08/01/2013 Daily Politics


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Good Afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics.


MPs vote on limiting increases in benefits to 1% for three years. So


who is it going to hit - the shirkers or the strivers?


They promised an end to the big brother state and introduced a


Freedom Bill. So what's all this talk of a snooper's charter and


secret courts? We assess the government's record


on civil liberties. The man who built the Olympics


takes up a new job at the treasury. Can he kick-start infrastructure


spending across the UK and deliver a boost to the economy?


And we've our own Olympic star. Shami Chakrabarti, the founder of


liberty. We salute her integrity. Half How do you reach those dizzy


heights of adulation? Yes, we're Daily and we do Politics


- in fact we do exactly what we say on the tin. And in that tin for the


next hour is Shami Chakrabarti, the Director of Liberty. Welcome to the


programme. Let's start with Northern Ireland,


where hundreds of Loyalists have taken to the streets of east


Belfast for the fifth consecutive night to stage violent protests


against the city council's decision to restrict the number of days when


the Union flag flies over City Hall. Let's get the latest from our


Northern Ireland Political Editor, Mark Devenport. Her why have


Community nations collapsed in such a dramatic way?


It came as a bit of a surprise to the politicians at Stormont. They


knew there would be significant community disquiet over this


decision to restrict the flying of the Union flag to a certain number


of designated days over Belfast City Hall, when for many a year it


had flown there all year round. Even though they thought it might


be the one might or one-week wonder, nobody predicted, prior to the


controversial decision last month, the protests would have been


sustained in the wake they have been, and as violent as they have


been. Last night we saw the police coming under attack from


sledgehammers, axes, and industrial laser was used to try and blind the


police. I was surprised only three police officers were injured, given


the level of violence and the fact that police had to fire plastic


bullets and water cannon in response. We are seeing some of the


pictures now and the emergency vehicles, obviously being brought


in night after night. It is difficult to see how you can defuse


the situation? It is difficult. The protesters want to have the Union


flag put back on Belfast City Hall. But I was attending the regular


monthly meeting of Belfast council last night, and there was no sense


the councillors were going to do an about face. The nationalists feel


they have struck a blow for equality by taking down this flag,


which they say does not represent them. The Alliance Party, which is


the cross-community party, stuck in the middle, still believes it voted


for a principled compromise in flying the flag on only a certain


number of designated days, and we have one of those coming up


tomorrow, which is the birthday of the Duchess of Cambridge. The union


is heard about this, but are scrabbling to try and reconnect


with their community, those people who have been on the streets, who


don't feel they have been represented by their politicians.


It does demonstrate that symbols are still extremely important to


people in the communities in Northern Ireland, at a time when we


thought peace had broken out? Absolutely and progress in Northern


Ireland has been one of the most wonderful things of my lifetime, my


adult hood. No matter the importance of symbols to politics


and communities, it is no justification for sending children


out to throwing missiles. Reports of ten-year-olds going out? Yes, I


have a ten-year-old, and I don't take him on peaceful demonstrations,


let alone to put them at risk and cause violence. We have had people


win the Nobel Peace Prize from both sides of the community in Northern


Ireland. Let's have these senior political voices coming out and


speaking to the community. It does show how fragile things must be,


but these tensions still so much close to the surface? Apparently so.


I don't know whether it is affected in part by the economic situation


or other factors. As with the riots in England a couple of summers ago.


You just staff to cope saner counsel prevailed. What about the


potential solution of flying the flag again? Is this a challenge to


democracy? City Hall made a decision and it has provoked this


violence. You cannot reverse a Democratic decision because people


are rioting. I do hope it will be senior voices in the Unionist


community, peaceful people, from that side of the argument who come


out and urge peace and show some leadership. We have heard people in


the Unionist community who say they feel like strangers in their own


land, they obviously feel very strongly that they are not being


able to show their feelings in the way they would like? It is a


Democratic debate that they can lead whilst urging peace.


We will be coming to the benefits caps story soon.


When the coalition came to power, it promised to strike the civil


liberties. Some of the plans have raised questions about the


coalition record on civil liberties. We seem to have a problem with the


film, but we will try and play it in a moment. We will be joined by


the Home Office minister who is responsible.


Shami Chakrabarti, what do you think of the record from his


coalition Government in terms of civil liberties? It is mixed. They


started well. The coalition was almost glued together by their


opposition to various authoritarian measures went they were both


opposition parties. ID cards, a symbolic act of the coalition


Government, abolishing those and some of the other measures you


spoke of. The fingerprinting and so on. However, there has been a shift


and I have real concerns about secret courts. It is a


contradiction in terms, to kick out the victims of Government abuse and


their lawyers and let the Government have a private chat with


the judge. Do we need more secrecy in the lands of Hillsborough and


the Jimmy Savile scandal? It is about scooping up the private, on-


line information of everybody in the country. Not criminal suspects,


we all support those being put under surveillance, but everybody.


It is the equivalent of saying because crime happens in people's


homes, we should have the legal power to plans a camera and


microphone in everybody's bedroom and living room just in case they


are up to no good. James, and so that response, that you will be


basically so veiling everybody's house and their conversations?


it was as Shami's characterised it, I would be joining her in her views.


But it is updating legislation regarding telephones, and


reflecting the fact we communicate on the internet and different ways.


Updating legislation to enable the police to Prosser Kate -- prosecute


offenders, put safeguards in to ensure the police can do the job


they do now. This will be affecting innocent citizens. We do accept


that? It is not a targeted warrant. At the moment, the police can


access information that is retained by the phone companies, internet


companies, to be able to use that in court. What we are seeking to do


is update the legislation. Of course, we hear a number of the


concerns raised by Shami and others. We had a joint committee of both


Houses of Parliament which is looking into this. Which shares my


concerns. We accept on principle the recommendations made by that.


We want to bring the public with us on that but recognise there are


clear public protection issues. Let's remind ourselves of some of


the issues we are talking about. ID cars scrapped, innocent people


taken off the DNA database, more CCTV regulations. All part of the


Government's roll-back of state intrusion. But what about this? A


snoopers charter to some, the draft communications data built has


caused tension within the coalition. The Lib Dems want to rewrite.


whole thing is written to give carte blanche to the Home Secretary


to collect information on who you message, who you talk to our mind,


do anything with. A huge amount of information. That could


accidentally get out into the public. We know there has been data


loss before. The list of every website you go to, if you go to a


depression website, and abortion website, that could reveal a lot of


information about use. The idea is to give police and community


services the power to monitor communications. Internet service


providers will have to give the record for a year, of details like


which websites you have been a visiting, how long you have spent


on an internet voice call and who you have been tweeting. We don't


want to be able to arrest criminals to use old fashion criminals, but


let them off if they use a more modern form of communication. We


have to keep up with technology. Maintaining civil liberties is one


of the reasons the Government replaced control orders on terror


suspects who cannot be tried, with these. They focus more on


surveillance. But Labour has criticised the Government's


decision to scrap control orders after this terror suspect, who had


been previously subject to a control order, disappeared. Well


control orders were in force, several individuals or went missing,


six of them have not been heard from again. This individual has


gone missing, the police are doing everything they can to find him.


These Terrorism prevention measures are very important. They are


designed to help secure the British public from threat. A another


controversial idea, which is winding its way through the Commons,


could lead to civil hearings being heard behind closed doors. Secret


courts to it its critics, the justice and security bill would


allow Secrets Of spies and other sensitive information would be


heard in front of a judge in cases of national security. Ministers


have already backtracked, after it was defeated in the House of Lords.


Judges will decide. Inquest coroner's hearings won't be heard


in his wake, restricting it to things that are our greatest


national security. I'm still not wild about where we are commonly


have to find a balance so information isn't just excluded


under the current system. They are measures that divide, but will the


reverse of the coalition criticised as an erosion of civil liberties


when the lights go out on this Government?


The Home Office minister is with us. Which major crimes for terrorist


plots would have been foiled have the Government had access to


people's Facebook accounts? A 95% of organised crime, where they are


brought before the courts relied on his communications data, which is


the context, not the content of people's communications between


each other. What we're talking about, for example, if you have a


phone Record, the information on who has communicated with whom, and


when and work. We understand the sensitivity is attached with this,


which is why the draft legislation was put before the joint committee


for scrutiny. It is to make sure those inputs are provided. There


are clear public protection issues on child protection, where there


was a clear case which brought it to me, on a young person who had


contacted a child protection line. They had used a computer rather


than phoning up. And being able to do with that child and save their


life, literally. What you want to see taken out? For the biggest


problem with the thinking in the Home Office, it has been going on


for years. The snoopers charter was born under the last Government. It


is blanket surveillance of the whole population, rather than


attempting to target particular suspects for this kind of


surveillance. Why is it blanket surveillance? Explain to me, how is


it you will target people who you know to be suspects without going


on massive fishing expeditions? Exactly. What we are seeking to do


is bring this up to date. But the police have information on a crime,


they might have an identified suspect and the use that


information on people who they have been communicating with, it is


potential evidence. We can see how this is defined in a proportion of


weight on save karting... Updating is an innocuous phrase. We are


forcing providers to collect more data... Which they already do at


the moment. If that was the case, you wouldn't need it your bill. The


minister, is a nice man and he has been speeding up the civil


liberties for years, and now he is in the Home Office. There is


something in the water. The second problem is, he said it is


communications data, not the content. When you go online, which


are website you visit is content. You had the mental health problems


and you weren't looking for advice, and if you went on an abortion


website. That picture of your activity... Are you prepared to


risk potential terror suspects or potential paedophiles getting away


because you want to protect people's liberties to such an


Don't build up the private data of the population. Use your ingenuity


and legislation to target suspects, do not turn us all into suspect.


you are a clever criminal, you will bypass the structures you are


talking about. That is what the industry says! Bee industry


recognises, and all sides, and Shami recognises the legislation


does need updating to reflect the changing way we use technology. But


if we do not take steps at the moment because of the different way


we are communicating, the ability of the police to solve crimes as


they do, that will be eroded. We cannot allow that to happen and


that is the real talent. Nick Clegg said this is wrong on cost and


balances, can you satisfy his concerns? He has underlined the


need for the legislation. What are you going to change? One up on be -


- one of the issues was this issue of future proofing in terms of the


scope of the legislation and taking account of how we use technology,


we need to make sure we have clarity on the type of a


information we will retain her to give assurances we will not grab


everything, as Shami is suggesting we would do, to give that clarity


on the safeguards. I believe you are going to answer an urgent


question about a man on the film who has absconded and he had


earlier been on a control order, where is he? By at is the question


the police and security services are working hard to work out --


that is. Way was he able to abscond? -- why was he able? The


best place you want a suspect is behind bars and prosecuted but with


some individuals can make you cannot do that, to prosecute or to


deport them. This is the argument... This is the argument you and your


colleagues in both of the coalition parties fought tooth and nail, when


control orders were introduced under the last government. These


are control orders under a different name, with loads of


people escaped from a control order. The authority should be arresting


people and if necessary putting them under bail, then they need to


be charged or released. That is why we have committed additional


resources which are robust and are dealing with offenders who cannot


be prosecutors -- prosecuted. is nothing in the legislation that


says people should be dealt with in the criminal justice system. I have


to finish it, but as we would like to hear more on that subject. --


much as. Now, it's the first big


parliamentary vote of 2013 this afternoon. MPs will vote on


government plans to put a 1% cap on annual rises in working-age


benefits and some tax credits. Historically, benefits have risen


in line with the rate of inflation, increasing by more than 5% in 2012-


2013. The government argues the 1% cap is necessary to limit the costs


of benefits to tax payers. The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan


Smith says, it's very simple, today is about fairness. Why should the


taxpayer pay more to sustain welfare payments, while at the same


time earning less? And a new Conservative poster today reads,


"Today, Labour are voting to increase benefits by more than


workers' wages." Labour, in contrast, is referring to today's


legislation as the "Strivers' Tax Bill," as they claim that 60% of


those hit will be in work. They cite figures from the Institute for


Fiscal Studies, which show 7.1 million out of 14 million working


households will lose �165 a year in real terms by 2015-2016. And the


Citizens Advice Bureau so -- say a couple with two children earning


�13,000 a year will lose �13 a week by 2015. The Deputy Chief Executive


of the Citizens Advice Bureau, Mike Dixon, joins us now.


Give us a flavour of the impact of this will have on the people you


speak to. It will have a huge impact, �700 is a large amount of


money but if you are a family on �13,000, that is eating your house,


buying food for your children and going on holiday, so what is a big


change. But there is a narrative from the government supported by


many that says the Welfare Bill is too high and something needs to be


done. For the Welfare Bill is high but a blanket cut is not a


sophisticated approach. People are not earning enough on lower-paid


jobs -- in lower-paid jobs and we are not getting enough back into


work so this distinction between benefit recipients and people in


work is very false. As the Institute for Fiscal Studies said


today, more people will be affected in work and out of work by this


today. Put on an issue of fairness, if you are earning around �40,000


or �45,000 and have taken working - - working tax credits, has that


created an element of dependency? This is not about dependency, this


is, can people afford to leave -- lead a decent live at the moment?


People on lower incomes, at the things they are spending money on


have gone up, energy bills and travel, at they spend money on that


disproportionately and they are going up fast. Cutting benefits at


the same time will make it much harder for those people to love and


much harder for them to get back into the labour market and get the


market growing again -- to live up. -- live.


We're joined now by the Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb and


the Shadow Work and Pensions Minister Stephen Timms. There has


been a lot of talk about shirkers and strivers, how many people are


on benefits in your constituency? Shirkers and strivers is not


languid I have used for Iain Duncan Smith have used. The Prime Minister


has used that language, we have heard him talk about people being


workshy also. And I have not heard that, we are trying to make a small


contribution to a massive hole. Labour were borrowing over �3


billion every week. This bill does not save �3 billion is easier and


that gives a sense of the massive scale of the whole we are trying to


fill and social security spending is a small part of the court that


has to be made. A is it wrong for political leaders to use and


characterise the debate in the way I described in the opening remarks?


Dividing people is not the right way to go. For me, the bill is


about the necessary savings and protecting the most reliable, so


disabilities are protected -- disability benefits and pensions


are protectors. Without the bill, and Labour are going to vote down


the whole bill, that is another �3.5 billion that has to come from


somewhere else on we do not know where that is going to be. You are


talking about savings so you see it if it litre Iain Duncan Smith who


is talking about fairness. I see at the same, what we are saying is,


where can we find savings in the budget at a time when people in


work have often had a 1% pay rise or a pay freeze, how do we look at


benefit of greed and at the same time? It is if fairness between the


groups on benefit and had worked. So there is a difference between


shirkers and strivers? Iain Duncan Smith is saying he is standing up


for hard-working families. Taking people out of income tax is about


people in work so they can keep more of what they are winning.


need people with you would be hitting a hard-working families


because 60% of those on benefits are in work! That is why you have


to look at the whole package, not just there tax-free allowance, the


10 pence off petrol, the whole package is helping people in low-


paid work when �3.5 billion has to be found and Labour will not tell


us where it has to come from. Welfare to hide? He it is and it is


going up and the whole he is trying to fill is about the increase in


unemployment forecast for next year. Unemployment has been falling.


has gone down a bit but the official forecast is for it to go


up next year. So you agree the Welfare Bill is too high and you


say that is because of unemployment levels so you feel everybody that


gets benefit get it and deserves it? The great majority of people


out of work are certainly very anxious to get work and one of the


things that worries me about this proposal is getting back to the


toxic combination of policies he has talked about in the 1980s when


we had the court in the top rate of income tax that is being proposed


now -- a court. That led to the explosion of child poverty in the


1980s and will do the same today. The crucial point is that the


majority of people affected by this are in work so if you take a second


lieutenant in the army... Supporting his wife and three


children, they will lose out by a �552 a year. Exactly the people


struggling for most at the moment. Why are you were posing a whole


bill? It is deeply -- why are you opposing the whole bill. It is


deeply opposing. You have said it is too high and you need to deal


with the economic situation, polls show that the public is generally


in favour of dealing with the burgeoning Welfare Bill, what would


Labour do to bring it down? A get people back to work. It is very


difficult for up a government to say, we would improve growth


figures, what would you do with the Welfare Bill? We would not just


improve growth figures, we would also introduce a jobs guarantee


which we set out the details of that last week, paid for by a


restriction on pensioners' tax relief for people earning over


�150,000 a year, so we could make sure people got back into work and


we got momentum back into the economy and the future hold this


bill is designed to fill would not open up. Are you not falling into


the trap that has been laid? You are saying you do not support a cap


but to do so put a freeze on workers' wages? We do support the


overall 1% cap on public sector pay and it needs to be implemented in a


fair way, and less than 1% rise for public-sector workers on higher


wages to protect those on low wages. This hits us with a double whammy


of people who have their incomes get down and their tax credits cut


for also and that is not fair. If the goes ahead, which you reverse


it? -- if it goes ahead. Wait until you see our manifesto. This is the


wrong approach and not fair for people struggling to make ends meet


at the moment. When you hear this characterisations and listen to the


Citizens Advice Bureau and job a Liberal Democrat colleagues who say


they are anxious about the policy and fear many that would be hit are


already on the breadline! They are anxious about a language of


shirkers and strivers which we do not support. You have to look at a


package of measures, crucially the Universal Credit specifically for


the low-paid and hard-working families we need to support.


concern is this nasty political language and demonising of people


on benefits, and it went on under the last government, it is warping


public opinion here because public perception of the benefits system


is warped. The average perception is that 41% of the welfare budget


is going on the unemployed but just 3% is spent on the unemployment, so


the rest is people who are working but on low wages would low incomes.


The perception was that 27% of the welfare budget is going on


fraudulent claims, and the reality, according to the government's


figures, is that less than 1% of the welfare budget is going towards


fraud. This is the shirkers, strivers language, this is more


open and the reality and public opinion. What do you say about


that? You could say your Conservative colleagues have done


that and most liberal Democrats have said they do not recognise him


-- they do not recognise and they do not like that language. There is


a false perception of what is going on and welfare is going up, a lot


of that is pensions and benefits for disabled people we are


protecting and that is what people want the money spent on. It is not


just a single bill. We have not heard this will be reversed, they


would just voted against it, but where will this come from and the


context of �80 billion of deficit over the next few years? The answer


is, we vote against every cut but I am going to have to finish its


first. The Olympics was sporting glory.


The Government has now put the creator in the Government. The


Government has high hopes that a new wave of roads, rail and other


public works will get the economy moving.


We have a national infrastructure plan which has a pipeline with


about just over �300 billion of projects that comprises I think of


about 550 separate projects. As I pointed out already, we have


identified the 40 top projects we think are important for modernising


the economy and focusing resources on. So I will start with those


projects. I was interested in the little ones that was started by the


previous Government, as I am in starting new ones. Those 40, are


they 40 that have not begun yet? terms of shovels in the ground, no.


How many of those 40 will begin before 20th May 15? I do not know


the answer to that yet. What is the Government's targets? I don't know.


These are the questions I need to do my own work on to get a good


sense of what we need to do, where we are now, and what is


realistically possible. I will be speaking to the business


minister, Matthew Hancock, but let's be to the Director General of


the British commerce of chambers. He was struggling to answer the


question on how quickly these infrastructure projects are getting


built. Will he have much luck on blocking the pipeline? It is not


looking good so far. The Government has indicated a lot of things in


the right direction. The biggest challenge for the Government is


delivering. Infrastructure is hugely important, along with


business finance, access to finance. In the structure is the biggest


answer to the growth question in the UK economy. It will also


stimulate growth. It needs to be funded largely by the private


sector. The Government needs to reduce the political risk for the


private sector. There needs to be a freeing up of planning. How do you


rate the UK's infrastructure? Generally poor. Aviation causes the


bellwether, and that can is being kicked down the road. There is lots


of infrastructure that needs to develop in certain areas. The sea


ports, airports, rail and road, Lee Mead and energy policy in the UK,


and energy security policy. It needs to be on a different basis.


We also include skills in our infrastructure. This the Government


doing enough? They're not doing enough urgency, scale and delivery.


Le Sport that to Matthew Hancock. Poor infrastructure and you are not


delivering the scale or the urgency of infrastructure? I agreed with a


lot. Of course the UK infrastructure is poor, we know


that. There has been an historic underspend. Fortunately we will be


spending more on our transport infrastructure over this Parliament,


van over the average 13 years that preceded it. And there is two


problems. The first is, we need to make it faster to get from an


infrastructure project proposal, to digging in the ground and then it


openings. That is opening. And then the second thing is getting the


money spent. Let me give you a couple of examples. In terms of


road projects, there were announcements two years ago about


the importance of some projects. Where are they? The M4, the M5 and


the M6, those projects have started. Preliminary works are happening.


The service roads you need. And there is others where the money is


being spent in order to get the planning approvals, get the


ownership straight. You need to own every bit of land. The said to


agree, you accept you are not delivering? You have talked about a


lot about in the structure, but apart from those examples you have


given on roads, you have not delivered. The urgency isn't there.


Do you accept that now? No, not at all. That is what business is


saying, the urgency is not there. will explain about aviation. I


don't except there isn't an urgency, because there is an urgency. We got


into a position as a country, that it took too long to get projects


from ideas and even when the financing was behind them, to


actually getting them completed. We have got to improve the process,


and then get the diggers in the grounds. We are having the biggest


investment in rail since Victorian times. There will be more he spends


on the railways over this Parliament than the last. There is


a �37 billion announcement by Network Rail, more details came out


this morning. We are electrifying from Southampton to Yorkshire and


electrifying to South Wales. 800 miles of electrification over this


Parliament, compared to 11 miles under Labour. So the urgency, I do


not take it. We saw a question about how these projects are not


happening. They are happening. was asked how many of the


Government's 40 priority infrastructure projects would be


under way by 2015, he did not know. That is because he is only a few


days into his job. How many of the 40? The depends how many of the 40


you count. How many of them will be under way by 2015? Almost all of


them. You heard it there. Were at work under way on the M6, the M5


and lot of other projects. We won't have time to talk about funding.


are making huge progress. Funding has got to come from the private


sector, you said. One of the ways it was suggested was to invest from


pension funds. George Osborne said it would hopefully raise �20


billion. Amateur money we get to spend on infrastructure from


pension funds? Best how much money. There is 10 million man's work it


has been designated. We will extend the Northern line to Battersea.


us tell us the amount of money. billion where this project is


outlined, and the Northern line extension to Battersea, which is a


�1 billion project is funded, including these guarantees. It is


under way, it will open up an area of London. But the National Pension


funds said it had only managed to secure �700 million. �700 million


was October. I had just show June the figure whether projects are


being worked on his 10 billion. That answers your urgency questions.


We have gone from 700 million to 10 billion. We have had a long-term


structure issue. But this sort of debate that takes place on these


programmes is part of the programme. The political class have a point


scoring issue, when actually we have a major, a national crisis,


effectively. The Prime Minister said we were fighting an economic


war. We need a huge scale of investments, we need to secure the


investments for the private sector. We need to get growth going in the


UK, to levels which make us gross competitive in the world economy,


even if the economy was going bad, we wouldn't be there. Now, Matthew


Hancock, you're staying with us because MPs have been debating ways


of increasing the number of women on the boards of listed companies.


Currently, less than 20% of FTSE 100 board directors are female. A


level which all sides agree is unacceptably low. The government


asked Lord Davies of Abersoch to write a report on the issue, which


was published in 2011, and have been pursuing a voluntary,


business-led approach to improving gender balance. Now the European


Commission is getting involved. They want to set a target for all


major companies to have at least 40 % women non-executive directors by


2020. The proposal was debated in the Commons yesterday.


On the substance on the challenge of women on board, it is clear the


Government has taken a lead and things are moving in the right


directions. The current strategy is leading us towards the target the


EU has proposed. On this issue about making progress, one of the


ways of making progress is a voluntary approach. Lord Davies has


made it clear in other speeches, he feels there has to be progress, and


if progress is not made, we should look at a non voluntary approach.


His he arguing the Government would be willing to look at that as


something, we the UK we do, rather than some think the EU would do?


Before coming a minister I wrote a book saying this should happen and


we should hold open the proposition of legislation. The Government's


position is clear, which is that we should approach this on a voluntary


basis. Today we baked -- debate the need of greater gender balance of


those in leadership in business. In doing so, the house and the


governor has 22% of the current members and just 18% of the Cabinet


are women. This is a disgraceful state of affairs in 2012. We are


proud on these benches, that 33% of the Parliamentary Labour Party, and


40% of the Shadow Cabinet are women. should debate, but in this house we


are in no position to lecture. Parliament rejected the EU's


proposal, deciding this issue should be tackled at a national


level. Matt Hancock has stayed with us to discuss the issue further.


Shami Chakrabarti, he did not support the legislation, but you do


now? I was in the liberal position growing up, an ambitious young


woman, I did not want to be a token. But I have realised, not just in


this country, but all over the world, there is such injustice and


discrimination towards women, possibly more than any other


discrimination in the world. The process is slow and the barriers


are great. You could have legislation that it was time


limited just to kick-start the process. You set up a company


because you want certain benefits that come from companies


legislation. We did this at Liberty, despite it being a human rights


organisation, very few women on the council and the board. There was a


time limited constitutional amendment that allowed the co-


option of women and other minorities. It landed -- lasted two


years, and at the end of that period they stayed. Why couldn't


that happen? You agree, you said that you would like to see more


women as non-executive directors on company boards. It won't work


without legislation? It is moving in the right directions. I agree


with an awful lot of what Shami says. The cultural point, people


tend to promote people who are similar to them. If you are getting


somebody for your board, let get somebody who fits the organisation


we are in. Cultural change is crucial and legislation can have a


role in that. Legislation always has some unintended consequence.


The arguments I wrote in my book, and which I put in the Commons, is


we should push in this direction, but we should hold open that option.


So you would be prepared to use legislation if you do not think


enough progress has been made in five years? I won't put a time


limit on it, but I wrote a book making that argument. And making do


cultural argument that more diverse sports, not only diverse boards in


terms of sex, but background and people's life experiences. The


evidence is clear, more diverse boards are better. There are


downsize to legislating. What is the downside? The way you draft it


could be very complicated. They could end up being unintended


downside consequences. In Norway, where they have this legislation,


the number of non-executive directors has risen. But there has


been no change in the number of executive women... It is about


making a start. Coming back to Shami. It is moving. It is true to


say I think Lord Davies, who carried out the review so the


current rate of exchange, it would take 70 years to achieve gender


balance boardrooms in the UK. I am getting more impatient, and I


want change to hurry up. I want to update the figures. That was from


his report. The proportion of directors, FTSE 100 companies,


women, is 17%. It was 12% two years ago. We have increased that


proportion faster in all but three countries in the use. The UK is


moving in the right directions. What about a time limit piece of


legislation that Shami suggested. He would just have that league,


like the all-women shortlists in Parliament, then culture will have


The best thing is for this to be a business-led approach that is run


by business and we push in the right direction. Race


discrimination legislation was not a business-led approach.


Legislation has a harder edge to it. But there is already equality in


legislation, gender equality in legislation, and the gap has closed


a wart. You have got to work out what works and if we are moving in


this direction, and faster than almost any country in the EU, we


are making progress. But Mike position is clear and I think we


should hold open the option -- at my position. We should let


brilliant people make the progress and get things happening. He has


walked the tightrope very well because he has a private position


and there is a government position. This is a good review of what


Parliament did yesterday. Hands up to us on that!


Now, remember the Leveson Report? Our guest of the Day, Shami


Chakrabarti, will. She was one of the assessors to the inquiry, who


listened to much of the evidence. Sir Brian Leveson delivered his


report into the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the Press at the end


of last year and, over the next few months, the Government and the


media industry will have to decide how the report should be


implemented. Let's bring ourselves up to date with that process with


our political correspondent, Ross Hawkins, who also followed the


inquiry throughout. Where are we? I am recovering


slowly from the process! What they normally do is just throw press


releases and statements at each other in a political battle. Here,


but throw around entire draft bills and there are now five different


potential versions of legislation that might or mocked -- that might


or might not make it into law. I understand one drawn up by the


government, to prove how difficult it would be, is going to be


published by a campaign group he says it proves it is all simple.


They are now talking about a royal charter to set up a body that would


check whether a new press regulator was doing its job, the appeal is


that would not need legislation. The bit that might get people to


join in with that process would need legislation and that is where


the debate is that. The Minister and her opposite numbers are


meeting today, editors will meet on Thursday. You feel we are drawing


towards a conclusion at some stage but I am sure the conclusion will


not look much like the one drawn up originally pine -- by Sir Brian


Leveson after we spent so long sitting through those hearings.


eight months, I believe! -- eight months.


And Labour's Helen Goodman joins us now. Why cannot the press get their


own house in order? They have not fought a long time and that is why


we had the Leveson Inquiry a. you trust them to do so? We want a


beat -- a free press independent of government and politicians because


it plays a vital role in holding power to recount, but we need to do


what the judge recommended and to create some real inducements to an


ethical proprietor or editor to join a better club. The PCC was not


enough. Should there be a legal basis? Should there be some statute


backing this up? There has been a false debate about whether you have


a statute or not. We need to make sure that we -- we need to make


sure nobody is compelled to join the decent club, but if they do,


Beryl legal benefits. One way to do that is to have a statute. -- there


are legal benefits. It just a hat - - it just has to make it worth your


while. So if you go to court, you will get benefits in terms of costs


or damages that might be awarded against you. Our inducement enough?


We need to have those. -- are inducements enough. It is important


that what replaces the PCC is not just better, but that the public


can see there is a guarantee it will be better on a continuing


process -- basis. So the guarantee does need legislation back in it?


We think that is the best way to make sure it will happen. We cannot


see there is a satisfactory alternative. What would you like to


see? Ed Miliband called for full implementation of the report, did


he rushed to judgment a bit? and we have now had time to draft -


- to draft a bill, one of the five that has been published, that gives


a commitment to freedom of the press and it gives a system for


recognising the new independent regulatory body, at which we want


the press to set up, but there must be criteria which can be seen to be


met and to meet the public's genuine concerns. But you do not


think that is necessary in terms of having some sort of accountability


in law. Various a democratic point, the press are not accountable? --


there is a democratic point. A few are to get these benefits in court


and you say aye am in this -- if you are to get these benefits in


court and if you say that you are in this club, somebody has to judge


if your club is good enough. If newspaper editors do not join up


and if somebody decides, I am not going to play with this, it does


not work. It could work because if the judge is recommending that you


-- that if you do not join at the club, be decent club, if you put


yourselves outside the club and you find yourself pseudonym privacy


action or a defamation action, they should be damages against you. --


if you find yourself in a privacy action. Would this work? If the


people that did not join work small publications, this would work, but


if large proprietors did not join in, we would have a problem. The


government has agreed to the status quo is not an option. Everybody


agrees come up of the cross-party talks going to succeed?


everybody agrees with that, but of across party talks going to succeed.


And will we have a new regulator by next week? I am not sure if it will


be agreed by next week but we hope the government will look at this


bill and a constructive light and see it meets the criteria and does


not mean a big regulatory burden, which is what they were talking


about. Thank you. Now, the start of the


Olympics may seem like a distant memory, but for our guest of the


day here, it was a day she won't forget in a hurry. She was one of


the flag carriers at Danny Boyle's opening ceremony, along with


esteemed figures such as Muhammad Ali and Doreen Lawrence. So how did


Shami get there? I think it is mad that we do not. I


am too simplistic and so are these very successful prosecutors in the


United States. We can use listening devices, if I'd bug their bedroom,


their conversations can be used and all this would be relevant. -- I


bug. I want to pay tribute as a mother and campaigner to Janice be


started a campaign for her own son and he saw it was not just about


around San but about everybody's sons and daughters and vulnerable


relatives. -- son. I am not paying attention! It is no wonder all


those people and up in jail! -- a foreign jail!


Shami Chakrabarti, the founder of Liberty.


She has been cringing with embarrassment. The opening ceremony


was watched by so many people, but I was not the founder of Liberty,


it was founded in 1934! I know I am sharing -- showing my age, but I am


just the caretaker of Liberty. We are joined now by the PR Guru


Mark Borkowski, who has advised a number of celebrities on their


image. How do you think Shami has been able to transcend the


political left and right to reach this national treasure status?


Shami is incredibly bright, as we sought a minute to go with that


minister, she is brilliant at punctuating people. -- as we saw.


With a media dominated by white middle-aged commentators, she is a


breath of fresh air and she cut through the rhetoric we have had


for years about social mobility. -- cuts. Very few icons are as bright


and direct as her. But having built her up, she could come crashing


down, that is the dangers. daresay she has a lot or control


and is more sensible about her image. -- a lot more control. If


you look back at the key element of when the silver screen was in its


heyday, there was Arnold publicist he said it was the strength of


character that was important -- there was an old publicist. You are


being kind but we need a reality check! You use words like icon and


national treasure, one of my favourite movies of the 1980s is


called Working Girl, and there is a great line from her friend who says,


sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear, do not


make meet Madonna! I am a human rights campaigner! -- make me. A


did you have reservations about the Olympics? When the phone call came


through, I thought it was a joke and I played along for five minutes.


When I realised it was not a joke, I had reservations because I


thought, what if the protesters get arrested and it is like Beijing?


What if this is an excuse to clamp down on civil liberties? But then


they said the magic words, Doreen Lawrence, who had agreed to do this.


So I phoned up my friend and heroin and I said, you have agreed to do


this, are you not worried that if there is a clampdown on young black


children of protesters, that you could be used to endorse that? --


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