15/01/2013 Daily Politics


15/01/2013

Jo Coburn has the top political stories of the day, including Joan Bakewell and David Willetts discussing whether older people have never had it so good.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gordon Brown bird in Westminster this afternoon, keep your eyes

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peeled, what should former prime ministers do?

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

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

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

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of workers to express religious beliefs at work. Four people

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

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

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

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

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

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

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not compatible with their religious beliefs. Gary McFarlane was a

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

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

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

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

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

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

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relationship creates a conflict with what I understand my Christian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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expressing their religious beliefs? Apparently those parameters are

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

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into religious problems. I would have thought employers are more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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forecasts and the rising unemployment figures? How many

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Government is run by paper shuffling mandarins, rather than

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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that we have had for generations, that separation between the

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

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

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suggesting that we jump straight to the US model of administration

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

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

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

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systems with parliamentary documentaries like ours, Australia,

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

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people with expertise and from within the Civil Service who work

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

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

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

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was to end the culture of sofa government where unaccountable spin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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bureaucracy, but bringing in outside experts means bringing in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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fact that ministers might are people working for them to share

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their views? You think they might mind about the effective

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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pushed through their reforms. is a problem with our political

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system which includes the problem of professionalisation of politics,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What other work of life would you accept accountability for people

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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a very eminent former Permanent Secretary said that he did not

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

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does not have the skills which today's commissioning civil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Very briefly, the Home Secretary has announced the starting salary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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1968 album, Bookends. Life expectancy has risen dramatically

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

:16:46.:16:56.
:16:56.:17:01.

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

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these people for Nottinghamshire. Though a lifelong friends and

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living off generous occupational pensions. They are heading off for

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:18:10.:18:20.
:18:20.:18:20.

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

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

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Winter Fuel Allowance going to South Africa? Definitely not.

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

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

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

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

:18:55.:19:02.

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

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

:19:07.:19:13.

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

:19:13.:19:19.

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

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

:19:25.:19:32.

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

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

:19:37.:19:45.

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

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

:19:48.:19:51.

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

:19:51.:19:54.

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

:19:54.:19:57.

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

:19:57.:20:02.

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

:20:02.:20:07.

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

:20:07.:20:12.

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

:20:12.:20:16.

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

:20:16.:20:22.

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

:20:22.:20:29.

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

:20:30.:20:36.

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

:20:36.:20:40.

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

:20:40.:20:45.

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

:20:46.:20:50.

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

:20:50.:20:54.

very week, the coalition has brought forward some big reforms

:20:54.:21:01.

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

:21:01.:21:07.

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

:21:07.:21:11.

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

:21:11.:21:15.

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

:21:15.:21:21.

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

:21:21.:21:26.

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

:21:26.:21:29.

interesting question to ask those people going off on holiday would

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

:21:35.:21:38.

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

:21:38.:21:48.

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

:21:48.:21:57.

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

:21:57.:22:02.

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

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

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

:22:14.:22:20.

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

:22:20.:22:23.

pensioners with modest savings who are finding they are getting very

:22:23.:22:30.

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

:22:30.:22:36.

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

:22:36.:22:39.

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

:22:40.:22:45.

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

:22:45.:22:48.

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

:22:48.:22:53.

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

:22:53.:22:58.

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

:22:58.:23:03.

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

:23:03.:23:11.

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

:23:11.:23:20.

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

:23:20.:23:27.

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

:23:27.:23:34.

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

:23:34.:23:40.

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

:23:40.:23:46.

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

:23:46.:23:51.

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

:23:51.:23:55.

salary pension schemes, they retired earlier than younger

:23:55.:24:01.

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

:24:01.:24:05.

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

:24:05.:24:12.

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

:24:12.:24:18.

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

:24:18.:24:22.

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

:24:23.:24:27.

does believe that the fuel allowance should be means tested.

:24:27.:24:31.

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

:24:31.:24:35.

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

:24:35.:24:40.

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

:24:40.:24:45.

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

:24:45.:24:51.

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

:24:51.:24:56.

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

:24:56.:25:00.

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

:25:00.:25:05.

mortgage market which collapsed in the financial crisis. Something

:25:05.:25:09.

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

:25:09.:25:16.

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

:25:16.:25:23.

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

:25:23.:25:30.

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

:25:30.:25:36.

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

:25:36.:25:39.

think that new housing which preaches green belt rules should

:25:39.:25:48.

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

:25:48.:25:52.

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

:25:52.:25:56.

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

:25:56.:26:02.

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

:26:02.:26:05.

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

:26:05.:26:12.

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

:26:12.:26:16.

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

:26:16.:26:22.

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

:26:22.:26:29.

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

:26:29.:26:34.

thrusting and dynamic executives. The reason the Tories make this

:26:34.:26:37.

pledged to not change universal benefits is because they know very

:26:37.:26:42.

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

:26:42.:26:47.

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

:26:47.:26:53.

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

:26:53.:26:59.

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

:26:59.:27:04.

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

:27:04.:27:10.

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

:27:10.:27:19.

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

:27:19.:27:25.

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

:27:25.:27:30.

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

:27:30.:27:34.

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

:27:34.:27:40.

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

:27:40.:27:47.

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

:27:47.:27:51.

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

:27:51.:27:55.

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

:27:56.:28:01.

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

:28:01.:28:07.

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

:28:07.:28:13.

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

:28:13.:28:21.

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

:28:21.:28:27.

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

:28:27.:28:30.

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

:28:30.:28:33.

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

:28:33.:28:36.

follows the collapse of the photography firm Jessop and it is

:28:36.:28:39.

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

:28:39.:28:42.

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

:28:42.:28:50.

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

:28:50.:29:00.
:29:00.:29:23.

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

:29:23.:29:29.

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

:29:29.:29:36.

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

:29:36.:29:42.

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

:29:42.:29:46.

with everybody, because everybody remembers going to HMB,

:29:46.:29:49.

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

:29:49.:29:52.

retailers who have gone into administration over the last 12

:29:52.:29:57.

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

:29:57.:30:03.

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

:30:03.:30:06.

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

:30:07.:30:13.

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

:30:13.:30:15.

downturn, and I would argue that the government has precipitated

:30:15.:30:21.

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

:30:21.:30:25.

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

:30:25.:30:30.

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

:30:30.:30:33.

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

:30:33.:30:36.

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

:30:36.:30:42.

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

:30:42.:30:46.

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

:30:46.:30:50.

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

:30:50.:30:56.

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

:30:56.:31:00.

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

:31:00.:31:04.

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

:31:04.:31:08.

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

:31:08.:31:13.

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

:31:13.:31:18.

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

:31:18.:31:23.

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

:31:23.:31:27.

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

:31:27.:31:32.

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

:31:32.:31:36.

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

:31:36.:31:40.

we quickly speed up the complete transformation of our digital

:31:40.:31:44.

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

:31:44.:31:48.

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

:31:48.:31:51.

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

:31:51.:31:58.

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

:31:58.:32:02.

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

:32:02.:32:05.

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

:32:05.:32:09.

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

:32:09.:32:13.

companies are not paying corporation tax. Has that had

:32:13.:32:18.

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

:32:18.:32:23.

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

:32:23.:32:27.

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

:32:27.:32:32.

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

:32:32.:32:35.

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

:32:35.:32:41.

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

:32:41.:32:43.

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

:32:43.:32:49.

talking about multinational retailers, Amazon, who many people

:32:49.:32:53.

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

:32:53.:33:00.

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

:33:00.:33:05.

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

:33:05.:33:11.

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

:33:11.:33:16.

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

:33:16.:33:20.

the government appointed Mary Portas, and she brought out a

:33:20.:33:24.

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

:33:24.:33:29.

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

:33:29.:33:32.

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

:33:32.:33:38.

attention. Two really important things. Retail is our biggest

:33:38.:33:42.

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

:33:42.:33:47.

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

:33:47.:33:52.

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

:33:52.:33:59.

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

:33:59.:34:05.

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

:34:05.:34:09.

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

:34:09.:34:12.

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

:34:12.:34:16.

hopes of winning an overall majority, but after Lords reform

:34:16.:34:20.

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

:34:20.:34:24.

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

:34:24.:34:28.

Labour to delay implementation of the boundary changes and scupper

:34:28.:34:32.

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

:34:33.:34:40.

Hart explaining his reasons for The continuing uncertainty about

:34:40.:34:44.

boundaries is having a chilling effect on selections, planning and

:34:44.:34:49.

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

:34:49.:34:52.

source of concern and distraction for sitting MPs who should

:34:52.:34:56.

otherwise be focusing on their central role of representing the

:34:56.:35:00.

people who elect them. Achieving a conclusion and stopping the

:35:00.:35:05.

boundary review process will also save significant amounts of public

:35:05.:35:09.

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

:35:09.:35:15.

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

:35:15.:35:19.

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

:35:19.:35:22.

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

:35:22.:35:28.

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

:35:28.:35:34.

truth is that this is solely because the Deputy Prime Minister

:35:34.:35:38.

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

:35:38.:35:45.

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

:35:45.:35:49.

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

:35:49.:35:54.

and the complex issues such as greater devolution and

:35:54.:35:58.

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

:35:58.:36:03.

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

:36:03.:36:09.

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

:36:09.:36:13.

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

:36:14.:36:19.

this amendment is determining that the unfairness that is recognised

:36:19.:36:23.

and published and generally accepted, that that unfairness will

:36:23.:36:27.

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

:36:27.:36:32.

elected House will then determine that the voters in those

:36:32.:36:36.

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

:36:36.:36:40.

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

:36:40.:36:44.

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

:36:44.:36:49.

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

:36:49.:36:57.

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

:36:57.:37:01.

constituency loyalties and personal loyalties that have been

:37:01.:37:04.

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

:37:04.:37:08.

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

:37:09.:37:17.

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

:37:17.:37:21.

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

:37:21.:37:26.

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

:37:26.:37:30.

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

:37:30.:37:34.

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

:37:34.:37:39.

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

:37:39.:37:42.

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

:37:42.:37:46.

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

:37:46.:37:49.

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

:37:49.:37:54.

constituencies, and now they have grenade done that because the

:37:54.:37:57.

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

:37:57.:38:01.

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

:38:01.:38:06.

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

:38:06.:38:10.

liberal ministers go through the lobbies and vote against a

:38:10.:38:13.

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

:38:13.:38:17.

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

:38:17.:38:20.

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

:38:20.:38:24.

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

:38:24.:38:28.

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

:38:28.:38:32.

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

:38:32.:38:37.

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

:38:37.:38:42.

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

:38:42.:38:45.

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

:38:45.:38:48.

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

:38:48.:38:52.

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

:38:52.:38:57.

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

:38:57.:38:59.

would have at reform of constituency boundaries. If we

:38:59.:39:05.

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

:39:05.:39:08.

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

:39:08.:39:12.

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

:39:12.:39:16.

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

:39:16.:39:24.

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

:39:24.:39:28.

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

:39:29.:39:32.

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

:39:32.:39:38.

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

:39:38.:39:43.

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

:39:43.:39:47.

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

:39:48.:39:54.

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

:39:54.:39:57.

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

:39:57.:40:01.

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

:40:01.:40:04.

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

:40:04.:40:07.

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

:40:07.:40:11.

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

:40:11.:40:15.

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

:40:15.:40:19.

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

:40:19.:40:22.

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

:40:22.:40:26.

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

:40:26.:40:31.

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

:40:31.:40:34.

vote for their constituencies. then you would bring in Lords

:40:34.:40:38.

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

:40:39.:40:44.

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

:40:44.:40:48.

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

:40:48.:40:52.

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

:40:52.:40:56.

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

:40:56.:41:00.

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

:41:00.:41:05.

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

:41:05.:41:09.

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

:41:09.:41:14.

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

:41:14.:41:23.

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

:41:23.:41:26.

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

:41:26.:41:29.

Lords using proportional representation, and the reason why

:41:29.:41:33.

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

:41:33.:41:36.

perfectly well that if the Conservative Party could not

:41:36.:41:40.

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

:41:40.:41:45.

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

:41:46.:41:50.

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

:41:50.:41:53.

for liberal ministers to vote against the government and still

:41:53.:41:58.

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

:41:58.:42:04.

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

:42:04.:42:09.

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

:42:09.:42:12.

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

:42:12.:42:17.

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

:42:17.:42:21.

unless we also reformed the House of Lords and increased the

:42:21.:42:25.

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

:42:25.:42:29.

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

:42:29.:42:32.

principle of collective responsibility, you stay in

:42:32.:42:35.

government and support the government. If you do not agree

:42:35.:42:40.

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

:42:40.:42:43.

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

:42:43.:42:47.

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

:42:47.:42:52.

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

:42:52.:42:55.

Lib Dems all voted for that legislation, which would have

:42:55.:42:59.

provided for their voting. Last night we had liberal ministers

:42:59.:43:03.

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

:43:03.:43:08.

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

:43:08.:43:12.

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

:43:12.:43:15.

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

:43:15.:43:20.

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

:43:20.:43:28.

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

:43:28.:43:31.

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

:43:31.:43:34.

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

:43:34.:43:38.

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

:43:38.:43:43.

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

:43:43.:43:46.

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

:43:46.:43:52.

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

:43:52.:43:55.

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

:43:55.:44:00.

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

:44:00.:44:04.

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

:44:04.:44:08.

comprehensive package on Lords reform, Commons reform. Of the

:44:08.:44:12.

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

:44:12.:44:17.

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

:44:17.:44:21.

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

:44:21.:44:25.

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

:44:25.:44:31.

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

:44:31.:44:36.

matters should not be a matter of division between parties and

:44:36.:44:43.

subject to changes in order to gain particular party advantage.

:44:43.:44:46.

this not party politically motivated? Are you denying that

:44:46.:44:49.

that would give an advantage potentially to the Conservatives in

:44:50.:44:55.

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

:44:55.:44:59.

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

:44:59.:45:02.

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

:45:02.:45:07.

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

:45:07.:45:11.

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

:45:11.:45:21.
:45:21.:45:24.

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

:45:24.:45:27.

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

:45:27.:45:30.

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

:45:30.:45:33.

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

:45:33.:45:35.

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

:45:35.:45:38.

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

:45:38.:45:41.

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

:45:41.:45:46.

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

:45:46.:45:50.

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

:45:50.:45:56.

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

:45:56.:46:00.

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

:46:00.:46:05.

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

:46:05.:46:10.

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

:46:10.:46:18.

technological achievement. Britain was about to launch the first jet

:46:18.:46:24.

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

:46:24.:46:34.
:46:34.:46:37.

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

:46:37.:46:42.

factories are working flat out producing or materials demanding a

:46:42.:46:49.

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

:46:49.:46:52.

third of the population was employed in manufacturing.

:46:52.:46:57.

Unemployment was negligible. 60 years on, the picture is

:46:57.:47:01.

unrecognisable. Most industries have disappeared. Those of our

:47:01.:47:05.

competitors have flourished. British household names for thrive

:47:05.:47:10.

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

:47:10.:47:16.

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

:47:16.:47:20.

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

:47:20.:47:23.

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

:47:23.:47:26.

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

:47:26.:47:33.

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

:47:33.:47:38.

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

:47:38.:47:42.

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

:47:43.:47:48.

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

:47:48.:47:51.

situation where investment banks are at encouraging firms to believe

:47:51.:47:55.

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

:47:55.:48:01.

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

:48:01.:48:04.

manufacturing to make us more competitive or should we try to

:48:04.:48:09.

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

:48:09.:48:13.

The proportion of natural -- national income is not very

:48:13.:48:18.

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

:48:18.:48:25.

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

:48:25.:48:33.

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

:48:33.:48:37.

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

:48:37.:48:43.

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

:48:43.:48:49.

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

:48:49.:48:55.

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

:48:55.:48:59.

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

:48:59.:49:03.

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

:49:03.:49:08.

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

:49:08.:49:15.

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

:49:15.:49:25.
:49:25.:49:27.

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

:49:27.:49:32.

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

:49:32.:49:38.

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

:49:38.:49:43.

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

:49:43.:49:48.

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

:49:48.:49:53.

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

:49:53.:49:58.

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

:49:58.:50:05.

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

:50:05.:50:09.

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

:50:10.:50:14.

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

:50:14.:50:20.

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

:50:20.:50:23.

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

:50:23.:50:27.

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

:50:27.:50:31.

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

:50:31.:50:38.

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

:50:38.:50:44.

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

:50:44.:50:54.

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

:50:54.:51:01.

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

:51:01.:51:11.
:51:11.:51:13.

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

:51:13.:51:18.

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

:51:18.:51:22.

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

:51:22.:51:26.

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

:51:26.:51:30.

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

:51:30.:51:35.

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

:51:35.:51:39.

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

:51:39.:51:44.

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

:51:44.:51:48.

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

:51:48.:51:53.

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

:51:53.:52:01.

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

:52:01.:52:07.

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

:52:07.:52:16.

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

:52:16.:52:19.

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

:52:19.:52:28.

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

:52:28.:52:33.

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

:52:33.:52:36.

high in manufacturing or particular service industries and back those.

:52:36.:52:41.

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

:52:41.:52:45.

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

:52:45.:52:51.

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

:52:51.:52:56.

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

:52:56.:52:59.

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

:52:59.:53:04.

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

:53:04.:53:14.

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

:53:14.:53:20.

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

:53:20.:53:23.

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

:53:23.:53:26.

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

:53:26.:53:29.

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

:53:29.:53:32.

Minister has spoken just three times so far since losing the

:53:32.:53:35.

election - most memorably during a debate calling for the withdrawal

:53:35.:53:37.

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

:53:37.:53:40.

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

:53:40.:53:45.

cannot defend themselves. For the grieving families about brave war

:53:45.:53:52.

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

:53:52.:53:57.

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

:53:57.:54:01.

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

:54:01.:54:06.

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

:54:06.:54:11.

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

:54:11.:54:16.

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

:54:16.:54:21.

losses, private solaced treated as property of News International -

:54:21.:54:24.

their private most innermost feelings and private is bought and

:54:24.:54:29.

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

:54:29.:54:32.

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

:54:32.:54:35.

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

:54:35.:54:38.

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

:54:38.:54:44.

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

:54:44.:54:49.

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

:54:49.:54:54.

Parliament and devote herself to public service. There is a

:54:54.:54:57.

possibility that prime ministers are there for their greater own

:54:57.:55:02.

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

:55:02.:55:07.

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

:55:07.:55:13.

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

:55:13.:55:18.

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

:55:18.:55:23.

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

:55:23.:55:28.

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

:55:28.:55:32.

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

:55:32.:55:36.

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

:55:36.:55:40.

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

:55:40.:55:47.

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

:55:47.:55:57.
:55:57.:55:59.

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

:55:59.:56:03.

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

:56:03.:56:13.
:56:13.:56:17.

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

:56:17.:56:24.

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

:56:24.:56:28.

of high international importance and domestic significance and then

:56:28.:56:33.

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

:56:33.:56:38.

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

:56:38.:56:44.

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

:56:44.:56:47.

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

:56:47.:56:51.

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

:56:51.:56:57.

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

:56:57.:57:03.

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

:57:03.:57:08.

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

:57:08.:57:13.

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

:57:13.:57:17.

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

:57:17.:57:24.

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

:57:24.:57:28.

individual and they will find individual solutions. It maybe he

:57:28.:57:35.

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

:57:35.:57:41.

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

:57:42.:57:49.

Minister brings unparalleled experience to that. We have heard

:57:49.:57:54.

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

:57:54.:58:00.

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

:58:00.:58:07.

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

:58:07.:58:13.

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

:58:13.:58:17.

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

:58:17.:58:21.

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

:58:21.:58:29.

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

:58:29.:58:34.

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

:58:34.:58:39.

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

:58:39.:58:44.

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

:58:44.:58:52.

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

:58:52.:58:56.

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