11/12/2012 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics. Once upon a time


the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats seemed united on the


issue of civil liberties. But is that unity under threat? The


coalition is at loggerheads over plans to allow police and


intelligence services to monitor all email and internet use. Nick


Clegg says the bill needs a fundamental re-think. Theresa May


says the plans must proceed without delay. The Culture Secretary will


today lay out the Government's plans to introduce same sex


marriages. But campaigners against the plans accuse ministers of being


dishonest and of conducting a "sham" consultation. Is David


Cameron running scared of the TV election debates? Labour think he


is after the PM said he thought the format was flawed. We'll have our


very own TV debate! And, as fresh data from the Census is revealed,


what does it tell us about the changing face of Britain over the


years? All that in the next hour, and with us for the whole programme


today is Mark Littlewood, he's the director general of the free-market


think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs. Now, first let's


turn our attention to Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland


Secretary Theresa Villiers will make a statement to MPs later today


about the situation after another night of violence in Belfast. Let's


talk to our Northern Ireland Political Editor Mark Devenport.


What happened last night? We have more serious trouble, the most


significant incident was an attack on a police officer's car. A female


police officer was essentially guarding an office. Meyer may long


was the first politician to be elected as an MP from the Alliance


Party, and that party has been and very much at the centre of this


because they have been the target of loyalist protests. They backed


the idea of taking the union flag down for 365 days, and merely


putting it up for 17 designated days over the city hall and that is


what has caused so much anger in the communities. We can see a


pretty extensive police presence on the streets because this has gone


on for over a week, hasn't it? I don't think anybody knew there


would be this odyssey in outside the council meeting but there has


been genuine surprise these protests have continued for so long.


The politicians are dividing, unionists are blaming nationalists


for having brought up the issue of the Union flag in the first place,


and the Alliance Party has been blaming Unionist fostering tensions


about this, distributing leaflets around the Belfast area. They now


have a problem, which is that something has started and it is


proving easier to start than to stop it. One to about David Cameron,


who has been criticised in some quarters for not speaking out


sooner on this issue? They have certainly anger within the Alliance


party that in 10 Downing Street they have not taken more notice of


the fact they now have a member of parliament facing a death threat,


and clearly a very serious threat after we saw the female police


officer attacked outside her council office. Normally the


Alliance Party are very mild mannered, a cross-community group


who specialise in compromising, but they have been very angry in the


light of these attacks and they are saying the Prime Minister needs to


come out and be more forthright about this. We will get the


statement of course. I suppose the main feeling here will be


distressed that something like this has managed to trigger a week long


disturbance. Pretty timely and a shocking reminder, isn't it? From


the mainland, and not being an expert in Northern Ireland politics,


my impression was that things are more or less solved over there,


going along peacefully. Suddenly something which is ceremonial, I


wouldn't call it trivial, but ceremonial trusts -- just starting


this off and perhaps the United Kingdom is more fragile than we


think. These are testing times and we have not found a solution yet.


In terms of the criticism of David Cameron, do you think he hasn't


shown enough leadership on this? does need to be more clear on this.


I wouldn't say he was sleepwalking but he needs to make a stand pretty


fast and this has been going on too long without his intervention.


Now for something a little different. It's time for our daily


quiz. The question for today is - David Cameron said yesterday that


his daughter pestered him to vote for a contestant on a reality TV


show. So who did he back? The Government published a draft


version of its Communications Data Bill in June. The new bill would


mean that companies would have to store information about online and


internet communications, which could be accessed by police and


intelligence agencies. After criticisms that the bill was


tantamount to a snooper's charter, the Government agreed to send it to


a committee of MPs and peers for detailed scrutiny. That committee


has now published its report on the bill and, whilst they recognise the


need for legislation, they're not impressed with the bill as it


stands. Under the proposals, companies would have to store the


details of communication - who sent messages to whom, and when - but


not what they actually say, for 12 months. The bill would cover things


like Twitter and Facebook messages, webmail, and phone calls made over


the internet. It does not include details of people's internet search


histories. The Home Office argues that access to people's phone


records is already available. The new Bill just brings the existing


law up to date. They also say that access to the data will be limited


to the police, intelligence services, and a small number of


other Government agencies. As with the current rules, other public


bodies like local councils would have to go to court to see the


information. But critics like Brig Brother Watch say it is a "naked


attack on privacy". They fear that it will be possible for the police


to piece together people's internet histories. And the committee which


has scrutinised the bill says it will need "substantial rewriting"


before it can be brought before Parliament. The Home Secretary,


Theresa May, has said that those who oppose the Bill are "putting


politics before people's lives". But today Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg


has said that it needs a "fundamental rethink". Let's speak


to our political correspondent. Gary, can we characterise it like


this - that this committee has agreed there was a need for


legislation but it needs to be rewritten? I think that is pretty


fair. It acknowledges there is a capability gap, as the jargon goes,


and it says that should be addressed, as does a similar


committee, the committee that covers the intelligence services


which has also produced a report on this. Both the committees do not


like the proposals and it is that a breath of power the Government is


seeking that they don't like. For example they don't like the idea


there Home Secretary would be able to extend the numbers of


organisations without new legislation that would be able to


access this information. It doesn't like the fact there will be


categories of data it can expand into without making it explicit on


the face of the bill. It doesn't like the numbers, the amount it


says will be saved in the long run is fanciful. There are a number of


problems, and that is before you going to the political problems


with the Liberal Democrats and Nick Clegg effectively saying we are not


going to help you get this through. Let's go into the political


problems. Is it possible to go by Theresa May's deadline that she


would like this on the statute before the next election? It is


possible because Nick Clegg has said he is not against the


principle of extending these powers but he doesn't like the way it it


is being done. There is talk of the government accepting the substance


of the recommendations made by this committee, a committee that Nick


Clegg insisted was set up so it was his idea to have this scrutiny. If


that committee comes back and says to do things and the government


agrees, Nick Clegg is in a position where he will have to say why


aren't you agreeing with that? There will be manoeuvring and


discussion but at the moment there is this stand-off, which is useful


to Nick Clegg at the moment politically because civil liberties


is an issue his party is very keen on. This is something where he can


demonstrate to his party that he is pushing back against the Tories.


With us now is the Conservative MP Michael Ellis, who was a member of


the Bill committee, and Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia. Why do we


need this legislation? A There is a big gap in what the police can do


in terms of convicting individuals who commit offences. We are in a


situation because of the dramatic advances in technology over the


last decade or more that if a criminal, whether in a paedophile


gang, a terrorist, or other serious offender, uses the internet for


communication, the police can't necessarily obtain evidence against


that individual whereas if they use them landline telephone or a mobile


telephone, they will be able to. We have to allow the police to be able


to prosecute serious offenders and we need to therefore make sure the


law keeps up with modern technology. It is a pretty powerful argument,


isn't it, in order to arrest and convict serious offenders? Be it


would be if this Bill actually did anything towards those goals. The


issue is, when you mentioned Facebook in the introduction,


Facebook maintains data on everyone and co-operate with the police


folly. This particular bill was incompetent. It would not have


helped in the vast majority of cases. It was either it easy to


evade, by simply using a service provider based in the United States


or Russia, or for the Dome criminals they are already on


Facebook. -- dumb criminals. you don't disagree there needs to


be legislation to help the police? I don't disagree... Millions of


people already having their day to a log, who would therefore be


vulnerable to theft, but having said that the principle there is a


gap and we should look for narrowly focused, cautious measures that


don't target the public, that would be fine. Clearly you didn't agree


with many of the recommendations? What is important and what Nick


Clegg and others have agreed with, and the committee made clear, both


the committees, is that there is a need and they accept that because


they know there was a gap. There you to are broadly agreed there was


a gap, but let's get to how you do that because your committee says it


has to be rewritten if it meets substantial concerns about


safeguards, cost and lack of consultation. They pretty well say


the bill in its current form is dead. I don't agree it is dead. The


government have said they are quite happy to look at the issues around


the bill. We can tweak around the edges and move forward, that is


what coalition is all about, but the government is happy to accept


the substantive issues behind this report and that means they accept,


as do the authors of this report, my committee, but it goes deeper


than that. Before being an MP, I was a barrister in criminal


practice and I have seen prosecutions of individuals. We


will lose prosecutions of criminals if we do not allow the criminal law


to keep up with modern forms of technology. Are you prepared for


that to happen? It is important to understand there are ways we can


prevent crime and convict criminals that are not having an open society


and the cost may be too high. In this case I don't think we need to


reach that question because the bill was technically incompetent.


If you really care about stopping criminals, use the �1.8 billion to


engage in serious investigative There is a lot of misinformation


about what this Bill proposes to do. It's not about content. Already,


information is retained on than features in this Bill by


supermarkets, by people who have loyalty guarantee cards. Look, what


the Bill envisages is an ability to know who and when, it's not about


the content of messages. Right, and if it's not about the content of


messages, surely a phone call between you and me can be logged,


tracked and the amount of time we spend on that telephone, not what


we say to each other, and therefore my privacy and yours is retaind?


am an unreconstructed slib tearian on this point -- civil libertarian


on this point. I'm concerned about the techy issues. As soon as this


is held on a server in Japan or Russia, it's out with the reach


anyway. So I take the point that Jimmy said, what are we going to do


to track the ideals who'll store stuff offshore. It's a Home Office


bureaucratic solution. The Home Office said we've got the silver


bullet and they say it involves capturing more data on everybody.


They are always trying to search for a needle and build a haystack.


It's interesting that it's characterised as a Home Office


situation. We have heard evidence from Chief Constables, people have


been police officers for 30 or 40 years. From people who've... Don't


the police always demand extra powers to be fair, nothing's


changed there? They are not demanding extra powers but they are


demanding and asking for the same amount of power as they currently


have with your landline or telephone, mobile telephone, with


modern forms of communication. Why deprive them of that? If you are


able to see which websites people are browsing, perhaps because you


are trying to find out about a paedophile ring, that's content


isn't it? If you are able to see what people are looking at on a


day-to-day basis, that is looking at content? It isn't. Why not?


Because the fact of the matter is, you can't draw many conclusions


from that. If you looked at a... Really? If you looked at a criminal


lawyer and you were able to see a large number of telephone numbers


in his phone that belonged to criminal clients, you can't


conclude from that that he's a criminal himself, he may have


reasons why he has people's phone numbers. You can't jump to


conclusions in that way. All this envisages doing - we must get away


from the misinformation being spread about this - there's clear


misinformation. This is about what time a phone call is being made,


for example, what day it is being made, from what number A to what


number B, it's exact think same information that the police can get


now on a landline. Right. Would you see that as content, if we could


see what you were browsing at on a day toch day basis? Yes, clearly,


but I think I think the boundary between Communications Data and


content has become very tricky and difficult to sort through. One of


you expressed by some -- one view expressed by people is that the web


blogs are there, but searching Wikipedia, I can tell a lot about


you because I can load up the same URL myself. You can at Tesco and


Sainsbury's, because of a loyalty card. I refuse to have a loyalty


card. That's up to the individual. This is not going to be voluntary,


this is going to be the police taking this information. You need


sufficient calls... It's not... is because you are talking about


the same issues of data. You can choose to give the information


across. We are talking about proper safeguards, it isn't just a


phishing exercise, let's get away with that. That's the criticism,


that in order to get some of the criminals you talk about, you have


to go on a phishing exercise, otherwise how do you know who to


look at? You would have to go on a phishing expedition? No, there are


proper safeguards, just as in other legislation, about the more old-


fashioned forms of communication. Look, the police are now in a


position, police and surt services, thanks to advances in technology --


Security Services, thanks to advances in technology, where they


can only secure evidence from 75% of the time, down from 95% a few


years ago. That means voiceover Internet communication is used to


defeat their arrest. Now, do those who really want to block this Bill,


for whatever reason, want to allow that to happen? We have heard


evidence from the Child Exploitation online unit... Do you


want this to go on? One thing we have to understand z that a


fanciful view of technology would say, let's track all the data, but


the truth is you cannot. You physically, technologically cannot.


It's trivial for people to use services overseas, we are not


talking about sophisticated criminals, I'm just talking


ordinary people can easily avaid this with the minimal of effort --


evade. The thought that police could get access to all the data,


this is a dream or a nightmare, depending on how you look at it,


but it's impossible, it isn't going to happen. That's why this Bill us


- was never going to work. Nick Clegg is make it clear where he


stands. He wants it rewritten. Do you think he should sign up to it


if there is a more targeted approach, if some of the things


that Michael has talked about, if the safeguards are there. Is it


something that Nick Clegg should sign up to? I think not. I would


like us to listen to the experts who've made a career on the


Internet who know the technological stuff which I think goes way beyond


the heads of most of our politicians. If the Government


thought this was a serious way of cutting crime, this would have been


in the first Queen's Speech in 2010. I think this is a bureaucratic


invention and I hope the Deputy Prime Minister kills it stone dead.


There you go! Just before we finish, do you agree it should be rewritten,


that more safeguards have to be put in, that it should be more targeted,


in other words a completely different piece of legislation


think it's perfectly possible to look at the issues around the Bill


and the Home Office have already said that. This is something that


we have to move forward with. The Liberal Democrats agreed to this in


the separate yick defence review. Nick Clegg called for this


committee that I spent five months sitting on -- Strategic Defence


Review. We have heard moving evidence, include prg the Child


Exploitation unit. I can assure you, we do not want to allow one of the


paedophile gangs or individuals to get away with it. Jimmy said about


not being successful all the time, obviously we are not, but if we can


get a handful of these people off the streets, we need to do just


that. Thank you very much. The


Government's localism Act was designed to give local people more


say over planning. But do they have enough power? One MP wants a new


local right to appeal against adverse planning decisions. The MP


for Kingswood near Bristol spoke to us earlier. I asked him what it was


proposing? A community right of appeal, one of the big problems I


find as a local MP of planning decisions is that when decisions go


against residents, they have no right of appeal against the big


applications of snarbgts or housing developments. This would give


residents the chance to collect signatures within a washed and get


to apeople against the planning decision -- appeal against the


planning decision. How many signatures would you require?


couldn't just get a couple of signatures to change things and get


red tape to the area of growth. If you had 50% of signatures in a


particular ward, that would trigger an appeal to go to the planning


sector or the Secretary of State. Does thnt fly in the face of the


Government's plan to promote more development, not give local people


even more rights to block it when we need it for economic growth?


really. This is localism with teeth. This idea was actually in the


Conservative's open source green paper when we were in opposition


and I think we should be promoting growth and houses. We need new


houses, we need new developments at the same time, we can't ride rough


shot over local opinion. I think what this does is really sort out


the genuine concerns of big applications from the any more bys,


so you are not a nimby if half the ward has concerns about what is


happening in the local area. Do you think the Government's lost the


stomach for localism? It made a push on local agendas, but we have


had moves for a new planning framework and inspectorate so they


can appeal if local people object. Do you think the Government's lost


its interest in localism? No, not really. I think we have to


have responsible localism, so we have got the local councils


developing their core strategy. We have gone from a situation where we


had top down housing targets dictated by Westminster. Localism


can't be an excuse for nimbyism. You have to develop housing, so


issues like where you can have the community right of appeal would


sort out the principles. If you did manage to collect, if you were a


washed in a borough and you did manage to collect the 50% bar and


present it to the council, what would happen then? Would it be


reviewed or dropped all together? You would have a time period, so


maybe you would have to collect the signatures over one or two months,


you would have to do nit the framework or it would be red tape.


Then after that, it would be a planning appeal to the planning


sector or the Secretary of State. You would have to have a sizeable


number of signatures for it to reach that stage. That would be


decided by whoever enacted the policy.


Thank you. That was Chris skidmore MP talking


to me earlier. Let's take this idea. What do you think of it, giving


people the chance, 50% of people in a local ward could say no, we are


not going to have that development and the council has the look at it


again? I don't agree. I often agree with Chris on a lot but not on this


occasion. Why? He's identified the problem here. This isn't the


solution. It is so difficult to get anything built in the United


Kingdom. This is yet another barrier to it. Here is the thing.


What you really need to do is to make sure that the pain and the


benefits are equally felt at local level. So I would like a local


community to be able to say not just we want to block this because


we don't want 2500 new houses built on the hill, but I would like them


to have a deal on offer where if you are willing to let the 00


houses be built, we'll cut your council tax next year, it will be


cheaper for you, we'll have higher council tax elsewhere, now you make


your mind up, you know. If you are willing to let the new Tescos come


into town which is virtually always against planning, we promise to pay


X towards your council tax. We have to make the tax benefit localised.


This is another barrier. I can see why that might be attractive, but


isn't this the problem that the Government isn't committed to a


local agenda. They want it reforically but not in reality in


order to let communities make make that sort of decision you have just


put forward? That's offen if problem. It happened with the last


Labour Government in opposition. It's all localism and devolving


power when you get into office, and little of it happens when you get


into office. The coalition are making some steps in order to try


and liberalise planning, in fairness, with Nick Bowl. There


seems to be a concern that if we build houses we are going to


bulldoze natural beauty areas. Only 5% of Britain sun der concrete.


There is a lot of useless land we can build on -- is under concrete.


We need to let young people get their foot on the housing ladder,


when they are frozen out now. Thank you. Don't say we don't spoil


all your politics lovers out there. Today we are going to delve into


one of the big issues of the age - individuals versus the state. Do we


expect too much from Governments these days? Does big statement


limit our individual freedomss, or should we trust in the state to do


our best for us. Here is Mark Littlewood to explain more about


I want to live in a world in which the individual stands tall, not


buildings, not Government, not the state, but individual men and women.


That's the sort of country I want to live in.


Politicians and bureaucrats spend nearly 50% of our total national


income. If you are an absolutely average taxpayer, over the course


of your lifetime, you will be handing over about �7 50,000 to


politicians, bureaucrats and the Government.


Of course, for these hundreds of billions of pounds a year, the


state will promise you a wonderful mixture of things. They'll take


care of you when you're sick, they'll look after you when you're


old, they'll educate your children in schools, and if you are really


lucky, they might even spend some of your cash on renewable energy.


Of course, we have made some progress. It's only about 30 years


ago that the state was running nearly all of our industries. Coal


mines, steelworks, Telecoms, aviation, the car industry. We sold


all of that off. But, there's much, much further to go.


If we as individuals want to stand tall and walk proud, we need to


wise up. The fastest growing economies in the world have a state


sector that only accounts for about a quarter of their national income.


Here in the UK, it's about twice that. They're building and growing,


investing. Here in Britain, we can't even decide whether or when


to build a third runway. So we need to stop believing the


myth that politicians can spend our money and pull levers to make our


lives better and get the trains running on time. No, we need to


seek power for ourselves. And we are joined by Polly Toynbee


of the Guardian who might take issue wa few of those things.


Fallowing the fastest growing economies there is one thing Mark


suggests. We'll talk about that in a minute. Wouldn't it be better if


individuals were deciding what the money was spent on? If you look at


the most successful economies in the world, according to la Garta


institute, right-wing, they are Norway, Sweden and Finland and


spend a huge amount of money on the state and have a very successful


economy and very successful society, possibly the most successful known


to mew mankind. It's a question of what society you want. If you want


the Mitt Romney vision and Sarah Palin Everymanforhimself, pay for


everything ourselves and devil take the hindmost, sure we can have a


low tax, small state society. Most Is that the sort of society you


want, no, but it is my assertion that we can sort these problems out


for a lower proportion than we are spending at the moment. Polly is


right, I have picked out 25%, it is not a religious commitment, but you


should be able to address the problems of real poverty. What


country has 25%? The you are right to point out that there is a catch


of theory in China, but if you were to say Singapore or hung Kong, low


proportions of the economy, staggering growth. At the end of


the Second World War it was about as rich as a Third World country,


and now it is richer than Great Britain. Sweden spends more than


the United Kingdom... And their top rate of tax is 56%. For if you look


at 25 years ago, about 60% was the size of the Swedish state, now to


the High 40s. They have privatised vast areas of their economy. A what


an exaggeration. They have cut from 60% to 45% in their schools. Some


schools are on by private companies but people don't pay to go there.


That is relatively few. They have a government they call right wing


that would be wildly to the left of where new Labour was. But right of


where Sweden was in the 1970s. so on like us in every way. They


expect to get the best possible nurseries for every single child,


where half of the staff are graduates. They have the quality of


public service we could only dream of and it is successful


economically. There is satisfaction with public services - isn't that


what people want here? Better schools, better NHS, and for that


at one stage they were prepared to pay higher taxes. This is not her


argument between nice people who want better schools and hospitals...


How can you achieve that? The my question is how much of that is


sensibly provided by the state, and I think for considerably less


spending you can solve the problems. We have tried the big-spending


route. The know, we haven't. It has been done in the past two were


bewildering lack of effect. If at that time we have seen poverty


obliterated, OK, then maybe big spending would work. The talk about


bureaucracy. That is a real propagandist trick. Do you mean the


ward clerk doing all of the work in the ward so the nurses are doing


the nursing? The moment you start talking about bureaucracy you know


it is a pretty shabby argument. Do you want the policeman on the beat


or doing the paperwork? You can't put to call on saving paper clips.


A third of Whitehall is being cut right now and they are no longer


able to write contracts. The reason they got the West Coast Main Line


contract wrong is because of this. What a boat the welfare bill, there


is huge support a court that. that his people on the dole, and


people don't know that. They are astonished when you say only 2%.


Unemployment pay in this country is only �71 a week, not very much.


think in broad terms the welfare bill, the amount of money to spend


on it, should be focused on the bottom five or 10%. Who would you


cut? I don't think I should qualify for the state pension, I am


affluent enough to look after myself, as you'd two are. Everybody


qualifies for welfare at some point in their life and I think that is


absurd. There is a poor segment of society, an unlucky segment you


need to cater for, but that does not involve giving me a state


pension when I'm 65. The pension is enormous, half. I would love you to


stand for election on this because you would suffer the same fate as


Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney. If you think the state should not look


after old people, you would not get a lot of support. With people


living much longer and being asked to work... For you can't square


that circle through taxation. Somewhere that pension needs to be


saved for. My argument is that people as affluent as us should


look after themselves. Most people can do that over their lifetime. We


should be focusing on the bottom 10% in the welfare bill, not the


whole spectrum of the population. Put it to the people, I will enjoy


your spectacular failure. Thank you. There's lots we think we know about


the people who live in the UK. We guess at social trends, patterns of


behaviour and judge the changing face of society, but only every ten


years do we actually put it to the test. This morning more details


from the 2011 Census were published and it shows in England and Wales a


growing, ageing and more ethnically diverse population. It also reveals


how many live here but weren't born here. Every ten years since 1801


the UK population has been asked to answer such questions and though


society, fashion, lifestyle, and attitudes have changed over time


the way we chart that change hasn't really. Used to map and plan what


services are needed to match that change the Census is a huge


undertaking, and each decade throws out surprises. Now the latest batch


of statistics has been released from the last Census in 2011. The


population of England and Wales is 56.1 million 3.5 million more than


2001. Half of that increase has been due to migration. 7.5 million


were born outside the UK, and 3.8 million of those arrived here in


the last 10 years. Race and ethnicity is not as new to the


census as you might think, but England and Wales are becoming more


ethnically diverse. Since 2001 "mixed race" has been a census


choice, in 2011 those who describe themselves as mixed race number 1.2


million up 50% on 2001. These days it's a lot quicker but how useful a


10 year census is in planning for the needs of a modern increasingly


shifting and diverse population is up for debate. Already some local


authorities seek their own data, and in Scotland the question of


whether there be a 2021 census is actively under discussion. Joining


me now is the Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz


and the Chairman of Migration Watch Sir Andrew Green. Do you think


Britain was open to migration in the Labour years of power? No, I


think we had an appalling record as far as illegal migration was


concerned and if people want come into our country and settle here


and participate in our way of life and pay their taxes to fund


contribute to the country and helped to bring the Olympics and


compete in the Olympics, we should celebrate and welcome that


diversity so these figures are very welcome. They show the community is


settled and that there are people who still want to come here. People


do move out of Britain. I know a lot of people who have migrated to


France, India, other countries and that is the way it is in a


globalised world. We should celebrate these figures and I


celebrate my city in Leicester is the country's first ethnic-minority


city. The country has changed and we should embrace it? I am amazed


at what Keith Vaz is saying here. Globalisation did not start in 1997.


The inflow of migrants prior to that year was really rather limited.


We now have nearly 4 million immigrants in 10 years. 10 years


ago we forecast it would be 2 million, it was double that, but we


were jumped on by the left-wing press for even suggesting it might


be 2 million. We are where we are, and to that extent I agree - we


have these people in our community and we must join together. This is


a key point, we must get the scale under control. It is not acceptable


to go on in the direction we are going now. This is actually about


not controlling immigration. The border control has been inefficient,


and people are still here after 15 years who have been here illegally.


What unites us is being tough on illegal immigration. It is


difficult to come here now, frankly, legally. You really have to explain


how 4 million people arrived here in the course of 10 years.


money will have come from Poland. 30% came from Eastern Europe, the


rest came from the rest of the world and the reality is that we


lost control of immigration for 10 years. Whether that was a


deliberate policy or inefficiency by the Border Agency, we don't know


but we can't go on like this. Labour politicians down to Ed


Miliband have said that Labour ignored the concerns of its own


constituency, if you like, over immigration and many people did


feel it was out of control, particularly when it came to


pressure on services, schools, hospitals, that communities


couldn't cope. You must accept that is what your party has said.


don't accept it. I was the minister for enlargement under the last


Labour government and we reunited Europe. Those who come from eastern


Europe have contributed hugely to our country. They pay their tax so


if people are worried about pressure on schools and doctors, if


you pay your tax, that contributes. We have signed treaties and they


are legally here in this country and they contribute. Do you support


the Government's policy to reduce migration numbers to the tens of


thousands? If no, because they want to stop genuine students coming


into this country. If people want to come and study in this country,


they contribute and after three- year stay should leave. Isn't there


risk you will stop people coming here who would genuinely boost the


economy? Like students. There may be some things we agree on, but not


much of what you have just said. We support the enlargement of Europe,


but the previous government fold that up by opening the borders when


no one else did. That is ancient history. I think Ed Miliband is


starting to realise where public opinion lies. If we go on as we are


at 200,000 a year, this is net migration after the Brits have left,


if we go on like that, in the next 15 years we will have to build


power eight largest cities - Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool,


Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Glasgow, Bristol - we have got to do all of


that just for new immigrants and there is no money. Sounds great. I


don't have a problem with this. It is not obvious to me that 4 million


immigrants is bad news. Why do we think we have reached the optimum


population for Britain? I do have worries about legality, and if


people are only coming to take welfare, but that is not borne out


by the statistics. We got into a situation where British Asians were


contributing more to the Exchequer than they were taking out. Doesn't


it make it a great country that we have the whole world living here in


The Chancellor, George Osborne, has been speaking in the Commons and


has told MPs the next Budget will be on March next year. The Shadow


Chancellor revealed Labour will vote against Government plan force


a 1% cap on benefit rises. Just a quick reaction to that? Labour's


going to vote against... Well, I have to agree with something, so


yes, it's a great idea. Just checking you are awake there, well


done, Keith Vaz! Now, the Labour Party has accused David Cameron of


running scared of taking part in any future TV election debates. The


Prime Minister told journalists at the press gallery lunch that he


thought the debates in 2010 overshadowed the election campaign.


Mr Cameron said he was in favour of debates in principle but suggested


the format of the debates had "Sucked the life out of the


campaign". We'll have our very own TV debate about this in a moment,


but let's remind ourselves of the infamous debates. MUSIC: Eye of the


tiger... You've got to answer this question.


We will continue to match the funding of the police as of now.


You are saying you are going to cut it. Be honest with the public


because you can't airbrush your policies even though airbrush your


posters. Gordon Brown is trying to make you believe he can protect


health spending, edge police and education spending. He's given this


country the biggest budget deficit of any developed country in the


world. How does it help anyone in Bristol or anyone else for that


matter David Cameron to join together in the Europe with a bunch


of nutters, anti-assembly mites, people who deny climate change


exists, home Phoebes. That does not help Britain. We need to change the


European Union but you change clubs of which you are a member by


getting stuck in, not standing on the sidelines and complaining.


may have the feel of a TV popularity contest, but in truth,


this is an election about Britain's future. This is an important issue


and people need to know what are in our manifestos. I've set out the


policies. People need to know that the Liberal Democrats propose an


amnesty for illegal immigrants, which could mean that some 600,000


people who're here illegally would be allowed to stay and be given


full sit znship. Every time you talk about our policy, it's always


wrong -- citizenship. Joining me now are three aficionados. Ben


Bradshaw, Conor Burns and Chris Rennes ard. Don't take offence! --


Renard. Is David Cameron running scared? No, he's pointing out that


last time the debates were a huge distraction. There's a reason why


Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock wanted them and John Major and


Margaret Thatcher didn't want them. David Cameron signed up to it last


time around and was maybe foolish to do so? Terribly foolish. The


expectation level on Gordon Brown was so low. The expectation on


David Cameron was so high that he couldn't deliver on it and nobody


knew who Nick Clegg was so he was getting the benefit of exposure.


you think they sucked the life out of the campaign? It's true that we


noo the media were completely focused obvious those debates?


Exactly, but the media tends to get obsessed about this. It would be


odd if they didn't happen again. Every other democracy has them,


America, Germany, it's a chance for the view and the public to see the


three leading or two leading candidates together and for them to


scrutinise each other, not just leave it up to journalists, which


is what most of the political interviews in the run-up to an


election tend to be otherwise. a big risk. How do you think Ed


Miliband would perform? You say it's a big risk but I don't think


it damaged David Cameron last time. There was a spurt in Nick Clegg's


popularity but then it went down and they lost seats, so you can


overexaggerate the worth of them. They are valuable but don't let's


overclaim for them. Would you like to see another round? Yes, it's


impossible to say they were a distraction from the election when


more than ten people watched them. People chose to watch them. They


did in very large numbers and allowed people to see direct


questions to the policy leaders, serious discusses and objective


analysis. They are and were a good thing. Do you think for Nick Clegg


there was the case, I mean he polled brilliantly after the debate


certainly after the first one and perhaps slightly less so the second


but it didn't do him as much good as he might have thought? It was


the highest vote we have ever had. In terms of seats? But we lost more


seats which we think is more the voting style. I think the


newspapers on front-page headlines didn't really explain the detail.


People are entitled to the facts and get them better from an


extended television interview on things like the leaders dedebates


than from the tabloid newspapers. Do you think they are a good thing?


I do. I'm with Chris and David Cameron saying they sucked the life


out of the campaign, that is absurd. For the man in the Dog & Duck pub,


this was important. Theiren gaugement in the campaign was


watching two or three hours of television. What a breakthrough.


That was the discussion many the local pub who, performed well.


is the point. Politics was the debate in the pub rather than the


thing people didn't discuss? Ie Wild want more interaction -- I


would want more interaction and challenging. Like a Question Time


style? There is a danger of them becoming read-out pre-prepared


statements. The ITV do that one and they did it rather well? They were


all slightly different but... one was better. Enough room for a


room full of Mrs Duffys for all sides. Fix bid your spin doctor?


For all sides. Do you think the format is stuffy having them all


standing up instead of engaging a bit more with each other and with


the audience? Audience participation is a good thing and


it was possible to say that perhaps some of the people conducting them,


some were a little self-indulgent as to how they dominated the


discussion. Let people have their own say. One key thing about the


debates and why it's important to have them, you have things like


instant polls and you could prove scientifically what people thought


of the different leaders and what they said. If you don't have the


broadcast debates and those instant polls, you have newspapers making


up trying to say our man did really well, their man did badly, the


whole country... Still had that immediately afterwards anyway?


they couldn't get away with it. I saw George Osborne distraught with


the Sun political team looking on their computer screen at the front-


page headline and there was no way they could say anything other than


Nick Clegg did really well. What about the format then. What would


you like to see? There's been propositions for four debates,


Labour's put two forward before and maybe two during, do you think it


would be better to have the debates before the campaign starts? I'm not


sure we can say anything useful about this. There are long


negotiations involving the broadcasters who have a say here


with a the political parties. I hope we don't spend the next three


years talking about this. We are bound to. That would be a huge


distraction from the important things, like policy. Do you think


it will happen? Yes, I hope it will and I hope there are three in three


very different formats. I think they were a bit too similar last


time. Romney versus Obama tried different formats and I would like


more experimentation. What about other parties being involved?


is where it gets difficult. You have two defending the current


Government, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister? How


would that work? You need to have separate debates in Scotland. In


the past, the Conservatives said they couldn't have a debate with


the Liberal Democrats because they would be on Labour's side, now you


are saying they couldn't take part because they would be on the


Conservative side now. Let the three leaders be questioned by the


public and by professional journalists in proper inquisitive


fashion and you will see the difference between the parties.


haven't got an instant poll to see how you rated with the audience


today but we'll get back to you! The woman and Equalities Minister


has been setting out the details of the Government's plan force gay


marriage in the House of Commons. David Cameron and the other party


leaders are in favour but many Conservative MPs and others outside


Parliament are opposed. We'll speak to one critic in a moment but first


here is Maria Miller speaking a few minutes ago. For me, extending


marriage to same sex couples will splen then not weaken the vital


institution and the response I'm publishing makes clear we'll enable


same sex couples to get married through a civil ceremony. We'll


enable those religious organisations who wesh to conduct


same sex marriages to be able to do so. Based on a similar basis as is


available for them for civil partnerships. This is important for


obvious reasons, that it would be wrong to ban organisations who wish


to conduct same sex marriages from doing so. I'm under no illusions,


Mr Speaker, I'm fully aware that the proposals set out today to


allow same sex couples to marry is contentious. I'm also clear there


should be complete respect for veljous organisations and


individual religious leaders who do not wish to marry same sex couples


-- religious. The Government has to balance the importance of treating


all couples equally and fairly with respect for religious organisations


rights for their own beliefs. We need to be fair to same sex


couples. The state should not be banning them from such a great


institution. Equally, we need to be fair to people of faith. Religious


protections that I will set out will ensure that fairness is at the


Heart of our proposals. Maria Miller there. Dr Sharon James


from the campaign group Coalition for Marriage, joins us now. She


said they shouldn't be banned from such a great institution, same sex


couples, what is wrong with that? David Cameron's holding great


swathes in contempt. This was not in the manifestos of the three main


parties. When he launched the sham consultation it was supposedly just


about civil marriage and we were told that every single signatory to


marriage to keep the union for a man and woman would be counted as a


separate response. Lo and behold, now the consultation's been openeds,


2t Government is cooking the figures, airbrushed out over the


half a million signatorys to the petition and what's worse, is


they've done a U-turn and broken the promise and said it's not just


about civil marriage, but religious marriage. They have held a


consultation and taken very broad views and your views and the ones


held by your group are being expressed by many Conservative MPs


and others. It sounds like you're being slightly resentful about the


process even though the views are and have been taken on board?


have not been taken on board. Over half a million signatures to the


petition have been relegated and not counted in the headline figure.


What explanation have you been given for that? No explanation.


What is outrangous is that the Government is counting in


submission through their website. They made no safeguard against


multiple submissions and no safeguard against submissions from


abroad. Benn and Jerry's in America was whipping up support to send in


multiple submissions for this. So the Government's ignored people in


Britain who supplied names and postcodes and identified themselves


and they are counting in vast numbers of people from outside


Britain all together who had no right to join in the consultation.


Sharon James is very sup set about -- upset about this.


Conservative Party, I mean you sometimes wonder whether they at


any time, sexuality or foreigners comes up as an issue, they have a


collective nervous breakdown. I have sympathy with Sharon about the


consultation. It was a manifesto commitment and is now being


Leggetted for. My views are radical. I wouldn't have state reck naized


marriage but I wouldn't have state heterosexual marriage either.


you believe in is freedom and what Mrs Miller ignored - I'm talking


about ordinary teachers who'd be dismissed if they wouldn't teach


gays I'm going to have to stop you there. Do you know what the answer


is to the quiz, who did David Cameron vote for in reality TV


show? It was Will Young, except he wasn't a contestant on the X Factor


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