments criticising the government over the


aviation capacity? He has criticised them a lot of what he


called a timetable for economic catastrophe, unless a deal with the


lack of capacity in the South East. I think we need to base this on the


evidence. That is what the government is doing, looking at the


various capacities. Is that helpful to the government?


Boris has got to do his job as Mayor of London, seeing what he


thinks is the right thing for him to be putting forward. That is his


own perspective. What we need to do is to look at the evidence. But


what the Government is intending to do. We need to get this decision


right, understanding what the aviation industry needs.


His Boris Johnson going to be a help or a hindrance at this


conference? I think he will be a hindrance. He


is going to show people an alternative. There is a tetchy mood


in the party because of the polls. People will have a different


analysis about the ratings, and Boris has his. The interesting


thing coming out of the Labour conference, when Ed Miliband to be


a One Nation label, is whether David Cameron can come back. --


went Ed Miliband took the One Nation label. You have got people


like Boris in the wings. If Cameron can put a stamp on the party, that


will put an end to it. A what does David Cameron need to


do, then? Dusty answer the question that has been outlined or does he


To be honest, he cannot do anything. Governments have set their course


by now. Budgets, Queen's speeches, autumn reports were the course is


set. As Rachel suggested, after an early flirtation with the centre


ground, one nation Toryism, whether you disagree with it or agree with


it, on the right, whether it is the economic policies or the public


service reforms. It has been closer to that part of the political


spectrum in recent years. I don't think a speech on Wednesday morning


will change very much. What do you say to that? I think we have the


opportunity which I think will be taken, to set out the tough


decisions we need to take to get the economy right. We have cut the


deficit by a quarter already. deficit that is going back up again.


We have created 1.2 million private sector jobs. Also things on welfare


reform as well. If you are in work, work will always pay. We have a


culture that is the hand of to assist people into work, rather


than the handout dependency culture we had under Labour. We have fancy


rhetoric from the Labour Party setting out some slogans, but very


light on substance. You will see in the coming week, a real substance


on what is happening. The back empty rhetoric has delivered its 14.


Lead for Labour and even more worrying, David Cameron's poll


ratings are starting to slide against Ed Miliband. Do you see Ed


Miliband as an s it? My focus is ensuring we get the country right.


We are going to underline the lack of vision, lack of focus and the


fact that the Labour leader has been looking to the past in terms


of trying to draw upon a previous Conservative Prime Minister. If he


wants to use Conservative slogans, it is up to him. But he is not


learning, accepting the mistakes the last Labour Government made. So


how can he offer the future? It is an important message to give on the


mistakes that were made, how we are dealing with those problems and


delivering for Britain. Thanks very much, have a good conference. Now,


have you got a spare ten billion euros? No? Well we might be asked


to help out a bit after a warning this week that the European Union


needs some extra cash to tide it over until Christmas. Alain


Lamassoure, the French MEP who chairs the European Parliament's


Budget Committee, says the EU is running out of money and needs an


extra ten billion euros to finance its projects up to the end of the


year. Monsieur Lamassoure joins us now from Paris.


Are you saying the EU's 10 billion euros overspends the this year? It


is an awful lot of money. It is an order of magnitude, the European


Commission will be able to precise the figure. The problem is, we lack


cash. As you know, in every Budget, we make this thing wishing between


money we have to commit ourselves to those services. It is commitment


appropriation. And when the services are delivered, we pay and


we need payments appropriations. We have had enough commitments, but


now when money is committed and the service delivered, we have to pay


and we lack the cash. People say you have not budgeted properly, you


have spent the money frivolously and now you are expecting nation-


states, who come a lot of them are struggling in recession, too strong


up the extra cash? responsibility for that is not the


European Parliament it is budget ministers. Every year when we


negotiate the amount and structure of the EU budget, the budget


ministers on one side and Parliament on the other side. We


discuss commitments. When you commit money, it is not an election


promise, it is a legal obligation. On commitments, ministers don't


care, they don't even discuss it. They are only interested on


payments. So they are generous on commitments, but they are very


Mauritius on payments. Now we are in this contradiction. If we have


to pay, it is not due to the extravagance of the Eurocrats, it


is due to the contradiction of budget ministers between what they


commit and what they don't want to pay. There is an argument that says


are you making a fuss about this now, highlighting this


contradiction, as you set out, in order to increase pressure on the


nation states to put up the EU budget beyond 2013? My arguments --


argument is to demonstrate, to oblige governments to avoid double


talk, to be candid and to say what they want really. Last June, there


was a European Council. As you know, the European summits is taking


unanimously. And they decided unanimously that 120 billion euros


more would be dedicated to sustain growth and competitiveness in the


European Union. And it was agreed by everybody, including the British


Prime Minister. And, a few weeks later when we start of fulfilling


this decision, we realise all finance ministers want to cut the


payments. Instead of increasing them. Things have to be clear. We,


as you mention, we are preparing for talks on the framework of the


EU budget for the next seven years. But things have to be clear. Who


wants to increase the EU budget? He wants to freeze or cut the EU


budget? But, when you decide to raise it, you have to pay. When you


commit you have to deliver. have made that clear, I will put


that to members of the European Parliament.


We can talk now to the UKIP MEP, Marta Andreasen, who's in our


Southampton studio. Hasn't he got a point? He says they want to do all


these things, he says they had committed the nations to these


things and now they don't want to pay up? This is the same Commission


that told us in February that they had a shortfall for 2011 of 11


billion euros. But in April, two months later they had a surplus for


2011 of 1.5 billion euros. This has no reliable information or evidence


they need the money. He talks about the commitments, but the


commitments that are recorded on the books of the Commission are not


legal commitments. It is a setting a part of some money for certain


projects. The initiative that comes from the Commission and from the


Parliament committees, it does not come actually from the member


states. I was voting for one day and a half for the Budget in 2013.


A lot of initiatives are put on by the political parties in the


Parliament without actually knowing if there is any need. Let me tell


you, cohesion funding requires Co financing by the member states.


Member states have no money to do this. How can they do this if they


need more money for cohesion funding now? There are two points


made by Alleyne. He said the projects need to be paid for and


there is a legal obligation, he says it is legally binding those


nation-states to have asked for those projects to be completed,


have now been completed and the payments must be there. Are you


saying, just because they have not got any money because of the


economic situation, they shouldn't be obliged to pay up? Or are you


saying they have got their sums wrong? I am saying the need to pay


is not there. The calculation of 10 billion came up after a meeting


with the budget commissioner. He came to support the need for 10


billion, just saying at the end of September 2012, 80% of the


commitments have been paid. Well as at the end of September 2011, only


3% of the commitment has been paid. He deals because of the rate of


payments is higher at the end of September, it is in need of cash.


This is the only evidence he provides. He does not list to us, a


list of legal commitments the countries are asking to pay but.


Thank you very much. Listening to both sides of the argument, how


much chance do you think David Cameron has in terms of arguing for


a freeze in terms of the EU budget? I have no idea. He won't win that


because he has no power to impose VAT on himself. They suppose he


would get some cosmetic victory in terms of Britain's contribution


because he needs to do that. What is interesting is, at the next


election, the three major party leaders will go into the election


offering a referendum on Europe. None of them will personally


believe it or want to hold it. don't think they personally won't


believe it, why not? The Lib Dems always said they would hold the


referendum. There is a risk now, been made that pledge years ago,


and the risk is now they would lose it. One of the other two will win


and will be obliged to hold this nightmarish thing. It David Cameron


is the Prime Minister, it will split his party. It Ed Miliband it


is the Prime Minister, he risks losing it. None of them will want


to hold the referendum but all three will go into the next


election offering it. The main threat to the main parties is UKIP.


This is the sort of argument they are continuing to present to the


British people, saying costs have been and are running out of control.


There will benefit from this row? It taps into the idea of out of


touch bureaucrats making decisions about our money. It is the small


person against the machine. And small parties like UKIP and the


Green Party can tap into because of the disillusionment with wider


politics. In the end, we have talked before about any deal that


could be done between UKIP and David Cameron. If the parties do a


further referendum, it will shoot their thought? He depends what the


referendum is. David Cameron will have to do what Harold Wilson did


in 1974 and renegotiate our terms of membership. And then say on the


basis of that we will offer a referendum. But also David Cameron


will have to campaign for staying in. He won't go into a referendum


campaign to take Britain out. he has resisted going for the


referendum in the first place because it puts him in a difficult


position. The North of England hasn't exactly


been a happy hunting ground for the Conservatives of late. They lost


more than 100 councillors in the last set of local elections and


there are 25 fewer MPs in the region now than there were at the


height of Thatcherism. As a consequence, a great deal of


thought and energy is being expended on how to restore the


party's fortunes in the region. But is the North a lost cause, or can


the Tories turn things round? David Thompson reports.


Tynemouth, a few miles outside Newcastle, the kind of place you


might end of it you have made it in the North East. Conservative, but


not necessarily with a big sea. If this street was a few hundred miles


to the south, chances are it would be in a safe Tory seat. Because it


is in the north, it isn't. It feels like it should have Conservative


written all over it, but yet places like this all over England, the


party is failing and struggling to get its message across. What would


it take to get you to vote Conservative? Nothing, I wouldn't


vote Conservative. Why not? It is how I had been brought up. Have you


ever thought about voting Conservative? Yes, it in the last


time when Margaret Thatcher was in. I voted Conservative last time


because I thought Labour had lost the plot. But now they have been in


power couple of years, I am not so certain. What we did get you to


vote Conservative? You have not got enough money in the world. A loaded


gun! Those attitudes are being felt on the ground. His place hasn't had


a Conservative MP since 1977. The local council does have a Tory


mayor, but the party has gone from having 31 councillors in 2010 to


just 12 now. And his former group leader, himself a casualty, reckons


this was created down south. Are very few people were affected


by the tax relief, but it played badly with the public. Conservative


voters decided to stay at home. They say 1,000 miles Jenny start of


a single step. Guy Opperman did not do that but he tried to work out


how to find friends for his party in the north.


I walked over 200 miles, from Sheffield to Scotland. The events


were in suburban places, and I was trying to listen to people, talk to


people and get a better understanding of the problems we


face and what we need to do to win in the north.


The problem is the communication of the message.


The policies we are coming up with, they are very good. They are


positive. But we have not been getting the message across, and we


have not been getting it across locally or nationally.


According to policy experts, like this one, the process could begin


with a single word - you know, the hardest one.


Tories have to say they understand why people haven't been voting Tory.


They have to say, look, sorry, now is it time to give us a second


chance. Now is the time to listen to the message. Especially if the


message is a blue-collar narrative about opportunity and job creation,


and about helping people who are affected by squeezing living


standards. Attitudes can take a long time to


turn around, especially in politics. But if the Conservatives want


another term in power, they need the North of England. Perhaps more


than the North needs them. Guy Opperman joins us. How long was


the walk? 275 miles, from just outside


Sheffield, through County Down, six days in my constituency, and over


the border into Scotland. Did it rain?


All the time! At it was interesting listening to people.


It was good to hear what people were saying. We talk about what we


were doing on immigration. People like that. They did not know that


is what they were -- we were doing. In my area, in the summer, we had a


local election. We increased our vote by 10%, and won a seat from


the Lib Dems. If you were talking to David


Cameron, what we do ask him to do to turn it around? What two or


three things would be done to get the votes.


It would not happen just like that. It would not be immediately. We


need to communicate the message, get out there, actually tell people


what we are doing. If you do that, and you explain the immigration cap,


explain what we are doing on benefits, those things resonate


with voters. What about things like petrol


prices? Ave is the sort of issues that would appeal to northern


voters? -- are these. The petrol price has been frozen 10


times. 10 times it went up under Labour. That is a stark message. We


make that point to Labour voters and they understand.


A do you think the leadership gets it, though?


I think they understand the north. Eric Pickles is from Bradford. You


can see the work we have done in Yorkshire. The Foreign Secretary is


from Yorkshire. It is not the case that they are not from the north.


We have got to start from the basis, when locally, which is what we are


doing in Northumberland and Yorkshire.


Is the North going the same way for the Tories as Scotland?


It was interesting to be at the Labour Party Conference. I did not


understand they have not got a single councillor in Scotland, for


example. There is a real danger, and it is interesting when you ask


if David Cameron gets the serious nature of it. Yes, he does. I spoke


to him in the leadership conference -- competition. He said he wanted


to make inroads in Scotland. Since then, as we were discussing earlier,


the policy direction he has taken has alienated too many of the


voters. What do you say to that? I disagree.


It must be about policy. Look at the caps on immigration and


benefits. They are robust conservative policies that are


popular. Look at successes like Yorkshire. We took a dozen seats at


the last election. Look at Bradford, with a 23% Kashmiri constituency,


and it was one away from Labour. We heard from some people that you


have not got enough money to make them vote Conservative. But there


is a problem with image. That is always going to be the case.


The North South divide is something that Ed Miliband is trying to make


something out of. Are the Tories on a hiding to


nothing? I think there is a perception of a


metropolitan elite in Number Ten. You have a big number of Old


Etonians, friends of Dave and George from Oxford in the machine


and in government. That does alienate people. The problem is,


that is compounded by things like cutting the top rate of tax. The


image problem that the Tories have has been exacerbated by decisions


they have made in power, which appeared to favour the rich over


the poor. That is a decision, not just an image.


When I was selected I was better known as a jockey than a politician.


It is true that you need to be more local and you need to work much


harder on the ground, and that message needs to get across. You


are a local represent the first and foremost. You're not a northerner.


How did you get elected? I was better known as a jockey than


a politician. That is how you made the connection?


I was also up there running a business.


But you are now representing a northern constituency. Has it open


your eyes to the real concerns? It has. Also, going on the walks.


22 days later we talking to people, chatting away, it was a good


process. -- literally talking to people.


Labour can't take anything for granted.


You are right about that. They saw Scotland as there has and took it


for granted. -- as theirs. In the current situation, no party can


take anything for granted. However, I think it is about image, of


course, but to do better policy, the recession, and we are still in


recession, is affecting the Northmoor.


That is simply not the case. But presumably it is countered by a


drop in the public sector. A Yes, but jobs are going up.


Apprentices are over 50%. These are good messages. What you have just


said is wrong. Well, thank you for coming in. I


hope you next walk is sunnier. you were a factor jockey, you have


lost it all! Thank you. This week, far from River -- living


up to its reputation, the Civil Service has looked like a Robin


Reliant. Civil servants have been getting it in the neck from


ministers accusing them of gross incompetence in the wake of the


West Coast Mainline fiasco. It is expected to cost the taxpayer �40


million at least. The new Transport Secretary has made it clear who he


Then, in a speech on Tuesday, the minister for the Cabinet Office,


Not all mandarins have taken this lying down. The former cabinet


secretary, Lord O'Donnell, warned I have been joined by Siobhan


Benita, the former London mayor candidate and former civil servant,


and Douglas Carswell, the Tory backbencher. Siobhan Benita, is it


unreasonable for ministers to assume that civil servants,


supposedly intelligent people, can get their sums right?


That is not unreasonable. What is unreasonable to blame them -- is to


blame them when things go wrong. Ministers are quick to take the


credit when things go well. We have had the Olympics, politicians from


all parties quick to associate themselves with that. You did not


see civil servants getting credit for those things. When something


goes wrong, this is a shared responsibility. You do have


ministers as well as civil servants being held to account.


Even though in this case, they are qualified civil servants looking at


technical spreadsheet and matters in terms of passenger numbers and


pressures that would have come up in the next few years to deal -- to


do with these franchises. I take your point that they should take


responsibility because they are accountable. It but -- but it can't


be a minister's fault, can it? A contract as they as this,


ministers would have known this comes under a lot of scrutiny. Sure,


the junior officials would have had to do their part in this. But it


would have had to go through the board, and the board is chaired by


the Secretary of State for Transport. You have an internal


audit process, which non executives chair. They have to have various


responsibilities. Douglas Carswell, do you think that


if Theresa Villiers and Justine Greening, if they were still in


post, would they have to resign? I don't think anybody thinks the


minister should look at the figures and be able to work out whether the


civil servants have factored in inflation. But there's a lot of


sense in what should Vaughan says. We should never have a situation


when SL7 can hide behind a mandarin. -- when a minister. What we needed


to make sure that civil servants and mandarins are accountable. I


have been in the House of Commons for five or six years, and I have


been shocked at how little accountability there is among the


white will mandarins. It is not just that they seem to be


incompetent at times with catastrophic effects of the tax


payer. The Civil Service is more of a self- service. They are


interested in of strutting policy. Let's get back to the calibre of


the civil servant. Who recruits them? Have cuts made a difference?


If you ask a civil servant for the answer is, surprise, surprise, they


are going to say, pay them more and train them more. Perhaps the


problem is in the fact that it does not matter how expendable are, if


the government is so big it is beyond any Western, the government


cannot get it right. -- any wisdom.


I would be surprised if any of those civil servants were not


bought in from the private sector. They have a revolving door. Do we


have the skilled staff that we need in the Civil Service? Shutters have


been put in place now which mean it is so difficult to sign of training


in the Civil Service. -- structures. Even if you want to grow skills, it


is hard to do that. We have a lot of civil servants were doing


complex jobs that, years ago, they did not do.


If in the private sector somebody made a decision costing millions of


pounds, there would be no attempt to excuse them. But civil servants


can't as easily make their case in the way that ministers do.


Maybe the way to answer this is to accept that the point -- doctrine


of accountability to Parliament is broken. We need Congressional


accountability. Visible seven needs to come before the committee and


explain themselves. -- the civil servant.


Are ministers without criticism here was -- criticism here?


We are getting into a war of attrition. It is damaging for the


way the country is run. If you listen to some ministers, they are


excoriating about the civil servants. It is like something out


of a TV show. They hate each other. We live in a democracy.


Why not make both ministers and mandarins accountable to the


people? Would that work, Steve?


I agree with that and the accountability of civil servants.


His analysis and his remedy, I agree with that. He is right. I


disagree with his broader analysis that this is about to much


government, in the sense that getting these franchises right is


almost impossible because if you say have been for five years, it is


too short term. In 15 years, it is impossible to predict. You cannot


assume the private sector is always Douglas cars will is and all that.


We decided to put him in the hot seat to ask him about his


specialist subject. Douglas cars will, Member of


Parliament Clacton. It is over, the Government way of doing things is


coming to an end. Bloated Government as outgrown its capacity,


outgrown the rest of us to be able to pay for it. It has outgrown


Democratic accountability. It is hard be surprising voters are


disillusioned. We are in debt and Miss governed. Should we disband?


No, the digital revolution comes a long. The digital revolution


creates a world of what you might call hyper personalisation. Think


of Twitter, your personalised news feed. Or your eye pad. Soon we will


seek the same level in public services. Instead of a National


Curriculum, what if every child had a personalised one. What it you had


a personalised health care plan stalled on your records.


Politicians will have less control over us. That is a thought to shoot


us up. I will ask for a score of that performance. -- cheers us up.


Are you being dramatic towards the end of politics as we know it,


surely it is about reinventing and rejuvenating us? Look at the banks.


We are in a recession. But the Government has shown cheap credit.


I think we are at the end of the road, and the digital revolution


will create change. It does not matter what the politicians want,


it is over. He is a brilliant politician. He is a brilliant


politician who is anti-politics. Who will pay for the personalised


budgets? It means the Government remains accountable for the money.


20 years ago, it we were sitting here in this studio and I tried to


explain the concept of Google, you could type anything you want your


first question would have been, who will pay for it? If I said they


private company would create millions in revenue by creating it


free, you would have lacked. Health care is going to be provided for


free? We will always need a taxpayer funded system will stop


that mean central Government should be involved. You can have


collectors and without the state. You can allocate resources paid for


by the state without officials doing the allocation. It is


possible for people to have a personalised health or education


budget by the Government is providing the resources, but you


and your doctor, parents are deciding about where it is being


spent. Would you like that situation? I think Douglas is on to


something where people want more individual services and want


greater control over their lives. But they what security and safety


at a time of recession. And they get that now? The NHS provides a


safety net. You know you can turn up with your child at 3am and you


get treated. You don't have to worry about the right budget a


credit card on your system. Under my system, the state would pay. But


instead of standing in line and waiting what the state did you, you


can decide what is right for you. There are catchment areas that


decide the education you get. Why not allow people have the decision?


What if I waste the money, what if I choose to spend thousands of


pounds on cosmetic surgery. state is still paying for that?


People's self Commission's social care without people spending it on


cigarettes and drink. At 3am, 300 people could choose the same A&E


clinic and find they are queuing through the night. I do not see how


your theory solves this problem. It you know there is a good hospital


near you, we all go there and we wait for months to see the people.


I don't see how this magically removes all the issues, the


problems we have with state owned delivery. Why is it when you queue


up as some think the Government provides, you are having to queue.


If you are a parent looking for a GP open on a Saturday, it is hard


to find it. You can go to the supermarket 20 var hours a day and


watch a film late into the evening. -- 24 hours a day. We need the same


choice and freedom over public services that things we enjoyed in


our own lives. Do you want people to make those decisions all of the


times in our busy lives and busy jobs. Do the research, find the


best doctor, but a school and everything? A few weeks ago I


bought it technically, a sophisticated electronic device. We


would have taken me weeks to research it. But I managed to buy


my mobile phone in a few minutes because thousands of other


Londoners had collectively allowed me to make an informed choice. If I


was making that choice in isolation, but through branding and the price


mechanism, I could make the choice right away. Soon collected


intelligence will allow us to make a decision about our whole lives.


Looking at their faces, you have a bit of convincing to do. Nine out


of 10 for the Mastermind performance. It's Friday, so it


must be time for our weekly roundup of who's up and who's down. Here's


Giles with the political Week in 60 Seconds.


A good week for Ed Miliband in what they called a barnstorming leader's


speech. One nation. A vision of one nation. One nation. What was it


about again? According to Ed Balls, the Conservatives are no match to


the Labour bandwagon. Let me pay tribute to our leader, the next


Prime Minister of Great Britain, Ed Miliband. Let staff take the strain.


Ministers have placed the blame on civil servants for the bidding


fiasco on the West Coast Main Line. Round one to Mitt Romney, here and


expected the out John President Obama. And Andrew Mitchell won't be


attending the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham next week.


Considering he is a Birmingham MP, you would have thought he could


have made it. And we've been joined by the


psychotherapist, Lucy Beresford, author of a book called "happy


relationships", to talk about the psychology of party conferences. As


a doormat, what is your view about party conferences and what they are


set up to do? It's is about tribal loyalty and group stroking. That


sounds worrying! It is incredibly confidence boosting, it makes


people feel heard and understood. It is a huge triumph. But it brings


out the worst in us, that sense of them and us. We become bright


fighters and everything we say is right, and everything everybody


else says is wrong. It is an unsavoury, moral superiority about


it. Does it last? So if they go away, everyone goes back to their


normal lives and everything is forgotten? It lasts until the next


one comes along and then it happens again. It is a bit like a family


wedding, we know it is staged, it has to look immaculate. But in the


corner, there is someone plastered and probably having a fight. If you


are lucky! How we do put re Ed Miliband in his role, his


paternalistic role? You do get the dimension to political conferences,


which is an Infanta lies since the audience are looking at mummy and


Daddy on the stage. That is the power we had given them. I felt


David Miliband... Ed Miliband. huge Freudian slip! Sibling rivalry.


Something in his narrative was possibly the Cinderella figure or


the ugly duckling who then becomes a swan. The potential was there was


something quite magical to happen. Did he turn into a swan? He did


have a breakthrough moment were people thought they could look


again at him. Then he has to deliver if he is a One nation


politician or whether it was rhetoric. I know you arguing these


conferences as something of the past, they are so stage-managed.


Are they on their way out in the form they are in at the moment?


they go on for too long. Basically, all that matters is the leader's


speech, perhaps a one or two of the set-piece events on the stage. The


fringe meetings are very dull. You could watch them from anywhere.


They don't need these few days. Be on the fact that a busy, but few


party members who can still afford to go get a buzz out of it. That


point is worth making. Talking about morale-boosting, it doesn't


make people feel good? In makes them feel good, feeling part of the


family. You have lots of nice things happening and mutual


stroking and attachment, but underneath there is this a motion


simmering. We will get to see that in every single political week.


it a case of people looking up to the politicians at these


conferences? Only the party faithful look up to them. We are


also in vandalised because we are happy to give the power to the


politicians, otherwise we would stand of this ourselves. It is a


danger of the politicians talking to their own tribe, when now unique


to win people over away from you tried. Just like Mick Ronnie, you


have to draw them into your party. Will they go on? This year seemed


worse than ever. It seemed an old- fashioned way of doing politics in


this age of Twitter and blog and everything. We may not have many to


look forward to and analyse if it goes on.


There's just time before we go to find out the answer to our quiz.


Today is the 50th anniversary of the release of the first Bond film,


Dr No. So the question was: Which Cabinet minister has a mocked-up


Bond poster of themselves? Is it: David Cameron, William Hague,


Theresa May, or Eric Pickles? I think it is David Cameron because


I know he is a James Bond fan. Steve? It cannot be William Hague,


he would have read Hansard as a teenager. I like Theresa May.


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