15/01/2013 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics. The European Court


of Human Rights has ruled that British Airways was wrong to ban a


worker wanted to wear a cross. Are the rights of Christians at work


being respected? Sorry I am late, it has been a terrible day!


Prime Minister is back on our television scenes, and so is the


old complaint, that it is the mandarins who run Whitehall. We


will ask a former minister if it is true. We were once one of the


world's great exporting nations, but do we make anything, and does


it matter? And we are expecting a rare sighting of the lesser spotted


Gordon Brown bird in Westminster this afternoon, keep your eyes


peeled, what should former prime ministers do?


All that in the next hour, and with us for the whole programme today is


broadcaster and Labour peer Joan Bakewell. Welcome to the programme.


Thank you. Let's start with the ruling by the ECHR about the right


of workers to express religious beliefs at work. Four people


claimed they had been discriminated against, only one has won, Nadia


Eweida, the BA employees sent home for wearing a cross. The other


three lost their cases, including the nurse who wore a cross outside


a uniform. The court ruled that there were legitimate health and


safety reasons in her case. The other two cases involved people who


refused to perform some of their duties because they said they were


not compatible with their religious beliefs. Gary McFarlane was a


councillor with Relate, who refused to offer sex therapy to same-sex


couples. He explained why he felt it was the right thing to do.


sex therapy, you are required to diagnose people's sexual problems


and write a treatment plan and work with them for six months to a year,


helping them to actually improve their sex life, improve the way


they do their sexual activity. For me to do that in a same-sex


relationship creates a conflict with what I understand my Christian


faith and the Bible has to say. Gary McFarlane there. He lost his


case, but do you think his religious rights were infringed?


All these cases are very separate and very interesting. I feel that


he had taken employment in a job and are taking certain obligations


that are laid down by law, that you must treat all people equally. When


he found that he could not do that, then his position as a Christian


was threatened and he was in the wrong job. You think they can ever


be an exception in those cases where people say, because he went


on to explain, I do not think I could have given the right advice,


but I would have referred them to a colleague? If you have a job in


which all people are meant to be treated equally, and it states that


both in law and the employers setting out of the job, you have to


comply with that. Isn't that obvious? I think that applies to


all sorts of jobs in which you undertake to carry out obligations


that are put upon you by the state. So I think the two lost the


Employment Appeals are quite right. I am delighted that Nadia Eweida is


allowed to wear a crucifix. How stupid were British Airways to say


she should not! She had been wearing on under their clothes, but


this was bought of their corporate image, they wanted to standardise,


but the court found against British Airways' claim in this case. You


see that as a victory? Yes, a victory for common sense. Are they


go into stop Sikhs wearing turbans? I don't think we want to do that in


this country, we believe in religious tolerance, and it is


perfectly right that should be allowed to wear it. The nurse, why


couldn't she not wear her cross underneath a uniform in the same


way? They cited health and safety. It might be held and safety go in


party, I do not understand the risk of the issue, but she had been


offered the chance to wear a cross on her lapel, and she turned that


down. Clearly a negotiation had not resolved the situation, which it


should have done. Do you think employers have too much discretion


to set parameters as to what people have a right to do in terms of


expressing their religious beliefs? Apparently those parameters are


quite wide. I do not have enough experience about how people run


into religious problems. I would have thought employers are more


tolerant generally, certainly in terms of uniform, and when I was


younger, that was an absolute thing, you wore the uniform or you were


out. I think people are probably more tolerant now, and I think most


employers want to be good employers, that is a target for them. It is


what they are told to do, be good employers, and that means meeting


the request of our employees as much as we can. These cases were


taken to the European Court. Does the law needs to change gear, or


was it, in most of those cases, a vote for common sense? People just


need to be sensible, don't they? It is not worth going to court over


somebody wearing a crucifix. If they really believe that wearing a


crucifix, and I am told it is not necessarily the expression of their


religion, they are not required by the religion to wear a crucifix,


their beliefs are very important to them, and if you're believes are


very important and devout, then you should not be taking on a job that


compromises them. That is what fate Something a little different, does


is bring back memories? Sorry I am late! It has been a terrible day.


Any particular reason? You have read about the Cabinet split and


see what happened to the FTSE and the pound and the inflation


forecasts and the rising unemployment figures? How many


particular reasons do you want?! This Lancaster House conference is


turning into a catastrophe. It was your idea. If you become President


of Europe in the biggest financial crisis for 80 years... With respect,


there is no such title as President of Europe. You are so pedantic!


Don't you just love it? Yes Prime Minister is back on our TV screens.


The new series starts at 9pm on UKTV gold. Set your buttons on the


TV. But is the Yes Minister culture back in Whitehall, too? Steve


Hilton has been telling students in his new job in California that the


Government is run by paper shuffling mandarins, rather than


ministers. Yesterday Gus O'Donnell, who retired as head of the Civil


Service in 2011, accused ministers of attacking the civil service to


deflect attention from their own failings. Nick Herbert was, until


September last year, a Home Office minister. His Yes Prime Minister,


laughing away as you were, is it comedy wall documentary? As far as


any minister is concerned, it is an essential training manual. Like all


the best parodies, it is rooted in a real truth, which is that the


system can be very resistant to change. I do not think it is any


longer fit for purpose. I think it is quite wrong for Gus O'Donnell to


say this is just the current government halfway through its term,


saying this. Actually, yesterday Tony Blair, who after all has been


out of office for some time, said that the Civil Service was


hopelessly bureaucratic and no longer fit for purpose. There are a


range of voices on all sides of politics was saying that times have


changed and we need a system, which is the case that I make, the


ability to bring people in, good people. There is a ring of steel


around the Civil Service. It is a monopoly. You are not allowed to


get external policy advice, you're not allowed external advisers, and


it would be much healthier, as in other public services, healthcare,


schools and everything else, you open up services and make them


stronger. So you are proposing the end of the Victorian principles of


a civil service. You do not want to have that neutrality in the way


that we have had for generations, that separation between the


political and the Civil Service. You are right that that model is


well over 150 years old. Should it end? In its current form. I am not


suggesting that we jump straight to the US model of administration


changes with every president, because we have, unlike the US, a


different system. They have separation of powers. But I think


we could do more to bring good people in, and there are other


systems with parliamentary documentaries like ours, Australia,


Canada, where ministers have more advisers and are able to draw on


people with expertise and from within the Civil Service who work


more directly for ministers to get things done. I'm going to bring


Joan Bakewell in in just a minute, but you are saying you want to be


able to bring more advisers, the whole point of your party's pledge


was to end the culture of sofa government where unaccountable spin


doctors, whether Alastair Campbell Damian McBride, make-up policies,


not to meet the National Industry - - national interest but for party


political reasons. I have no time for that kind of spin doctor, I


never wanted one myself. Policy advisers, people of expertise. I


would not want to see more spin doctors. I think there is a need to


have some communications in modern government, but what this is about


is can we bring in the brightest and the best? Look at the West


Coast mainline debacle, it cost tens of millions of pounds because


of a failure... You could say it was as a result of cuts to the


Civil Service. That is not what the internal report said. What do you


say, first of all, to the end of the way we run government? I think


Mandarin is a good word. We want wise people who are being in a


position for a long time to know a great deal. There may be


shortcomings, I can see that maybe so, the thing being stuck up with


bureaucracy, but bringing in outside experts means bringing in


your people, people who are going to be at your beck and call,


telling you what you want to know. I think that the neutrality of the


civil service has to be defended at all costs. It is a gold-plated


ideal that must not be sacrificed for party political interest. Look


at the mess in America! One government goes out, they bring in


a whole new set of people who do not know their way around. The


Civil Service, as Yes Minister shows, civil servants know their


way around. They know how the system runs, and very often young


ministers do need guidance. Well, actually, the US system does not


all change, the key positions do. I'm not arguing for that model, but


greater ability to bring people in. What about politicising that? He


would just bring your own people in. You think the public mind about the


fact that ministers might are people working for them to share


their views? You think they might mind about the effective


government? If you make pledges and say you will reform health, schools,


the police or whatever you promised, what the public want is for you to


be able to deliver that. Today... Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith


say they are doing well with their reforms in the current system, and


all that you are doing, to answer the accusation of Gus O'Donnell, is


to say that a workman blames his tools and the ministers are not of


a high enough quality to use the guidance of the Civil Service and


pushed through their reforms. is a problem with our political


system which includes the problem of professionalisation of politics,


too. I do not think this is just a problem of the civil service, but


this morning on the programme I made for the Today programme, Lord


O'Donnell, the former Cabinet Secretary, made what I thought was


an astonishing claim when he said that the first job of the Civil


Service was to challenge ministers. There is a role to challenge,


because that is healthy, but surely the first job is to help the


government get its policies through. Which policies have been blocked,


do you think? I'm not sure it is a question of blockage. They can be


resistance, and I encountered some of that when I was at the Home


Office and the Ministry of Justice. Other teams were good, but the


random nature of it was frustrating. As a minister, you're accountable


for everything, but you do not control any of the people who work


for you. They work for the -- they work for the permanent secretary.


What other work of life would you accept accountability for people


who do not work for you? You are elected by the people to be the


government of the day, but the civil servants are the servants of


the public, throughout their career, and that is what they have


dedicated their lives do. They build up expertise, they know their


way around, and young ministers come in eager for change, and


perhaps rather clumsy as they begin to know the job, a good and wise


civil servant will show them the way round so that they understand


how to implement their policy. Should they be allowed to frustrate


the agenda? It is a trade-off, isn't it? That is why it is so


humorous when we see it, but there's nothing to stop them


bringing in other people to advise, the place is full of political


advisers... It absolutely is, there are limits, they are not allowed to


go for outside advice. People outside may not see papers, that is


the whole point, it is a monopoly. It is not just about blocking


policy, it is about the capability of the Civil Service. This morning,


a very eminent former Permanent Secretary said that he did not


think that the Civil Service was fully fit for purpose because it


does not have the skills which today's commissioning civil


service... I think that is a problem, and that is why we have


got to have a more fluid system where good people can go in and out


of an administration, and we do not have that at the moment. There are


really good people in Whitehall, and I make no personal criticism. I


get on very well with the ones I worked with, many were of a high


calibre, but when you encounter a team which is not right, which does


not have the capability... would not throw out the good.


can we bring in the brightest and best? Unless you have made your


career in the civil service or are willing to be employed full-time,


Very briefly, the Home Secretary has announced the starting salary


for police constables will be capped to �19,000. Are they are


overpaid? Those already in roles will not be affected. It was


recommended by an independent review. It said, in order for


police officers to move faster up the pay scale, there should be a


lower starting point. Overall, you do not lose as a police officer


match OBR for Korea. It is part of the reform of pay and conditions to


make Remuneration better. -- match over your career. Old friends, sat


on their park bench like bookends. So sang Simon & Garfunkel. But much


about old age has changed since they penned that song for their


1968 album, Bookends. Life expectancy has risen dramatically


and today's pensioners can expect to enjoy a long retirement in


From reporter to plain old porter. I have come to the airport to meet


these people for Nottinghamshire. Though a lifelong friends and


living off generous occupational pensions. They are heading off for


two weeks to South Africa. What better way to get into a holiday


mood and talking about the politics of pensioners? David Willetts says


the amount of wealth in the UK in the form of housing is 2.1 trillion


pounds. Those over 65 own 800 billion - more than a third. We are


comfortably off. That is because we have saved for our retirement. I


think, as our age group, we are fortunate we were born at the right


time. Gerald and Jim do not feel loaded. But we have taken a pay cut


because our investments - our savings - have gone down. You


cannot find anywhere to put your money because you don't get


interest of your savings. What about the top-up benefits that go


to pensioners regardless of income? Winter Fuel Allowance, TV licences


and the bus pass. About �130 a month for electricity and oil. �200


does help, definitely. What if someone said, did you spend your


Winter Fuel Allowance going to South Africa? Definitely not.


it went on the bills. We have saved for a holiday separately to the


Winter Fuel Allowance. However, not all pensioners us jetting off to


Johannesburg. Officials -- official figures showed those over 65 he did


not go on holiday Atul was 41%. Many said it was because they were


not well enough. Does that surprise you? It does. That is a shame. We


think of ourselves as an average pensioner. We are fortunate to be


able to go for one decent holiday. We also have a few weekends away.


As a child, have we did not have holidays. They could not afford it.


We were born at the right time. We have put away and it has paid off


for us. It is time to wave them off. I forgot to ask them about adult


social care and the fact I will not retire as early as they did and


loads of other things. Maybe I will save that for when they get back.


Our guest of the day, Joan Bakewell, acted as a Voice of Older people


under the last Government. We're also joined by David Willetts, who


is the Universities Minister, but is also the author of The Pinch, a


book about how the baby boomer generation have ended up with more


than their fair share. They have ended up with it surely by lack -


timing. As the lady in the film said, just an accident of birth.


People were buying houses when prices were low. Then house prices


shot up. Then there was high inflation which eroded the burden


of their mortgage. The group by particularly focus on in my book,


who have done particularly well, are the 45 to 65 age group. There


are those over 65 who are enjoying final-salary pension schemes.


feel they should be allowed to do that and enjoy their retirement?


They have saved. They have built up a final salary pension scheme. One


disaster in the last 20 years has been the collapse of pensions. This


very week, the coalition has brought forward some big reforms


which will encourage people to save. What is your problem with the 45 to


65 group? What should be done to redress the balance? We need to


insure you for a fair deal to the a regeneration. My worry is that


we're not doing enough to support the younger generation. I think a


lot of parents and grandparents do want to help their kids and grand


kids. I want to have a contact between the generations. And


interesting question to ask those people going off on holiday would


be, by helping children with the cost of their first house? Are you


providing childcare to grunge kid so your son or daughter kangaroo up


to work? -- your grand kids, so your son or daughter can go out to


work? Benefits are being capped or cut and there are very generous


pension allowances. We have kept to our pledge. Is it the right thing


to do? It is. When you have made a specific pledge in an election, you


must stick to it. I would add a further point. Interest rates are


very low at the moment. One of the results of this is there are many


pensioners with modest savings who are finding they are getting very


little income from personal savings. Are you concerned about the future


for the younger generation? I am. I have grandchildren who are victims


to all the things that have been mentioned. My generation is helping


them out in as far as they're able. We are about for the next 10 years


to engage in a hole reassessment of how we deal with an ageing


population because everyone is going to be ageing. We need to know


how they will be able to live a decent retirement. Some of us have


been enormously fortunate, I am one of them, in having property that


was cheaper and aborted and is now fallible. Those of us who have so -


- and brought it and is now valuable. I should say that old


people are not a uniform type of person. They do billions of pounds


of caring. They do the caring for their grandchildren. That allows


their children to go out to work. They care for each other which


saves on the carers budget and they share -- care in the community.


lot of that is an costive. If you look at the figures in the final


salary pension schemes, they retired earlier than younger


generations will be able. They will have to pay in more, work longer


and get out less. There are retired people with a huge amount of


political clout who have none means tested benefits. In terms of social


mobility, there is very little to help young people improve their


situation, buy a house, unless parents help them. I am someone who


does believe that the fuel allowance should be means tested.


No question that he should be added to income and taxed. And means


tested in that way. What can the Government do to help social


mobility? Colleagues of mine say they were never be able to get onto


the housing ladder in the way that some of my other colleagues can.


That is one of the big changes. For the Government, it is a matter of


making it easier for people to get started with their mortgage. Our


funding for lending scheme may at last be beginning to open up the


mortgage market which collapsed in the financial crisis. Something


which older generations can do, when there is a proposal for


housing in our area, when you see people in any housing development


that will turn up and protest. It is a delicate issue. If you turn up


and protest every time they raise a proposal, that makes it much


tougher for the younger generation. Our attitudes need to change.


think that new housing which preaches green belt rules should


not be embarked upon until all the Brown housing available has been


exploited. That will not damage the countryside. This is where we need


reforms. Sometimes, the brownfield sites in cities are where kids kick


around a football. We have to get the balance right. One of the


priorities is to get more housebuilding. That is one of the


best single things we can do. is a powerful, political group.


They use that boys because they have the time to do so and use it


very effectively. People who live in the country can afford it. They


are not necessary old age pensioners. They mean -- may be


thrusting and dynamic executives. The reason the Tories make this


pledged to not change universal benefits is because they know very


well that old people vote. For some reason, a higher proportion of old


people vote and they will be punished. Particularly the bus pass,


which is cherished by old people. That is the truce. They are a


powerful, political voice. -- the truth. Of course, everybody. You


need to take account of the views of everyone. Are you giving too


much to the voice of the older generation? We are increasing their


pension age. It will not affect me! It is happening as we speak. The


pension age is already rising for women. We are finally, after years


of frustration, tackling the problem of long-term care and the


costs involved. It is signalling that people will have to make a


contribution from their own savings to long-term care. We will wait for


you to implement till marked. was in the coalition's mid-term


report. Sorting out the financing of long-term care and the issue


that the pension age was too low, given we enjoyed extra years of


life expectancy. It will be harder and more expensive. People are


going to have to work harder and longer. That is good news because


we are living longer. The period of retirement will be as long as ever.


You cannot have the extra years receiving a pension. It is a major


social change. The scale of it, no one has really begun to appreciate.


His Master's Voice has been a fixture on the British High Street


for over 90 years. Last night, the firm went into administration. It


follows the collapse of the photography firm Jessop and it is


the most recent of a long line of retailers that have fallen victim


to the economic downturn. Let's have a reminder of HMV's


illustrious history. This record was made in 1905. I'm going to play


to you a few bars on an instrument Shadow Business Secretary Chuka


Umunna is here with us now, reminiscing about HMV, did you go?


I use Dubai vinyl at HMV, yes, one of the places I used to shock --


shop. It is a sad day. It is one of those issues that has cut through


with everybody, because everybody remembers going to HMB,


particularly at Christmas. It is one in a long list of major


retailers who have gone into administration over the last 12


months. But isn't it a sign of the times that the business itself was


outmoded, that it is not the way we shop? I also used to go to a HMB,


but I have not done recently, and that is what is happening to


businesses will not be able to keep up. -- HMV. No doubt the economic


downturn, and I would argue that the government has precipitated


some of these things happening, but undoubtedly the changing shape of


the market place has had an effect, too. In some senses, we are victims


of our own success, because we have one of the most innovative retail


sectors in the world, the third largest internet market in the


world, and if you are not in the vanguard of these new ways of


selling products, integrating... Are lot of the talk is about multi-


channel ways of operating in retail, integrating what you sell online


with the shop front, and if you are not doing that, you will run into


difficulties. The challenge for us now is to make sure that we have a


sector specific industrial strategy for the retail sector... To save


companies like HMV, when you have just outlined that people are


downloading music, aren't they? When was the last time you went


into HMV? I did actually go into the one on archer Street during the


Christmas period, but I had not been very often. -- Oxford Street.


I did not buy anything, actually. You are right, I am not suggesting


that we would prop up industries which are sticking to old ways of


working, and I do not think retail is, but we have got to look at how


we can help them succeed. For example, we have to make sure that


we quickly speed up the complete transformation of our digital


infrastructure so that we have got high-speed broadband, because


smaller businesses he was seeking to break into new markets, if they


cannot use the technology to do that, we are on to a hiding to


nothing. Secondly, we have got to ensure we have got the skills for


people to develop. That is in addition to ensuring we have a


level playing field in terms of tax. I was going to ask you about that,


the issue of tax has caught the politicians alike, that some big


companies are not paying corporation tax. Has that had


anything to do with the demise of HMV? No. In this particular


instance, HMV not keeping pace with the Times, and by the way we are


talking as if it is dead... Absolutely, they are trying to find


a buyer. We would hope to see as many of the stores bought up as


possible, but I think what it does is it affects the playing field,


doesn't it? For online retailers to pay their fair share, it is


impossible to compete on a level playing field, we know we are


talking about multinational retailers, Amazon, who many people


say are not paying their fair share of tax. Are you sad? I have still


got a few HMV discs, a little wind- up gramophone, I play sentimental


records. Third a down the food chain is the high street. HMV


itself was aged chain, so it was quite an important change in a town.


What matters is the local high street of independent shops, and


the government appointed Mary Portas, and she brought out a


report... They gave out some small amounts of money, she isolated 10


towns that deserved help, including Stockport, my home town. It was a


gesture towards trying to save the high street, which needs more


attention. Two really important things. Retail is our biggest


private-sector employer. It gives a lot of young people their first job,


employing 40% of our working teenagers. You are going to cut the


off, I can talk very long! You have made a good case, thank you.


Yesterday saw a coalition exposed on the floor of the house. The


Lords were debating an amendment which would delay the change in the


number of MPs until after the next election. When the change was


included in the coalition agreement, it is key to the Conservatives'


hopes of winning an overall majority, but after Lords reform


was dropped because of a Tory position, Nick Clegg withdrew his


party's support for the changes. Yesterday Lib Dem peers voted with


Labour to delay implementation of the boundary changes and scupper


David Cameron's plans. Here is a flavour of the debate, with Lord


Hart explaining his reasons for The continuing uncertainty about


boundaries is having a chilling effect on selections, planning and


the distribution of resources. He is also inevitably going to be a


source of concern and distraction for sitting MPs who should


otherwise be focusing on their central role of representing the


people who elect them. Achieving a conclusion and stopping the


boundary review process will also save significant amounts of public


money being wasted on the process which appears to be doomed.


have we got into this mess? Why are we faced with this problem? The


answer is because the Deputy Prime Minister is cross. He is cross that


his Bill, which was not properly thought through, and despite


repeated warnings, it crashed on landing in the other place.


truth is that this is solely because the Deputy Prime Minister


did not get his way on Lords reform. And now he wants to exact a little


retribution. It is nothing less than a great political sulk. My


party has always considered the need to reduce the number of MPs


and the complex issues such as greater devolution and


decentralisation. And the reform of your Lordships House. My Lords, not


all my noble friends behind me will agree on some key aspects of Lords


reform, but we all want to see an effective second chamber, able to


hold the government of any party to account. Everybody who votes for


this amendment is determining that the unfairness that is recognised


and published and generally accepted, that that unfairness will


be maintained, and not wholly maintained, by the way, but is an


elected House will then determine that the voters in those


constituencies that some votes will would be worth more than others,


and the unfairness that existed in the 2010 election, actually, this


House will ensure by voting for this amendment that it is actually


even worse next time. What we are doing if we pass his bill into law


is to set fire to the electoral map of Great Britain, to all the


constituency loyalties and personal loyalties that have been


incorporated within it, and to pledge ourselves to do the same


thing again at every single election for all eternity, and that


is why I hope the amendment will be Miraculously, the Conservative peer


and former cabinet minister Michael Forsyth this year, as is Chris red


knot of the Liberal Democrats. -- is here. After yesterday, how do


you feel about your colleagues in the Lords? Well, not just in the


Lords, I feel they cannot be trusted. We made a deal with them,


I had to vote for the AV referendum, which I was totally opposed to. The


Prime Minister missed the future of the Conservative Party. The deal


with the leader of the Liberal Party was that in return they would


support the changes so that we have a fair voting system in the


constituencies, and now they have grenade done that because the


Deputy Prime Minister failed to produce a bill which the House of


Commons was even prepared to a latter-day off. Where do you think


the coalition stands after this? Well, what does it mean when


liberal ministers go through the lobbies and vote against a


government of which they are members? I assume that if one of


the Liberal ministers had voted to support the government, he would


have been sacked by Nick Clegg, which would have been the first


time in history that a minister would be sacked for supporting his


own government. Is that true? not a fair analogy. No minister


would have been sacked for voting with the government? It is not fair


to suggest that. The Liberal Democrats make clear that we had a


difference on this issue. Coalitions do not end when the two


parties who work together on some things, the economic packages we


have had to put through, and we have avoided the difficulties of


countries like Spain and Greece. We have disagreed on boundaries and


Lords reform. We wanted Lords reform, and if we had that, we


would have at reform of constituency boundaries. If we


could not have one, we will not have the other. But you are not


disagreed with the principal, Nick Clegg is in favour of equalising


boundaries, so you are taking revenge. We do want to see more


equal boundaries, but at the last election it took 33,000 votes to


elect a Labour MP, 35,000 to elect a Conservative MP, and 120,000 to


elect a Lib Dem MP, so why don't we talk about that? We have had the


debate on PR, which you resoundingly lost, and you ended


into an agreement with us which you have now ratted on. I know that


Nick Clegg is cross, but he is now double cross against the Prime


Minister. When a partner cheats on another, that marks the end of the


marriage. Oh, no, you can have negotiation. Perhaps the Liberals


can think again and be as good as their word when the matter goes to


the House of Commons, but it is absolutely unacceptable that we


have been asked by the Prime Minister to vote for fixed-term


parliaments, the AV referendum, a range of stuff which frankly we do


not like, and we have been urged to do this on the basis that it is


essential to get fair voting so that the Conservatives have a fair


chance at the next election. If I can intervene, you put your finger


on it when you said the deal was that they would vote for Lords


reform, but the bill for Lords reform was so poor... That was not


the deal. The deal was that we would deliver AV and they would


vote for their constituencies. then you would bring in Lords


reform. It was the failure to do that... Look at the coalition


agreement. It says we would bring forward... Proposals. We would set


up a committee to bring forward proposals. Nick Clegg was on the


Today programme repeating the same line, he said we had a manifesto


commitment to launch reform. We did not, the commitment was to seek


consensus on Lords reform, which there was not. But it was about a


wholly or mainly elected House, you are talking semantics here, haven't


the Liberal Democrats got a point when they are talking about trust?


On Lords reform, they feel you broker a deal, too. They feel


exactly the same way. The speech was very explicit in 2010 after


there would be a proposal brought forward for an elected House of


Lords using proportional representation, and the reason why


David Cameron sack some people when they voted against reform, he knew


perfectly well that if the Conservative Party could not


deliver Lords reform, the Lib Dems would not deliver boundary reform.


There we have it, he is arguing that it was right that Conservative


PPSs should have voted against a botched law reform, but it is OK


for liberal ministers to vote against the government and still


keep their jobs. Should they be sacked? It is not government policy,


it was the two parties the green... Of policy is where they both agree.


He says that you did have an agreement. We disagreed on


boundaries, and with good reason, because we did not think it right


to reduce the number of MPs and make government more par-four


unless we also reformed the House of Lords and increased the


legitimacy of the House of Lords. - - more powerful. Should the Prime


Minister the sacking Lib Dem ministers? We have always had the


principle of collective responsibility, you stay in


government and support the government. If you do not agree


with what it has done, you resign or get fired. What are we to make


of this? What happened last night in the House of Lords was the sort


to amend a bill which had been agreed by the House of Commons,


which was an act of parliament, to defer the boundary changes. All the


Lib Dems all voted for that legislation, which would have


provided for their voting. Last night we had liberal ministers


going through the lobbies, voting against the government, that is the


end of collective responsibility. await developments. I wait to see


which ministers will resign and which will be sacked. He is this


why, because of relations in the Lords, while Lord Strathclyde


stepped down? He would need to ask him, but it was reported he was fed


up... He reported it himself! not blame him. As a Conservative, I


am expected to go and vote for things that I do not particularly


like because they are part of the coalition agreement. Why does that


not apply to the Liberals and the Liberal Front Bench? It is


outrageous. What do you say to those accusations? This is very


serious from his side, it sounds as if the coalition is pretty well


over. My noble friend here, if I may call and that, as we would if


we were in the House of Lords, he takes the view that coalition is


about doing what the largest party says. It is not simply about doing


that, the coalition is about where you agree, and we try to agree a


comprehensive package on Lords reform, Commons reform. Of the


Conservative members in the Commons could not deliver on Lords reform.


We are not talking about Lords reform. Where do we go from here?


This is over, as far as the boundary review? The Commons will


have to decide. By the way, there is a really important in which has


been lost, and that is these matters, these Boundary Commission


matters should not be a matter of division between parties and


subject to changes in order to gain particular party advantage.


this not party politically motivated? Are you denying that


that would give an advantage potentially to the Conservatives in


the way that you are accusing him? I am not, but when I was Secretary


of State for Scotland, a report destroyed my constituency. It never


occurred to me for a millisecond not to do it, because the


convention is, on boundary matters, he wore his support the Commission.


Here, the Liberals, for their own advantage, are undermining our


I would like to be a fly on the wall at your next meeting. At the


Queen's Coronation 60 years ago, the souvenirs were almost entirely


British made. But, while Elizabeth II has been on the throne, British


manufacturing has been in decline. Many of the great names of British


industry are in foreign hands, or have disappeared altogether. For


more than 20 years, journalist Nick Comfort has been covering that


decline and the political decisions which he believes failed to stop it.


He has written a book on the slow death of British industry. He will


join us in the studio in a moment. First, here's his take on that


story. Let us visit one of the British Motor Corporation's huge


machine shops and see the kind of equipment that is being used for


the production of engine parts. Britain share was around a quarter.


There was talk of a new Elizabethan age of British economic and


technological achievement. Britain was about to launch the first jet


airliner. By now open Calder Hall, Britain's first atomic power


station. She was on the verge of being first -- the first. Her


factories are working flat out producing or materials demanding a


society on the verge of prosperity after rationing and the war. One


third of the population was employed in manufacturing.


Unemployment was negligible. 60 years on, the picture is


unrecognisable. Most industries have disappeared. Those of our


competitors have flourished. British household names for thrive


under foreign ownership. We have lost most of our export markets.


Many kids had to be imported. Manufacturing now only accounts for


12% of the national income and employs fewer than 3 million


workers. Nicholas Comfort is here now. We're also joined by Philip


Booth, an economist and former adviser to the Bank of England, who


is now at the Institute for Economic Affairs. What happened to


British manufacturing? The after the war, you had bad decisions on


investment and over-powerful unions. He had strikes which led to


headquarters of Ford and Vauxhall living to Germany. You had a


situation where investment banks are at encouraging firms to believe


all they need to do is be fattened up and sold to foreign companies.


Has this been a natural and necessary decline in some parts of


manufacturing to make us more competitive or should we try to


rebuild it? There has been a natural decline in many respects.


The proportion of natural -- national income is not very


different from France or the United States. What about during BAT's


question marks at the same time, what has happened -- what about


during the 1980s? In the 1980s, manufacturing did decline. Now we


export about �50 billion worth of financial and legal services. With


that we import manufactured goods. That is what trading economies do.


They're not all the same. Haven't we just adapted? Does it matter if


it is 12% or 10%? A lot of that 12% is owned by foreign companies and a


lot of our major plants are just one decision not to invest away


from being moved somewhere else. You have a situation where Jaguar


landowner is owned by an Indian company. It will start producing in


China. How long will it produce in Britain? 70% of the owning --


earnings of the FTSE 100 companies, come from abroad. If companies want


to accumulate assets, we have a low level of saving. That is a problem


but a different problem from that of the decline in manufacturing.


You are saying this is the generation in which you grew up.


had a great empire and the great industrial base. After the war, a


lot of that was destroyed. All of the other countries got better at


doing things than we did. Cotton was manufactured in India and


stared at Lancashire. There was inevitable decline in our base.


Two-thirds of our economy is service industry. That is a


tremendously high risk balance in fact. Do you think that is what we


do best? A lot of that is not essential in the basic need of the


country's survival. It is wonderful that we have marvellous


hairdressing and restaurants and tourism. It is not the bedrock of


the existence of an economy. You have to make something people want


that is nuts and bolts. We are not doing enough of that. You can make


services in trade - as Reckitt and trade. It is not a risk to have a


higher level. -- services and trade. They had a lot of financial and


banking services and legal services. Banking services is a small aspect


was up look how Honourable shipbuilding was! -- a small aspect.


The should we be picking sectors that we back as the Government?


Governments have had a bad record. Government set-up British Leyland


and backed the aircraft industry after the war to the exclusion of


everything else. It needs industry to have ownership in this country


of critical mass. It also needs the banks to do what they do for the


German firms. That is lend them money of back them to do what they


do well and go on doing it, not just backing them up for sale.


You're talking about let them do what they do and doing it well. Can


they do it before to the? Is a cost-effective? There is no reason


why it should not be. -- we afford to do that. ICI gave up the post --


the ghost. British Leyland imploded. We do not have the new companies


coming up. There are industries that are doing well. The luxury end


of manufacturing does pretty well. Should and would be backing that


more to help it grow the economy? - - should we not? A horizontal


policy provides the best condition for all businesses to thrive. Not


high in manufacturing or particular service industries and back those.


We should have a government policy of low regulation and taxes which


allows all businesses to thrive and as the economy to specialise and


trade in the way that is appropriate. The bedrock of that


his training - training in the IT skills in which we show some skill.


Also medical research and things that will be needed to support an


ageing population. We're good at medicine research and that is where


it should be funded. His opponents used to joke that he never have


left the bunker. For some, that joke has continued 2.5 years after


he left Downing Street but not the House of Commons. But, today,


Gordon Brown makes a rare appearance as a backbench MP in a


debate on the future of two factories in Fife. The former Prime


Minister has spoken just three times so far since losing the


election - most memorably during a debate calling for the withdrawal


of News Corporation's bid to take over broadcaster BSkyB. I rise in


this debate, not to speak about myself, but to speak for those who


cannot defend themselves. For the grieving families about brave war


dead, courageous survivors of 7/7 come out for the outraged victims


of crime and most recently and perhaps most of all victims of the


violation of the rights of a missing and murdered child. Many


holy innocent men, women and children who, at their darkest hour


- at the most vulnerable moment in allies - with no love and know


where to turn, found they are properly private lives, private


losses, private solaced treated as property of News International -


their private most innermost feelings and private is bought and


sold by News International for commercial gain. So, what do you do


as a former Prime Minister? Once that famous door closes behind you


for the last time, how do create a new role for yourself? Joining me


now to deliver his words of wisdom is Quentin Letts, sketch writer at


the Daily Mail. It is difficult, isn't it? You have led the nation


and held the role as Prime Minister and then what? You go back into


Parliament and devote herself to public service. There is a


possibility that prime ministers are there for their greater own


personal glory. Look at history! James Callaghan did eight years in


the House of Commons after leaving Number 10. Good for him! Mrs


Thatcher did come in. She looked like a shock victim but she sat on


the bench just below the gangway. Tony Blair could not be fact so


he's scuppered as soon as possible. John Major made some powerful


speeches from the backbenches. Where has Gordon Brown been? He has


stayed. What do you do it as a former Prime Minister when the new


leader is standing there. You do not want to undermine them. We do


not want to intimidate them in the sense that you have done the job


before. Is it better to stay and be seen but not heard? You could


support the new leader. He turns up today, for the first time in... It


is the first time since 20th November 11. He has been scooting


around the world, making speeches. -- since November, 2011. Do you


think it is justifiable? It is tough. If you have held a position


of high international importance and domestic significance and then


it is just wiped out. I think the internal crisis of such a fall from


grace must be catastrophic. If you lost your column, what would you


do? I'm giving one of them up. That is more incumbent on a Prime


Minister to showed that his or her power arose not from personal


brilliance but from the House of Commons. That is where you gain


your power. Edward Heath was not exactly helpful, was he? He still


applied himself. He was very grumpy as well. He earned his chips.


Somehow he respected the body that had given him his power. Winston


Churchill stayed in has a Commons until 1964. The do think Gordon


Brown should have said more since he lost the job as Prime Minister?


-- do you think? You have to accept there is a personal crisis for each


individual and they will find individual solutions. It maybe he


is coming back in a timely way to make comments. If the country is


going to war, if we have a big international crisis, a Prime


Minister brings unparalleled experience to that. We have heard


from Alistair Darling as a former Chancellor. Do they have things to


say that are helpful? I happen to think his finite analysis of the


economic situation was correct. does turn up. He does. You say that


Tony Blair stepped down immediately pulled up is that more dignified?


There is a separate matter. It's useful for the country to know what


is going on with personal money. If they are in Parliament, they have


to declare income. With Tony Blair, we do not get that. That is a pity.


Can I cite the example of ex- president Carter? He has fulfilled


many important jobs since being President. People say he is a much


more successful ex-president man he was as President. I am afraid we


have to end it there. I hope Gordon Brown was listening. Thank you to


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