07/01/2013 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics. According to some


researchers, romance begins to wane after two years, six months and 25


days. Three cheers for the coalition, who have vowed last of


that. This afternoon they will in effect renew their coalition bows


with a special event to mark the halfway point of their government.


The Prime Minister and his deputy will outline priorities for the


rest of their term in office including childcare, care for the


elderly and infrastructure investment.


Labour has dismissed it as another relaunch, and not everyone involved


in the marriage appears convinced. We will be grilling some coalition


critics. We have a date of sorts for David


Cameron's long awaited speech on Europe. Apparently he will give


voters a real choice on our future relationship with the EU.


And nasty nanny state or not? We will ask whether politicians should


mess with our food. All that and more coming up and the


next hour. With us for the duration, the Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar


of Westminster. Spot the deliberate mistake! Welcome to the former


Welsh Secretary and Conservative MP Cheryl Gillan, former Culture


Secretary Tessa Jowell of Labour and former Liberal Democrat leader


Ming Campbell. Most of us have reluctantly taken


off our Christmas jumpers and trudged back to work. But the


Government has something to celebrate today as it marks the


halfway point between the start of the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition


and the next election. Hard to believe but it is not much more


than two years to go. In case anyone was wondering how the


parties will keep going until 2015, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are


launching their own January sale today to show they still have


plenty of new ideas in stock. As they open Number Ten for Business,


the PM and his deputy will say the coalition remains steadfast and


United and it still has a sense of shared purpose. Among the big


policies they hope will fly off the shelves include giving parents tax


breaks worth up to �2,000 a year to pay for childcare. There could be


more generous flat-rate state pensions, perhaps worth around �155


a week after 2015. They will try to drum up interest in planning


reforms to encourage home building and more state mortgage guarantees


to help first-time Wilder's -- first-time buyers. There could be a


Freedom Bill to restrict state snooping and also alarming private


firms to build more toll roads. These policies could be best


sellers but many will not come into effect until after 2015. The Lib


Dem minister David Laws, one of the biggest advocates of the coalition,


was speaking about it earlier. will set out new policy areas they


want to develop over the next few weeks on the big public priority


areas like doing more to help working families with childcare


costs, helping the elderly people with serious medical conditions


with the cost of social care, helping people who want to get into


the housing market, maybe young people. We will be setting out


policy directions and making announcements over the next few


weeks. Tessa Jowell, as a minister you


founded the Sure Start scheme, your campaign to make childcare


affordable, do you welcome these new plans? I would welcome anything


that makes it possible for women to work and for their children to be


looked after her in an excellent childcare centre in which they feel


they have confidence. But I had a quick look this morning at the


foreword to the coalition plan, there is a proposal to make


childcare more affordable by, as I understand it, encouraging carers


to look after more children. That is not improving the quality of


child care. Spreading the resources of a childminder or a nursery


worker among a larger number of children. The fact is that you get


this new hardline policy at daytime when sure Start centres are really


under threat and are closing. In the context of these welfare


changes impacting disproportionately on women. The


whole thing is really just a model. The problem is it lacks coherence.


We will come to the regulatory point about childminders later, but


this idea of up to �2,000 per child per year, as I understand, in some


form of tax relief, is that a good idea in principle for working


families? Supporting working families with childcare costs is a


good thing. But look at the contradictions. Today we are seeing


more than a million families losing universal child benefit, which is a


universal benefit to support families in meeting the extra costs


of children. It seems bizarre, why would you with one hand take away


child benefits from families or individuals earning over 60,000,


then giving them what seems to be very generous tax relief on child


care? I think referring to the child benefit changes today, you


need to take that in two Stages. The changes coming into effect save


the Treasury �2 billion and effect only the top 15% of earners in the


country. If you are left with an economic situation that we


inherited when the coalition came in, you have to save money and


spend money better. But then why would you then we spend that


money...? One of the big barriers, as Tessa which no, because we have


both been ministers in Education and Employment, still in 2013, one


of the biggest barriers for women going to work and achieving great


things at work and breaking through the glass ceiling is having


dependable and affordable childcare. This is the Government saying, OK,


we have to make some tough choices, but maybe this is a better way of


spending taxpayers' money and directing it at people who can then


improve their lot and help grow the economy. Do you think that voters


will be confused by the message from the Government with the child


care policy? There was already a childcare voucher scheme in place,


this seems more generous, but it does not sit with what the


Government is doing on child benefit? I don't agree with that. I


take the same view as Cheryl Gillan. If you take money away, that is


effectively what is being done, so long as you use it for a better


purpose then what is wrong with taking it away? The people for whom


it has been taken away and twice the average wage in this country. I


believe in universality, I wish we could leave it, but I also believe


in a stable economy and in using all of the mechanisms at our


disposal to persuade people to go into work. When it comes to the


present level of financial support, it is by no means generous and if


we can increase that and therefore increase the enthusiasm of women,


particularly those who are married with children, to come back to work,


then that is... I think everyone is agreed, but let's come back to the


fairness issue. The child benefit removal is for individuals earning


over �60,000. Starting at �50,000. Starting at 50 but going more to


get at 60 plus. But this new tax break will be universal, so people


earning �1 million will get it. It is that bad? From what I understand,


we are taking money from a particular section, if you like,


and giving it on a universal basis. It seems that is fair, especially


if it has the entirely laudable objective of getting people back


into work and not penalising them. I know people whose child care


almost amounts to the same as their salary. That is not there, we


should do something about it. Labour likes universal benefits,


shouldn't everybody get it? It is a bit like corrective surgery. The


Government reduced the value of the childcare tax credit, there was an


Aviva study last year which showed the first figures, 30,000 women


dropping out of the labour market because they could not afford


childcare. I get letters all the time from constituents who can no


longer afford to the cost of childcare at a sure start centre of.


�2,000 a month for two children. I am sure families will welcome this,


but the question is it is not underpinned by a confidence and a


clear vision about what a comprehensive childcare policy is...


ALL TALK AT ONCE. You are in a very difficult position, you have to try


to oppose what is a very good policy for families and women.


Before we got independent taxation, the tax breaks are most likely to


go, possibly, to women workers. I don't know many women earning I am


not, I assure you! I think the Government is showing the direction


of travel and I think it will help give that security to the Sure


Start centres. Let's move on to benefits in general, why should


they not be capped at 1% when many wages have been frozen for at least


two years? We are talking about people in receipt of income support


and people in work. We are talking was about the working poor and


people on income support, all of whom should be actively in pursuit


of seeking work because those who Walmart are already on alternative


benefits which remove that expectation -- those who are not


are already on alternative benefits which remove that expectation. If


you are in work and get a 2% pay increase and you are on the average


income, it is a bit more than 54p a week, which is the 1% increase for


a 16 to 24 year-old on income support. But people will think


Labour is not getting to grips with the welfare bill. Reports today say


people are not that interested in the detail and hard times, they


just want to know the welfare bill is being tackled. If you are not


prepared to follow the government proposal, it looks like you are


shying away. We are not. The way in which you cut the welfare bill,


which has risen since we were in power, is getting people back in


work. Ed Balls and Liam Burns have been coming up with policies for


the older long-term unemployed. Chancellor does not use the word


shirkers himself, but people who are workshy, most people on


benefits are in work, 60%, which helps make work pay. I don't use


words like shirkers. Should the Chancellor be characterising...?


don't use the metaphor of people asleep with their curtains drawn,


all circumstances are different. There is a test for Labour tomorrow


when the House of Commons, we will have a boat in relation to the 1%


to just described. Labour says we should oppose it, but any time we


oppose anything Labour says no. -- any time we propose anything Labour


says no. I hope that people like Tessa Jowell will start to come


forward saying what they would do as an alternative, rather than just


opposing us. Lord Strathclyde is standing down


from the cabinet with immediate effect. He is the Leader of the


House of Lords for the Conservatives. Your reaction?


think Tom Strathclyde has been a tremendous leader in the House of


Lords, he was chief whip when I was PPS, this is going back into the


90s. I think he will be sadly missed but I understand he will be


looking to pursue a business role and I'm sure that Lord Hill, who is


reputed to be taking his place, will also make an excellent leader


in the House of Lords. But I'm sad to hear that Tom is going. He is a


particular friend of mine and across all parties I think you


would agree he is a good man to having your corn and to do business


with. We have had the whole debacle with the House of Lords reform, now


he is stepping down. There is never any easy time to leave the front


bench. I think he has made his decision for whatever reason and I


wish him the best of luck. He could have gone and the reshuffle and he


could have told David Cameron beforehand? You don't know about


people's personal circumstances, I think it is best to leave it to him


to say why he is going. He has provided great leadership in a very


difficult time. I think he became Chief Whip, he must have been the


youngest Tory Chief Whip in the House of Lords for years and years


and years. He became Chief Whip very early. He has had a pretty


long innings. And he said he was going to go sometime before and


never did. Whatever the future for the


coalition, the last two-and-a-half years has not been plain sailing.


For all the teasing, it seemed a bit like a wedding, a marriage of


political convenience but with roses, a reception, walking to the


altar of media attention and even speeches with jokes. REPORTER: DU


now regrets when once asked what your favourite joke was, you


replied, Nick Clegg? Deputy Prime Minister, what do you say? I am


afraid I did once... LAUGHTER. back!


They are poles apart on so many issues but they have team together


to do what they can. It went better than expected for them, leaving the


Deputy PM Nick Clegg to joke with the PM, David Cameron, after


another joint outing... If we keep doing this, we won't find anything


to disagree on in the TV debate. But government is a fast track to


fall-outs, it furrows the brogue. For Clegg, a bee hit the buffers.


There was awkwardness on Lords reform and constituency boundaries,


Ministerial disagreements, and with the media relentlessly looking for


cracks, at the very least the shine has worn off. Separation is in the


mind of a large number of people. I think in the year ahead we will see


increasing statements by both sides showing how they defer. I think all


coalitions find it difficult at the midterms stage to renew their of


iOS, if you like, to renew their policy agreement. -- to renew their


vows, if you like. We have seen that with the British coalition.


There has been talk of having a coalition to 0.0 agreement which


has been scaled back to a more limited process. Europe is often a


bugbear for the Conservatives, but in coalition with the Europhile Lib


He is deeply concerned about UKIP, and so are the Cabinet. The only


way they can diffuse that time bomb is get on the side of the public


over Europe. It's not all gloom, the sun may have chilled a little


but get the economy right and both parties benefit. Big differences


can be left to 2015 manifestos. They are working on policy still


like banking reforms, and delivery of earlier reforms, and all signals


are that governmentally they are still working relatively well


together. Good strategy say some. Voters cast judgments on


governments, but we know that come up for their competence.


Governments which fall apart in bitter recriminations and arguments


are not ones that can claim a great record of governing competence.


Government is one thing, politics is another. There are two other


coalitions we are not thinking about. The other is the right wing


and hardline view of Conservatives Against the Cameroons. They think


he is too cosy with the Lib Dems. We are trying to hold a coalition


together there. And then, with the Lib Dems think Nick Clegg is a


spent force and cannot win in the next election. They are waiting for


the moment to move against Nick Clegg. So for the next two years,


expect them to still stand together but increasingly look in different


directions. Giles reporting. Well, I'm now


joined from College Green by two of the Coalition's most constructive


critics, the Conservative MP, Peter Bone, and the Liberal Democrat


blogger, Ben Ramm. Her have been New Year.


Peter Bone, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, or renewing their vows, do


you wish them well? Not exactly. I'm just about to break my new


year's resolution, not to criticise the coalition. That lasted a long


time! It seems to me we have to have a planned divorce. It is not


in the interests of the nation or either political party to just


continue for ever. Are we suggesting we go into the next


election as coalition candidates? That is one interpretation of what


is happening, and I am worried about that. We do need to have a


way of ending this in an orderly manner in the next year or so.


have barely come out of the doors of the houses of Parliament to


renew their vows, Peter Bone is saying it is time for divorce. Do


you agree with that? Spike don't think it will happen until 20 I


think 2013 will be a year of consolidation. I think both parties


will be hoping the economy picks up. Many of the measures announced


today depend on the economy improving and both parties being


able to say next year, we have achieved a certain things, we


inherited a bad situation and we have left the country in a better


conditions. If the economy does improve in terms of growth, Peter


Bone, would you not be happy to bump along with the coalition for a


bit longer? No, I agreed with them Ram. Get the economy right, that is


the only reason this coalition came together. It is a huge economic


mess a Labour left the country in. We are on the way to putting those


policies in place. If we can finish the job and put them to bed, these


economic measures, by the end of the year, I think it will be a


sensible time for the coalition to go it separate ways, and for the


Government, under David Cameron, rule as a minority Government for


the rest of the term. Do you think the Liberal Democrats are coming


off worse in his coalition? I think they are, not only have they let


down many of their supporters, and on key issues from which they did


not need to support the Tory programme, particularly on the NHS


Bill, and we are seeing an attempt to do with the social care aspect


which was not addressed last year and upset so million Liberal


Democrat, I think the party has been damaged economic elite. In


terms of cuts, on VAT, we know about tuition fees and the NHS. One


of the reasons the economy is so crucial for the Liberal Democrat


now, they're looking for things with which to demonstrate they have


incredible in Government, and the commitments and sacrifices they


made in 2010 or were worth it. Peter Bone, Lib Dems have been


worse off, so you have had it all your way? That is the most absurd


thing I have heard this year. The Liberal Democrats are loving being


in Government, they are wagging the tale of the dogs. It is ridiculous.


You talk to any of Dem MP, they are happy with the coalition because


they are getting more than they should be getting. What this


renewal of vows should be saying is, we much -- we should have a much


more conservative agenda. That would be good news, if that is what


the Prime Minister is to announce. Happy New Year to both a view on


that. Cheryl Gillan, the Lib Dems are


wagging the tale of the dog and they have had it all their own way?


I am sad about Peter Bone, I thought he would have made the New


year's resolution... He did, he broke it. Let's talk about real


politics instead of this Duke from the two people you had just


interviewed. The two parties came together to solve the major problem


of the economy. They had come up with an agreement and they are


battling ahead and moving the country in the right directions. It


is difficult to work in a coalition. Having set in the cabinet alongside


Lib Dems, their objectives and aims for the economy is just the same as


the Conservatives. Isn't that the point, everyone agrees on deficit-


reduction and fixing the economy, but is there anything else be on


that? There has had to be give and take on both sides. I would argue,


it sometimes does appear the Conservatives have had to given a


little more, and the Lib Dems have taken a little more. But it works


the other way as well. It has to be give and take and a successful


coalition because the future of the UK depends on this. That is then


ran being constructive. I think it might have been a little tongue-in-


cheek. But it is a viewpoint in your party? Let me give you another


demonstration, 57 Liberal-Democrat MPs went into the lobbies to


support the Prime Minister on the question of the European budget. As


substantial number of Conservative MPs went into the opposite lobby


along with the Labour Party. As a result, the Government was defeated.


That was caused by disaffection and an unwillingness to accept the


conditions of the coalition by very substantial part of the


Conservative Party. Let's look ahead. The idea, I understood from


Nick Clegg and others, the differentiation was going to be so.


We have seen Nick Clegg characterised things differently.


But if what we are working for towards now is showing whether


Liberal Democrat have made a difference and Clearing the clear


water between themselves and the Conservatives? Contrary to what has


been said by these two you have interviewed, his coalition will


last until 2015. Because it has to? Yes, there is absolutely no


appetite or enthusiasm for going to the country. I don't believe the


country would welcome it, because the purpose of the coalition was in


the national interest. To go now with PCS -- would be to suggest one


was abandoning the national interest. You have tackled the


Government over game marriage and high-speed rail. And David Cameron


has taught people complaining on the backbenches to shut up. Any


chance of that happening? On high- speed rail, as the other guests


know, it is a problem for me and my constituency. I hope that


Government will think again on it. I don't think this is the right


project, and it does happen to go through... It I will keep


complaining and other backbenchers will keep complaining about Europe?


One of the real things that I think we have got to concentrate on as a


Conservative Party is better communications with those


backbenchers. Each party have had issues and problems with


backbenchers from time to time. We need to improve the level of


communication between the ministers and backbenchers. Ministers seem to


be all signed up, but the grassroots, and MPs are different?


You are right to say the ministers get on well. The noises coming from


the ministry is all very positive. There will always be individual MPs,


I have an argument with the Government for closing and Royal


Air Force station in my constituency. There will always be


individual, constituency issues. Political parties are like


coalitions, and heaven knows the coalition, that it was the Labour


Party in Government could teach us a few things about disagreement.


Now it's time for our daily quiz. Wop does Mr Osborne listened to


when he is jogging? Now, we've been waiting for it for yonks and yonks,


but don't panic because we're told it will finally happen later this


month. What am I talking about? David


Cameron's long awaited speech on Europe of course. The trouble is,


where should he give it? The Rose Garden, perhaps? Or is that just a


tad passe? Here's David. You know what it is like, a big


speech to make, but were to go to set the tone. We are not just here


for the nasty things in life like a shock resignation or disappointing


growth figures, we like to help. So we have been looking for the


perfect venue to set out a plan is still real vision for Europe. If he


wants to throw some red meat to the Euro-sceptics, he could come here.


The food is as British as Yorkshire pudding, and they have been feeding


Tory MPs for centuries. But he has been cosying up to Angela Merkel,


so perhaps coming here might not be a bad idea. Only one tube stop away


from Westminster. If you wanted to build a few bridges with fans, were


better than to come to the French house. They do serve the beer in


French measures, but it does have an upstairs dining room and it is


available for functions. It David wants to turn Europe to


wake up and smell the coffee, than were better than Bar Italia. But


there is one place the Prime Minister should avoid. No matter


how good its menu... A poll for the Mail on Sunday but


the UK Independence Party on 16%, the best ever result following a


by-election in November. Should the Prime Minister be taking the UKIP


threat seriously? Do you regret using fruit cake and closet racists


as terms for UKIP? When you are Prime Minister you have to get used


to the fact that in the middle of a Parliament you have people going


off in different directions. You have to focus on the job in hand.


They are not fruitcakes, are they? I don't know if he was including


Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, but he joins us


now. Are you fruitcake Leone's and closet racists or a bit odd?


Compared to David Cameron, Ed Miliband, I am very odd. I spent 20


years having a job. I am in politics out of conviction, I


believe in things. So by those terms, I am probably pretty odd.


How would you describe members of UKIP? I have to say, I would


probably rely on my ladylike approach and say, I think they are


a bit of a one issue wonder. We are against the high-speed rail, which


your party is not, and that is why we are getting so many votes in


your consistency -- constituency. am with you on that. We have a new


coalition breaking out. UKIP has grown and has tremendous success


over the past 12 months. But they have based their party on an anti-


European stance. It is out of Europe, not in Europe, it is


completely out of Europe. To that extent it is a one issue party.


They are now broadening their base, and you have to take UKIP seriously.


Should David Cameron take them more seriously? All parties should take


16% growth in the polls seriously. There is how you should treat


others political parties. Miliband, the day we had the row in


Rotherham over the fostering case. Ed Miliband said he did not believe


in UKIP, but said we shouldn't be removed. The only person I can see


in mainstream politics abusing UKIP on a regular basis is your leader.


That has been taken out of context and played over and over again. I


did a proper job for 20 years, and I have been 20 years in politics


and I did not get where I am today without being insulted on a regular


basis. You have been plain to the Are you realistically aiming for


Parliament? We don't just talk about Europe, we talk about the


consequences of European Union membership on our lives and economy.


This year we will campaign hard on the fact that on January 1st next


year be open the doors not just for work but for Social Security to 29


billion people -- 29 million people from the poor countries of Romania


and Bulgaria. That is wrong at a time of high youth unemployment.


is irresponsible? And they open their borders to the many people of


Britain will want to stop businesses in these countries, the


many people who choose to live in Spain rather than the UK. Is it a


two-way street in the same way? course. If you are concerned about


workers from what we used to call the Iron Curtain... If you are


concerned about workers from behind the Iron Curtain as we used to call


it, you should look at the hotel and food processing industries. If


we did not have those people working here, the industries would


not be able to operate. They have operated for hundreds of years


without an open door policy. The point is she to be able to come on


day one from Eastern Europe and claim benefits? -- should you be


able to? You can't. You can, if you claim you are self-employed seeking


work, you qualify for jobseeker's allowance on day one. I am not sure


that is the case, if it is, it should it be allowed? I would have


to check the facts on that. But I think a transition period for these


new countries is important. Croatia is joining us this year, and the


presidency is going to love the way near for the second half of the


year. I believe we are stronger together in a form of gripping, but


I also believe that a transition period so you do not have the


temptation of people coming in large numbers. The Labour


government got those numbers very badly wrong. When the first wave of


immigration came from Eastern Europe, when the open-door policy


started, it was a problem to deal with as far as the population here


was concerned? Yes, and regionally it was very difficult. There are


parts of Kent, for instance, who felt the impact of migration...


Labour got that wrong in terms of transitional agreements. But I


agree with Ming Campbell, this is a two-way street and the benefits to


our economy and our service industries... I remember the days


before the free movement when these service industries found it


impossible to recruits. These are the areas in which we have seen


growth over the last 10 or 15 years, because these are mostly young


people, aspirational young people prepared to come and work here.


we need foreign workers or skilled workers, that is fine and we should


welcome them from all over the world, but on a work permit system,


not with the automatic right to settle. I ran the work-permit


scheme in the last Conservative government. When we saw there was a


lot of applications coming from the former Soviet Union we increased


our resources and the amount of people allowed in because they were


the sort of people coming that we wanted in our economy. Let's move


on briefly, Nigel Farage, realistic ambitions the 2015, how many seats?


The first-past-the-post system is pretty brutal to a country like


UKIP. To succeed at Westminster elections we have to do what the


Lib Dems did in the 80s and 90s, where they build up clusters of


district and county councillors and through that won parliamentary


seats. So the May elections are very important stepping stone. I


can't put a number run yet. Coalition, we know you don't want


to work with David Cameron, a coalition with a different leader?


Peter Bone, perhaps! I have always said that I would do a deal with


edit -- with the devil if we could get a free and fair referendum in


this country. What about David Cameron's speech? Mark Field, a


Tory MP, said it was fantasy to think that you could repatriate a


load of powers back from Brussels? I disagree, I think the time has


come to look at our relationship with the European Union. I don't


want to see in an in/out choice because I do not believe in an


empty chair policy in Europe, but I think in terms of social


legislation, Home Office legislation and things like the


working-time directive in employment, I think we should be


making those decisions ourselves, and I think the time is right. The


EU is examining itself closely because it feels its stability is


threatened by what is happening with the Euro and other areas.


one country of the other 26 that is willing to enter into these


negotiations. Quite. Sorry, I was slightly taken aback.


Our membership of Europe is actually coup crucial to our


economy. Don't think we will see economic growth if we start


destabilising confidence in our role in Europe. David Cameron is


driven by one thing alone, the requirements of party management


and not the national interest. will be interesting to hear him.


Thank you, Nigel Farage. As we have heard, this afternoon


David Cameron Nick Clegg will publish a document assessing the


achievement of the coalition government so far and setting out


ambitions for the second half of this Parliament.


Also, the Commons debate corporate tax avoidance.


Tomorrow they debate the capping of benefit rises to 1%.


On Wednesday, the first PMQs of 2013. In the Lords, they will


debate the public service pensions bill.


Thursday is Margaret Thatcher Day and the Falkland Islands,


commemorating her visit in 1983 after victory over Argentina.


And the Planning Minister Nick Boles makes a speech on housing


policy. On Friday, the Lords debate the


Leveson report into press standards. A busy week. Outside Parliament is


Rafael Behr of the New Statesman, and Isabel Hardman of the Spectator.


Rafael Behr, the coalition renewing its bows, what does it mean?


first thing is that most of the time the coalition is discussed and


has been discussed in the last year, it has been because there are


tensions between the parties. The Lib Dems have been afraid of losing


their identity and being submerged, nobody noticing them more caring or


believing they have any in -- influence. David Cameron has come


under pressure to assert a more vigorous and red-blooded Tory


agenda. People I used to discussing whether and when it will fail but


there is two years to go before the election and Cammell and quite


badly need people to think it is a functional working government that


can achieve anything -- and Cameron and Clegg badly need people to


think. It is also about showing that we have real policies and are


working together, so they have to do that mid-term renewal so that


people will talk about something other than how they dislike each


other. Isabel Hardman, we have talked about how the leadership and


ministers genuinely seem to get on in most cases, but be backbenchers


and grassroots MPs, are they as convinced? I think MPs on both


sides would rather there was more of a differentiation policy. Today


is about unity, as well be the next few weeks, because they are


spinning out the different announcements, but we are seeing


differentiation are lots of issues. The Lib Dems have been very vocal


on their desire to see that. Nick Clegg said that he wanted to see


all the bits going into government and a discussion about policy


before they are decided. Cameron has flown kites on welfare and


immigration over the past year and a bit. We will see more and more of


that, both parties are thinking about 2015 already. Rafael Behr,


five weeks since the Leveson report was published, where are we with


the future of press regulation? technical answer is in cross-party


talks. The nature of that is that these parties will culturally not


agree with each other and their positions can be quite polarised.


Labour has invested all their stock in the idea of a Bill before


Parliament which will in some way regulates the press. David Cameron


has insisted he does not want to see that. I think Nick Clegg's role


will be important, he has suggested he prefers the Labour view of its


but he is in collision with the Conservatives and will not want to


disrupt that O'Brien issue that many people will not feel


comfortable -- will not feel passionate about. At one point


either Labour will publish their own bill or David Cameron was say


they will have a royal commission, they don't need a Bill, let's just


do this without bothering Parliament. An interesting


development mentioning Labour, a return to frontline politics for


David Miliband, Isabel Hardman? was quite surprised, but thinking


about it, the feud between the brothers has died down. In the


autumn conference this year it was not all about what David Miliband


thought about Ed's speech or what faces he pulled, he went home


before the speech and it looked a bit precious because nobody really


cared. It is not a bad time for him to come back because people have


forgotten about the warring brothers, Ed has established


himself as leader, particularly with his conference speech. What do


you do with the Balls problem? people and the Labour Party for an


air -- thought that David Miliband would be leader, he is the star


strike and you have to get him on the pitch. But what a job does an


aspiring Prime Minister do in a Shadow Cabinet? The big job would


be Shadow Chancellor, there is not a vacancy and Ed Balls does not


want there to be one. I sense that when the discussion comes up, in


the background a lot of it is people on the Labour side saying,


do we need to have Ed Balls as the lead economic message go there?


Could somebody else do that? It is sometimes a proxy for a discussion


about whether or not Ed Balls should continue. Thank you. Perhaps


David Miliband not for Shadow Transport Secretary, but is he


coming back? I don't know and I don't think he does yet. I think


that he never stops thinking about how Labour can win next time, he


never stops working for the Labour Party. I think there is a bit of


kite-flying in the papers today, but I would not read too much into


it. Would you like him to come back? Well, of course. As Shadow


Chancellor? I would like him to play a key role in helping us to


win the next election, which I think he could do. But I think we


are a long way before getting to that. It would cause a headache,


where would you put him? I think we've had enough IFS and made these


and all the rest of it. We can't get enough of those! -- I think we


have had enough ifs and maybes. But he has his movement for change, his


international work, he is working hard for Labour outside the Shadow


Cabinet. I am sure we will all know in due course when that changes.


You will tell us! A getting the economy the link


seems to be the main focus of the coalition. It is expected back


Clegg and Cameron will announce new infrastructure projects today that


they hope will create jobs. But there is a worry that the UK could


lose its triple-A credit stages and we could be up for a triple death -


- a triple dip recession. If we stand back and look at the


big picture of the British economy, we need a rebalancing, a bigger


private sector, growth more spread more evenly around the country, not


so reliant on finance but manufacturing, export, production


and high-tech kins -- industries. More new companies were set up last


year than in any time in recent history. There are some good signs


but it is hard work, it is hard going. Look around Europe and we


are not alone in facing these And we're joined now by the city


analyst, Louise Cooper. Predictions of a triple dip recession, what do


you think? In tears a strong possibility. About the triple A


rating, one downgrade is almost guaranteed. There is an outside


chance we could be downgraded twice. It is a possibility. How bad would


that be? We do know George Osborne held it as a big prize, holding on


to that report Bay rating. If it goes now, would it be a big blow?


am surprised we have not lost it already. Have we lost it


technically? At in the markets think we have lost it. It is


considered easing that is keeping our borrowing costs down. Last week


we heard from the Federal Reserve in the States, and quantity the


easing in the States may be coming to end next year. As soon as


markets think that's considered easing may be coming to an end in


the UK, that is the point to worry about borrowing costs for the UK.


It is not about whether the Bank of England is buying gilts, it is


whether International inventors will continue to buy them. So, you


do not think that borrowing costs, interest debt payments would go up


from losing our triple A credit rating? Provided considered easing


is still happening. If we get to the end of quantity of ease in ink,


because the capacity has ended, because the bank cannot buy any


more, if we get to the end of considered easing because the


capacity has finished, then that could be very messy. That is pretty


bleak. If we haven't already, it looks like we will lose the credit


rating. George Osborne said it was crucial, is it a big blow if we


lose this? A everybody agrees we are not out of the woods yet. It is


not necessarily all in our own hands as well. What has become


obvious is the effect that both the euro and the European economy, and


the wider world economy, even the state's economy, with what has just


happened with the fiscal cliff, how that affects our economy here. I


think the Chancellor is entering very tricky waters. He has attached


quite a lot to the triple A credit rating. Has he attach too much to


it? I find it hard to judge. I would have agreed with the analysis


that the markets think we have lost it. But we have been a beacon of


light in terms of stability and sticking to the planned. That is


admired universally by third parties around the world. We are


not going to balance the books, we know that and now. Austerity is


going to go on until 2018, a good few years be on what George Osborne


predicted. Predictions of losing the triple A credit rating, we do


not know what will happen to quantity of easing. What has George


Osborne achieved? Sticking to the plan has not report the results has


it? I think he is reaping the results. The triple dip recession?


If you keep the stability of the interest rates. We have got an


economy and that is performing relatively well, compared to other


economies. Even the Chinese economy is showing signs of slowing down. I


think George has positioned as well. However, it is choppy waters, it is


deep-water out there. We need to keep a steady hand on the tiller. I


think that is what George has been providing. Louise has set out


clearly, the interaction of big economies. I think too much of the


Government's rhetoric and policy presumes that somehow we can


develop our economy in a way that is isolated from changes in the


rest of the world, and changes in Europe. The second... Labour said


that, you could have chartered a different course and we would have


been able to override the problems in the eurozone and global economy?


No, what we have argued is the importance of getting growth into


the economy by getting people off unemployment and back into work. It


links back to the discussion we had a little while ago. Jobs are the


key, absolutely. But politicians, I am sorry, are rubbish at creating


jobs, or determining where an economy should grow. We listen to


David Cameron, he talks about rebalancing. Good luck to him,


because that is not how capitalism works. Yes, growth is key, but how


do you create growth? We talk about growth creation, but people don't


have cash, a Government doesn't have cash. The only area that has


cash his businesses. They are not spending because they are terrified


of the world. They're not spending, Ming Campbell, because consumers


are not spending. People on spending because their wages are


frozen and standards of living is being squeezed, so we won't move


out of the situation we are? It is not just about companies holding on


to their cash reserves, it is about banks being reluctant to support


what are perfectly viable alternatives. It is right to state


governments don't create jobs, but we have created more than one


million new jobs in this economy in the last two and a half years. We


have moved from being outside the top 10 of the most competitive


countries in the world, into 8th place. I hate to use the words,


green shoots, but there are events taking place which are consistent


with turning the corner. Louise Cooper, interest rates held at 0.5%,


can you see that continuing? ever. Pretty much. A new governor


of the Bank of England won't be changing that, not that he can on


his own? Know. Now, spare a thought for the Shadow


Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, who's spent the New Year fending


off accusations that he's a cereal killer. No he's not been stalking


the streets of Westminster, knocking off the government, he


just doesn't like certain types of breakfast food. In fact he'd like


some of them to be banned. Mr Burnham isn't the only politician


concerned about our eating habits. This morning the government


Honestly, you lot! What are you putting into your bodies. Let me


show you. Come on, this is the amount of fat in the whole pizza.


17 tubes of sugar in that fizzy drink. Too many hidden nasties can


create dangerous levels of fat in your body which can lead to stroke,


Type 2 diabetes and cancer. Well, the Health Minister, Anna


Sourby is out in the healthy outdoors.


What are your aims with this campaign? It is to provide


information to people, make them aware of some of the stuff that is


in your food which does not do you an awful lot of good if you eat too


much of it. People can make healthier choices, so we can live


longer lives. Or ignore it? Absolutely, it is their choice. It


is not up to politicians to tell people what they should eat. That


is why Andy Burnham got himself into a mess at the weekend. The


responsibility for your diet lies as you as an individual, and you as


a parent. That is the primary responsibility. Businesses, traders,


retailers, also bear responsibility, but the port of call first of all


is ordinary people. We are pointing out to them about the stuff you


have heard in the advert, so they can make better choices when they


shop. It we have to tackle obesity, and you want to make people eat


more healthily, why not do what Andy Burnham suggests, ban the high


sugar content, and high salt content Sea reels? It is a daft


idea. If it was a great idea he would have done it when his party


was in Government. We inherited serious high levels of obesity.


There has not been much changed since 2010. I don't think he did it


because in his heart he knows it is not the sort of ball at he thought


it was. When you introduce legislation aimed at children's


breakfast cereals, the first thing that starts off is defined


Children's breakfast cereals, is he going to have "adult only's cereal


boxes? You take all cereals and say they shouldn't be more than 30%


content of sugar and salt. As soon as you do that, used a 29% is OK.


It is a start. No, people in the real world thing, 20%, 29%, have


three bowlfuls and it won't do you any harm Bostock we want to let --


get people to look at what they eat over the course of a week, a month,


look at the bad stuff, take it out and just eat good, wholesome food,


which you can do on a budget in difficult times. We have recipe


ideas. It is easy for people sometimes to sneer at that. It you


look and what we had done so far with Change4Life, which was done at


2007 with a cost of �80 million, it has begun to influence and make


change. We need to get it across all sections of society. That's why


this campaign on ITV in the Coronation Street break is good,


and it shouldn't be slagged off by Labour.


I've got some Daily Politics own brand favourites here, let's get


our political panel's verdict on their nutritional value. Just


before we do that, do you like the idea of Government recipes? We go


back to the Second World War and have Walton pike. Which consisted


of all of the vegetables nobody light, with pastry on the top.


do have our own brand stuff here. This is dairy Neil. How is he?


is on his way back. How many grams of fat, in 100 grams


do you think is in this? It will be this much, I would think. About


250? 530. Very good. 530 calories. JoCo Pops - per 100g: 387 calories.


The Deep Pan Pizza? Just one piece of that a 100 grams, how many


calories do you think? 250. Very good. I had just lost over two


stone on a lighter like diet. It has worked for me and I believe in


educating people that you are what you eat. Should we ban certain


food? Of course not. We should certainly be looking at what action


has to be taken to tackle obesity. Everyone agrees with that, but


should you go further and start banning? He worked with the food


industry and if it failed, like we did, it took 10 years to get a


proper strategy on banning advertising of cigarettes. These


things take time. It is brave to raise this issue is. And in tandem


with what you eat, the school sport exercise, persuading women that


Jessica Ennis is a role model. about the answer to the quiz. What


does he listened to when he is jogging? Tony Blair. It was in the


papers yesterday Bulls star it is Tony Blair's autobiography.


That is all to date. Thanks to our guests. The news is starting on BBC


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