13/11/2012 Daily Politics


13/11/2012

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by Lord Dannatt to discuss the latest developments with Abu Qatada's deportation. Plus, all the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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Transcript


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Afternoon. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Abu Qatada or is released

:00:44.:00:49.

from Long Marton jail after winning his case against deportation. Home

:00:49.:00:54.

Secretary says she will appeal again. A long will this continue?

:00:54.:00:58.

Women are being held back in the workplace by clapped-out rules,

:00:58.:01:01.

says the Deputy Prime Minister as he announces that fathers will be

:01:01.:01:07.

able to share parental leave. Starbucks executives tell MPs how

:01:07.:01:11.

their UK businesses are struggling to make an meets foot -- to make

:01:11.:01:14.

ends meet. And why cigarette papers could hold

:01:14.:01:17.

the key to a peaceful future in Afghanistan.

:01:17.:01:22.

Some people are gloomy about the prospect for political settlement

:01:22.:01:29.

in 2014 when the troops leave but I am more optimistic for more Afghans

:01:29.:01:37.

centric reasons. All that coming up in the next hour. And stepping up

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to join us, crossbench peer and former head of the British Army,

:01:43.:01:46.

General Richard Dannatt. Welcome back to the programme. Good to be

:01:46.:01:54.

here. Starting with inflation, the UK's consumer price index rose

:01:54.:02:01.

sharply to 2.7% in it sober up from 2.2% in the month before. -- in

:02:01.:02:08.

October. That is a bigger league fan and economists expected. -- a

:02:08.:02:12.

bigger leap than. It is worth putting these figures into context.

:02:12.:02:20.

One year ago, CPI was running at 5%. Clearly, from where we were, we are

:02:20.:02:25.

in a better position. It is disappointing to see inflation

:02:25.:02:31.

rising. As the ONS has said, two factors led to this. Food costs in

:02:31.:02:36.

particular, relating to the harvest, which was poor because of the

:02:36.:02:41.

weather, and secondly tuition fees, which has been greater than

:02:42.:02:47.

expected on the impact -- in terms of the impact on inflation. We are

:02:47.:02:53.

joined by Stephanie Flanders. The Government is saying there is a

:02:53.:02:57.

one-off jump because tuition fees are included in the index but as I

:02:57.:03:01.

understand it, energy prices coming through for the winter are not

:03:01.:03:07.

included. It is true it is part of the utility price rises, and that

:03:07.:03:12.

is included in this number, which is one reason why it has risen.

:03:12.:03:18.

There is an extra 0.3% Tchoutou that the increase in tuition fees.

:03:18.:03:22.

There is also some food price inflation coming into the shops,

:03:22.:03:30.

which we have seen influence the prices. There is no guarantee that

:03:30.:03:34.

inflation will go back down again and there is expectation in the

:03:34.:03:37.

City that the Monetary Policy Committee is going to have to put

:03:37.:03:40.

up with inflation bouncing around a bit and maybe even going higher

:03:40.:03:44.

than this in the next few months. They had hoped that it would be

:03:44.:03:49.

heading firmly back to 2%. If the downward trend has come to a halt,

:03:49.:03:58.

and this may not be a halt, what is the implication for government

:03:58.:04:02.

economic policy? It means that the Bank of England may have less room

:04:02.:04:07.

than we might have hoped to do more to stimulate the recovery. I know

:04:07.:04:11.

that people were thinking that the last quarter may not show laughing

:04:11.:04:15.

like the growth that we had seen in the last three months and that

:04:15.:04:20.

there is the risk that the recovery might grind to a halt. The Monetary

:04:20.:04:26.

Policy Committee may feel it has less room to do anything about that,

:04:26.:04:28.

and in fact the monastery Policy Committee knew about this figure

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last week when they met and this may be one reason why they did not

:04:32.:04:35.

create more money through quantitative easing, to support the

:04:35.:04:40.

recovery. It does not necessarily mean that we will stay at this

:04:40.:04:44.

higher level. Most people expect inflation to be coming down. We are

:04:44.:04:51.

not seeing domestic price pressure. University fees, food price

:04:51.:04:56.

inflation, energy price inflation, but we're not seeing wages picking

:04:56.:05:00.

up, and that may mean that they can keep interest rates very low but it

:05:00.:05:09.

does limit their room for manoeuvre. Thank you very much. General, you

:05:09.:05:14.

have a degree in economic history and do you care to comment? I think

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what Stephanie said his right. Her last comment is very interesting. I

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think the Bank will have less and room to manoeuvre because the

:05:22.:05:26.

quantitative easing has had an effect on inflation. One thinks

:05:26.:05:29.

that inflation rising is a bad thing but I think a bit of

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inflation is important. Also, we should see interest rates coming up

:05:33.:05:39.

which is good for savers, but not borrowers. It is time for our quiz.

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As we know, Nadine Dorries is taking part in ITV's I'm a

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Celebrity. Last night, she took part in the first bush tucker trial.

:05:51.:05:56.

That is the name of the game. The public have voted for her to do

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tonight's trial as well. But which of these people have said they have

:06:00.:06:04.

voted for her to stay there and added that they have her voting No.

:06:04.:06:12.

On speed dial? Was a David Cameron, George Osborne -- was it David

:06:12.:06:18.

Cameron, George Osborne, Eric Pickles always mention? At the end

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of the show, we will have the opportunity to give you the correct

:06:20.:06:24.

answer. If you don't know, we will tell you

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and give you her speed dial number as well. Within the last hour, Abu

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:06:38.:06:39.

Qatada has been released from jail. There he is, pulling out in a taxi.

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I wonder if the taxi driver knew who he was picking up. He has been

:06:44.:06:48.

held there for deportation. He was supposed to be going to Jordan.

:06:48.:06:53.

They have spent years trying to get in there but yesterday, the Special

:06:53.:06:55.

Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that he could not be deported

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to Jordan after all. Indeed, he would have to be released. Theresa

:07:00.:07:04.

May has said she will appeal the decision but success is not

:07:04.:07:08.

guaranteed. It could take months or years of further work, especially

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for lawyers. Abu Qatada first arrived in Britain

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from Jordan in 1993. In 1999, he was convicted in his absence on

:07:23.:07:29.

terror charges in Jordan. After a series of arrests by UK police, the

:07:29.:07:34.

Government first began deportation proceedings in 2005. But in 2008, a

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court of Appeal ruled that sending him to Jordan would breach his

:07:40.:07:42.

human rights because a court case would rely on evidence which had

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been obtained through torture. In 2009, five law lords ruled that he

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could be deported after all falling assurances from Jordan that he

:07:51.:07:57.

would receive a fair trial. In 2012, the European Court of Human Rights

:07:57.:08:01.

block that and despite further attempt by the Home Secretary to

:08:01.:08:05.

overcome the problems, the British Special Immigration Appeals

:08:05.:08:08.

Commission has now ruled that he should be released again. He will

:08:08.:08:12.

be under a curfew for 16 hours a day and will be under restrictions

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on whom he meets. Some estimates put the cost also their rooms at �5

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million a year. -- the cost of surveillance. Theresa May says she

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will make a further appeal to try to get deportation back on track.

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We are joined by Chris Bryant and by Geoffrey Robinson, human-rights

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lawyer. Chris Bryant, the last government could not get rid of the

:08:36.:08:40.

sky and this government cannot. Will we ever get rid of him? --

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read of this guy. I also. Part of the problem is that when James

:08:46.:08:51.

Brokenshire was sent out to Jordan, he did not end up with a strong

:08:51.:08:56.

enough set of reassurances and Theresa May's own visit did not

:08:56.:09:00.

have enough on top of that. When she decided not to appeal the

:09:00.:09:07.

decision, earlier this year, effectively as the court said this

:09:07.:09:16.

week, the threshold for deportation rose. She has got quite a lot of

:09:16.:09:21.

egg on her face. It is right to appeal. Is there something you want

:09:21.:09:26.

to make party points over? Pupil failed to do it. It may be wrong to

:09:26.:09:29.

send him back but that is a different issue. I do not think it

:09:29.:09:36.

is wrong. I am not disputing that. I'm saying that this government

:09:36.:09:40.

tenure Government have failed. Right -- rather than making party

:09:40.:09:44.

points, maybe you should sit down and make a general policy.

:09:44.:09:47.

offered to come to some kind of agreed position. But the difficulty

:09:48.:09:54.

is we have the law and we have to meet the law. The thing the

:09:54.:09:58.

Government did not do, when the writing was on the wall, and it was

:09:58.:10:03.

very clear, we had to get absolutely solid, cast-iron

:10:03.:10:06.

assurances from the Jordanians and that did not happen. But Geoffrey

:10:06.:10:11.

Robertson, the Jordanians do not necessarily have to get that. They

:10:11.:10:15.

are sovereign power and we seem to be getting into the situation where

:10:15.:10:20.

we are now trying to write to the Jordanian criminal code. Well,

:10:20.:10:24.

Theresa May has egg on her face because she told parliament she has

:10:24.:10:29.

succeeded. Clearly, when cross- examination came in court, it

:10:29.:10:34.

turned out she had failed. I think there is an argument that Abu

:10:34.:10:41.

Qatada or has, a loathsome view -- there is an argument that he has a

:10:41.:10:44.

lows than view and should not have been given asylum. That is

:10:44.:10:47.

something to look at. There have been mistakes made by the

:10:47.:10:51.

government along the way but ultimately, I think we can see Abu

:10:51.:10:56.

Qatada getting out of his taxi today and feel a certain pride that

:10:56.:11:00.

in very few other countries with this happen. We have independent

:11:00.:11:04.

judges who, no matter how hysterical the Government is, no

:11:04.:11:09.

matter how 99% of the public wanted to go, we to uphold the rule sloth.

:11:09.:11:15.

This is what makes Great Britain great. -- the rule of law. I was

:11:15.:11:19.

with you until you said you wanted me to be proud that he was getting

:11:19.:11:23.

out in a taxi. It is not just that he has lows some views, lot of

:11:23.:11:27.

people have laws and views. That is not the issue. Quite a few of them

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come through the studio! Some of them are even presenters!

:11:33.:11:38.

It is not about whether you like or dislike someone's used, it is about

:11:38.:11:41.

whether their views are dangerous. Everybody has agreed that the way

:11:41.:11:46.

this man has conducted and propounded his views is dangerous

:11:46.:11:51.

to national security. The question is, we do not seem to have any

:11:51.:11:54.

means of being able to bring a prosecution. The Jordanians want to

:11:54.:11:58.

be helpful, and they have changed elements of the constitution but I

:11:58.:12:02.

do not think of... Are you proud to be British when you see him getting

:12:02.:12:10.

into the taxi? I think he is making an ass of us. I think two things,

:12:10.:12:14.

if he has done things that we think are wrong, we should consider

:12:14.:12:18.

charging him but that is unlikely to happen. Apparently the evidence

:12:18.:12:22.

is not admissible. I think we should challenge of the apparently.

:12:22.:12:27.

I think the other thing that is important, Jordan we have very good

:12:27.:12:30.

relationships with and we are friends with them. We can trust

:12:30.:12:33.

them and I think we should keep the dialogue going and suggest that

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they might look closely at whether they will make a definitive

:12:36.:12:41.

statement about not including evidence obtained under torture.

:12:41.:12:46.

That may come at the appeal stage. As I understand it, one of the

:12:46.:12:54.

original concerns was that he might be in danger. The Jordanians said

:12:54.:13:02.

they looked at that, and to Theresa May thought they had got that

:13:02.:13:08.

sorted, but the appeals court did not think it was cast-iron. Three

:13:08.:13:13.

judges heard the evidence of an they cross examined it and they

:13:13.:13:17.

decided that the evidence against him was very thin and that all it

:13:17.:13:21.

was came from people who had been tortured. On that basis, Jordan had

:13:21.:13:27.

not gone far enough. What should you do? It should go further to

:13:27.:13:32.

exclude a law -- it pass a law to exclude evidence obtained during

:13:32.:13:36.

torture and then Theresa May can try again. This is where I want to

:13:36.:13:42.

make a very slightly partisan comment. Theresa May could have

:13:42.:13:47.

known that in 2000 than 10 when she started making statements to the

:13:47.:13:51.

House of Commons about it. -- in 2010. It was absolutely clear that

:13:51.:13:54.

that would be necessary and we set it in Parliament. I do not think

:13:54.:13:59.

she comes out of this well because I think she went there and sent to

:13:59.:14:03.

junior minister. They came away with what they thought were easy

:14:03.:14:07.

assurances but there should have banned the deal harder. Can I come

:14:07.:14:10.

back your point? Many people do not understand why we have not been

:14:10.:14:15.

able to bring charges to him. Because we have no evidence.

:14:15.:14:19.

evidence is incredibly thin and the only evidence is obtained from

:14:19.:14:23.

people who have been tortured. There is no way around that? Judges

:14:23.:14:27.

are not Newsnight journalists, they do not make allegations without

:14:27.:14:34.

evidence. That is where Newsnight went wrong. We are in the business

:14:34.:14:40.

of prosecuting people on evidence that will stand up in court. And if

:14:40.:14:43.

that is the case, there are takes the issue back to the Jordanians.

:14:43.:14:47.

At the gig goes back into their court. Will they or will they not,

:14:47.:14:53.

and I hope that they will consider it, change the law in a small way.

:14:53.:14:59.

But this is the bit that... That is still in Theresa May's court. She

:14:59.:15:05.

has to appease the courts and she needs to be very clear. First of

:15:05.:15:12.

all, I think she needs to appeal. Or if there was judicial evidence...

:15:12.:15:17.

A do-nothing she will succeed on appeal. There is a wider points to

:15:17.:15:23.

get involved in, why should we have given him asylum in the first place

:15:23.:15:27.

when he holds views that are fundamentally and violently anti-

:15:27.:15:31.

democratic and racist? That is because of the reading of the

:15:31.:15:35.

refugee Convention but in my view, we are not obliged, as some think,

:15:35.:15:42.

to give people who are violent racists and sexists refuge here on

:15:42.:15:46.

a permanent basis. We can give them temporary refuge if they are about

:15:46.:15:56.
:15:56.:15:58.

It is about time you had a policy. Let me just bring you back, that is

:15:58.:16:02.

an interesting context, let me try to tell you something you may be do

:16:02.:16:06.

not know. King Abdullah is coming to London next week. I know that

:16:06.:16:11.

because I was invited, I did not know until I was invited to a

:16:11.:16:15.

lecture at the Policy Exchange, just round the corner next week. So

:16:15.:16:19.

what should the British government say to the king now that he is

:16:19.:16:23.

here? What should we try to require of them, keeping in mind that he

:16:23.:16:28.

may say, look, we are a sovereign nation, we have done what we have

:16:28.:16:34.

got to do? To be honest, thus far, they have proved themselves to be

:16:34.:16:39.

as helpful as one could want, and what I do not understand is why the

:16:39.:16:43.

Home Secretary did not come back with the goods, basically, because

:16:43.:16:48.

I understand... She has got a chance this week. Yes, indeed.

:16:48.:16:53.

think they should be lifted away from party politics. We all want to

:16:53.:16:57.

see the back of Abu Qatada. We are a good friend of King Abdullah, we

:16:57.:17:05.

need to say, if that is what you can you have signed the torture

:17:05.:17:13.

Convention... Widened to go as far as that convention allows and have

:17:13.:17:19.

pale against the reception of evidence obtained by torture? --

:17:19.:17:23.

why don't you go? And if the king is watching, we would like to

:17:23.:17:27.

invite him to reply! He wants to know what the next director-general

:17:27.:17:33.

is up to. I met him at a gym in Paris once. The next director-

:17:33.:17:39.

general? The King of Jordan, you are obsessed with the BBC! I wanted

:17:39.:17:46.

to point out this was a BBC Three programme until you mentioned it! -

:17:46.:17:53.

- BBC-3. You are going to leave us now, but we thank you for joining

:17:53.:17:57.

as, we are keeping you here, willingly, I hope. Geoffrey

:17:57.:18:01.

Robertson, you are staying with us because one of the biggest

:18:01.:18:05.

challenges facing President Obama is what to do about Iran. Tensions

:18:05.:18:09.

have been running high over Tehran's nuclear programme, and

:18:09.:18:12.

during the presidential elections Barack Obama said that negotiations

:18:12.:18:16.

could not go on forever, adding that the clock is ticking.

:18:16.:18:20.

Yesterday Iranian media reported that the regime has launched a

:18:20.:18:24.

military drills across half the country. A spokesman said the

:18:24.:18:29.

exercise would send out a strong warning to those who threaten Iran.

:18:29.:18:32.

Their real military capabilities are disputed, and the accuracy of

:18:32.:18:36.

these pictures cannot be confirmed, but it is clear that despite

:18:36.:18:40.

sanctions, Tehran continues to develop its nuclear programme, and

:18:40.:18:45.

Western nations believe it is aimed at developing weapons. Geoffrey

:18:45.:18:48.

Robertson is still with us, and he argues that by spring of next year

:18:48.:18:51.

President Obama will be under huge pressure to back an Israeli attack

:18:51.:18:55.

on Iran and Britain will have to decide whether to support it. Is

:18:55.:19:00.

there any doubt that Iran is trying to make a bomb? I don't think so. I

:19:00.:19:03.

think the evidence is overwhelming that they have been trying to make

:19:03.:19:09.

a bomb, frankly, since the Shah! He decided that they would ultimately

:19:10.:19:15.

make a bomb, the Ayatollah when he got in said, no, this is a Western

:19:15.:19:21.

weapon, so it is in for. But then Iraq started to use chemical

:19:22.:19:26.

weapons on the Iranians, and they changed their mind. In 1985-86,

:19:26.:19:32.

they hired this Pakistani bomb maker, and they have been trying,

:19:32.:19:37.

edging their way towards a nuclear weapon, and they are probably

:19:37.:19:41.

within one year. Netanyahu, who is likely to be re-elected in January,

:19:41.:19:44.

and that is half the problem, thinks they should be attacked by

:19:44.:19:49.

the spring or early summer. He has been threatening that for some time,

:19:49.:19:54.

and we know that relations publicly between the Israeli premier and

:19:54.:19:58.

President Obama are not, perhaps, what they might be. President Obama

:19:58.:20:03.

certainly talked tough during the election, obviously he had to equal

:20:03.:20:07.

Mitt Romney, but is there any appetite in America for any sort of

:20:07.:20:12.

military action? The Jewish lobby have a great deal of influence.

:20:12.:20:16.

President Obama said at the United Nations that there was a coalition,

:20:16.:20:22.

he actually used the word coalition, and that is a signal for Britain, a

:20:22.:20:27.

coalition that would stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon. Now, that

:20:27.:20:32.

means that he will be brought in, I would have thought, to an attack,

:20:32.:20:36.

and we will have the old Iraq debate about the legality at the

:20:36.:20:41.

United Nations some time next year. It will be a re-run of Iraq, and

:20:41.:20:46.

there is no doubt that under international law there is nothing

:20:47.:20:54.

to stop Iran going nuclear. This is the problem. The Non-Proliferation

:20:54.:21:00.

Treaty has broken down, North Korea has 12 nuclear weapons, Pakistan

:21:00.:21:05.

has 110, and the Islamic extremists attacked an airbase and almost got

:21:05.:21:14.

one. We are in a new area, we are out of the Cold War, we are out of

:21:14.:21:18.

mutually assured destruction, and we are in a new area where nukes

:21:18.:21:21.

are proliferating and something is going to go wrong unless we stop

:21:21.:21:25.

them. Is it the right thing for America and President Obama to

:21:25.:21:29.

threaten attacking the military and nuclear capability in Iran, or is

:21:29.:21:33.

that not going to make the Iranians feel even more, you know, indignant

:21:33.:21:38.

about what they are doing, and they will just pursue it anyway? I think

:21:38.:21:42.

the Americans are right not to take the military option off the table,

:21:42.:21:46.

but it is the one you do not want to use. Sanctions would appear to

:21:46.:21:50.

be working rather more effectively and diplomatic dialogue, more so

:21:50.:21:54.

than people previously thought. The worst case situation, and it is

:21:54.:21:57.

interesting that the Iranians have put his propaganda film at, they

:21:57.:22:01.

are trying to show their military capability is strong. Question, do

:22:01.:22:05.

the Americans, the Israelis have the military capability

:22:05.:22:09.

significantly to degrade their nuclear weapons capability?

:22:09.:22:13.

Israelis do not on their own, do they? Who knows? But the wider

:22:13.:22:16.

point is that we do not want to bomb Iran to stop them having a

:22:17.:22:21.

bomb, and then wind up with a bomb Iran that has a bomb. Much better

:22:21.:22:25.

to learn to live with and Iran with a bomb over time. Sanctions are not

:22:25.:22:29.

working. They are making the public and the regime even more determined,

:22:29.:22:35.

that is the evidence in my book. Diplomacy is not working. The

:22:35.:22:41.

European Union people are being just simply strung along by the

:22:41.:22:48.

Iranians. The problem with bombing which no-one realises, everyone

:22:48.:22:54.

thinks it is going to be 10 people dead, but it is not. There are

:22:54.:23:02.

5,000 people working at Natanz, 371 tons of uranium hex of chloride in

:23:02.:23:06.

the places that are going to be bombed. Let that go up, let the

:23:06.:23:09.

wind blow it across the city, and you have tens of thousands of

:23:09.:23:14.

people who will die. Is Britain going to sign up for that? Very

:23:14.:23:18.

briefly, then, if Britain is forced to take tides, whose side should

:23:18.:23:23.

they back? Neither side, I do not think Britain should allow Diego

:23:23.:23:27.

Garcia to be used, which it may well be forced up the island in

:23:27.:23:32.

Indian Ocean. We should not allow up our facilities to be used. We

:23:32.:23:37.

should be neutral, because it would be an unlawful attack. Geoffrey

:23:37.:23:41.

Robertson, thank you very much. Can you sign the book and leave a copy

:23:41.:23:47.

behind? Yes, of course! Not often you get something out of a lawyer,

:23:47.:23:57.

is it? I definitely want it for free! It is not often that

:23:57.:24:01.

multinational coffee chains inspire sympathy with us on the Daily

:24:01.:24:06.

Politics, but one firm, I have got it here, told MPs yesterday that it

:24:06.:24:11.

is struggling to make ends meet here in the UK and not doing nearly

:24:11.:24:15.

as well as some of its competitors. I will not tell you which one it is,

:24:15.:24:21.

but it has got bucks in its name. If not in its profit line,

:24:21.:24:25.

according to the company, boom- boom! They are one of three

:24:25.:24:30.

companies to appear before the Commons Public Accounts Committee,

:24:30.:24:34.

where MPs were curious to know why they paid so little tax in the UK.

:24:34.:24:41.

Let's see how well or badly they If you make losses in the UK, which

:24:41.:24:49.

is what you are filing, over 15 years, what on earth are you doing

:24:49.:24:53.

doing business here? We know that we must be in the UK to be a

:24:53.:24:58.

successful global company. But you are losing money here! Why don't

:24:58.:25:03.

you focus on the US, where you are making money? We have had

:25:03.:25:09.

tremendous optimism... 15 years, you have given the UK business 15

:25:09.:25:16.

years, you are still making losses, and yet you are carrying on, if it

:25:16.:25:21.

is true. I assure you it is true, it is very unfortunate, we are not

:25:21.:25:25.

pleased about the financial importance. Everything we have said

:25:25.:25:30.

is historically true. It does not ring true. It is hard to believe,

:25:30.:25:37.

when I rushed down Victoria Street, and a double Paranal Karthi leaves

:25:37.:25:47.
:25:47.:25:47.

you in such a bad way, for 14 years. -- .. Paranal Kotri. You have paid

:25:47.:25:49.

1.6 million in corporation tax, you are either running the business

:25:49.:25:56.

very badly, or there is a third of going on. This is the most

:25:56.:26:00.

competitive market that we operate in. There is outstanding

:26:00.:26:05.

competition, consumers have much choice, more choice for consumption

:26:05.:26:09.

of coffee per capita than anywhere else in the world. Your entire

:26:09.:26:16.

economic activity is here in the UK. I pay in pounds, it never comes off

:26:16.:26:21.

my bank account in euros. Your entire activity is here, yet you

:26:21.:26:27.

pay no tax year, and that really riles us. It riles us. Can I

:26:27.:26:33.

clarify that? We do pay corporation tax... Tiny in relation to your

:26:33.:26:40.

turnover. Tiny! The other thing I would also highlight is that we

:26:40.:26:46.

have paid in excess of 100 million in payroll taxes in the last five

:26:46.:26:50.

years, we have paid tens of millions in business rates in the

:26:50.:26:54.

past five years... I have heard this argument already, so let me

:26:54.:27:00.

kill it, because it makes me cross. So does every other business.

:27:00.:27:05.

you to adopt a more robust business model where you work, God forbid,

:27:05.:27:10.

making a profit... We are making a profit. A real profit, rather than

:27:10.:27:15.

just part of a tax avoidance scheme. I have to say, we are paying the

:27:15.:27:21.

tax we are required to under the law. We are not avoiding tax.

:27:21.:27:27.

are avoiding tax! Would you leave, and if you left, if you had to pay

:27:27.:27:34.

higher tax and make decent profits, where would you go? The issue of

:27:34.:27:38.

your understanding is about, you know, if Google was a British

:27:38.:27:41.

business, founded in Cambridge, we would be in a very different place

:27:41.:27:46.

here, because the profitability would rightly suit with where the

:27:46.:27:50.

technology and innovation happens. But Google is a US business, and

:27:50.:27:54.

the activity that happens in the UK, even if you describe it as sales

:27:54.:27:58.

activity, which is not exactly what we do, we could still get that

:27:58.:28:01.

activity from the open market at the costs we are paying to the UK

:28:01.:28:11.
:28:11.:28:11.

With me now, the Conservative MP Charley Hull thick, a former tax by,

:28:11.:28:15.

and Kevin White, managing partner of deVere Group, a financial

:28:15.:28:21.

advisory firm. -- Kevin L Beck, a former tax lawyer. Let us assume,

:28:21.:28:25.

and we have no grounds for saying otherwise, that they are behaving

:28:25.:28:30.

entirely legally, doing their tax returns with in the law. I put it

:28:30.:28:35.

to you that companies with combined revenues of �3 billion only paying

:28:35.:28:39.

corporation tax of �30 million, there is something wrong with the

:28:39.:28:44.

system. Yeah, what they are doing is entirely legal. We have

:28:44.:28:49.

established that. I think that the tax that they are paying is not an

:28:49.:28:52.

awful lot, but they are within their rights to do it. That is not

:28:52.:28:58.

what I am asking you. I am saying to you, if the system is taxing

:28:58.:29:02.

revenues of 3 billion and ends up getting tax revenues of only 30

:29:02.:29:07.

million, there is something wrong with the tax system. It is a lower

:29:07.:29:11.

rate of tax than I pay, and people on average income paid, that almost

:29:11.:29:16.

everyone in the country. I agree, things need to be changed, and that

:29:16.:29:21.

is the overall factor. What should be changed? You have got three

:29:21.:29:25.

issues, a local issue, which is a UK tax issue, then the European and

:29:25.:29:31.

global. Been global multinationals, do you go down the route of

:29:31.:29:37.

escalating it to the G20,... OECD countries. Or do you look at

:29:37.:29:42.

it in the UK? I think a possible solution is a turnover tax. You

:29:42.:29:45.

cannot mitigate turnover, otherwise you are reducing sales, and you

:29:45.:29:50.

cannot do that. A small proportion of turnover in each country would,

:29:50.:29:56.

I think, be fair, transparent and ultimately where we want to get to.

:29:56.:30:00.

Why do you think that our tax system, meant to be one of the most

:30:00.:30:04.

sophisticated in the Western world, put it this way, when our viewers,

:30:04.:30:08.

all of us are paying a lot of tax as individuals, a lot of people

:30:08.:30:13.

have been tracked into the 40% band, people pay 20%, quite low down the

:30:14.:30:18.

income scale, why is it that these companies making so much money pays

:30:18.:30:27.

Two things have happened, the rise of the internet age, with companies

:30:27.:30:32.

like Amazon trading from Luxembourg even though they are fulfilling in

:30:32.:30:37.

the UK. The first thing we need to do is update tax presents. We need

:30:37.:30:41.

to have laws that say the presence of Amazon is in the UK and they

:30:41.:30:45.

should pay tax in the UK. Presumably they do have the

:30:45.:30:49.

infrastructure. They must exist somewhere!

:30:49.:30:53.

The manner was the former MD of Amazon UK is on the BBC executive

:30:53.:30:59.

board. -- the man who was. If they had a UK MD, then they are in

:30:59.:31:05.

Britain. Exactly right. If you buy a book from Amazon, they will say

:31:05.:31:09.

you were buying it in Luxembourg and they fulfil from the UK. It is

:31:09.:31:12.

a Royal Mail stamp that goes on it and it comes to you. It is counter-

:31:12.:31:16.

intuitive that they should be able to say they are not here. What

:31:16.:31:21.

constitutes having a presence in Luxembourg to justify that that is

:31:21.:31:26.

where their tax and not here? their argument is that that is

:31:26.:31:30.

where the place of sale takes place. That is what is wrong. It could be

:31:30.:31:34.

a filing cabinet in Luxembourg. pretty much. Could that be done

:31:34.:31:39.

easily? They are currently doing it. They are not working out of the

:31:39.:31:45.

current laws. What I meant was, could the law be changed in what

:31:45.:31:49.

our MP calls attacks presence to make them legally present for tax

:31:49.:31:55.

purposes in Britain? I think the war can change. The politician and

:31:55.:32:01.

the MPs have the power to do so and I think this is deflected from the

:32:01.:32:05.

fact that they are abroad. The fact is, the reason why the companies

:32:05.:32:10.

are able to do this is because over the years politicians of both

:32:10.:32:20.

parties have made the tax code so complicated that you hire expensive

:32:20.:32:25.

accountants and you can find 101 ways of not paying. That right. If

:32:25.:32:32.

you knock out transfer pricing mark ups and deductions, you could

:32:32.:32:36.

actually have a really low rate of tax, simple and strong. And that is

:32:36.:32:41.

what I am advocating. And that would put you out of the job.

:32:41.:32:49.

think it would. But there is more to financial planning than this.

:32:49.:32:54.

Where are you on this, General? thing for us this veritable law and

:32:54.:32:59.

the letters bowl-off. It is perfectly possible that these big

:33:00.:33:05.

companies, that it can be predicted how much business they do and the

:33:05.:33:10.

mechanism can be calculated. That is logical. The law must be

:33:10.:33:17.

adjusted. Let's take Starbucks, it is on the report to be taxable

:33:17.:33:23.

profit once in 15 years. -- it has only reported a taxable profit once

:33:23.:33:27.

in 15 years. I am assuming that everyone watching this programme

:33:27.:33:32.

thinks that is not credible. Credible, no. Legal, yes. But is it

:33:32.:33:38.

that a right. That is what needs to change. Can we do it on a

:33:38.:33:41.

unilateral basis? You mention that it has to be changed in three

:33:41.:33:47.

places. If we do it alone, will that not just our businesses?

:33:47.:33:50.

Starbucks cannot go elsewhere, or it can if it wants to, there are

:33:50.:33:56.

plenty of other coffee shops. We could have a look at the entire

:33:56.:34:00.

corporation tax regime and ask ourselves, can we have a simpler

:34:00.:34:10.
:34:10.:34:18.

tax system? But your government, you went for tax simplification.

:34:18.:34:23.

You promised it but in fact you have added several hundred more

:34:23.:34:27.

pages to the Tax Guide that you inherited from Gordon Brown. There

:34:27.:34:31.

is the question of counting pages. The more important question,

:34:31.:34:40.

retinues. From 1997 until 2010, income tax revenues went up by 80%.

:34:40.:34:45.

Corporation tax went up by 6%. What is happening has been happening for

:34:45.:34:48.

one time and is a systemic issue that we need to call to account.

:34:48.:34:52.

there any evidence the Government is going to do that? Will we see

:34:52.:35:01.

any action in the autumn statement? I am campaigning on it. It is going

:35:01.:35:06.

to take time and there is no quick fix. It will take years but people

:35:06.:35:09.

need to be patient. This government has the ability to make a

:35:09.:35:13.

difference. More years of tax free coffee profits. Hopefully not too

:35:13.:35:17.

many. Briefly, will we see action in the United States? I hope we

:35:17.:35:21.

will see moves in the right direction. The Deputy Prime

:35:21.:35:27.

Minister is a man who takes being a father of three seriously. He has

:35:27.:35:32.

reported to do the school run on a regular basis and cabinet meetings

:35:32.:35:34.

had been rearranged around parenting. This morning, he

:35:34.:35:38.

announced he is going to allow dads to share more parental leave with

:35:38.:35:42.

their partner after the birth of their child. Where say we're going

:35:42.:35:47.

to consult with businesses and make sure that mums and dads give the

:35:47.:35:54.

right notice to employers. -- we are saying we're going to consult.

:35:54.:35:58.

My view is that given that women are so important to our economic

:35:58.:36:03.

success as a country, and it is often them who are bosses and have

:36:03.:36:09.

particular expertise, giving them the flexibility to come back to

:36:09.:36:13.

work earlier or to come back to work for a certain period of time

:36:13.:36:17.

to complete a particular task, that would help employers rather than

:36:17.:36:22.

hinder their own. We are joined by the Employment Relations Minister,

:36:22.:36:29.

Jo Swinson. And Liz Gardiner, who works for the charity Working

:36:29.:36:34.

Charities. What is your take on what has been announced? It is a

:36:34.:36:40.

good news story on the flexible working reforms, which has a great

:36:40.:36:44.

business success and good news for families. The right to request it,

:36:44.:36:50.

not get it. There was nothing for business to fear. We hope that will

:36:50.:36:56.

start to change workplace cultures. I think it is a good sign that the

:36:56.:37:01.

Government has listened to concerns and has come up with a greater plan.

:37:01.:37:07.

I do not understand, I thought that businesses already have to consider,

:37:07.:37:11.

even on a voluntary basis, they had to look at requests for flexible

:37:11.:37:16.

working. The federation for Small businesses says, of why do we have

:37:16.:37:22.

to have this imposed upon business? The current right to request is

:37:22.:37:27.

available to parents of certain ages. Extending that actually helps

:37:27.:37:32.

to change the culture about the workplace, to be more in tune with

:37:32.:37:38.

the 21st century at people can work remotely. Our present culture

:37:38.:37:42.

Hearts back to the last century. This makes it easier. Any employee

:37:42.:37:47.

that makes the request, that needs to be considered by the employer.

:37:47.:37:51.

It could mean a practice that the mother who has just had a child

:37:51.:37:57.

takes the first four months on -- months off, and then the father

:37:57.:38:00.

takes a four months and then the mother has another month off. Do

:38:00.:38:05.

you accept that that is hard? they want to chair -- to share the

:38:05.:38:09.

lead -- share believe, they cannot do it concurrently at the moment.

:38:09.:38:14.

They cannot do that at the moment. Also, they cannot break into

:38:14.:38:19.

different walks. If mum goes back to work, she will lose the rest of

:38:19.:38:24.

her return to league -- maternity leave, even if the employer wanted

:38:24.:38:28.

to come back. Employers will have to agree the pattern if they want

:38:28.:38:34.

to do it that way. But to give more choice to mums and dads to find a

:38:34.:38:40.

solution that works. Having a child is difficult and stressful enough

:38:40.:38:43.

without all of this additional stress. Does it go far enough?

:38:43.:38:49.

Would you like to see the right to refuse taken away from firms?

:38:50.:38:53.

think the benefit of the right to refuse is that it is a reasonable

:38:53.:38:59.

right. It has been causing a quiet revolution in the workplace. What

:38:59.:39:03.

is the evidence, and I keep seeing that it makes for a happier

:39:03.:39:07.

workplace, but more productive as well. What is the evidence to

:39:07.:39:12.

support that he Mac the House a strong business case. It leads to

:39:12.:39:16.

reduce absenteeism and sickness. And reduce stress. We have done

:39:16.:39:21.

some research that says there is positive correlation between people

:39:21.:39:23.

flexible working and their performance, in the quality and

:39:23.:39:27.

quantity of the work they produce. But there was a plan to give

:39:27.:39:31.

fathers six weeks' paid paternity leave. How long has that been

:39:31.:39:35.

shelved for? In the challenging economic circumstances, would

:39:35.:39:41.

recognise that would mean an extension to the total time that

:39:41.:39:43.

parents could take off and we thought that doing that did not

:39:43.:39:47.

make most sense. That said, with the ability to share, fathers will

:39:48.:39:52.

be able to have extra time off if that is what the family things

:39:52.:40:00.

works for them. The shared parental leave is due to come in in 2015 and

:40:00.:40:03.

once that is in place, the Government is tempted to review

:40:03.:40:07.

that with the Topshop and extending the daddy month to have more

:40:07.:40:13.

paternity only. But interesting that you think it is not right for

:40:13.:40:19.

the time now. Is it even right to put any extra burden on business at

:40:19.:40:22.

a time when the Government desperately wants businesses to

:40:22.:40:26.

take on more people? That is why we are not extending the total time

:40:27.:40:32.

that a couple can have out of the workplace. While employers

:40:32.:40:37.

employing dance might have an issue, the correlation of that is that mum

:40:37.:40:43.

is coming back to work sooner. There is an economic benefit. At

:40:43.:40:47.

the end of the day, we will not get out of the recession that we're in

:40:47.:40:51.

if we are not using all the talent in the workforce at the moment, too

:40:51.:40:54.

many women do not have enough choice about their role in the

:40:54.:40:58.

workplace. This flexibility will help that. Will it help business be

:40:58.:41:02.

more productive? It is interesting to see where the evidence lies upon

:41:02.:41:06.

the face of it, a would have thought that small businesses feel

:41:06.:41:14.

quite challenged. If you only have a dozen employees, that could make

:41:14.:41:19.

it quite difficult to get the company going. After all, the

:41:19.:41:23.

bottom line is getting the economy going again and getting the country

:41:23.:41:26.

back into a stronger position. And perhaps when we have done that we

:41:26.:41:33.

can then enjoy some more or three arrangements to look after children.

:41:34.:41:37.

That is what the Federation of Small Businesses has said. Let us

:41:37.:41:42.

be clear, we cannot suddenly stop having 80 child because we are in a

:41:42.:41:46.

recession. We need to find a way... Of the request was there for people

:41:46.:41:54.

with children. In terms of requests, that is just be reasonable. In

:41:54.:41:56.

terms of parental leave, there is no additional time off out of the

:41:56.:42:00.

workplace, it is just about allowing mums and dads to choose

:42:01.:42:05.

how to split it. It is not an extra burden but in fact it could help

:42:05.:42:09.

businesses. There is more flexibility. If a mother wants to

:42:09.:42:15.

come back and help or a Pacific -- on a specific client, that

:42:15.:42:21.

flexibility is not currently there. Difficult to manage for a small

:42:21.:42:29.

company or a medium-sized company. There will be very few families

:42:29.:42:35.

that we're asking to take it -- that are taking a job and are they

:42:35.:42:40.

coming and going. I think it is an option but what is the alternative?

:42:40.:42:42.

This is the 21st century and the United maternity discrimination

:42:42.:42:48.

happening in the workplace is also costing the UK a huge amount of my.

:42:48.:42:52.

What is the alternative to match I think it is a perfectly reasonable

:42:52.:42:56.

way to go forward but I think what has been announced allows the

:42:56.:42:59.

request to be placed. If it was more than that and there

:42:59.:43:04.

was pressure to employers to allow more time off, I think that would

:43:04.:43:09.

be the wrong place to be. But I think it is something that we can

:43:09.:43:14.

enjoy more was economy has got better. The idea it is, does that

:43:14.:43:19.

make companies more efficient. It is a moot point.

:43:19.:43:22.

British troops have been in Afghanistan for over 10 years. They

:43:22.:43:27.

are due to leave in 2014 along with the American troops. But the truth

:43:27.:43:32.

is, when the Americans leave, we have no choice whether to leave for

:43:32.:43:35.

not. A lot of people are pessimistic about what will happen

:43:35.:43:38.

in Afghanistan after words but rather than predicting a Taliban

:43:38.:43:43.

takeover, the director of the Royal United Services Institute,

:43:43.:43:46.

Professor Michael clerk, he has higher hopes for the country's

:43:46.:43:56.
:43:56.:43:57.

future. In Afghanistan into this no one, in

:43:57.:44:00.

the early part of the war, Afghan forces would often confronted other

:44:00.:44:06.

as if they were about to fight. And the night before, people would pass

:44:06.:44:11.

from one line to another with cigarette papers. Along the

:44:11.:44:15.

cigarette papers were written little messages. In the morning,

:44:16.:44:20.

the battle would not take place and some of the forces we eventuate.

:44:20.:44:26.

Some of the sources -- some of the forces would disappear. The

:44:26.:44:29.

cigarette papers say the battle. We might do better to remember this

:44:29.:44:33.

when we get close to the deadline of military withdrawal. People are

:44:33.:44:39.

starting to get nervous. Of course, Taliban leaders and Afghan warlords

:44:39.:44:43.

were never going to a conference room in Geneva and the glossy it

:44:43.:44:47.

for months on end about the fine details of a political settlement.

:44:47.:44:51.

But as we get closer to 2014, they might well start going backwards

:44:51.:44:55.

and forwards with political cigarette papers and that the 11th

:44:55.:44:58.

hour, produce a political settlement on the future role

:44:58.:45:05.

Afghanistan. Why do I think this? For one thing, Taliban commanders

:45:05.:45:10.

to matter have will be fighting for 20 years. They have got a personal

:45:10.:45:13.

battle almost -- battle honours are now they want a political pay-off.

:45:13.:45:16.

They know that the Afghans will not thank them for plunging the company

:45:16.:45:19.

into civil war and they have learned that they are pretty

:45:19.:45:23.

unpopular. Lots of them fear that Taliban. They do not support them

:45:23.:45:28.

even in the heartland of the South. Although they were never going to

:45:28.:45:30.

run to negotiate with Hamid Karzai, they believe that they will they

:45:31.:45:34.

cannot control the country they have earned the right to some

:45:34.:45:43.

decisive say. Go into a room. It will probably go down to the wire

:45:43.:45:46.

in 2014 and that will make us feel uncomfortable but we should not

:45:46.:45:49.

mistake Afghan posturing for a lack of political nous. They understand

:45:50.:45:55.

the value of cigarette papers. I have a pretty good idea if they

:45:55.:46:05.

know when to start passing them Michael Clark joins us now, as does

:46:05.:46:08.

Paul Flynn, and Richard Dannatt is still with us. What would success

:46:08.:46:14.

in Afghanistan actually look like, bearing in mind many feel that the

:46:14.:46:21.

current policy is failing? I think success now looks like some Afghan

:46:21.:46:24.

negotiated future after 2014, so that whatever happens next is in

:46:24.:46:28.

the hands of the Afghans themselves. It is not a future in which the

:46:29.:46:31.

Taliban will not play a part, but it should be a future in which

:46:32.:46:35.

there is no room for Al-Qaeda war- related groups anywhere in

:46:35.:46:40.

Afghanistan. If there were a single attack on the West that seemed to

:46:40.:46:44.

originate from an Al-Qaeda Group in the areas of Afghanistan, that

:46:44.:46:48.

would look like strategic failure. Could you give any reassurance that

:46:48.:46:53.

would not happen at the moment? If the original aim was to certainly

:46:53.:46:57.

damage the Al-Qaeda network, if not destroy it altogether, and remove

:46:57.:47:02.

the Taliban from power, have we achieved that? Well, yes, Al-Qaeda

:47:02.:47:06.

is not in Afghanistan, the Taliban are not in any governmental sense,

:47:06.:47:11.

but they will move back in in some way. Remember, the Taliban have no

:47:11.:47:15.

love lost for Al-Qaeda. All of the indications are that the Taliban

:47:15.:47:19.

know that they do not want to get involved with Al-Qaeda, those guys

:47:19.:47:23.

are trouble. There is a fair chance that in thinking through a

:47:23.:47:26.

political settlement, they will want to reassure the West that Al-

:47:26.:47:31.

Qaeda have no place in Afghanistan. Present at like that, the Taliban's

:47:31.:47:36.

options will be more limited as we approach 2014, that we will have

:47:36.:47:43.

gained some success. There is a dose of reality in this, because

:47:43.:47:46.

the wind that doesn't send so many young soldiers to die, and it was

:47:46.:47:52.

repeated many times in the Commons, is that our people are going to

:47:52.:47:56.

Afghanistan to protect us from a Taliban terrorist threat. This is

:47:56.:48:05.

an untrue, it has always been a lie, and we know that Al-Qaeda were a

:48:05.:48:09.

spent force many years ago. But we see ourselves in a very dangerous

:48:09.:48:15.

situation, and more civilians died in August that almost any month

:48:15.:48:20.

previously, 374. We had the attack on Camp Bastion, �200 million of

:48:20.:48:25.

damage done to aeroplanes, and we have seen this awful phenomenon of

:48:25.:48:28.

our soldiers not being killed in battle, being murdered by the

:48:28.:48:33.

people who we are arming, financing and training, and I think this is

:48:33.:48:39.

an optimistic view but realistic. The Taliban will be in control in

:48:39.:48:45.

the 2015-16 in parts of Afghanistan. We went there, part of the reason

:48:45.:48:50.

was to get rid of them, but we will have failed on so many counts.

:48:50.:48:56.

is where the trust has gone, those attacks of Taliban dressed as

:48:56.:48:59.

policemen or infiltrating into Afghan forces, that is what has

:48:59.:49:04.

made people's faith of any success being impossible. Let us deal with

:49:04.:49:09.

that narrowly. That is a tactical matter, albeit one with strategic

:49:09.:49:12.

consequences. There I was the Taliban leadership, I would be

:49:12.:49:17.

doing something pretty similar. Originally they took us on with

:49:17.:49:23.

direct fire weapons, we killed a lot of them. They switched to IEDs,

:49:23.:49:27.

very effective. We have been able to mitigate that affect, so they

:49:27.:49:32.

have switched to another point of weakness, because we know our exit

:49:32.:49:36.

strategy is for their security forces to take responsibility for

:49:36.:49:42.

the country, so they have begun to erode the trust of us and of them.

:49:42.:49:46.

It is a clever tactic, but it does not change the Big Issue, which is

:49:46.:49:49.

the strategic issue that Michael Clark is talking about, that the

:49:49.:49:54.

settlement was always going to be political. What we have done, just

:49:54.:50:01.

to finish this point, and it has cost us 437 British lives since

:50:01.:50:04.

2006 in the main, of course it has swept Al-Qaeda out of the country,

:50:04.:50:08.

but it has given the Afghans a chance of a better future. That is

:50:08.:50:13.

all we could have done. If they take their chance, that is great.

:50:13.:50:18.

Every time an army exits, more people die when they pull out, and

:50:18.:50:21.

the longer we stay there, the more British soldiers will have been

:50:21.:50:25.

sacrificed. That is a sweeping generalisation, I do not accept

:50:25.:50:30.

that. The Canadians and the Netherlands have pulled out with

:50:30.:50:33.

their heads held high after making great sacrifices. We should be

:50:33.:50:38.

doing the same. There is no purpose Dame there when we know that our

:50:38.:50:44.

soldiers are exposed to greater danger than ever before. -- no

:50:44.:50:48.

purpose staying there. If you say a political settlement is possible

:50:48.:50:53.

and will come in those last few months before exit in 2014, why not

:50:53.:50:58.

do it sooner? We cannot guarantee it will come, but the Taliban, we

:50:58.:51:02.

know from contacts with their leaders and representatives, and a

:51:02.:51:06.

number of us have tried to develop those contacts through friends and

:51:06.:51:09.

friends of friends, we know they are looking towards the future. We

:51:09.:51:11.

know that they do not believe they can control the country the way

:51:11.:51:16.

they used to before 2001, but they believe the have their right to

:51:16.:51:22.

save. They have taken a few things on board. They have produced an

:51:22.:51:25.

education policy earlier this year. You can believe it or not, but the

:51:25.:51:29.

fact is that the Taliban are relatively realistic, and they do

:51:29.:51:34.

not want to plunge Afghanistan into another 20 years of civil war. We

:51:34.:51:38.

may or may not be able to work with that, and it will be a rough ride,

:51:38.:51:44.

because we do not have any direct negotiating credit with them.

:51:44.:51:48.

got his information from informal talks. The distracted diplomacy,

:51:48.:51:52.

you talk to people who talk to people, you create interesting

:51:52.:52:02.
:52:02.:52:04.

distractions. -- it is tack true -- it is track two diplomacy. There

:52:04.:52:07.

will be a political outcome, whether it is a settlement or not,

:52:07.:52:11.

and it will be very Afghan. We are probably not going to be part of

:52:11.:52:17.

that. Wouldn't you take any of that as having some sort of optimism?

:52:17.:52:21.

The Taliban are running courts, collecting taxes. They know we are

:52:21.:52:25.

going, they are preparing for us to go, but the truth is that we tried

:52:26.:52:30.

to bury the awful reality that is there. I cannot read out in

:52:30.:52:34.

parliament the names of the dead, I did in the past but it is forbidden

:52:34.:52:39.

now. The bodies of the soldiers that comeback on no longer seen on

:52:39.:52:43.

television, they are taken around the backstreets, and we tried to

:52:43.:52:47.

deny the truth that we are sending young men to die, to serve a

:52:48.:52:51.

politician's mistake. They are acting as human shields for

:52:51.:52:55.

politicians' reputations, and we would like to believe they could be

:52:55.:52:59.

a neat end to the war, this is a grand strategy, and it will all end

:52:59.:53:05.

up happily ever after. It is not. It is going to be an awful mess.

:53:05.:53:09.

would be tragic if there is civil war at the end, if at the end what

:53:09.:53:14.

has happened is that allied forces have ended up training pub a whole

:53:14.:53:19.

generation of Afghans who then end up fighting in a civil war. They

:53:19.:53:23.

will not give their loyalty to an election rigging President. They

:53:23.:53:28.

will not give their loyalty to us, to foreigners. They will go back to

:53:28.:53:34.

their tribal loyalties, as Pascoes and Uzbeks. It is a pretty bleak

:53:34.:53:40.

assessment. It is true. I think Michael's argument is a very fair

:53:40.:53:44.

one, that they will be a political settlement. We might not like it,

:53:44.:53:49.

but the Afghans are people at the end of the day. Do they want

:53:49.:53:53.

another 25 years of civil war? History does prove otherwise.

:53:53.:53:56.

will be a settlement made by political cigarette papers, they

:53:57.:54:03.

will do a typically Afghan deal. went in there to clear Afghanistan,

:54:03.:54:07.

438 British soldiers have died, and people will save for what if the

:54:07.:54:11.

Taliban are controlling it? Thank you all very much.

:54:11.:54:14.

News from Southwark Crown Court that discussion is taking place

:54:14.:54:19.

where a jury has found former Labour MP Margaret Moran guilty of

:54:19.:54:25.

fiddling expenses claims when she was an MP. Now, localism is one of

:54:25.:54:29.

the coalition's buzzwords with Conservatives and Lib Dems

:54:29.:54:32.

embracing it enthusiastically, and there is even a Localism Bill aimed

:54:32.:54:35.

at enshrining new powers for local communities and law. Now the

:54:36.:54:40.

Government's commitment to localism is being questioned. The growth and

:54:40.:54:43.

infrastructure bill is up for discussion in the Commons today. It

:54:43.:54:47.

aims to stimulate growth by giving more power to central government

:54:47.:54:52.

over planning decisions. Who would have thought it? Actor and

:54:52.:54:55.

presenter Griff Rhys Jones is also the president of Civic Voice, and

:54:55.:54:59.

he has been touring Yorkshire over the past few days, getting to local

:54:59.:55:04.

-- trying to get local people more involved in planning decisions. He

:55:04.:55:07.

is concerned the new legislation makes it more difficult. He joins

:55:07.:55:11.

us now from Leeds. Good to see you again. What are you doing in

:55:11.:55:16.

Yorkshire? I am going around meeting various civic societies and

:55:16.:55:22.

sort of encouraging people. I see. I hope you are succeeding! What do

:55:22.:55:26.

you make of this? On the one hand the government says it wants more

:55:26.:55:30.

localism, and on the other hand it says if we are going to get the

:55:30.:55:33.

economy going, we have got to centralise things a bit. I think it

:55:33.:55:39.

is rather disturbing, because there is no doubt that one can welcome

:55:39.:55:42.

localism, one can welcome Mayo planning and a lot of things that

:55:42.:55:47.

are going in to allow citizens, ordinary people to be more involved

:55:47.:55:51.

in the planning decisions and to try to sort of put a wedge between

:55:51.:55:55.

what seems to the local authorities and the centralised government and

:55:55.:55:59.

big business tending to want to carve up city centres. And I think

:55:59.:56:03.

what has been missed out of that, clearly, is a local boys, people

:56:03.:56:11.

who live there. Sussex societies, they have a role to play. -- civic

:56:12.:56:15.

societies. What seems to have happened is that somewhere along

:56:15.:56:19.

the line, members of the Treasury and members of the Cabinet have

:56:19.:56:24.

said, no, no, we have to have building and development willy-

:56:24.:56:28.

nilly to get ourselves out of this economic downturn at the moment,

:56:28.:56:32.

and so by giving them this power, you are encouraging them to stop

:56:32.:56:37.

things happening. Eric Pickles has introduced a growth and

:56:37.:56:42.

infrastructure bill which appears to ride roughshod over all those

:56:42.:56:46.

intentions. Isn't it the fact of central government in Britain for

:56:46.:56:50.

many years now that all governments are in favour of localism until the

:56:50.:56:55.

locals do something that government does not like? Well, this Bill

:56:55.:57:01.

seems to be enshrined in short term emergency measures, which might be

:57:02.:57:08.

necessary to help us out of what is undoubtedly one of the series of

:57:08.:57:12.

depressions that all capitalist societies go through and will at

:57:12.:57:15.

one point we will see the light on the other side of the hill, but

:57:15.:57:19.

while things are very low, it is apt to enshrine legislation which

:57:19.:57:23.

will affect us for the next 30 years, until somebody changes it,

:57:23.:57:26.

which seems to require that the Secretary of State can allow any of

:57:26.:57:31.

his friends, anybody he wants, any political sponsors, to go ahead.

:57:31.:57:35.

What is really worrying about his infrastructure built is that they

:57:35.:57:38.

used to be referrals to the Secretary of State if you were

:57:38.:57:43.

worried about power stations or schools or roads, but now it

:57:43.:57:46.

absolutely says quite clearly business developments should also

:57:46.:57:50.

have the right to appeal to the Secretary of State. Where does the

:57:50.:57:55.

limit come? A very interesting tension, Griff Rhys Jones, thank

:57:55.:57:59.

you for joining us, come back to see us when you get back to London,

:57:59.:58:04.

good to have you on the programme. There is just time to get the

:58:04.:58:10.

answer to the quiz. Remember that? We asked you which of these people

:58:10.:58:14.

voted for Nadine Dorries to stay in the Australian jungle? They added

:58:14.:58:19.

that they have no voting No. On speed dial! David Cameron, George

:58:19.:58:25.

Osborne, Eric Pickles will Louise Mensch? I think it is Louise Mensch.

:58:25.:58:29.

It is not, actually, it is Eric Pickles, who said he would be

:58:29.:58:34.

phoning in every night to make sure she stays in the jungle. That is it

:58:34.:58:39.

for today. Thank you to our guests, particularly Lord Dannatt. The One

:58:39.:58:43.

O'Clock News is starting on BBC One. Parliament is in recess, no

:58:43.:58:48.

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