13/12/2012 Daily Politics


13/12/2012

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn with the latest political news and debate, including a government announcement on fracking, with energy minister John Hayes and Green MP Caroline Lucas.


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Welcome to the Daily Politics where the Government is getting cracking

:00:44.:00:47.

with fracking. Ministers have said energy companies can resume

:00:47.:00:54.

drilling for gas out of shale rocks. So, is this North Sea oil Mark two

:00:54.:01:03.

in the cheap energy era or the pursuit of fool's Gold. Earthquakes

:01:03.:01:13.
:01:13.:01:13.

and water pollution is in line. The Mayor of Amsterdam trying to ban

:01:13.:01:16.

students from smoking dope in schools. So it really time to

:01:16.:01:19.

liberalise the drug laws here at home?

:01:19.:01:24.

And, the Church of England failed to vote for women bishops. It's

:01:24.:01:26.

fighting gay marriage and the census suggests fewer of us believe

:01:26.:01:32.

in God. So what is the future for the church in an ever more secular

:01:32.:01:37.

world? All that coming up in the next hour.

:01:37.:01:43.

With us for the duration, MP Caroline Lucas, the first, so far

:01:43.:01:48.

the only green MP in the Commons, until earlier this year she was

:01:48.:01:53.

also the party leader. Why are the Greens going nowhere? I do love

:01:53.:01:56.

your introductory questions! I don't think we are going nowhere.

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We have seen our first MP elected, myself, and our first green Council

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so we have a minority administration in Brighton and Hove.

:02:08.:02:13.

You are Brighton? The London Assembly, you remember that the

:02:13.:02:16.

mayoral candidate came third beating the Liberal Democrats into

:02:16.:02:20.

fourth place so things are on the up. Really? There have been 12

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Parliamentary by-elections in this Parliament since the coalition took

:02:24.:02:31.

power. You stood in seven of them. How did you do? Very badly and we

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do do badly in by-elections because we don't have the resources to put

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into every seat that comes up. The by-elections are used to build

:02:40.:02:44.

ready for the local elections, so often our strategy with the by-

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elections is to get our message out on the doorsteps to as many people

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as possible and then identify which are the good wards we can work on

:02:52.:02:56.

to become councillors. In Norwich, we are using that strategy and we

:02:56.:03:00.

have the Greens on Norwich city council being the official

:03:00.:03:05.

opposition. In Lancashire and Oxford we have many, many Greens.

:03:05.:03:10.

There was a net increase of 11 this year, but in every by-election, you

:03:10.:03:17.

lost your deposit? I tried to explain the strategy. Losing money?

:03:17.:03:21.

We are a small party of scarce... You only chose seven out of 12. I

:03:21.:03:27.

understand you picked seven. Even in the ones you cherry-picked, you

:03:27.:03:30.

lost your deposit in every single one and it's interesting because

:03:30.:03:33.

the Liberal Democrat votes in a number of areas is crumbling,

:03:33.:03:36.

certainly in by-elections and you would think that an element of the

:03:36.:03:46.

Lib Dem vote would go to you, not all but an element. But no. Respect

:03:46.:03:52.

is another party and doing better than you? Well, it's a slightly

:03:52.:03:56.

unusual one. UKIP are always way ahead of you? UKIP is doing well,

:03:56.:04:00.

it's a good single issue party and gets the message across effectively.

:04:00.:04:05.

What Greens are dog is targeting resources we have which are far

:04:05.:04:12.

fewer than UKIPs sadly. That's why when we can put our resources into

:04:12.:04:16.

Oxford, Lancaster, we can see the results. We have an electoral

:04:16.:04:22.

system that's hugely weighted against smaller parties. We know

:04:22.:04:25.

that. The electoral system itself not being proportional. If you look

:04:25.:04:29.

at the European elections, what we are expecting in 2014 is we are

:04:29.:04:32.

going to increase by another three seats because we were a couple of

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votes off in three other areas. When we have a proportional system,

:04:36.:04:41.

the Greens do well. Over a million people voted Green at the last

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European elections. I know it's a negative picture looking at by-

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elections under a first-past-the- post system. European elections and

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elections under a proportional system, a million people voting

:04:53.:04:57.

Green is good. A councillor in Cambridge, you had one there, what

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happened to him? People do defect. There are defections from any

:05:04.:05:08.

political party. But why did he defect to the Labour Party? He said

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he wanted to be "Part of a bigger party that has real power to make a

:05:12.:05:17.

difference to people". There's always going to be that. There is a

:05:17.:05:23.

serious issue there, you can try and make us look foolish. Whether

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it's more fective to work in more mainstream parties, that's a

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legitimate argument to be had -- more effective. That's

:05:35.:05:38.

understandable, although not what I agree with, but the real question

:05:38.:05:41.

is, how do you put pressure on the big parties to change and there's a

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lot of evidence that when you join them, you become subsumed amidst

:05:46.:05:53.

them, whereas if there's a party outside that that's pushing others

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in a Green direction, that's effective. We have seen that. Other

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parties can't afford to ignore the environment, they have to respond

:06:00.:06:03.

more on social justice. The Greens are a small party but playing an

:06:03.:06:07.

important role and I would love us to be bigger and I think at the

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next European elections we will be. We'll see if you are still saying

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that when the Tory minister joins us later in the programme. Time for

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the daily quiz about twither. Everyone's at it these days --

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Twitter. David Cameron, the Pope and Andrew Neil tweets all the time.

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We want to know what political event of 2012 generated the most

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tweets. Are you grumbling from the sidelines? Yes. According to

:06:35.:06:45.
:06:45.:06:53.

At the end of the show, Caroline will be pleased to know she'll give

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us an answer. The big story of the day, are we

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about to see another dash for gash? The go-ahead has been given to

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fracking, the extraction of shale gas. It was halted after it was

:07:06.:07:10.

believed to have caused some minor earth tremors in the north-west of

:07:10.:07:16.

England. A moratorium was imposed but that's been lifted this very

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morning. What is this fracking all about? I chose my words carefully,

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Yes and said it carefully. It's a method of extracting natural gas

:07:27.:07:31.

locked in shale rocks deep beneath the ground. Water, sand and

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chemicals are pumped in under high pressure to force the gas out of

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the rock. Test drilling in Blackpool was stopped last year

:07:39.:07:42.

after there were two minor earthquakes. Today, the Government

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has lifted the ban but under strict environmental conditions.

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Supporters say that fracking could help bring down rising gas prices

:07:51.:07:54.

but there are still major concerns about the technique's safety and

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the environmental impact on burning gas to generate electricity.

:07:57.:08:01.

Speak in the Commons this morning, the Energy and Climate Change

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Secretary, Ed Davey, cautioned against some of the more optimistic

:08:06.:08:11.

predictions about the potential of shale gas. I'm absolutely clear

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that the most responsible and sensible way forward energy policy

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is to have a diverse set of resources and sources for our

:08:21.:08:25.

energy and I believe if you look at some of the press, they have got

:08:25.:08:29.

very excited about the potential for gas prices falling. I have to

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say, when one looks at the independent analysis, you don't see

:08:34.:08:39.

that. That was Ed Davey. Energy consultant joins me now. He advised

:08:39.:08:43.

the fracking industry in this country. One thing that Ed Davey

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said was that we shouldn't bet our house on fracking? Well, certainly

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gas is going to be a part of the gas is going to be a part of the

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energy mix and will work in concert with renewables. What about

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consumer bills. That's what people want to know. Will it bring down

:08:58.:09:02.

the amount of money people have to pay for their energy? We must look

:09:02.:09:09.

at this in a global context. Shale gas is revolutionising the shale

:09:09.:09:14.

and energy industry worldwide. I would anticipate, of course, that

:09:14.:09:22.

increased supply will lower prices. Unfortunately, what Caroline Lucas

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and a number of other people are betting on is that gas prices will

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forever rise and that is certainly not the case.

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But is there evidence to actually say - you say you are confident -

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but is there evidence to show that it will bring down prices

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significantly for consumers? Well, if the expectations that Cuadrilla

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resources have, I would anticipate that they must be. One of the big

:09:46.:09:53.

problems of UK energy policy is that we have no idea of exactly

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what the gas price is and what the other charges are. We have much

:09:57.:10:01.

more transparency at the retail level. I think that would help

:10:01.:10:03.

greatly. How much money is the fracking

:10:03.:10:09.

industry going to make out of this? Well, you have to look at how much

:10:09.:10:13.

money is the UK going to make out of it because this is the UK's

:10:13.:10:23.

national resource. It's taxed at 62%, so while hopefully the

:10:23.:10:26.

industry will be profitable, so will the Chancellor. And remember

:10:26.:10:30.

there are five to six miles worth of steel pipe in each well, so

:10:31.:10:35.

that's go ing to be looking at the chemical and seal industry and what

:10:35.:10:39.

have you. And the Exchequer is hoping to make some money out of

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this too. Some might argue that's why the Chancellor is so in favour

:10:42.:10:46.

of it. How long will it take to get gas flowing at the sites? Hard to

:10:46.:10:51.

say at this point. I think it will be earlier than many anticipate

:10:51.:10:58.

because of the special geological gift that we have here in the UK.

:10:58.:11:03.

The shale gas layer is up to 40 times those of the United States.

:11:03.:11:11.

Thank you very much. John Hayes joins us and Caroline

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Lucas is still here. If the potential of shale gas is

:11:18.:11:22.

realised, if it actually happened, what would it mean to this country?

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It could mean a great deal. It's too early to gauge the scale of it.

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But look at America, the unit price has gone $12 to $3 or $ 4.

:11:35.:11:40.

natural gas? Gas extracted, yes and other gas. That's had a big effect

:11:40.:11:44.

on the American economy because it has an incredible effect on

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competitiveness. If you can get the price of energy down, it will

:11:47.:11:51.

affect the whole economy. We don't know yet how much of our shale can

:11:51.:11:55.

be extracted commercially so it's hard to estimate its effect. It's

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an exciting potential. We shouldn't ignore that, should we? Why should

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we ignore it? Two reasons - one is there is a lot of evidence that the

:12:05.:12:08.

price here won't be anything like the drop that you have seen in the

:12:08.:12:13.

US, pricing will go up and people like Deutsche Bank, the

:12:13.:12:17.

International Energy Agency and some others in John's own

:12:17.:12:23.

department are saying that. If we go down this route, some are saying

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we'll bust our climate targets that are legally binding under the

:12:26.:12:29.

climate change Act. So give than there are other ways of getting the

:12:29.:12:32.

energy we need and given that all of the evidence that we are looking

:12:32.:12:38.

at suggests that prices are likely to be going up, not down, it's gas

:12:38.:12:42.

that is leading to higher oil prices, it doesn't seem right to do

:12:42.:12:47.

that. The price of gas won't go down, it will go up, according to

:12:47.:12:52.

some people who comment on that, like Deutsche Bank and whatever the

:12:52.:12:57.

price, we'll bust our CO2 emission targets? Price, as you know, is a

:12:57.:13:01.

feature of the relation shi between supply and demand. If you increase

:13:01.:13:05.

supply, you are likely, as your expert suggested, to have an effect

:13:05.:13:08.

on price. Again, we can't gauge what that might be. It's certainly

:13:08.:13:13.

true to say these things are hard to predict, Caroline's rite, but

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nonetheless, shale has had that big effect that you describe in America

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and could have significant impacts here. We wouldn't want to pool

:13:22.:13:28.

their eggs in one basket though. Specifically that creates

:13:28.:13:32.

conditions with a mixed economy of generation for exactly the same

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reason that when predicting a long time ahead you want to keep a

:13:36.:13:41.

number of doors open. What about CO2 emissions? They are on target.

:13:41.:13:45.

If you look at the short-term targets, the 2020 targets and 2050

:13:45.:13:54.

targets, we are on target to meet what we said we were. Do you

:13:54.:13:56.

disagree with the Committee on Climate Change when it said it

:13:56.:13:59.

won't be possible to meet the targets if we go down this road?

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You know as well as I do that we were always going to invest heavily

:14:04.:14:08.

in gas simply to guarantee energy security. No. We have to do that.

:14:08.:14:12.

That is to replace existing capacity. Now, what Caroline won't

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want me to say, is that it's simultaneously putting �1 billion

:14:17.:14:21.

into carbon capture and storage which means gas can be abated and

:14:21.:14:26.

can become a clean technology. So actually, this prejudice against

:14:26.:14:31.

gas will be as silly as a gas against renewables. Is it your

:14:31.:14:36.

policy that we should have no gas out all? No. But to be investing in

:14:36.:14:40.

the major dash for gas which is being proposed by the Government is

:14:40.:14:42.

simply irresponsible. To make the comparison with the US, we need to

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be clear that the situation in the US is very different. In the US,

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you have the wilds of Texas where you probably don't have lots of

:14:49.:14:52.

planning permission issues. Like the wilds of Lancashire? A lot of

:14:52.:14:57.

people don't want to see the number of fracking wells that will need to

:14:57.:15:01.

be drilled. We are talking about around 2,400 wells. If you think

:15:01.:15:05.

about the opposition we already have for onshore wind and things

:15:05.:15:08.

like that, the opposition that there will be against that degree

:15:08.:15:11.

of intensity of fracking wells, I would suggest, is going to be very

:15:11.:15:14.

high indeed. The north-west of England, particularly the black

:15:14.:15:21.

pool area, is a depressed area, and that's where the fuel that was with

:15:21.:15:24.

the moratorium was will now start again to investigate how much is

:15:24.:15:29.

there and whether it can be taken out in commercial quantities. Do

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you envisage, if there was to work, I emphasise "If" this was to work,

:15:35.:15:39.

will there be an economic revolution in the north-west?

:15:39.:15:41.

infrastructure already in Britain provides thousands, hundreds of

:15:41.:15:48.

thousands of jobs. So energy is important to the economic purposes

:15:48.:15:52.

of creating growth and skills and jobs. We know the country is

:15:52.:15:56.

weighted to the south, would this make a difference in economic terms,

:15:56.:16:06.

would the economic balance shift to It could be very good news for the

:16:06.:16:14.

North West. But the community have to accept that it is safe and

:16:14.:16:18.

secure. That is why you put the regulations and protection measures

:16:18.:16:23.

in place. The MP for that area has been a great advocate of it.

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certainly need more jobs, but if you look at it per unit of energy

:16:30.:16:37.

created, there are far fewer jobs in it. That is preposterous.

:16:37.:16:41.

Docking about price, the Committee on Climate Change, which John is

:16:41.:16:45.

anxious to avoid addressing today, have put out a new report saying

:16:45.:16:51.

that if we go down the gas rich, we will put �600 on tig fuel bills by

:16:51.:16:58.

2030, whereas with a low-carbon rich, it is more likely to be �100.

:16:58.:17:05.

I will certainly deal with that. Let me nail the issue on jobs first.

:17:05.:17:11.

The oil and gas sector is estimated to support 350,000 jobs. A per unit

:17:11.:17:21.
:17:21.:17:22.

of energy? Real jobs, real skills. Don't deliberately misunderstand me.

:17:22.:17:25.

I am saying the that of course right now, there are more people

:17:25.:17:29.

employed in oil and gas than in renewables. That is because of more

:17:29.:17:33.

investment over many years. But if you look at the potential for job

:17:33.:17:38.

creation around fossil fuels versus renewables, it is more labour-

:17:38.:17:44.

intensive to invest in renewables, more people are needed for

:17:44.:17:50.

renewables than fossil fuels. Creating jobs matters. There are

:17:50.:17:57.

many more to be created in renewables. Have figures from

:17:57.:18:03.

across the industry. A generous estimate of renewables would be a

:18:03.:18:09.

small proportion. But it is important, and we want to encourage

:18:09.:18:14.

those green jobs. But I am balanced about this. You are unbalanced.

:18:14.:18:18.

balance sounds like such a friendly word. But it means you are giving

:18:18.:18:22.

completely mixed messages to investors. That is why even the CBI

:18:22.:18:25.

has criticised your energy policy, saying it is not giving a clear

:18:25.:18:30.

signal to investors who want to invest in green energy. At the

:18:30.:18:34.

moment, we have a number of gas- fired stations and we are building

:18:34.:18:40.

more. These gas fired stations use imported gas, many from the Middle

:18:40.:18:48.

East, not Russia, as many think. And also Norway. Is it your aim

:18:48.:18:52.

that shale gas would replace that imported gas? It is hard to say how

:18:53.:18:56.

much shale gas would replace it, because we don't know the scale of

:18:56.:19:01.

production. But yes, domestically produced gas could play an

:19:01.:19:05.

important part in driving costs down. At the moment, we still get a

:19:05.:19:10.

lot of gas from the North Sea, which still has many decades to go

:19:10.:19:15.

in terms of oil and gas. But we import gas as well. If Caroline is

:19:15.:19:21.

keen on gas, as she has now said she is, relatively, would she

:19:21.:19:27.

prefer to import that gas from abroad or to produce it locally?

:19:27.:19:30.

You have the final word on this. you know, we are part of the

:19:30.:19:35.

European gas market, so the idea that if we create gas in the UK, we

:19:35.:19:40.

use it in the UK, that is misguided. The US can do that. But we are part

:19:40.:19:44.

of a European gas market and there is no guarantee that the gas we

:19:44.:19:49.

create in the UK would be used in the UK. The gas created in

:19:49.:19:55.

Lancashire could go to Europe? Absolutely. How would that happen?

:19:55.:20:03.

There are no pipes into Blackpool. You could use the gas we are

:20:03.:20:07.

generating to go to other places. How would it get there? There are

:20:08.:20:16.

pipes. No wonder the Green Party are losing votes. If we create the

:20:16.:20:19.

gas here, there is no guarantee that it will stay here. It the

:20:19.:20:29.
:20:29.:20:29.

people off Blackpool will not let anybody take their gas. They like

:20:30.:20:38.

their gas. We are sticking with energy now.

:20:38.:20:45.

This is an important show, and what an important subject. We have to be

:20:45.:20:48.

nice to him now! Imagine a world where green campaigners embrace

:20:48.:20:52.

nuclear power, have their doubts about organic farming and think GM

:20:52.:20:56.

crops might not be that bad. Sounds like Caroline Lucas' worst

:20:56.:21:00.

nightmare, but they are out there. Their detractors call them neo-

:21:00.:21:03.

greens, but they believe their ideas could finally moved their

:21:03.:21:08.

party into the mainstream. But are they an internal irritation, or a

:21:08.:21:12.

sign of things to come for the green movement?

:21:12.:21:19.

We are here to stop this vessel delivering coal. The Greens. They

:21:19.:21:22.

have gone from radical protest movement to established political

:21:22.:21:26.

party with a presence inside and sometimes sympathisers outside the

:21:26.:21:30.

House of Commons. We all think we know what green campaigners believe

:21:30.:21:34.

in. They hate nuclear power, love wind farms and if it is not organic,

:21:34.:21:38.

they will not eat it. But it turns out there is a new breed of

:21:38.:21:44.

activists in town, and their ideas go against the grain. Chris Goodall

:21:44.:21:46.

was the Green Party candidate for Oxford West at the last general

:21:46.:21:51.

election, but for many of his colleagues, to say he thinks the

:21:51.:21:54.

unthinkable is putting it mildly. We need to look at nuclear power.

:21:54.:21:58.

There is a strong case for using nuclear to get rapid

:21:58.:22:02.

decarbonisation. Then we need to look at GM foods. I am not

:22:02.:22:06.

convinced, but we will run short of food in the next 30 years as the

:22:06.:22:10.

population explodes. We also need to look at assumptions about

:22:10.:22:13.

agriculture. Should we push for organic agriculture, or will that

:22:13.:22:16.

make it more difficult to feed people? Then there are things about

:22:16.:22:24.

whether we should use more plastics, because plastics have a low

:22:24.:22:28.

environmental footprint and can be recycled. We need to look at

:22:28.:22:33.

everything that has held the Green Party together. So within the party

:22:33.:22:36.

call people like Chris neo- greens, and it is not meant as a compliment.

:22:37.:22:41.

A few of the founding fathers of and the movement think that at best,

:22:41.:22:47.

they are tilting at windmills. There are people who have looked at

:22:47.:22:51.

the accelerating climate change story, are understandably scared by

:22:51.:22:56.

it, and have almost persuaded themselves that it is that bad that

:22:56.:23:01.

any port in a storm will do, even if it is a nuclear port at. So out

:23:01.:23:05.

of desperation, they throw their lot in with the nuclear industry.

:23:05.:23:10.

But even a second glance would remind them of how foolish that is.

:23:10.:23:16.

At worst, it could be a danger to the movement and themselves. One of

:23:16.:23:21.

my concerns has been the degree to which some of these spokespeople

:23:21.:23:28.

for a new wave green ideas have been seized on by their respective

:23:28.:23:32.

industries and made ruthless use of. I am sorry to say they are in for a

:23:32.:23:36.

rough ride when it comes to their views being used and abused by the

:23:36.:23:40.

nuclear industry. But greens like Chris said they are addressing a

:23:40.:23:43.

problem so profound that it is stopping the party from growing up.

:23:43.:23:48.

But effective, the Green movement must move into the centre of

:23:48.:23:55.

British politics. At the moment, it is almost a cult on the edge of the

:23:55.:23:58.

extreme left. That has to change. The green movement must push the

:23:58.:24:02.

Green Party into the mainstream of British politics if it is to have

:24:02.:24:06.

any effect on the way things happen in this country. In turn will

:24:06.:24:09.

descend is hardly a new thing for political parties of any size. The

:24:09.:24:16.

question for greens is whether the attack from within will prove to be

:24:16.:24:19.

just growing pains, or something much more profound.

:24:19.:24:22.

The energy minister John Hayes is still here, as is the Green MP

:24:22.:24:26.

Caroline Lucas. Caroline, do you agree with Chris Goodall that the

:24:26.:24:32.

Green Party at least needs to look at nuclear-power? I'll come not

:24:32.:24:35.

ruling out nuclear power in some ideological way to say that if that

:24:35.:24:39.

were the only way of dealing with climate change, we should not look

:24:39.:24:43.

at it. But right now, there are more cheap, effective and efficient

:24:43.:24:48.

ways of getting the likes to be kept on and they are safer, so why

:24:48.:24:53.

go down the nuclear rude? Nuclear is a distraction. Over the next 15

:24:54.:24:57.

years, we should invest in renewables, as they have done in

:24:57.:25:03.

Germany. 25% of their electricity comes from renewables. We need to

:25:03.:25:09.

invest in energy efficiency. That is what will keep the lights on.

:25:10.:25:13.

People do not take into account that to get an nuclear power online

:25:13.:25:17.

would take another 50 years minimum, and it is far more expensive as

:25:17.:25:22.

well as all of the safety issues. It is a distraction and will take

:25:22.:25:28.

years to come online? Well, nuclear energy has contributed up to 30% of

:25:28.:25:38.

our needs. As high as that? A up to 30%. Last year, just under 20%. So

:25:38.:25:42.

nuclear power is already providing energy needs. We know it is

:25:42.:25:47.

reliable. It has a long pedigree in this country. We know there are

:25:47.:25:53.

people interested in investing in it. But it has been difficult

:25:53.:25:58.

without a subsidy to get people to commit. We have committed to build

:25:58.:26:04.

new nuclear energy without subsidy. That is not true. Up it is true.

:26:04.:26:09.

The previous Secretary of State for Energy agreed that there would be

:26:09.:26:18.

new nuclear energy without... subsidy is when the Government

:26:18.:26:22.

gives support. The Government does give support to renewables. But you

:26:22.:26:28.

said you would do nuclear without that. The coalition agreement says

:26:28.:26:35.

without a subsidy, and you are redefining it. I am not. No support

:26:35.:26:38.

will be available to nuclear that was not available to other

:26:38.:26:45.

technologies. Nuclear has the capacity to provide security, jobs

:26:45.:26:49.

and skills. Caroline says she is not against it ideologically. Then

:26:49.:26:53.

in what way is she against it? Because it will cost us more and be

:26:53.:26:58.

much less safe and take us much longer. If you said to me that we

:26:58.:27:02.

were against the wall on climate change and are run the choice was

:27:02.:27:06.

climate change or nuclear, of course I would not be up against it

:27:06.:27:11.

in a fundamentalist way. But it is unsafe and unnecessary. But Chris

:27:11.:27:16.

Goodall himself says we need to look at it, a member of the Green

:27:16.:27:19.

Party. Congratulations on finding the one person in the Green Party

:27:20.:27:24.

that would hold that view. I don't think he has got a point and he

:27:24.:27:28.

certainly does not represent more than himself in the Green Party in

:27:28.:27:32.

saying that. The Green Party websites as a deadline for phasing

:27:32.:27:35.

out nuclear power would be said when we came to office and all

:27:35.:27:40.

nuclear power plants would be phased out within the state. That

:27:40.:27:45.

is exactly the position I am taking, which is contrary to the position

:27:45.:27:50.

Chris Goodall is taking. The EU are saying it will be phased out. I am

:27:50.:27:53.

against nuclear unless somebody says to me that the only way we can

:27:53.:27:58.

meet our climate change targets is nuclear. But don't you understand

:27:58.:28:03.

that to a balanced energy mix, renewables, gas, nuclear, which can

:28:03.:28:09.

meet those targets and keep the lights on? And it will cost more.

:28:09.:28:12.

Don't you care about those with energy bills which are already high,

:28:12.:28:16.

and you will make them higher by going down the nuclear route? At a

:28:16.:28:20.

Methodist cheaper, safer and more efficient, why would you not do

:28:20.:28:29.

that? Nuclear must be delivered affordably. The energy bill is

:28:29.:28:35.

designed to give a long-term price certainty. We will negotiate a

:28:35.:28:40.

price on nuclear that is in the taxpayer's interest. The big doubt

:28:40.:28:46.

comes in with the energy gap. Can you fill the energy gap with

:28:46.:28:51.

renewables? If you combine it with a big investment in energy

:28:51.:28:58.

efficiency, yes, you can. The 25%? At in Germany, they have 25% of

:28:58.:29:01.

energy coming from renewables because they have a very different

:29:01.:29:06.

energy policy, one which includes smaller scale generators, not just

:29:06.:29:10.

six big energy companies that have the whole case sewn up. We heard in

:29:10.:29:14.

the House this morning from one of our colleagues, a former energy

:29:15.:29:21.

minister, that Germany are building coal power stations now. Why are

:29:21.:29:25.

they allowed to do that? They will burn coal that is even dirtier than

:29:25.:29:31.

ours. How can they do that, but the EU tells us we have to close hour

:29:31.:29:35.

coal-fired stations? You must not inside me to speak about the

:29:35.:29:40.

European Union and say something I regret. But you are right that we

:29:40.:29:44.

need to ensure there is consistency across the European Union. I spoke

:29:44.:29:48.

to the commissioner last night on the subject of carbon captor and

:29:48.:29:53.

storage, and emphasised that we need consistency across Europe.

:29:53.:29:56.

you don't know why the Germans can open new coal-fired stations and we

:29:56.:30:02.

are being forced to close arts? are, we are all kinds of stories. I

:30:02.:30:07.

would be happy to find out. As a result of the question today, I

:30:07.:30:14.

have asked my officials to look at exactly that. I am happy to come

:30:14.:30:19.

back on your show and tell you. before you go, have we got enough

:30:19.:30:24.

onshore wind farms? I think onshore wind is a matter of community

:30:24.:30:27.

interest and community benefit. Where people want them, they should

:30:27.:30:31.

have them. The Secretary of State says the Government is clear that

:30:31.:30:34.

meeting our energy goals is no excuse for building wind farms in

:30:34.:30:38.

the wrong places. Local people and their councils should not feel

:30:38.:30:48.
:30:48.:30:56.

Nuclear has been generating 14% of our electricity, gas 37%, coal 45%,

:30:56.:31:06.
:31:06.:31:06.

wind 1.6%. Hydro1.2%. The French connector giving us nothing and the

:31:06.:31:12.

Irish connector nothing but Dutch 0.2%. For those watching us in

:31:12.:31:22.
:31:22.:31:28.

Holland, we thank you for the 101 megawatts you are sending us now.

:31:28.:31:32.

The European Central Bank has won new powers to supervise 200 of the

:31:32.:31:39.

biggest European banks directly and the right to intervene in present

:31:39.:31:44.

ones doesn't come in until 2014. One of the Finance Ministers

:31:44.:31:52.

stepped from the negotiating chamber. This on a day when the

:31:52.:31:55.

Prime Minister heads back to Brussels for a two-day summit with

:31:55.:31:57.

all the European heads of Government and the question for

:31:57.:31:59.

David Cameron is whether this represents another step towards a

:31:59.:32:03.

more centralised Europe which many in his own party do not want to be

:32:03.:32:07.

part of. Our Europe editor is Gavin Hewitt. Welcome to the programme.

:32:07.:32:11.

We hear the Finance Ministers were up all night and that they have

:32:11.:32:15.

agreed this deal. How significant is it?

:32:15.:32:18.

Jo, I think it is significant. It's something they've been talking

:32:18.:32:23.

about for at least six months and what does it represent? It

:32:23.:32:28.

represents a large transfer away from national authority towards a

:32:28.:32:32.

European institution and in the future, as you have said, the

:32:32.:32:38.

European Central Bank will supervise some of those largest,

:32:38.:32:42.

150-200 banks, but will also have sweeper powers to be able to

:32:42.:32:45.

intervene if they sense that a smaller bank is getting into

:32:45.:32:49.

trouble. What all this is aimed at is trying to break that link

:32:49.:32:53.

between banks that get into trouble, then off-loading the problem on to

:32:53.:32:56.

Governments which, of course, that only pushes up their debt. So it's

:32:56.:33:00.

trying to break that loop. The other thing it's trying to do, and

:33:00.:33:05.

I think this is important, once the supervise ore, this banking

:33:05.:33:09.

supervisor is in place, countries will be able to access the

:33:09.:33:13.

eurozone's main bail out fund and use money from that to directly

:33:13.:33:16.

recapitalise banks. That is seen as particularly important for

:33:16.:33:22.

countries like Spain. And further acknowledgement and a signal of a

:33:22.:33:28.

two-speed, two-tier Europe? Well, it is and it isn't. Certainly in

:33:28.:33:31.

terms of the direction of travel, what we have seen in the last few

:33:31.:33:38.

hours and what we will again see in the summit will be a blueprint for

:33:38.:33:40.

further integration, further integration particularly for

:33:40.:33:44.

eurozone countries and a building towards what they call a genuine

:33:44.:33:48.

economic and monetary union. Now, in terms of Britain, David Cameron,

:33:48.:33:52.

we know, some time in the New Year, is going to sketch out his vision

:33:52.:33:56.

and it seems it's likely to be moving in a very different

:33:56.:34:01.

direction. What was interesting hear was that Britain pushed to

:34:01.:34:05.

ensure that its voice would not be diminished in this banking area.

:34:05.:34:09.

George Osborne says he was quite successful and actually lining up

:34:09.:34:12.

with him were not only countries like Sweden and the Netherlands,

:34:12.:34:16.

but Germany was sympathetic too. Certainly, I detected over recent

:34:16.:34:20.

weeks that there is a real awareness here in Europe that they

:34:20.:34:23.

need to reach out to Britain because of the political pressures

:34:23.:34:31.

in the UK. So two-speed Europe definitely there is a two-speed

:34:31.:34:35.

Europe but there is an awareness on behalf of other countries that they

:34:35.:34:38.

don't want to make that bigger than it already is.

:34:38.:34:41.

We now welcome viewers from Scotland who've been watching the

:34:41.:34:44.

First Ministers questions. We have not seen it but I'm sure it's

:34:44.:34:48.

lively. We are discussing European banking regulation. Thought that

:34:48.:34:52.

would get your attention! No, don't go and make a cup of tea, it's

:34:52.:34:56.

really interesting, because we've got Labour's Shadow Europe Minister

:34:56.:35:03.

emMo Reynolds and Mark Field, welcome to your both. The Europeans

:35:03.:35:06.

are heading towards a eurozone banking regulator, a very powerful

:35:06.:35:11.

body, as we heard, huge powers to intervene in European banking, but

:35:11.:35:16.

it won't cover the biggest centre of finance in Europe which is

:35:16.:35:22.

called London? What could possible go wrong? Well, I think this is an

:35:22.:35:24.

important development and we have important safeguards that have been

:35:24.:35:27.

negotiated by the Government for the City of London's decision. I

:35:27.:35:31.

think it's a very important template that is being set for what

:35:31.:35:39.

is going to be a two-speed Europe that you have eurozone members

:35:39.:35:49.
:35:49.:35:49.

voting for a civil majority -- simple majority. It will be

:35:49.:35:52.

interesting. We have to be careful what we wish for in the City of

:35:52.:35:56.

London. There is a concern that if you have an all-powerful eurozone

:35:56.:36:00.

with its powerful institutions, pairing off a few of the weaker

:36:00.:36:04.

members, that will become an issue for the City of London and we have

:36:04.:36:07.

to be aware of that. I think George Osborne's negotiated well with

:36:07.:36:11.

these arrangements today. Surely as this new regulator finds its feet

:36:11.:36:17.

it's bound at some stage to imping on the City of London, that's

:36:17.:36:21.

inevitable? It's going to affect the way London operates? There

:36:21.:36:26.

certainly is a concern that if decisions that are taken by the

:36:26.:36:30.

eurozone, if they have to be approved by a majority of those

:36:30.:36:34.

member states not in the banking union that there will be a

:36:34.:36:38.

spillover effect from the regulations that affect it. It will

:36:38.:36:44.

be regulated by the European banking regulator? Yes and the City

:36:44.:36:47.

provides more banking than any of the other member states put

:36:47.:36:51.

together so the City is an incredibly important financial

:36:51.:36:56.

place. Not only for, as you say, British banks, but European banks.

:36:56.:36:59.

Hopefully other European leaders have appreciated that the city's

:36:59.:37:04.

not only a strength for the UK but the euro. Given that, as I

:37:04.:37:06.

understand it, both the major parties, even the Liberal Democrats

:37:06.:37:11.

now, you don't think we should be part of the eurozone or part of the

:37:11.:37:14.

regulatory structures, we have no choice now but to be on the

:37:14.:37:19.

sidelines. Is that Labour's policy? Look, the vast majority of policy

:37:19.:37:21.

areas, as Caroline will know well, having spent years in the European

:37:21.:37:26.

Parliament, are still going to be at 27. Yes, when it comes to the

:37:26.:37:30.

Single Currency, and when it comes to some forms of economic

:37:30.:37:34.

integration, it will be at the 17, but for the vast majority of other

:37:34.:37:38.

policy areas it will be still decisions taken at full EU members.

:37:38.:37:42.

But on the eurozone - I mean today the summit was on to eurozone

:37:42.:37:47.

fiscal integration - that means the coordination of national budget

:37:47.:37:52.

decisions and of economic policy, the Germans and French pushing for

:37:52.:37:59.

varieties of this, a version of it will happen again. Inevitably, we

:37:59.:38:04.

are bound, or a version of the 17 are bound to get closer together,

:38:04.:38:11.

become a clear two-speed Europe which will be inevitable? As far as

:38:11.:38:13.

the financial services are concerned, it's important to

:38:13.:38:17.

remember that we are not just a European Centre, we are like a

:38:17.:38:20.

global Centre for The rest of the world. We have a huge amount of

:38:20.:38:24.

business coming in from all parts of the glob, not just from Europe -

:38:25.:38:29.

- globe. Yes, what is important is that we are on the negotiating

:38:29.:38:35.

table. It's a very crucial part of it that we need to be there to make

:38:35.:38:39.

our case. I think as far as banking in England is concerned within the

:38:39.:38:45.

eurozone, yes, there would be concern in the longer term if there

:38:45.:38:49.

was pledgeling Vietnamese or Chinese bank took the view we have

:38:49.:38:51.

this powerful eurozone area, of course we have a representative in

:38:51.:38:57.

the City of London, but maybe the operation should be out in

:38:57.:39:00.

Frankfurt or Paris or somewhere like that. We need to be careful.

:39:00.:39:03.

The strength we have in the UK is that we are a safe haven because we

:39:03.:39:07.

are outside the Single Currency, we have the benefit of low interest

:39:07.:39:15.

rates. Lowest rates in Europe? most countries. I think the real

:39:15.:39:20.

issue would be there's still a lot of road for this can to be kicked

:39:20.:39:29.

down, but it would be a time for the City of London. To you agree

:39:29.:39:33.

with Boris Johnson that there should be a full-scale

:39:33.:39:37.

renegotiation of our relationship with Europe? I've always believed

:39:37.:39:42.

that I don't think there's any option of having a full-scale

:39:42.:39:50.

renegotiating. It's dangerous. We have the status quo with bells and

:39:50.:39:55.

whistles and George Osborne's made sure we are safe in our position

:39:55.:39:59.

outside the European zone. I don't think fundamental renegotiation or

:39:59.:40:02.

pe rateration of powers, despite what some of my colleagues on the

:40:02.:40:06.

Conservative benches say is an option. You don't think the other

:40:06.:40:10.

European countries would in effect agree to us remaining a member of

:40:11.:40:14.

the club without a lot of the responsibilities that go with

:40:14.:40:20.

membership? I think that's right. There has been a lot of unease. On

:40:20.:40:25.

the one hand we are proud of not being there. That's given us more

:40:25.:40:29.

options in the global economic Crisis over the last four years.

:40:29.:40:33.

It's all very well for Britain to say they are not in the eurozone

:40:33.:40:38.

but they are a roadblock in the other areas in the sense that we

:40:38.:40:44.

all need to be in the club. Would the Greens have, as part of the

:40:44.:40:48.

inner core? We have never been in favour of the Single Currency, so

:40:48.:40:52.

to that extent we have always said trying to impose one set of

:40:52.:40:55.

interest rates on different economies and histories and so

:40:55.:40:59.

forth was going to be bound to fail and it's always been against the

:41:00.:41:04.

Single Currency. What we need to do is have a real debate about the EU.

:41:04.:41:11.

I'm worried about the way in which those who're taking Euro-sceptic

:41:11.:41:14.

positions have the high ground at the moment in terms of they are the

:41:14.:41:19.

ones leading the debate. For those who believe the EU needs to be

:41:19.:41:24.

reformed - and it certainly does - but we are better off with the

:41:24.:41:29.

environmental standards, but those in favour need to make the case

:41:29.:41:33.

stronger. The way it's constituted at the moment, where is Labour now

:41:33.:41:38.

on a referendum, you were playing footsie with it ce lintly but have

:41:38.:41:44.

you gone off the idea? -- recently. Ed Miliband made it clear that he

:41:44.:41:51.

thinks the referendum now would put at risk what is already a very

:41:51.:41:57.

economic different time. Is not now. What about in the future? It

:41:57.:42:01.

depends about the debate we are having today about how the eurozone

:42:01.:42:03.

integrates. We shouldn't underestimate the difficulties that

:42:03.:42:07.

eurozone member states will have in agreeing something with political

:42:07.:42:11.

union, whatever people mean by political union... Orificical

:42:11.:42:15.

union? Yes, I think there are great difficulties along the way and it

:42:16.:42:19.

will tame some time. You have ruled out a referendum for now then. What

:42:19.:42:24.

would change that could bring a referendum back? If there were a

:42:24.:42:28.

fundamental change in our relationship with the EU... Such

:42:28.:42:32.

as? We have said in the past for example, if we had advocating going

:42:32.:42:38.

into the euro, which we didn't, that would be a fundamental

:42:38.:42:44.

constitutional change. Sure. That's not going to happen? No, but for

:42:44.:42:50.

example - no, we are not, just to clarify, we are certainly not.

:42:50.:42:52.

interestings, we must leave it there.

:42:52.:42:55.

We'll chat about the consequences of what you said. I thought there

:42:55.:43:00.

was a story there. He's right and Damian Green's right. It's my job

:43:00.:43:05.

to reck naiz a story when I see one! -- recognise. The Church of

:43:05.:43:08.

England has been having a time of it lately. The census suggested the

:43:08.:43:12.

number of people saying they are Christian has plummeted over the

:43:12.:43:16.

last decade. There is a row over gay marriage and the church has

:43:16.:43:20.

been tying itself in Notts over whether or not to allow women to

:43:20.:43:25.

become bishops -- knots. Ben Bradshaw led the debate about the

:43:25.:43:31.

issue of women become bishops. So, in announcing on the eve of the

:43:31.:43:34.

debate that they will have another go in July, the bishops really do

:43:34.:43:39.

need to be sure they will win. The process must be concluded quickly

:43:39.:43:44.

in months and not years and if they aren't sure they can deliver, they

:43:44.:43:48.

should ask Parliament for help. Many of us will have been contacted

:43:48.:43:52.

by priests and lay members of the church since the Synod vote

:43:53.:43:59.

appealing to Parliament to act. A priest from Lancaster wrote to me

:43:59.:44:05.

saying "Please, please, please help." Does he not agree with me

:44:05.:44:10.

that it's vital that the trajectory and progress should be considered

:44:10.:44:13.

given that women bishops are already part of the Anglican

:44:13.:44:20.

community including in can za, the US and Australia and New Zealand? -

:44:20.:44:23.

- Canada? The message that should come from the House is that we are

:44:23.:44:25.

concerned, we want to nudge the church in the right direction and

:44:26.:44:31.

we hope it moves in that direction, but we should not completely rule

:44:31.:44:37.

out taking the matter in our our own hands. There's nothing in my

:44:37.:44:40.

New Testament that says you will have churches and deacons, bishops

:44:40.:44:44.

and priests and they'll all be men. I may have missed something, but I

:44:44.:44:48.

have at one stage or the other read the New Testament and there's

:44:48.:44:53.

nothing there that says that. House of bishops expressed it

:44:53.:44:56.

continuing commitment to enabling women to be consecrated as bishops

:44:56.:45:03.

and I'm glad to say, it intends to have fresh proposals to put before

:45:03.:45:08.

General Synod at its next meeting in July. This is not an issue that

:45:08.:45:15.

can be part - this is not an issue that can just be adjourned

:45:15.:45:20.

generally for some other time in the future - it has got to be

:45:20.:45:29.

worked at until a solution is found. We've got Tony Baldry, the church

:45:29.:45:32.

representative in the House of Commons here with us now. He's come

:45:32.:45:39.

straight from a meeting with the designate Archbishop. What did you

:45:40.:45:43.

say to him? It's more about what he said to us. It was a packed meeting

:45:43.:45:48.

in the House of Lords. He said he's determined that legislation for

:45:48.:45:52.

women bishops will be moved forward as speedily as possible, it's got

:45:52.:46:00.

to happen and it's got to happen as quickly as it can. Bearing in mind

:46:00.:46:06.

all what's happened, it's been a mess. He admitted that? We all

:46:06.:46:11.

acknowledge that. It's got to be sorted. When he says speedily,

:46:11.:46:21.
:46:21.:46:25.

where are we looking at? 2015 What sort of guarantee is there

:46:25.:46:29.

that the outcome will be any different? Were can only continue

:46:29.:46:33.

to work at it. Everyone recognises that this has been a disaster for

:46:33.:46:38.

the Church of England. Today, up and down the country, clergy will

:46:38.:46:41.

be out of burying the dead, looking after the bereaved, helping people

:46:41.:46:46.

prepare for marriage, opening food banks. That is the mission of the

:46:46.:46:48.

Church, and it has been really distracted by this debate on women

:46:48.:46:53.

bishops. Until it is resolved, we can't get on with the important

:46:53.:46:57.

work, so it has to be sorted out. So there would be a vote on the

:46:58.:47:05.

issue of women bishops next June lie? That would be the start of the

:47:05.:47:10.

process -- next July. But if we can all get agreement on that, we can

:47:10.:47:16.

move things forward reasonably quickly. There are procedures

:47:16.:47:20.

within the Church, but within those Scopes, everything will move as

:47:20.:47:26.

fast as it can. What do you think the initial rejection of women

:47:26.:47:30.

bishops did in terms of the image of the Church of England in the

:47:30.:47:35.

eyes of the public? I think it was hugely damaging. It looked as if

:47:35.:47:39.

the Church was out of touch with where most it are. And the majority

:47:39.:47:43.

of people in the Church did want to go down this road, so everyone got

:47:43.:47:47.

bemused by the different voting systems within the Church haricot

:47:47.:47:51.

which meant that despite the fact that dig, a majority were in favour

:47:51.:47:55.

of changing, that change did not happen. That system has done the

:47:55.:47:59.

Church no favours. The Church of England is currently exempt from

:47:59.:48:05.

equality laws. If it is ever to reflect the nation, shouldn't this

:48:05.:48:08.

exemption be removed? We have no exemptions that other faith groups

:48:08.:48:15.

do not have. We are treated the same as every other faiths. But you

:48:15.:48:20.

don't think that should be removed across the board? A once you have

:48:20.:48:25.

women priests, everyone acknowledges that we need not have

:48:25.:48:31.

women bishops. Women clergy have done fantastic work up and down the

:48:31.:48:34.

country. The Church of England could not function without women in

:48:34.:48:39.

the clergy. The sooner we have women bishops, the better. This has

:48:39.:48:43.

been an extraordinarily frustrating period of time, but we will get

:48:43.:48:47.

there. And in Justin Welby, the Church of England is fortunate in

:48:47.:48:53.

having a very clear new leader. it is not the only issue

:48:53.:48:55.

destabilising the Church of England. There is also the issue of gay

:48:55.:48:59.

marriage. Did you agree with the idea of making it illegal for gay

:48:59.:49:06.

couples to...? De Church of England is not destabilised by gay marriage.

:49:06.:49:09.

Nor is the Church of England asking for privileges in relation to this.

:49:09.:49:13.

The fact is that canon law, the laws which apply to the Church of

:49:13.:49:18.

England, are also the laws of England. So whatever is in the Bill

:49:18.:49:23.

has to comply with canon law. The judge in England simply says, as

:49:23.:49:27.

far as we are concerned, marriage has always been an institution of

:49:27.:49:37.

complementarity between man and woman. We believe in long term

:49:37.:49:40.

covenanted relationships between same-sex people, but that is not

:49:40.:49:45.

the same as marriage. But a lot of people were under the impression

:49:45.:49:48.

that the legislation would allow gay couples to get married in the

:49:48.:49:52.

Church of England. Were you one of them? Yes, I was, and there are

:49:52.:49:56.

some in the Church of England who would be happy to do it. So there

:49:56.:49:59.

is a distinction between saying much it should be forced to

:49:59.:50:02.

undertake these marriages against their will, and going to this

:50:02.:50:07.

extreme on the other hand, which is an outright prohibition on doing it.

:50:07.:50:10.

That's is the same position as we have had on civil partnerships for

:50:10.:50:15.

a long time. The law in relation of two civil partnerships is bad faith

:50:15.:50:18.

groups as a whole either opt in or opt out of holding civil

:50:18.:50:22.

partnerships. A do you agree that the impression given was different?

:50:22.:50:27.

A bit of that is because this is important legislation which has

:50:27.:50:33.

been taken at an unnecessary crack of a pace, bearing in mind that the

:50:33.:50:36.

Bill will be carried over into the next session. To get to the

:50:36.:50:41.

position where we are having urgent questions before a statement led to

:50:41.:50:45.

a bit of confusion. Perhaps if we could take this in a more measured

:50:45.:50:49.

way, we will all get there. No one wants to be disruptive, we just

:50:49.:50:57.

want to make sure whatever legislation comes forward works and

:50:57.:51:01.

respects people's religious and civil freedoms. We had the census

:51:01.:51:06.

figures out this week, showing that the number of Christians has fallen

:51:06.:51:11.

in England and Wales. What is your reaction to that? What is happening

:51:11.:51:17.

to society? Perhaps people are less happy to fit themselves into boxes.

:51:17.:51:21.

If you asked a question about whether people felt some kind of

:51:21.:51:25.

spiritual awareness and detachment and whether they found those

:51:25.:51:30.

elements of their lives important, they would say yes. They do not

:51:30.:51:33.

want to dig a box which means you have to sign up to every part of

:51:33.:51:39.

the faith in question. Things are changing. People feel more open to

:51:39.:51:42.

saying that actually, they did agree with everything in every

:51:42.:51:46.

religion. So I am not surprised by it, but we should not then conclude

:51:46.:51:53.

that we are a nation of Cordless people. -- godless people. I agree

:51:53.:51:58.

with that. Faith groups will be judged by the support they give to

:51:58.:52:06.

those in need and distress. The census showed that there are

:52:06.:52:12.

now more miners in Kensington and Chelsea fan in Gateshead.

:52:12.:52:17.

For why would they ask that question?! The Jedi Knight seemed

:52:17.:52:27.
:52:27.:52:31.

to be growing. There are no miners in Gateshead. It is because there

:52:31.:52:35.

is a school of mining in Kensington, and they regard themselves as

:52:35.:52:42.

miners. The use and possession of most

:52:42.:52:46.

narcotics has been criminal since the Misuse of Drugs Act became law

:52:46.:52:49.

in 1971. Since then, the arguments about whether prohibition is

:52:49.:52:52.

effective and whether it does more harm than good have raged. This

:52:52.:52:55.

week, the Home Affairs Select Committee wade into the argument,

:52:55.:53:00.

publishing a report calling for a review of all UK drugs policy by a

:53:00.:53:05.

royal commission to report by 2015. The MPs also recommended looking at

:53:05.:53:10.

the Portuguese unpenalised system, where possession of small

:53:10.:53:15.

quantities of drugs for personal use, although still illegal, is not

:53:15.:53:18.

prosecuted. They also urged the Government to look at the

:53:18.:53:22.

decriminalisation of marijuana or in parts of the United States and

:53:23.:53:28.

the proposed state monopoly on cannabis in Uruguay. Caroline Lucas

:53:28.:53:32.

is still with us. She wrote to the Guardian this week, calling for the

:53:32.:53:36.

need to move away from a system that bans the personal use of drugs

:53:36.:53:39.

towards what she calls an evidence- based public health approach. We

:53:39.:53:47.

are also joined by Melanie Phillips, a columnist for the Daily Mail. The

:53:47.:53:50.

committee is not recommending that people take drugs. It is not

:53:50.:53:55.

recommending legalisation or even the decriminalisation. It is

:53:55.:53:59.

recommending a royal commission. What is wrong with that. Firstly,

:53:59.:54:02.

it is a strange thing that a committee has been taking evidence

:54:02.:54:07.

for about a year that produces a weighty report, and the purpose of

:54:07.:54:12.

the report is to say we need a commission. The purpose of the

:54:12.:54:15.

Royal Commission is to put legalisation on the agenda. The

:54:15.:54:19.

committee has carefully not said it wants to legalise or liberalise

:54:19.:54:26.

drugs, but the logic of this is inescapable. It wants to put

:54:26.:54:31.

legalisation on the agenda. It is an amazing thing that the Home

:54:31.:54:33.

Affairs Select Committee seems to be in thrall to the legalisation

:54:33.:54:37.

lobby. And it has been for some time. Not every member of the

:54:37.:54:42.

committee is in that camp, but this report has been heavily influenced

:54:42.:54:46.

by the legalisation lobby and by people such as Richard Branson.

:54:46.:54:53.

you think it is a ruse. Would it be fair to describe you as part of the

:54:53.:54:58.

legalisation lobby? But it is important to make the distinction

:54:58.:55:01.

between legalisation and decriminalisation. When you talk

:55:01.:55:05.

about legalisation, nobody wants to see people pushing drugs outside

:55:05.:55:08.

school gates. We want to see the reduction of harm associated with

:55:08.:55:13.

drugs. There is an interesting example from Portugal and elsewhere

:55:13.:55:18.

around decriminalisation. I support the idea of the commission. It is

:55:18.:55:22.

not some kind of Trojan horse. The evidence in this case is difficult

:55:22.:55:25.

to assess. A committee of MPs is not necessarily the best body to

:55:26.:55:31.

look at that evidence. You think that people carrying small

:55:31.:55:36.

quantities of cannabis for their own use of should not be arrested,

:55:36.:55:42.

that that should be OK? That is my position. What about other drugs?

:55:43.:55:49.

That is why I want a commission. It is clearer with cannabis, but at

:55:49.:55:54.

the same time, you need regulation alongside that. With cannabis, the

:55:54.:55:58.

trouble is that people do not know what they are taking. The skunk on

:55:58.:56:01.

the streets is damaging in some cases. If you regulate the market,

:56:01.:56:06.

you can make sure that what people are having is a poorer -- pure form

:56:06.:56:10.

of it so that it does not do the damage skunk does and you would not

:56:10.:56:13.

waste police time. To let me deal with the Portuguese red herring.

:56:13.:56:18.

The Portuguese statistics have been grossly misrepresented by the

:56:18.:56:23.

legalisation lobby. Since Portugal decriminalised drug use in 2001,

:56:23.:56:29.

drug use has gone up. Drug-related crime has gone up. We where are

:56:29.:56:35.

your figures from? For from the Portuguese addiction agency. These

:56:35.:56:40.

are official statistics. On cannabis, I find it astonishing

:56:40.:56:43.

that the Home Affairs Select Committee recommended, on the

:56:43.:56:49.

casting vote of the chairman, Keith Vaz, that cannabis should be

:56:49.:56:54.

recalibrated down again from category B to category C. It was

:56:54.:56:59.

reclassified up from C de B on the advice of experts including the

:56:59.:57:04.

director of mental health, that the harm done to young people,

:57:04.:57:10.

particularly due to psychosis from cannabis, is overwhelming. What

:57:10.:57:14.

Melanie has just said points to the importance of having some kind of

:57:14.:57:17.

commission that will look at this. For every bit of evidence that

:57:17.:57:20.

Melanie will cite Thatcher will show you that the Portuguese

:57:20.:57:24.

experiment has led to certain outcomes, there are other bits of

:57:24.:57:28.

evidence I can cite that would 0.2 other results. That is why we need

:57:28.:57:32.

a commission to evaluate this. couldn't the committee do it?

:57:32.:57:35.

Because there is a wealth of evidence from many different

:57:35.:57:39.

countries in a lot of detail and a lot of scientific reports. A

:57:39.:57:43.

committee that meets once a week could not do that. A Royal

:57:43.:57:48.

Commission would be better placed to do that. It needs to be based on

:57:48.:57:53.

evidence, and our current policy is not. The evidence on cannabis is

:57:53.:57:56.

overwhelming. If you legalise or decriminalise, more young people

:57:56.:58:01.

will have more harm to their brains. The reason why the select committee

:58:01.:58:05.

did not consider this was because they took so much evidence from the

:58:05.:58:10.

legalisation lobby. Just time before we go to get the

:58:10.:58:14.

answer to our quiz. Caroline, what was the most tweeted about

:58:14.:58:22.

political event from 2012? I have been thinking about it. I would go

:58:22.:58:29.

for either Osborne or Nick Clegg, probably Nick Clegg. You are wrong.

:58:29.:58:39.
:58:39.:58:43.

It was this. "political event". That was not a political event! It

:58:43.:58:48.

was just an event! Anyway, that is it. The One O'clock News is

:58:48.:58:53.

starting on BBC One. I will be back on BBC One tonight after Question

:58:53.:58:56.

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