22/10/2012 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.


In an attempt to seize back the political initiative, the Prime


Minister gets tough on crime. After all, what else would you do? In a


speech this lunchtime, the PM's expected to call for tougher


sentences for the worst criminals and rehabilitation and education


for others to cut reoffending. Crisis at the BBC over the Jimmy


Savile affair. The BBC's Director General appears before MPs tomorrow.


We'll be talking to the man charged with grilling him.


Should men and women share parental leave after having a baby? I do not


promise... BOOING.


And we'll be asking if Ed Milliband was secretly pleased to get this


reaction to his speech at this All that in the next hour. And with


us for the whole programme today is Justine Roberts from Mumsnet.


Welcome. First this morning, let's talk about child benefit because


the Government has been warned that it may have left it too late to


implement the cut to child benefit. The Institute of Chartered


Accountants for England and Wales said yesterday that most middle


class families remained unaware of the changes, which will require


about half a million people filling out complicated self assessment


forms for the first time. Have you found that with your followers? Are


they counting down the weeks to the time they will get a reduced child


benefit or none at all? I think they are aware because it has been


a big issue, but I don't think people know they have tefillin more


forms or how to do that. A lot of people have never had to fill in


that type of form before. They will be coming on line and asking what's


next? I think there are people who might not realise that this is


actually going to be done through the tax system by HMRC, it is not


that the Inland Revenue as we used to know it is going to cut your


child benefit... We each would be the natural assumption. You might


still get it and then it will be clawed back. Yes. That sounds very


complicated. It does and it is the last thing anyone needs, to have to


battle with more forms from the HMRC, which is not the most user-


friendly organisation anyway. It sounds like a nightmare for a lot


of people. But in no side whether or not a policy is clever or fair,


the very fact that you are increasing bureaucracy is the one


thing that... Are there people still very upset about the changes


themselves? In the end, you could get a couple earning under the


threshold who will still get child benefit and one single earner who


earns above it he will not. Exactly. I think they are fair -- cross


about the unfairness. It is hard to argue that millionaires should get


child benefit. A lot of people can understand why the Government would


want to reduce it, but they have done it in an unfair way and people


are cross about the effect it as one single learning households and


lone parents relative to a neighbour where they have more


income but they still receive the benefit. For 11 weeks to go until


those changes take effect. Tomorrow morning, the BBC Director


General, George Entwhistle, will appear in front of the Culture,


Media and Sport Select Committee to answer MPs' questions on what the


BBC knew about Jimmy Savile. Tonight, a special one-hour


Panorama will look at how and why a Newsnight investigation into


allegations against Jimmy Savile was dropped before broadcast. The


programme includes interviews with the Newsnight journalists who


worked on the original Savile investigation. Ever since the


decision was taken at Tibshelf Alan Storey, I've not been happy with


public statements made by the BBC. I think they are very misleading


about the nature of the investigation we were doing. It was


an abrupt change of tone from one- day excellent, let's prepare to get


this thing on air, to hold on. was sure the story would come out


one way or another and if it did, the BBC would be accused of a


cover-up. I wrote an e-mail to Peter saying, the story is strong


enough and the danger of not running it is substantial damage to


BBC reputation. In the last hour, the Newsnight


editor Peter Rippon has stood down from his role for the duration of


the independent Pollard review into whether there were any failings in


the BBC's management of the investigation. Let's get more on


this with the media commentator Steve Hewlett, who's at New


Broadcasting House. Has Peter Rippon done the right thing?


don't think... There was no other option. The blog he wrote a couple


of weeks ago outlining the reasons for his decision to stop the


Newsnight programme, remember the essential course of events is that


Jimmy Savile dies at the end of October, a busy one announces


tribute programmes for its Christmas schedule, up pops


Newsnight with a suggestion that Savell may have been a paedophile.


The Newsnight programme then gets cancelled. People say hang on, is


there any danger that one bit of the BBC Cross infect another? If it


were true, that the BBC corporate interests overrode its journalism,


that would be a disaster. That is the reason there is this concern.


Peter Ripon was under pressure to explain why he dropped the


programme. His explanation is at best a partial and the BBC have now


acknowledged it is incomplete and incorrect in important respects and


as a result there is no question he had to stand aside. It now seems


that some of the details of the reasons, not all of them, for


dropping the investigation are now said to be inaccurate. How does


that change things ahead of George Entwhistle's appearance before the


committee? It makes the BBC seemed more of a muddle. We have people


rich using themselves from these decisions. The Director General is


no longer Director General for this, Tim Davey. The whole thing appears


Mugly chaotic. Secondly, the Director General, the director of


editorial policy and the chairman of the BBC Trust have been on the


airwaves and said that this was never any inquiry into Jimmy Savile


per se, it was an inquiry into a police investigation and the


subsequent decision by the CPS not to proceed. The journalists said


that was ridiculous. Our story was, was Jimmy Savile a paedophile?


Female trail that Panorama has got demonstrates that in spades. -- the


Demel trail. It also demonstrates that Peter Ripon on 25th November


said fantastic, full speed ahead, and a few days later says stop, we


must concentrate on the CPS decision. It looks like a handbrake


turn. What that represents is another question. Is that the


problem at the moment? Fears an awful lot of speculation. Peter


Ripon has made his dishes and to set aside, but we haven't had any


results of the review, we haven't heard from George Entwhistle.


Shouldn't we just break and wait until we know for sure what went


on? Yes and no. There are two questions. One is what actually


happened, and we will have to wait for the review to find that out.


The other is what the BBC has said. What is so common, the BBC have


made a rod for their own backs by issuing statements which are


partial or borderline misleading and they have taken their lead from


Peter Ripon's blog. It is important for the BBC to establish


credibility. The first thing George Entwistle will have to convince the


MPs of is that he has some grip of the situation. At the moment it


looks mildly chaotic. If thank you. With us now is the chair of the


Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, John Whitingdale, the


former Culture Secretary, Ben Bradshaw, who also used to work for


the BBC, and the former editor of the Today programme, Kevin Marsh.


John Whittingdale, is that what you go to ask him, has he got a grip?


That is certainly one of the questions. Steve is right, the


handling of this by the BBC has been lamentable. They've made a bad


situation even worse and the Director General is responsible. We


would want to press him on that. What about his role? What are you


going to press him on in terms of what he knew ahead of the tributes


being played in his former role at this news that investigation?


of the things that Panorama has uncovered is a conversation took


place between Helen Boaden and George Entwistle where Helen said


hold on a minute with regard to these tributes, you might need to


re schedule because Newsnight uttering an investigation. This was


a conversation that lasted less than 10 seconds. It seems


extraordinary that given George Entwhistle was told that, he didn't


want to know more. Do you not think George Entwistle will not be able


to be as frank as he might have been because of the review that is


now being carried out by Nick Pollard? I don't know that that


review is looking into that question. It is looking into why


Newsnight was dropped. I'm not aware that it is looking at whether


or not George Entwistle knew about it, whether Mark Thompson knew


about it, Helen Boaden. Bradshaw, let's pick up on the


conversation, do you think there was adequate due diligence, that


briefest of conversations between Helen Boaden and George Entwistle?


We don't know, but to be fair to George Entwhistle, when he says he


wanted to maintain a Berlin Wall between his responsibilities and


the news but if the BBC, that is credible. What is incredible is why


it has taken three weeks for the BBC to realise that Peter Ripon's


account of the dropping of the Newsnight programme was inaccurate


and incomplete. That astonishes me. Why was nobody talking to the


journalists? Why was nobody asking the reporter and the investigative


producer for their side of the story? George Entwhistle and at BBC


have repeated his position which we now know to have been wrong.


did it take so long? Do you agree that it took too long? I don't know


what conversations went on about this investigation. Presumably the


Pollard inquiry will find that out. I do believe that Peter Ripon gave


an account that he thought was truthful of the reason for him


dropping... We now know that some of that data was inaccurate.


have to be very careful. E-mails can be taken out of context. Once


you take them out of context and apply hindsight, they can mean


something different. I don't know how much of this Peter Ripon was


aware of at the time. I don't know how much his investigative team


were telling him. We have to wait for the inquiry to look at not only


the case for the prosecution, which is what we will see on Panorama,


but also the case for the defence. With all respect to the BBC


management, they've made their position clear. They seem to be


either wrong in some cases or misleading because of what we are


now hearing from journalists on the programme. I don't think anything


was done in bad faith. I think people thought this was the account


of the investigation, they believed in it. The Director General turns


to the head of news and ask what happened. It is inevitable that the


account will be consistent. Now that these details have come out,


those details have to change. Peter Ripon right to step aside?


the light of this, of course he was. We have to wait for the inquiry, to


look at both sides of this question. Did he make the wrong editorial


decision in terms of dropping that investigation? I don't know the


detail, but no editor of news eyedrops an investigation unless


they has -- have severe doubts about the evidence. You shouldn't


go ahead with an investigation, particularly one making serious


allegations, unless you have a watertight case, would you agree?


But if you have an investigation by two very experienced and reputable


journalists, who now claim it was almost ready for transmission,


about a former BBC personality against whom the most grave


accusations are being made, any editor worth his salt goes the


extra mile to make sure that programme gets on air and if they


can't in the current form, they say get more evidence. You would


support that, Kevin Marsh? If you had even has into -- scintilla of


an allegation or claim, in this sort of investigation, you don't


say you've hit a brick wall, you carry on. A you want your team to


go back and look at new evidence. What appears to have happened was


that when Peter Ripon said I'm interested in this CPS line that


the investigation was dropped, can we stand this up? The team came


back and said no. That was when his enthusiasm faded. But the CPS are


never going to say publicly that the reason they didn't prosecute is


because somebody is too old. That was just an excuse according to the


reporter. They felt they were being set a bar that was impossible to


jump over. One of the supporting victims, who was very brave to go


on air at all, said she had a letter from Surrey police, the team


asked her for this letter, the letter wasn't produced. In any


editor's mind, that will ring alarm bells. The why was the


investigation killed? There was a wealth of evidence and even more is


emerging. Because the investigation was dropped without the team being


told to dig further and uncover more, that leaves the suspicion


that there must have been another reason. I hope that is not the case,


I'm prepared to Accept Peter Rippon was not lend on, but because the


explanation looks so thin... Panorama can uncover no evidence of


that. There's another complication. Newsnight comes off there for


Christmas and therefore the investigation would have had to be


picked up after Christmas. There's another aspect. I was very often


running an investigative team and I would say I don't think this stacks


up, and they would offer the material they had to another


programme. If this investigative team was so convinced about the


material, and Peter was so convinced he could not run it, I am


puzzled as to why that material wasn't passed somewhere else.


$:STARTFEED. You but the team, the reporter Liz McKean said about what


she thought was going on that Peter Rippon said, "If the bosses aren't


happy, he can't go to the wall on this one." That's her saying what


she she thought. That's not what Peter Rippon said. The allegation


is that somehow there might have been pressure put on or it might


not have fitted with what the BBC wanted to do.


If the allegation is that Peter Rippon was overr over cautious, he


would plead guilty. BBC editors are cautious. They demand a high


standard of proof. Think we can we can overinterpret this, you take a


conversation out of context and you can make it mean something


different. Are you can have Are you confident


that Peter Rippon wasn't lent on? Every BBC editor I know. If one


said, "You can't run this because it would embarrass us it." They


would get it on tomorrow. I have worked for some editors who


don't need to be lent on because they think they know what the boss


class what. It is a plausible explanation and a catastrophic


misjudgement. John Simpson, one of the BBC's


correspondents says it is the BBC's biggest crisis in 50 years. Is that


an exaggeration? There was one crisis that led to the resignation


of the Director General and the chairman.


This is feeding those people who want to make that claim. That's why


it is important that we deal with this quickly and establish that


there was no improper interference. There is an issue in terms of trust


and integrity. The essence of being an editor and running an


organisation like this is we have to have people's trust? As a BBC


editor, it is there over your shoulder all the time. You know you


are carrying a heavy burden. I agree with John Whittingdale, it is


about child abuse and about celebrity and about the BBC and


about institutions, this has the potential to be even more damaging


certainly than Hutton which was about politics. This touches on


what people care about. Justine, do you care about it?


and it is good that we are having wit I think deal's inquiry and --


Whittingdale's inquiry. This come as a result of Panorama and


Panorama being a BBC organisation and the journalists within it


speaking up and speaking out clearly. So, you know, it is not


all bad, but we need answers and we need to regain the trust.


The handling may not have been up to the mark, but can the BBC regain


it's... The fact that they have admitted after three weeks the


original statement was wrong and they have suspended Peter Rippon is


a start. They need to act quickly and clearly. Get to the facts. Get


them out there and apologise for the original decision. This doesn't


need to be another Hutton. But they need to act quickly and decisively


to make sure it is not. Are you going to get, do you think,


clear answers tomorrow that could in a way sort out what has


happened? No, we won't because George will say, "Look, I have


established an independent inquiry.". You said that you are


you are asking about two different things? There are other areas where


George does need to provide reassurance. We will be pressing


him on those matters and when we see the result of the Pollard


Inquiry, if we remain of the view there are questions to answer, we


will have back the Director-General and possibly others as well.


Ben, do you think George Entwistle should be worried about his


position? I don't know because we don't know the facts. What I do


know of colleagues and friends at the BBC is that he is a very


descent man. He was a brilliant editor at Newsnight in Newsnight's


heyday and I thought he was an excellent appointment for Director-


General, but he needs to acquickly and -- act quickly and decisively


over this. Should 16 and 17-year-olds vote? A


cross-bench of peers think that is the Government should be looking at


the matter and are introducing a Private Members' Bill today. Lord


Adonis joins us now. Why should they be given the vote? As you know,


the Scots have decided that 16 and 17-year-olds will have a vote in


the referendum that will take place on Scottish independence in two


years time. If it is good enough for 16 and 17-year-olds in Scotland


to have a vote on the future of their nation, then there is every


reason why they should have the vote in local and Parliamentary


elections too. This is starting to become internationally normal.


Brazil, Austria, within Great Britain, the Isle of Man as well as


Scotland give the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds. 16 and 17-year-olds


play a a responsible part in our society. It is right they should


play a part in determining who governs them.


Have you always thought this? I don't know. Is this something you


have come to recently or the decision in Scotland made you think


this is the way to go or are you a new convert? I supported votes for


16 and 17-year-old for a long time. Indeed, the book I published this


year, I proposed it. I didn't see that.


There is no reason why you should have read T but the fact that the


Scots are going to do this in two years time, gives it added urgency


and there will be a sense of grievance on the part of 16 and 17-


year-olds elsewhere in the country that Scots are allowed to vote and


they're not. Can I make porn another important? -- important


point? Too few of them vote and take an interest in politics. My


view is the way that you get them engaged in politics is to give them


real political responsibility while at school and college. We have


citizenship education in our schools, but it is not regarded as


real. The politicians don't take it seriously and they don't visit the


sixth-formers because they don't have votes. If you gave the six


formers a vote and had a polling station in every school and every


further education college, this would really make politics a


serious business. You said engaging... That and that


would help engage them more. Don't the polls indicate that 18 to 24-


year-olds who have the vote don't exercise it in vast numbers anyway?


Well, nearly half of them vote. We have a a problem about people


voting at large. The answer is to embed citizenship education at the


core of what pupils do so mock elections which have been a


practise in our schools lead to real election for the sixth-formers


and those at college. If that were the case, citizenship education


would be treated with more seriousness than at the moment and


the politicians would take it seriously by visiting schools and


and engaging with the young people because they would have votes.


We will be calling you up to visit schools. I am happy to that.


Do you think that 16 is too young? They have made this exception for


the Scottish referendum. It maybe difficult to try and withdraw it


from other elections, but are 16- year-olds ready to exercise that


big responsibility? Well, I think rationally it is hard to argue


against 16-year-olds getting the vote. There is a lot of users on


our website say they can get married and have children and have


a flat. Not letting them vote seems odd. My concern is I can see a


stage where there are 16-year-old policy designed to get the 16-year-


old vote and we will have easier exams and cheap video games and all


the rest of it! That would be awful to have attention focused on things


which are narrowly defined for a small group of people, but I can


see it coming, but actually my head says and the users on on mumsnet


says it is madness because we give them responsibility in other areas


and by 16 and 17 you have grown up now.


Thank you very much. Should men and women share the


leave that they take off work after the birth of their baby? The


Government has consulted on the idea of sharing parental leave, but


it is yet to outline its plans, but some businesses are concerned that


such a move could lead to more red Play time at Mandy's house. She is


a mum of four who works part-time for a website that offers women at


women advice. She is in favour of more flexible rules that could see


dads taking more time off. In my last pregnancy, it would have been


brilliant because I didn't get much paternity pay because I was only


doing a part-time job and I am the main breadwinner in the family so I


had to take that time off and when I could have could have been


earning. If my partner had taken the time off, I could have earned,


I could have kept my wages coming Women get 39 weeks of paid


maternity leave and men get two weeks paid leave. The coalition


Government is committed to a form of leave where men and women could


share the leave. That was one of the pledges made in the the


coalition agreement and the Government carried out a


consultation that outlined plans to give women 18 weeks paid leave. It


suggested that both parents should share a further 30 weeks of leave,


17 of which would be paid. It said that each parent should be entitled


to four weeks of parental leave and pay in the first year of their


child's life. The Government is expected to set out its plans for


parental leave soon and the left leaning think-tank IPRR says they


are moving in the right direction. It is the right way to be going.


Our Research has shown a parental leave agenda doesn't need to cost


more. They could allow better choices for mums and dads in the


way they want to bring up their children.


What about the impact on small businesses? This accountancy firm


employs eight people. One of whom is soon to go on maternity leave.


The boss says you can plan for that, but the prospect of parents taking


their parental leave in chunks would be a problem.


As a services business each person is critical to the business. So we


are planning well in advance for the next person about to go for


maternity leave and that's fine if we know they are going to be going


approximately eight or nine months. If they were going three months off,


three months on, it does get more complicated to work out the komp.


-- cover. Could the plans be business


friendly and family-friendly at the same time?


Can we really afford the changes? All the evidence shows actually


that offering flexibility to your workforce increases productivity.


It increases retention rates. It increases employee well wellbeing.


I think certainly you know, we shouldn't just dismiss it as a cost


to business. I think flexible working is something that business


needs to embrace. I take the point from your film that for a small


business there maybe an issue around exceptions because it is


hard. Mumsnet is a small business and we employ a lot of women of


child bearing age. It is a test for business and I think there is


something around you know planning, and small businesses finding that


hard, but big business should embrace it.


And big business by and large does or certainly has made steps to do


so, hasn't it? We have been working closely with a lot of big business.


We have a family-friendly programme and they have been doing some


innovative things. O2 have a working interest rate which they


share between parents that are allowed to share the hours between


them. They have one contract. Brilliant idea. But they are doing


it for a reason. It works. But if it works in the way that you


have said that it increases productivity and helps a business,


why has the Institute of Directors called for the reforms to be


stopped and the scrapping of flexible working?


It is a really good question. I wish they were here to answer it.


wish they were too. Look, it suits some industries better than others.


But with modern technology and with the fact that our users tell us


that three-quarters of them say they are less likely to be employed


after they have children, more than that say they won't get promoted,


you wonder where there are fewer women in the workforce and there is


a glass ceiling. Diversity is not great. Not having diversity in the


workplace is a bad thing. I think, you know, people need to get a bit


more modern. The Institute of Directors need to look at the


bigger picture. Sometimes you just measure the cost of things as


opposed to the long-term effect. How much of the statutory pa


paternity leave do you think fathers should be permitted to


$:/STARTFEED. On the one hand we are telling women they need to


breast field for longer and longer, and on the other we are saying go


back to work. The truth is, what is good about this policy, it allows


each individual some flexibility. It will take a while before women


and men of on an equal footing, but at the moment you have total gender


discrimination. Employers are reluctant to employ women have a


certain age because they think they will go and have babies. We talk a


look at about family friendly policies, we need employer friendly


policies and flexibility is the key one. The more you open it to all


employees, the less discrimination you get. My argument, and the


argument of hours, is in the long run it is to is good for business.


Thank you. Will this week in politics be as


eventful as the last? Let's take a look at the week ahead. Today, MPs


debate the Hilsborough disaster. Labour is set to call for powers to


force police officers to give evidence to an inquiry into the


alleged police cover-up Tuesday promises to be an uncomfortable day


for the BBC's Director General, George Entwistle. He's before the


Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee over the Jimmy Savile


affair. Wednesday promises to be something of a blast from the past,


as the granddaughter of famous suffragist Sylvia Pankhurst leads a


march on Parliament calling for political action on gender equality.


While for Chancellor George Osborne, Thursday can't come soon enough.


The latest GDP figures are due to be published, which most economists


and commentators expect to reveal that the economy returned to growth


in the third quarter. Let's talk now to Rosa Prince, who writes for


the Telegraph, and Rafael Behr from the New Statesman. We've had the


news for the editor of Newsnight, Peter Rippon, will step aside while


the review is carried out. Where do you think this leaves the BBC?


all sorts of trouble. It has been a terrible day for the BBC and


tomorrow will be worse when George Entwistle comes to Parliament and


gets one of those ferocious mornings MPs like to dish out a


public figures. A lot of MPs on the conservative side are not keen on


the BBC and they will relish this opportunity. It seems strange that


tonight we will have Panorama on at the same time as Newsnight itself.


It is crisis mode and MPs will enjoy themselves. Do you think it


is a crisis, would you agree? crisis for the BBC, a definite


crisis for Newsnight. Some hysterical things have been said.


If you compare this situation to the situation immediately after the


heart an inquiry where senior executives at the BBC were at war


with the Government... We need to get to the bottom of precisely why


Newsnight pulled this investigation into Jimmy Savile. The charge at


the root of this, as I understand it, is that someone somewhere in


the BBC decided that the BBC reputation was more important than


getting to the bottom of whether a big TV personality abused children


over a long period of time. That is a very serious allegation. If you


can clear that up, everybody can move on. As long as that is not


clear, the crisis will keep going. Her let's talk about GDP. It is


being labelled as turn around Thursday and George Osborne needs


it to be Thursday -- 10 around Thursday. This was the missing


piece of the jigsaw for George Osborne. Ever since the coalition


came to power, we've heard ministers putting their trust in


the economy. The austerity drive, of the cuts programme, the basis of


the plan for winning another term in office is that they are the


people that will put Britain back on track by cutting the deficit.


You need growth to do that and that has been stubbornly hard to find.


If George Osborne gets his Gabby Day on Thursday and the figures are


good, fat helps to solve that problem. The trouble vent his you


begin to test that premise on whether it is the economy stupid


and whether that is the only thing that counts. There's a lot going on


for the Government that people are finding uncomfortable. For the on


the shambles reputation, and Jim Mitchell resigning, David Cameron's


announcement on energy that was quickly denied. Is the public are


only interested in the economy and growth? That will be the question


going forward. Is it the economy stupid? Will there but all of those


other issues outlined by Rosa to one side and they will be able to


say, we've got inflation coming down, unemployment is coming down,


and we finally got great? economy is the biggest issue and it


is the thing that will decide the next election. We can get hung up


on the headline GDP figure. On Thursday we will have a number. If


it is slightly higher than forecasted, the Conservatives can


say behold, it is working. Stick with us, don't go back to Labour.


If it is disappointing, Labour can turn around and say we told you so,


the economy was growing, the coalition has made it worse. The


parties can hang whatever messages they had before on to this figure.


Parts of the country have been in recession since before 2008 and


parts of the country that never felt the recession that much and


are probably growing OK. Fiddling around politically in the margins


is great knockabout Westminster politics, it will not tell us that


much about the economy. What will it do about allegations and


criticisms from within the Tories about incompetence and


mismanagement at Number Ten? It is slightly more than fiddling around.


I get the message, a percentage point here and there doesn't make


much of a difference to people and how they feel about their own


circumstances, but if George Osborne can keep saying we have


sorted out the economy, there is growth, and David Cameron can say


that at PMQ is, that goes a long way. Is it entirely the answer? No.


Last week David Cameron tried that during clashes with Ed Miliband


about Andrew Mitchell. He kept saying, aren't you going to ask me


some serious questions, it didn't really work because Andrew Mitchell


still had to resign. It is important, but will it be the


panacea for all ills? I'm not sure. What about seizing the initiative


with the crime and justice speech today? Will that help regain power


for David Cameron? He is sounding tough on crime and that is a


popular message. The place for the Tories have gone into now, which is


a big problem in the wake of the Mitchell resignation, is whatever


they now say, it is seen as an attempt to regain the initiative,


to relaunch the Government's programme, and people are less


interested in the message than the ralph -- wider brand apparatus over


what is going wrong end the Government. People will look at the


Prime Minister saying I want to be tough on crime and say, of course


politicians would say that, but what is really going on? You get


into this position where it becomes difficult for Number Ten to get


through with the message they want because everybody else has decided


the political narrative is something else. You are very


difficult to please! Thank you. And joining us now for the rest of


the programme, three MPs. From Labour, Tom Greatrex. From the


Conservative Party, Jane Ellison. And from the Liberal Democrats,


Simon Wright. Welcome. Let's pick up on growth. Simon, do you agree


that the future of the Government hangs on these GDP figures?


hoping for a positive story. course! You can take nothing for


granted. The last quarter's figures were disappointing, but politically


it is important. In his it critical? -- a visit critical?


need to show that the plant is going to deliver the growth we all


want. We've had some positive figures in the last week's on


things like unemployment. Record figures over unemployment.


Inflation down. Inflation is now half what it was a year ago. I hope


that following falls in unemployment and inflation, we were


now see an increase in growth. must be praying for no growth.


we want to see the economy growing. It is having a detrimental effect


on people. The issue with this quarter, 18 months' worth of TV


rights, ticket sales for the Olympics, captured in that one


quarter. It is about the sustained picture in terms of growth. Simon


is right to talk about further quarters. One quarter of growth is


a blip and will not be good for the economy. If the economy starts


growing again, what happens to Labour's argument about austerity


measures having killed of growth? It will be shot to pieces. Her they


have killed off growth. What does Labour say on Thursday if there's


growth? Even if it is 1%, we're only going back to where we were a


year ago. We've still got, despite the welcome changes, a record high


long-term unemployment, a lot of people in my constituency have not


been able to get a job. Some deep- seated economic problems. Lots of


those are the fault of the Government. Even if you get 1%


growth on Thursday, it is worth than the position they inherited.


We used will be calling for money to be spent to boost the economy?


It is important that we try to build growth, not just relying on


one quarter. That means particularly around some of the


investment in infrastructure that needs to happen. Not a lot is


happening. After the Andrew Mitchell affair, the energy policy,


no economic growth would fuel those critics within the Tory party who


are questioning whether Cameron and Osborne are up to the job? We've


had a difficult few weeks, but the economy is central. More


importantly than that, by the time of the next election, we have to


show we have taken Ashes -- taken action on some of the big issues.


It is not just about one quarter, it is about whether all of the


things we are doing on welfare and apprenticeships, all of those


things are feeding in to a more robust economy. Do you think for


Number Ten operation is competent at the moment? I can't pass comment,


I'm not close enough to the seat of power. You're a Tory MP. The prime


minister is competent, that is the key thing. The Prime Minister at


the party conference know at the big issues. But not Number Ten?


Prime Minister laid out very clearly what we need to do as a


country. I am 100% behind him. you agree it is mishandling at the


Number Ten operation that is stopping the message getting out?


think the people of Britain want to see us dealing with the really big


issues. All of our constituents at are experiencing difficulty. I'm


not going to get drawn into the whole Westminster village


discussion about the operation. There are bigger issues for the


electorate. It is not the media, it is Tory party members, whether it


be senior figures like Norman Tebbit or backbench MPs. One or two


figures have been critical but a lot happened. Can you endorse the


Number Ten operation for us? It is running the Prime Minister's office.


The only thing that matters in Number Ten is the prime minister.


David Cameron's deputy chief of staff said on American chat show


programme that he spends most of his day doing crisis management, is


that what you expect from the senior management team running the


Government? To it is not what anyone would expect and not


something I've seen happening. Clearly there might have been some


problems. Did they handle the Mitchell affect directly? I think


Andrew Mitchell was right to resign. It was very clear that after the


few weeks that issue had continued to pick up steam that it wasn't


going to go away and there was the right decision for him to take.


Moving forward, we have to focus on the economy, on improving the


outcomes in the education system, bringing down crime. We've had


positive crime figures. There's plenty of big issues that we can


get stuck into and we are delivering on.


To be or not to be tough on crime, that is the question this morning


as the Prime Minister lays out his vision on law and order in a speech


this morning. Before the election, David Cameron described himself as


a liberal Conservative and was derided for wanting to hug hoodies.


And two years ago, Ken Clarke described rising prisoner numbers


as pointless and very bad value for taxpayers' money. It was a far cry


from a previous Conservative position that prison works. But


today, tough is the new liberal, as the Prime Minister announces a


"tough but intelligent" approach. He says that the debate between


being tough or acting soft is a sterile one. In keeping with recent


announcements of more freedom for householder to use violence against


burglars and longer sentences for handling firearms, Cameron has put


a greater emphasis on retribution and punishment. At the same time,


he is still pushing Ken Clarke's idea of a rehabilitation revolution,


arguing people need opportunities and chances away from crime. So is


this a change of direction and can you focus on retribution and


rehabilitation at the same time? David Cameron has just been


speaking at the Centre for Social Justice. A for many people, when it


comes to crime, I'm the person associated with those three words,


two of which begin with H and one of them is hoodie, although I never


actually said it and I haven't said it again today. For others I'm a


politician who has frequently argued for tough punishment. Do why


take a tough line on crime or a touchy-feely one? In no other area


of public debate to the issues get as polarised as this. On climate


change, you don't have to be incomplete denial on the one hand


or complaining to get every car off the road on the other. Life isn't


that simple. Government policy isn't that simple either. Key with


the crime debate, people seem to want it black or white. Lock them


up or let them out, blamed the criminal or blame society, be tough


or act soft. We are so busy going backwards and forwards that we


never move the debate on. What I've been trying to do in opposition and


now in government is to break out of the sterile debate and show a


new way forward, tough but Jane, is this the end of a hug a


hoody phrase? The Prime Minister said he didn't ever say that. It is


an evolution of what we have been saying for seven years from


opposition through into Government. It is a sterile debate to say it is


one thing or the other. There are clearly, people who need to be put


away for a long time to protect society and for all the reasons the


Prime Minister spelt out, but to imagine there isn't a role for


rehabilitation to think we are putting people in prison at great


public expense to make sure when they come out they don't slip back


into crime. No one would disagree with that.


There maybe questions about whether this is a continuation of an


existing policy, either prison works and that's your headline or


rehabilitation works? The Prime Minister is saying prison should


work better. You do get this kind of polarized view and some people


have presented the Prime Minister as not being tough enough on


serious criminals... You think he gave that impression of not being


tough enough? No, I don't. The debate has got bogged down in that


territory and parmance have been part -- Parliamentarians have been


part of that. The idea that we can't help with drug use and all


those things is crazy. You a I gree with Ken Clarke --


agree with Ken Clarke who said, "Too often prison has proved an


ineffective approach that failed to turn prisoners into law abiding


citizens." Do you think Ken was right? Yes.


You don't want to see rising prison numbers? It is what you do with


people when they are inside. If David Cameron is saying there


have got to be tougher sentences then there are going to be more


people going to jail for a longer time. Are you comfortable with


rising prison numbers? If prison numbers rise as a result of putting


away serious crim criminals, that's fine.


How are you going pay for it?. are trying to stop people coming


back and that answers your question about payment. It is about stopping


the same people coming back and back and back, that's how you get


the cost cost down. If you want to send more people to


prison, you will need more prisons? Snooze a Liberal Democrat I support


the view that we need a revolution in rehabilitation... Do you support


the prison works? Prison can can work which is what David Cameron is


saying today. We cannot have the resolving door where offenders


leave prison and come back in. Our re-offending rates are unacceptably


high in this country. We need to focus on the evidence of what works.


This means getting away from the the narrow debate about being tough


or soft on crime. Initiatives such as the use of restorive jus justice.


Julia Lyons warned that tougher sentencing will cost more in the


short-term? Well, the only way crime will cost more in the long-


term is if we don't... How do we pay for it in the short-term?


thing we can do is focus on payment by results so so those providers


have a clear idea of what they need to be achieving in order to get


paid. That's how we are going to drive down re-offending rates.


It puts Labour in a difficult position, painting you soft on


crime? No, I don't think so. Today's speech was, there is


nothing new in it actually. It is trying to get a third re-launch in


the calendar year for David Cameron, but the concern I have with what


Chris Grayling was saying this morning about the rolling out the


Peterborough pilot, the payment by results is that we haven't got the


results from that pilot yet and Chris Grayling has form on this


because he rolled out the the scheme for peopling coming off


Incapacity Benefit and that caused chaos so we have to make sure we


get the details right. It is untested. The Commons justice


Select Committee said payment by results were untested in the field


of criminal justice. Pinning your hopes on that is premature? It is


clearly a learning development. This is an exciting area of


development where the Ministry of Justice has been putting in work


and effort. We will make it work. We have to make it work because we


have to bring down fending. You have to get the results of the


pilot. If it is not working, you will create more problems for the


few tufr. -- future.


We are not without knowledge. One of the things I hope we have got


space for in this initiative is to make sure that smaller, voluntary


and innovative groups can find space to and not just the big


providers. That would be something I'm looking for as we roll this out.


Do you accept in the short-term it is going to push up costs and you


will need at least some more prison space to hold these prisoners?


don't think we know that either of these things are true.


You have You have Juliet Lyons saying that and she is an expert?


We don't know what is going to happen to prison numbers or the


costs. Payment by results has the potential to deliver diminishing


costs. It is an area that's evolving. I don't think you can


jump from hearing the speech to saying it is the case that numbers


are going to go up. Sentencing is down to judges.


Why is the re-launch happening? don't think it is a re-launch...


What's new? It is a long planned speech.


There is nothing new in it? It has become an overly sterile debate and


the pragmatic reality is between the two polarizeted pos --


polarized positions. Do you believe that David Cameron


is a liberal Conservative? This is one area in which he is


demonstrating he can be a liberal Conservative. Supporting


Rehabilitation is key to bringing down crime. I am pleased that he


has incorporated that into this speech and he is moving beyond what


is an old-fashioned rhetoric of the black and the white that he talked


about, that you are soft or tough on crime and moving towards a


debate on what works. This Bill is very effectively on the work that


Ken Clarke was progressing within the Ministry of Justice.


Do you agree with the rhetoric surrounding the bash a burglar?


think that that policy was very clearly articulated... And you


agree with it? It is right that people should not be punished for


something that they are caught in the moment in and the heat of the


moment and I think making that clear is vital which is what that


discussion was about a few weeks ago.


And nothing for you to to disagree on, Tom? It is about trying to send


a message of being the tough person that will appeal to the base and


keep some of Jane's colleagues on board after what was a traumatic


for Jane's colleagues last week. Something Labour did successfully,


being tough on crime works for the electorate? The issue around this


pilot is that payment by results, if you got to get the detail pilot


before you, there is a danger in rolling this out and the big


companies cherry-picking the easy bits and you leave the real


problems behind. If the pilots come back back, they


come back and say this works, will Labour back it? Will you say "this


is something we will support." That's yu -- that's why you need to


get the results. When it comes back, we will evaluate. If it is working,


it is something that should be considered. Its danger of -- the


danger of rolling this out, Chris Grayling may rush this out, we have


got to be careful we don't have unintend consequences and make a


situation worse rather than better. Spare a thought for Ed Miliband who


turned up a the anti-aurth march on -- anti-austerity march on Saturday


and got booed. Take a look at this. Now, of course, now of course,


there will still be hard choices and with borrowing rising, nots


falling, I do not - I do not promise easy times. You know, you


know it is right, it is right that we level with people. That there


would still be hard choices. I have said whoever was in Government now,


there would be some cuts, but this Government has shown the cutting


too far and too fast, self deceiting austerity is not the the


answer. It is not the answer to Britain's problems.


Ed Miliband, it sounded like everyone was booing him. It might


be a small vocal group which is what the SMP are good at.


Jane thinks it is Ed Miliband's spindoctors booing for effect!


That's taking the events of last week too far. Isn't there an


important point that you can make a a controversial, unpopular speech


to a friendly audience and get booed and the wider electorate


think, "Ed Miliband is saying important. He is prepared to go


against his supporters.". The point that Ed Miliband was making was the


right one and I know from people who went on the sister march in


Glasgow, there are people who aren't the usual suspects in terms


of trade union activist who are concerned about issues and joined


that march because they are concerned about what is happening.


Does it help him being booed? People will see that reactionment


people will hear what he says, and what he is saying is right. We have


to be clear about what it is - the situation we are likely to inherit


if we come into Government gen Government again in 2015.


Isn't the real real that Labour would have cut. There would be been


serious cuts and slashing of spending? The situation that we are


likely to have in 2015 could be worse than the situation in 2010


and we are one of only two G20 economies that that have been in a


double dip recession. George Osborne got booed over the


summer? Ed Miliband at a time when Britain is trying to attract saying


we are open to business and trying to attract jobs and trying to


restore confidence, he shared a platform with people calling for a


general strike. He would have made cuts? Labour


haven't voted for any. We haven't had any support whatsoever from the


Opposition in two years of taking hard decisions.


That's the receipt riblingt in reality -- rhetoric and they would


have made cuts? Well, how can we believe it? His position is not


credible sharing a platform with people calling for a general strike


that would damage our country. What are the Liberal Democrats


going to counter the support? Liberal Democrats are working hard


to clear up the mess that Labour left behind.


The grass-roots are going over to Labour? No, that's not the case. We


are working hard in Government to try and sort out the mess that was


inherited. The one thing that Ed Miliband could have said, that


might have got got cheers is to apologise for his party's record. A


record which he and Ed Balls were very much behind and advising


Gordon Brown in the Treasury. So I think that the one thing that Ed


Miliband needs to do is reflect on why people are booing him. Why they


are disillusioned and it is because he says he wants cuts, but doesn't


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