11/01/2013 Daily Politics


11/01/2013

Andrew Neil with the latest political news and debate, including the UK's relationship with the EU. He is joined by guests Danny Finkelstein and Mary Ann Sieghart.


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LineFromTo

Afternoon folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:43.:00:45.

Opposition mounts to the government's plans for gay marriage,

:00:45.:00:48.

as the former Defence Sectary and the Energy Minister line up against

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the policy. Will same sex couples be able to marry by 2015?

:00:54.:00:57.

It's 40 years since some at least celebrated our entry into the

:00:57.:01:02.

Common Market. This week, after warnings from the Obama

:01:02.:01:05.

Administration, how real is the prospect of a British exit from the

:01:05.:01:08.

EU and what would be the consequences?

:01:08.:01:11.

The House of Lords debates the Leveson Report - should the press

:01:11.:01:15.

be given time to put their house in order, or is a new law needed to

:01:15.:01:23.

curb their excesses? And free the Aberdeen One! Helena,

:01:23.:01:33.
:01:33.:01:39.

the mannequin locked up for Two stories from Aberdeen this

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week! All that in the next hour, and with

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us for the duration today is, Mary Ann Sieghart, she's chair of the

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Social Market Foundation, a political commentator, and

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according to her website, a "Portfolio Woman". Not sure what

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that means. It means I do lots of different things, instead of being

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a wage slave. Danny Finkelstein has a portfolio but it's a bit thin. He

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gets by working for the Times where he's chief leader writer and

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columnist. Let's start with gay marriage.

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David Cameron has promised to change the law to allow gay people

:02:17.:02:19.

to marry by 2015, but opposition within his own party is widespread

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and apparently still growing. This morning, Energy Minister, John

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Hayes, says he has his doubts. And former Defence Secretary, Liam Fox

:02:30.:02:33.

- you may remember he once stood against David Cameron for the

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party's leadership - has come out strongly against the change. A

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letter from Dr Fox to his constituents has emerged, and in it

:02:43.:02:53.
:02:53.:03:05.

He says he's sure that proponents of gay marriage are sincere, but

:03:05.:03:15.
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Well it's no surprise perhaps that Liam Fox isn't fully signed up to

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the Cameron modernising agenda, but it does show the scale of

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opposition to this policy. We're joined now by Mike Judge, of the

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Coalition for Marriage who are campaigning against same sex

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:03:43.:03:45.

marriage. Welcome to the programme. Pleasure

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:03:56.:03:56.

to be with you. Is it your claim opposition to this policy is now

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growing within Parliament, within the Conservative ranks? Certainly,

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I don't think there can be any doubt. We had seen upwards of 130

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and more, and growing, backbench Tory MPs saying they will

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definitely vote against it. There are many more yet to declare. I

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suspect they on nervous about this policy and unsure about what has

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been proposed. And for Dr Fox to come out with his letter, he is a

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senior Tory figure, popular with the grass roots who have been

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disaffected by this policy. It is a devastating blow for David

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Cameron's plans. I wonder if it is devastating? In a free vote, given

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the attitude of the Labour backbenchers, Conservatives and the

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Lib Dem backbenchers, doesn't it get through? All observers on both

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sides of this debate expected to go through the House of Commons. I do

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think there will be a strong opposition within the Commons, a

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level of oppositions which will surprise many observers. Then the

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debate moves on to the House of Lords. Polling in the House of

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Lords shows the majority think it should be put on hold because it is

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yet to be demonstrated there is any kind of public appetite for this.

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am not talking to you about the rights and wrongs of this issue,

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just the politics of it. Your hope and perhaps expectation is this

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could be stopped in the Lords? certainly think it will be sent

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back by the Lords will stop I think also we will get a strong showing

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in the House of Commons. Stick with us, let's hear what on guests pink.

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Is he right? Is he right it is controversial? Yes. Is he right

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there may be a defeat in the House of Lords? I guess it is quite

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possible. Is he right the public don't support it? No. I am

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disappointed an organisation that says it is for marriage is against

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marriage and wants to restrict the number of people to marry. I don't

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know how two people getting married could affect my marriage or anybody

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else's marriage. I was just wanting to look at the politics, because we

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have debated the substance of it quite a lot. Assuming Mr Judge is

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right, it will probably get through the Commons. But if it is stopped

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in the Lords, it would be embarrassing for the Prime

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Minister? It would, and it is difficult for the Prime Minister

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because it wasn't in the manifestos. By tradition, the Lords tend not to

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block legislation that was in the governing party's manifesto. But I

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think it would be difficult for them to block something that has

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majority support in the country. Judge, it is said you are

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campaigning against something which the British public now seem more

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comfortable with and may have done for many decades? I think, public

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opinion, the more they have heard about this debate and they have

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understood the rights of marriage are already available to same-sex

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couples through civil partnerships, 70% have said, I don't see any need

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to redefine marriage. And that particular arguments is what has

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commenced a lot of MPs and the knock on effects of the civil

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liberties of those people who disagree. All of those reasons when

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the public look at a more detailed way of what is proposed, they are

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happy with the status quo. That has fed through to MPs, MPs sitting on

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marginal seats. They are saying there is not in need this, it does

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not have a popular mandate, we are not sure we will vote for it.

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do you mean defect of the civil liberties of people who disagree? I

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won't be effective if people of same-sex want to get married?

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Someone put on Umm Qasr that he was in favour of this proposal, and he

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was demoted and lost 40% of his salary. Will people working in the

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public sector be allowed to voice their opposition against this?

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same opposition that were shown on Section 28, age of consent and so

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will partnerships. Each time we have had the same debate, usually

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big red herrings are put about, and in the end it gets through. What I

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suspect it will happen, the same will happen, it will be

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controversial. It is difficult for the Government, because it divides

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Conservatives particularly between older and younger. Liam Fox

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referred to lifelong Conservatives. It probably is true of like long

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Conservatives, but younger Conservatives are more in favour of

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it. Isn't the problem, you face being on the wrong side of the tide

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of history? Within my lifetime, it was illegal to be involved in

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homosexual acts. I don't think many people would now propose to bring

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that law back. It is not that long ago you could smoke on an aircraft.

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The idea you could now smoke on an aircraft would be regarded as

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derisory. In a few years, won't we see gay marriage as part of life?

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Many things do change in life, but marriage has not been one of the

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things that has changed. Marriage between men and women has been

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around for thousands of years, it is before the Christian church and

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Britain as a nation. I'm sure it will be around for many years to

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come. But the public on not convinced of the argument it needs

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redefining, especially because there is in law, no discrimination

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for same-sex couples and the same rights married couple have are

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available through civil partnerships. And that point is put

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to people and then they are not convinced of the argument. Banks

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for joining us. Just before we move on, the politics of this is

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interesting. Mr Cameron has upset a lot of people in his party by being

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seen to champion this. He could probably have got away with this is

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the economy was growing by 4%, living standards were better and

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the Tories were 10 points ahead in the polls will stop none of the

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above is true. You have also got to show you are in favour of the

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things you are in favour of. You have to give heart to liberal

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Conservatives as well. And to broader, non-Conservative supported

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him at the last General Election and show them you have not lost the

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vision, when you are taking typical, economic decisions. Making people

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think the Conservatives have had to be hard-nosed. He is being true to

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that. It is because people are saying they have become the nasty

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party, they are cutting benefits. He has got to show, in other areas

:11:31.:11:41.
:11:41.:11:41.

of life, more compassionate. And it gives people a lot of happiness.

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Time for the daily quiz. Which member of the Government was

:11:45.:11:55.
:11:55.:11:58.

allegedly involved in throwing Damian Green, in fact off the

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bridge in Oxford during his student days? Was it Chris Grayling.

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Solicitor General Oliver Heald, or the Home Secretary, Theresa May.

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Will I have to answer? Not now, at the end of the programme. Do you

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:12:28.:12:32.

know the answer? Yes. January is quite the month for

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birthdays. The Daily Politics celebrated its 10th this week. Mel

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C from the Spice Girls is going to be 39 tomorrow. And can you believe

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it's been 40 years since Britain joined what was to become the

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European Union? Doesn't time fly when you're having fun? Adam's been

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:13:02.:13:06.

looking back at the events of 1st Jimmy Osmond was popular in that

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year. # I will be your long-haired Lover

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from Liverpool. Richard Nixon was preparing for his

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second term in the White House. And a village in Devon celebrated

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Britain's entry into the Common Market, joining France, Belgium,

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the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg.

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It was also the year at the New London Bridge opened, so where

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better to meet Tony Blair's former man in Brussels, who is now the

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official historian between Europe and the British political

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establishment. They looked at a North Atlantic free trade area with

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United States. The Americans said, you must be joking. Then they look

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at going it alone. But we were no longer economically powerful enough.

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That is why Ted Heath signed us up to the Continent will clock, paving

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the way for the treaty in 1970 to stop but only after the French

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vetoed our membership twice in the previous decade. Then insisted we

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make a big contribution to the Budget. It also had to be written

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into British law by a knife edge vote in Parliament. On the old

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files there is the draft of the statement he had ready just in case

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he lost the vote. It was one of those bits of paper that never got

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used but it was there. Nowadays, hardly anyone remembers the

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occasion was marked by a Euro themed beauty contest on television.

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But the foundation had been laid for the Euro wrangles we see today.

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There was an underestimate and up the extent this would be dynamic

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and there would be growth in the number of laws and policies that

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would emanate from Brussels, even though we would play a part in

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negotiating them. The leaders at the time thought the European

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Community would be led by the three big countries. They underestimated

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the power of the institutional structure that had been set up.

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other words, the EU is a bit like the area around London Bridge, it

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looks pretty different now, but really it is still dominated by

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:15:30.:15:30.

We are joined by the Times' European correspondent, who has

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written a book, Au Revoir, Europe, and Mary Ann and Danny are still

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with us. David Charter, let me come to you first, do you think, looking

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back, when we joined 40 years ago, did we realise it was going to be

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so rocky, that we would become so disillusioned with it as a nation

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overall? Well, happy birthday, Andrew! I think there is no

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question that people who voted in the 1975 referendum feel that they

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were a little bit hoodwinked in some way by what developed. Because

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within, say, five years of having that referendum, the assembly where

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we sent our MPs to talk about the laws in Brussels became a directly

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elected parliament, under all sorts of unforeseen developments then

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came from monetary union, which we did not take part in, of course, to

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the adoption of a European foreign minister, and of course now the

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plans for banking union, fiscal union, economic union. Little

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wonder that people say, we did not know what we were voting for in

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1975, when we had the referendum. We were not really told what we

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were in for in 1973. Whole lot of water has passed under the bridge

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since we joined, the country is more Euro-sceptic, the policy of Mr

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Cameron is to repatriate, and as the eurozone becomes a closer union,

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we are going to attempt to repatriate powers back to London.

:17:10.:17:13.

The Foreign Office has been briefing that the Germans are not

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there is against this as they might seem, that the Germans could be an

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ally in this, because they do not want to lose Britain altogether.

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You are sitting in Berlin, shed some light, is that really true?

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Well, up to a point, because the Germans are terrified, in fact, of

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being left without a big ally against what you might call Club

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Med, the group of countries that led by France, but including Italy,

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Spain, Portugal and Greece, there would like a different style of

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European Union with more social protections, and protections for

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their businesses and their farmers, for example, from foreign

:17:58.:18:03.

competition. So there is a very strong feeling in Berlin that, as

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much as possible must be done to give Britain in the club, but I do

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think that Angela Merkel's patients and the patience of others in

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Germany has a limit, and at the end of the day they will save the

:18:17.:18:22.

European Union, rather than saving David Cameron's neck. Before I

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bring in other guests, I am grateful to have you to date from

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Berlin, is it really credible for the British to expect the Germans

:18:31.:18:38.

and the French, but particularly the Germans, to repatriate so many

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powers that we get all the advantages of being in the single

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market and the open market, but we have almost none of the

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responsibilities or costs of club membership? I am very sorry, I have

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lost all sound from London. Is the status quo sustainable, given the

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state of British... Can we just carry on? No, but there is a big

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difference between status quo and the idea that you can somehow

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renegotiate meaningful powers back to Britain, and as you put it in

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your question, and remain within the single market, which is after

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all a British creation. We need the extension of the single market to

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include things like telecoms and energy, extended across services,

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and we have the problem of the EU budget, but you do all that from

:19:31.:19:35.

within the union, fighting your corner with allies. It is right

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that Germany has a lot of sympathy for us, but I would not push it too

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far. They are not about to give us meaningful powers. So is the prime

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minister's strategy credible, and can he do end up...? He now

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presides over the most Euro-sceptic mainstream party in Europe now, and

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repatriating the Working Time Directive and a couple of other

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things, that is not going to surprise, is it? The first thing to

:20:02.:20:08.

say it is not eccentric to be Euro- sceptic. It would have been a

:20:08.:20:13.

different model for this country, but we decided to stay out of the

:20:13.:20:16.

euro, that is a settled view in this country, and that requires a

:20:16.:20:23.

different relationship with the European Union. It is not just a

:20:23.:20:25.

question of the Prime Minister eccentrically wanting to repatriate

:20:25.:20:29.

powers for Tory Euro-sceptics, it is not possible for Europe to move

:20:29.:20:34.

towards consolidation of a single currency without changing, and that

:20:34.:20:37.

change cannot happen unless Britain's relationship from outside

:20:37.:20:41.

the euro changes. So this change is necessary, and does however much

:20:41.:20:46.

people have and Bath, in the country or out of the country, they

:20:46.:20:50.

will have to be a change, and that change will take either a limited

:20:50.:20:53.

or greater form. But unless we join the euro, we are going to be

:20:54.:20:59.

different from other countries who are inside. Are we really going to

:20:59.:21:04.

hold the ever closer union of the eurozone hostage to them giving as

:21:04.:21:08.

what Mr Cameron wants? I do not think it needs to be as dramatic as

:21:08.:21:13.

that, but yes, in 1973 lots of people said that we gave away

:21:13.:21:16.

sovereignty by agreeing to join, and that was absolutely correct. In

:21:17.:21:21.

return, what we got was a large say, and in places a veto, on how Europe

:21:21.:21:31.

develops.,... When Thatcher signed up to the European market, we

:21:31.:21:34.

decided to give up our veto, because we did not want the French

:21:34.:21:38.

vetoing the single market. What you think of the general proposition

:21:38.:21:43.

that if the eurozone wants to have more fiscal, more economic union,

:21:43.:21:46.

which is the cause they have to embark on if they want to save

:21:46.:21:51.

their currency, we will say, you can only do that if you let us go

:21:51.:21:55.

in the other direction? Is that credible European policy? It is a

:21:55.:22:00.

credible negotiating position, and people like Rowland will say, you

:22:00.:22:03.

cannot have a pick-and-mix Europe, but we already do have. Some

:22:03.:22:07.

countries have joined the euro, some have stayed outside. Some have

:22:07.:22:11.

joined the Shengen agreement with three borders, some have chosen to

:22:11.:22:15.

stay outside. That is how the union has developed. Can you tell me

:22:15.:22:19.

another major country that wants to repatriate powers? I don't know,

:22:19.:22:24.

I'm afraid. Going back to David Charter in Berlin, can you hear us

:22:24.:22:29.

now? I am back, yes! We have managed to get the director-general

:22:29.:22:35.

to put another shilling in the meter to keep you here. What I

:22:35.:22:42.

wanted to know, I know that, as you say, they would prefer us to stay

:22:42.:22:46.

in rather than leave, because in economic attitudes we share a

:22:46.:22:49.

generally liberal philosophy compared to the French and Club Med

:22:49.:22:53.

countries. What I wanted was whether Angela Merkel, because she

:22:53.:22:57.

is the one that will matter in this, is she prepared to lead Britain

:22:57.:23:03.

have all the advantages are one over market in Europe, and almost

:23:03.:23:08.

none of the responsibilities and costs that go with it? No, she is

:23:08.:23:12.

not prepared to go that far, and this will be subject to the most

:23:12.:23:17.

difficult negotiations, which is why David Cameron would be well

:23:17.:23:21.

advised not to over promises in his much vaunted forthcoming speech on

:23:21.:23:27.

Europe later this month. Because not all of it will be deliverable

:23:28.:23:33.

in terms of what his backbenchers are saying they want. You have got

:23:33.:23:37.

to remember that these directives that David Cameron does not like,

:23:37.:23:41.

and many of the Conservatives do not like, and many in business and

:23:41.:23:44.

British society do not like, are seen as absolutely fundamental

:23:44.:23:50.

parts of the single market in most of Europe. And the single market is

:23:50.:23:55.

what many Conservative MPs assay is the only thing they want. I'm

:23:55.:24:00.

afraid they therefore misunderstand what the single market is. It is a

:24:00.:24:05.

system of open and free-trading that has checks and balances to

:24:05.:24:10.

ensure social protections for workers. And that is the deal.

:24:10.:24:14.

Roland Rudd, people like yourself are strongly pro-European, don't

:24:14.:24:18.

you have a fundamental problem these days, considering what Danny

:24:18.:24:22.

was saying, if we are not going to join the euro and no-one seems very

:24:22.:24:26.

keen to do that for the foreseeable future, I mean, you're not in

:24:26.:24:31.

favour, are you? No. This business about being at the heart of Europe

:24:31.:24:35.

is a nonsense. You cannot be at the heart of Europe if you are not in

:24:35.:24:39.

the inner circle. I do not believe that to be the case at all, and I

:24:39.:24:46.

think the reason that people always say that the remorseless logic of

:24:46.:24:50.

the euro is further integration is because politically that is their

:24:50.:24:53.

position and has always been our position, and it proves the point

:24:53.:24:58.

that they want proven. But it is proving to be right. But is not in

:24:58.:25:01.

Britain's interests to expend capital and energy in something you

:25:01.:25:05.

do not want to have happened. Far better to use our interests to get

:25:05.:25:09.

a more liberal, open market and to put our ethics with Germany.

:25:09.:25:14.

Germany has made it clear they will not allow the price of further

:25:14.:25:17.

integration to harm the single market. Look at what happened with

:25:17.:25:21.

banking union, it is a shadow of what was promoted by the French and

:25:21.:25:25.

Italians, because the Germans stood by the British, and we negotiated a

:25:25.:25:31.

good deal, Osborne worked with the Germans on banking union. You are

:25:32.:25:35.

not denying that the eurozone will become an ever closer union. I am

:25:35.:25:39.

sure that will happen. And we will not be part of it, rightly or

:25:39.:25:43.

wrongly. But let's not talk about it in the sense of edging them on,

:25:43.:25:48.

because it is not in our interest. We want to focus on the things that

:25:48.:25:52.

are important, British jobs and prosperity. Once we decided not to

:25:52.:25:54.

join, we created a different relationship with the other

:25:54.:25:58.

European countries, and you see this differently because eventually

:25:58.:26:05.

you want to join the euro. I keep an open mind. That is fine, sorry

:26:05.:26:09.

if I have misunderstood that, but in any case, you are creating a

:26:09.:26:12.

different relationship with the European Union, and that requires

:26:12.:26:16.

us to create a structural distinction. David Owen explains

:26:16.:26:20.

this very well in his recent book, it creates a structural distinction

:26:20.:26:26.

between the single market, with all of what David Charter has said, and

:26:26.:26:29.

the eurozone. It creates a difference. When are we getting the

:26:29.:26:35.

Prime Minister's speech? I think it is the 22nd. David, do we have a

:26:35.:26:39.

date for that speech? It is going to be in Holland, we understand.

:26:39.:26:44.

think it is 22nd January, finally we have a date, and finally we

:26:44.:26:49.

think it will be in the Netherlands, not here in Germany, unfortunately.

:26:49.:26:56.

Probably wise! But another country that, of course, has a mini rebate

:26:56.:27:00.

from its contributions to the European Union. If I could just

:27:00.:27:07.

come back, people asking me about what Merkel once, very quickly, we

:27:07.:27:10.

voted in 1975 for 40 years of surprises in the European Union.

:27:10.:27:14.

Merkel will not be around forever, there will be a Social Democrat

:27:14.:27:17.

chancellor one day in Germany, and perhaps he or she will decide they

:27:17.:27:24.

want a more social Europe. Unlikely to be one this September. Oh, very

:27:24.:27:31.

unlikely! Mrs Merkel is looking the top favourite there. Thank you for

:27:31.:27:35.

joining us in Berlin, we will try to come back to you to get the

:27:35.:27:38.

reaction of the Germans to Mr Cameron's speech when he delivers

:27:38.:27:42.

it on that date. Roland Rudd, thank you, we will continue this debate

:27:42.:27:52.
:27:52.:27:56.

That is a real terms cut once inflation was taken into account.

:27:56.:28:00.

On Wednesday's Daily Politics, the Conservative Treasury minister,

:28:00.:28:05.

Sajid Javid, and the Chateau Work and Pensions Secretary, Liam Byrne,

:28:05.:28:09.

debated what the consequences of the cap would be. Because of that

:28:10.:28:13.

discussion, Sajid Javid made a specific claim about the state of

:28:13.:28:15.

the public finances when the current government came to office.

:28:15.:28:20.

Let's listen to what he had to say. During the last decade, welfare

:28:20.:28:28.

spending in real terms went up by 45%. It represents, in total, one

:28:28.:28:32.

in every �3 that is raised in taxes, it is a Budget that was out of

:28:32.:28:38.

control. When you are using divisive language, talking about

:28:38.:28:41.

shirkers and strivers... You have had your chance, you have had your

:28:41.:28:46.

chance. You are having trouble answering the questions, I want to

:28:46.:28:50.

about a bit. The problem is that he does not want to acknowledge the

:28:50.:28:53.

reality, and I wish she could be honest again, as he was before,

:28:53.:28:57.

talking about there being no money left. I thought you were trying to

:28:57.:29:01.

help them out! I want to be straightforward and acknowledge

:29:01.:29:05.

that the welfare budget was out of control, and if you are going to

:29:05.:29:08.

deal with the largest deficit of any industrialised country when we

:29:08.:29:13.

came to power, you have to deal with the welfare budget. So Mark

:29:13.:29:17.

these words, the largest deficit of any industrialised country when we

:29:17.:29:25.

came to power. That was, of course, in May 2010. But was he right? A

:29:25.:29:30.

loyal viewer, Eugene Zelem, e- mailed us to ask us to look into

:29:30.:29:34.

them had the biggest deficit and the highest overall debt, so we

:29:34.:29:38.

have asked Paul Johnson from the IFS to cast some light on the

:29:38.:29:43.

situation, and here he is, welcome! Let's go back to basics, as a prime

:29:43.:29:49.

minister once said, let's clear up first of all, because it is often

:29:49.:29:53.

mixed, sometimes intentionally by politicians, what we mean by

:29:53.:29:59.

deficit and what we mean by, I think, probably best called the

:29:59.:30:08.

The national debt is the total of many outstanding that as a country,

:30:08.:30:12.

we still owed. It is more than a trillion pounds. The deficit is the

:30:13.:30:18.

amount we borrow every year. And that is around �120 million this

:30:18.:30:23.

year pulls up the deficit is the flow of additional borrowing.

:30:23.:30:28.

time we borrow more than we spend a year, that amount we borrowed gets

:30:28.:30:34.

added to the national debt? Exactly right. You can only reduce the

:30:35.:30:41.

national debt, it can become a small amount if the economy grows,

:30:41.:30:48.

is that right? That is exactly right. All politicians, I hope you

:30:48.:30:51.

use that distinction. The Government's aid they had cut the

:30:51.:30:56.

deficit by 25%, the public think they have cut the overall national

:30:56.:31:06.
:31:06.:31:07.

debt by 25%. The national debt is growing a lot. A proportion of the

:31:07.:31:12.

size of the national income, it is going to go up above 80% of

:31:12.:31:19.

national income, which it is the highest that it has been. Savage

:31:20.:31:27.

jabbered said we had the highest debt the city of any industrialised

:31:27.:31:31.

country when the coalition came to concrete -- came to power, was he

:31:31.:31:37.

right? What was understood at the time in 2010, he was basically

:31:37.:31:47.
:31:47.:31:56.

right. The OCD was saying... Americans are higher. Although at

:31:56.:32:00.

the time we thought our deficit was the highest, in fact when we looked

:32:00.:32:05.

at the figures again, the Americans were higher. The Americans were

:32:05.:32:11.

slightly above us in 2010. The story does not change, we did have

:32:11.:32:21.
:32:21.:32:25.

the want or two highest deficits Our public finances were not in a

:32:25.:32:30.

good place. So he is not quite right, he may have thought it at

:32:30.:32:35.

the time, but we now know the Americans had a bigger deficit as a

:32:35.:32:41.

percentage of GDP, and we had. We had the second biggest question

:32:41.:32:50.

mark a century. Was it bigger than Greece? Coming back to the national

:32:50.:32:54.

debt, the accumulated deficits from over the years. Where are we in

:32:54.:33:00.

terms of the national debt? In the middle of the pack. We are rising,

:33:00.:33:05.

but it in 2010 card debt was a bit less than the average across the

:33:05.:33:15.
:33:15.:33:25.

own. The Italians could be there as well. If you are spending 113% of

:33:25.:33:28.

your national debt, and it has not worked by now, you would think it

:33:28.:33:36.

would have worked. The United States is ahead. As you said, it is

:33:36.:33:46.

It is rising and it is rising very fast. One of the reasons the

:33:46.:33:50.

Government is missing its fiscal rules is it will be continuing to

:33:50.:33:56.

rise in 2015, when they had said it would be falling in 2015. So he was

:33:56.:34:02.

not entirely right, he was a bit wrong, but not way-out wrong?

:34:02.:34:06.

basic story was right, we were one of the two countries with the

:34:06.:34:11.

biggest deficits in 2010. In 2010 we did think we were the biggest.

:34:11.:34:19.

We did have a very big deficit. the one thing this coalition cannot

:34:19.:34:23.

save the other conceivable future is that it is cutting the national

:34:23.:34:27.

debt? It is increasing the national debt? The national debt is going to

:34:27.:34:33.

carry on rising we think at least until 2016. The proportion of

:34:33.:34:37.

national income is forecast to fall after that. It depends on how well

:34:37.:34:42.

the economy does. Is there any time in your crystal ball, when this

:34:42.:34:47.

national debt in absolute terms, starts to fall? I don't know when

:34:47.:34:54.

it starts to fall in absolute terms, but assuming it goes terribly well,

:34:54.:34:58.

it will be the 20 30s. It is a generation and a half before we get

:34:58.:35:03.

back to where we were. Which is not in a very low level of national

:35:03.:35:10.

debt. There was another controversy on Wednesday as well. It was about

:35:10.:35:14.

how much families would lose by the 1% cap and other things the

:35:14.:35:23.

Government, the coalition has done. Why on the changes you have made,

:35:23.:35:30.

were working families by next year be �280 poorer, and the year after

:35:30.:35:35.

that �534 poorer. These are the men walking past the curtains? Those

:35:35.:35:38.

working families will only be poorer if you look at the changes

:35:38.:35:45.

in isolation. That wouldn't be right. The House of Commons library

:35:45.:35:51.

figures are there. I have to confirm what Liam Byrne has said.

:35:51.:35:55.

There the �280 been worse off next year, that is from House of Commons

:35:55.:36:02.

library. That includes the personal allowance. And the figure of �534

:36:02.:36:07.

worse off by 2016, is the Institute of Fiscal Studies and includes a

:36:07.:36:11.

rise in the personal allowance. only includes the change in the

:36:11.:36:14.

personal allowance that it was announced in the Autumn Statement.

:36:14.:36:17.

But does not include the change in the personal allowance for the

:36:17.:36:23.

entire period. Does it include all the changes in

:36:23.:36:29.

the personal allowance? The �534 No. We are looking at, is just the set

:36:29.:36:32.

of figures that were announced in the Autumn Statement, which

:36:32.:36:36.

includes some of the increase in the personal allowance, but not all

:36:36.:36:42.

of it. It includes the benefit of rating. It includes restriction of

:36:42.:36:45.

pension tax relief for the rich, and a restriction of the higher

:36:45.:36:50.

rate tax relief. A significant chunk of that money is coming from

:36:50.:36:54.

those right at the top of the distribution. Given what they're

:36:54.:36:59.

doing, for those in working families, the coalition argument is,

:36:59.:37:05.

all right, we are tapping your tax credits by 1%, but we are taking a

:37:05.:37:11.

huge chunk of your early income out of tax altogether by raising the

:37:11.:37:16.

personal allowance. Does your calculation take that personal

:37:16.:37:20.

allowance rise into account? have done a bunch of calculations.

:37:20.:37:24.

To some calculations if you look at the consolidation package as a

:37:24.:37:30.

whole. It takes everything into account since 2010. It you look at

:37:30.:37:34.

that there is a clear pattern. People on modest to higher earnings

:37:34.:37:39.

of the least affected. The most affected are those at the top of

:37:39.:37:44.

the distribution, lost their child benefit, paying 50 pence tax. The

:37:44.:37:49.

next group most affected of those dependent on benefit, particularly

:37:49.:37:55.

those out of work and also those in work. The people at the bottom are

:37:55.:37:59.

badly affected. The people in the middle of the least affected and

:37:59.:38:03.

the people at the top of the most affected. Would it be fair to say

:38:03.:38:07.

that because of the families at the very top had been most affected,

:38:07.:38:10.

because they don't get the benefit of the personal allowance, it does

:38:10.:38:16.

not feed through to them. This business of families being �534 was

:38:16.:38:22.

up by 2015, that is an average. Isn't that skewed by the number of

:38:22.:38:29.

well off families that are being very seriously hit? At �500 number

:38:29.:38:32.

is one very specific families, single earner families with

:38:32.:38:38.

children. That has been chosen in the debate because it is the

:38:38.:38:41.

biggest number affected by the Autumn Statement. It is skewed by

:38:41.:38:47.

the fact it takes effect of some of the high corners and some of the

:38:47.:38:51.

smaller things that were changed. Would it not be better to give the

:38:51.:38:55.

median figure? A medium figure would be good. We have looked at

:38:55.:39:04.

the effect of the Autumn Statement changes on families, the operating

:39:04.:39:09.

effect on families with children, who are in work. That is one to

:39:09.:39:13.

�200 a year on average for the group who are affected. The

:39:13.:39:22.

majority are not affected. I am still a little bit confused. Was he

:39:22.:39:28.

right when he said that �534 figure does not take all the personal

:39:28.:39:33.

allowances into account? Yes, he was right because it is a number

:39:33.:39:38.

which was announced in the Autumn Statement. In the autumn statement

:39:38.:39:40.

there was a small increase in the personal allowance but it does not

:39:40.:39:44.

take into account all the increases into the personal allowance.

:39:44.:39:49.

didn't you do that? We have. There are hundreds of numbers you can

:39:49.:39:53.

produce. If you look at the changes made by the Government since 2010,

:39:53.:40:00.

what you find is those on modest too high incomes in work have been

:40:00.:40:03.

less affected than those on benefits at the bottom end and

:40:03.:40:07.

those are well up at the top end. We can get this on your website?

:40:07.:40:12.

is all on the website. Government wants a Royal Charter.

:40:12.:40:15.

Labour and campaigners are calling for full implementation backed by a

:40:15.:40:18.

new law and the press have recoiled from any suggestion of statutory

:40:18.:40:21.

regulation. Negotiations have continued this week between the

:40:21.:40:23.

Government, political parties and the industry over how best to

:40:23.:40:26.

implement Lord Justice Leveson's report into the, "Culture, practice

:40:26.:40:32.

and ethics of the press". Today the Lords are debating the issue. Let's

:40:32.:40:42.
:40:42.:40:46.

The Prime Minister has said he does not believe statutory legislation

:40:46.:40:51.

is necessary to achieve the principles outlined by Leveson.

:40:51.:40:56.

Noble Lords should be aware my Right Honourable friend, the

:40:56.:40:59.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has been clear that

:40:59.:41:04.

if the industry does not deliver a tough, new self regulatory system,

:41:04.:41:10.

she won't shy away of going down the legislation route. We do have

:41:10.:41:13.

some concerns about the Government's proposals that an

:41:13.:41:18.

independent regulator be underpinned by a Royal Charter. We

:41:18.:41:22.

welcome the fact this represents an acceptance of the need for a legal

:41:22.:41:26.

framework to underpin the role of the regulator, but we had some

:41:26.:41:31.

doubts as to whether this is the best mechanism. What we need, what

:41:31.:41:35.

we have always needed is a regulatory regime which is

:41:35.:41:39.

independent from the Government and the media. And is about the

:41:39.:41:44.

regulation process and not content. This is what Lord Justice Leveson

:41:44.:41:49.

proposes, a set of voluntary regulations. It is a voluntary

:41:49.:41:52.

regulation based on incentives, with a guarantee of proper

:41:52.:41:58.

standards. It is not a liberal, state regulation. For those who say

:41:58.:42:02.

the press cannot be trusted to put its house in order, I say now it

:42:02.:42:09.

has no choice. If that sounds like a threat to legislation, it is. And

:42:09.:42:15.

the press would be very foolish to ignore it. My Lords, we won't need

:42:15.:42:18.

another enquiry if there are more scandals on the scale we have

:42:18.:42:27.

witnessed. Legislation will be inevitable. The 2000 pages of the

:42:27.:42:33.

Leveson report makes it seem like a light weight document. It is

:42:33.:42:37.

important to remember why the report was written. It was the

:42:37.:42:42.

consequence of national, moral outrage. Anyone who believes

:42:42.:42:48.

Britain's moral conscience is worse than it was, might reflect on our

:42:48.:42:53.

collective response to the phone hacking scandal. Long ago I worked

:42:53.:42:58.

as a journalist for four newspapers, including one owned by Rupert

:42:58.:43:03.

Murdoch. I was sacked by him, and experience of which I am

:43:03.:43:08.

unequivocally proud. I was also sacked by Robert Maxwell, but I

:43:08.:43:14.

won't go into that here! The Leveson report, which we are here

:43:15.:43:19.

to debate is immensely impressive. I basically supported its approach.

:43:19.:43:24.

Especially to the need for a fine delicate layer of statutory

:43:24.:43:29.

underpinning. I am much more accustomed to defending the press

:43:29.:43:33.

and much more comfortable in that role. Why is it in the last two

:43:33.:43:38.

years I have campaigned for change? Basically it is because I had seen

:43:39.:43:41.

the values that I am much journalists hold high, trampled

:43:41.:43:46.

into the dirt. It is because I have seen so called journalists

:43:46.:43:49.

attacking the public rather than carrying out their essential duty

:43:49.:43:55.

of standing up for their rights. am optimistic of a good outcome. We

:43:56.:44:00.

shall seek a profound change of culture, and an end to sloppy

:44:00.:44:04.

journalism ruining the lives of innocent people, without losing all

:44:04.:44:09.

that is good in our press. We shall demonstrate that for a good

:44:09.:44:13.

journalist, freedom of expression and professional principles can,

:44:13.:44:19.

and must be inseparable. Indeed symbiotic. And to the victims I say

:44:19.:44:27.

this, the clear message must be, never, never, never, never, never

:44:27.:44:37.
:44:37.:44:37.

We are joined by Jacqui Hames, formerly of Primark's, who speaks

:44:37.:44:43.

for the Hacked Off campaign. Reminders why you got involved. --

:44:43.:44:51.

remind us. 10 years ago now, I and my family were put under

:44:52.:44:56.

surveillance by the News of the World. I husband took over the

:44:56.:45:00.

reins of a very prominent murder inquiry into the death of a private

:45:00.:45:05.

detective, a very complex issue I will not going to, but in basic

:45:05.:45:09.

terms, our phones were hacked, we will put under surveillance, our

:45:09.:45:14.

mail was tampered with. He felt the News of the World behaved in a

:45:14.:45:18.

disgraceful way towards you. Completely. That is what motivated

:45:18.:45:23.

you in this. Yes. I think everybody accepts that the press has to

:45:23.:45:27.

change and that it needs a new code of conduct and it has to be able to

:45:27.:45:32.

account quite stiffly on a new code of conduct. The argument is down to

:45:32.:45:37.

whether it should be statutory or not, and Hacked Off wants statutory

:45:37.:45:41.

underpinning. What is your reaction to this idea that is being floated

:45:41.:45:45.

by Oliver Letwin that they should be some sort of royal charter

:45:45.:45:49.

instead that would be the mechanism by which the press was held

:45:49.:45:52.

accountable to new standards and ways of doing things?

:45:52.:45:55.

difficulty at the moment is that we have not seen the detail of that

:45:55.:46:00.

discussion. Clearly, he is having a discussion of the newspaper editors

:46:00.:46:03.

and proprietors about that. We have not been privity to that

:46:03.:46:08.

information, and I do not know the full extent of what he is proposing.

:46:08.:46:14.

The idea of a royal charter, I am not a legal expert, does seem a

:46:14.:46:18.

rather draconian measure which does not seem to have the teeth that I

:46:18.:46:23.

and other victims of Hacked Off would want to see. But we have got

:46:23.:46:29.

an open mind. This idea of a royal charter has been bandied about,

:46:29.:46:32.

although Letwin is the man behind it, he was floating it before

:46:32.:46:40.

Christmas. -- Oliver Letwin. argument on statute has changed.

:46:41.:46:44.

The original wave was that it would make sure that people could not opt

:46:44.:46:51.

out of the regulatory system. Brian Leveson ruled against that. The

:46:51.:46:55.

argument on statute is in a different place and now, it is

:46:55.:46:58.

whether or not you actually need, in order to have independent

:46:58.:47:04.

regulation, to have a statue. My position is, if a way can be found

:47:04.:47:08.

whereby you do not need to do that, it is preferable not to, but you

:47:08.:47:13.

have to be reassured, of course, that the system will deal with the

:47:13.:47:19.

issues that Lord Leveson's report talked about. There has been a lot

:47:19.:47:23.

of conflating from the newspaper side of statutory regulation and

:47:24.:47:26.

statutory underpinning of independent regulation, which is

:47:26.:47:30.

what Lord Justice Leveson called for. He did not say the government

:47:30.:47:34.

should regulate the press. He said the government should create the

:47:34.:47:38.

circumstances in law whereby an independent regulator could

:47:38.:47:42.

regulate the press. The press has started talking about statutory

:47:42.:47:45.

regulation as if it is the government regulation. Conflation

:47:45.:47:51.

has taken part of all sides. The reason that Hacked Off wanted it

:47:51.:47:55.

was to have statutory regulation. Conflation has taken place across

:47:55.:48:04.

the board. I do not think Hacked Off wanted that. Absolutely not.

:48:04.:48:09.

order to ensure... But in order to achieve compulsory membership of

:48:09.:48:14.

the regulatory body, and Sir Bryan Leveson ruled against that, so now

:48:14.:48:18.

it has been decided that he wants statutory regulation for a

:48:18.:48:21.

different purpose. I was not convinced it was necessary. We will

:48:21.:48:27.

see whether that is the case. draft bill follows Leveson, as I

:48:27.:48:31.

understand it, it is not compulsory to be part of this, but there would

:48:31.:48:37.

be penalties, as he recommended, if you are not part of it. It is just

:48:37.:48:40.

taking the regulations side of the recommendations about the fact that

:48:40.:48:47.

they should be independent central regulation -- there should be

:48:47.:48:51.

independent self regulation. But there should be another body to

:48:51.:48:56.

underpin that, and that should be in legislation, and the hack of

:48:56.:49:01.

draft bill takes those simple recommendations and shows how

:49:01.:49:04.

simple and easy it is and how straightforward it is and how

:49:04.:49:10.

nobody has anything to fear. -- the Hacked Off draft bill. It also

:49:10.:49:14.

enshrines this feeling of free speech being part of the country's

:49:14.:49:19.

DNA. No-one is trying to... I do not doubt your sincerity in this,

:49:19.:49:23.

it is very tricky, but you cannot say there is no need to fear. If

:49:23.:49:28.

you introduce legislation, this is my concern, it may be very

:49:28.:49:32.

difficult to draw the line that Mary Ann wants to draw between this

:49:32.:49:36.

and statutory regulation. But maybe the intent, that may be the desire,

:49:36.:49:43.

but it is difficult to do. We have been overrunning on almost every

:49:43.:49:46.

item this morning because I have been enjoying the discussion so

:49:46.:49:50.

much. Isn't there a sense the press are dragging their feet on this? If

:49:50.:49:54.

they really wanted to scupper your thing, they would be more

:49:54.:49:59.

enthusiastic about coming up with their own proposals. You can never

:49:59.:50:03.

put two editors in a room and they will agree on anything. We have got

:50:03.:50:06.

30 in a room trying to agree on something. They are dragging their

:50:06.:50:14.

feet, but it is like trying to herd cats. Thank you very much.

:50:14.:50:17.

It is well known that Aberdeen is Scotland's richest city, it is

:50:17.:50:27.

probably Britain's richest city. On Wednesday, we talked about that. It

:50:27.:50:33.

does not just both its wealth to oil and gas, it is a goldmine for

:50:33.:50:38.

new stories. We heard about its attempts to ban begging, today it

:50:38.:50:41.

is the mannequin locked up for seeking election to the council. In

:50:41.:50:46.

a moment, we will be speaking to the mannequin's agent, but to

:50:46.:50:49.

explain the story, here is Kevin Keane.

:50:49.:50:58.

Cleared of electoral corruption,... It was a nomination which was to

:50:58.:51:03.

land her in court. This is Helena Torry, a shop dummy who was to

:51:03.:51:10.

stand as a councillor. No win in the election, but now a victory in

:51:10.:51:16.

court. I feel vindicated anyway, it has been stressful at times, but I

:51:16.:51:22.

never felt guilty, so I was not as stressed as maybe I could have been.

:51:22.:51:26.

At one point during the proceedings, the mannequin was produced as

:51:26.:51:29.

evidence, wheeled into the courtroom by the clerk, still

:51:29.:51:33.

wearing the red hat, long coat and scarf, and bearing a placard with

:51:33.:51:40.

the words, support Helena Torry, the voice of the silent majority.

:51:40.:51:43.

Two police officers were asked to identify it. The name never made it

:51:43.:51:47.

onto the ballot paper, but it was published on the initial list of

:51:47.:51:50.

candidates. The returning officer said he received information the

:51:50.:51:55.

next day about Helena Torry and contacted the police. He maintains

:51:55.:52:01.

this was the right action. I am absolutely certain of that, and the

:52:01.:52:06.

situation arose again, I would do the same thing. In April last year,

:52:06.:52:10.

Rene Slater was interviewed and charged. Afterwards, she brought

:52:10.:52:14.

police to this cafe in Aberdeen city centre, where the mannequin

:52:14.:52:20.

was being scored. It was handed over to officers and taken away in

:52:20.:52:24.

a policeman. Right now she is still behind bars but expected to be

:52:24.:52:28.

reunited with their agent within weeks.

:52:28.:52:32.

We did try to get in touch with the returning case -- the returning

:52:32.:52:35.

officer who brought the case, but we have been surprisingly

:52:35.:52:40.

unsuccessful. But we are joined by the manic and's agent, Rene Slater,

:52:40.:52:45.

thank you for coming on to the Daily Politics. -- mannequin. Why

:52:45.:52:51.

did you put it up for election? There have been a lot of problems

:52:51.:52:56.

in Aberdeen in terms of lots of closures happening within things

:52:56.:53:00.

like mobility, people with mobility issues, people with learning

:53:00.:53:03.

difficulties. It was all disappearing to some extent because

:53:03.:53:07.

they have stopped ring-fencing it, but many of these people have no

:53:07.:53:11.

voices, so I thought it would be useful to bring in someone who had

:53:11.:53:16.

no voice to speak for the silent majority. The one not try to imply

:53:16.:53:19.

that the mannequin had more personality and character than some

:53:19.:53:25.

of the people standing for election. -- you were not. So you were trying

:53:25.:53:31.

to imply that! I understand they put you in jail for a while. Well,

:53:31.:53:38.

yes, I was in a police cell for six hours. They would not let me out

:53:38.:53:43.

until I handed in Helena Torry. It was a bit of a prisoner exchange.

:53:43.:53:51.

Let me get this right, Helena Torry is the name of the mannequin, and I

:53:51.:53:59.

think it is to do with Helen of Troy. It came from that

:53:59.:54:04.

amalgamation, but it is also a place within Aberdeen itself, an

:54:04.:54:13.

area of deprivation. Where I worked, I have done youth work for 30 years,

:54:13.:54:17.

they had programmes there for use projects, and they have all

:54:17.:54:25.

disappeared to some extent. -- use projects. It is about losing

:54:25.:54:29.

resources from local areas. there was a prisoner exchange, you

:54:29.:54:33.

were allowed out in return for the incarceration of the mannequin.

:54:33.:54:39.

That is correct. And is it still in jail? I am going to see if I can

:54:39.:54:42.

collector after three weeks. assumed the mannequin has not been

:54:42.:54:48.

maltreated. I do not think so. She is all over the place. She has not

:54:48.:54:55.

been waterboarded. She needs a change of clothes, I think.

:54:55.:55:00.

suspect she does. A final question, briefly, what do you think the

:55:01.:55:06.

political import of these will be? Well, I mean, it is difficult to

:55:06.:55:10.

tell, actually, what could happen in the future. She might get

:55:10.:55:16.

involved in the fight against the gardens being dug up. I think it is

:55:16.:55:20.

quite important to be involved in some local issues as well. She has

:55:20.:55:24.

a voice, even though she did not speak herself, she has a voice and

:55:24.:55:31.

charisma, and people enjoy a bit of humour after all. Give our best to

:55:31.:55:38.

the mannequin. Thank you very much, Andrew. We will organise a Daily

:55:38.:55:42.

Politics campaign to spring air, if it comes to that. Thank you for

:55:42.:55:45.

joining us. Now, it is hard to think of

:55:45.:55:51.

anything newsworthy that we have not covered today, not just the

:55:51.:55:56.

waterfront here. He is a round-up of the week's political news in 60

:55:56.:56:05.

Monday saw the eagerly awaited, well, awaited coalition review.

:56:05.:56:09.

David Cameron called it the Ronseal deal, it does what it says on the

:56:09.:56:12.

tin, but just before an audit of what the government has actually

:56:12.:56:17.

delivered and what it has not was published, it was Ed Miliband's

:56:17.:56:22.

turn to give him a coating. A PR man who cannot even do a relaunch!

:56:23.:56:26.

Meanwhile, the lesser spotted Miliband attacked the Government

:56:26.:56:31.

benefit cuts. This rancid Bill is not about affordability. Then Lords

:56:31.:56:36.

were leaving, not Strathclyde and Lord Marland leaving frontline

:56:36.:56:41.

politics. Apparently Lord Strathclyde found the Lib Dems too

:56:41.:56:46.

much to bear. Still, he did resist the temptation to call me, as he

:56:46.:56:52.

launched a radio phone-in on LBC. Have you ever worn a onesie? I was

:56:52.:56:58.

given one. So now you know. And as you might say, see you same time,

:56:58.:57:08.
:57:08.:57:11.

Right, this business about benefits for pensioners, taking it away from

:57:11.:57:14.

the better-off pensioners. Nothing is going to happen this side of the

:57:14.:57:18.

election, but as the election approaches, is it back on the

:57:18.:57:23.

agenda? You can make an economic case, a social case, a political

:57:23.:57:29.

case. We are all in it together, surely. I am just saying that I

:57:29.:57:34.

think it would be very difficult. I can understand the public policy

:57:34.:57:41.

argument, but it is not the vote. It sounds like could use an

:57:41.:57:46.

Aberdeen word, you are at the end. He made that promise in the first

:57:46.:57:50.

place because of the votes. He was bounced into the Labour campaign,

:57:50.:57:54.

which was very effective. Keep your eye on that subject. Before we go,

:57:54.:57:59.

the answer to the quiz. Which member of the Government was

:57:59.:58:04.

allegedly involved in throwing the police minister Damian Green of a

:58:04.:58:14.
:58:14.:58:14.

bridge in Oxford during their All of them responsible for up

:58:14.:58:19.

holding the law! I think it was Dominic Grieve. I know it was.

:58:19.:58:24.

did he do it? They had some sort of argument over the presidency of the

:58:24.:58:31.

Union. I have forgotten! Nothing to do with the Bullingdon Club. All

:58:31.:58:36.

right! So it was Dominic Grieve, the police will be knocking on your

:58:36.:58:41.

door, Attorney-General! Thank you to all my guests. The news is

:58:41.:58:48.

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