06/11/2012 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon and welcome to the day Lee. Believe it or not, we are


halfway through this Parliament. Doesn't time fly when you're having


fun? Seems like a good day for a half-term report. We will be asking


the all-important question, is a day radically reforming government


or an omnishambles of a partnership? -- is it a radically


reforming government? In America, will it be Obama or


Romney? And Giles will be looking at the


very expensive and entertaining campaign roller-coaster. Election


day, election day! Up and at them! And do you have nightmares about


All that in the next hour. With us for the whole programme, the former


Labour MP Chris Mullin, who now writes to pass the time of day. He


also acts, I bet you didn't know that! He will hit our screens


tomorrow as a vicar in an adaptation of his first novel, A


Very British Coup. Secret State starts on Channel 4 tomorrow, you


will be able to see him in a dog- collar. Have you got a big part?


Let us not exaggerate. I said to the directors, I'd like a little


walk-on part, if you don't mind. I thought they might make me a


backbench MP or minister, but instead they made me a vicar


conducting a memorial service foreign debt Prime Minister. It was


a speaking part when it started, I had three or four little rolls, my


first one was to stand outside the church and welcome the mourners, my


second was to greet the grieving widow, a very beautiful woman who I


had to take by the hand and escort to the church door. That was


reforms about 20 times from different angles. Then I made a


short speech from the pulpit, after which the choir would strike up


behind me. However, when I got to see the first episode, everything


has gone except a few seconds of me standing, but you have to be very


quick, standing at the church door. The choir has gone, everybody has


gone. That is the television business! All on the cutting room


floor, but I am there. We will keep our eyes peeled. It is aren't --


based on my first novel A Very British Coup, actually it is


inspired by rather than based on. Very loosely inspired. Can you


recognise your book? Very loose the. I have been extremely likely --


lucky that they bought the rights, it was filmed once in the 80s and


they stuck more closely to it. They have changed the title. They rang


me up, very embarrassed, and said, do you mind if we do not use the


title? It is very good, though, very gritting, -- gripping, Charles


Dance, Gina McKee, Gabriel Byrne, it is well worth watching. Is this


the start of a new career for you? I think my acting career is over.


Before it even began! Time for our daily quiz. The


Which political figure is off to Which political figure is off to


the jungle? Michael Heseltine, George Osborne, Nadine Dorries or


Jacob Rees-Mogg? Chris will give us the answer later. Don't bother e-


mailing us, we only give one mug away a week - that is austerity for


you! You probably don't even know why


today is so momentous. Tuesday the 6th November 2012 marks the exact


halfway point of this Parliament. To mark this auspicious occasion


the Government was meant to be producing its very own mid-term


review, which it was going to publish around now. But like so


much else in government it has been delayed. Never mind, we at the


Daily Politics are here to help and have produced our very own mid-term


report. The most important subject is the economy and tackling the


deficit. Overall, the deficit has come down. Britain borrowed �126


billion last year, but it was still �10 billion above the target the


Government set when it came into tired -- into power.


The Government has come up with radical ideas on free schools,


academies and the curriculum. It wanted to be radical on health as


well, but the Health and Social Care Bill ran into trouble. It was


forced to hold a listening exercise to get it through Parliament.


On welfare, the coalition has gone where previous governments have


feared to tread. From 2013, it will introduce a cap on the total


benefits a household can receive up around �500 a week, so it will not


exceed the average household pay. The coalition needs to maintain


discipline over Europe. There could still be a classroom dispute over


boundary changes and, of course, they could do more on banking


reform and reforming social care. Joining me now are Rachel Sylvester,


political commentator for the Times, and Fraser Nelson, editor of the


Spectator magazine. Fraser, what would you give the coalition out of


10? Probably six-and-a-half. Five stars for education and welfare.


The economy has not been very good, I'd probably give that one-and-a-


half stars. And four unforced errors, you should take away stars


for the needless mistakes which they seem to keep making. There is


an idea of shambles which very cunningly Dist -- disguises a


government which is not that bad. Rachel, how would you characterise


the coalition? Two party's governing in the national interest


or ruling in a constant state of omnishambles? As Fraser says, on


education and welfare they have been good, but on fell -- on health


reforms they have spectacularly failed to explain what they were


doing, constitutional reform has been a constant ding-dong between


the parties, and on the economy it is as if they have set the course


but we don't know what the result will be, the examiners are still


adjudicating the papers. In the next couple of years we will find


out whether the question has been answered. You both mentioned they


have been radical in certain areas, are on welfare and education.


Fraser, looking at those two in isolation, has it been a radically


reforming government? If it succeeds in welfare or education,


that will be more than, in my view, Labour managed in 13 years. So you


could say it was a success. But the new schools still are not keeping


pace with the number of new pupils, so you will end up with even worse


shortages than under Labour. In welfare they are continuing what


Labour did really well, but a lot depends on the complete rewrite of


the welfare system, the universal credits, which will take years to


work out if it will succeed or not. The economy, Rachel Sylvester, is


still the big challenge? Absolutely. There is a new spending round


coming up which the parties will have to try to reach agreement on,


which will be yet another flashpoint between the two parties.


I think the big test is whether or not coalition can be made to work.


Although at the top the two leaders want it to, the two parties at


getting increasingly fractious, particularly on the conservative


side. The classroom rubber throwing around and Ink spots are getting


slightly out of control and immature. They have to decide


whether they want to complete the exam or not. I love you analogies,


you are doing very well! Fraser, on the workings of the coalition, the


idea was the right thing for the right time, in austerity, but has


it delivered stability in government or are we now seeing as


relationships become more frayed that it has not worked as a


concept? The fact that the coalition is still here after two-


and-a-half years, I didn't think we would get to the halfway report


stage. It has never been done before in peacetime British


politics. It is an incredible achievement in the adversarial


system, they have kept the class together, to use the analogy. But


has it brought stability? It has not brought growth. That has been


the biggest single disappointment of the Government, how little there


has been in trying to fix the economy. Rachel, on the basis the


coalition has lasted thus far, will it last until 2015? I don't think


it is in the interests of either party forehead not too. This is the


result the electorate delivered, it was not bat Clegg and Cameron


wanted to get lovey-dovey and the Rose Garden, the electorate did not


deliver an overall majority, so they had to make it work, they have


to make it work until 2015. Thank you for your school mid-term report.


With us now his former Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell and the former


cabinet minister Cheryl Gillan. Is it working, Ming Campbell? Yes. As


it has just been pointed out, many thought it would not work at all.


We are halfway through, a lot of achievement, maybe lots of things


we'd like to have done better, but if you compare the coalition


Government's performance against the last two-and-a-half years of


the Labour government, you'd be bound to give as much higher marks.


They would argue there was more growth coming out of that last


government ban over the last two- and-a-half years. But at what


expense, at the expense of a deficit right out of control. The


only reason we can talk about growth, infrastructure etc is


because of the off-air -- austerity of the last two-and-a-half years.


We have maintained confidence in the bond market, the Stock Exchange


and the pound, everything which would have been subject to very


heavy pressure if we went straight into some kind of growth scenario.


George Osborne says he will miss some of the key targets. Do you


think people feel better than a few years ago? What is interesting is


there are still majority support for the economic policy. Of course


some people have been hurt, it would be very foolish to argue


anything other than that, but the point is we have restored stability.


Looking around Europe, you can see some countries where they would


give their right hand to have the kind of stability we have. Don't


mention Europe, as far as the coalition is concerned! I voted for


the Prime Minister against his own rebels! Funny, that. I am very


happy to talk about Europe. Cheryl, you have sat around the Cabinet


table, was there a perceptible shift in relations during those few


years? The coalition operates on two levels, I would agree with


Menzies Campbell, at Cabinet level it works extremely well. A right up


until the time at which you left? Yes. I would argue it is working


now as well. I think there is a responsible and mature attitude.


Two parties came together in the interests of the country and they


have tried to put together a blueprint for government which will


not only heal the economy but will spread some fairness and


responsibility and equality. I think lots of those goals have been


achieved. However, just listening to the Commons, I think it is


different for the pupils in the classroom. I think the prefects


have one aspect of the coalition right, I think the pupils in the


classroom are a bit fractious and therefore you see the turmoil among


some backbenchers. Would you agree the leaders, David Cameron,


particularly, in your case, have lost touch with grassroots and MPs?


I think it is very important to keep in touch with the backbenchers,


I probably was not as good as I ought to have been myself. I


remember the Major government when I was a minister, we spent a lot of


time talking to backbenchers. Every Secretary of State when I was first


elected in 92 had groups of backbenchers in and was really


across their subject and took us through each operation of each


department of state. It works at the top is the basis of what Cheryl


is saying, because there is a need for government to work, and perhaps


for the Lib Dems it is their first time in government, but the parties


have become disillusioned? I think in the second half of the coalition,


the Liberal Democrats, and Menzies will know more about this than I,


would like to put water between themselves and the Government. My


feeling is that Nick Clegg will not make it as leader of the Liberal


Democrats to the next election. I think he will stand down about the


year beforehand. I think he will remain Deputy Prime Minister. I


would be surprised if he even contest the seat for Parliament at


the next election. The answer is no to all three of those. I talked to


Nick Clegg from time to time, I see nothing but somebody determined to


to see this through, just as the coalition must be determined to see


through, particularly the economic programme. Because he is happy?


Because it is his duty. Some politicians, and three, I think, in


this studio, went into politics out of a sense of duty. Having been


elected they felt compelled to continue to discharge their duty


and responsibilities, that is how Nick Clegg sees it. Has he changed?


You know him. It has been difficult for him at the beginning but also


recently with constitutional reform, has he changed as a person and a


leader? Is he more tough? He has been through fire and brimstone.


Leadership is very difficult. And Minister of a coalition is even


more difficult. And leader as the Deputy Prime Minister of a


coalition government at a party who has not had any responsibilities


for 80 years is very difficult. I think he is different. Is the


relationship different with David Cameron? Probably less affectionate,


because government is hard and there are difficult decisions to


take. People disagree. People often say political parties are like


coalitions, but coalitions are like political parties. There are


different strains and strands of I think Nick is looking more


towards the position in his party. He asked to play towards the


Liberal Democrats Gallery, and I think politicians must remember


their party members and what they think. Having observed them, I


think it is David Cameron who has grown. AC Moore sure footed nurse


and it is David Cameron who has have to make some brave decisions


in this coalition. Do you agree? he is as sure footed as that, why


did he have so many difficulties this week over the issue of Europe?


Certainly a lot of the people on the back benches on the


conservative side seemed to believe it. As far as Nick Clegg is


concerned, of course it has been a baptism but he has learned a


tremendous amount and not only to manage his party but to manage his


role in government. I should make clear I am not predicting he will


stand down as deputy prime minister, but I think as leader of Lib Dems.


I would agree that. I think the pact is between the men at the top


and if Nick Clegg can't carry his party with him, I think he will


stay there as Deputy Prime Minister but I do think the problems in


Europe are inherent in our party. am they being dealt with properly?


There is a long way to go. I was reliving Maastricht again and I


would support the government because I don't want to see David


Cameron with one hand tied behind his back but there are temptations.


Labour attempted some of our less mature backbenchers and that caused


the problem. I was reliving Mrs Thatcher saying no, no, no, and


that was the straw that finally broke the back. Cuckoo Europe is


where we do need to do some work because the Conservative Party and


the majority of our members want the deal with Europe renegotiated,


and that is where I stand and my colleagues stand. It is the


question of how we do it and how we forge the new relationship with


Europe because we don't want to go further into a political union.


but you don't achieve influence in Europe so long as you are semi-


detached. One of the casualties of last week is that David Cameron


formed an alliance with Germany, with France, Finland and the


Netherlands, and as a result of the so-called mandate he has been given


by his party, he will have to Renee gone that alliance which is deeply


damaging in the short term and long term. The charges of incompetence


has been levelled at the government. How do you change that perception?


A just because the opposition says it, doesn't mean to say it is right,


as Chris Mullin knows! How do you change that perception when there


have been arguments about wind farms, on Trident, and on Europe.


Wait a minute. When Tony Blair determined to make a decision on


Trident, about 150 Labour MPs voted against him. When it came to Iraq,


there were about 150 Labour MPs who voted against that. Are you saying


you are unified on those issues? Some mistakes have been made, and


admitting to them is first and foremost what should be done. All


of those accidents make it more possible that we may face a Labour


government and it is the last thing this country needs. The two


consecutive substantial rises in the pension fund Labour's offer of


25p to pensioners when Gordon Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer.


low blow there. In fact pensions did go up very substantially under


the last government. On Europe, it is an altogether different league


from some of the other difficulties we have mentioned. It is the kind


of fault line that runs through the Tory party and it does threaten the


coalition. It threatens their credibility with the electorate.


have been told we have spent far too much time, but stay here.


Coalition means tangling with a range of thorny issues, none more


thorny than boundary issues and reducing the amount of MPs in the


Commons. With opposition to the changes building, it was announced


yesterday the Lords vote on the matter would be dropped. The


Tories' Lord Strathclyde, the leader of the House of Lords, said


senior members of the government needed to discuss the issues before


Pearce could hold the vote. That is what he's had to say. All of those


involved need time to reflect before this House is invited to


make a decision on the amendments all its merits. It will not


surprise the house that those involved include senior members of


the government, and until their discussions are concluded the


electoral administration bill will not proceed further in committee.


This House should be considering the amendment itself and the issues


raised by the amendment but it is not. Instead, in a move we believe


to be unprecedented, the government has pulled the bill from the order


paper. Why? We have heard no satisfactory explanation. I have


heard the actual reason is that time could not be found for the


Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister to meet to consider the


issues. My Lords, even if that is the case, it is not a sufficient


explanation. Not sufficient for the workings of government, but


absolutely not sufficient for the relationship between the executive


and the legislature. Parliament is not applied in of government. In


particular, Parliament is not the plaything of a political party in


trouble. That was yesterday in the House of


Lords. What is going on exactly? There is a Labour amendment which


would have the effect of kicking the whole issue of boundary changes


in to 2018. That is an amendment Liberal Democrats peers wish to


support, and there is substantial crossbench support as well. The


government is committed to - the Conservative Party of the


government - is committed to boundary changes. After reforms by


the Labour Party and Tory rebels, Nick Clegg said, OK, we will not


vote for boundary changes. Another point, quite a few Conservative MPs


are not keen, particularly the new intake who find themselves out.


government can't keep delaying this Up hoping the government will


deliver. Some seats have very few people. They can't because the


Liberal Democrats and Labour will vote together to make sure it


doesn't happen. I think negotiations are still going on.


there any chance the Lib Dems could be talked around? I find it


difficult to perceive any circumstances in which Nick Clegg


would depart from what he said publicly. It is right there should


be a conversation between the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime


Minister about any situation which arises. I am not privy to the


inside workings of this but it would be difficult for Nick Clegg


to change his position. I think we will see this pushed into long


grass, but I don't think it has gone off the agenda for the Prime


Minister, for the party, or the electorate. We need to reduce the


size of the government, and did you meet the coalition agreement...


Dems are... It is not going to happen? No, boundary changes Irish


extremely destructive and they are trying to slide an extra one threw


him five years rather than every 10 years. Will that be the end of the


coalition? No, and it is not unknown for governments to


manipulate boundary changes. It is not unusual for governments to do


so. Thank you very much. If you are a keen scholar of Chris Mullin is'


diaries and novels, perhaps you fancy a slice of it glamorous life


of the MP, but how do you get on the ballot paper in the first


place? Before you can be elected as an MP, you have to be selective as


a PPC, a prospective parliamentary candidate. Becoming one of them is


very difficult. For the Lib Dems and the Conservatives, you first


have to get past a set of tests designed by this psychologist.


might have for example a group exercise looking at how people


interact, how they solve problems. There would be an interview which


is looking at how you can provide evidence. One thing MPs have to do


is prioritised and analyse information quickly so we looked at


that. You might have an in-tray exercise, dilemmas, how you would


solve problems. Past them and you are on to the approved candidate


list. Labour miss out that step. Vanities roughly the same process -


apply for a seat when it becomes vacant, hope they do not get rid of


your application. Then repeat, often at different ends of the


country, until you get selected. This man coaches Tory wannabes who


want to get into Westminster. body knows everybody and your


reputation starts from when you become an activist. Whatever you


say in your answers, people will check. There was a lot of informal


vetting that goes on. Good is quite a gruelling process, isn't it?


is a tough process, ending with a tough job. At to address complaints


that this is biased towards a certain kind of go-getter, Ed


Miliband has launched a programme where people get training and


coaching to help them through the process. To make it seem more


transparent, the Tories experimented by selecting Sarah


Wollaston as they can do to through an open primary where the public


would vote as well. Before you say it isn't this a bit technical?


Remember this, around half of constituencies are considered safe


seats which means the local party members are not just selecting


their candidate, they are really picking your MP.


Chris Mullin, you have been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Is it


more technical these days in terms of getting selected? He certainly


seems like that from the description given there, but you


can never stop parties doing what they want to do in the end.


thought there was more direction now with a list candidates?


there have always been attempt by the machine to impose. The Tories


had there A-list, Labour has a certain Inside Track as anybody


noticed. The have parachuted candidates in, haven't they? There


have been cases when the Chancellor of the Exchequer have sat ringing


round in order to get an individual selected. The thing that has


happened is they are getting much younger than they were in my day.


Is that a good thing? I personally don't think it is. My advice to


people is to go out and do something useful in the world, and


then you can make a greater contribution once you are elected.


It may be the wrong advice because some of these guys get into


Parliament in their late 20s, then they are the leader of their party


by the time they are 38. In fact all three of the present party


leaders were only in Parliament five years before they became the


leaders of other parties. That is a phenomenal change. I have been


looking back at the diaries of the Attlee government and the Macmillan


government and they were so old and tired that they could not cope with


the pressure of government. The Attlee government had been through


the war and they were on their knees. Do you need to be young to


Do you need to be done to deal with the pressures? I don't mind people


getting younger in general, but I think I'd world. How old were you


when you were selected? I was 39, but I was 545 when I became a


minister, which must have raised eyebrows. -- I was 54 off 55.


there are lots more women. Especially on the Labour side, but


not so much with the Tories. Cheryl Gillan told me she was only the 6th


Tory woman to sit in the Cabinet in the history of the Tory party! Is


that not astonishing? The Tories have a problem with women and the


fact that the top public schools still dominate the selection


process. All the parties have a problem with the fact they are all


shrinking in size and less and less people are wanting to become an MP


now, that is why they tried to hold open primaries, in the case of


Sarah Wollaston, for example, but that is unusual. The Tories tried


it in my end of the country and just the usual suspects showed up.


It is decision time for America, will President Obama have another


four years in the White House, or will the Republican challenger Mitt


Romney win the day? On this side of the Atlantic, the elections can


seem confusing - although swing states and electoral colleges. But


fear not, here is Jeremy Vine with a helpful guide of how it works and


what to look out for. Should we remind ourselves of a map


as it was left in the 2008 elections? It looks a bit like a


draw, there is almost as much red as blue. It was a very convincing


victory for Barack Obama, and the reason is the electoral college


vote system. I have put a bobble on each state showing the number of


electoral college votes, California with 55 has the biggest, the


Dakotas have relatively small, they are rural and lightly populated.


Texas has 38, Florida has 29, you have to get above 270 when you add


up the colleges. That is why they have been campaigning in states


which are competitive with the electoral votes on offer. States


like a Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.


Everyone talks about what -- talks about Ohio, because it seems to


predict the winner time after time after time. This is how the


candidates have been dealing in Ohio. The one thing about this


graph, we get to the third of October and what happens? Romney


suddenly snaps into contention in the first debate, he has been close


ever since. But looking at the graph, it looks like Obama takes


Ohio, and you might say he looks good for a second term.


Florida, Florida is fascinating with so many different voting


groups and a real indicator of how the Democrats are advancing. They


are really, really doing well with Latino voters, single women and


college-educated voters. Look at this, you see the trajectory where


Obama comes through, and there are lots of heavily Republican parts of


Florida, by the way, but the urban parts tend to be democratic. But it


is almost as if Romney suddenly connect with the debate and goes


into the lead. Florida looks a better bet for the Republicans, but


if you see the margin of victory from last time for Obama, Romney


need to take Florida and Ohio and some others in order to overtake


the Democrats. It really looks like quite a big task for the Republican


challenger. Joining me from Washington to give


us the latest is Kim Ghattas from the BBC. Is it too close to call?


Yes, it is a dead heat, especially in national polls. But as Jeremy


said, it is about the electoral colleges. But even in the key


battleground states, sometimes in many of them, it is too close to be


able to tell exactly which way things will go. The key


battleground of judgment is one state that everybody will be


watching. We will start however by watching Virginia. The polls their


close and about 12 hours from now. Fairly soon after that we will be


able to tell whether Obama or Romney have carried that state. If


Obama does, it becomes a lot more difficult for Mr Romney to become


the big day in this race, although not impossible. Them we will all be


looking at Ohio, which is such a key battleground state. Mr Obama


has a small but steady lead which he has had for a bit now. They have


been campaigning like mad, I have just discussed with my guests how


exhausting the process has been. They can't be many undecided voters


left? You look at these men and they seemed so different, and two


of the two different visions for America, are there still undecided


voters? Yes, and they will possibly make up their mind at the last


minute when they go into the polling stations. I already saw


people lining up early this morning, polls are open in DEC and Maryland,


they open at 7am in Virginia, but it has been a frenzied campaign up


until the last minute to try to get every single one of those voters


not only to make up their minds but to come out and vote, that is what


it is really about. Mr Romney is leaving nothing to chance, he is


still campaigning today, he will be going to Cleveland, Ohio, and


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, unheard- of in some countries campaigning


carrying on until election day. But nobody is leaving anything to


chance. It has been exhausting for the two candidates. They looked


quite haggard yesterday, very, very tired. They were starting to repeat


the same speech over and over. You wonder whether it actually still


makes a difference, but it is about getting the boat out. You don't


look haggard, Kim Ghattas! Our election campaigns look pretty


tame compared to those over the pond. We certainly don't spend as


much. Giles has been holed up in the All Star Lanes Diner, someone


has to do it, night and day for the last three months, analysing this


one! Here are his findings. Eight presidential election seize


billions spent on spin and razzmatazz. Balloons and hot air,


whipping up enthusiasm and urging the UN decided to make up their


minds. Are we fired up?! Are you ready to go?


It is the Battle of two big beasts echoing worldwide, even in the


wilds of Kenya. This is Obama, a large black bowl


from the Kenyan town of Kakamega, and this is his opponent, called


What else, Romney. A big beef with an American


presidential election is if you want to flame will your opponent,


you need an army of creative types with video skills who have seen


every clip your opponent has ever screened. It is an ad war, Mad Men


meets the West Wing, literally. There are plenty of steps we can


take. Right now. Right now. Election day, election day, up and


at them! I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this message. If you


thought that was cheeky, you should shouldn't be with just anybody, it


should be a great guy. It is supper uncool to be out and about and


somebody saying, don't vote. That advert really -- really upset some


of the electoral right. But Romney was accused of not liking a big


yellow bird. Big Bird. It's me, Big Bird. Big, yellow, a menace to our


economy. Mitt Romney knows it is not Wall Street you have to worry


about, it is Sesame Street. some adverts have the thrum of


manners. Knock on doors with me! Make phone calls with me! If you


are willing to work with me. If you are willing to work harder. Then I


promise you. I promise a change For sheer scared the bejiminy out


of any Catholic not daring to boot, this one takes some panel beating.


After that one, I half-expected orcs, a wizard and Gollum come out


to discuss which one should rule their more. But Sauron had some


style. # Mitt Romney style.


Well, dear! American election, I'm interested. Moments to make you


laugh, cry, cry laughing, especially when you realise almost


as many as can vote feel like this little girl, who absolutely can't,


but he's very astute for a four year-old. I'm crying about Barack


Obama and Mitt Romney. It will be over soon!


Fancy reducing a four year-old to tears by the Campaign! Two American


expats who have closely followed every twist and turn up with me,


Stacey her large from Republicans Abroad and Karen Robinson from


Democrats Abroad. Have you been reduced to tears? My voice has


certainly been reduced. It has been a long slog. Why has it felt and


been so long and exhausting? Or did we just forget what the last one


was like? The last one was a very long campaign in 2008, on both


sides we had really competitive primaries. We had a competitive


Republican primary on this side, which went on. Mitt Romney must be


on his knees by now. In terms of confidence in your man, how


confident are you? Feeling pretty confident. I'm seeing the early


voting figures, the numbers of Republicans voting early, and I


think... What are those figures? significantly from last time, at


25% in some crucial swing states, and Democrat numbers are down. But


we can't underestimate the silent majority sitting at home and going


out to vote. Are you worried? ecstatic about their early voting


figures. Stacey is correct, the Republican figures are up from last


time, so full credit from -- to Romney. McCain had a poor record.


But Democrats are massively outnumber Republicans in terms of


early boat numbers, particularly in the critical states like Ohio and


Iowa. But they are significantly down from last time. The numbers


are down across the board, but if you look at the total number of


votes cast by Democrats early, compared to by republicans, we are


still in a lead and we are picking up a significant lead in the


National Popular polls. For a little while it was neck-and-neck.


Just over the last couple of days we have seen movements of about two


points in the direction of the President. It depends on the poll.


The Gallup poll had Romney winning. I think with the Poles being as


tight as they are in the swing states and nationally, it plays in


the favour of the opponent -- I think with the polls being as tight.


What is the point in the last few days of saying the same thing again


and again and again? It is motivating people to get out and


vote, and reminding them that you cannot make any of these changes we


have been talking about without casting a ballot. It is getting


people out there, motivating. We have seen that in those key swing


states, Ohio, Florida, Iowa, the Romney campaign team has been in


touch with more people than the Democrats. That is what happened in


2000 and in 2004, when Bush won Ohio. I think it has been negative,


that is how it has been betrayed over a year, would you agree?


think the President has still run a positive campaign... Really?!


People know who the president is and what he stands for, it was very


important that we make very clear - - that they make very clear what


Mitt Romney stands for, he has not made it clear. He has been quite


Jupiter to us. I couldn't disagree more. -- he has been quite


duplicitous. We like deja .com! The President has run extremely


negative campaign. The fact he has been trying to attack Mitt Romney


shows he has not had the record he is able to run and, he has gone out


to say these are the improvements we made, this is how it will be


better in four years. Let me pick up on that, personally I am


incredibly proud of the President's record. We have moved forward, the


economy is improving, we have had 32 statements of economic growth,


the economy is picking up, we have seen passage of major healthcare


reform, which has been an ambition of Americans for a long time. If


you were running purely on his record I think there would be an


enormous reason to be very excited. We have one in six Americans in


poverty, median incomes down by $4,000 a year and we have 47... For


every one person with the job, 15 Do you think Romney has come from


behind to possibly snatch this election question cooker cooker has


had to change his views. I worked on Mitt Romney in Massachusetts and


there are things you do have to be where it is a federal system and


Mitt Romney is talking about giving the States the ability to manage


these programmes and put them in place and that is the clear


difference. That is pragmatic politics, playing to a different


audience. When Stacey talks about Mitt Romney wanting to take away


the federal health care so that it can be delivered on a state basis,


what he means is that if elected he is promising that on day one he


will immediately remove health care from millions of Americans who


already have read, including people in Massachusetts who are currently


benefiting from Mitt Romney's health care plan. If he became


President, do you think he would not do a lot of the things he has


said on this campaign, on Medicare and the foreign policy? I think he


would, and you have to look at the wider race. As nice as it is to win


the presidential race, it is more important to win the house. It is


an important point. If Obama wins, will he be allowed to govern? The


Republicans said last time his Kabul we will make sure he can't


govern. A if he comes in, he has to be willing to compromise. He has


been given partisan proposals and he has not taking anything up. He


has not shown the ability to compromise. How does he break the


deadlock? That is an excellent question, and looking at Congress,


going into this election Democrats were convinced we would lose the


Senate. The Republicans put up a lot of extreme unpopular candidates


and it now looks like we will be gaining seats in the Senate. The


Republicans are moving backwards. am so sorry - I have to finish, but


you are coming back. David Dimbleby will be in Washington to host the


US Election Special on BBC One at 11:35pm tonight and Stacey and


Karen will be back with us this time tomorrow to discuss the


results. To be continued. It is a dream to work on a programme like


this, but believe it or not, some people find our guests a bit scary.


A survey like this has found that George Osborne tops a list of


celebrities people have nightmares about. He was not the only


politician named. In a moment we will discuss whether being the


stuff of nightmares is better than being ignored by the electorate,


but first they met see who else is in the fight Club. There is some


flash photography coming up. -- # The monster mash # It's a


After that scary lot, let's seek the safety of Quentin Letts. Have


you ever had nightmares about a politician? Two nights ago, Tony


Blair. I was walking on May Hill in Gloucestershire, and suddenly Tony


Blair arrived and started hitting golf balls at me. What does that


mean? If I have not got a clue. What about you - ever had


nightmares about a politician? not that I can recall. Quentin once


described me as a deck chair that looked like it had been left out


all night, which I thought was quite good. They used to be a


forceful Tory old battle axe, and Keith Joseph always looked like the


kind of man who might prole up on you in your bad moments. There


don't appear on the list. George Osborne, Gordon Brown, Katie Price,


Ann Widdecombe, Alex Ferguson, Wayne Rooney, Marilyn Manson, and


Ed Balls. Of them, who do you think is the most nightmarish? It is the


ones who have been Chancellor, dipping their hands into your


wallet. None of the women on the list? And Widdecombe in her home


Office days may have put the frighteners on a few people.


Price, she is the glamour model, isn't she? Are you sure this is


nightmares or a different kind of dream?


We don't want to know about those dreams! We have one person saying I


have nightmares every night about Gordon Brown, but the one about


George Bush in hell is worse. George Osborne reminds me of the


joker from that man. That is your theory, the Chancellor's. Then we


have got Beverley, who says George Osborne, Eric Pickles... Jacob


Rees-Mogg... I could go on, but starting to feel ill. Michael


Howard, by far the scariest. these all Labour contributors you


have on Twitter? They do sound like they have an agenda. You are right.


What about some more Labour ones? It does come down to the thing that


in dreams, a lot of people dream about the Queen, being naked at


Buckingham Palace. Also in a crowd, isn't that a common thing? He does


show you politicians do have an influence over one's psyche and it


is troubling. Isn't it better to be in someone's nightmare than


ignored? That's is the worst thing, popping out press releases and


nobody even notices. Yes, but there must, point that which being in


people's nightmares would prevent you from being an attractive


proposition. Now, hold those thoughts for a moment. We will find


out the answer to the quiz. The question was, which political


figure is often the jungle? Michael Heseltine, George Osborne, Nadine


Dorries, or Jacob Rees-Mogg? suspect the correct answer is


Nadine Dorries. I would have thought there will be a few people


in her own party hoping she will not return. I think this is a pity.


My natural reaction is that she is terrific box office for sketch


writers. She brings a refreshing approach to the Commons. You will


miss her. Yes, but there is a broader point that we want


politicians who are exciting, but bring the voice of the constituency.


I think she is a gift to sketch writers, I don't dispute that for a


moment. She is different. I feel she will reduce herself. Why has


she gone to join this list of celebrities in Australia? What


about her constituents? Sarah Wollaston said she should resign.


She is a colleague, not a constituent. She is saying that she


should resign. There is that view. I wish she would reconsider event


at this late minute because she will diminish her currency as a


politician and that is a pity because she has a lot to contribute.


I have heard she said she is going out there to speak politics to an


audience that would have not otherwise heard it. Constituents


are holding an emergency meeting tonight following reports their


politician is going on to I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!.


be a parliamentarian is actually a really important thing in our


society and to be a celebrity is a less important thing. The traffic


is the wrong way here, and she is underselling herself. A bit of


dignity is required. I agree with Quentin, having held some minority


positions myself in my own party, that just as she speaks up in


public out of line with the whip, that is in her favour, but doing


this defeat of an elective or sensitive and I would have thought


the constituency may have something to say about that. On that note,


thank you for coming on to the programme. Now to a story that has


dominated headlines recently. The Home Secretary Theresa May has been


making a statement in the Commons outlining the details of a new


investigation into child abuse scandal in North Wales here is what


she had cooker at least has invited Keith Bristow, the director general


of the crime agency to assess the allegations recently received to


review the historic police investigations and investigate any


fresh allegations reported to the police into the alleged historic


abuse in North Wales care homes. will lead a team of officers from


the organised crime agency, other investigative assets as necessary,


and the child exploitation and Online Protection Centre who will


act as the single point of contact for fresh referrals relating to


historic abuse in North Wales care homes. A deputy political editor


was listening to the statement and he joins me now. The government has


for a pretty swiftly upon it is a would be fines have been around for


some time, but clearly the government feels the need to move


swiftly on this. They are all aware of the way the BBC responded to


allocate cooker and that is why Theresa May spent a large part of


last night making this investigation become a reality. We


are talking about the allegations relating to North Wales, just


topping up it and the investigation in those days. What was interesting


was not just Yvette Cooper for the Labour Party but also Tim Lawton


the Conservative saying there are too many investigations here now.


We need to have won over arching investigation that looks at Jimmy


Savile, the police, and Paul the other investigations. Is there


cross party support for that the you? Because otherwise there is


just too much going on, too many people involved in too many


investigations? No, the government view is to let the investigations


do their work. They don't rule out a single inquiry once the other


inquiries have done their work. you checks showed that the


government can do anything else but to launch an inquiry, even, they're


doing the right thing, but I do think we should be very careful


cooking cuckoo Cox. We are talking about allegations which occurred a


very long time ago. At on that note, thank you for bringing the latest.


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