20/12/2012 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Another arrest in


the Andrew Mitchell case with what was Plebgate now turning into


Plodgate. What will this row do to relations between a Conservative-


led government and the Police? The government introduces a bill to cap


benefit increases to 1%. A sensible and fair economy or an attack on


the poor? A technical education as highly regarded as the best


academic institutions? We ask if University technical colleges are


the answer. And, 'tis the season to be jolly! What do MPs' Christmas


All that in the next hour. With us for the duration Conservative peer,


Ken Baker. He used to be Education Secretary. And Home Secretary too.


We'll be serving up a feast of politics for him to get his teeth


into. Let's start with the ongoing controversy surrounding the role of


the police in the resignation of former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell.


It's emerged over the last few days that a man purporting to be member


of the public who emailed their eyewitness account of the incident


at the Downing Street gates was actually a serving police officer


who did not in fact witness the events. A police officer was


arrested at the weekend. And this morning, a second man who does not


work for the police was arrested. The Police Federation, the union


that represents rank and file officers, made a lot of running on


this story back October. We could hardly keep them off the air waves


them. But have refused our repeated requests for an interview. But we


do have with us a former Home Secretary. I said at the start,


this Pleb-gate is now turning into Plod-gate. It is clear certain


police and the Police Federation are moving into the frame? This is


a very serious crisis. The police have had a bad year. Hillsborough,


therefore supplied evidence. In Rotherham, we didn't follow up on a


young girls being turned into prostitutes and in the Leverson


Inquiry,. And now it there is Plod- gate for that this is serious


because if the public don't trust the police, you have a serious


problem in society. Now we have a serving police officer making up


complete fiction in an e-mail in which the Prime Minister almost


fired Andrew Mitchell. He did believe him and has been proved to


be right so far, so it's a big problem for the police and the


Police Federation. They politicise the police. The police must be


above politics in our country but the Police Federation decided to


become a lobbying, extremely aggressively, determined to get a


Cabinet minister. Because they were very opposed to what the Home


Secretary was doing, looking into their pay, pensions. Therefore,


they became political agencies. I'm not in the least bit surprised


they're not take your calls to come on. They are in real trouble.


police officer who was barely literate when you read the e-mail.


He doesn't know the difference between digest it and disgusted.


The one thing the police must not do is falsify evidence. They do.


They did in the case of Mendez, the man who was shot, the case of the


man who was struck down at the G20 demonstrations. They falsified


evidence there. And now, at least, an investigation is to be done into


whether evidence in that the log, and we know from this e-mail has


been falsified, too. The question therefore comes To my mind, can the


Metropolitan Police be trusted to investigate itself? At this stage,


we have to do it and the commissioner has to do it. I gather


there are 30 police officers investigating this so it's a


thorough inquiry. He has got to find out and report very quickly on


this, because this could run away, the situation. What has happened in


the last two months in this country, this been a concerted attack by the


Police Federation to destroy a Tory Cabinet minister, Alastair McAlpine.


A lot of it based on false evidence. It was going for it. Yes, the


moment, we can trust the commissioner to do this.


commander, the head of the most important police force and the


country, has said he's taken a strong public stance backing of the


police who were at the gate that night, and whose log provided the


supposedly damning evidence over which there are, as we did on this


programme yesterday, real questions about what Mr Mitchell said.


Incredibly real questions over what there was anybody on the other side


of the gate. He has backed them to the hilt. Most people watching this


will wonder how he can investigate something where his public position


is so unsafe? He could find out who those two policemen had contact


with through their mobile phones immediately after the event. Who


did they speak to? The Police Federation? Is someone their


guiding some of this? How did get to the newspapers? Obviously, it


was sold to the Sun newspaper for nothing. There was a rumour


whirling around last night, when the original story went to the Sun


newspaper, it did not contain any of the words which, in the end,


became so toxic. Let's see it that comes out in the inquiry because,


if it did, it's very damning. It's a much bigger problem actually.


You've got to re-establish trust in the police. If the country doesn't,


then it's your close to lawlessness and anarchy. It's an essential


thing. Chief constables across the country and the Home Secretary and


everybody has got to restore confidence in the police. The


police must show that themselves. Very interesting coming from a


former Home Secretary. Now, how much should benefits rise by every


year? Welfare benefits? By the rate of inflation or in line with


earnings? Or by less than both? Well, at the Autumn Statement, the


Chancellor announced a cap of 1% on increases in most benefits, which


is less than both. Today the government introduces a bill to


make that law. Here's Jo with more. Social security benefits and tax


credits usually go up automatically every year by the rate of inflation,


so next spring would have seen them But in his autumn statement earlier


this month, George Osborne said that most payments would increase


by the lower amount of 1% for the next three years. This real-terms


cut will affect those receiving working-age benefits including the


main elements of jobseeker's allowance, housing benefit and


elements of working tax credit. The Chancellor says it's necessary


because benefits have risen more quickly than wages. And he says the


move will help build a welfare system that is fair to the working


the Treasury, reaching �3.1 billion in 2017-18. Labour will oppose the


move, which they call a tax on strivers because it affects many


people who work and receive benefits. It's not clear whether


the public agree, with one poll today showing a substantial


majority in favour, and the other showing the public more evenly


split. But it's clear it will be one of the big political dividing


With us now is Harriet Baldwin. A Parliamentary Private Secretary in


the Department of Work and Pensions. And Labour's Shadow employment


minister, Stephen Timms. Welcome to you both. The bill's a wording says


it will make provisions relating to the out rating of certain social


security benefits and tax credits. Should it not really be called


George Osborne to welfare trap for the Labour Party? I think that


would be a very good name for it because I want to reassure a lot of


your viewers today, a lot of pensioners watching, that their


pensions next year will go up more than inflation, 2.5%, on top of a


5% increase last year. Also, for those on incapacity benefit, the


employment support allowance, that will also go up by 2.2% in line


with inflation, as well disability living allowances. Out-of-work


benefits will go up by 1%. We don't know if inflation will be 2.2%. It


could be more or less for pensioners. Let me sideline that


for a moment. Are you sure that your benefit measures are really


that popular? There is a poll in the Independent today showing 49%


agree with the CAP and 42% disagree. There's not much of the difference.


I think these are difficult decisions in an environment where


you highlight the fact that people who are in work are seeing their


wages go up at a slower rate than inflation, so what we're trying to


do is think about the fairness in terms of those out of work on


benefit, and those in work who, over the last five years, have seen


their income to rise 10%, whereas those out of work have seen this,


by 20%. We were very generous last time around. Now you are taking it


back. Increasing it at a faster rate. The Chancellor was very


generous to those who get the child tax credit on the lowest incomes,


which went up 11% in his first Budget. We are trying to be really


fair in terms of that relationship between those in work and out of


work. The case is this. We understand a lot of the people on


these welfare benefits are actually working. They are not the figure


behind a curtain, the Chancellor is fond of talking about. 60% are


working. Exactly. If you were in the public sector, your pay goes up


by 1% after having been frozen for a while, but you are working, so


why should those on benefits be getting more than that? We have


supported that 1% cap, but what we have said is it should be done in a


fair way, so those who are the highest paid get less than 1%


increase, those lower get more than 1%. 1% does not affect those on


very low public sector work. That's right. Our concern is that this was


presented as something that only hits people out of work but it


doesn't. The majority are in work. And the terrible thing I think


about this is that, at the moment this is being done, April next year,


the Government will increase, a big tax handout to the very highest


paid, earning more than �150,000 a year. If you earn more than �1


billion, you will get a tax cut next April have over �100,000


course up can I make an important point here because under his


Government, if you are under �6,000 a year, you pay income tax under


Gordon Brown. We have raised that will the we have frozen council tax,


the television licence, and we're trying to control the bills that


families have to pay for from their income. How can they afford these


play-offs at the BBC if you have frozen the licence fees? It's not


fair. -- pay-offs. Let me get back to the serious point. We accept


that a lot of people in work will be limited to the 1% but because of


the rise in the personal allowance, there's now a substantial chunk of


income in the first part of your income, approaching �10,000, is tax


free, and that's a big help to those on the low incomes.


greatly outweighs increase from the increase... They are losing out. By


a large amount. For those on the lowest wages, that's what we're


talking about, starting out in work, trying to move up the working


ladder, where we really want to reward aspiration, taking on


additional work, we want to make sure that those decisions are


rewarded whereas, under the Labour government, effectively you were


taxed at a very low income and then had to wait for Gordon Brown to


give the money back to you. You became more and more dependent on


the state. The net effect on an average family, the which has two


children, about �534 worse off by the combination. A little bit extra


through the increase in a tax allowance, a substantial reduction


in their income through the reduced uprating of working tax credits,


and its people in work affected by this. Does that calculation include


assumptions about indirect taxes? No. Purely the impact of direct.


It's a different matter, so, in the end, you're helping them there,


limiting here, he says the overall impact is some body on average


earnings is substantially worse off. Particularly if they have children.


100 per defy pounds a year for the average person better off and


children -- �125 a year for the better of person. Effectively,


Stephen has voted for someone like myself to keep my child benefit for


I have not seen the Treasury figure in the statement. The Treasury is


saying the average family is 125p better off. Where does it say this?


I'm just wondering. I know where your figure comes from. I got my


figures from the Treasury and I can find out the source for you. It's


such a big difference. philosophical difference, there is


a difference here. We want people who want to move into work, who


aspire to earn more, move up the working ladder, with the universal


credit next year, taking out that 16 hours, where people got trapped,


to really help people move up the innings spectrum whereas the Labour


approach was much more to tax you at a lower level of income, and


give you some of your money back in We have exactly the combination of


policies we had in the 1980s which led to the highest rate of child


poverty in Europe. A cut in the highest rate of income tax and a


restriction on the uprating of benefits for up the highest rate of


tax will be higher than it was under 10 years of Labour. Exactly.


It has come down at a time when the Exchequer is in great difficulty.


Off they has issued a document over how much these tax rates Ghana.


President Hollande. Negative so Lyn Byl -- 7 billion. A negative effect.


We don't know. I predict you again, even at 45p, which is high by


international standards, it will be higher than every year of a Labour


government. We are now in a time of austerity when the Exchequer is


taking money away from that families, mainly low-income


families, this is not a time to be giving money to the highest paid.


You can have the final word on this side. I want to know why Stephen


has objected to me losing my child benefit, why he has objected to a


cap on the overall benefits that equate it with the average working


family in terms of what they can take home. Let me leave these


questions hanging. Ken Baker has been very patient. It is a good


debate. Stephen, you have a real problem in your party. In office


Ulex three things run out of control. Public expenditure in


relation to welfare payments. You've got to get away from a


society that is so dependent on welfare and that is the thrust of


what Iain Duncan Smith is doing. Increasing the level of tax... It


is now �10,000 where you don't pay tax. What you are saying is that if


there was a Labour government, we will not do much about welfare. We


believe welfare should be paid to come what may. It is a critical


test. Her I will give Stephen Timms the final word. The problem the


Conservative Party has is its central economic policy has not


worked. We were told of this policy was implemented we would have


steady growth and falling unemployment, but unemployment is


high and it is projected to go up next year. That is why these cuts


have to be made and working families are paying the price.


have record numbers of work. It is a for! -- a fall. One of the few


success stories in economic policies from this government has


been the fall in unemployment. Much to the surprise of most of the


Economist. The OBR said it would go up to 8.3%. I thought it would be


3% by next December. A very fair point. They should suspend all


economic forecasts. How can you judge how the economy will grow?


You can't! The thank you, Merry Christmas.


We will be talking about this in the new year, that's my prediction!


Speak to employers in manufacturing and engineering firms and they'll


often tell you that young people don't leave school with the skills


needed for the world of work. Well, university technical colleges,


which are popping up around the country, seek to address that.


They're supposed to combine practical learning alongside core


GCSE and A levels and the Government's already pledged to


open at least 24 of them by 2014. They were the brain child of our


very own guest of the day, Lord Baker, but how do they operate? We


sent Susana Mendonsa to take a look at one.


It might look like a factory but this is actually a classroom in a


new university technical college in Birmingham. The people operating


this machine are teenagers. Fees 14 year-olds are lose -- using the


core engineering skills that would only be taught at apprentices


usually. That focus on technical education would better prepare


young people for the world of work. That starts with the hours, 8:30am


to 5:30pm, which 16 year-olds a share and it would have only got


used. They are long. It took me a while to get used to. I could get


used to it and getting used to it is really good because it prepares


you for work. I show letter of school because she thought she


would do better here. Most grammar schools have higher expectations,


everybody is expected to be on the same level. When you come to a


place with different people, you get more of the chance to stand out


for things you are good at so you get her acknowledged more.


another classroom, another technical skill. They are making


prototypes of electronic devices like cameras. This is one of the


new wave of university technical colleges the Government is backing.


UCTs like this one came to-14 to 19 and euros they specialise in things


like engineering. They are also sponsored by the employers or


universities. The principal say they fill a gap. It is important to


have a balance in this country. They are not for everybody. Not


everybody wants to do engineering and science. Where students do one


that focus can that specialisation, UCTs are well placed to provide


excellent. Outside the classrooms that some of the young people are


also been employed as in princesses. Kaka -- apprentices. While we are


here we get the practical side of it. At university, we get Feighery.


It balances. You know what you were doing on the theory side and the


practical side. The managing director support more technical


education, but says UCTs don't get done enough to get young people


into the right mindset. challenge is to make kids are aware


that this is work, you are not going to school any more, it is not


looking up at a teacher and looking at your laptop. It is about work.


Understand what work is all about. Getting out of bed at a reasonable


time, being responsible, bringing something to the job you do.


Producing young people with the skills needed for modern businesses


is one of the aims. Teaching unions have warned that separating


technical dedication from mainstream schools could create a


two level system. -- technical education.


Joining us now is the Shadow Schools Minister, Kevin Brennan,


and Andrew Robinson, who runs an engineering firm near Bedford. Tell


us what your business does. We may control systems for people like


Jaguar Land Rover, British Aerospace. We make their kit work.


We need technically interested children to join us after they've


left school and help our company grow because the skill shortage we


are suffering from his holding our business back. For you, University


technical colleges, I would think, are a great thing? We would hope so.


We are not very aware of them even though we have promoted ourselves


and tried to get involved with many different aspects of what is going


on recently. Engaging with them we find very hard. White was backed I


don't know. One of the problems poor visibility. In preparation for


today I looked up UTC and the first reference was on page 3. What I


thought there was quite surprising. Are you losing business as a result


of the skills shortage? This year alone we've lost over �10 million


worth of business because we haven't got enough qualified,


experienced, engaging, enthusiastic engineers to help us. Her that is a


disaster! At it is awful. That doesn't just apply to our business,


that is throughout... Whether it is customers or my peers, they have a


similar problem. It is a serious charge. By 2020 we will be short


for 1,000 qualified engineers and a million technicians. If we're going


to have nuclear power stations, faster broadband and other things...


In the other thing to do is bringing them in from other


countries. Why can't we grow them here? Because for the last 50 years


we haven't had good technical schools. They were closed because


of snobbery. We made it. Five years ago, we started this concept. They


are 14-18. By then youngsters know what they want to do. At 16, when


you ask them at 16, they are not used to working day. Ours is a


working day. They have to turn up. 4-2 days a week they are doing


practical things with their hands, the other three days they are doing


maths, English and science. Because those are melded the will -- melded


into the specialism, they improve. These are successful and the one


that has been going for two years in Staffordshire, we had 16-year-


old and 18 year-olds this year. Every youngster but that you CT got


a job or an apprenticeship in college or university. Would you


like to see them rolled out in a bigger way? In terms of the model


that has been set up by Ken Baker, these are something the Labour


party would support? Absolutely. Kane came up with the idea five


years ago and we supported the setting up of the first of these


university technical colleges and Ken has got a great body of people


together to work on them. The curriculum it is exactly what


Andrew is talking about. It is getting young people more used to


practical and vocational and technical skills. Still losing all


that business because not enough people are coming through. Indeed.


We've said we absolutely have to focus on this and we didn't do


enough in government to focus on those youngsters who will get a


technical or vocational qualification. What is great about


these is it leaves the route open because they do call education as


well. It doesn't close off any opportunities to them, but it does


give them a kind of experience that will make them ready to work in


industry. The criticism is that they are still not heard -- high-


profile enough or they are not engaging with employers. That may


come in time. Do you accept the charge that successive governments


have been snobs when it comes to these things? We are now paying the


price. For the last 150 years we've been in a mess. There was a report


in 1924. What do we want students to be? Students -- schools must


produce students that are literate, but the duck of the 20 new ones we


are looking at at the moment, they are supported by 250 different


companies. I am going to get Tandy involved in the one near


Bedfordshire. -- Andy. He will get a call from me. There will be


tomorrow. Should be more money and focus be put into these sorts of


colleges so that there isn't a risk of the two A-level system? All of


the praise on the top universities, perhaps that sort of attention


should be making these colleges elite? I think so. There will be a


whole range of different schools out there and you will not be able


to have a UTC rolled out immediately in every part of the


country, but we need to focus on this kind of approach. Why not?


eventually that may be the case. It takes time. We are extremely


supportive of this approach. One of the great things about it is they


have a working day. At the end of the day, the young people have


completed their work in school. need to get the schools to want


their children to leave school and getting to engineering. That is the


problem we have. When children at a younger they are into Lago and


computers, they like creating things, but by the time they leave


school it has gone. He they would all rather do media studies! Do you


think it has been drilled out of them?


I get involved with people on the automotive Council. We have


conversations where we talk about getting the education establishment


to encourage people to do it. People are concentrating on


business. We need to integrate the whole thing together. You'll be


glad to know it there's one in media city dealing with the


technology to make this programme go out. Very positive. Behind you


there has about six or seven Engineers. We have to train more


people and I'm very glad it is part of this. A we need the Government


to focus more on this. On what 300 Just a little smile on the crews's


faces. I've never seen them so happy. It will take us weeks to be


to them back into shape! Anyway, after yesterday's critical reports


into the BBC's handling of the Savile and McAlpine stories on


Newsnight more condemnation of the corporation this morning. The


Public Accounts committee has published a scathing report


criticising the �450,000 pay off for George Entwistle, who was


Director General for just 54 days. It also criticised excessive


severance payments made to ten other senior managers. And to


Caroline Thomson, who stepped down with over �600,000 in her handbag.


A big handbag. A lot of licence fees went into that. Here's


Margaret Hodge, who chairs the committee. I think the BBC


displayed a cavalier attitude to the way it uses tax payers money


through the licence fee. This is our money, and this man had been in


the job for 54 days, and he walked away with �450,000 and a package of


benefits including a year's access to private health care, money for


his lawyers and four p are to deal with all hostility he was facing


from the media. Nobody else would get that. We still don't know what


his pension is, but we have a final salary pay scheme at the BBC, and


if his pension is based on that, that he only learnt before 54 days,


that's not right, and I think the BBC management it doesn't get to


what the public think. That was Margaret Hodge. Let me welcome


viewers from Scotland to join us from first Minister's questions.


You are now with the Daily Politics, discussing the BBC after the news


which came out yesterday. We heard from Margaret Hodge, the head of


the Public Accounts Committee who has attacked the number of pay-offs


and the size of them that the BBC and the trust have been making.


We're joined now by the Chairman of the Culture Media and Sport


Committee, John Whittingdale. And Ken Baker is still with us, who


takes a big interest in this, as a former Home Secretary would. What


do you make of the Public Accounts Committee report? I entirely agree


with it. My committee expressed concern about the size of the pay-


off to George Entwistle, and Chris Patten and it indeed the came


before us and I think they are right to highlight, not just the


single payment to George Entwhistle but it appears to have been a


culture, whenever anybody left the BBC, they went with a huge amount


of cash but this is a time when resources are under pressure and


they are having to make cuts to things like BBC local radio. It all


in these easy to spend other people's money, the licence fee


money. What do you say in response to the chairman of the BBC trust,


Chris Patten, who was on the radio this morning saying, well, if they


had fired him, George Entwhistle, he could have gone for constructive


dismissal and it would have cost the BBC a lot more. Firstly, it


raises questions over the contracts at the BBC. They need to look at


that in future but, I think Chris Patten made similar remarks before


my committee that this was the legal advice, but they should have


challenged that because the public expectation was some body who


failed in his job should not be able to walk away with that kind of


money. And Caroline Thompson? that case, she left with even more


money. We are told her position was got rid of and her duties were


taken on by the chief financial officer. Again, it's an


extraordinary amount of money for somebody to go away with for the


the BBC are claiming poverty are the moment. Don't we know it. Did


you see us at the party conferences? No, exactly. I expect


you would not have been paid as much as Caroline Thompson. There is


a difficulty here. For the sake of this discussion, most licence pay


users will side with you and there will be fury about this. There is a


problem, though, which is what can you do about it because at the


moment, the moment Parliament tries to do anything about it, you are


interfering in the independence of the BBC. It's up to the BBC to


tackle this problem which was highlighted again by Nick Pollard


in his report revealing things which were not a great surprise.


There's too many people, it's not clear what they are actually doing,


and there needs to be a much clearer line of responsibility and


fewer tears of management. The new manager will have to get on with


that quickly. This also the structure and whether that's it for


parliament and whether the trust is working as it should. The BBC trust


was a construct created for Michael Grade of. He then decided to go to


ITV instead and left us with this strange hybrid organisation. The


BBC having its own board with non- execs author and the BBC trust on


top of that. We will enter another round of charter renewal, I suspect.


What should be done? Actually, I was the opposition spokesman at the


time and was critical of the formation of the BBC trust because


it's trying to do two conflicting roles, regulating and championing.


What I think should happen, the BBC should be externally regulated like


the other broadcasters, Ofcom, and there should be clipped corporate


structure were the chairmen, chief executive, and non-executive


directors like Channel 4 and others. The trust would go. You have been


round this course many times. agree with what he has been saying.


His committee has become very influential. One of the great hopes


for the BBC, Tony Hall, the new director-general. I was responsible


for the BBC and he was in charge of the news for that I think he


handled it very well indeed. The Conservative Party other day was


absolutely loathed, even more than today. And he handled it very well


indeed and he will be a big plus. When it comes to the management of


the BBC, I would introduce that no one should have more than six


months notice of a contract for the immediately, limit the chances are


big payouts for that there should be no payments like those ones for


public relations. It's quite remarkable. When somebody leaves,


it I was in business, you try to make it easy for them, you say you


want a happy lever, so you become generous with other people's money


and that's not fair in these cases. I think the Pollard report was


accurate and the fact nobody has been sacked at the BBC, you are a


member of a cosy club. The BBC is a cosy club. I haven't got a pension.


You might be different. There will be no pay-off when I go. Excellent.


That's an example which should be followed. It will be zero. That's


very good. Why doesn't has become the standard for everybody? Apart


from the two BBC managers which were told they were incompetent,


they were not sacked, but given other jobs, presumably on existing


salaries and those jobs have not been specified at the BBC. They


have no respect for authority. Everybody will know does two are


clean to their jobs by their fingernails. Their authority and


respect will go. I agree and that's something I raised and I'm told by


the BBC disciplinary measures have been taken against a number of


individuals. Who? They haven't stated but I'm sure we can make a


fair guess. They haven't been able to say it publicly. But I hope


further assurance of that kind will be given because the public will


expect measures to be taken a gives people who have failed. More BBC


execs come before your committee in the new year, do you think? It I


think we will want to look at the way in which the BBC runs.


consider the way changes should be made. We've got a lot on it would


be Leverson Inquiry as well. It's a busy time for my committee. It's


something we will want to look at. It's still a great institution, in


spite of all these difficulties. What we are going through his


management who could not deliver the high profile case and they


panicked. They could not deal with it themselves and there was bad


management course of it's still one the greatest broadcasters in the


world. That's a good note to end on. Let's quit while we are ahead.


Merry Christmas to you. Now, how would you like a day named after


you? Yes, hold your horses! Our guest of the day's managed it.


Baker Days. That's a day off school for the kids. A childcare headache


for parents and the teachers? Well, they are working hard brushing up


on their teaching skills of course. Lord Baker's time as education


secretary was also, of course, marked by teachers' strikes. Here's


How does Kenneth Baker a boy had a dilemma that impelled his


predecessor? -- avoid the dilemma that impaled his predecessor? Today


was designed as a show of strength as one union leader put it, a


demonstration that the teachers were prepared to put their money


Appropriately, the first of Mrs Thatcher's Cabinet onto the streets


this election was the Education Secretary. His critics were waiting.


There is a great deal of support And we're joined now by Kevin


Courtney of the National Union of Teachers. Just before I come to you,


Kenneth Baker, Michael Gove has written to every head teacher it


demented take robust action against teachers involved in industrial


action and dock their pay. Do you agree with that? I believe teachers


should strike. The strike in 1986 had been going on for 18 months. No


one could settle it. It was my first priority. I settled it by


doing something quite dramatic. I took away, by law, all knitters


fishing rights from teachers' unions and introduced a committee


which would determine teachers' pay which did a much better deal.


review body. It was much better than its predecessor, a much better


deal for teachers, who came out of negotiating procedures. That's a


different approach Michael Gove is perceiving. Do you think his


approach will work? I think he selling to a conflict with the


unions over this but is taking a very tough line and I support him.


What do you say to that? We are not striking at the moment, but it's


not disrupting any education. It's improving education Bilal and


teachers to focus on teaching and learning instead a bureaucratic


nonsense. You operating a work to rule, aren't you? We don't call it


that. For example, we are not saying don't to a football club on


a Saturday, music after school, we're not saying those things. What


we are saying is, in system of professional standing. If your head


teacher says to you says you have to hand in a week's planning on a


Sunday afternoon when you know it's not the right way to plan the


lessons, don't do it. The how does this end? We look at the way


Michael Gove is dealing with it and he has made this threat, if you


like, and you are responding in the way you have just outlined. You


can't go on like that indefinitely? In many schools, you can't see it


happening because head teachers are happy with it. In many schools, you


can't see it but we think Michael Gove wants to excavate the so, in


the Sunday Times last week, he said is on a war footing, with teaching


unions. We think it's with teachers in practice, and he wants to tear


up the entire pay framework created through Lord Baker's dealings. He


wants to have paid determined at the level of the school for that we


think it's a huge craziness. Why? In every one of those 26,000


schools, head teachers, governors and teachers are thinking about


paying teachers instead of think about learning and teaching.


There's a central issue here whether there should be national


pay bargaining in the whole of the country or regional pay. I have


come to believe regional pay would be reasonable. In the private


sector there is certainly regional pay, no doubt about that. People in


the north-east and north-west get low wages than in the south and


south-east, which is a cauldron of activity. Deprived areas getting


low wages, a race to the bottom? that is the line-up Michael Gove is


moving towards full that what do you think of the idea schools will


themselves, within pay banding, negotiate and dictate teachers pay?


One of the most significant changes I made was to give to school


control of their budgets, delegating budgets, and some people


tell be they would not be able to control them. They controlled them


perfectly well. They should be able to determine their pay as well.


What's wrong with that in individual schools? I take your


point they could be too much focus on deciding teachers' pay but head


teachers could conclude that they know their staff, they know who is


stronger, and who is less able to deal with a heavy workload and pay


We don't want the focus for head teachers to be on that. Think about


it from the point of view of one of the teachers. The responses we are


getting at NUT headquarters is a real hostility for this for several


reasons. How will you know whether your head teacher's decision is


based on your competence or on the school's financial position? If it


is because of the school's financial position, if your face


doesn't fit, where do you were Peel? If you're in a big


Association, you can appeal over the head teacher's head. There is


no independent appeal body. There is some evidence that black


teachers find it harder to cross the performance threshold. We think


there is already evidence of headteachers making wrong decisions


and has no appeal mechanism. We are taking away a teacher's career


structure. At the moment you move up based on part on years of


service and on the head teacher's assessment, but with these


proposals you lose any security you have any move to another school.


Our members don't like that. Let's go back to the approach. You talked


about how you dealt with that strike. His Michael Gove's approach


working? Talking about a war footing. Is that going to resolve


it? What I was surprised to hear from the union was that the action


taken in schools doesn't seem to be visible anywhere. Members are


taking action, but it is not affecting Saturday football and the


other things. Why are you doing it then? It is having no effect on


education so what are you doing it for? I don't understand that.


didn't answer my question about Michael Gove's approach. But we


have to finish there. He played for time!


Could a gas rig be coming to a field near you? Last week, the


Government gave the go-ahead to the controversial technique of


extracting gas from rock known as fracking. It was halted after earth


tremors near Blackpool were blamed on drilling in the area.


Communities affected have been campaigning against any further


drilling, but what if there were financial incentives for local


people to support fracking? That was an idea taken up by Lancaster


and Fleetwood MP, Eric Ollerenshaw, in a Westminster Hall debate


yesterday. He will join us in a moment, but


first let speak to Helen Rimsha of Friends of the Earth. Are there any


conditions under which you would support fracking? No. Looking at


the community benefits is the wrong place. We need to look at this in


the wider context in the future of the energy policy. We need to move


away from fossil fuels. We need to reduce reliance on glass -- gas and


move towards renewable energy. There are potential impacts for the


environment in Lancashire. There are risks of water and air


pollution and this region of Lancashire has important... We are


taking a huge risk. We will be dependent on gas for quite some


time. It is becoming -- it is coming from Norway and other areas.


Given that we are going to use gas for the foreseeable future, it


would be sensible to have some home-grown gas. Another thing the


Committee on Climate Change said last week is that a UK share of gas


will have no big impact, it will not be a game changed on energy


prices. We have rising energy prices because the price of global


gases going up. We need to reduce the reliance on gas and develop


clean energy sources. That would not only cut carbon emissions, but


create thousands of new jobs, particularly in places like


Lancashire. 9,000 people are already employed in the renewable


energy sector. What do you say? agree with the date -- great deal


of what she says. We are long way off this. We're just resuming one


Test site. If it is going to happen, Lancashire need to pay back. Surely


Lancashire would get a payback. You would be the crucible of the


activity. We are just very generous people in Lancashire! But we are


not Texas. In Lancashire at the moment before these wells go ahead,


the company will get the profits and if Starbucks don't do the


drilling, the Chancellor will get his taxation. The mineral rights


belong to the Duchy so we will get precious little. Have you been to


Aberdeen? Yes. Have you seen what Coyle has done for Aberdeen? Why


can't it do the same for Blackpool? That is drilling under the sea and


coming in. In Lancashire, you are talking about 800 wells across


rural Lancashire. Why don't you go along with her? Why bother if you


are so miserable. We are not miserable people, but we are trying


to put a marker in the shale about what should happen if this proves


to be the bonanza the national press claim it might be.


national press know very little about it. I was brought up in


Lancashire. You can tell that from my accent! They are canny people. I


am strongly in favour of a fracking, it will transform the British


economy. To turn your back on fracking means that you might as


well... It is samba -- as important as North Sea oil. America but --


America will be self-sufficient with energy into of three years.


The industries in America which had become uncompetitive are being re


created. We have a huge opportunity. Although Greenpeace are full of


nice people, if you had been around in the 18th century, you would have


said don't dig coal mines. You have to recognise that this is


transformation of. On your question of whether Lancashire should get a


benefit, with nuclear power stations the villages around it got


free energy. In the United States, shale Gas has cut the price of gas


by a third. There are hundreds of thousands of jobs created as new


industries relocate back to America. They call it a homecoming in the US.


You are Friends of the Earth... Ken Baker caught you Greenpeace! I do


apologise. Why should Britain lose out on this if that is the


prospect? A lot of energy analysts agree it is a different scenario in


the UK. It will be more expensive and more difficult to extract. It


is a different environment, it is more densely populated. We don't


need to extract this resource, it is not worth the risk. You would be


against it anyway. You are against fracking in the US. Her absolutely


because of the climate change impact. It is quite amazing that


the Secretary of State gave the go- ahead to fracking without even


having conducting the environmental assessment. How come, even though


the US economy has been growing, unlike the European economies, how


come US carbon emissions are down substantially since they moved to


shale gas? Europe, which hasn't been growing, his way over its


carbon targets. We still need to move away from fossil fuels. That


is the answer to my question. are many reasons why the US


economy... It is a lesser carbon fuel than coal. Unconventional Gas


has a higher carbon impact than conventional gas. We can't afford


to extract this gas. It is clear from the science that we can't


afford to burn this gas and we don't need to. We have fast


renewable resources. We could meet our electricity needs by six times


over with windfarms. P it was under question I asked. We will leave it


there. Has the postman been yet? Because


it's that time of year when the post can bring you something a


little more welcome than the usual bills and junk mail. Here in


Westminster, ears are straining to hear the thud of Christmas cards on


the mat in the hope that there will be a card from Dave or Ed or even


Nick. In a moment, we'll be discussing what it all means with


political commentator Simon Hoggart. But first, here's a selection of


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 49 seconds


Don't know how that last picture got in there. I'm not sure I like


myself with a beard. It is like an estate agent's Christmas night out!


That is a complement! We're joined now by Simon Hoggart from the


Guardian. Have you had yours from Dave, Ed and Nick? I must have


dropped off the list. That is terrible. An amazing one from Keith


Vaz. A cartoon that shows Keith in the middle of the Olympics Opening


Ceremony with the cream parachuting down -- at the Queen. Are they the


bane of a politician's life, having to sign all of those cards? It is a


way to keep in touch with your constituents. Be it has now become


very expensive to do. It is 50p per card. Not if you e-mail it.


they are not really. They are boring. E-mailed Christmas cards


are not the same. They don't have the same glow about them. Do they


filly with joy? Politicians always do things for reason and on their


Christmas cards, what of the messages? It is all on the cover.


Let's have a look at David Cameron's Christmas card. That has


got a lot of messages. You've got Kate Nisbet, a military hero and an


Olympic torch carrier. You've got Dave and Sam. They have not brought


their children out this time. have before. Tony Blair always used


to bring out his children. Gordon Brown never did. The message is the


Olympics, our brave or roads -- heroes and summer. Let's have a


look at Ed Miliband's. Him with his family. A slightly different


message. That's as I'm a human being -- and that says. What is


puzzling is his wife, a highly intelligent woman, they've chosen a


picture which makes her look like the joker in Batman. Sign an! --


Simon. Do you think it is unwise to put your family on? I think so.


Christmas is a Christian festival. This has become common fodder for


politicians, they send out hundreds of them. Show us your card. This is


a cartoonist. He low Ruth Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair even more.


-- Pirlo moved Margaret Thatcher. At Cap we have run out of time. I


will be back with this week at 11:50pm tonight. Our I will be


joined by Michael Portillo, Alan Johnson, Sir Ming Campbell, Mary


Ann Sieghart, Nick Watt, Kevin Maguire, Quentin Letts, John


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