03/12/2012 Daily Politics


03/12/2012

Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Featuring a look ahead to Wednesday's Autumn Statement and a discussion of corporate tax avoidance.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 03/12/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Welcome to the Daily Politics. MPs have denounced multinational

:00:47.:00:50.

companies who pay little or no tax on their earnings in Britain as

:00:50.:00:53.

immoral. In a report, the Public Accounts Committee describes some

:00:53.:00:56.

of the evidence it heard from large corporations such as Starbucks and

:00:56.:01:00.

Google, as difficult to believe. All eyes will be on George Osborne

:01:00.:01:03.

on Wednesday when he delivers his Autumn Statement. We'll be taking a

:01:03.:01:07.

look ahead. Playing tough with Israel. Its ambassador in London

:01:07.:01:09.

has been summoned to the Foreign Office, following the Israeli

:01:09.:01:15.

government's decision to build new settlements in east Jerusalem. And

:01:15.:01:25.
:01:25.:01:28.

we'll be asking if God and politics All that in the next hour. And with

:01:28.:01:31.

us for the whole programme today is the vicar, Giles Fraser. He's a

:01:31.:01:34.

regular contributor to the Today programme's Thought for the Day. So,

:01:34.:01:42.

we're expecting big things from him on today's Daily Politics. Now,

:01:42.:01:44.

first this morning, let's talk about sentencing because a range of

:01:44.:01:47.

new criminal offences and sanctions come into force today in England

:01:47.:01:51.

and Wales. They include a new offence of aggravated knife crime,

:01:51.:01:54.

which would in most cases result in a custodial sentence, and mandatory

:01:54.:01:56.

life sentences for anyone committing a second serious violent

:01:56.:02:02.

or sexual offence. The Government has also introduced what are called

:02:02.:02:04.

Extended Determinate Sentences, under which offenders must serve at

:02:04.:02:08.

least two-thirds of their prison term. This is what the Justice

:02:08.:02:15.

Secretary, Chris Grayling, had to say this morning. There are some

:02:15.:02:21.

areas where, society as a whole, expects politicians to say there is

:02:21.:02:25.

a minimum - a clear message to people who are attempted to carry

:02:25.:02:30.

knives and wave them around in an aggressive way - that you should

:02:30.:02:34.

and would go to jail. It is not about saying to the judges, you

:02:34.:02:40.

lose discretion. In some cases, sentences would be much longer.

:02:40.:02:46.

ETA's about saying, when somebody behaves in an aggressive way with a

:02:46.:02:53.

knife, they should and would go to jail. What is your response

:02:53.:03:01.

generally? I live in a part of South London Wedd there is knife

:03:01.:03:06.

crime. I understand the problems it causes in a community. The question

:03:06.:03:10.

is whether the politicians should be doing the sentencing for the

:03:10.:03:14.

judges. They should be free to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

:03:14.:03:20.

What is going on is politicians same, we do not trusted to make

:03:20.:03:24.

these decisions. The public would agree with politicians in many

:03:24.:03:30.

cases where they fear of not tough enough sentences are brought down

:03:30.:03:40.

on the offenders. It is dangerous to bandy about slogans. I think we

:03:40.:03:48.

ought to trust our judiciary more than politicians, who are

:03:48.:03:52.

grandstanding electioneering on a case-by-case basis. They do a good

:03:52.:03:58.

job in tackling things like this. You have said you do a good job

:03:58.:04:03.

with victims of knife crime. It is a very violent and often fatal

:04:03.:04:07.

crime. It should be treated consistently. That is perhaps where

:04:07.:04:13.

judges have fallen down. If they were given a guideline on a minimum,

:04:13.:04:17.

perhaps they can use their discretion. If people have done a

:04:17.:04:21.

terrible offence, they will go to prison for it and for a long time.

:04:21.:04:26.

The question is, whether we trust the judges to make decisions or

:04:26.:04:32.

prefer politicians to do it. What do you say to Sadiq Khan? With the

:04:32.:04:38.

two strikes policy, it is only when you commit a second violent offence,

:04:38.:04:44.

you get alive sentence. Innocent victims of the second offence with

:04:44.:04:48.

be right in questioning why more was not done to stop after the

:04:48.:04:53.

first offence. An enormous amount has to be done to tackle problems

:04:53.:04:57.

in the inner cities. It is not necessarily through the judiciary

:04:57.:05:03.

and through the loft. Some of these problems are to do with the way

:05:03.:05:07.

inner-cities are constructed. We need to look much more broadly at

:05:07.:05:14.

the problems in the inner-cities, which create conditions for life

:05:14.:05:18.

crime. On to something somewhat different. Now it is fair to say

:05:18.:05:21.

the Public Accounts Committee was not very impressed with a number of

:05:21.:05:23.

very large corporations who gave evidence to MPs last month. This

:05:23.:05:25.

morning the Public Accounts Committee described it as

:05:25.:05:28.

unconvincing and accused Amazon, Starbucks and Google of using the

:05:28.:05:30.

letter of tax laws both nationally and internationally to immorally

:05:30.:05:40.
:05:40.:05:42.

minimise their tax obligations. Here is a taste of the committee in

:05:42.:05:48.

action. If you have made losses in the UK, which is what you are

:05:48.:05:52.

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

:05:52.:05:59.

here? We must be in the UK to be a successful global company. But you

:06:00.:06:05.

are losing money. Why not focus on the US way you say you are making

:06:05.:06:13.

money? We have had tremendous optimism about our company.

:06:13.:06:18.

have given it 15 years and you are still making losses. Yet you are

:06:18.:06:25.

carrying on - if it is true. I will have to go to Victoria Street and

:06:25.:06:31.

had a Starbucks coffee. You are in such a bad way. 14 years of trading

:06:31.:06:38.

in this country and you have paid 1.6 million in corporation tax. You

:06:38.:06:42.

are either running the business very badly, or there is a fiddle

:06:42.:06:50.

going on. Your entire activity is here and you pay no UK tax. That

:06:50.:07:00.
:07:00.:07:02.

really riles us. We do pay corporation tax. Our accounts...

:07:02.:07:07.

Tiny - a tiny amount. I love the service you provide. Having bought

:07:07.:07:15.

this biography of John Major, you may be interested also in 50 Shades

:07:15.:07:25.
:07:25.:07:37.

Love to -- I am interested in how you paid so little tax. We do pay

:07:37.:07:46.

corporation tax and tax on any profits that we make. The rough

:07:46.:07:51.

treatment in the Public Accounts Committee. Well, today, the Public

:07:51.:07:54.

Accounts Committee called for a change in the mindset at Her

:07:54.:07:57.

Majesty's Revenue and Customs, so that it became more aggressive in

:07:57.:07:59.

its policing and prosecuting companies that paid too little tax.

:07:59.:08:02.

And the Chancellor, George Osborne, has announced plans for a �10

:08:02.:08:05.

billion tax dodge clampdown. We're joined now by the chair of the

:08:05.:08:07.

Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge, and by the Conservative MP,

:08:07.:08:15.

Jesse Norman. The Government is doing far more on tax avoidance and

:08:15.:08:20.

evasion. The Government has committed more money to HMRC. The

:08:20.:08:24.

number of prosecutions for evasion has quadrupled. What else do want

:08:24.:08:32.

them to do? Last year, they collected over �6 billion less in

:08:32.:08:40.

corporation tax than they did the year before. That is year 11/ --

:08:40.:08:50.
:08:50.:08:51.

year 11 Macro/yr 12 Macro. That is 2011/2012. It is about whether or

:08:51.:08:55.

not a global company pays corporation tax. It is not fair to

:08:55.:09:01.

small businesses, the bookshop - local bookshop - having to compete

:09:01.:09:08.

with Amazon. That is not fair for the corner Copy Shop -- coffee shop

:09:08.:09:14.

to compete. You have talked about naming and shaming. We will find

:09:14.:09:18.

out whether that is a good line to tread. Also about taking more of

:09:18.:09:26.

these cases to court. Can you do that with avoidance? HMRC can be

:09:26.:09:30.

tougher. It is not a black-and- white issue. At the moment, it is a

:09:30.:09:35.

bit like David and Goliath with the company is being supported with

:09:35.:09:41.

very experienced, highly paid accountants and employers. We went

:09:41.:09:46.

two up the game from HMRC. They can take more cases to court. They're

:09:46.:09:52.

not taking any avoidance cases to court. We buy it a lot of stuff and

:09:52.:10:00.

we will not buy from companies... You want to advocate boycotts?

:10:00.:10:05.

is good citizenship. There is stuff the Americans and Germans do now,

:10:05.:10:10.

which we could do. The Americans are much more open with the

:10:10.:10:14.

accounts. The Germans, in some of these devices that companies do,

:10:14.:10:19.

they have just out log them. So could we. Let's pick up on the way

:10:19.:10:26.

you deal with it. Would you like to see companies named and shamed and

:10:26.:10:35.

cases going to court? It is not a voluntary thing, paying corporation

:10:35.:10:40.

tax. ICU to Margaret full of the work she has done. There is no

:10:40.:10:46.

doubt there is a lot of avoidance that is abusive avoidance of tax. -

:10:46.:10:51.

- I salute Magritte for the work she has done. The corporation tax

:10:51.:10:56.

held up better than she expected because rates came down. I am not

:10:56.:11:02.

in favour of boycotts. They are not found guilty of breaking any laws.

:11:02.:11:07.

It is fantastic that Starbucks has started to come to the table.

:11:07.:11:10.

Public information has been put on the table by good journalism and

:11:10.:11:15.

not because the Government has got into the very messy, and possibly

:11:15.:11:20.

dubious business, of naming and shaming. This is the situation we

:11:20.:11:25.

should be handing over. We should be allowing our excellent press to

:11:25.:11:31.

ferret out these facts. Do you a Greek - if you say you admire what

:11:31.:11:35.

Margaret Hodge and the committee have done - do you accept the

:11:35.:11:39.

Government has turned a blind eye to it up until now? They're

:11:40.:11:46.

completely different from each other. HMRC was the flagship of the

:11:46.:11:50.

British public administration. It has gone through a series of minor

:11:50.:11:54.

disasters over the last decade. Let's be clear. Under the last

:11:54.:11:59.

government, it was merged with Excise. Vast numbers of people were

:11:59.:12:03.

let go, including some of the best tax inspectors. What is happening

:12:04.:12:08.

now is a slow process of pulling it back to the dignity and energy it

:12:08.:12:14.

had before. Do you see it as a disincentive - naming and shaming

:12:14.:12:19.

companies - might they withdraw their business? Is it bad idea?

:12:19.:12:23.

Company should not be paying tax out of the goodness of their heart.

:12:23.:12:29.

They should not do this because of public pressure. Paying tax is not

:12:29.:12:32.

something there needs to be a consumer boycott about in order to

:12:32.:12:37.

get everyone to do it. That needs to be changed. We must find the

:12:37.:12:41.

system in which people pay their fair share of tax. I am not an

:12:41.:12:46.

accountant. It is not beyond the wit the people who can move money

:12:46.:12:51.

around so brilliantly to avoid tax to find a way in which people can

:12:51.:12:57.

pay their fair share. It should not be about boycotts or four Starbucks

:12:57.:13:04.

to very generously pay their tax. Can we unilaterally design a system

:13:04.:13:08.

which make sure that big multinationals paid their full

:13:08.:13:14.

allocation of tax, even if they do not have to? You cannot get rid of

:13:14.:13:18.

all of it. You do need co-operation. What to do not want to happen is

:13:19.:13:23.

for that to be used as an excuse for inaction in the short term.

:13:23.:13:29.

About naming and shaming, we name and shame benefit cheats. By now

:13:29.:13:34.

taken through the courts. If we took more cases through the courts

:13:34.:13:38.

on avoidance - not evasion - those companies that get caught under

:13:38.:13:42.

that also thought to be named and shamed. I agree we should get the

:13:42.:13:49.

law right. But does not like paying PAYE. This is negotiation between

:13:49.:13:53.

HMRC and the global companies about what is admissible and what is not

:13:53.:13:58.

admissible. There, I do not think we are tough enough. HMRC needs to

:13:58.:14:07.

get a grip foot of it is not just resources, it is culture. -- and

:14:07.:14:12.

HMRC needs to get a grip. benefit cheat is someone who has

:14:12.:14:16.

been found guilty of a process between tribunal and lot and has

:14:16.:14:20.

been named and shamed when their name has been made public anyway.

:14:20.:14:24.

They have not been found guilty of any crime. It cannot be found

:14:24.:14:29.

guilty of a crime on avoidance up for there is a raw on that. The

:14:29.:14:36.

Government is bringing in a general anti-avoidance rule. -- on

:14:36.:14:44.

avoidance. There is a rule on that. I love the idea it is a question of

:14:44.:14:48.

negotiation. The next time the tax man rings me up and asked me to

:14:48.:14:53.

take my tax, I will say, let's discuss a cup of coffee. The idea

:14:53.:14:59.

that this is compared with benefits cheats - people who are poor and

:14:59.:15:03.

vulnerable without brilliant lawyers - are they the ones who get

:15:03.:15:08.

dumped upon. Those with fantastic lawyers pay nothing will stop it is

:15:08.:15:12.

much more expensive to be poor. When you said they need to be

:15:12.:15:18.

tougher and negotiate harder, if you negotiate, you will have deals.

:15:18.:15:23.

HMRC has been criticised for making deals. There would be a lack of

:15:23.:15:27.

consistency and transparency and you would get the same problems all

:15:27.:15:33.

over again. It is interesting territory. The moment you get

:15:33.:15:38.

transparency, Starbucks comes to the table. This is so complicated.

:15:38.:15:43.

Companies can quite legitimately say, if they are global companies,

:15:43.:15:47.

some of their expenditure is Head Office expenditure. It depends

:15:47.:15:54.

where that is amazing it is in tax havens. What you decide his profits

:15:54.:15:59.

from real trading in the UK is difficult to define. That is what

:15:59.:16:03.

the hassle is over. At the moment they are hassling much more

:16:03.:16:13.
:16:13.:16:14.

strongly. They are of the Goliath The poorest in society, the level

:16:14.:16:20.

above that, have difficult tax rates, and it is true that some

:16:20.:16:24.

very large companies do pay their tax. We are picking on the

:16:24.:16:28.

multinationals as a result of an enormously complicated tax codes

:16:28.:16:33.

among many jurisdictions. We need to be tough and clear and properly

:16:33.:16:38.

organised. Margaret Hodge, on your own tax affairs there have been

:16:38.:16:42.

reports that a company which you have major financial associations

:16:42.:16:48.

with does not pay any UK tax. wrong, scurrilous and I am afraid

:16:48.:16:53.

it is defamatory. The what are you doing in terms of responding?

:16:53.:17:00.

Taking action. I hear that loud and clear. This government has been

:17:00.:17:05.

very clear about trying to appear fair. We will hear more about that

:17:05.:17:09.

in the Autumn Statement. Do you think fairness just comes down to

:17:10.:17:15.

equality? It is an important part of equality. The issue with paying

:17:15.:17:20.

tax is the extent to which these large companies contribute to the

:17:20.:17:25.

paying good. I have taken over the fairness commission in Tower

:17:25.:17:31.

Hamlets. Half the children living child poverty there and yet the

:17:31.:17:37.

average wage for the people who work there is �70,000 a year,

:17:37.:17:42.

because of Canary Wharf's. It is extraordinary. The money does not

:17:42.:17:46.

trickle down to the poorest. The this trickle-down economics, the

:17:46.:17:52.

idea that the wealthy in Canary Wharf spend their money, but they

:17:52.:17:55.

do not spend it to the benefit of the people who live near them and

:17:55.:17:59.

the other low earners in the capital, but the money does not

:17:59.:18:05.

benefit the wider community? There is a lot of truth in that. Trickle-

:18:05.:18:10.

down has never been good economics, least of all now, because if you

:18:10.:18:15.

look at the very richest, they live in a payment world of their own.

:18:15.:18:19.

They do not spend and when they spent at the margin, they are

:18:19.:18:25.

paying for things and the only way you can tax them is on VAT that

:18:25.:18:31.

gets paid by all members of society. That does not work. The great

:18:31.:18:34.

tragedy of the current situation is that we have allowed this crony

:18:34.:18:40.

capitalism, as I have described it, to blow good capitalism, are people

:18:40.:18:45.

working in a day's work for eight day's pay, generating social

:18:46.:18:52.

benefit. -- a day's pay. Labour failed. They closed the gap a tiny

:18:52.:18:58.

bit but in terms of... Over a 30 year period, it was not very

:18:58.:19:03.

impressive. Is that because you cannot successfully legislate?

:19:03.:19:07.

cannot legislate but you can run expenditure programmes and that is

:19:07.:19:17.
:19:17.:19:18.

how you use goods -- good public spending, to raise the aspirations

:19:18.:19:24.

of the poorest in community. What is sad is that we never Keith these

:19:24.:19:30.

things time -- we never gives. I was involved in Sure Start and the

:19:30.:19:36.

only use programs and I think they would have Paul Ince -- they would

:19:36.:19:40.

have borne fruit, and now they are closing, and all of that investment

:19:40.:19:45.

in children under five, wasted. We could have transformed their life

:19:45.:19:50.

chances. Lots of studies suggested that represented poor value for

:19:50.:19:56.

money. No, that is not true. key thing is to have an ethos of

:19:56.:20:03.

people who have made money giving back. Briefly, do you think

:20:03.:20:07.

unfairness has become the norm in society and everybody accepts that

:20:07.:20:14.

that is the way it is? No, but I think we are at risk of it. One of

:20:14.:20:18.

the hopeful things that may come out of this deep recession is a

:20:18.:20:23.

problem we calibration of public values. Do you think unfairness is

:20:23.:20:28.

the norm? I think we live in a very unfair society at the moment,

:20:28.:20:34.

shockingly unfair for many people. If you live in Notting Hill and you

:20:34.:20:38.

get the Central line to Bethnal Green, 10 stops and you use a year

:20:38.:20:43.

of your life if you live there, from Notting Hill to Bethnal Green

:20:43.:20:53.
:20:53.:20:53.

-- you lose a year. How unfair is that? Is it the norm? I think

:20:53.:20:57.

fairness is the one value that people care most about, so the

:20:57.:21:04.

pursuit of SEN this I think brings people together. -- the pursuit of

:21:04.:21:09.

fairness. Thank you. The Israeli ambassador in London has been

:21:09.:21:11.

summoned to the Foreign Office, following the Israeli government's

:21:11.:21:14.

decision to build new settlements in east Jerusalem. Ministers have

:21:14.:21:17.

warned Israel that going ahead with the plans would provoke a strong

:21:17.:21:20.

reaction. Or world affairs correspondent is outside the

:21:20.:21:25.

Foreign Office. The Israeli ambassador has been summoned. That

:21:25.:21:30.

is one thing. Withdrawing Britain's ambassador to Israel is another.

:21:31.:21:36.

Will that happen? It does not look like it at the moment. Officials

:21:36.:21:41.

say they are not at that stage. It is in the realms of speculation.

:21:41.:21:44.

There has been a statement from Number Ten saying they are not

:21:45.:21:50.

proposing to do that. However, officials say they want to see how

:21:50.:21:56.

Israel reacts. QB Britain, France, others are piling on the pressure

:21:56.:22:01.

to reconsider this decision to build 3,000 new homes in a very,

:22:01.:22:06.

very sensitive area in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. To see

:22:06.:22:13.

whether Israel will reconsider this. If they don't, then I think that

:22:13.:22:16.

Foreign Office are certainly making it clear that other steps will be

:22:16.:22:21.

taken. Whether that will lead to the withdrawal of the ambassador to

:22:21.:22:26.

Israel is not clear. It is still a strong stand by the British

:22:26.:22:31.

Government. Why now particularly, when settlement building by the

:22:31.:22:38.

Israeli government is not new? Why make this strong stand now? It is

:22:38.:22:44.

the scale of what the Israelis are planning to do. 3,000 new homes in

:22:44.:22:49.

an area which the Palestinians say would effectively cut the West Bank

:22:49.:22:52.

in two and woodcut of East Jerusalem from the West Bank, and

:22:52.:22:58.

the Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of any

:22:58.:23:03.

future Palestinian state -- and it would cut off East Jerusalem from

:23:03.:23:10.

the West Bank. This is particularly sensitive. The other thing is, at

:23:10.:23:13.

the moment be international community is hoping, after the

:23:13.:23:18.

conflict we have seen in the Gaza Strip and having negotiated a

:23:18.:23:22.

ceasefire, the international community wants to see some renewed

:23:22.:23:27.

effort for negotiations and I think the belief is that if Israel were

:23:27.:23:31.

to go ahead with the settlement building programme, that would stop

:23:31.:23:36.

any chances of any resumed negotiations, so they are piling on

:23:36.:23:40.

the pressure. Not just Britain. France as well. Everyone is looking

:23:41.:23:46.

out towards the United States. that is the key, isn't it. Britain

:23:46.:23:51.

and France have made the strong and symbolic dance but it is what the

:23:51.:23:57.

US does that counts. -- symbolic stance. They are the only ones that

:23:57.:24:01.

can put real pressure on. Not the only ones but certainly the

:24:01.:24:05.

Americans are absolutely the key country because they provide so

:24:05.:24:09.

much financial assistance every year to Israel and so that

:24:09.:24:13.

relationship is vital. Israel generally have to listen when

:24:13.:24:18.

Washington tells it something. We saw that in the last few weeks.

:24:18.:24:24.

Hillary Clinton's arrival in Israel, going to Egypt, and her role was

:24:24.:24:28.

pivotal in brokering the ceasefire that ended the recent conflict, so

:24:28.:24:34.

they can apply a lot of pressure. The question is whether they will

:24:34.:24:42.

do in this case. Israel's reviewed the Palestinian moved for increased

:24:42.:24:48.

recognition at the UN as a blow for peace negotiations. Do you see this

:24:48.:24:53.

as a response to that? It is almost a petty act of revenge, and not

:24:53.:24:58.

petty, it is not insignificant, for what happens at the United Nations.

:24:58.:25:03.

Israel saw that as provocative. is very popular, it has widespread

:25:03.:25:13.
:25:13.:25:15.

support. Not from the US. No, and six other countries. It was eight.

:25:15.:25:20.

Building 3,000 new settlements east of East Jerusalem is an extremely

:25:20.:25:26.

provocative act that the Israeli government really have to

:25:26.:25:32.

demonstrate that they believe in the peace process. This is a wilful

:25:32.:25:37.

defiance of the will of the international community, that there

:25:37.:25:43.

needs to be a return to negotiation in that part of the world. The do

:25:43.:25:48.

you think the proposals for a two state solution is in tatters now?

:25:48.:25:53.

hope not. I know that is the view of the UN, that it is almost dead.

:25:53.:25:58.

I really hope that is not the case. The two estate solution seems to me

:25:58.:26:02.

to be the only way to go, the only thing I can think of to make sense

:26:02.:26:08.

of this -- to state solution. Israel say they are committed to

:26:08.:26:13.

this. Apparently but you have to judge them by their actions and

:26:13.:26:18.

this is defiant of any attempt to construct a two state solution. I

:26:18.:26:23.

feel great despair for peace in the Middle East, for both Israel and

:26:23.:26:29.

Palestine. Frankie. -- thank you. Two subjects almost guaranteed to

:26:29.:26:32.

spark controversy, politics and religion, which is why a lot of MPs

:26:32.:26:38.

try very hard to avoid mixing them. For a long time, it seemed to be an

:26:38.:26:41.

unwritten Westminster rule that personal faith was just that,

:26:41.:26:43.

personal, with politicians from Tony Blair down reluctant to speak

:26:43.:26:47.

publicly about their beliefs. But some people think that may be

:26:47.:26:56.

changing. Holy Trinity Church in London. If

:26:56.:27:06.

you want to do God, this is a pretty good place to come. It was

:27:06.:27:11.

Alastair Campbell who famously said "we don't do God", but rather than

:27:11.:27:15.

making a grand statement of intent, he was just trying to finish an

:27:15.:27:21.

interview, but it was an interesting point. Should personal

:27:21.:27:25.

faith and policy-making be kept well away from each other?

:27:25.:27:29.

Allister's old boss felt he needed to wait until leaving office before

:27:29.:27:34.

converting to Catholicism and speaking frequently about his faith.

:27:34.:27:40.

If you are in the American political system, you can talk

:27:40.:27:43.

about safe and it is something people respond to naturally. You

:27:43.:27:48.

talk about it in our system and people think you are a matter.

:27:49.:27:55.

those times could be changing for. I think there are more politicians

:27:55.:27:58.

who are actively religious in parliament than in the general

:27:58.:28:03.

population, and I think that is a growing phenomenon, particularly

:28:03.:28:08.

with the new Conservative intake. Their religious beliefs are very

:28:08.:28:12.

important for them and informs their politics. But only one of

:28:12.:28:17.

them leads the party. Only David Cameron is a confirmed churchgoer

:28:17.:28:22.

but he does not go as often as he would like. Does our political

:28:22.:28:27.

system allow politicians to do God. To some degree. Most members of

:28:27.:28:32.

parliament have values and beliefs which stem either from religion and

:28:32.:28:37.

safe or a belief in certain ways of living, whether they are humanist

:28:37.:28:41.

or everything else. We may describe it as something else but we

:28:41.:28:46.

probably do do religion, perhaps not necessarily God. But some

:28:46.:28:51.

people think that is not all were as healthy. There is a danger when

:28:51.:28:56.

people allow their religious beliefs to override empirical

:28:56.:29:01.

evidence. The abortion debate, it is clearly people's religious

:29:01.:29:05.

argument that abortion is wrong which leads people to try to make

:29:05.:29:12.

the facts fit their argument. people and politicians come to

:29:12.:29:15.

decision making opportunities with principles, beliefs, values, and it

:29:15.:29:20.

is important that that is taken into account. Otherwise what is the

:29:20.:29:25.

point of politicians? And she has no qualms about politicians telling

:29:25.:29:30.

God's voices on earth what they should do. We should debate whether

:29:30.:29:34.

we should disestablish the Church of England, which politicians

:29:34.:29:38.

should not interfere with, but it is part of the constitutional

:29:38.:29:41.

settlement in the country. The Queen is the sovereign head of the

:29:41.:29:45.

Church of England, so it is right that parliament puts forward its

:29:45.:29:49.

use to the Church of England about how it should behave. They say you

:29:49.:29:54.

should never discuss religion and politics in the pub. In parliament,

:29:54.:30:04.
:30:04.:30:07.

God seems to be everywhere, whether This is probably your subject when

:30:07.:30:12.

it comes to whether religion and politics should mix. Was Alastair

:30:12.:30:15.

Campbell right but you should not do religion if you are a

:30:16.:30:21.

politician? My problem with politicians not saying anything

:30:21.:30:28.

about got is that I want to know where they come from. -- about God.

:30:28.:30:35.

I want to know what motivates them - the values. The idea it is an

:30:35.:30:38.

important part of what motivates them and they are not prepared to

:30:38.:30:45.

talk about, I find quite difficult. I want the menu laid out before me

:30:45.:30:50.

and what motivates people. I can then decide if I want to vote for

:30:50.:30:55.

them or not. There will be a lot of people out there who are not

:30:55.:31:00.

religious, who will say, I do not want a member of parliament or a

:31:01.:31:04.

minister who is guided by religious belief rather than the evidence

:31:04.:31:12.

before me. Everybody comes from a... They have a background of values.

:31:12.:31:17.

Something which fundamentally informs them. I want to know what

:31:17.:31:21.

shapes people morally and politically. If people are

:31:22.:31:26.

embarrassed by where they come from, it does not seem to need to be a

:31:26.:31:31.

very good reason to separate religion and politics. It is a

:31:31.:31:37.

pragmatic reason and not a principled reason. They should be

:31:37.:31:42.

separated at the level of policy will start it is essential. I have

:31:42.:31:48.

thought about this for a very long time. I am against the issue of

:31:48.:31:53.

bishops in House of Lords. On a personal level, I want to know

:31:53.:31:58.

where they come from. You want more honesty. People should say if they

:31:58.:32:04.

have a religious background. When it comes to issues like abortion,

:32:04.:32:10.

and when it comes to issues of gay marriage, or even religious beliefs

:32:10.:32:14.

in education - if it is based schools - do you think people with

:32:14.:32:18.

strong beliefs should not be serving in those positions in

:32:18.:32:23.

government? They would not be able to distinguish between personal

:32:23.:32:28.

believes and what is in the interests of the country at large.

:32:28.:32:31.

I have a view on all of those subjects will stop if I was

:32:31.:32:35.

standing for office, I would tell people my view on all those

:32:35.:32:42.

subjects and see if I had got voted for or not. You have a thing called

:32:42.:32:47.

a collective responsibility. That is not specific to people with

:32:47.:32:51.

religious faith. That would be the same for someone with passionate

:32:51.:32:56.

humanist values. Are we going to be open about what motivates us or are

:32:56.:33:02.

we going to hide it? The problem with, we do not do got we will not

:33:02.:33:10.

talk about him, it is like people not displaying their moral workings.

:33:10.:33:17.

-- not do got. With the Iraq war, many people were feeling he was

:33:17.:33:23.

being guided to match by a zealous belief. A zealous belief in George

:33:23.:33:31.

Bush! Whatever it was. Yes. If people had voted for him on not

:33:31.:33:36.

voted for him, that would have been a very straightforward way to go. I

:33:36.:33:41.

disagree with Tony Blair and his decisions on the war. I would have

:33:41.:33:45.

liked again to have seen his workings - his theological workings

:33:45.:33:51.

of. On that one, they were over done. There was a lot of

:33:51.:33:55.

scaremongering. People hearing whispers in their ear from got to

:33:55.:34:00.

do this. That is not how it works. It is about real fundamental values

:34:00.:34:05.

are, where you are formed and way you are shaped. We'll be following

:34:05.:34:15.

be Twitter? It is not going to be very exciting, we get? -- Will you

:34:15.:34:20.

be following him on Twitter? last week, Westminster was

:34:20.:34:23.

dominated by the Leveson Report into press standards. Will it be

:34:23.:34:26.

different this week? Well, no, because this afternoon MPs debate

:34:26.:34:28.

Lord Justice Leveson's Report on the reform of press regulation, as

:34:28.:34:31.

their party leaders attempt to reach a consensus on the way

:34:31.:34:36.

forward. Home Secretary Theresa May has until 3pm to decide whether to

:34:36.:34:41.

appeal against a recent judgment preventing Abu Qatada's extradition.

:34:41.:34:51.
:34:51.:34:51.

The season of goodwill hits Downing Street this evening, as this which

:34:51.:34:56.

is flicked on to light up the Prime Minister's Christmas tree. On

:34:56.:34:59.

Wednesday, we find out whether it is Scrooge or Santa as George

:34:59.:35:02.

Osborne delivers the Autumn Statement and we find out what the

:35:02.:35:04.

Dickens is going on with the deficit reduction plan. On Thursday,

:35:05.:35:07.

the European Council is due to respond to the UK's continuing

:35:07.:35:10.

defiance of the Court of Human Rights ruling on voting rights for

:35:10.:35:13.

prisoners. But, later that day, harmony will prevail with the

:35:13.:35:16.

parliamentary carol concert, when for at least once a year MPs of all

:35:16.:35:26.
:35:26.:35:34.

parties can be heard singing from Joining as is James from the Daily

:35:34.:35:37.

Telegraph and Kieran from the Financial Times. It does not look

:35:37.:35:42.

good in terms of George Osborne and his targets. What do you think he

:35:42.:35:49.

will do in order to try and present and -- a credible plan? It is a

:35:49.:35:54.

good question. One thing we must remember is what Nick Clegg said

:35:54.:35:57.

during the Lib Dem party conference. He said he did not want to see a

:35:57.:36:02.

penny more of a penny less taken away from the fiscal plan. If he

:36:02.:36:07.

gets his way on Mant, George Osborne will not do much more to

:36:07.:36:15.

pay off the debt. -- on that. What George Osborne has to say is, I

:36:15.:36:21.

have got my plan, I am continuing to cut. I will carry on doing that.

:36:22.:36:26.

That is the only way to eliminate the deficit as we understand it now.

:36:26.:36:30.

One big announcement he will make on Wednesday is he will not hit his

:36:30.:36:36.

target of having debt falling as a ratio of GDP by the end of

:36:36.:36:41.

Parliament. That will pass a lot of people buy. It is technical

:36:41.:36:45.

measurement. It is worth remembering that on the two key

:36:45.:36:50.

tests of his fiscal plan, the one to have debt falling and also to

:36:50.:36:54.

have eliminated the structural deficit by 2014, he has failed on

:36:54.:37:00.

them both. Having set them out, some of it might pass people buy.

:37:00.:37:05.

Economically, let's put that to one side. Politically, what does he

:37:05.:37:10.

have to do? He needs to try to distract from the points Keiran is

:37:10.:37:15.

making - the economic signs of failure. He needs to last longer.

:37:15.:37:22.

He has missed targets. The politics, he needs to say that with one hand

:37:22.:37:27.

he is smiting welfare claimants. With the other, he is smiting the

:37:27.:37:32.

rich. The idea it is he can look middle England in the eye and say,

:37:32.:37:38.

I am in the Middle with You. I am against the undeserving poor and

:37:38.:37:44.

the undeserving rich. If he gets to Wednesday night, a Thursday morning,

:37:44.:37:48.

and he is being attacked by left and right for the Autumn Statement,

:37:48.:37:54.

he will be happy with that. Let's take a look at Leveson. Will the

:37:54.:38:01.

debate achieve anything? Very little. We had faith they have -- a

:38:02.:38:05.

flavour of it in the debate following the announcement of a

:38:05.:38:10.

report last week. It became a slanging match across the Commons

:38:10.:38:14.

was up 1 1/2 said they want statutory regulation and the other

:38:14.:38:22.

half said they did not. Is the main body of opinion, as far as the

:38:22.:38:27.

Leveson Report those in the House, it is a shifting? There is a

:38:27.:38:34.

gradual change and a wave. David Cameron came out very quickly and

:38:34.:38:42.

said, no. -- under way. Lots of people thought that was bowled. He

:38:42.:38:48.

was going up against hacked off Hugh Grant and the others. Since

:38:48.:38:53.

then, a few signs that, in Parliament, opinion is drifting his

:38:53.:38:57.

way. Some of the Conservative backbenchers who had previously

:38:57.:39:02.

suggested he was in favour of a statutory option, they are saying,

:39:02.:39:10.

maybe not. Ed Miliband is trying to calibrate his position. He had

:39:10.:39:15.

given the impression that the Labour Party was signing up to

:39:15.:39:18.

Leveson are. He is now saying, if you got that impression, it is not

:39:18.:39:25.

the case. We're more questioning in our approach. The direction of

:39:25.:39:32.

travel has gone a little bit in the direction of David Cameron but only

:39:32.:39:37.

slightly. The idea of there being a new law, at some underpinning, at

:39:37.:39:42.

layback and the Liberal Democrats together could outvote the Prime

:39:43.:39:47.

Minister. -- Labour and the Liberal Democrats. They cannot force him to

:39:47.:39:53.

legislate. David Cameron has data at his position. He says he is

:39:53.:39:57.

reluctant to cross that Rubicon, in his phrase. The fact he might have

:39:57.:40:02.

to do so, he is not going to legislate on this. One thing that

:40:02.:40:06.

will help him is, if Labour wants to mount a public campaign in

:40:06.:40:12.

support of the Leveson proposals come at it will not get much favour

:40:12.:40:18.

from the press. -- the Levison proposals, it will not get. I am

:40:18.:40:23.

sure that has not pass them by. I am sure it you will be listening to

:40:23.:40:27.

that debate this afternoon. So, as we've been hearing, all eyes will

:40:27.:40:30.

be on George Osborne this Wednesday, when he delivers his Autumn

:40:30.:40:33.

Statement. The Chancellor was on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday.

:40:33.:40:36.

This is what he had to say. Very clear going forward. We need to

:40:36.:40:42.

deal with the deficit. It will take longer. It needs to be done fairly.

:40:42.:40:47.

The richest have to bear their fair share and a whale. That means more

:40:47.:40:53.

than they are paying at the moment. -- it they will. The mansion tax

:40:53.:40:58.

business has been kicked around. There will not be a mansion tax. We

:40:58.:41:03.

have made that clear. Can I just say this? There is another

:41:03.:41:06.

conception of fairness - the fairness for the individual who

:41:06.:41:11.

goes out to work and the next on Labour is living a life on benefits.

:41:11.:41:17.

It is unfair for that individual. Make the rich pay but also made

:41:17.:41:27.

sure you are tackling the welfare system which is deeply unfair.

:41:27.:41:37.
:41:37.:41:39.

Welcome to the three of you. How much has deficit being cut? It has

:41:39.:41:44.

been cut substantially. We're trying to turn round a very

:41:44.:41:50.

difficult economy. Highlight what George was saying on the PC just

:41:50.:41:58.

played. -- I liked what George was saying on the piece you just played.

:41:58.:42:02.

Youth unemployment has improved. There are very positive steps but

:42:02.:42:07.

we need to do a lot more. You say the deficit has been cut

:42:07.:42:11.

substantially. Cutting it by 25% is the figure Tory politicians have

:42:11.:42:16.

used, and a Liberal Democrat ones as well. You only get to 22% if you

:42:16.:42:22.

go to March and stop counting. You could find you have only reduce the

:42:22.:42:27.

deficit by 2%. That is not much at all. Which figure do you disagree

:42:27.:42:33.

with? 5% seems the exact figure. Let's see what the OBR says on

:42:33.:42:37.

Wednesday. We are second guessing what everyone is going to say.

:42:38.:42:42.

use the current budget balance, which is used by most rating

:42:42.:42:48.

agencies, as of October, 2012, the deficit has only been reduced by 2%.

:42:48.:42:54.

If you stop counting in March. we go forward, it will get better.

:42:54.:42:59.

Do you accept that? That is the right figure. A quarter over the

:42:59.:43:03.

last two and a half years. When the coalition government came to power,

:43:03.:43:08.

we had the largest peacetime deficit of any country. It has been

:43:08.:43:13.

very difficult to turn that around. When the Chancellor talks about the

:43:13.:43:18.

deficit, and we can argue in disagree about how it has come down

:43:18.:43:23.

and at what point, debt is going up. Don't you think it is disingenuous

:43:23.:43:27.

to talk about death is becoming damn about talking about debt?

:43:27.:43:36.

People get confused. -- debt is coming down. There has been more

:43:36.:43:40.

borrowing. We would not like to have had so much borrowing. They

:43:40.:43:46.

are different issues. We have differentiated them very well.

:43:46.:43:50.

you listen to the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, they say

:43:50.:43:55.

they have brought the deficit down by a quarter. What is Labour

:43:55.:44:01.

complaining about? People will be amazed at the level of complacency.

:44:01.:44:07.

Debt is going up. Now of the Chancellor has had to borrow an

:44:07.:44:10.

extra �150 billion over the parliament because he is not

:44:10.:44:16.

meeting his own debt targets - his own target. That is because the

:44:16.:44:21.

economy is stalling. We need gross, demands, government policies and

:44:21.:44:26.

the strategy to get the economy going there again. That is what

:44:26.:44:30.

businesses say every time I meet them. It is not what the Chancellor

:44:30.:44:35.

is offering. To call for more spending? I hope he looks at

:44:35.:44:42.

bringing investment for it and using the G four dividend to invest

:44:42.:44:49.

in housing. -- investment forward. What about paying down the debt? If

:44:49.:44:54.

you are worrying about the debt rising, which it is, why not use

:44:54.:44:59.

that money to pay down the debt? You cannot pay down the debt whilst

:44:59.:45:04.

the economy is shrinking. That is the problem that George Osborne has.

:45:04.:45:10.

We need to get the economy moving. And the targets and all this seemed

:45:10.:45:15.

economic growth which has that happened. How embarrassing is it?

:45:15.:45:20.

Everyone accepts he will shift deficit-reduction targets. Make the

:45:20.:45:30.
:45:30.:45:31.

five years start later and that he We are trying to turn around the

:45:31.:45:36.

economy in a very difficult time. He set those targets himself based

:45:36.:45:42.

on that. You attempt to meet them but you cannot legislate for the

:45:42.:45:48.

fact that that eurozone is going to hell in a handcart, those are

:45:48.:45:54.

things beyond control. If your number of three and four customers

:45:54.:45:58.

in the European economy go bust, that will clearly affect our

:45:58.:46:03.

economy. He will have to try to find more savings if he is going to

:46:03.:46:09.

reduce the deficit. Are you pleased he will be looking again at welfare

:46:09.:46:14.

and possibly a freezing benefit payments? The test for me is

:46:14.:46:19.

whether it is good for the economy, whether we go for growth and reduce

:46:19.:46:23.

the deficit, but whether it is fair, and my view is you have to start at

:46:23.:46:28.

the top, and make sure those on very high incomes are paying their

:46:28.:46:33.

fair share of tax. We saw today the �170 million that George Osborne

:46:33.:46:38.

and Danny Alexander have announced to target tax avoidance. We need to

:46:38.:46:43.

start at the top. You will be happy for benefits to be frozen? We have

:46:43.:46:48.

to look at benefits on a case-by- case basis. I am sceptical about

:46:48.:46:53.

the need to remove housing benefit for those under 25. I do not want

:46:53.:46:57.

to see a general freeze on benefits overall. But we have to make sure

:46:57.:47:01.

the measures are fair and that means starting at the top,

:47:01.:47:06.

companies and individuals dodging tax, and working down, so that

:47:06.:47:10.

everybody has a fair burden. terms of Lib Dem performance in

:47:10.:47:18.

budgets, no mansion tax, top rate of income tax increased, up tuition

:47:18.:47:25.

fees troubled... The first policy of our manifesto was to raise the

:47:25.:47:29.

income tax threshold to �10,000 and that has been delivered. Jo, you

:47:29.:47:35.

cannot just Roelof analyst... Some of those are accurate -- you cannot

:47:35.:47:40.

just read a list. A Liberal Democrat pledge has been delivered.

:47:40.:47:44.

When you look at the Lib Dem approach to the Budget on Wednesday,

:47:44.:47:48.

the Autumn Statement, it is crucial that it is a fair distribution of

:47:48.:47:53.

pain. You have mentioned the tax avoidance and you want to hit the

:47:53.:47:57.

rich. Well cutting the annual allowance for pension savings be

:47:57.:48:03.

enough to mitigate, for Lib Dems, a freezing of benefits? Up I do not

:48:03.:48:08.

have a crystal ball... Do you think that would be fair? We will have to

:48:08.:48:13.

look at a packet when it comes out on Wednesday. I cannot say without

:48:13.:48:16.

making sure that when I see the overall package that the Chancellor

:48:17.:48:20.

has done everything he can to make sure those on higher incomes pay

:48:20.:48:26.

their fair share. What would you be doing if the swing Labour's ought

:48:26.:48:33.

to misstatement? -- if this were Labour's Autumn Statement? What

:48:33.:48:40.

else? One of the things we would not be doing and that we would take

:48:40.:48:43.

out is the tax cut for the richest, the tax cut for millionaires, which

:48:43.:48:48.

means that on 1st April, the same day that pensioners will find their

:48:49.:48:53.

tax going up, and many will find their benefits have been cut or

:48:53.:48:58.

removed, on that day it millionaires, 8,000 of them, will

:48:58.:49:03.

be getting a tax cut of at the �100,000. That does not stack up

:49:03.:49:11.

well with your SEN this equation? For 13 years... -- with your friend

:49:11.:49:21.
:49:21.:49:25.

this -- a... If you meant what you said, you would have had a 50 pence

:49:25.:49:31.

tax rate for 13 years and you did not, you had it for 30 days. We had

:49:31.:49:34.

the greatest financial crisis that we have had since the Depression

:49:34.:49:40.

and as a response we brought in tax changes. The consequence of the

:49:40.:49:47.

financial crisis is still with us will stop his VAT at the right

:49:47.:49:53.

level? I do not think it should be changed. It is a big money earner

:49:53.:50:03.
:50:03.:50:05.

for the Treasury. We put VERY strongly for fuel duty to remain

:50:05.:50:10.

frozen -- we put VERY strongly. It is a matter for the Chancellor. I

:50:10.:50:16.

have made the point very strongly to him that I wanted see particular

:50:16.:50:21.

address to the cost of living issues. I loved what he is doing on

:50:21.:50:25.

energy, I support that, I particularly believe that you all

:50:25.:50:29.

in my part of the world, it rural Northumberland, it is not a luxury,

:50:29.:50:35.

it is a necessity, and it has a great impact on business. I believe

:50:35.:50:39.

it contrasts very strongly with what the Labour Party did which was

:50:39.:50:44.

repeatedly put up fuel prices throughout their government and

:50:44.:50:49.

they would be higher now. We have frozen it. I accept boat, and this

:50:49.:50:54.

is important, if we freeze certain duties, that means less money to

:50:54.:50:57.

the economy and we will have to make tougher decisions on other

:50:57.:51:02.

issues and that is a very tough calls for the Chancellor to make,

:51:02.:51:07.

but I do believe it is responsible thing to do, and if you talk about

:51:07.:51:12.

growth, fuelled price is the key. Right.

:51:12.:51:15.

Talks between the coalition and Labour about how to respond to the

:51:15.:51:18.

Leveson Report on press regulation have resumed today. Sir Brian

:51:18.:51:20.

Leveson's proposals for an independent body, backed by

:51:20.:51:23.

legislation, will also be debated in the Commons this afternoon. This

:51:23.:51:29.

is what the Labour leader had to say a little earlier. I think we

:51:29.:51:35.

owe it to the victims like Milly Dowler's parents and Madeleine

:51:35.:51:39.

McCann's parents to make change happen, and we are seeing a large

:51:39.:51:43.

majority of the public also warned that change. That is why we are

:51:43.:51:52.

going to draughts legislation -- draft legislation to show that

:51:52.:51:55.

Independent sold regulation guaranteed by law can work. The

:51:55.:52:03.

government said they want to produce legislation that can't work,

:52:03.:52:09.

but we believe it can. Which of you has wrecked the whole report? 2000

:52:09.:52:18.

pages? 550 pages. Is it a good read? Or no, it is very serious.

:52:18.:52:22.

You cannot read about Christopher Jefferies and Milly Dowler without

:52:22.:52:28.

filling revulsion at the action of some journalists. It is a serious

:52:28.:52:33.

and sensible piece of work. There are over 100 recommendations. And I

:52:33.:52:36.

have looked at some of the world on Criminal Justice and data

:52:36.:52:40.

protection, and I have looked strongly at be individual points in

:52:40.:52:45.

relation to Ofcom. Not every single point will be adopted. There is

:52:45.:52:52.

allotted to discuss. What about the central recommendation? -- there is

:52:52.:52:59.

a lot to discuss. You said you could not not feel revulsion. Buzz

:52:59.:53:05.

that mean there should be a guaranteed part of law that compels

:53:05.:53:12.

newspaper editors to be part of the regulation? My view is that there

:53:13.:53:21.

will be a derivation of the PCC and the 0 black and Lord Hunt proposals,

:53:21.:53:26.

I question whether a statutory regulation underpinned by a Ofcom

:53:26.:53:30.

is the right way forward. I think it is the thin end of the wedge. I

:53:30.:53:35.

also think it is not workable. You said that means that all newspapers

:53:35.:53:41.

would have to be signed up to it. Isn't it pointless otherwise?

:53:41.:53:46.

is the point. But you cannot force newspapers to do that. You would

:53:46.:53:51.

have a statutory system that says, we have this regulation, but nobody

:53:51.:53:57.

would sign up to it. If you look at the specific regulation, 75 in the

:53:57.:54:03.

summary, he says, I accept some people would not sign up to this.

:54:03.:54:07.

They read newspapers have said they would not. But if there is some

:54:07.:54:16.

sort of law that underpins the regulator...? No. This is a locking

:54:16.:54:20.

in the last chance saloon for a press that has shown itself to be

:54:20.:54:23.

reckless in targeting innocent people across the country and

:54:23.:54:27.

exposing them to the full force of the media, often without a

:54:27.:54:33.

correction, often without an apology. Some of the writing in the

:54:33.:54:37.

Leveson Report is very difficult. I think we do need to see a legal

:54:37.:54:42.

fail-safe to make sure that we have an independent regulator, free from

:54:42.:54:47.

editors on the board, three from politicians on the board, which is

:54:47.:54:51.

able to properly address the concerns that innocent people have

:54:51.:54:59.

when they had been abused by the press. Did you want to respond?

:54:59.:55:04.

Congratulations on 500 pages. He said not every point is capable of

:55:04.:55:09.

being implemented. Let's not forget statutory underpinning is said by

:55:09.:55:14.

Leveson Report to be essential, it is not a detail. It is essential to

:55:14.:55:19.

ensuring that victims have the kind of protection that they need, and

:55:19.:55:23.

the Prime Minister promised that. He said unless it would be bonkers,

:55:23.:55:28.

he would implement it. Einstein said that insanity is doing the

:55:28.:55:31.

same thing again and again and again and expecting different

:55:31.:55:38.

results. You will not get different results without change. Nobody is

:55:38.:55:45.

expecting this present status quo to stay the same. The PCS seat...

:55:45.:55:51.

Nobody wants the PCC to remain. Lord Black and Lord Hunt's

:55:51.:55:54.

recommendations are not far enough and everybody in the House of

:55:54.:55:58.

Commons that the same thing. What they have not said is if there

:55:58.:56:03.

should be statutory regulation. Ofcom, that is a political

:56:03.:56:09.

appointment by the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport. I am very

:56:09.:56:12.

nervous about that political appointment. I do not think it

:56:12.:56:17.

should be a political appointment. You can cherry-pick bits of the

:56:17.:56:21.

report but paragraph 65 so has by far the best option would be for

:56:21.:56:26.

all publishers to choose to sign up to a self regulatory regime and in

:56:26.:56:32.

order to be able to make them do so, convincing incentives are required.

:56:32.:56:37.

If you have not got people party to it, the statutory scheme fails

:56:37.:56:46.

totally. A what do you say to the victims? How do you justified...?

:56:46.:56:51.

Is it is a breach of criminal law! A not always, it was often

:56:51.:56:55.

professional standards. But in a note in a five-year-old's school

:56:55.:57:00.

back to influence their mother, that is not criminal law. That is

:57:00.:57:06.

be criminal offence. What we need is statutory underpinning. One of

:57:06.:57:09.

the recommendations is regarding the Data Protection exceptions,

:57:09.:57:15.

which the press already have, so the press are happy to have

:57:15.:57:17.

statutory underpinning for protection but not for protection

:57:17.:57:23.

for the victims. Labour are drawing up their own draft legislation.

:57:23.:57:26.

Should the Liberal Democrat support that legislation and then you can

:57:26.:57:31.

vote together and defeats David Cameron? Cross-party talks are

:57:31.:57:35.

happening at the moment. I think they will be productive. I am quite

:57:35.:57:39.

sure that Nick Clegg will be making the case to David Cameron

:57:39.:57:44.

powerfully that we want to see a legal fail-safe that guarantees the

:57:44.:57:48.

independence of the self regulatory system. We are not talking about

:57:48.:57:54.

abolishing a free press. Everybody wants to see a free press...

:57:55.:57:59.

how do you stop...? We do not want the press to bully the innocent

:57:59.:58:05.

without redress. Everybody wants that. The point raised by its Guy

:58:05.:58:09.

Opperman is that if you go down the route of statutory regulation, how

:58:09.:58:13.

do you stop it getting to the stage where editors phone up the

:58:13.:58:17.

regulator and say, is this OK before I publish it? Where does

:58:18.:58:23.

that stop? We have to make sure that those issues are properly

:58:23.:58:29.

addressed. I am sure that one of the issues she has just mentioned,

:58:29.:58:34.

the exemption of the press under data protection legislation. If the

:58:34.:58:38.

press are pursuing an individual and that individual can ask for all

:58:38.:58:42.

the data the press have, that is clearly nonsense and would harm

:58:42.:58:47.

investigative journalism... I will have to stop you there. You have

:58:47.:58:55.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS