09/11/2012 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. After the Prime


Minister's uncomfortable moment on the This Morning sofa, that will


teach him, is he right to warn of a witch-hunt or is this the start of


a backlash against claims of abuse? The former Tory grandee who was


named was linked with the abuse at this children's home in north Wales,


he publicly denies the allegations. We will have the latest. And a new


archbishop, a former oil executive who went to Eton, of course, but


where does Justin Welby stand and gay marriage, women bishops and


those ungodly bankers? We will look at the politics of the posh primate


in Lambeth. Cut the backlog of cases at the Border Agency mean an


amnesty for some illegal immigrants? We will talk to the


chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, he says it might. And we


report from Corby, scene of the latest by-election following the


So a veritable pot-pourri over the next 60 minutes, whatever that


means, all coming up in public service broadcasting at its finest!


With us for the duration, George Parker of the Financial Times and


Carla Buzasi, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, a website, the


Huffington Post! The Financial Times is becoming a website. Let


start with the latest skirmish in the phoney war over press


regulation, the publication of the Leveson report is expected by the


end of the month. This morning over 40 Conservative MPs and peers wrote


to the Guardian of all papers to express their support for some sort


of independent regulation of the press. Now, it is not clear exactly


what they favour, but they are explicit that self-regulation as


exists now is no longer an option. And that is a position which


contrasts with many other Conservatives in their party. This


report is going to split the Tories, isn't it? Yeah, I think it is, and


we are seeing the first manifestation of that with his


letter to the Guardian, because the signs are that David Cameron is


torn on this, he might favour a slightly stronger regulation, but


the press is breathing down his neck, the Daily Mail group, saying


that any sort of statutory underpinning of this independent


regulatory system amounts to the licensing of journalists. My


newspaper is among those which thinks that is a slippery slope.


The Financial Times is against... I got told off by a lawyer for


calling it statutory regulation, but any kind of state underpinning


of the regulation. You can see why this debate has arisen, because if


you have an independent regulator and some people they do not want to


abide by its rulings, particularly in the case of the Express group,


do you need to have some sort of state backing to ensure that people


signed up to the new code? And yet Labour has committed itself to


Leveson's recommendations before they even know what they are. But


if Labour is in favour, I expect a lot of Lib Dems will want to go


down that road, too. That puts the Conservatives more in the spotlight.


I think they are in the spotlight, but Cameron has got himself into


this. I do not think he ever realised how long it would take,


how foolish certain senior members would end up looking through it,


and at the end of it we are effectively still in the same mess


that we were when we started. Nothing clear is coming out of it.


Hopefully when you finally publishers, he will have something


to recommend, but I do not think it is clear how it is going to go.


Cameron is between a rock and a hard place, isn't he? I get the


impression listening to him that he would rather avoid statutory


regulation is the can, and he has not got any friends in the Tory


press, but he knows that the press does not like it, the Guardian does


not like it, the Financial Times, two left-of-centre paper will stop


we do not like it! It is not going to happen if the Huffington Post UK


does not like it! But the public opinion does not like the press at


the moment, they did not like what they heard that Leveson, and he


will be under pressure from Labour, the Lib Dems, public opinion in


general, Hugh Grant and other famous folk to do something about


it. I think anything which smacks of the press being in the last-


chance saloon again, giving them one last chance, will not wash with


the public. The public wants something that guarantees them


redress. We have drunk at the last- chance saloon and directed other


way out! I think that is the problem. We saw an interesting


debate in the Commons this week when Nick Clegg said it had to


progress with cross-party support, because the Labour Party are in


favour of some kind of statutory basis for this, the Liberal


Democrats are, quite a few members of the Conservative Party. That is


a majority. What an online news and opinion provider like the


Huffington Post, would that be covered by Leveson? Oh I appeared


in front of Leveson, and it was probably about... Did you know what


it was? We are a member of the PCC, we are the only 100% digital media


organisation... New volunteer. did, and it was important to us,


because I and my team believe that the code of practice is sensible,


but also... You know, we want to be seen as trustworthy, and this was a


statement to that effect. I think he will see digital publications,


not all of them, the want to be seen alongside a... Part of the


mainstream. Absolutely. My sources say by the end of November. Yes,


the same thing, by the end of November. Then there will be a big


row, then there would be the ordnance datum -- the Autumn


Statement, then it will die over Christmas, then it will come back.


I think the political story will run and run.


A Conservative peer, Lord McAlpine, was a major fundraiser for Margaret


Thatcher in the 1980s. Indeed, he regarded himself as her bag man.


His memoirs are called Once a Jolly bagman. He has vehemently denied


the abuse of children at a care home in north Wales in the 1970s.


His name had been bandied around, along with many other


unsubstantiated allegations, on what we call the into Web. Our


political correspondent Carole Walker can tell us more. This came


out after the breakfast TV shows, what does it tell us? Well, an


interesting and bold decision by Lord McAlpine to act to try to


clear his name after days are speculation which he himself


describes as a media frenzy. Now, this goes back to last Friday, when


the Newsnight programme ran allegations from a victim of child


abuse, Steve Messham, who says that he was abused in these care homes


in Wrexham by a senior Conservative dating back to the Conservative era.


Since then, there has been a huge amount of speculation linking Lord


McAlpine to that allegation, and today he says there is a media


frenzy, I have to expect that an editor will soon come under


pressure to misnaming me, and he has decided that he must publicly


tackle the slurs and set the record straight. Now, he says very


specifically that he had only ever been to Wrexham once, that was in


his role within the Conservative Party, he was accompanied by a


party agent. He said that he had never stayed in a hotel nearby, he


did not have a Rolls-Royce, where some of this is alleged to have


happened. He says specifically, I did not sexually abused any


resident of the children's home in Wrexham. He goes on, interestingly


enough, to express strong sympathy for people who have been victims of


abuse. He describes it as abhorrent. And it also says that he does not


accuse Steve Messham of any kind of malicious intent. He simply thinks


that if he believes Lord McAlpine was the man who abused him all the


years ago, I can only suggest he is mistaken and he has identified the


wrong person. So interestingly, such a senior figure from the past


has decided that the only way to confront these allegations is to


come out publicly, to try to clear his name, and the risk is of course


that his name and his picture are then going to be up there in the


newspapers, but he has clearly decided he cannot let the innuendo


continue. All right, thank you for bringing us up to date. His


statement comes after the story in the garden this morning which also


named Lord McAlpine, saying that they believed Newsnight had got the


wrong man, although they did not name him on Newsnight. But there


was another McAlpine who may have been in a frame, it all gets very


muddied and complicated, and those allegations of abuse in North Wales


followed the revelations about Jimmy Savile, and before that the


convictions for child remain in Rochdale. It seems that sexual


abuse, child abuse is everywhere when you turn on the news these


days, but is it really true? Is there a danger that the pursuit of


abuses is turning into a witch-hunt led by usually anonymous people on


the internet? Are innocent people being placed under suspicion, wild


accusations flying around cyberspace with very little


evidence ever produced to back them up? This is what David Cameron had


to say when he was on ITV's programme yesterday. This is one of


the problems, I have heard all sorts of names being bandied around,


and everyone sits around and speculates about people, and on a


second, some of whom are alive, some of whom are dead, and I think


it is very important that anyone has any information at any


paedophile, no matter how high up in the community, alive or dead, go


to the police. This is very important... A cursory glance at


the internet, it took me about three minutes last night to


continually find a list of the same names. I have those names there,


those are the names on a piece of paper. You know the names on the


piece of paper, will you be speaking to those people? This is


really important, right? There is a danger, if we are not careful, that


this could turn into a sort of witch hunt, particularly against


people Bouake. And I am worried about the sort of things you are


doing right now, giving me a list of names who have taken off the


internet. We are joined now by David Aaronovitch of the Times, who


yesterday wrote a column about the dangers of a witch-hunt, and by


Holly Dustin, director of End Violence Against Women. Welcome to


both of you. David, you think there is the whiff of a witch-hunt around


this. I think there is a danger, there is a right way and a wrong


way to do this. The right way is what Keir Starmer did when he


looked at what was happening in Rochdale and said, we have to look


at police practice and review police practice in dealing with


allegations of abuse by vulnerable people. That was the correct way to


do it. Then the incorrect way, the worst way, and that is what we saw


from Phillips Schofield, and frankly I think we saw a Newsnight


the other night when they put up Steve Messham to make an allegation


which was referring to somebody whom the Guardian then said later,


name does not actually being responsible, which brings up the


question of how it was that he was misidentified in the first place


and what that Ms identification means. Then there are the claims


which have been made in Parliament and elsewhere that there is a


powerful network of paedophiles in the political sphere who wait to be


uncovered, and for which there appears to be no evidence


whatsoever. I can tell you that my Twitter Fiat is full of people who


believe there is and that failures of past enquiries mean that


anything is possible. -- Twitter feed. People look at the Olympics


go feel and say, yes, he knows something, he is an official


journalist. -- Philip Schofield. I think it was outrageous, the kind


of self-righteous way in which he presented a completely useless and


ridiculous list to the Prime Minister in that way, as if to say,


look at me! It took me at least three minutes to get the list!


There is clearly a problem with the way that the media is dealing with


these issues, and what we saw yesterday was not acceptable.


not just the media, might with their feet is full of the same


things. It is the same with social media, we are burying our head in


the sands. You only have to look at the sentencing for the people who


named the rape victim in the Ched Evans case to know that there is a


big issue with social media. But look, we have got a situation where


we have got an unprecedented number of women, mainly, and some men


coming forward to say they were abused in the past, they were


silenced, dismissed, not listened to, finally having the courage to


come forward because of what we are seeing in the media. But I think,


you know, talking about a witch- hunts, talking about people making


up allegations is the wrong message to be sending. We need to be saying,


we believe you, there is support out there, we need to be going


through due process and the courts system if that is what people want


to be doing. But you are right to raise a concern, but the concern is


about the media, not people making up abuse, because there is no


evidence that there are higher numbers of false allegations in


relation to rape cases, for example, than other crimes. Let me bring


David in to reply to that. entirely agree that there have been


a lot of people out there and continue to be people who are not


believed and not heard. I cannot think it is true, unfortunately,


that there are no false allegations, and probably no more so than in


other spheres, but this is where people are zeroing in so hard that


those false allegations gained a kind of attraction that they do not


in other spheres of life. I honestly believe that, we could


privately go through some of the allegations that have been made and


I could convince you that there was a very big problem with some of the


allegations that have been made and I have looked at the evidence and


so has the government, because they want to give anonymity. They found


there was no evidence to make that policy change. We know only about


or one in 10 they put victims report to the police because they


feel they will be not believed and so on. I just wonder, experts on


sexual violence, primarily perpetrated by men against women


and some boys, this is very common, it is in every community, in homes


and towns and cities. Which makes it all the harder to find out.


not as their historic problem. I wonder whether the scale of what


we're looking at is whether this is where the backlash is coming from.


Why do some men choose to abuse? Rape? I would like you to write a


column about that. I have written. Do you believe the claims,


substance to the claims, that there is some kind of high powered


paedophile ring at the heart of Westminster? I haven't looked in


detail at those claims. There are certainly some men who sexually


abuse in networks, some men who abuse on their own. You don't think


there is evidence to justify an investigation into a Westminster


network? I think we need to join up all these inquiries and look at the


scale of sexual violence and abuse in this country. And how we support


victims. It's a real problem with joining up the inquiries. A judge


lead judicial inquiry, we would be here for 25 years. Also the victims


would be dead. We already have a problem with historic abuse and


deciding what has happened with that because stories change and


develop and so on and most claims are not malicious. Each time we


have had a reiteration of a major child abuse scare, and so on, which


is good it comes forward, unfortunately, we've had a malign


element which has gone off on a tangent. We had it during the


satanic ritual abuse claims and so on which led to the situation in


Nottingham. Why can't we go from taking these things seriously


without having to go to the witch hunt element which becomes a


problem. If you have an over arching inquiry, what chance to


mind was the Sunday bloody Sunday inquiry. It cost �250 million. It


took over 12 years to report. problem is, it's very easy to say,


this was a problem at the BBC Light Entertainment department in the


1970s and Eighties, which frankly it was not. I don't think anybody


said that. It's happening now. It's very common. 60,000 women in this


country are raped each year. No one is denying that. Least of all David.


I think his point is, because of the cacophony of sound coming out


with accusations being made almost every day, the chances of really


getting to the truth are becoming more difficult. There is a real


issue with how the media reports with this issue and with libel and


social media and those issues. is the mainstream media done wrong?


The we look at what happened yesterday with Phillip Schofield.


You think that was wrong? That's not helpful. The danger here is,


there are clearly major child abuse accusations both historic and


current to answer. But they are now being wrapped in a smoke of every


morning, fresh accusations without evidence. There is also a danger


the internet is bad and everything about the internet is bad. You


might expect that to come from me. And the print media and additional


media is good. This was a mainstream television programme of.


We have got to be very careful. Rumours fly around the internet all


the time of the also at the heart of this is something very, very


serious and people need to be brought to account whether they


work at Westminster or look after children in care. I think this is


the start, isn't it? The fact of the matter is, as these inquiries


unfold, we will learn a lot about what's going on of. It's still


going on today. In the Seventies and Eighties, it wasn't just a few


people are turning a blind eye to it but a large part of society.


turned a blind eye to it in Rochdale. Girls were going to


school clearly vulnerable, smelling of alcohol, and clearly showing


signs of abuse and vulnerability and they were written off as being


consenting to be involved in prostitution. I think this is where


I'm concerned about what chance for so I don't think we should close


the door to a conversation that needs to happen. I think the witch


hunt closes the door and that's why I think we have got to satisfy a


proper standards of evidence and complaint because, if we don't,


people will get the idea that none of this is true. And then you have


the problem You are talking about. Where does the story go from here?


This atmosphere will build and build and build because they have


been several suggestions of different people, who won not the


person and people agree. -- who are not the person. Not named. As long


as that continues, this story will have the social meaning elsewhere.


After something has been said enough, on the internet, there


comes up point when people say, it's out there. There is no


stopping it in that sense. We have to begin to come down a bit.


think what we need to do is encourage victims to come forward


and survivors and say, you will be supported and not dismissed and you


will be believed. You can't do that until you know they are victims.


There is due process a but most of it turns out actually that they


don't report to the police, said they won support services, we'd


Up yes, to the right people. Don't go inside your story to a newspaper.


Don't tell everybody. There was a horrific video uploaded to YouTube


about her father abusing her, and it is tragic watching this poor


girl, tears streaming down her face, but they need to know places they


can go to speak to, rather than broadcasting it everywhere. We will


return to this but, for the moment, thank you. Now, the waiting is over,


the internal wrangling concluded and the white smoke has appeared


from the chimney. Oh, wait a minute, I've got my churches mixed up. For


it is not a Pope that we proclaim this morning, but a new Archbishop


of Canterbury. His name is Justin Welby and he's an ex-oil executive


who has only been a bishop for a year. Cannot be right? He has


probably read the Financial Times. Let's hear from the man himself. He


was quick to address one of the most controversial issues in his


newly elevated in box. Same-sex marriages and his opposition to


them. What the Church does here deeply affects the already greatly


suffering churches in places like Nigeria. I support the House of


Bishops statement in the summer in answer to the Government's


consultation on same-sex marriage. But I also know I need to listen


very attentively to the LG Beattie community, and examine my own


thinking carefully. I am always adverse to the language of


exclusion, when what we are called to his two lava in the same way as


Jesus Christ loves us. In the church, we need to create safe


spaces for these issues to be discussed in honesty and in love.


We are joined by the Second Church Estates Commissioner. Who was the


first? Andrew Smith. You're playing second fiddle to a journalist?


That's the way it works. And Giles Fraser former Canon at St Paul's


and now a vicar in South London. He's now a vicar. What kind of man


is the new bishop? It's good news for the Church. I think he is a


people person. I think he will be a good leader, clear leadership. I


think one saw that there, he will listen but also lead, and I think


he will be keen to ensure the Church of England becomes a


national voice. A church for the nation and it has a presence.


can it be a church for the nation that hardly anybody goes to it?


That is what he will want to do. I think Justin Welby in the next 20


years will want to ensure that the Church becomes a Church of growth.


Not just obsessed by sex. I think the Church of England in the last


couple of years, for some time, has been obsessed by it sex and its own


internal issues. And there's two jobs for him to do, to hold the


Church together, but the other much more important is to forget about


the Church and to speak out to people in the nation and trying to


recommend the Christian faith in an intelligent, sensible way.


think this other man who can do it? I do, at I to disagree with him on


a number of things but I'm happy to put it aside. Why was he chose


then? I think he was chosen because he impressed the committee by his


commitment to wanting to reinvigorate the church and reach


out. Does it work that this committee puts just a couple of


names up? The Prime Minister makes the final choice. What has got to


be clear, a boring issue, when Gordon Brown was prime minister,


without consulting anyone, he decided he didn't want number 10 to


have any further involvement in the appointment of Archbishop of


Canterbury's. Because there was a Scotsman. Absolutely. He got rid of


this. This will be the first time an archbishop has been chosen by


the Church, which is a good thing. The process is, done by the


establishment in smoke-filled rooms. In terms of democracy, it's more


like China than the USA. But, nonetheless, actually, it's the one


key process but it has produced the right manner. What do you think


about his career as an oil executive? He hasn't be


institutionalised by the Church and that's a good thing. He has got a


hinterland. He spoke to me about the occupying and thought they were


substantially right about the criticisms of what is happening of


modern capitalism. He is excoriating on problems of wealth


and poverty and the huge gap between the rich and poor. I think


the fact he can also speak the language of finance and is not


embarrassed about that, is very important. He's done very well on


the Banking Commission. Excoriating on the gap between rich and poor.


That must cheer you up. Yes, the Church has to speak as it sees.


It's important. Actually, what it's really doing, if one has an


Archbishop of Canterbury who speaks his mind, the government can


respond to that and I'm sure it will collate. How long before it


falls out with the prime minister? But is no indication of friction. A


good proportion of the Conservative Party is falling out with a prime


minister at the moment. He has to speak truth to power and sometimes


it will not be palatable. The job of the Church through the century


is to be part of power. It's part of the established Church of


England. A you're absolutely right. How can it speak truth to itself?


That's what it's supposed to do. You can remember rows. What about


the non-conformist churches, the Methodists? If Britain go up to


date more than the 19th century, I was usually inspired, came into the


church because the people like the Bishop of Durham on the miners'


strike, face in the City, which didn't annoy Mrs Thatcher, and


Rowan Williams has done that over the war, the finance, in ways that


haven't endeared him. They were all left wing. You have somebody now


centre right. No, I don't think so. You think it's part of the right?


The you can't pigeonhole him. because of the school he went to,


whatever. The I'm not saying it's because of the school you went to


put some of the things he said. is anti-gay marriage but there's


nobody who could get his job at the moment who is pro-gay marriage. The


Church would implode. Really? It's still that toxic. Yes, I'm in


favour of it. I wish we had an archbishop who argued for it but we


will not have that. If you bracket that one out, because it's an


impossibility, Justin Welby is not a right-wing person in the way you


have described. Those terms don't break down. Let me bring in our


other guests for that do we do this too much prominence? Nobody chose


the Archbishop of Canterbury I know. It is on our front page today.


is because he was a banker, they look after their own! We take a


certain interest in his views, and he has an interesting position, a


member of the House of Lords, sitting on a committee advising the


government of legislating on the banking industry, the most senior


cleric in a land as well. I think he will be an interesting figure in


the public debate. Rowan Williams did not get as involved in the


financial crisis and the aftermath as he could have done, and I think


this archbishop is going to be a strong voice in the story of


responsible capitalism. He is very much on the Ed Miliband agenda.


financial, banking issues. Responsibility in the boardroom,


but he made a good speech a month ago about the socially useless


activity of bankers in the run-up to the crash. This is a big story


for the Huffington Post? usually, we have covered it, but I


agree that there is a bit of a media storm around it, a political


storm because Downing Street announced it, and actually I found


it ridiculous that Downing Street in the 21st century, they are the


ones deciding who it is. You have to decide where the church gets...


The population at large will not be talking about this in the way that


we are, but one final point, we are talking about how he is pro women


bishops, I was talking about a female Archbishop of Canterbury in


future, that is what we should be talking about. Hopefully the week


after next we would get the women's bishop measure through the General


Synod, and if that happens, in due course there will be no reason why


one should not have a woman archbishop. You would be in favour


of that? If you have women bishops, the logic is you will have a woman


archbishop. I think it is a bigger story than we are making out, not a


lesser story. There are 16,000 parishes in this country, other


things are important in the Westminster village, but in the


country this is rather important, the Church of England. It is still


something that stitches together communities the length and breadth


of this country in places that other organisations do not function,


so it is very important. Is it not true that more people go to the


mosque on Friday that the Church of England on Sunday? I don't know the


answer to that question. I think he will find the answer is yes, so


where is the position for the Mahler in the British constitution?


They clearly represent more church or mosque-go in people. The Church


of England has been part of the fabric of this country for hundreds


of years. I think it is a radical thing. The thing is, it does not


work on left and right, it just does not work on the traditional


patterns that you assume. Earlier this year, the Muslim, Jewish and


other faith communities met with the Queen at Lambeth, part of the


Jubilee celebrations, and they all acknowledge that one of the reasons


they felt comfortable about freedom of religion in this country was


because of the role of the established church, and that was, I


thought, quite clever. Just before we go, how difficult is it to the


parliament's Second Church Estates Commissioner? Look, let me tell you,


Andrew, the most challenging thing for me in recent weeks is to find


that I made as a Conservative backbencher a speech in support of


the government, and that became so unusual that it made the 7:10am on


the Today programme. Now you on the 12:30pm slot on the Daily Politics!


The important thing for the Conservative Party is working out


how to win the next election, being Second Church Estates Commissioner


is a doddle in comparison. Just as well, because I see it is unpaid!


You get a bloody good memorial I knew him when he was a student! I


will be there! He will not have a say! Thank you all.


In six days' time the good people of Corby will be asked to brave the


winter weather and a vote for a new MP because... Excuse to me, please


wait, these Church Commissioners, honestly! The by-election is


happening because Louise Mensch, remember, she won and 2010, she


decided to stand down in order to spend more time with her family in


the United States, that is what she said. There is a slim Conservative


majority of under 2000, not a lot for a by-election, and Labour have


high hopes of overturning that, they are clear favourites to win


and win well. If they do, it will be their first by-election gain


from the Tories for more than 15 years, so a lot at stake, as David


Corby, a constituency of two halves, a gritty post-industrial town


meeting cosy countryside village, which is why, if you want to know


which way the political wind is blowing, you come to this corner of


East Northamptonshire. Generally speaking, running Corby is a good


idea if you want to be the government. It was Labour in 1997


at Taurean 2010, so the by-election is being seen as a political


weather vane, which is just like -- just what Michael Gove could do


without wit right now. Louise Mensch is sitting down to spend


more time without -- Louise Mensch is stepping down to spend more time


with her husband in America, not a popular decision universally. The


Conservative candidate and her friends in high places still


believe they can hold on. I will see you in a week's time when you


are elected! We need to be collecting the next MP, not


worrying about the last one. People want aspiration and hope, new jobs,


good education, and that is what I am hearing on the doorsteps, and


they know I would use my business background to encourage investment,


encourage investment like the link road that we have agreed to invest


in, encourage investment like the new jobs down at skew Bridge, and


that is why I am convinced that the pollsters are wrong. Maybe, but


others think the Louise Mensch factor has not really help. There


is a definite and happiness that she has turned down. The Tories


might not say it to you, but privately they are quite annoyed by


that. I think the Labour Party will make capital on the back of it, and


I think that they see it as a great opportunity to take back a seat


that they think is traditionally there's any way. They do, but the


Labour candidate is not taking anything for granted. You could see


he is road-testing Ed Miliband's One nation mantra on the leafy


lanes of Northamptonshire. What would you have to do to lose this


election? It is really important that anybody talking about his


election comes to see how diverse this constituency is, that we are


trying to make sure that it will work for the whole of Corby and


East Northamptonshire, chocolate- box villages, Corby town itself, we


are fighting for every vote, and we up asking people to show their


trust in One nation Labour. Spare a thought for the Lib Dems. The


pundits think they can be knocked into 4th place by UKIP, but the


candidate says that actually it is all still up for grabs. I think


they are wrong, because on the doorstep people are saying they


have not made up their minds, and they are conservative and Labour


voters that are saying to us, I really do not know who to vote for,


and we have really enjoyed that because it gives us the opportunity


to talk with them, to find out what the issues are and hopefully to


convert them to our cause. As for UKIP, Margot Parker is working hard


to convince the voters they are more than a single-issue party.


are knocking on doors, Labour people are saying, we are


definitely going for UKIP. Conservatives, I have just spoken


to two people, they will definitely vote for us. We are stepping up to


the plate and listening to what they Hussain, and they are agreeing


with us, so we have a good manifesto based on local issues. --


what they are saying. How Corby votes will not tell us definitively


he will win the next general election, but it might give us a


clue, and that is why for all the parties these lanes and walkways


really matter. You can find the full list of


candidates standing in Corby on the BBC News website. George, everybody


in your part of the words is assuming that Labour will win this,


correct? That is correct, and by quite a big margin. Does that have


significance? We have seen by- elections coming and going.


circumstances of this one are quite strange, as David was just saying.


That is one reason why people hate a by-election for which they see no


need. I spoke to MPs will have been campaigning there, and there is a


real animosity towards Louise Mensch, who is standing down. So


strange circumstances, but if Labour did not win, it would be


extraordinary. It is a weather vane seat, the Midlands, a key


battleground, it is important for Ed Miliband, a stepping stone, but


no more than that. It is always good to win if you are the


opposition. I was looking at polling yesterday, how far ahead


are the Tories, but when they were asking whether that would have an


impact on how they would vote in a general election, yes, people are


saying they would vote Labour, but not for Miliband if they were


picking a prime minister. I think there is still some concern there.


Next Thursday, is it? It is, the same night as the elections for


police commissioners, will be more of a nationwide test. By which you


mean England. Of course, sorry The backlog of unresolved cases at


the Border Agency means some immigrants may enjoy an amnesty as


their cases are written-off. The Immigration Minister was not


available to come onto the Daily Politics, but he has been


responding elsewhere on the BBC this morning. We are not going to


do an amnesty. Where we see no evidence that people are in the


country from inherited cases, we will put their files on one side,


but if those people come to light again, we will take action against


them. Where we have evidence they are in the country, we will first


of all contact them and try to persuade them to leave voluntarily.


If that fails, we will take steps to enforce their removal from the


country, that is what the public expects, and that is what we are


going to do, and we expect to have gone through those cases and know


which of the two categories people are in by the end of this year.


That is the line from the minister, not the line of the man we were


hoping to speak to, Keith Vaz of the Home Affairs Select Committee,


but he is stuck in a traffic jam on the M1 apparently. There has been a


bad accident on the M1, and that has held him up. To prepare to see


him, I was looking at the figures, there are currently 20 have eyes


and asylum cases going through. -- 25,500 asylum cases going through.


But there are 74,000 made up of individuals with whom officials are


no longer in touch, in other words they have lost them. Then there is


the migration refusal pool, that is people who are recorded as having


no permission to be in the UK but they do not know where they are, in


other words they have lost them! The whole thing is a complete


Horlicks. Yes, it is, and you need an effective system which gives bad


guys out, controls the numbers effectively and everyone knows


where they are. And keeping the doors open for people who bring


wealth and jobs and prosperity to this country. It sounds so simple,


doesn't it? We know the system is not working and the Border Agency


is a complete mess, we saw that at Heathrow before the summer, and


this is further evidence. Every government tries to come to grips


with this. The number is something like the population of Iceland.


think that came to the committee, more than 300,000 cases need to be


dealt with, needed to be dealt with at the end of June, and that is


equivalent to the population of Iceland. The Sun newspaper


helpfully points out that meant the country and not the supermarket!


am glad that is cleared up for us! When you look at this, they lost


74,000, they have lost 174,000, whatever the minister says, your


antennae picked up. They are going to give an amnesty. Surely we now


have to have a sensible debate about the amnesty. Boris Johnson


was talking about is a few years ago, it is not necessary a right or


left issue, no-one can work out to do, so why can't we have a sensible


debate to work out if there are people contributing to this country,


or that really needs to stay here, we cannot send them back to war-


torn countries, then let's talk about it sensibly. If you do not in


a blanket amnesty, which would be incredibly unpopular, if you start


to say as has been happening in America we are going to give an


amnesty to kids who have been born here and are now working or being


educated, they are Americans, you could do that here, but if you have


a controlled archive that you have lost, 74,000, and a refusal pool of


174,000, you cannot do that, you do This is a huge problem for the


government. They will have to give amnesties to the people who are


here and that is a terrible hole in their policy. Republicans can't


work out what their policy is in the USA, and that had an impact in


the presidential elections to the Tories need to work it out. We're


talking here, not just about asylum-seekers, but, let's move on.


Now, a report out today suggests the number of complaints made about


the Health Service are increasing. Not good news for the Health


Secretary Jeremy Hunt. He is new in the job. So what's been the


problem? The NHS received over 150,000 complaints between 2011 and


2012. Of those just over 16,000 patients or family members were


dissatisfied with how the NHS tried to resolve the issue and so were


referred to the Health Service Ombudsman. That's up 8% on last


year. Complaints include a man whose skin cancer was misdiagnosed


by his GP practice on six different occasions but who was unable to get


the practice to acknowledge their failings when he complained.


Another who was accused by a surgeon of being a baby when he


expressed his anxiety about having a general anaesthetic. And a


bereaved daughter who was told death is rarely an ideal situation


for anyone and that, truth be told, your mother probably said her


goodbyes long before the final moments. Julie Mellor, the new


ombudsman has said there needed to be a clear shift in attitude and


practice among some GPs. We had seen an increase in the number of


cases where the NHS has not acknowledged a mistake was made, an


increase in the number of cases where they have not explained what


actually happened, and an increase in in the sincere, inadequate


apologies, and that matters because it damages confidence in the NHS,


which provides fantastic ear to thousands of people every day -- in


sincere. -- fantastic care. Well, to discuss this I'm joined by the


Health Services Minister, Dr Daniel Poulter. And by Katherine Murphy of


the Patients Association. Is the NHS in general good at dealing with


people and complaints? I think the staff is a very much a defensive


culture when it comes to handling complaints. Patients call the


Patients Association helpline and tell us they feel it disillusioned


with the system, it's very complicated, it's a very long, very


bureaucratic, and the NHS rely very much on a written outcome of the


complaint which obviously is a barrier to a lot of people. How can


you improve that? The quality of care for the majority people is


very good and many people, most patients are satisfied. We do get


things wrong in the NHS sometimes. I know things go wrong and we don't


always get things right. The first thing to do is for professionals in


the NHS and managers to always acknowledge when things have gone


wrong and to make a sincere apology. Does that happen? Sometimes they're


quite slow to acknowledge something has gone badly wrong. I think, as


it currently exists, the complaints process is very lengthy for people.


It's too long, bureaucratic. And very often, when patients raised


concerns, they don't know where in the process their concern is. What


we try and encourage staff to do is, when a patient and a relative of


race is a concern, while it they are still in hospital, please


address the concern because the vast majority of patients want to


see an improvement, they want staff to see it as a learning opportunity,


an opportunity to have a conversation, not an end to a


conversation. Why are complaints rising? The government recognises


that we need to, we need to be quicker. We have made a commitment


to make sure all complaints are acknowledged within three days


because it's completely unacceptable when people have to


wait months to have an acknowledgement that something has


gone wrong. We're going to consult a how we can make that a reality,


to improve those few cases where things go badly wrong. Overall, in


terms of the report to address your question there, complaints to the


ombudsman directly, they are a relatively a new body, 2009, and it


only recently there has been or strict duty put in place for any


hospital, GP's surgery, engaged in a complaints procedure, now has a


duty not to flag up there is an ombudsman there, if at the end of


the complaints procedure, the patient is not happy with how it is


handled. Already, the NHS are making sure where there are


complaints, they are dealt with properly. Overall complaints going


up by 8% but if you break it down, 50% rise in in incidents with the


NHS did not acknowledge mistakes in care and a 42% rise in complaints


with inadequate remedy such as apologies being offered. Why?


completely unacceptable. Sometimes what happens, we do live in an


increasingly litigious age and is a lot more propensity for people to


sue. Some hospitals reaction to that is to say, if we acknowledge


something went wrong, we could be sued, but that's not the case. We


have to understand it's about looking after people properly and


recognising things have gone wrong and being open and honest about it.


Admitting something has gone wrong, acknowledging some body has been


treated badly and had a bad experience, doesn't mean there's


going to be a big financial bill associated with it. The British are


very proud of the NHS, it provides health care to everybody.


Regardless of means and so on. It's a state health service but it is a


massive state bureaucracy, a massive monolithic state but, --


but I am off -- and it does not respond well to customer complaints.


The vast majority of patients and relatives are reluctant to complain.


I think we should have much more information to be given to every


patient going into hospital on how they make a complaint and where


they get the relevant information from. Information also on how to


support them up during the process. Have you complained to the NHS?


but because it's held in such high regard, I wonder whether a somehow


a culture has developed inside the NHS where is not enough self-


criticism. Anybody can hide behind the fact, as an institution, its


sober loved and trusted. I totally agree and, despite this, it's still


an institution the general public have love for. It's good that that


is still there. Are the cuts impacting? Is a bigger short cuts


are being taken, there is not enough time to sit and talk to


people and explain to them? We are seeing stories but NHS directors --


NHS Direct is to be closed. Is up to be closed? I'm not aware of that


at the moment. We are told a large number of the call centres are to


close. It certainly been reviewed at the moment and it's an ongoing


process but a not aware any decision has been made at the


moment. The unions seem to think it is. Unions are very often jump on


the consultation as something... a time when cuts are happening,


your Government's position is you have ring-fenced health spending,


but when cash is short, is that not likely to lead to more complaints?


There is no substitute for good care and the fact of the matter is,


it's about the relationship between a doctors and nurses and health


care professionals and their patients. That means acknowledging


things have gone wrong and learning from it in the future. The NHS is


getting �12.5 billion more from the government. It is good practice and


good health care to make sure we learn from mistakes and improve


care in the future. You're the only government minister we have one


this morning. What is your reaction to Lord McAlpine's statement?


was in the Guardian this morning? No, since then, make nuclear


vehemently that he believes he has nothing to do with this abuse story.


I think the main issue we discussed earlier on, Twitter, there are


libellous things can be said about people with no truth whatsoever in


a very spiteful way. When it comes down to it, we need to get away


from all that and stick with the facts. There are investigations


going on into allegations of abuse. Let them take place. And take it


from there. It's very irresponsible for people to using the internet


and a spiteful and ill-founded way. That's something we should learn


from for the future as well. Thank you for that. We'll keep an eye on


the complaint situation. Thank you for joining us. It's been a big


week in politics with a big story dominating. Yes, the trip to the


Jungle Beach is heavily in the week in 60 seconds. -- jungle features


heavily. The President defeats Mitt Romney in a close-run campaign to


retain the White House. Democrats rejoiced and Republicans were in


despair and many others couldn't believe how much money it cost.


Has gone to the jungle. Having evidently given up on the


government game, I'm an MP, let me in, she has had the whip withdrawn.


The the that the Prime Minister sparred with Harriet Harman and we


had a parliamentary miracle. the first time in my career, I


wholeheartedly agree with her. Letters for treasure this moment. -


- let as the treasure this moment. David Cameron met Angela Merkel and


commentators wondered whether she wants them to sit closer while he


explained he might have to leave early.


Coming up this week, we had the call the by-election. The elections


for police commissioners in England and Wales as well. The American


election, I had an argument in the studio last night with a historian


who said this was a watershed election. I'm not so sure. It isn't


a watershed election for the Democrats are but they are bought


the Republicans who on the wrong end of the American tomography.


They are in total disarray. Mitt Romney went too far to the right


and then tried to backtrack but not enough to get elected. Now the tea-


party are fighting. Goodness knows where we will go from here. It's


interesting talking to the but Westminster. Labour said this


election has not about the economy but a change in society. Both the


Tories and Labour are trying to drawing conclusions from their


position. Part of the problem is the Republicans have so little in


common with European conservative movements. I hope you enjoyed being


on the Daily Politics. And you will come back and see us on Friday.


That's all for today. Thanks to our guests. The One O'Clock News is


starting over on BBC One now. I'll be back on BBC One on Sunday with


the Sunday Politics. My guests will be the Secretary of State for


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