05/11/2012 Daily Politics


05/11/2012

Jo Coburn with the latest political news and interviews. She is joined by Fiona Phillips to discuss plans to raise the living wage and David Cameron visiting the Middle East.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Good afternoon, welcome to the Daily Politics. What is a fair

:00:42.:00:47.

price for an hour's work? Labour says they will name employers who

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do not pay a living wage, but should employers be ashamed? Gear-

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changes to the planning law threaten our green and pleasant

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land? DPM is in the Middle East selling Britain's military wares,

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good for exports, but is it ethical? I think it is maybe time

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for maybe a business plan, how about that? And roll up, rock stars,

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actors and comedians, but do celebrity endorsements help the

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political cause they espouse? All that in the next hour, and with

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us for the whole programme today is the broadcaster Fiona Phillips,

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welcome to the programme. Let's start with an issue close to her

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heart, because the Daily Mail reports that the Prime Minister is

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soon to announce the creation of new high-tech brain clinics which

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will help to cut the diagnosis time for dementia from 18 months to just

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three. New line an ambassador of the Alzheimer's Society, what to

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think about this? I think it is a good move, and early diagnosis

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helps people plan their care. When somebody is diagnosed with

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Alzheimer's or dementia, it is a huge bomb in the lives of carers as

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well, they have to take over their whole lives, financial staff, so it

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is the carer's time to plan and the sort that out. But what is the

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point of diagnosing all these people when they're still is not

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enough money going into research for a cure? There was a startling

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story a couple of weeks ago which, if it was about cancer, would have

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caused a national uproar, in that some of the drug companies are

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deciding to abandon research for Alzheimer's drugs because it is

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costing them too much, because they do not tend to be successful. There

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wird two big trials which were dropped recently because they were

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proven not to have worked. Shareholders are worried about

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their slice of the cake, so it is a scandal. Imagine if they said

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cancer drug companies are not researching a cure because the

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shareholders want more money back on their investment. Because it is

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not seen, is it, excuse the word, fashionable in terms of their

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interests, but it is more prevalent, so do you think that will change

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attitudes, hearts and minds of these companies when they realise

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more people are being diagnosed not just with Alzheimer's but early

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onset Alzheimer's? The problem is ageism, pure and simple. It is seen

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as an elderly disease, it is like the Liverpool care at way, let's

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see them shove off the mortal coil without much care what dignity,

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because they're old anyway. My mother was in her 50s when she was

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showing signs of Alzheimer's. was my father. It is devastating

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for a family, as you know, Jo. I met a lady last week he was 39. It

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is not just an elderly disease, but it is costing the NHS �23 billion a

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year, and only 20 is being invested for a cure. What about drugs to

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slow down the deterioration of people's brains? Is that where the

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focus should be? If there is more early onset Alzheimer's and drugs

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are available not to cure but which might slow down the deterioration,

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should that be where people's money and minds should be? Yes, because

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it certainly gives the carer probably about 18 months more

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quality of life than they would have without the drug, although

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having said that, drugs such as Aricept, the main drug we are

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talking about, do not work for everyone. They did not work for my

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mother, and I did not give my father any drugs, and he functioned

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better without them, to be honest with you. But what is the point

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when there is no cure? There is no proper care. The later stages, I

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had a nightmare... And the cost, if they have to go into homes to be

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looked after 24 hours. The cost to the NHS is 23 billion a year, and

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yet only 20 million is being invested in research at the moment.

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It is crazy. Moving on to something different, our daily quiz,

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newspapers are reporting today that David Cameron's former strategy

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guru, Steve Hilton, is thinking about opening a restaurant in

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London. So our question is, what sort of restaurant is he planning

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to open, organic vegan, Native American, Hungarian, or sushi? We

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will give you the answer at the end of the show. I would not mind

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organic vegan! Do not give any clues. Few things unite Boris

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Johnson and Ed Miliband, but the living wage is one of them. The

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wage is supposed to begin at needed to provide an adequate standard of

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living. It does not have any statutory force, but campaigners

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want firms to commit themselves to paying the living wage rather than

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the minimum wage, which is lower. This morning Labour leader Ed

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Miliband has been promoting his ideas for extending the living wage

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to millions of people around the country. It comes on the day it was

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announced that the UK rate, outside London, has gone up from �7.20 per

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hour up to �7.45. The London rate has also gone up from �8.30 power

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up to �8.55. Boris Johnson spoke about it this morning. The London

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living wage campaign is not just about helping to put some extra

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cash into the pockets of some of the poorest and hardest Working

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families in the city. It is also about giving them, from firms that

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can afford it, extra cash to help the wheels of the economy turn, to

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give them more spending power, to help consumption in the city. It

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makes economic sense for us as a city. We asked Labour to come on,

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since they are putting forward these proposals, but no-one was

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available. With us his Neil Jameson from Citizens UK, who have been

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promoting the campaign, and Mark Littlewood from the Institute of

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Economic Affairs. Boris Johnson says it makes economic sense.

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not agree with Boris Johnson. It makes economic sense to hope and

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pray that everybody gets paid more, I would like to see everybody

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getting �1 million per year! But it will help the economy if people

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spend that money in the economy. I'm surprised Boris Johnson is

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using this old-fashioned Keynesian argument. You do not need to do

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that through a wage, I do not know what he will advocate next, taxing

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bankers, taxing property, giving it to people at the low end of the

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spectrum? It is well-intentioned but extremely misguided in my view,

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especially the naming and shaming aspect. Why is it misguided?

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Perhaps he feels people cannot afford to live in London unless

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they are getting the living wage. We seem to have these experts who

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are determined to the last penny to determine what a living wage is,

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and actually familial circumstances differ widely. If you are a 21-

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year-old living at home rent-free with your parents, for sake of

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argument, your economic needs of rather less than if you are the

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only breadwinner in a house with three of four dependence. The idea

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that we straightjacket everybody into the, you need �8 per hour in

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order to get by, I think that does not take account of the variety of

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different lives that people lead. What do you say to that? Well,

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obviously we do not agree, and that Citizens UK we have been promoting

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his campaign for the last 10 years. Mark is right out on a limb,

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several local authorities are now paying the living wage. The mayor

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is leading as far as the GLA is concerned. Should people be looked

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at in the same way? It is a gold standard to enter what. Today is

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the beginning of living wage week, and our aim is to get as many

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employers as possible taking the figure series A, the BBC included,

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and that is what is happening. 76 employers have been signed up.

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These are major employers. It is not intended to persuade small

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businesses to take a living wage seriously. Why not? If your

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argument is that it is a gold standard for what people should

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live on, why should it only the big companies? People working for small

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companies require the same standard of living. Lobbying small

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businesses, it is up to their association. We are challenging

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every employer to look to their own, to look to those people who are

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cleaners, security guards, caterers, who are paid minimum wage. In

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London, lots of people get London weighting, that has been recognised

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for yonks, but the folks to protect and clean the capital do not get it.

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Terrific that Barclays, KPMG and others have been able to lift the

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salaries for those at the bottom, but to be honest it is public

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sector workers, blue-chip companies that are signing up for this. Were

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you really have a problem with low wages tends to be in the SME sector,

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tends to be fairly manual jobs. You know, if you are running a fruit-

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picking business or something like that. So my fear is that, yes, if

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you are a cleaner at Barclays or in the City of London, or a runner for

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the BBC, you might see our wages go up... What is wrong with that? It

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is a start. If we are really worried about the working poor, we

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have to get people in on the first rung of the ladder, and that is

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typically at the family run business level. What I am concerned

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about is that it seems to me if I were to set up a new business in

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the north-east, a production line or something, and I offered 100

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jobs at �7 per hour, because that is the only value of productivity,

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they are not worth �7.25, I am going to be named... If you think

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they are not worth that, they will work accordingly. Say that that

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really is the value of the labour, if I pay more than that, I am going

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bust. If I create 100 new jobs in the north-east of England, I am

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named and shamed by Ed Miliband and Rachel Reeves, am I, for being an

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exploitative employers? It is a voluntary scheme... Labour is

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wanting to name and shame. You think that should happen? It is a

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voluntary code with no statutory element, but you think it is right

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to name and shame companies? I do not know which will be included.

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Nor do they! Should that be part of it? No, absolutely not, because

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that gives the whole thing a negative connotation, but people

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adopt the living wage and the performance of staff, 80% of

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employers... Their performance has gone up immeasurably because they

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feel valued, and levels of absenteeism have gone down by 25%.

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That makes the economic sense that Boris Johnson is talking about.

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that point, possibly, possibly not, but this is not politics, it is

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management consultancy. If you have a good idea and can knock on the

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doors of business, I get dozens of calls a week about how to improve

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my business. You have got ideas, Gustavo will be better off if you

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pay them more, make sure you take them out to a Christmas lunch to

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improve morale. -- your staff. That is a management consultancy

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business, and you should not compete as politicians. If you have

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got two parents working at the minimum wage and one could afford

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to work part-time if they were earning a living wage and looking

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after the children, looking after teenagers, I have got one, they

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need more management now than ever before! That is good for society,

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families have time to spend with their children because one of them

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is earning a living wage. I wonder if I could just have a second, it

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is not an accident, this is driven by a civil society. The market has

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had its say and tends to drive down wages. We are a civil society

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organisation that came from families saying they could not

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afford to live in London, which is why this is so important, because

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it is really a family wage. does support for the living wage

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square with the pay freeze on unions? Labour, of course, is

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supporting that pay freeze for unions. You know, keeping wages

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down to boost growth is the opposite of what you are proposing.

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Sure, there has to be some middle ground, but most people are

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employed in-house are well above the minimum wage, so this is, as I

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say, apart out sourced people who are not in this position. I do not

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think it is Labour is saying it should be frozen at the minimum

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wage, this is about incremental growth for people that are paid

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below the living wage. What would you support? Are you in favour of

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the minimum wage? You're not in favour of any sort of flat rate

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that gives a standard, why not? Because I think we are in danger,

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and I'm delighted this is a voluntary arrangement, and I do not

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buy the view that everyone in the free market is running a Dickensian

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workhouse, you know, I look at my staff, and those who are doing well

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get pay rises, that boosts... some industries people are paid

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next to nothing. You have got to give people a chance of getting the

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first rung on a ladder, and we have got a real problem, especially

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amongst young people, about getting them on the ladder, and if you make

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jobs below �6.90 per hour illegal, and jobs below �8.50 per hour in

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London socially unacceptable, if you like, we would still have loads

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of people just graduated from university who cannot get that

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first round on a ladder. I would rather see people coming in at the

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low end of the labour market, not easy for the first few months or a

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year, at �5.50 per hour, �6, because that is the best way to get

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yourself up to �10, �15, and get rich over the long term. We are in

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danger of pulling those early runs out of it. And youth unemployment

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is a huge issue. Certainly, but the market has proved consistently that

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is not the way to do it, and that is why this gold standard is so

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important, frankly, and I do not accept that Mark is right in this

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instance, because lots of people start on that basis. This is a

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target to get there was for good employers who have the money, and

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:15:08.:15:12.

that is why this is so important. Now, it's estimated that about 1200

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people were denied their democratic right to vote in the last election.

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The reason? Long queues at polling stations across England, including

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this one in Nick Clegg's constituency in Sheffield. Many

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people were turn add way because the polls closed at 10pm.

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I think everybody's very angry. People missed out their votes. It's

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totally wrong. This happens in poor countries. You don't expect it to

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happen in the UK. This could make all the difference between somebody

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loseing or winning. Well strong feeling there. Now the Electoral

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Commission wants a change in the law so that anyone in the queue

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when the polls close will be allowed to vote. Jenny Watson is

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chair of the commission and perhaps rather appropriately she's waiting

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patiently for us outside on College Green. Thanks for braving the cold

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for us. What exactly do you want to see? We want a change in the law to

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make sure that there is flexibility when the polls close, which would

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mean if you're in a queue at 10pm, whether inside or outside the

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polling station, you can be issued with your ballot paper and you can

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cast your vote. That would mean we would not have a repeat of the

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scenes you just showed. At the moment the law is inflexible. There

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is a 10pm cut off. If you don't have your ballot paper you can't

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cast your vote. We have always had that 10pm cut off. That was a one

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off. The Government has said your proposal aren't necessary because

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if local authorities had made proper provision we shouldn't have

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that situation. When we reported on this we found there were three

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causes - poor planning, that's right and there's a lot that can be

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done there. There is also poor contingency planning or that

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doesn't kick in as intended. A cause of what happened was the lack

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of flexibility in the law. It's a very simple amendment that we're

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putting forward. It has the support of the House of Lords constitution

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committee. It has cross-party support. I can't see a good reason

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for doing. It the interesting thing is that we know that it works

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because the Scottish Government changed the law for the Scottish

:17:16.:17:19.

local elections earlier this year in May. So we have seen, for the

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first time, the first three people who were in a queue at 10pm and who

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were able to cast their vote under that law in Scotland. We can see

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that it works. I suppose what occurs to me is that everyone rocks

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up at 9.55pm because it's inconvenient to come earlier

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knowing that as long as they're in the queue or even aat 30 seconds to

:17:41.:17:47.

ten they can vote. That's unlikely to happen. We saw from 2010, some

:17:47.:17:50.

of those had been queuing for a long time, in some cases over an

:17:50.:17:53.

hour. We know that people want to get to the polling station in good

:17:53.:17:58.

time. If you commute into a major city you only need a transport

:17:58.:18:02.

incident and you could have a few people turning up late. It's a

:18:02.:18:05.

flexibility that means everybody can cast our vote. That's so

:18:05.:18:08.

important in our democracy. I hope it's pass and will be accepted by

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the Government. Is there a danger it might be abused? Would it be a

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case, you mention the Scottish elections, is there a case for

:18:18.:18:22.

passing ballot papers in the street? I don't think. So a managed

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process where we have the flexibility in the law and people

:18:24.:18:30.

know if they're in a queue that they can vote is likely to be less

:18:30.:18:32.

problematic than one where they think that if they're in a queue

:18:32.:18:38.

and don't get there by 10pm they might not vote. This won able

:18:38.:18:41.

returning officers to manage the queue tightly, to be where the cut

:18:41.:18:45.

off is at 10pm and issue the papers as people move into the polling

:18:45.:18:50.

station. It's a sensible solution. How many people did it affect in

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2010? We think it affected around 1200 people in 16 constituencies.

:18:55.:19:00.

So not that many. For those people who can't vote, extremely important,

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many of them very angry. It was a desperate shame that the kind of

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signal it sent about our democracy. Those pictures went around the

:19:09.:19:12.

world. That's one of the very important things. We would expect

:19:12.:19:17.

this to be rare. Majority of polling stations would close

:19:17.:19:21.

absolutely as usual at 10pm. If there was a queue in a few stations

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there would be the flexibility and everybody would be able to cast

:19:23.:19:29.

their vote. What about cost? Will extra cost have to be provided for

:19:29.:19:33.

in the case of an overrun? There are no new costs associated with

:19:33.:19:37.

this. In fact, I think the returning officers who had problems

:19:38.:19:41.

in 2010 would probably tell you the cost of having to get in the police

:19:41.:19:46.

to manage those queues when people were getting very aggrieved and dot

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reviews afterwards and fiebd whatlet lessons were, that's where

:19:50.:19:53.

the additional cost were. This flexibility doesn't introduce new

:19:53.:19:56.

costs. Thank you very much. What do you think, is it a sensible

:19:56.:19:59.

proposal and the Government shouldn't make any fuss about it?

:19:59.:20:03.

Absolutely. Of course it's a sensible proposal. I would go

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further actually. In the States, I think the majority of the states in

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America offer individuals the right to take time off work to vote. If

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you think, I know what it's like - It is a problem to get to the polls

:20:14.:20:18.

if you are working. It is especially in a big city. People

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have managed it and there is erbly voting. There is the chance for

:20:23.:20:26.

people to organise themselves. Some people. That's the problem!

:20:26.:20:31.

suppose the view is that actually we've managed for decades in terms

:20:31.:20:34.

of getting there at 10pm. If it's important enough people take the

:20:34.:20:39.

trouble. Do we really need to make it easier, is it going to be the

:20:39.:20:42.

thin end of the wedge? I think, we're a mature democracy that

:20:42.:20:46.

countries around the world look to. To see scenes like that, people

:20:46.:20:50.

locked out and not being able to vote because they've turned up a

:20:50.:20:55.

few minutes late is not on. Well, it's a busy time for American

:20:55.:20:59.

celebrities with political leanings. They're lending support to their

:20:59.:21:06.

favoured candidates in the US presidential election. Last night,

:21:06.:21:10.

Stevie Wonder, I think you could hear him, entertained crowds before

:21:11.:21:15.

a Barack Obama rally in Ohio. Celebrity endorsement of political

:21:15.:21:19.

campaigns is not confined to the United States. But how helpful is

:21:19.:21:28.

an actor, rock star or comedian sympathetic to the cause?

:21:28.:21:32.

My guy's mad at me. It was Kenneth Brannagh playing McLouglin being in

:21:33.:21:37.

the Harry Potter film that's said, "Celebrity is as celebrity does".

:21:37.:21:40.

Which sounds and looks very good and profound and actually means

:21:40.:21:44.

nothing at all. Which when it comes to it, sums up the pit falls of

:21:44.:21:50.

celebrities mixing with politics. But they all do it. To be fair,

:21:50.:21:53.

sometimes it's a marriage of convenience, not so much card

:21:53.:21:56.

carrying endorsement of policy but a joint interest in a similar issue.

:21:56.:22:01.

Or just a one-sided declaration of something quite different. I love

:22:01.:22:09.

him. I officially want that to be known here today. I love Alan

:22:09.:22:14.

Johnson. It wasn't a bromance that brought Sir Michael Caine to the

:22:14.:22:17.

Conservatives in 2010, but the National Citizens' Service, but as

:22:17.:22:20.

it was the party's first election press conference of the campaign,

:22:21.:22:24.

he did ask what we were all thinking. What the hell is he doing

:22:24.:22:31.

here? Why is he here? It's not usual for -- unusual for film stars

:22:31.:22:36.

to dip their toes in political waters. Sean Connery's supported

:22:36.:22:39.

the SNP's bid for an independent homeland from Spain for years sm.

:22:39.:22:44.

Celebs are truly committed. You saw Neil Kinnock in Tracy Ullman's My

:22:44.:22:48.

Guy video. She's still with the party. And Eddie Izzard has moved

:22:48.:22:54.

from -- moved from Gordon to Ed. Really good of you to do this.

:22:54.:22:58.

problem. But does it work? Most of the evidence we have from polling

:22:58.:23:02.

is that it makes no difference whatsoever. Over 90% of people,

:23:02.:23:06.

when we read out a list of celebrities like Dawn French or

:23:06.:23:11.

even the Princess of Wales, 95% or more of people said it would make

:23:11.:23:16.

no difference knowing how they voted. The Tories used to lag

:23:16.:23:19.

behind, the odd soap star and Jim Davidson. Recently more pop star

:23:19.:23:25.

glamour. Is the shine coming off the whole thing? Certainly it's

:23:25.:23:29.

possible the Lib Dems, who have the odd famous face in their ranks,

:23:29.:23:34.

have decided why have a pop star when you can be one.

:23:34.:23:36.

When we're advising commercial brands about the use of celebrities,

:23:37.:23:41.

a lot of them do it all the time, the first advice is - are you sure

:23:41.:23:44.

there isn't anything more creative can you do than get this celebrity

:23:44.:23:48.

on the screen? If you are determined to have this celebrity,

:23:48.:23:51.

then ask yourself - do they fit the brand you're trying to advertise?

:23:51.:23:55.

Then after that, are you sure it isn't just going to distract from

:23:55.:24:02.

the brand and kill the message? Let's bomb Russia.

:24:02.:24:10.

Let's kick Michael Foot's stick away. What do you want me to tell

:24:10.:24:16.

Romney. I can't tell him to do that. He can't do that to himself. You're

:24:16.:24:20.

absolutely crazy. Celebrity endorsements in the

:24:20.:24:25.

short-term may give you a gain, but in the long-term they can build up

:24:25.:24:31.

real problems. The message really has got to be don't do it - I just

:24:31.:24:39.

want to say, I love this guy. I think he is one of the country's

:24:39.:24:43.

pre-eminent broadcasters. I'm minor celebrity Richard Bacon and I

:24:43.:24:48.

approve this message. Thanks Richard. Yeah, celebrity

:24:48.:24:55.

endorsements... They're... Walk ard -- awkward.

:24:55.:25:00.

Well done. Joaning me now is Penny Mordaunt a form ehead of

:25:00.:25:04.

broadcasting under William Hague. Does it work, is it a good thing?

:25:04.:25:09.

It rarely works. Can you have some spectacular results, notable cases

:25:09.:25:13.

are Oprah Winfrey, it's been calculated she gave Obama about a

:25:13.:25:19.

million votes in the primarys. George Clooney, he's authentic and

:25:19.:25:23.

knowledgeable on the issues he campaigns on. He got a spotlight on

:25:23.:25:27.

Rwanda when people weren't interested. There are notable

:25:27.:25:35.

exceptions, but generally the downsides outweigh the upsides.

:25:35.:25:41.

love Alan Johnson. You endorsed Labour. I wasn't endorsing Labour.

:25:41.:25:44.

They said they wanted me to brighten up conference and Alan

:25:44.:25:48.

asked me to do it because, well they said I was a breath of fresh

:25:48.:25:53.

air after. Yes, it was slightly embarrassing. You must have been

:25:53.:25:58.

brought on as a celebrity who was, even if you're saying... I was only

:25:58.:26:01.

introducing a debate. I'm a journalist I cannot be seen to be

:26:01.:26:05.

partial, however, I introduced it. They said they wanted me to appeal

:26:05.:26:09.

to the voters in the audience rather than having a stuffy

:26:09.:26:12.

introduction to Alan Johnson an Jack Straw. Would you do it again?

:26:12.:26:20.

No. No. Absolutely not. For any party? No, no. I'm at Downing

:26:20.:26:23.

Street on Thursday because the Prime Minister is making an

:26:23.:26:27.

announcement about demen sma. So if it's stuff like that, yes. I will

:26:27.:26:32.

go. It's interesting you say it's the type of celebrity. If you get

:26:32.:26:36.

the celebrity right and they know a bit about policy, then it can be a

:26:36.:26:40.

good thing? Yes, Fiona has campaigned domestically and also

:26:40.:26:44.

internationally on a range of issues. So you're an authentic

:26:44.:26:48.

person and credible. There is some merit with people that the public

:26:48.:26:52.

know getting involved with politics because we're trying to encourage

:26:52.:26:58.

people to do that, to vote, to edgester to vote etc. There have

:26:58.:27:02.

been some real disasters. Name me some of them. Just I suppose,

:27:02.:27:09.

celebrities not knowing their brief. Classic example is the sympathy

:27:09.:27:13.

note that Mariah Carrie sent out after the death of king Hussein of

:27:13.:27:16.

Jordan which said the world of basketball would never see his like

:27:16.:27:23.

again. Not sow much in politics, but in the charity sector, you have

:27:23.:27:28.

had celebrities which turn up to do their job and you've had to say

:27:28.:27:32.

they're stuck in a lift because they haven't been in any condition

:27:32.:27:37.

do -- to do anything. You get situations like. That They tend to

:27:37.:27:43.

be in it for their own self- aggrandisement. That's the

:27:43.:27:47.

difficulty. It's difficult to see why it wouldn't be a two-way street.

:27:47.:27:51.

There must be a feeling that celebrities are trying to publicise

:27:51.:28:00.

hemselves. Lindsay Lohan offered support to Obama, when was it? So

:28:00.:28:04.

2008, he said sorry that's not the kind of celebrity endorsement we're

:28:04.:28:08.

looking for. She's backing Romney this election. She thinks the

:28:08.:28:12.

employment issue is very important apparently. What did you think of

:28:12.:28:16.

the Clint Eastwood endorsement and that empty chair. You're talking to

:28:16.:28:20.

the wrong woman because Clint Eastwood can do no wrong in my book.

:28:20.:28:24.

But it's a gamble. I think Stephen Fry had it down very well a couple

:28:24.:28:29.

of years ago. All three political parties approached him to ask for

:28:29.:28:33.

endorsements and his view was "certainly not. This is a silly

:28:33.:28:39.

thing". You should just make up his own mind. JK Rowling has been a

:28:40.:28:43.

useful supporter for Labour, financially and in terms of pro

:28:43.:28:47.

file. Absolutely. I think it is certainly the most good that can

:28:47.:28:51.

come from that kind of relationship is a long-term relationship.

:28:51.:28:55.

can't expect celebrities to know the policies in that much detail or

:28:55.:28:58.

how much time do you spend with your celebrity backers? Do you go

:28:58.:29:01.

through briefing after briefing to make sure they know what you're

:29:01.:29:06.

talking about? No, I think that these days, it's much more about

:29:06.:29:12.

actual single issue campaigns. You might have celebrities backing

:29:12.:29:16.

knife crime issues or something about a local charity that they

:29:16.:29:22.

support. I think that's much more effective. Where you get into

:29:22.:29:27.

dangerous territory is when you have a celebrity that really isn't

:29:27.:29:31.

heart and soul signed up to a particular political party, doesn't

:29:31.:29:35.

know their stuff, isn't there for the long-term and is just looking

:29:36.:29:39.

to have that relationship because they've got a book coming out or

:29:39.:29:44.

something like that. Is it harder for the Tories to get celebrity

:29:44.:29:48.

endorsements? Has it been over the years? I think Jim Davidson is

:29:48.:29:51.

available still. Again. I think historically it's been. I don't

:29:51.:29:56.

think that's so much the case now. Yes, there were some grim moments.

:29:56.:30:02.

Anybody you tried to get? No, I never did that for the party at all.

:30:02.:30:06.

No, not me! I have worked this side of the pond but also in the States

:30:06.:30:12.

as well. There are a lot of celebrity adverts in the US. Could

:30:12.:30:16.

that work here? Or it will come here? You think it's cringey?

:30:16.:30:20.

think it's really cringey. A couple of universities in the States have

:30:20.:30:26.

done studies on whether it helps. Both say no. It can harm the

:30:26.:30:31.

celebrity. I mean being seen... brand? Yes, because you go off

:30:31.:30:34.

people. If you see certain people with someone you don't like, or you

:30:34.:30:38.

think I didn't real aisles he was so right or left-wing that damaging

:30:38.:30:42.

them too. On that note I'm going to say goodbye. Thank you very much

:30:42.:30:45.

and thank you for being our guest of the day. Now time to take a look

:30:45.:30:50.

at what's going to be making the news this week: The big story is

:30:50.:30:53.

Tuesday's American elections, which we've been discussing briefly. The

:30:53.:30:57.

polls show there's hardly anything in it between Barack Obama and Mitt

:30:57.:31:00.

Romney. Most experts expect it will go down to the wire. How will the

:31:00.:31:04.

result go down in Westminster? On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel

:31:04.:31:07.

is in Downing Street for talks with David Cameron. High on the agenda

:31:07.:31:12.

will be the upcoming EU budget. The Prime Minister is desperate for

:31:12.:31:18.

there not to be any increase and backbenchers will watch to see if

:31:18.:31:23.

she gives hints of a compromise. On Thursday the former International

:31:23.:31:26.

Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell will be in front of the

:31:26.:31:30.

aides Select Committee to answer questions on the decision to

:31:30.:31:34.

restore aid to Rwanda. More with two of Westminster's top insiders

:31:34.:31:38.

James Kirkup from the Daily Telegraph and Kate Devlin from the

:31:39.:31:43.

Herald. James on Europe, if David Cameron manages to secure an

:31:43.:31:47.

inflation-only rise in terms of the EU budget, will that really be

:31:47.:31:50.

enough to persuade those rebels who voted against the Government last

:31:50.:31:58.

Some of them. Not all of the rebels think it is possible for David

:31:58.:32:04.

Cameron to get at cut. They were saying, just be tougher. Some of

:32:04.:32:08.

the rebels, the other rebels, they will not be happy with whatever he

:32:08.:32:12.

brings back, to be honest, and they are the group who essentially see

:32:13.:32:17.

that boat as a way of pushing Britain a little bit closer to the

:32:17.:32:24.

European exit door. -- vote. To be honest, I suspect whatever he comes

:32:24.:32:28.

back with from that summit, if it does a deal, bear in mind it does

:32:28.:32:32.

not have to conclude this month and can go on a little longer, but

:32:32.:32:36.

whatever he comes back with will almost certainly see a fair number

:32:36.:32:41.

of people saying, not good enough, more reason to think about leaving.

:32:41.:32:46.

Kate Devlin, what does he need to promise into the next election? It

:32:46.:32:50.

seems nothing short of an inn-out referendum will do it. The problem

:32:50.:32:54.

is that he keeps changing what he thinks he needs to promise. He

:32:54.:32:57.

started by talking about getting powers back from Europe, then he

:32:57.:33:02.

was hinting at something that could be else, but now they are moving

:33:02.:33:06.

more towards a referendum definitely. And he keeps getting

:33:06.:33:12.

pushed by the rebels. The problem is, the more you give them, the

:33:12.:33:15.

more they want, and who knows where they will be going into the next

:33:15.:33:20.

election? Is there a sense that all three parties could end up

:33:20.:33:24.

promising a referendum on something? I know the Tories say it

:33:24.:33:27.

will be on the balance of competencies, repatriation of

:33:27.:33:31.

powers, but they could all go into the next election promising and get

:33:31.:33:38.

out referendum. It is possible. I think it would be quite surprising.

:33:38.:33:41.

From the Labour point of view, there is a certain short-term

:33:41.:33:44.

tactical appeal for the party and tried to outflank the Conservatives,

:33:44.:33:49.

play at this internal unhappiness in the Tory party. On the other

:33:49.:33:53.

hand, there are so many Labour Party will be saying, we should not

:33:53.:33:58.

be getting ourselves down into that sort of politics. It is a fairly

:33:58.:34:02.

active debate in the Labour Party. At the last general election, the

:34:02.:34:07.

Liberal Democrats, very pro European, talked about having an EU

:34:07.:34:11.

referendum to resolve the issue once and for, as they put it. They

:34:11.:34:15.

would hold a referendum and campaign for a "yes" vote to stay

:34:15.:34:20.

in, so it is not impossible they could do that. The uncertainty is

:34:20.:34:23.

around the Labour position, and I do not think that debate is

:34:23.:34:28.

resolved yet. Let's take a look across the water to the

:34:28.:34:32.

presidential elections. Number Ten has kept its powder dry in terms of

:34:32.:34:36.

endorsement, always a wise move at this stage. Absolutely. It is

:34:36.:34:40.

incredibly important that you do not back the wrong horse would have

:34:40.:34:45.

to start working with them. I think it has been an interesting race, it

:34:45.:34:50.

is incredibly close, but what you have seen from Romney is that he

:34:50.:34:54.

had to tack to the right to get the nomination. He has gone back now

:34:55.:34:59.

towards the centre to try to win the election. I think some people

:34:59.:35:08.

within Number Ten will be Obama -- will be thinking, at least they

:35:08.:35:12.

know what they're getting with Obama, it is uncertain which Romney

:35:12.:35:16.

will turn up for work. In terms of behind the scenes, there must have

:35:16.:35:22.

been talks with both camps. Yes, in terms of the personal relationship

:35:22.:35:26.

between the people at the top, there is an interesting question to

:35:26.:35:29.

be asked about how David Cameron would get along with President

:35:29.:35:33.

Romney. You will remember that when he came here in July at the start

:35:33.:35:37.

of the Olympics, he said a few things about questioning Britain's

:35:37.:35:41.

commitment to the Olympics, ruffling a few feathers in Downing

:35:41.:35:44.

Street. Since then, we have also heard the Prime Minister making

:35:44.:35:51.

private remarks suggesting that Mitt Romney have ended a lot of

:35:51.:35:54.

people in Britain, so there is a question about that personal

:35:54.:35:58.

relationship. Certainly, if he were to win, I think Number Ten would be

:35:58.:36:04.

quite keen to get them talking amicably as soon as possible.

:36:04.:36:08.

right, James Kirkup, Kate Devlin, thank you very much. We all know in

:36:09.:36:11.

the next three days to the next President will be.

:36:11.:36:15.

The Prime Minister is on a tour of the Middle East aimed at promoting

:36:15.:36:19.

British exports, and in particular arms exports. Today he wants to

:36:19.:36:23.

cement the �6 billion deal with the way he for the BAE Typhoon fighter

:36:23.:36:28.

jet. Tomorrow he will travel to Saudi Arabia, another key ally in

:36:28.:36:32.

tackling terrorism and on the security threat of Iran, which is

:36:32.:36:37.

also considering adding to its Typhoon force. Speaking in Dubai,

:36:37.:36:40.

he answered concerns from human rights activists about the ethics

:36:40.:36:45.

of the deal. There are no no-go areas in this relationship, we

:36:45.:36:48.

discussed all of these things, but we show respect and friendship to

:36:48.:36:52.

an old ally and partner. In terms of defence sales, we have one of

:36:52.:36:56.

the strictest regimes anywhere in the world for sales of defence

:36:56.:36:59.

equipment, but we do believe that countries have a right to self-

:37:00.:37:02.

defence, a right to defend themselves, and we do believe

:37:02.:37:06.

Britain has important defence industries that employ over 300,000

:37:06.:37:09.

people, and so that sort of business is completely legitimate

:37:09.:37:15.

and right. I have been joined by our panel for the rest of the show,

:37:15.:37:20.

Conservative MP Simon Hart, Labour MP Stella Creasy and Duncan Hames

:37:20.:37:23.

of the Liberal Democrats. Also here is Henry McLoughlin from the

:37:23.:37:27.

Campaign against the Arms Trade. What is your reaction to this trip

:37:27.:37:35.

to Dubai? We do not think he should be selling weapons to countries

:37:35.:37:39.

like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These are countries

:37:39.:37:43.

that are clearly authoritarian regimes and have terrible human

:37:43.:37:47.

rights records, and it is completely inconsistent for David

:37:47.:37:50.

Cameron on one had to say that he wants to support human rights and

:37:50.:37:54.

democracy in the Middle East, and then on the other hand go and

:37:54.:37:58.

promote weapons to regimes which are repressing that. Hasn't there

:37:58.:38:02.

always been a level of hypocrisy in selling arms? From time immemorial,

:38:02.:38:06.

democratic countries in the West have armed autocratic regimes that

:38:06.:38:09.

have been helpful allies at one stage and then turned out to be

:38:09.:38:14.

less savoury. It is just the way the world works. It is

:38:14.:38:19.

unfortunately what has happened, beyond Argentina, before the

:38:19.:38:23.

Falkland Islands conflict, Saddam before the goal for, then Gaddafi

:38:23.:38:27.

right up until point where we had military strikes against him.

:38:27.:38:30.

would not be selling arms to most of the world unless we were using

:38:30.:38:34.

does standards. That would be great if we were not selling arms to most

:38:34.:38:39.

of the world, we would have a much more peaceful world. Britain is a

:38:39.:38:42.

massive arms exporter, in the top five in the world, and we have

:38:42.:38:46.

wasted a lot of taxpayers' money on it, so subsidies could be going to

:38:46.:38:51.

other industries that are absorbed by these arms exports. The Prime

:38:51.:38:54.

Minister says we have one of the strictest regimes in the world for

:38:54.:38:59.

the sales of defence equipment. Is that not true? On paper, it is one

:38:59.:39:04.

of the strictest in the world, and the arms controls are quite strict

:39:04.:39:08.

on paper, but in reality they are routinely ignored. Otherwise, a

:39:08.:39:13.

committee of MPs said the committee on arms export controls, which is

:39:13.:39:18.

chaired by the former Conservative defence minister, Sir John Stanley,

:39:18.:39:21.

said that the Government is ignoring its arms export controls

:39:21.:39:26.

in favour of promotion of weapons every time. It is hard to find an

:39:26.:39:31.

example where they have not agreed an arms sale. Simon Hart, the Prime

:39:31.:39:36.

Minister should not be there and it is hypocritical of him when he has

:39:36.:39:40.

spoken quite recently about are holding our values in terms of the

:39:40.:39:44.

countries where we are selling arms. No, I think this might have been

:39:44.:39:49.

the case if it was a new venture, but these are old allies, and as we

:39:49.:39:52.

have heard the conditions are stricter than in any other part of

:39:52.:39:57.

the world pretty well. On paper. think that is being a bit

:39:57.:40:01.

disingenuous. It is practical as well as on paper. We cannot ignore

:40:01.:40:06.

the fact that there are 700,000 jobs, a major part of UK industry

:40:06.:40:09.

is dependent on us. Is there any country we should not be selling

:40:09.:40:14.

arms to? I am sure. Which country? They have withdrawn many more

:40:14.:40:18.

licences in the last couple of years than under Gordon Brown's

:40:18.:40:22.

Premiership. Name me a country. would not send arms to Iran, I do

:40:22.:40:27.

not know whether anyone else would. But Saudi Arabia, a region where

:40:27.:40:30.

they worried about regional instability as a result of the

:40:30.:40:35.

threat from Iran. Is that a good move? It is important that we have

:40:35.:40:39.

allies around the world. We were taking action to protect innocent

:40:39.:40:45.

civilians in Libya not so long ago. We were glad to have Qataris as

:40:45.:40:51.

allies in helping as protect those people. And so... So what will be

:40:51.:40:55.

the case that there were the country's which we would be glad to

:40:55.:40:58.

see that they are able to work with us to promote human rights

:40:58.:41:01.

elsewhere in the world. I think the real answer he is about having a

:41:01.:41:06.

proper international treaty to control arms so that we can make

:41:06.:41:10.

sure that it is not just our proportion of the arms industry

:41:10.:41:12.

that is properly controlled but all arms sales around the world, and

:41:13.:41:17.

that is what the UN is trying to agree. Do you have any problem with

:41:17.:41:22.

arms being sold to Saudi Arabia? The problem Thakrar that Henry is

:41:22.:41:27.

pointing out, I think he is right to say, look, too often we have

:41:27.:41:30.

looked at a country's record retrospectively and work out

:41:30.:41:36.

whether a relationship is right. Given the Arab Spring, we have to

:41:36.:41:38.

recognise that the circumstances have changed so substantially, and

:41:39.:41:42.

the idea that we can be consistent about particular states does not

:41:42.:41:46.

withstand scrutiny. There is a lot we can learn about Sweden and

:41:46.:41:50.

America, actually, about how they have arms control and looking at

:41:50.:41:53.

making decisions before the ministers come into the process. I

:41:53.:41:56.

think we would all welcome greater scrutiny of decisions. In response

:41:57.:42:02.

to the Arab Spring, would you sell arms to Bahrain? This is exactly

:42:02.:42:05.

the point about evidence we are making decisions on... What should

:42:05.:42:10.

the evidence be on? Up what I think Henry is pointing out is that too

:42:10.:42:13.

often we have looked at issues after the fact, and what we need to

:42:13.:42:17.

do in this new world order is to look at more of the economic,

:42:17.:42:20.

social intelligence about what is happening in countries, whether or

:42:20.:42:24.

not they might just appear stable on the face of it but there are

:42:24.:42:27.

undercurrents and issues that we need to take account of. We need a

:42:27.:42:31.

process that is better able to do that, and there is a role for

:42:31.:42:34.

Parliament and learning from other countries in doing that. Saudi

:42:35.:42:38.

Arabia, the human rights record is not exactly fantastic, but actually

:42:38.:42:43.

there is a bar we should not sell to them? Many of us are concerned

:42:43.:42:46.

that the Prime Minister has gone but not taking the media with him.

:42:46.:42:50.

It is talking about human rights with these countries, why hide it?

:42:50.:42:54.

Why not do it in plain sight? Labour were happy to make friends

:42:54.:42:58.

with Gaddafi. We have all got to learn from these decisions, but

:42:58.:43:03.

transparency is key. Why is there no press entourage? Normally there

:43:03.:43:07.

would be a whole range of reporters and broadcasters, and it has been

:43:07.:43:14.

reduced to just one photographer and one journalist. Everybody

:43:14.:43:20.

complains when he takes a gang of journalists. There is a balance. It

:43:20.:43:26.

is not just as black and white as it seems. There are some sensitive

:43:26.:43:30.

economic, social and historical relationships here, and I think

:43:30.:43:34.

Cameron is -- has a very delicate path to tread between recognising

:43:34.:43:38.

the right to self-determination of the other countries, recognising

:43:38.:43:41.

the economic contribution to our own country of the arms industry,

:43:41.:43:45.

and trying to ensure that there is a reasonable justification for at

:43:45.:43:51.

least considering arms dealing as part of our... Back in 2011, in the

:43:51.:43:55.

aftermath of the Arab Spring, David Cameron said, our interests lie in

:43:55.:43:59.

upholding our values, insisting on the right to peaceful protest,

:43:59.:44:03.

freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and the rule of law. Does

:44:03.:44:07.

that include Saudi Arabia? course, you cannot apply those

:44:07.:44:11.

comments to the whole world and say, do they fit every single nation

:44:11.:44:16.

better mark either you uphold your values for you do not. There is

:44:16.:44:19.

nothing that he is doing that he has not said he would do, there's

:44:19.:44:21.

nothing new about the relationship with these countries, nothing new

:44:21.:44:26.

at all. As I said at the beginning, Henry, this is the way the world is,

:44:26.:44:30.

and you have to be sensitive enough without killing off your business.

:44:30.:44:33.

I am not sure that saying there is nothing new about something

:44:33.:44:38.

justifies it. It can be bad and continue to be bad. Duncan is not

:44:38.:44:41.

quite right that is government has a better record on arms exports

:44:41.:44:45.

than the previous government. They are pretty much the same in that

:44:45.:44:49.

they're both very enthusiastic. Iran is not because of concern

:44:49.:44:53.

about human rights, it is because we have taken the decision that

:44:53.:44:56.

Saudi Arabia is our ally and Iran is not. It does nothing to do with

:44:56.:45:00.

human rights, that decision. I also wanted to pick up David Cameron as

:45:00.:45:04.

comments on the UK benefiting from 300,000 jobs in the defence sector.

:45:04.:45:08.

That is from a study that has been discredited, from about six years

:45:08.:45:12.

ago. The defence industry has declined since then, and in that

:45:12.:45:15.

study they included people like cleaners at the Ministry of Defence,

:45:16.:45:21.

which I would not include been that category. Duncan Hames, on the

:45:21.:45:26.

issue of David Cameron St there are no no-go areas with human rights,

:45:26.:45:29.

what concessions are you expecting the Prime Minister to extract from

:45:29.:45:39.

I do not know the answer to that. But what would you like? Every

:45:39.:45:44.

country that counts itself as an ally should be prepared to discuss

:45:44.:45:48.

human rights if our Prime Minister raises it. Actually, building

:45:48.:45:53.

better understanding, including of our expectations of the appropriate

:45:53.:45:56.

way to conduct oneself in the modern world and the rights that

:45:56.:46:02.

people around the world have is an important part of our international

:46:02.:46:06.

diplomacy. I'm glad that he's able to have these conversation was

:46:06.:46:10.

people right across this trip. And elsewhere in the world as well.

:46:10.:46:14.

Thank you very much. Now, some blue-sky thinking on

:46:14.:46:17.

cutting red tape that could affect the green belt. The coalition's

:46:17.:46:21.

growth bill in front of the Commons today, gives the community

:46:21.:46:27.

secretary Eric Pickles the power to fast-track planning approval for

:46:27.:46:31.

large scale business and commercial projects where Councils have a

:46:31.:46:37.

track record of poor performance. Some campaigners fear it will spoil

:46:37.:46:42.

some of the UK's best-loved land escapes. I'm joined by John Hoad

:46:42.:46:46.

now. What are you most worried about here? Good afternoon. The

:46:46.:46:51.

real worry is that the Government is back tracking on its commitment

:46:51.:46:55.

to localism which was that local councils who, from our point of

:46:55.:46:59.

view, as a campaigning organisation, are open to looking at the detail

:46:59.:47:03.

and making decisions are going to be cut out of some of the most

:47:03.:47:07.

important decision that's affect our countryside. You will have

:47:07.:47:11.

planning inspectors driven by a very strong Government view of the

:47:11.:47:16.

world that appears to be that any development is good development not

:47:16.:47:19.

giving good consideration to the balance of sustainable development

:47:19.:47:24.

which was in the national planning policy framework. Are you saying

:47:24.:47:32.

that any development you -- they will able to override local

:47:32.:47:39.

authorities and appeal to Eric Pickles or this quango, the

:47:39.:47:44.

planning inspectorate and roughshod over local planners? That's what it

:47:44.:47:48.

amounts to in practice. The detail is emerging. The bill effectively

:47:48.:47:52.

allows the Secretary of State to designate failing local planning

:47:52.:47:55.

authorities. From our point of view, as a campaigning organisation, the

:47:55.:47:59.

council that's are possibly going to be seen as failing are the ones

:47:59.:48:02.

that actually are taking careful decisions, which may take a bit

:48:02.:48:06.

longer. They're taking the decisions that give proper

:48:06.:48:13.

consideration to difficult issues which the Government might see as

:48:13.:48:19.

likely to feel -- fail. It's those councils that will be designated as

:48:19.:48:22.

failures. Aren't they just holding up much needed development.

:48:23.:48:25.

Everybody agrees we want to see growth in the economy. One of the

:48:25.:48:29.

reasons put forward is the planning system and people taking far too

:48:29.:48:32.

long to give the go ahead to important planning decisions.

:48:32.:48:37.

yes this is the Government's top- line story about delay and red tape.

:48:37.:48:41.

Isn't there some truth in that? I don't think there is any truth in

:48:41.:48:45.

that. Well over 90% of planning applications are approved within

:48:46.:48:50.

the statutory targets. Sometimes you will have decisions on

:48:50.:48:54.

important issues that need to take a bit longer, but I think it's a

:48:54.:48:58.

myth to say there's a major delay in the system causing problems. The

:48:58.:49:02.

real reason why development is not happening is about the funding

:49:03.:49:07.

situation and finance. Thank you very much. What's happened to

:49:07.:49:11.

localism? The national planning policy framework dramatically

:49:12.:49:15.

simplified the planning guidance. You heard it defended in that

:49:15.:49:19.

interview. He was concerned that it might be compromised. That is

:49:19.:49:23.

something which this Government has introduced in order to - Why have

:49:23.:49:28.

they complicated it? So that everyone can engage. Why have they

:49:28.:49:31.

complicated it by bringing in a planning inspectorate and now

:49:31.:49:35.

giving Eric Pickles the right to designate councils he thinks have a

:49:35.:49:38.

poor record and can you go straight to him. We've always had a planning

:49:38.:49:42.

inspectorate for a very long time. Sadly, we also have some local

:49:42.:49:48.

authorities who perform very badly. If we have interventions in schools

:49:48.:49:52.

which are failing the communities they're meant to serve, why not

:49:52.:49:55.

have interventions when local authorities fail. I thought the

:49:55.:49:57.

idea was that local authorities would make decisions good for local

:49:57.:50:01.

communities and now they won't be able to, because you can bet your

:50:01.:50:05.

bottom dollar when a developer comes forward and the local

:50:05.:50:09.

authority say we don't like this application. They'll say fine,

:50:09.:50:12.

we're going to Eric Pickles. He will probably say in the cause of

:50:12.:50:17.

the development you get the go ahead. This complaint is incredibly

:50:17.:50:21.

exaggerated. In the announcements which were made in September, there

:50:21.:50:26.

was a small number of major sites which had stalled in the planning

:50:26.:50:29.

system where the Government was prepared to negotiate, to see what

:50:29.:50:35.

would be done to bring them into play. At the same time we secured

:50:35.:50:39.

�300 million to support additional affordable housing elsewhere to

:50:39.:50:42.

compensate for anything negotiated on those particular sites. This is

:50:42.:50:46.

not about something which is going to completely override the national

:50:46.:50:48.

planning policy framework which the Government only recently

:50:48.:50:54.

interdeuced. I thought the planning system was there to protect the

:50:54.:50:58.

countryside? I completely agree with everything Duncan said. Funny

:50:58.:51:03.

that. We sometimes confuels the landscape for the people. I come

:51:03.:51:06.

from a position that the countryside is what it is because

:51:06.:51:10.

of people. I live in wost Wales. We're crying out for a flexible

:51:10.:51:12.

planning system. We want a better infrastructure because that

:51:12.:51:16.

actually keeps people in the area. It generates growth and...

:51:16.:51:20.

don't think the local authorities are doing a good enough job?

:51:20.:51:23.

have a National Park to contend with as well. But the really

:51:23.:51:27.

important thing is if we're going to get the right balance there

:51:27.:51:29.

needs to be occasionally the provision whereby the Secretary of

:51:29.:51:34.

State can interview. How do you know it will be occasionally?

:51:34.:51:39.

do you know that it won't be? don't. You're right. Doesn't there

:51:39.:51:42.

have to be reassurance or you will get campaigns saying we're going to

:51:42.:51:45.

be laid open to all sorts of development which will not be good

:51:45.:51:49.

for the environment. I think there are huge protection measures

:51:49.:51:54.

whether in a National Park or a normal planning authority. What I'm

:51:54.:51:58.

concerned about is if people would rather live in a vibrant economy

:51:59.:52:02.

and contribute positively to the kuntriside than sit back and told

:52:02.:52:06.

they can't do anything ever. Don't I think it it is a good idea?

:52:06.:52:11.

been dealing with a planning issue around the Walthamstow dog track,

:52:11.:52:17.

which has massive local support not to be turned into a housing estate.

:52:17.:52:21.

Eric Pickles already has the power he seeks. It seems he's on the side

:52:21.:52:25.

of the developers in this instance. Communities support for planning is

:52:25.:52:29.

so important to good development. I'm sure you both agree, gentlemen.

:52:30.:52:35.

Why take the power from local authorities. Why ride roughshod

:52:35.:52:42.

over local itch. - -- localism. Why want our national parks to be full

:52:42.:52:50.

of noble phone pylons. Can you guarantee that's not going to

:52:50.:52:56.

happen Yes. How? This provides a safety net in case local councils

:52:56.:53:00.

are getting in the way of what is reasonable. You think the national

:53:00.:53:04.

parks authority is getting in the way of protecting our parks?

:53:04.:53:08.

could occupy you for half an hour living where I do. There is a

:53:08.:53:12.

balance to be struck. I accept. That the national parks are hugely

:53:12.:53:15.

important. Thre where people live and work. They are where people

:53:15.:53:19.

need to do business. We have to strike a balance. We can't fold our

:53:19.:53:24.

arms and pretend these things don't happen and stare at a lovely view.

:53:24.:53:29.

Why are we spending time on a piece of legislation that speaks to the

:53:29.:53:32.

developers rather than local communities. The problem in the

:53:32.:53:37.

economy is confidence. We have businesses sitting on investment

:53:37.:53:42.

because they're foo frightened. This won't help change that. With

:53:42.:53:46.

the localism bill we took about 15 big strides forward in terms of

:53:46.:53:50.

making it easier for local people to get involved. Now you're taking

:53:51.:53:56.

them away. This is a safety measure. I'm more than happy to admit that.

:53:56.:54:00.

Tell me a local authority that's performing badly. After programme

:54:00.:54:07.

The majority make the decisions within the time frames. There are

:54:07.:54:11.

some local authorities which have driven businesses bonkers. Labour

:54:11.:54:18.

is the one that is backing big business development, they want to

:54:18.:54:22.

spend money to stimulate the economy. Surely you should welcome

:54:22.:54:26.

this if it gets rid of a block to the planning application. The issue

:54:26.:54:30.

is about investment and confidence in the economy, about getting

:54:30.:54:33.

things moving otherwise we would see large numbers of authorities

:54:33.:54:38.

stalling on applications. The vast majority of authorities that could

:54:38.:54:45.

be hit are Conservative ones. have an independent council so

:54:45.:54:49.

count me out. The First Minister of Wales says he'll meet the

:54:49.:54:54.

Children's Minister to discuss fresh allegations of child abuse in

:54:54.:54:58.

care homes in North Wales in the 70s and 080s. One of the victims

:54:58.:55:02.

says a leading Conservative politician at the time was involved.

:55:02.:55:07.

A three-year inquiry into abuse at the care home was published in 2000.

:55:07.:55:09.

However the Welsh Government says it's now looking at whether there

:55:10.:55:12.

should be a fresh inquiry in light of the latest developments. Here's

:55:13.:55:17.

what Mr Jones had to say earlier. At the moment, we know that one

:55:17.:55:20.

person has come forward to make allegations. There would need to be

:55:20.:55:25.

more. Over the course of the next week, if there are further

:55:25.:55:28.

allegations made by a number of people, then that of course will

:55:28.:55:33.

influence any decision as to what kind of inquiry might take place in

:55:33.:55:36.

the future. Simon Hart, do you think it's time for a fresh inquiry

:55:36.:55:41.

into abuse? I remember this story. It was a long time ago. I think

:55:41.:55:44.

Ronald waterhouse was curtailed by what he could do in terms of his

:55:44.:55:49.

terms of reference. If there are fresh allegations involving new

:55:49.:55:56.

cases, I can see no reason why we shouldn't go for a new inquiry.

:55:56.:56:01.

need a police investigation. What we see with the limits that you

:56:01.:56:07.

describe on the Waterhouse inquiry was an example of where an inquiry

:56:07.:56:12.

itself isn't a substitute for proper criminal prosecutions. There

:56:12.:56:16.

has been this statement, which, from, with an allegation which came

:56:16.:56:19.

forward on Friday. I hope that the police are taking that seriously. I

:56:19.:56:24.

hope that they make sure whether it's as part of Operation Yewtree

:56:24.:56:26.

or a parallel investigation that they have the resources to respond

:56:26.:56:32.

to anyone reporting these crimes and I think it's incredibly

:56:33.:56:39.

important that they are in a position to do that, because...

:56:39.:56:45.

There's nothing stopping them doing that is there? It hasn't happened

:56:45.:56:49.

yet though. Politician kz offer inquiries left, right and centre.

:56:49.:56:53.

What people really want is that if anyone is guilty of these kind of

:56:53.:56:57.

crimes that they are prosecuted, tried and if they're guilty,

:56:57.:57:02.

convicted. That's the only thing that going -- that's going to

:57:02.:57:06.

properly meet the concerns that people have. If there are people

:57:06.:57:10.

alive today that allegations of very serious crimes are being made

:57:10.:57:14.

against. The man who has made the fresh allegations has asked for a

:57:14.:57:18.

meeting with the Prime Minister. Do you think the Prime Minister should

:57:18.:57:23.

meet him? Yes I do. I don't think you should be dismiss of of the

:57:23.:57:27.

importance of inquiries. I think there is a very grave concern that

:57:27.:57:31.

there are a number of areas of public life in which some of these

:57:31.:57:34.

activities have been taking place. It's right that we have an inquiry

:57:34.:57:38.

into it to get to the bottom of it and so we can learn. We talked

:57:38.:57:41.

about child protection for so many decades now. The honest truth is

:57:41.:57:46.

we're still not there in being able to protect young people of all ages

:57:46.:57:49.

in our communities. Downing Street has said the Government is

:57:49.:57:53.

investigating claims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by a

:57:53.:57:56.

Conservative MP during the Thatcher era. They've said they're actively

:57:56.:58:00.

looking at it. So, do you think that's the right thing to do?

:58:00.:58:04.

don't think there's any choice. Yes, it's absolutely the right thing to

:58:04.:58:07.

do. We will obviously have the latest information on this and

:58:07.:58:11.

bring it forward. Yes, that is the news that they're going to be

:58:11.:58:15.

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

:58:15.:58:19.

quiz: What sort of rezstraunt is David Cameron's former strategy

:58:19.:58:25.

guru thinking of opening? Organic vegan, Native American, Hungarian

:58:25.:58:31.

or sushi? Any ideas? C. What was that? Hungarian. Yes, because Steve

:58:31.:58:39.

Hilton is of Hungarian parentage. Yes it is Hungarian. Well done.

:58:39.:58:43.

sure that the thick of it has finished that this story continues.

:58:43.:58:46.

You're good at these quizzes. That's all for today. Thanks to our

:58:46.:58:50.

Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate. She is joined by Fiona Phillips to discuss plans to raise the living wage, David Cameron visiting the Middle East, and celebrity endorsements in politics.


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