30/10/2012 Daily Politics


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 30/10/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Afternoon folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.


President Obama declares Hurricane Sandy a major disaster in what


could be America's costliest natural disaster, ever. We have got


a latest. With a backbench rebellion on the


cards over the EU's budget, David Cameron has another foe to contend


with. Yes, Tony Blair's back and he wants to be president - of Europe.


Would it be a good idea? Can small farmers survive higher


production costs? We'll talk to Lib Dem President,


Tim Farron. And should MPs expect to be served


wine of hotel or private members' club standard? Or make do with


supermarket plonk? Wine critic, Jilly Goolden, and Labour MP,


Austin Mitchell, take the Daily Politics taste test.


All that in the next hour, and with us for the whole programme today is


the broadcaster, publisher and former Conservative candidate, Iain


Dale. Now, America has been waking up to the damage caused overnight


by Hurricane Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the US.


At least 16 people are thought to have died and more than 16 million


people are without power across America and Canada, and President


Obama has declared a major disaster in New York where fires have broken


out and a power sub-station has exploded. They're calling Sandy a


'superstorm' and it's predicted it could cause up to $20 billion in


damage, making it one of the costliest natural disasters in US


history. Campaigning ahead of next week's presidential election has


been suspended and there have been reports this morning that the vote


could be delayed. Here's what President Barack Obama had to say


yesterday. I am not worried at this point


about the election, I am worried about the families and worried


about first responders, the impact on the economy, transportation. The


election will take care of itself next week. Right now, my No 1


priority is to make sure we are saving lives, and search and rescue


teams will be in place and people will get the food, water and


shelter they need in case of emergency. We will respond as


quickly as possible to get the economy back on track.


Iain Dale, he says the election it will take care of itself, but will


it? He is concentrating on people who have been affected, and sadly


died. But its power is still down next week, can the voting go ahead?


I suspect there will be one or two buildings are they might have to


change, but I think this is an interesting opportunity for Barack


Obama. He has got everything to gain by having a strong response to


this crisis, in contrast to that of George Bush a few years ago.


could fall into that trap of George Bush? Mitt Romney cannot win on


this, he cannot do anything and be shown to be a man of action, Barack


Obama can. During the debates, Mitt Romney has come back into the game.


In the polls, there is little to put between them? There is only 10


Swing State that matter. Ohio is the main one. I don't think that


has been affected by the storms. The reaction from the people of


Ohio will be interesting and I think Barack Obama has been getting


stronger verb. It does not matter what the rest of the country thinks,


it is what these tend Swing State think. The moment they will be


focusing on the emergency and the response.


Now it's time for our Daily Quiz. The question for today is: The


authorities at Westminster want to raise �3 million from commercial


activities on the Parliamentary estate. So what new ideas are they


considering? Are they thinking of: Turning the speaker's residence


into a luxury boutique hotel? Hiring out Big Ben as a Hollywood


film set? Trebling the cost of food in the


canteens? Offering a romantic dinner for two


over the despatch box? David Cameron and Nick Clegg could


be serving up the food. At the end of the show, Iain will


give us the correct answer. Now yesterday, Tony Blair, said


something in Berlin which might either set your heart beating a


little faster or cast you into a deep depression, depending on your


view. So what's he suggesting? Tony Blair wants voters across Europe to


elect a new president of the EU in order to increase its democratic


legitimacy. In a speech in Berlin yesterday, Mr Blair warned that


people across the EU will become alienated unless reforms are made.


He said; "A Europe-wide election for the presidency is the most


direct way to involve the public". Three years ago the EU created a


new position - president of the European Council, with Tony Blair's


name briefly in the frame for the new post. The job spec includes


chairing regular meetings of European Heads of State and helping


to set the general political direction and priorities of the EU.


But Tony Blair didn't get enough support and this man, the former


Belgian Prime Minister, Herman van Rompuy, got the plumb job instead.


Now Mr Blair says either that job or the post of President of the


European Commission, currently held by Spaniard, Jose Manuel Barroso,


should be directly elected by voters across the European Union.


That's led to plenty of speculation that Tony still fancies a big Euro


job. And we've been here before. Let's have a look at the then


Shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague, in the House of Commons in


2008. He's imagining the response of the then Prime Minister, Gordon


Brown, to the appointment of President Blair.


We can all picture the scene after a European Council sometime next


year. Picture the face of our poor Prime Minister, as the name of Tony


Blair is placed in nomination after one Prime Minister after another.


The look of gloom on his face. The nauseating prose oozing from every


Government. The rapid revelation of a majority view agreed behind


closed doors when he was excluded. Never will he regret a more no


longer being in possession of a veto. The famous dropped jaw almost


hitting the table as he realises there is no option but to join in


and the awful moment when the motorcade of the President of


Europe sweeps into Downing Street. The gritted teeth and bitten nails,


the Prime Minister emerging from his door with a smile of


intolerable anguish. The choking sensation as the words, Mr


President of forced out of him. And then, once in the Cabinet Room, the


melodrama of when we you hand over to me, all over again. Hilarity in


the House of Commons. We're joined now by Jacob Rees-Mogg,


he's a Conservative MP who sits on the European Scrutiny Committee,


and by Roger Liddle, who speaks for Labour on Europe in the Lords and


used to be Europe advisor to Tony Blair. Why is it a good idea?


Because we need a Democratic breakthrough in Europe. People


complain about the Commission being unaccountable and remote. They


complain of Brussels institutions are a long way away. We need some


way of making Europe accountable for what it does. Tony is right,


the way to do that is have a direct election for the President. Would


you support him for the role? not likely to happen before the


earliest, 2020. Could you imagine him doing it? I think he would beat


brilliant at it, yes. I don't think he Best it is the reason he is


proposing it. Because it is the right thing for Europe, given the


problem of accountability, given Europe needs to integrate more.


Isn't that the problem? If there were presidential elections, if


there were rallies in all 27 countries, can you imagine it,


setting people's hearts aflutter and thinking you could believe in


it? What is the turnout in Parliamentary elections? I think


25%. It is because people do not see Europe as a country to which


they are loyal, to which they have feelings which make democracy work,


to which they have a patriotic urge. They do for elections in the United


Kingdom. It is crucially important. You would have a situation where


the votes of other Europeans would decide how the United Kingdom was


governed. It would give it an appearance of legitimacy, but it


wouldn't be legitimate for the British people. They would want to


govern themselves. It is a cover, rather than a reality. Until we


have a feeling across Europe, we are one people, which is much


further off than 2020, having a Democratic system, it won't have


any validity. What would you say to a person, even if you could


directly elect them, wouldn't give people the feeling they are in a


federal set-up? I do believe loyalties will remain for a long


time to the nation-state. I am not disputing that. But I do think this


proposal for an election of the President would and live in


European politics. It is part of a view of politics which is different


to the kind of what I would describe as, the old fashioned


Westminster model due, that Jacob has. What I want to see is more


democracy at all kinds of different levels. European level and local


level. I don't think Westminster is the only game in town. The


traditional members of Parliament who have spent all their time


trying to get there, thing Westminster is the only game in


town. Let's go to the French view this work -- perspective. We have a


French journalist now, would it excite people in France if there


was a sort of a new European President? What is interesting, it


we don't talk about it in France. But the topic comes back very


regularly in the UK where it seems to be a titillating question. We're


talking about more democracy in Europe. Of course, we are all a


were we need more democracy. But, if we are talking about an EU


President is because we need charisma. We already have a


President of the Commission. you saying the present one is not a


charismatic? I am very pro-European, but no, he does not have charisma.


It is interesting Tony Blair is coming up. If he could, he could


apply to the Bank of France, he is a candidate for everything. Do you


think he would get support in France? I think, what would an EU


President do? He would be a symbol, he would be an Honorary President.


What we need is a great historian, perhaps. I would love to have seen


the Polish historian doing the job, except he is dead. Perhaps in


Britain, George Steiner who is an extraordinary European, educated in


France, worked in the US and is a professor in Cambridge. I can think


of many great men and women. We need a symbol and charisma, rather


than another politician in Brussels. This is the idea to replace all


have one of the Rolls elected, who would you vote for, put forward if


the role came up? By don't want the role to exist and if it did, I


don't want the United Kingdom to be part of it. The hammer-and-sickle


has just come up on top of its new flag. And not sure I want much of


these European singlets -- symbols. Do you agree, saying it might make


Britain's more interested in Europe? It is a preposterous idea.


Tony Blair is putting the cart before the horse. There is not


political union. The job only has importance if there is political


union. Down the road, the eurozone might come together, it would be


logical to have fiscal union and and political union. We should have


no part of that. But if they want Tony Blair, they can have him.


they need to solve the problems now? Of course they need to solve


the problems. A lot of decisions are taken in Brussels, trade


relations with the rest of the world are done through the EU and


not through the member states. Competition policy, the single


market. Could I say, this is not just Tony Blair's idea. One of the


key supporters of this is the German Christian Democrat Union,


Angela Merkel's party. The strongest and most important party


in the European Union. Conservatives here have said


Britain shouldn't be part of it even if there is a close


integration or a two track Europe. They should recreate the post of


Holy Roman Emperor and give it to the Queen and everybody would be


happy. If it did come about, you get a feeling it would be ex-prime


ministers and presidents who would end up applying. We could see


Sergio Berlusconi, Jacques Chirac. How much credibility? Police


commissioners as failed politicians are applying for the job. Give it


to Victor Hugo. It is interesting, we're talking about this in Britain


and only in Britain, because I think Britain has the policy about


Europe is totally in a mess. then is it being talked about here,


bearing in mind you would argue the centre of gravity has moved to a


Euro sceptic views. A lot of people would support that. Why is that


idea coming from here, even though you mentioned about the Christian


Democrat party in Germany, we don't hear a big surge of support for


Tony Blair is 58. He clearly thinks he has another big job in him. If


there were a President of Europe, even though I do not support his


policies, he would be good at it. If you want somebody who is


charismatic, why not Tony Blair? Why not Boris Johnson? Key while


being cynical. These jobs exist. -- you are being cynical. They are


important jobs affecting daily lives. They affect the daily lives


of people in Britain. Who would have appointed Herman Van Rompuy


over Tony Blair? Could we get somebody a better quality?


could not get anybody who is worse. While it do we not just fire one


and save the money? There is a case for merging the jobs but they are


powerful jobs. The point of the debate is to make them


democratically accountable. You are staying with us and coming back at


the end of the show. Thanks. We have mentioned one money-spinning


scheme dreamt up by the Parliamentary authorities. This is


another. To save cash, officials to compile Hansard, the transcription


of everything said in a House of Commons and House of Lords, that


they will no longer give away hardback copies. It will save �1


million a year. Some MPs are unhappy, including Jacob. This is


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 50 seconds


Quentin Letts to explain. He we are in the Parliamentary


archives with all the ancient statutes stacked up. This is animal


skin. If these are impressive, what about this little job? The Daily


Hansard, thousands of words ensuring we have an accurate,


verbatim report of what our legislators say. Pretty good. MPs


have the ability to tidy up a little bit of what they say. Some


of their hesitations get taken out. John Prescott's words used to be


given major surgery by Hansard. It does not capture the atmosphere of


the Commons. When people give Russia's laughter, it just says


"laughter". But these daily publications capture the arguments


to reduce these laws. It catches ministers' answers. They cannot get


off the hook after this. Hansard employers dozens of reporters and


sub-editors with brilliant shorthand skills. You should seek


their fingers flying across this tomography keyboards. They turn


this round in record time, and it is online. The and people from


Hansard are really keeping the side up. Well played, lads. Jacob Rees-


Mogg is still with us and is one of 90 MPs who still receive


traditional hardback volumes of Hansard. Important to have that


accurate transcript of what is said in a House of Commons, but do you


have to have it in his very heavy hardback copy? You don't have to,


and I will be sorry to see it go. Is it essential to our democracy?


Probably not. The Hansard reporters turned every day, into silk purses.


They are amazing. It is a record that can be kept permanently rather


than a temporary entry on the internet. I will be sorry to lose


it. You don't think it will save as much as a million pounds? All the


work is done, the Hansard reporters of her. It is put into order daily


so that is done. It is updated weekly -- weekly to make any minor


corrections. It is just a bit of cloth binding and printing. It is


hard to believe each one of those Orleans cost �350. This is


expensive to publish? The retail price is �105. As a publisher, I


can tell you the cost of producing these, a normal hardback book, �20


and the Prince cost is probably a couple of pounds. That is because


they are mass-produced. These, several hundred copies, less than a


1000. You have a gold leaf on the front. They are fine looking. I


have a collection going back to 1945. Where do you put them? They


are in a garage in Essex. I'm waiting for the day I own a country


home! I got given them by NOP, they used to send them to every MP


whether they wanted them or not. He gave them to me because he never


looked at them. How often do you pick up your leather-bound Hansard?


They are not leather-bound. OK, the hardback poppy -- cocky Qamar how


often do pick it up and refer to it? I like looking through and


seeing what people had to save. Seeing if there are things that I


can repeat. You could do it if it was the paper bound? The difficulty


is, you would have to bind them together yourself. On the they are


all on the internet now, so it is no problem. It is harder to flick


through the internet. By am in favour of books. It is good for


looking at something specific when you are not sure of that date. But


it is not so good for flicking through a general discussion.


won't be running a campaign? but I will make a contribution


towards them. If you pick up any random volume and open a random


page, there is some interesting stuff in there but not worth �1


million a year. In the months since the Government


launched a consultation into how gay civil marriage might be


introduced into law, there has been deep disquiet on back benches and


grassroots in the Conservative Party. At first opponents seemed to


tackle the idea on moral grounds but now many are suggesting there


is a broader and more dangerous strategy point for the Prime


Minister personally. Giles has been looking at whether the gay marriage


policy might get jilted at the altar after all.


Indeed a year since the civil partnership Act, over 50,000 gay


couples have celebrated a public declaration of their commitment.


Many of them, for the sake of convenience, or refer to themselves


as married and refer to each other as husbands or wives. But they are


not. The Government wants to change that and allow gay marriage. It is


a change the PM has backed. I don't support gay marriage in spite of


being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a


Conservative. But there has been significant opposition, which has


seen a coalition Government face down by a coalition for marriage,


who say it was not in either party's manifestos, has not been


asked for, is now widely supported and politically upsets many


grassroots Conservatives. They rare thing about this particular


political argument is, the argument for gay marriage and the argument


against it, is essentially the same. That if the laws and protections


provided by a civil partnerships are essentially the same as those


provided the marriage, those in favour say, what is the difference,


why make a fuss? Those again say, why do you need it? It comes down


to the definition of one word. Those against who gathered at this


party conference dislike redefining marriage. To them it is between a


man and woman. It is fair to say Conservatives on both sides wish it


had not been raised in the face of bigger priorities, but those who


think dropping it will give third opponents the nasty party label.


The and those against say even gay and lesbian couples in polling


distrust the Prime Minister's motives. Fewer than half thing Mr


Cameron is sincere in his commitment to gay and lesbian


rights. They think he is playing politics with marriage. We think he


is playing politics with marriage. A lot of people think he will say


anything to get a vote. On an issue like gay marriage, I think he stood


up and is taking a risk, and I think a lot of people who may not


agree with him on the substance of the issue of gay marriage. If he


fights for this and keeps saying he believes in it because it is right,


it is a quality and encouraging gay people into relationships which


rewards stability. I think a lot of people, not necessarily sympathetic


to his position will admire David Cameron more at the end of that.


declared, because he believed in it he was going to introduce same-sex


marriage. And to rub salt into the wound on the day the consultation


ended, Mr Cameron said the will of the Government will prevail. Not


one response has been opened. the Prime Minister jilt the policy,


be forced apart by grassroots disapproval? Can he tell the


doubters this is not a marriage of $:/STARTFEED. David Cameron said of


marriage it is something I feel passionate about and if it is good


enough for straight people like me, it is good enough for anybody.


agree. Once we have left the ECHR. But David Cameron is promising


guarantees and saying that religious freedom will be protected.


Because there doesn't have to be religious marriage He can't deliver


that. We have pressure groups and individual MPs who are saying the


first vicar or ministers to refuse to marry a gay couple, will be


straight to the European courts. Once we leave the European courts,


I think it is right if a couple want to be together, the community


and their family, they have a right to marriage. Why did you say...


while religious freedom is compromised You said gay marriage


is for the metropolitan elite. support gay marriage, I was at


Iain's civil part sip. Not a gay marriage. I would like to see Iain


and John marry if they want to. But there smub, Parliament does not


reflect the view of the peoples. I think gay marriage is it. If the


public want it, we should deliver it. I want it. But I'm not sure the


public do. The polls show they do. If the show that, fine. I will give


you a personal experience. I have entertained in my own home almost


200 of my activists and there are about five who supported it. The


polls may show people support it. You say Conservative grass roots


don't. No. I think David Cameron is taking us into a lot of trouble as


a party. Why did the Labour Party not do this? Sometimes in politics,


politicians have to lead public opinion. You're telling me that?


Indeed. That is what David Cameron is doing. I think you miswhrauns


the Government want to do. It is not about religion o' is --


religious freedom. David Cameron said there would be no on tkwaigs


for any -- obligation on any religious organisation to do.


cannot deliver that. The first vicar who refuses to marraway gay


couple. Churches won't be allowed to do it. Even those who want to do


it. Let's move.... Ed Miliband has muddyed the water, because he said


he thinks that churches should be allowed to if they want to. That is


hen your point about the court of human rights comes in. But the


legislation will prohibit churches from carrying out gay marriages.


But the point about constituent and Conservative grass roots, what


Nadine is saying and the reason some people think David Cameron


didn't make as big an issue is because it is divisive for


Conservatives. Do you accept that? Nadine might be right in her party,


I would like to think that is not reflected across the country. I was


the first gay candidate to tell the selection committee I was gay and I


got a 66% endorsement. There were people there that were unhappy


about having a gay candidate. I think I won them around. Hang on a


second. In some areas there is still a lot of work to do on


thisish yuerbgs not just with Conservative activists, you could


go into constituency Labour Party and have the same issue. This is


something where the three party broadly agree. There are some


people who disagree for religious reasons. I respect that. What is


good for straight people is good for gay people. How diadviceive


would bit would there be -- devicive would it be for your party.


Some of the people who said that were parents of children who were


gay. And who embrace the notion of their children being in a civil


partnership, but it is, people do for their religious aspect don't


agree. Four million Christians said they would no longer vote


Conservative. If you believe everyone who says I will never vote


for a political party again because of one issue. Do people say they


will because of it It carries the same weight. People vote on a


number of issues. If David Cameron leaves gay marriage as his legacy


as Prime Minister, that will be... He will have done a great job.


will be hard for Conservative core voters to vote. He has made an


issue of it and if he doesn't stick to it, he will lose more


credibility. That is his choice. If David Cameron continues, maybe he


will be seen as something who drivers his point home, but it will


be the wrong point and will have lost us votes. You said you were in


favour of gay marriage. personally am but I'm not


personally in fave of alienating our entire Conservative vote.


is a simple thing you can say to people who are against gay marriage,


if you have a problem wit, don't marraway homosexual. Do you not


believe in freedom. I believe compromising the opinions of one


group is not right. It is no compromising any religious views.


We know what the consultation says. You have not seen the bill. You


don't know what is in it. It is hypeth thetical to say churches


If you believe in it, shouldn't you lead your constituency? I hope it


is going to be a free vote issue. It is. I think Ed Miliband is going


to represent his. I think it should be a free vote. I am going to stop


it there. You can kiss and make up after the programme. Ministers have


said that 100,000 ash trees have been destroyed to try to prevent


the spread of the deadly chalara fraxinea fungus. A ban on the


import of ash trees came into force on Monday and an expert tree


disease taskforce has been established. But in the Commons


yesterday, Labour accused the government of being asleep on the


job and failing to act quickly enough.


And we are taking the threat posed by Chalara fraxinea, or ash dieback,


C Risley. We have imposed a temporary ban on imports and


restrictions of moments of ash trees in consultation with industry


and pursed risk assessment. The band will be affected before the


start of the main UK planting season. Preceding this ban, the


Horticultural Traders Association urged members to follow a voluntary


moratorium throughout this period, which has been well observed.


risk facing the UK from ash dieback is apparent. Experts fear it is the


biggest threat to British treasons 25 million trees were killed by


Dutch elm disease 30 years ago. It is disappointing the Secretary of


State announced a ban in Staffordshire instead of in person


to this house. We welcome the ban, but the question is, why did it


take so long? Ash dieback was found last February in Buckinghamshire.


Why did ministers sit back, cross their fingers and wait until the


disease was found in the wild in June? Why did the Horticultural


Traders Association act before the Government? Why did they


consultation on an import ban on Ashe starts only on 31st August.


is the disease was intercepted there has been monitoring, tracing


forward movements from plans from infected nurseries and inspecting


trees in the The City of infective sides to ascertain whether disease


and may be present in the wider environment. It is an enormous task


and involves over 1000 sites. It is ongoing. It is as a consequence of


that the 100,000 trees that have been destroyed have had to be taken


now. This episode is a terrible indictment of the Government, but


also of the opposition. De Horticultural Traders Association


warned about this disease in 2009, so neither of you houses have


worked hard enough and fast enough. Will the Minister reverse the trend


of vipers and cuts he is making to the Forestry Commission so we have


the resources to tackle this problem properly? She is not


correct in what she said. I have already explained at the sequence


of events and I have explained we have not in any way reduce the


resources available to plant health Susana Mendonca has more on this,


let's join her now outside Parliament. As we will hearing,


this Chalara fraxinea, or ash dieback has the potential impact of


being devastating on our ash tree population in the UK. In Denmark,


90% of ash trees have been destroyed. Labour don't think the


Government has been going far enough. I'm joined by the shadow


environment secretary and the Conservative MP for Hexham. Mary,


you were saying you do not think the Government has gone far enough.


They have banned the import of these ash trees and are cutting


down the effect of ones, is that not enough? We welcome the ban, but


why did it take ministers so long to act? This was found in a nursery


in Buckinghamshire in February. At the Horticultural Traders


Association implemented their own voluntary ban before the Government


had started consultation. They waited until it was found in the


wild in June and brought the ban in yesterday. It is too little too


late and another sign of incompetence we are used to from


this Government. What do you make of that, that the Government was


sleeping on this and should have acted sooner? She would say that.


We visited 1000 sites in the last eight months and cuts down 100,000


trees and destroyed them. It is significant. You have to consult


with the businesses he will be involved in importing and the


Government has done that consultation, and then banned all


importations. That cannot happen overnight. There is also the


problem of it not just being the importation, it is something that


can be airborne. You look at examples in East Anglia and there


is evidence it is an airborne transfer from the Continent on


ongoing basis. We cannot do anything about that. This is also


something that has baffled and obstructed repeated countries over


the last 10 years, because it has been going for more than 10 years.


There are other countries being affected by this, Denmark and is


this something wider than just what the Government can do? Absolutely


not. My have asked the minister to publish the scientific evidence to


show it is airborne. When ministers and MPs say it is airborne, they


are creating cover for themselves as an excuse for inaction. There is


evidence. And there is no evidence, I have had spoken to scientists


over the weekend. It can be brought in either on birds or on people's


jackets. The country was disease free last autumn and scientists


were on the alert. And the trees scientists have had their budget


cuts from 10 million down to seven. We heard David Heath saying it is


not the case, in terms of research there has not been a cut that has


led to this. Is this just about politics? David said about the cut


to plant health, but he did not respond to my challenge about


Forest Research reduced from 12 million down to 7 million. Also


seven offices have closed and people have been laid off.


Regardless whether the cuts have resulted in this, there will be


people in your constituency who will be worried about this and may


be cuts to Forestry budgets may have caused this? There is no


evidence to this. Tree and plant health budgets have been maintained.


More money is being spent than ever before on this issue. In my


constituency, I have a number of forests and I met with the Forestry


Commission in the summer and they are working on this. Sadly, we have


to leave it. If people are worried, there is a new Act created way you


can submit any examples if you can find it. -- application.


As the cost of food goes up and household budgets get squeezed,


spare a thought for Britain's small farmers. They're facing a real


struggle to survive this winter. The wet summer devastated fodder


crops so they're facing huge bills to buy extra animal feed. And they


say they're also under pressure from supermarkets keen to keep


their costs down. Sunday Politics North West reporter, Peter Marshall,


reports from Cumbria. We've been joined from Plymouth by


Mum it is an industry that is in the blood. Hill farming has been


through tough times in the past. This is a market in North Yorkshire.


Harry Hutchinson is among those looking for livestock. For the last


30 years he has farmed the hills. The cost of production is far above


what it cost the consumer to buy. We're not getting paid enough for


it. Does he believe some would go hungry to have enough money to feed


their livestock? Every hill farmer you talk to will put his stock


before himself. It has to come first, that is what we do. Prices


are holding up this autumn, but there is an expensive winter ahead.


The wet summer has devastated productions so farmers will have to


buy additional fee. On a Lancashire, Cumbria border, Robert Pennington


has 200 sheep to get through the winter. A lot of farmers will go


out of business. There was a lot of feet been sold at �60 a bail, how


can farmers make a living out of that. The price -- price of grain


is going up. It is going to be a very tight year. These may not be


the best of times, but most in the industry accept they are not the


worst of times. Images from the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak are in


our memories. And the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution


gave out nearly �30 million in aid. Amounts paid out to farming


families in hardship this year are smaller, but pressure is mounting.


We have cases in England and Wales where welfare officers have carried


food hampers in their cars so encases of extreme hardship, when


families don't have anything on the table, we can provide food and


supermarket vouchers as well. changes in the Common Agricultural


Policy being negotiated, it is a critical time. Some upland farmers


fear there will be changes to subsidy schemes which will make


life harder still, for them. It is crucial the payments available to


the hill farmers are able to come to those farmers, and they are able


to choose what they can do with them. What farmers do is, they use


those payments to produce food. Government's commitment to the


Cumbrian uplands prosperity Plan, which will bring new facilities to


farming communities is welcomed. Despite tough times, there is


confidence in the future of the industry.


We have been joined from Plymouth by Mary Talbot rose from the small


farms Association and Tim Farron. Mary, small farms are being


squeezed from all sides by rising costs and supermarkets demanding


they cut prices. Can they survive? They can, the great thing about


British agriculture is there is huge diversity. The important thing


is the West -- in the West Country is most farms are family owned.


They have a future as long as one or maybe more family members can


find employment off the farm and bring income into the farm. As you


report said, prices are being squeezed, profit margins for


farmers are constantly squeezed. We have energy costs rising and then


we had this horrific weather, not in this country but all over the


world. Extremes of climate, so the yields are down all round.


Farron, people don't want to pay high prices. Some people will pay


for small organic produce to support their local farms, but


people are suffering and don't want to pay higher prices. There is no


way around it is there? Farmers are at the bottom end of the supply


chain. In the middle you have supermarkets do with power. It is


an obvious and clear example of a broken market. When you have a few


huge retailers, a large number of not so well known but equally


powerful processors, and thousands of not very powerful farmers doing


the hard work. It is easy for the big four supermarkets to take the


profit and give less than cost Do you agree? Yes they have a


little cabal or a war going on between them. They watch each other


like hawk. Once we were more sustainable. This is one thing the


Government should do, put a lot of effort behind farming and try to


explain to the public that we have become more self-sufficient and we


don't need to imimportant food. When you say sustainable, are you


talking about Government subsidising small farmers? That is


a big political issue, but they need to negotiate hard on the


common agricultural policy. There is a lot of negotiations going on


at the moment. There is a lot of uncertainty as to when it will be


introduced and what the deal will be. I think it should favour small


farmers. But one thing I should say the bureaucracy needs to be cut out.


Do you agree with that. How much should government do, would you


like to see further subsidies? There is a lot of support. There is,


but more? I it it has to be targeted. This is the hind crisis,


our ability to feed ours has dropped and we see more farmers go


out of business and we import more. It is about make sure you pay


farmers for the work they do. In Cumbria our tuerism - Toucheism


industry is worth �3 billion a year and the farmers back that and they


get paid nothing for that. Is a view that says why should we


subsidise an industry that can't support itself? I was brought up on


a small farm and my sympathy is with the farmer. When we joined the


European community, we made a decision that farming would be


looked at as an industry. The French and the Germans made a


different decision and they support their small farmers in a way


British governments never have. Not just by subsidy. It is too late to


turn the clock back. If you're a small dairy farmer producing milk


at 62 pence a litre, you can't compete with huge farms that can do


it. Aren't economies of scale something we have to face and admit


that food produced on a big scale... That is why they have gone out of


business. Because they can't compete. Don't farmers have to be


realistic. We are talking about economies of scale, competition,


you can't compete with price, so perhaps more farmers should just


pack up and go and do something else. A lot of them have packed up


and done something else. The other thing is farmers need to realise


they have transferable skills. And many farms that I know don't


survive purelyen what they produce or the live stock they produce.


They have to diversify within that business, or they send a family


member out to bring in income from outside. I went on holiday in Italy,


they get huge subsidies on the farms to re-create holiday homes,


big subs Deux would you like to see that sort of subsidy, up to 80%


they were telling me they were getting to diversify. You look at


what happens, since foot-and-mouth, there have been diversification in


areas that can do it. Some farms are so out of way that it is not


possible. In the end, on a positive note, the world population will


increase, because of the growing middle grass in the develople world,


the demand for food will double. It is a good time to be a farmer. I


want the UK to be at the table, rather than dropping behind and


having to import. Thank you for joining us. Now apparent think


palace of Westminster is in dire need of repairs and over the summer


rumours were rife that MPs might have to move out for a radical


overhaul of the building. James Landale has lerpbdz this won't


happen, because it would cost too much. James, how likely this a


temporary evacuation? It is still a possibility. At the meeting of the


body that runs Parliament, House of Commons commission, there was an


attempt by a senior member of the committee to kill off the idea on


the grounds it would do Parliament's reputation too much


damage to spend billions and I mean billions, De Kamping the whole of


Parliament while the whole place is renovated, but that idea was


resisted. The idea is still on the table. But what the MPs think is


before they consider doing that, they have to have proper business


plans so they know what the costs are and can make a business case


about value for money to voters, who may think it is not a good idea.


But they post pond any final decision for at least a year when


they do more work on what is possible and how much would it cost.


But they say there is a real problem, the place is full of


asbestos, it is a fire risk, it is 150 years old and it has not been


touched. Now, I don't know if you have had a chance to speak to MPs,


or any get any feel of support, it would be very disruptive to to move


everyone? Well MPs would be able to stay at their new office block. One


idea doing the roundss and this is a possibility, you swap, you kick


the Lords out of their ends, the MPs sit in the House of Lords and


you swap and do vice ver Alex Salmond all you are doing is moving


out one -- and you do vice versa. All yo doing is moving one out. One


option somebody said was the idea of filling a space that is next to


portcullis house, loads of different places where they could


do is. But they haven't made a decision yet. Well it doesn't sound


as bad ace first thought. Alcohol and politics, they complement each


other like strawberries and cream. That is why it is important to the


House of Commons authorities to dish out a new contract to provide


wine in the watering holes that the supply should be of hotel or


private club standard. Can members tell the difference? Are they that


discerning? In a moment we will find out. Before we whet your taste


buds, a note of caution, Jim Hacker. Good evening Constable. Can I see


your licence? Yes certain Lu. you -- aren't you Mr Jim Hacker?


Yes. What seems to be the trouble. Any reason you were drive sog


slowly? I didn't want the curb to - - kerb to hit. I didn't want to hit


the kerb. I have a silver badge somewhere. I see. Perhaps constable


Evans will drive. I will drive. you're in a proper state to drive.


Don't drink, well not while my husband's driving. And now we have


been joined by the Labour MP Austin Mitchell and the wine critic, Jill


Ji Golden. So how good are you at deciding what is quality and what


is less quality wine. I have drinks here. I will give you Jacob Rees


Mogg the white one. You can take these two here and I'm going to


give you Austin Mitchell, not that I actually talk to you about


whether you prefer white or red, you're going to have the red.


is a shame, I like white. If we had more time I would swap. But it is


pleasing everyone. Jilly, we start with white and I'm going to keep


the sparkling. I will sacrifice. First, Jacob Rees Mogg, try No 3.


And would you as well Jilly. This has been worked out with great


precision. Let's see if Jay xob and Jilly can tell the difference


between. -- Jacob. That is what wine snobs do. No 4. You can try


your other one. Have you swallowed No 3? Yes. Go on then. All right.


Jacob Rees Mogg, which do you think is the posh plonk and which is the


less posh? I have no idea. First... I don't understand why they think


you can't buy decent wine on the high street. It is a good question,


you can buy good wine on the high street. I have to challenge you for


saying posh plonk and none posh. Supermarkets have brilliant wine


and lot of it is posh. Most of us drink it. They matching what you


can get in pricing with this. not get from it the supermarket? It


would be cheaper. Which did you like more? I liked three more than


four. Three of course is the �1995 bottle, that is a more -- �19.95


bottle. That is more up market than No 4. Are both obscure Italian


grape varieties. I think the peck Ricoh from Marks and Spencer is


gorgeous and ten pounds cheaper. I like the other one, but it is a


more quirky wine. Let's strie Austin Mitchell on the road. --


let's try Austin Mitchell on the red. I think the lore classes will


be worse than the upper classes in this. How does that taste? It is


all right. Try number six. Although he has said now he prefers the


white. Do the red. That is number six. Which one do you prefer?


prefer number six. Well Jilly, yet again. Discerning tastes. Well yes.


A man of the people, Austin. I only drink New Zealand wine from


supermarkets, because it is cheaper and better. Tell him which is which.


You have preferred the wine merchant wine. The expensive one.


Yes. It's �20 I wouldn't buy it. How much is the other one?


number five is �10. And that is from Marks and Spencer. Is it �10


better? If I had my troubles I would get plenty of that. Now I get


a chance to try them. I haven't been given which is which.


House of Commons had magnificent cellars. And then sold. Bob Maxwell


sold our wine. Sold it to himself didn't he Of course he did. Or gave


it to his friends. That is extraordinary, that is a clean


sweep for the whine merchants. But these are both English sparkling


wines which I am keen on. Marks and Spencer provided the others.


the Marks and Spencer, the English one is glorious. This one which is


from a neighbouring vine yard is �29. You all vote for the high


street. The high street wine for house of commons. People are


discerning about quality. Get the sewer market. We still have to pay.


It is not as if they're free. answer to our quiz and the question


was what is Parliament thinking doing about doing to save money. We


will have to give you answer tomorrow. Sorry thank you to all of


you. All our guest and the wine in the studio and for being our guest


Download Subtitles