21/12/2012 Daily Politics


21/12/2012

Andrew Neil has the top political stories of the day in the last show of 2012. He looks back over the top political moments of the last 12 months.


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Transcript


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Afternoon. Welcome to the final Daily Politics of 2012. Guess what?

:00:46.:00:51.

It's a Christmas special. From pasties to plebs, to penitent

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politicians, we will be looking at the main party's years and having a

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run-down of the top little moments of the last 12 months. Have our

:01:00.:01:04.

politicians been behaving this year or are they just a bunch of

:01:04.:01:09.

Scrooges? We will be choosing our candidates for a first ever Daily

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Politics quiz -- Daily Politics Christmas awards. What other

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strange happenings at been taking place? Some of Westminster's finest

:01:18.:01:25.

minds take part in our very own Christmas quiz.

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All that coming up. With us for the first half of this Christmas

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special, I am delighted to say and joint in Santa's grotto, otherwise

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known as the press gallery bar, where we found a trio of Fleet

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Street elves to help their review the year. Phil -- Philip Collins of

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the Times, he wants an editor for Christmas. James Forsyth works for

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the Spectator, and take the halls with boughs of Polly Toynbee from

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the Guardian. A -- deck the halls. It has been a momentous year in

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Westminster so what better way to celebrate than the inaugural Daily

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Politics awards. I think we should call them the Andrews.

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Our first category... There is a whole band just behind

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you that does that. Parliamentary moment of the year, Phil Collins?

:02:29.:02:33.

thing we cannot let you pass without mentioning the Leveson

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Inquiry. I think my parliamentary moment of the year was Nick Clegg,

:02:36.:02:41.

the Deputy Prime Minister, making a separate statement on Leveson to

:02:41.:02:46.

the Prime Minister. Two things about this, firstly to have a

:02:46.:02:48.

liberal making the case for statutory regulation of the press

:02:48.:02:52.

was a strange interpretation of liberalism. Secondly, it laid bare

:02:52.:02:56.

a big cleavage in the coalition, one of the Rhine stories of the

:02:56.:03:03.

year. And thirdly, the substantial question itself, the problem that

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is left in the Prime Minister's inbox about what will happen when

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the press comes back. A free press does not mean a press that is free

:03:15.:03:21.

to bully innocent people or free to abuse grieving families. What I

:03:21.:03:26.

want now is for us to strike a better balance between these two

:03:26.:03:30.

liberal principles. So that our media can scrutinise the powers-

:03:30.:03:35.

that-be, but cannot destroy innocent lives. So that the

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journalists in the press gallery can hold us, the politicians, to

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account, but we can look up to the individuals and families in the

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public gallery, knowing they have the right protections and place.

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Phil Collins' parliamentary moment. Mr Clegg making his own statement.

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What was your parliamentary moment, James? I think it was the defeat of

:03:58.:04:02.

Lords reform, when it became clear that Tory MPs were not going to let

:04:02.:04:06.

Nick chair -- Nick Clegg's cherished project pass. There will

:04:06.:04:10.

that it was clear that was going to happen, Malcolm Rifkind made a

:04:10.:04:13.

speech savaging the idea and mocking Nick Clegg in personal

:04:13.:04:20.

terms. Let's hear it. I have not voted against my party for a very

:04:20.:04:25.

long time. I last did so in the 1970s. I do not know what effect it

:04:25.:04:30.

will have this time on my ministerial future. All I can say

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is the last time I did it, in the 1970s, two years later, Margaret

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Thatcher appointed me to her government. So be of good heart,

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bought as you believe, and that means 40 against his bill and

:04:44.:04:48.

voting against the programmed motion. -- voting against it this

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bill. An unlikely rebel. Was not a tactical mistake? They lost

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boundary reform as a result? It was a calamity. Did they really care

:05:00.:05:05.

that much about Lords reform? Compared to losing the next

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election as a result? I do not know what to call them? A kind of great,

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tribal, few will fit that they would not put up with this. --

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feudal. You're right, it was an honest moment, a moment without

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political calculation, in which Tory backbenchers just would not

:05:24.:05:29.

have that. They want to the House of Lords and the hereditaries and

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all that stuff and nonsense and they got it. They did not realise

:05:33.:05:35.

that the Liberal Democrats could not keep losing these

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constitutional things without some kind of retaliation. They were not

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convinced that the Liberal Democrats would strike back on

:05:42.:05:45.

boundaries, and they were determined to do that. The mountain

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that the Tories have to climb to get an overall majority is high

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enough with a boundary reforms. It is kind of Mission: Impossible

:05:54.:06:00.

without them. It will be very difficult. It is hard to see how

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they can pull it off. I can see how they will take some Lib Dem seats

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where tactical voting on wines and they can put pressure on the Lib

:06:11.:06:16.

Dem vote, but in the Labour seats, it will be different. Particularly

:06:16.:06:20.

with UKIP and the Lib Dem vote crumbling. The Tory vote is at the

:06:20.:06:25.

margins to UKIP. Whereas the good news? It is the most presidential

:06:25.:06:29.

campaign in a long time from the Tories. I said to a Conservative

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minister this morning, what is your message? Fought Cameron? He said

:06:36.:06:38.

that the Lib Dems were saying you are voting for the Conservative

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Party, we're going to say that you are voting for David Cameron.

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also say, don't fought back in the people who got you into this mess.

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-- Don't vote back in. parliamentary moment of the year

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to? Ed Balls recently got tripped up in the Spending Review. And we

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will come to that. But he is very good in Parliament. He is very

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pugilistic, tough as nails. He gave a very good response in the Budget

:07:07.:07:12.

speech, and I think he is pretty good in that bullying Forum. This

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:07:22.:07:23.

is where he was on form. Back to March, his response to the Budget,

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not the response to the Budget, the Leader of the Opposition does that.

:07:27.:07:32.

This is Ed Balls in the Budget debate. You call this a Robin Hood

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Budget? But they have got this the wrong way round. Because Robin Hood

:07:38.:07:43.

took from the rich to give to the poor and this Budget takes from law

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and middle income families to give to the rich. Don't Basie? The

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Chancellor is not Robin Hood, he is the Sheriff of Nottingham. -- don't

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they see. As for jobs and growth, he could not give a Friar Tuck, Mr

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Deputy Speaker. Acini spatial expression from the Chancellor! --

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that a nice facial expression. When Ed Balls is on form, he is

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remarkable. Because of memories Easter as with previous

:08:19.:08:24.

associations of the final Labour years, and being a compadre of Mr

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Brown, is he still in negative in the eyes of voters? I think

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Labour's position on the economy is very soft. There is that problem.

:08:35.:08:40.

At this stage in the parliament, with gross as -- with growth as

:08:40.:08:45.

elusive as it is, for later to not be out of sight on the economy is

:08:45.:08:47.

worrying from their point of view. When it comes to it, the Tories

:08:47.:08:51.

will throw mud about economic record of the previous government.

:08:51.:08:56.

It is not so much Ed Balls' association with Mr Brown, it is

:08:56.:09:00.

his association with what happened. It is their Achilles heel. He was

:09:00.:09:06.

Ed Miliband's third-choice. It is possible that he might be the best

:09:06.:09:10.

opposition Treasury Persian up until closer to the election and he

:09:10.:09:15.

might even go back, perhaps, to Alastair Darling four of the

:09:15.:09:17.

military action. He is a good oppositional fighter, he is the

:09:17.:09:23.

best person they have got for the Stuffer. He revels in it. -- for

:09:23.:09:31.

this stuff. He is so quiet in the Brown Europe -- he is so mired in

:09:31.:09:41.

the Gordon Brown era, that it might be a worry. By 2014, he will be

:09:41.:09:45.

able to say he is the man who saved the financial union... Alastair

:09:45.:09:53.

Darling. He was responsible, for Labour, undermined by irresponsible

:09:53.:09:56.

Labour. If he comes back, it will be difficult for David Cameron to

:09:56.:10:00.

deal with. We know that Tories admire Alastair Darling, privately,

:10:00.:10:05.

and if he says the union as well in the referendum, and Ed Miliband

:10:05.:10:10.

says, all right, this is the guide to make Chancellor... Also,

:10:10.:10:15.

Alastair Darling handed over growth which George Osborne simply put a

:10:15.:10:19.

stop to with his first Spending Review. It will be hard to persuade

:10:19.:10:24.

people that he left a golden legacy. But he had a good financial crisis.

:10:24.:10:28.

He did. It is never going to happen in a million years. It is not going

:10:28.:10:32.

to happen. You're not going to remove Ed Balls from that position.

:10:32.:10:36.

Go back to your previous discussion about how hard tears for the Tories

:10:36.:10:41.

to get a majority. Labour think they are in for a good shout of

:10:41.:10:44.

getting into Downing Street and there is no way you will shift Ed

:10:44.:10:49.

Balls from the threshold. Don't underestimate Beth Miliband's

:10:49.:10:53.

toughness. I think he will do whatever it takes. -- Ed Miliband.

:10:53.:10:58.

If it seems a weakness, and it may well be that Ed Balls will come out

:10:58.:11:02.

with a convincing economic strategy. He cannot do that right now because

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we do not know the situation. If he does that, he might set himself,

:11:06.:11:12.

but to... At the cost of ensuring that his government will be carnage.

:11:12.:11:14.

If interestingly, if you think you're not going to win the

:11:14.:11:20.

election, you will do what irritates. But we will write it

:11:20.:11:22.

down. If we are right, we will remind everybody and did not, we

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will let it disappear into the mists of the BBC archives. Or words

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to your next award, the star man or woman around David Cameron's

:11:33.:11:43.
:11:43.:11:44.

Cabinet minister of the year. James? Michael Gove. You look at

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him, he is the most dynamic reformer and the Government, he has

:11:48.:11:51.

achieved the most so far and I think the interesting thing, there

:11:51.:11:56.

appears to be a consensus emerging around his reforms. I do not think

:11:56.:12:00.

Labour will on pick them. I agree. I chose him as well. Two for Mr go

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for. I think he had a plan and what a rethink about his plan, he came

:12:05.:12:09.

into office with a plan which she was able to articulate and then

:12:09.:12:14.

enact. Contrast that with the health service, which were plans

:12:14.:12:18.

land upon us from on high and were a terrible mess. Michael Gove is

:12:18.:12:22.

exemplary and he set about doing what he wants to do. He built a

:12:22.:12:27.

strong consensus before he came to office. A hat-trick? I think he is

:12:27.:12:31.

pretty good because he is about the -- this is about the only area in

:12:31.:12:36.

which they're not in deep trouble. It is the or make him vulnerable

:12:36.:12:41.

area. Who is your choice? Are I have chosen the Iain Duncan-Smith.

:12:41.:12:45.

Were we are right now, it is the one popular policy, welfare reform.

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I choose it because he is the epitome of everything that is going

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to go wrong with this government. He is unctuous and sanctimonious

:12:56.:12:59.

and he is an appalling -- she is making appalling squeeze on the

:12:59.:13:04.

poorest and the weakness. -- the weakest. How does this qualify him

:13:04.:13:07.

to be Minister of the year? Because it is working now but I do not

:13:07.:13:11.

think it will work for much longer. The polls are changing and by the

:13:11.:13:15.

time we get to next April, when the benefit cuts really had the

:13:15.:13:19.

disabled, when people's mobility scooters will be repossessed, about

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90,000 of them, it will make lovely pictures. You think that will

:13:23.:13:31.

happen? It may be that they will do you turn up the last moment. -- do

:13:31.:13:36.

a U-turn at the last moment. As things are, two-thirds of disabled

:13:36.:13:40.

children will lose Disability Living Allowance. Children who or

:13:40.:13:44.

carers for sick parents are going to lose about �58 a week. It is a

:13:44.:13:48.

cruelty unimaginable and people have not yet got it but I think

:13:48.:13:54.

they will then. Coming onto the politics of this, you have chosen

:13:54.:13:58.

Iain Duncan-Smith and Michael Gove. Education and welfare reform were

:13:58.:14:02.

the two areas where the Conservatives came to power with a

:14:02.:14:06.

pretty good idea of what they wanted to do. You can agree a

:14:06.:14:10.

disagree but they knew what they wanted to do. Two areas that are

:14:10.:14:15.

quite difficult for Labour at the moment. Is that correct? I think so.

:14:15.:14:18.

On education, Labour does not know what it thinks and has been silent

:14:18.:14:23.

for a long time. Because Michael Gove is carrying on some of the

:14:23.:14:27.

Labour policies. Labour does not really have a position on schools.

:14:27.:14:33.

One welfare, they are in more trouble. MP after MP in 2010 found

:14:33.:14:38.

people telling them that Labour was associated with welfare. They have

:14:38.:14:43.

been spooked by this. They have made a few remarks about changing

:14:43.:14:46.

the welfare state back towards one of contribution, which does not go

:14:46.:14:55.

anywhere. They are in a tricky position on welfare. They do not

:14:56.:14:58.

want to talk about scroungers and become hard, although it is

:14:58.:15:01.

tempting, but it leaves you in a difficult place. I think they have

:15:01.:15:06.

a hope, -- they have to hope that the effects of austerity are so

:15:06.:15:09.

severe that that dominates the argument. One of the interesting

:15:09.:15:15.

things, if you look at the strategy, public attitudes have hardened. We

:15:15.:15:19.

are in a striking situation. Normally, in austerity periods,

:15:19.:15:22.

people are more sympathetic. would not rely too much on that

:15:22.:15:26.

survey. It is six months out of date. It is not like ordinary

:15:26.:15:30.

opinion polls, it is 18 months out of date. There is something

:15:30.:15:33.

striking that people in a recession are normally more sympathetic.

:15:33.:15:37.

is reflecting the end of the Labour era. People felt they were too

:15:37.:15:41.

generous. It is not telling us what they're thinking now. There were

:15:41.:15:45.

some polls this week that were conflicting. Some of them were nip

:15:45.:15:51.

and tuck. One of them were showing that the Conservatives was begun

:15:51.:15:56.

this issue. The Ipsos MORI poll showed a significant change. I

:15:56.:15:59.

think it is hard to tell but my guess is that after next April,

:15:59.:16:05.

when we get poll tax tight council tax, people having to pay council

:16:05.:16:09.

tax for the first time, Baylis at the door, and a lot of savage

:16:10.:16:13.

things happening, I think you may evil see -- you may even see the

:16:13.:16:19.

Daily Mail report poorly about this. The it is interesting to see Ian

:16:20.:16:29.
:16:30.:16:31.

Duncan-Smith talking about this. He Iain Duncan Smith claimed to have

:16:31.:16:36.

an epiphany about poverty, so he should resign. He has used this

:16:36.:16:41.

language of more than anyone else. He said to the Sunday Times, I will

:16:41.:16:48.

tell them, you are a sky over. He is part of it. But in your view, is

:16:48.:16:57.

it a winner for the Tories? I think it is. It is hard to persuade the

:16:57.:17:07.
:17:07.:17:08.

public... It is Labour against the Tories and the Liberal Democrats.

:17:08.:17:15.

Her it is difficult for Labour to win the argument. The Tories will

:17:15.:17:19.

just say, you are for a limited welfare. It will be interesting to

:17:19.:17:26.

see the debate. It will be a defining issue of 2013. It has been

:17:26.:17:32.

fermenting this year. But next year, we will see how it plays out.

:17:32.:17:42.
:17:42.:17:44.

Time for our next award. Who has We are talking opposition

:17:44.:17:51.

politician of the year. Who do you choose? The obvious choice is Ed

:17:51.:17:55.

Miliband, because politics is so dominated by the leaders now. But I

:17:55.:17:59.

will go for someone unusual. Going back to the discussion about those

:17:59.:18:03.

who grew up in the shadow of Gordon Brown, one of the tasks of that

:18:03.:18:06.

generation of politicians is to try and release themselves from the

:18:07.:18:12.

shadow of Blair or Brown. A lot of the shadow front bench grew up as

:18:12.:18:16.

advisers to the previous generation. Douglas Alexander had done very

:18:16.:18:18.

little political personality, because he was so much in the

:18:18.:18:23.

shadow of his boss that when he took on the welfare brief earlier

:18:23.:18:26.

and then recently, with respect to the Arab Spring, there were signs

:18:27.:18:32.

of an emergent political personality in him. They are

:18:32.:18:35.

appealing and attractive. He is in the toughest job in a position

:18:35.:18:44.

apart from the leader -- the toughest job in opposition, which

:18:44.:18:47.

is shadow Home Secretary. He has had a good year. She is in him is a

:18:48.:18:52.

problem, because we could not find a clip that illustrated what you

:18:52.:18:57.

were talking about! So I will let that hang in the air. A Nigel

:18:57.:19:01.

Farage is my choice. He is running against not just the coalition, but

:19:01.:19:05.

their entire political class and the media. If you look at the

:19:05.:19:10.

recent polling, it is difficult to analyse the UKIP phenomenon. What

:19:10.:19:15.

appeals to their voters is what we think of as gaffes. But they like

:19:15.:19:20.

the fact that he says the unsayable. And not just on Europe. It is

:19:20.:19:25.

grammar schools, gay marriage, law and order. Let's hear Mr Farage.

:19:25.:19:29.

With Greece teetering on the edge of euro with Straw, the real

:19:29.:19:33.

elephant in the room had is that once Chris leaves, the European

:19:33.:19:40.

Central Bank is bust. It is gone. It has EUR444 billion worth of

:19:40.:19:43.

exposure to the bailed out countries, and to rectify that, you

:19:43.:19:51.

will need to have a cash from Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Italy.

:19:51.:19:56.

You couldn't make it up. It is utter failure. This ship, the Euro

:19:56.:20:01.

Titanic, has now hit the iceberg and sadly, there simply are not

:20:01.:20:09.

enough lifeboats. In an age of homogenised politicians, he is

:20:09.:20:13.

different, isn't he? Were all, there is always room for a

:20:14.:20:21.

theatrical performer. He is a great show off. I don't know if he

:20:21.:20:26.

believes in anything, but he has a lot of fun. And at a time when

:20:26.:20:29.

people are feeling very anti- Westminster politics, he will get a

:20:29.:20:34.

lot of support. He is good at what he does. I think it is worthless

:20:34.:20:42.

politics. If it were to become a big party, I would be quite scared.

:20:43.:20:48.

But the significance of UKIP is not that it is becoming a big party

:20:48.:20:53.

like a right-wing kind of SDP, it's dangerous simply that in those

:20:53.:20:58.

seats where Labour is a good second to the Tories, they will take away

:20:58.:21:05.

enough Tory votes to make that a potential Labour seat. That is

:21:05.:21:11.

precisely the significance of UKIP and why the Tories are the are

:21:11.:21:21.
:21:21.:21:23.

scared. But I tend to agree with Polly. Nigel Farage has the air of

:21:23.:21:29.

the 18th hole about him. A few GNPs later, he stands up to make a

:21:29.:21:33.

speech about Greece leaving Europe. When you get to the serious

:21:33.:21:39.

politics of a general election, the ebb and flow will be exactly as it

:21:39.:21:47.

always is. Consider the 2014 European elections. You could not

:21:47.:21:52.

rule him out coming first. The Lib Dems would become headless chickens

:21:52.:21:58.

if they come 4th or 5th, and Mr Cameron has a real problem. It is

:21:58.:22:04.

almost certain that they will push the Lib Dems into third. What

:22:04.:22:11.

effect do us that have? Mr Cameron will need to set out his lines so

:22:11.:22:16.

that he can't be moved from it early on. He will be one to watch

:22:16.:22:22.

the 2013, or whatever you think of him. He is certainly a minor

:22:22.:22:32.
:22:32.:22:34.

political phenomenon that is My person is Ed Miliband. If you

:22:34.:22:37.

think how written-off he was when he took over by a whisker, people

:22:37.:22:42.

said this was curtains for Labour. This is the year he has come into

:22:42.:22:46.

his own. He has found his feet in the Commons and he is absolutely

:22:46.:22:51.

Cameron's match. Sometimes one wins, sometimes the other. When he gets

:22:51.:22:56.

under Cameron's skin, Cameron goes red with rage. He has had a few

:22:56.:23:04.

good jokes and he seems comfortable for the first time. I have heard

:23:04.:23:08.

everything when the boy from the Bullingdon Club lectures people on

:23:08.:23:16.

bullying. Absolutely extraordinary. Have you read a restaurant

:23:17.:23:26.
:23:27.:23:29.

recently? -- have you wreck to a restaurant recently? Now, we cover

:23:29.:23:36.

Prime Minister's Questions every week on the Daily Politics. All

:23:36.:23:39.

independent commentators would admit that he has got better as the

:23:39.:23:44.

year has gone on. He is much more confident now. He often it is a

:23:45.:23:49.

match and sometimes wins against Mr Cameron. But is he with the public

:23:49.:23:53.

yet? He needs to get with the West minster political class before he

:23:53.:23:57.

can get with the public. Until that conference speech this year,

:23:57.:24:00.

everything -- every time he did anything, it had to cut through

:24:00.:24:05.

this coverage about whether they picked the correct Miliband. That

:24:05.:24:09.

has now gone. He has moved on to a different plane. He is now

:24:09.:24:12.

guaranteed to lead Labour into the next election. The public might

:24:12.:24:20.

warm to him in time. He is one of the nicest people in politics.

:24:20.:24:25.

agree that the conference speech was a watershed moment. Firstly, it

:24:25.:24:28.

did what most speeches can't do, which was that it took him from

:24:28.:24:32.

being not a credible figure to being a credible figure in the

:24:32.:24:35.

course of an hour. Very few conference speeches ever achieve

:24:35.:24:40.

that. But he managed to talk for an hour without once mentioning the

:24:40.:24:43.

deficit, and I don't think he can do that for the next two years.

:24:43.:24:48.

That will still be the critical question. There is no doubt he is

:24:48.:24:51.

better than people thought, but that was because people thought he

:24:51.:24:55.

was a four out of ten politician, and he has proved to be six or

:24:55.:25:01.

seven. Let's move on on the one to watch. Who are the up and coming

:25:01.:25:06.

people in Parliament? There was an impressive intake of MPs in 2010 on

:25:06.:25:11.

both sides of the house. It was only Lib Dems that were not renewed

:25:11.:25:17.

her. Phil, who is the one to watch on the back benches? There were

:25:17.:25:21.

quite a lot I could have chosen. I have chosen Tristram Hunt because

:25:21.:25:24.

that New Labour will finally be complete when the party is led by

:25:24.:25:29.

somebody called Tristram. remember what Mr Blair said of Mr

:25:29.:25:33.

Mandelson, and that never came about. They are taking it to a new

:25:33.:25:38.

level. Tristram is very intelligent. In politics now, it helps if you

:25:38.:25:42.

come from the wrong side of the tracks, which is to say if you are

:25:42.:25:45.

a working-class Tory leader, that helps. If you are in middle-class

:25:45.:25:50.

Labour leader, that helps. You want to pull people over to your party

:25:50.:25:55.

who are not natural supporters. will he stay the course? He has a

:25:55.:26:00.

lot of other worlds going on. He is a serious historian. Being called

:26:00.:26:05.

Tristram, it is only a matter of time before he is head of BBC drama.

:26:05.:26:12.

I am anointing him on this show to encourage him to carry on. Your

:26:12.:26:16.

choice of the one to watch? Stella Creasy, a tremendously

:26:16.:26:20.

energetic local campaigner, vociferous. She has done what

:26:20.:26:23.

backbenchers should do, which eschews an issue which is a

:26:23.:26:28.

winnable and she has won it. She chose the monstrous debts that

:26:28.:26:32.

people build up with pay-day loan companies and said we have to have

:26:32.:26:38.

a cap on the amount of interest rates that people should pay. And

:26:38.:26:42.

she has won the argument. She has been impressive when we have had

:26:42.:26:49.

her on the programme. James? List Trust, the new education minister.

:26:49.:26:52.

She is not only doing the curriculum reforms, but the child

:26:52.:26:57.

care changes that will be announced in the mid-term review will make

:26:57.:27:01.

childcare cheaper. If it makes it tax-deductible, that could help

:27:01.:27:06.

mothers get back to work. The EU see her as a rising Tory? She is on

:27:06.:27:10.

the right of the Tory party. She is on the free-market wing, but she is

:27:10.:27:14.

also a woman and a working mother, so she does not look like the

:27:14.:27:19.

classic stereotype of a Tory politician, a white male public-

:27:19.:27:22.

school boy. A but there will be one hell of a row when she tells

:27:22.:27:28.

childminders that they can look after five toddlers are on their

:27:28.:27:36.

own. A candlelit in France. -- they can do it in France. We have to

:27:36.:27:42.

leave it there. We will go downmarket now, bring out the

:27:42.:27:45.

journalists and bring in some politicians. Merry Christmas to all

:27:45.:27:50.

of you. So, a pressie for Lizzie.

:27:50.:27:54.

"plebgate" turns to Plodgate, and some festive career advice for the

:27:55.:27:58.

Shadow Chancellor. Here is David Thomson to explain all in our final

:27:58.:28:07.

60 seconds of 2012. Not a radical reshuffle, just the

:28:07.:28:11.

Queen visiting Cabinet as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

:28:11.:28:16.

Her Majesty got a 60 place mats and a caravan parked it as a gift.

:28:16.:28:19.

Better than socks. Form a chief whip Andrew Mitchell

:28:19.:28:24.

also got an early Christmas present through CCTV footage which appeared

:28:24.:28:27.

to class -- cast doubt on the police version of "plebgate".

:28:27.:28:31.

The BBC was given a caning by the inquiry into the dropped Newsnight

:28:31.:28:35.

Jimmy Savile investigation. No sackings, but senior management

:28:36.:28:42.

does need to be looked at. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister could

:28:42.:28:47.

not resist a jibe at the risk of tormentor in chief Ed Balls.

:28:47.:28:50.

Shadow Chancellor does a brilliant job playing Santa at the Christmas

:28:50.:28:55.

party every year. He does an excellent job, why not give

:28:55.:28:59.

everyone an early Christmas present. Make the arrangement permanent and

:28:59.:29:06.

give him the sack! Cha! Marie Christmas and hopefully, a not too

:29:06.:29:12.

austere new year. So, we saw the final Prime

:29:12.:29:15.

Minister's Questions of the year, with the traditional exchange of

:29:15.:29:19.

terrible Christmas puns. Yesterday was the last sitting day in the

:29:19.:29:24.

House of Commons before MPs pack up for 2012, and there were yet more

:29:24.:29:29.

awful seasonal jokes. Even worse than BBC One on a Thursday night.

:29:29.:29:33.

Here is the Shadow Leader of the house, Angela Eagle. I was looking

:29:33.:29:38.

for gifts for the Cabinet. Given the miraculous resurrection of

:29:38.:29:42.

those -- his ministerial career, the Government Chief Whip might

:29:42.:29:47.

like a copy of the ex-Australian prime minister John Howard's

:29:47.:29:51.

autobiography, Lazarus rises. We would be grateful if the Chancellor

:29:51.:29:55.

would spend this Christmas reading macro-economics for beginners.

:29:55.:29:58.

Given every announcement from the Department of Education inevitably

:29:58.:30:01.

finds its way into the media before the Education Secretary has had a

:30:01.:30:06.

chance to make a statement to this house, he would benefit from a copy

:30:06.:30:16.

of How Parliament works. A very excellent book. And Mr Speaker, you

:30:16.:30:20.

might enjoy a manual written for classroom teachers are entitled

:30:20.:30:30.
:30:30.:30:30.

Managing very challenging behaviour. I can hardly contain myself. Anyway,

:30:30.:30:34.

you'll tide is a time of traditions, chestnuts roasting on the open fire,

:30:34.:30:39.

the family gathered around the tree, one of them probably climbing a bit,

:30:39.:30:44.

snowball fights. This is cliched nonsense, but one annual treat

:30:44.:30:48.

surpasses all the others for providing joy and merriment. I

:30:48.:30:51.

speak of the Daily Politics Christmas quiz. And who better to

:30:51.:30:54.

join us and the Prancer, Dancer, Vixen, and Blitzen of the political

:30:54.:30:59.

world? I will let you decide who is who. Kwasi Kwarteng of the

:30:59.:31:01.

Conservatives, Simon Hughes of the Liberal Democrats, Labour's Lisa

:31:01.:31:06.

Nandy and Paul Nuttall, deputy leader of UKIP. As is customary, we

:31:06.:31:16.
:31:16.:31:19.

have given you special Christmas Number one. I am sorry. No.

:31:19.:31:24.

We're all in this together. wonder if that is. No. 3.

:31:24.:31:34.
:31:34.:31:34.

nation. Benjamin Disraeli! Baffling! B do that again.

:31:34.:31:41.

Baffling. It is your leader. It has been a topsy-turvy 12 months for

:31:41.:31:47.

her David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Let's have a fresher memories. --

:31:47.:31:57.
:31:57.:31:57.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 51 seconds

:31:57.:32:49.

Two arrogant posh boys who show no remorse, no contrition and no

:32:49.:32:56.

passion -- compassion to want to understand the lives of others.

:32:56.:33:02.

When is the last time you bought a pasty in Greggs the baker? Look, I

:33:02.:33:12.
:33:12.:33:29.

can remember the last time I bought Whatever moral authority this bill

:33:29.:33:33.

had, it has now lost. Liberal Democrats, the front bench and

:33:33.:33:43.
:33:43.:33:44.

backbench, will vote against the Occasionally he would sign him

:33:45.:33:52.

off... "LOL, lots of love." until I told him it meant laugh out loud,

:33:52.:34:02.
:34:02.:34:05.

and then he did not sign them like The ball moves back to the

:34:05.:34:15.
:34:15.:34:26.

It was a plan made with the best of attentions but we should not have

:34:27.:34:36.
:34:37.:34:45.

made a promise we could not deliver. This is the country that invented

:34:45.:34:49.

the computer, defeated the Nazis, started to the internet, fought off

:34:49.:34:54.

every invader for 1000 years. If we even persuaded the Queen to jump

:34:54.:35:04.
:35:04.:35:20.

out of a helicopter to make the That was nice, wasn't it? The

:35:20.:35:30.
:35:30.:35:31.

coalition's year. Let's find out how Polish as Our Parliament -- are

:35:31.:35:39.

at variance are. We are a political show. Which of these is the odd one

:35:39.:35:44.

out? Remember, this is a question about the coalition. I'll give you

:35:44.:35:48.

a clue. Each of these images represent a politician. Which is

:35:48.:35:58.
:35:58.:36:05.

It's actually quite difficult. If I did not have the answer, I would

:36:05.:36:10.

not have had a clue. You were hovering. Anyone? Were your role in

:36:10.:36:18.

this together. What is the answer. I will go for the lot boat. Why?

:36:19.:36:23.

Because the other three are politicians. Balls, and Brown.

:36:23.:36:33.

about David Laws? The law book is David Laws. Do I get. For that.

:36:33.:36:43.
:36:43.:36:44.

We are talking about Jeremy Browne. -- do I get. For that. I will have

:36:44.:36:54.
:36:54.:36:55.

a go. David Laws is in the House of Commons.... I would not have got it.

:36:55.:37:00.

The bone is Peter Bone, the balls is Nick Boles and the log book is

:37:00.:37:06.

David Laws. Peter Bone is the only one of these four who is not a

:37:06.:37:12.

coalition minister. -- coalition enthusiast. Have you got that?

:37:12.:37:18.

not very topical. Peter Bone is always topical! The only one who is

:37:18.:37:24.

not a minister. Since you've got no points, I'm going to run a club

:37:24.:37:31.

from Parliament. Jeremy Paxman never does this on University

:37:31.:37:36.

Challenge. I want to tell -- I want you to tell me what word sums up

:37:36.:37:40.

what happens after this club. nation, together the British people

:37:40.:37:44.

will share in the effort and share in the rewards. This country

:37:44.:37:49.

borrowed its way into trouble and we are going to earn our way out. I

:37:49.:37:59.
:37:59.:38:02.

commend this to the House. Omnishambles! B the correct answer.

:38:02.:38:12.

She got in there before anyone else. It was an omnishambles. It would

:38:12.:38:15.

not have been very loyal for us to answer that one. It tended to

:38:16.:38:25.

dominate politics. The Budget began to unravel. It wasn't the best

:38:25.:38:28.

presented Budget in the history of the world. There were a lot of

:38:28.:38:33.

things that seemed to hit the collision on the bottom. I thought

:38:34.:38:38.

the opposition statement was not criticised for at least been clear

:38:38.:38:41.

and straightforward. The was a fiddle. Half of the figures were

:38:41.:38:50.

not in it. It will never catch on. The surprise was the lead singer of

:38:50.:38:55.

the tax threshold again. Until the Budget, given the state of the

:38:55.:38:58.

recession and that the economy was not growing and living standards

:38:58.:39:02.

were being squeezed, your party was doing quite well in the polls. It

:39:02.:39:06.

was a turning-point. There is no doubt that if you look at any polls

:39:06.:39:11.

from the last election, the budget was a clear inflection point.

:39:11.:39:15.

it was frustrating because the news of the Budget was lifting loads of

:39:15.:39:19.

people out of tax and millions having tax reduced, and that was

:39:19.:39:24.

lost. But your side had looked that stuff in advance. I do not know

:39:24.:39:30.

about making it in advance, but I understand that in the end what was

:39:30.:39:35.

reported was little stuff that had not been heard before. If there is

:39:35.:39:39.

another year like 2013, the position of Lib Dems will be pretty

:39:39.:39:43.

difficult. I think you have heard me say this before. It is

:39:43.:39:47.

repetitious but I am a sports fan and I believe in judging the score

:39:48.:39:51.

at the end of the game, not at the beginning of the second half. We

:39:51.:39:55.

are have been in it -- we were in it for five years and that was the

:39:55.:39:59.

deal. We knew it would be a serious job to get the country together.

:39:59.:40:03.

Governments are always less popular in the middle of the term and I

:40:03.:40:06.

expect by the end, if we see unemployment drop and business

:40:06.:40:09.

creation grow, growth starts to happen, we will see a different

:40:09.:40:15.

picture. There is not much sign of growth. But it is beginning.

:40:15.:40:18.

said this week that there was chatter about Nick Clegg's

:40:18.:40:22.

leadership. One of your colleagues dismissed that. Is there or is

:40:22.:40:29.

there not to chatter? I was asked the question by the interviewer,

:40:29.:40:32.

"Is their chatter about his leadership?" I said there is not

:40:32.:40:37.

chatter, there is, as always about any leader when things are going

:40:37.:40:41.

through difficulties, a little of chatter -- a little bit of chatter

:40:41.:40:47.

but not lots of chatter. A little bit? Are we talking about this

:40:47.:40:53.

March or this much? It is in the public domain. Nick Clegg led us

:40:53.:40:56.

into government and we are in government for the first time since

:40:56.:41:03.

the war. People have to hold their nerve. I heard some chatter there.

:41:03.:41:08.

Oh, no, you didn't. When you start talking to the Lib Dems? We have

:41:08.:41:12.

always talked to the Lib Dems. I do not think that politics is as

:41:12.:41:16.

partisan as you think. Simon and I have worked together run things and

:41:16.:41:21.

Kwasi Kwarteng and I have not but I'm sure we will then the future.

:41:21.:41:25.

The point is, we do not want to win an election in coalition. We want

:41:25.:41:31.

to win outright. Understand. want to get back the things that

:41:31.:41:34.

have been taken away from people over the last couple of years.

:41:34.:41:37.

Nigel Farage said on this programme that he could not work with David

:41:37.:41:42.

Cameron but he could with Michael Gove. How do you feel about that?

:41:42.:41:47.

think I said it on this programme first. Grown-up politicians and

:41:47.:41:49.

grown-up political parties speak. I made clear that we would struggle

:41:49.:41:55.

to deal with David Cameron because particularly on the European issue,

:41:55.:41:59.

he has given us guarantees, a referendum before had he cannot be

:41:59.:42:03.

trusted. He has called us racists and Louise. Frankly, that is

:42:03.:42:08.

offensive. What did he get drunk? think he got it all wrong. -- what

:42:08.:42:16.

did he get wrong. He has a look back at Labour's problems this year.

:42:16.:42:26.
:42:26.:42:43.

We oppose the cuts now but it would be irresponsible, three years from

:42:43.:42:47.

a general election, for us to start making specific promises about what

:42:47.:42:57.
:42:57.:43:05.

It is a matter of considerable personal shame what happened a

:43:05.:43:10.

couple of weeks ago. I hereby declare that George Galloway is

:43:10.:43:18.

Even people within Downing Street are calling it an omnishambles

:43:18.:43:24.

budget. Given credit, he made history this week, with his very

:43:24.:43:34.
:43:34.:44:00.

own words in the Oxford English One nation, a country where

:44:00.:44:06.

everyone has a stake. One nation, a country where prosperity is fairly

:44:06.:44:11.

shared. One nation were we have a shared destiny, a sense of shared

:44:11.:44:18.

endeavour and a common life that we lead together. This government has

:44:18.:44:23.

shown that cutting too far and too fast, self defeating austerity is

:44:23.:44:32.

not the answer. The road to Downing Street runs through Corby. He does

:44:32.:44:37.

not listen, he is out of touch and last Thursday, the people of Corby

:44:37.:44:43.

spoke for the country. Last Thursday, the people Humberside

:44:43.:44:48.

spoke for the whole nation. nearly got it. It would have been

:44:48.:44:58.
:44:58.:45:01.

nice but it's not so. The people Ed Balls as Santa. That was

:45:01.:45:05.

Labour's year. Which of the following is the odd one out? Each

:45:05.:45:11.

of these images represent a of these images represent a

:45:11.:45:18.

politician. Mr Bean... 8 powdered French aristocrat from 7090. --

:45:18.:45:22.

1790. Wallace from Wallace and Gromit and Harry Flashman. Which is

:45:22.:45:32.
:45:32.:45:41.

Press your buzzer. I would go for the French aristocrat. Who does the

:45:41.:45:51.
:45:51.:45:54.

aristocrat represent? Oliver Well, Mr Bean is obviously Gordon

:45:54.:45:58.

Brown, as he was called that by Mr Cable. George Osborne is the

:45:58.:46:05.

powdered aristocrat, so described by the Spectator. David Cameron is,

:46:05.:46:11.

according to everybody, Flashman. And Wallace, you must get, at is Ed

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

Miliband. Which is the odd one out? Why isn't the French aristocrat the

:46:21.:46:25.

odd one out? The others are leaders. Did you come up with these

:46:25.:46:30.

questions? Next year, could we get somebody who knows what they are

:46:30.:46:33.

talking about? The answer is obviously Wallace, because Mr

:46:33.:46:37.

Miliband was the only one who said he liked the character he was being

:46:38.:46:47.
:46:48.:46:48.

named after. Does Cameron not like Flashman? I don't think so. And Mr

:46:48.:46:52.

Osborne does not like being a pampered aristocrat, and Mr Cable

:46:52.:47:00.

did not -- Mr Brown did not like being called Mr Bean by Mr Cable.

:47:00.:47:05.

That worked very well. Are we going to have another question? Here is

:47:05.:47:08.

another kick of George Osborne in action in the Commons. What

:47:08.:47:13.

happened next? The public know there are no miracle cures, just be

:47:13.:47:18.

hard work of dealing with our deficit and ensuring that Britain

:47:18.:47:24.

wins the global race. That work is under way. The deficit is down.

:47:24.:47:28.

Borrowing is down. Jobs are being created. It is a hard road, but we

:47:28.:47:33.

are making progress. Everything we do, we are helping those who want

:47:33.:47:43.

to work hard and get on. Thank you. What happened next? I will take a

:47:43.:47:48.

guess. We went back into a recession? No., we went over to Ed

:47:48.:47:57.

Balls, who completely fluffed his response. But close. Was that a

:47:57.:48:02.

defining moment for Ed Balls, when he had such a poor response to the

:48:02.:48:09.

Autumn Statement? It clearly did not work in the Commons. He then

:48:09.:48:16.

went home and saw clips on the TV which were better. And some of the

:48:16.:48:20.

arguments were perfectly reasonable. So it is interesting how the

:48:20.:48:25.

political theatre can determine things. The commentators said it

:48:25.:48:30.

was a poor performance. He was expecting the borrowing figure to

:48:30.:48:36.

go up, and it didn't, and that was what through him. Because the

:48:36.:48:44.

Chancellor massaged the figures. Whatever reason, he got it wrong.

:48:44.:48:52.

It was a slow-motion car crash. actually, it has been good for Ed

:48:52.:48:58.

Balls in a way, firstly because it was so unusual. He is normally one

:48:58.:49:02.

of the strongest performers. But secondly, when he came out later

:49:02.:49:07.

and said, I was wrong-footed by the figures, but I also had a stammer

:49:07.:49:10.

and sometimes it gets the better of me, you saw a more human side to

:49:10.:49:15.

him. We see it in private, but people do not often see it in

:49:15.:49:20.

public. Britain slipped back into recession this year. It missed its

:49:20.:49:26.

debt target. Austerity was extended to 2018. There have been all these

:49:26.:49:30.

budget U-turns, and yet you could not really argue that people are

:49:30.:49:37.

flocking to Labour because of its economic message. People are

:49:37.:49:40.

definitely turning to Labour. We started the year level-pegging in

:49:40.:49:45.

the polls. We finished 11 points ahead in the latest opinion poll.

:49:45.:49:51.

It has been a good year for Labour. There is no argument about that.

:49:51.:49:58.

But it has not... Nobody claimed it was a great year for the coalition.

:49:58.:50:03.

Mike point to you is that there seems to be little attraction for

:50:03.:50:09.

Labour's economic message. It has not been a good year for the people

:50:09.:50:14.

we represent. Then you would think they would be rushing to you.

:50:14.:50:18.

there is a sense of hopelessness and despair, partly caused by this

:50:18.:50:23.

coalition's message that there are no other choices. Labour has to win

:50:23.:50:29.

the argument not so much on the economy, although that is important,

:50:29.:50:33.

but there are also different choices that can be made in a time

:50:33.:50:38.

of austerity. The last time the Tories were in power, the mid-term

:50:38.:50:46.

was 1990. What was Labour's lead in the polls then? I don't know.

:50:46.:50:53.

were 24% ahead. And you then went on to lose the next election.

:50:53.:50:57.

of the frustrating things is that this year, there have been some

:50:57.:51:03.

good signs. Unemployment has gone down and new job creation has gone

:51:03.:51:07.

up. But that has not percolated through to the general mood yet,

:51:07.:51:12.

even though the individuals affected clearly have noticed.

:51:12.:51:16.

commentators continue to assume that UKIP is getting the votes of

:51:16.:51:20.

disillusioned Tories. Do you have evidence that you are also getting

:51:20.:51:24.

the votes from people who are not buying into the Miliband and Ed

:51:24.:51:28.

Balls Labour Party? The problem with Ed Balls is a bigger problem,

:51:28.:51:33.

not just how he fluffed his lines. This guy was the bag-carrier for

:51:33.:51:39.

Gordon Brown. I think they think people have short term and Nishi

:51:39.:51:41.

and forget how they wrecked the economy. What is the answer to my

:51:42.:51:48.

question? We took part in two by- elections in Labour areas, and we

:51:48.:51:58.
:51:58.:51:58.

have got votes from both Conservative areas and Labour areas.

:51:58.:52:01.

Finally, one of -- what have the other parties been up to during the

:52:01.:52:11.
:52:11.:52:35.

Your MP, George Galloway! This is the Bradford Spring. Delegates, it

:52:35.:52:43.

is game on for Scotland. It is time to me to become the first ever ex-

:52:43.:52:47.

leader of the Green Party and to welcome onto the stage our new

:52:47.:52:57.
:52:57.:53:01.

leader, Natalie Bennett. It is an honour to stand here today and a

:53:01.:53:09.

dress you in my first leader's speech to our annual conference.

:53:09.:53:13.

the Tories still exist in the North of England? They seem to be almost

:53:13.:53:22.

disappearing. If UKIP don't stand against us at the next election, we

:53:22.:53:27.

would give a firm undertaking to have an in-out referendum after

:53:27.:53:31.

that election. It is not going to happen. UKIP are a different party

:53:31.:53:41.

with a different manifesto. We will not be bought off by anybody.

:53:41.:53:46.

more could you want? That was how 2012 treated that lot. What was the

:53:46.:53:51.

answer to this question. Which of the following is the odd one out?

:53:51.:54:01.
:54:01.:54:07.

Nigel Farage, Leanne Wood, Alex Salmond and Caroline Lucas? And

:54:07.:54:11.

each of the others are leaders of their political party, and the

:54:11.:54:17.

others have stood down. Correct! Let's move on. What happened next

:54:17.:54:21.

when I asked Nigel Farage about you could expenses?

:54:21.:54:26.

Take your deputy, Paul Nuttall. He is becoming a bit of a named. You

:54:26.:54:31.

are no longer a one-man band. He has declared nothing from January

:54:31.:54:36.

to July 2011. Surely that is not acceptable. He has to get his house

:54:36.:54:41.

in order. Will you have a word with him? Are certainly well. I accept

:54:41.:54:45.

that I am a few months late getting my stuff up, but I will do it.

:54:45.:54:52.

did he have a word with you? affairs were up the following day.

:54:52.:54:56.

Before you saw the programme. was just a bit of an administrative

:54:56.:55:06.

cock-up on my part. You can go on my website and see it. We get

:55:06.:55:09.

allowances rather than expenses. We don't have to declare anything, but

:55:09.:55:14.

we do. The British MEPs will be more transparent than anybody else

:55:14.:55:19.

in Europe. Not just in UKIP, but across the board, because of what

:55:19.:55:23.

happened with the expenses scandal. And not just that, we play by the

:55:23.:55:30.

rules. Chris Davies in our group has always been big on making sure

:55:30.:55:34.

the European Parliament has a better job on transparency. For the

:55:34.:55:43.

sake of this discussion, let's assume that you are the third party

:55:43.:55:51.

of 2012. I am not accepting that! You know that. There is no evidence

:55:51.:55:59.

space for that. We are the first party, presumably. What is on your

:55:59.:56:05.

wish-list for 2013? To fight every county council election in 2013 and

:56:05.:56:10.

then carry on growing membership and go on to win the European

:56:10.:56:15.

elections in 2014. You are hoping to win the European elections in

:56:15.:56:20.

2014. And by that, you mean getting the highest share of the vote.

:56:20.:56:24.

sending the most MEPs of any British political party back to the

:56:24.:56:28.

European Parliament and sending a message to the establishment that

:56:28.:56:33.

UKIP has arrived. That is not totally inconceivable. If you look

:56:33.:56:38.

at the last European election, UKIP did well. They came second. So to

:56:38.:56:41.

come first is not the most extraordinary thing to happen. I

:56:41.:56:45.

think it will be difficult. The Conservatives will be putting out a

:56:45.:56:49.

list of very good candidates and will hope to do well. We will fight

:56:49.:56:54.

you for every vote. The only reason we did not win it in 2009 is

:56:55.:56:57.

because Cameron said, I will give you a cast-iron guarantee to give

:56:57.:57:01.

you a referendum on Lisbon and then dropped it as soon as the European

:57:01.:57:10.

election was over. If they come first, and the Lib Dems, a very

:57:10.:57:15.

poor 4th or even 5th, it will be headless chicken time for both your

:57:15.:57:19.

parties. The coalition would go into meltdown. You will be talking

:57:19.:57:24.

of a new leader, and you will be wondering what kind of referendum

:57:24.:57:27.

you can promise. For we don't know what will happen, there is a long

:57:27.:57:32.

way to go. But European referendums have always been an opportunity for

:57:32.:57:37.

public protest in my book. They should not be, but that is what did

:57:37.:57:40.

they have been. It will not have anything to do with who runs

:57:40.:57:46.

anything. But it could have an impact. Of course it could, and the

:57:46.:57:51.

European issues are big issues which we have to address. And we

:57:51.:57:58.

will in the months ahead. Let me give you the scores. Conservatives,

:57:58.:58:07.

zero. Liberal Democrats, zero. Labour, one. UKIP, one. Sums up the

:58:07.:58:13.

year. A new coalition in the making! A marriage made in heaven.

:58:13.:58:17.

Thanks very much. That is it for the year. If the Mayans are right,

:58:17.:58:27.

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