05/11/2012 Daily Politics


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 05/11/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



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


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


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


changes to the planning law threaten our green and pleasant


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


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


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


actors and comedians, but do celebrity endorsements help the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


helps people plan their care. When somebody is diagnosed with


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


wird two big trials which were dropped recently because they were


proven not to have worked. Shareholders are worried about


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


cancer drug companies are not researching a cure because the


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


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


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


attitudes, hearts and minds of these companies when they realise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


it certainly gives the carer probably about 18 months more


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


newspapers are reporting today that David Cameron's former strategy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Miliband has been promoting his ideas for extending the living wage


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


promoting the campaign, and Mark Littlewood from the Institute of


Economic Affairs. Boris Johnson says it makes economic sense.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Perhaps he feels people cannot afford to live in London unless


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


companies require the same standard of living. Lobbying small


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that gives the whole thing a negative connotation, but people


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


organisation that came from families saying they could not


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of people just graduated from university who cannot get that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


done there. There is also poor contingency planning or that


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


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


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


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


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


because the Scottish Government changed the law for the Scottish


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


process where we have the flexibility in the law and people


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


this to be rare. Majority of polling stations would close


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


favoured candidates in the US presidential election. Last night,


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


a Barack Obama rally in Ohio. Celebrity endorsement of political


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


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


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


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


Which sounds and looks very good and profound and actually means


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


absolutely crazy. Celebrity endorsements in the


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


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


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


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


approve this message. Thanks Richard. Yeah, celebrity


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Rwanda when people weren't interested. There are notable


exceptions, but generally the downsides outweigh the upsides.


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


They said they wanted me to brighten up conference and Alan


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


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


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


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


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


to the voters in the audience rather than having a stuffy


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


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


Street on Thursday because the Prime Minister is making an


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


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


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


good thing? Yes, Fiona has campaigned domestically and also


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


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


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


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


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


celebrities not knowing their brief. Classic example is the sympathy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


There must be a feeling that celebrities are trying to publicise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


useful supporter for Labour, financially and in terms of pro


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


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


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


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


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


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


actual single issue campaigns. You might have celebrities backing


knife crime issues or something about a local charity that they


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell will be in front of the


aides Select Committee to answer questions on the decision to


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


James Kirkup from the Daily Telegraph and Kate Devlin from the


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


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


enough to persuade those rebels who voted against the Government last


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


more towards a referendum definitely. And he keeps getting


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


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


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


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


will be on the balance of competencies, repatriation of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


be asked about how David Cameron would get along with President


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


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


commitment to the Olympics, ruffling a few feathers in Downing


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


private remarks suggesting that Mitt Romney have ended a lot of


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


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


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


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


the next three days to the next President will be.


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


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


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


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


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


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


he answered concerns from human rights activists about the ethics


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


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


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


the strictest regimes anywhere in the world for sales of defence


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


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


Britain has important defence industries that employ over 300,000


people, and so that sort of business is completely legitimate


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


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


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


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


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


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


that are clearly authoritarian regimes and have terrible human


rights records, and it is completely inconsistent for David


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


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


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


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


democratic countries in the West have armed autocratic regimes that


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


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


unfortunately what has happened, beyond Argentina, before the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


said that the Government is ignoring its arms export controls


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


they worried about regional instability as a result of the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


proper international treaty to control arms so that we can make


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


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


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


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


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


looked at a country's record retrospectively and work out


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


recognise that the circumstances have changed so substantially, and


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


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


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


making decisions before the ministers come into the process. I


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


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


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


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


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


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


social intelligence about what is happening in countries, whether or


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


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


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


Parliament and learning from other countries in doing that. Saudi


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


reduced to just one photographer and one journalist. Everybody


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


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


economic, social and historical relationships here, and I think


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that include Saudi Arabia? course, you cannot apply those


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


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


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


nothing new about the relationship with these countries, nothing new


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


what concessions are you expecting the Prime Minister to extract from


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


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


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


better understanding, including of our expectations of the appropriate


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


large scale business and commercial projects where Councils have a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


planning inspectors driven by a very strong Government view of the


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


giving good consideration to the balance of sustainable development


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


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


authorities and appeal to Eric Pickles or this quango, the


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


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


allows the Secretary of State to designate failing local planning


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


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


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


longer. They're taking the decisions that give proper


consideration to difficult issues which the Government might see as


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


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


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


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


long to give the go ahead to important planning decisions.


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


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


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


the statutory targets. Sometimes you will have decisions on


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


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


real reason why development is not happening is about the funding


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


localism? The national planning policy framework dramatically


simplified the planning guidance. You heard it defended in that


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


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


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


complicated it by bringing in a planning inspectorate and now


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


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


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


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


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


have interventions when local authorities fail. I thought the


idea was that local authorities would make decisions good for local


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


bottom dollar when a developer comes forward and the local


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


�300 million to support additional affordable housing elsewhere to


compensate for anything negotiated on those particular sites. This is


not about something which is going to completely override the national


planning policy framework which the Government only recently


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


countryside? I completely agree with everything Duncan said. Funny


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


from a position that the countryside is what it is because


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


planning system. We want a better infrastructure because that


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


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


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


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


needs to be occasionally the provision whereby the Secretary of


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


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


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


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


for the environment. I think there are huge protection measures


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


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


and contribute positively to the kuntriside than sit back and told


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


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


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


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


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


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


Why take the power from local authorities. Why ride roughshod


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


developers rather than local communities. The problem in the


economy is confidence. We have businesses sitting on investment


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


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


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


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


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


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


some local authorities which have driven businesses bonkers. Labour


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


spend money to stimulate the economy. Surely you should welcome


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


is about investment and confidence in the economy, about getting


things moving otherwise we would see large numbers of authorities


stalling on applications. The vast majority of authorities that could


be hit are Conservative ones. have an independent council so


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


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


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


says a leading Conservative politician at the time was involved.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


terms of reference. If there are fresh allegations involving new


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


or a parallel investigation that they have the resources to respond


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


alive today that allegations of very serious crimes are being made


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


in our communities. Downing Street has said the Government is


investigating claims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Download Subtitles