17/01/2013 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. One British man has


been killed, up to five more are being held hostage at a gas


facility deep in Algeria. The Government's emergency committee is


meeting here in London, we will bring you the latest. It is the eve


of David Cameron is big speech on Europe, awaited so eagerly by


Conservative backbenchers, but will voters be hanging on his every


word? Parliament, Fleet Street, the City of London, the BBC, why have


all these famous British institutions fallen from Grace? We


will ask the custodian of standards in public life. And stand by for an


export boom to Germany, princesses Eugenie and Beatrice hit Berlin.


They hit Berlin? They do! That is their first trade mission. Wow!


More exports. What do they know about it?! Don't ask me, I am not


their publicity officer! Stay tuned and you will find out. With us for


the duration, the chief executive of YouGov, Stephan Shakespeare,


welcome back. Let's starts this afternoon with the ongoing hostage


crisis in Algeria. Up to 41 foreign nationals are being held at a gas


facility in the south-east of the country. The group includes up to


five British nationals, and one British man was among two people


killed in the incident when the facility was being taken over by


the terrorists, which began yesterday. The Algerian army is


surrounding the facility, and the government's Emergency Committee,


COBRA, has been meeting. They will be co-ordinating with the other


countries involved in this, there are Americans and French and so on.


Speaking in Australia, where he is on a visit to give a lecture, the


Foreign Secretary said it was an extremely dangerous situation.


number of people are held hostage there. This does include a number


of British nationals, and this is therefore an extremely dangerous


situation. We are in close touch with the Algerian government, their


military have deployed to the area, and the Prime Minister has spoken


to the Prime Minister of Algeria. We are liaising very closely at all


levels with the Algerian government. I have just spoken to our


ambassador in Algeria and sent a rapid deployment team from the


Foreign Office in order to reinforce our embassy and consular


staff. We are joined from the Cabinet


Office in Westminster, Whitehall, by Richard Galpin. Good afternoon


to you, can you give us the latest? What more do we know at this stage?


Well, I mean, essentially, we know, as you were saying, that the


emergency committee, COBRA, has been meeting. We have not had any


information directly coming out of it, but as you were saying,


obviously the emphasis now is on co-ordinating with the other


countries involved, and of course specifically with Algeria, to see


if they can be a peaceful outcome to this. BP has put out a statement.


It has some of its employees taken hostage. They are saying the


situation on the ground remains unresolved and fragile, and we know


that Algerian troops have surrounded the gas installation,


but the Islamist militants have been quoted as saying that there


would be a great tragedy if there was to be any kind of military


force used to try to free the hostages. They are claiming that


they have placed explosives around the installation, and they are also


claiming that they are very heavily armed. Is the British government


working on the assumption that it is linked to the French


intervention in Mali, which has had British support, and do we know the


motivation of the hostage takers? We know they are Islamist, but they


are also, as I understand it, drug runners and cigarette smugglers.


Their boss is called Mr Marlborough! Yes, that is


absolutely right, a lot of these Islamist groups, so-called Islamist


groups in Algeria are a mix of things. It may be an ideology and


religion, but there are also criminal elements as well, and it


could be that this is about money. We do not know for sure of. The


Foreign Secretary was a little bit cynical about the link with Mali.


There are press reports quoting the militants as saying that this is


all about trying to stop the French with their military intervention in


Mali, but we do not know for sure that that is the case. That is the


only demand, or whether there are other demands, such as trying to


export a very large amount of money. Certainly, the Government is very


tight-lipped about this year, but the standard policy of the British


government, as we all know, is that they say that they will not pay any


ransoms, if indeed that is what is being demanded by the hostage


takers. Richard, thank you very much for joining us, Richard Galpin


outside the Foreign Office, not the Cabinet Office, as I said. That is


where they have been meeting. Now, time for our daily quiz. With which


character from Are You Being Served? Was the Education Secretary,


Michael Gove, compared yesterday? What did Mr Humphrys, Mr Grace, Mrs


Slocombe or Mrs Slocombe's pet? No sniggering, please! I'm sure our


guests will give us the correct answer. I know the answer. You?


don't! Don't you read the papers? Perhaps not the comparisons! It was


in all the papers... Anyway, David Cameron is no doubt polishing his


clogs in preparation for his big speech in Amsterdam tomorrow. It


has earned him some tulip bouquets from his backbenchers, but


brickbats from those who think a referendum will scare off investors.


There have been brickbats from Washington, EU capitals, Tory


grandees and political opponents over his long awaited Europe speech.


Now it is the turn of the Business Secretary. In a speech later today,


Vince Cable is expected to warn it would be a dangerous gamble to try


to renegotiate powers from Brussels. The Liberal Democrat MP plans to


say that the policy is creating uncertainty for investors and is a


terrible time to have the diversion and uncertainty which the build-up


to a referendum would entail. Meanwhile, Ed Miliband has this


morning accused the government of taking the wrong stance on Europe.


I believe that committing now to such an in-out referendum has big


costs for Britain. That is where -- that is why I see the Prime


Minister is taking us to the economic cliff. I thought Lord


Heseltine put it very well, he said we are committing to a referendum


on a negotiation that has not yet begun, on a timescale that is


uncertain, with an outcome that is unknown, and that is an unnecessary


gamble for our country. Just think about this, imagine an investor


thinking now, should I be investing in Britain or Germany or Denmark,


or a whole range of other countries? I think if we put up a


sign around Britain saying, we might be out of the European Union


within five years, I do not think that is going to be good for our


country. Douglas Carswell and Julian Huppert joined as. What has


David Cameron got to say to satisfy you? I hope he will say he will


negotiate a new deal and then put it to a referendum of every single


person in the country, do we sign up to the New Deal or out? What


should be the architecture of that deal? What should be the bold


points? In order to persuade me to advise my constituents to vote to


stay in, I would want us to be able to negotiate free trade agreements


with countries around the world, I would want British law to no longer


be subsumed under EU law,... With the European Court of Justice in


Luxembourg. And also I believe that in order to compete in a modern


world, British companies should only have to comply with single


market rules when they are exporting to the single market, not


when they are looking to trade domestically or globally. Are you


prepared to be disappointed? We both know he will not go as far as


that. Well, hang on a second. I have waited a long time, not months,


maybe decades for his speech, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm


going to wait and listen in good faith, and I'm sure he will speak


in good faith. Vince Cable says it is a terrible time to be talking


about a referendum, it will undermine business. I'm afraid that


the Business Secretary does not speak for British business. If you


look at the BCC survey out recently that showed that 35% of their


members think that the price of being in the single market


outweighs the benefits. Business recognises we need a new deal, and


I find it quite extraordinary that the Business Secretary things we


should not be prepared to renegotiate at a time when Europe


is itself changing. Julian Huppert, what is the threat to business?


think it is a huge and very real threat. If businesses are not sure


what the rules are going to be in five years' time, that will hit


investment. People will be uncertain, and that is bad for


business. I'm fascinated that Douglas highlights a pack that a


third of businesses in one so they were not keen on being in Europe.


That leaves two-thirds who did not say that, of course! Most of the


businesses I speak to highlight the fact that what they want his


certainty, and it is the same case that David Cameron made about the


dangers of the Scottish referendum, that it will be bad for the


Scottish economy. There are millions of jobs in the UK who


benefit from working with Europe. We are huge beneficiaries, as well


as the fact that it allows people to travel freely and are all those


other benefits. It would be incredibly damaging to have


uncertainty. David Cameron has a tough job. Would you like me to


announce the major investments in Scotland that have been announced


since the referendum was unveiled? It is the same point. The challenge


is to name those which have not been named. Tell me those which


have not been named. I do not have a full list. You have any single


item on that list? I think the point... Do you? A number of


businesses are highlighting that they are concerned about that


uncertainty and what it will do. I have to say, Cameron has a tough


job to deal with the sensible part of his policy of one to get on with


rebuilding the British economy and the European fanatics and are


deeply concerned, who talk about Europe at every available


opportunity. I think you are talking about Douglas Carswell,


let's go back to him! It is at least theoretically possible that


uncertainty would deter international business from


investing in Britain. Look at the biggest source of uncertainty in


Europe at the moment, it is a product of ever-closer integration,


monetary union. Take companies that invest in his country in order to


manufacture cars. The European market contracted by 7% last year.


Honda is going to let go one in four of its workers in Lancashire.


And yet a company that invests in this country to export to Asia and


the Middle East, Jaguar Land Rover, has announced it is going to be


increasing this production and hiring 800 people. I think that is


a vivid illustration that actually the European project is not the be-


all and end-all. If it feared that it faced tariff barriers if we were


outside the EU, that could deter international manufacturers? Why


would they come here to face a tariff barrier? Look, they are not


going to. If you look at when we were to invoke the relevant clauses


to leave the European Union, part of that process would see us


negotiate a trade deal. Turkey has free trade and does not face tariff


barriers, Switzerland does not. There are good examples of states


that border and neighbour the European Union that are not members


that have market access. Julian Huppert, if a referendum is such a


bad idea, why were the Lib Dems urging us to say a petition saying


it is time for a real referendum on Europe? What we have said quite


consistently is that when there is a major change, something like the


constitution that was proposed, that would be an appropriate time


for Europe to reflect, but not when we are struggling to get our


economy going. No, excuse me, this was an in-out referendum you were


calling for, not on repatriation of powers. He said, it is time, the


clue is there, a time for a real referendum on Europe. Why were you


saying that only a couple of years ago, asking us to sign a petition,


send it to your headquarters? Why were you doing that then? I think


the point was, and what our manifesto said was very clearly


that it was about having a proper referendum if there was a major


change, not this constant sniping... No, and sorry, this referendum is


about an in-out referendum, time for a real referendum, not one on


powers, but a real one on whether we should stay in or out. Why were


you arguing that then, asking us to sign a petition to do so, and now


you are saying it is dangerous? suspect... I have not got this


piece of paper in front of me, I'm not sure I have seen it. The key


point is that it is about when you do that real referendum, when there


is a major national trigger, not just the fact that David Cameron


has a bunch of right-wing Euro- sceptics to placate. The damage is


being done. If you look at the proposed opt-outs from home affairs


issues, we have heard from Gbagbo that it would make it much harder


for police officers to do their jobs, arresting criminals, reducing


crime. -- ACPO. The timing now would be absolutely awful, damaging


to British business, damaging to British interests... So why would


it not have been damaging to British interests two years ago?


but what we were saying then, have a look at the Frazer Clarke


manifesto, it was very clear that the timing was one there was a


major change. -- have a look at the I brought with me a copy of your


referendum, in which you say you remain committed to an in-about a


referendum. Let's be clear, what Vince Cable and other Liberal


Democrats were fearful of was the idea that the results should be put


to the British people. They are absolutely terrified about that.


They know that unless it is a very, very good deal, it is going to be


out. Let me ask dude two questions, first of all on the attitudes of


business that, and I mean including small- and medium-sized companies -


what is their overall attitude to the European Union now? From my


perspective, the people I know, it is pretty much the same as the


public, which is, change is worrying, people do not want to


have a significant change with age cannot predict. -- which they


cannot predict. I strongly suspect they would prefer to stay in.


would they be in favour of staying in roughly on the status quo, which


is the position of Labour and the Lib Dems, or would they be in


favour of staying in on any possible Cameron deal? Well, any


possible Cameron deal would be crucial. If we have a straight in-


out question, it is 2-1 out. But with the better deal, everything


changes. When we say, if the Prime Minister can convincingly argue


that there has been a renegotiation, that some things will be better,


how would you vote, it is then positive, it is to stay in fuel


stop -- it is to stay in. My view is that this is all about risk, and


if people feel there has been some change, positively in that


direction, I think it would be relatively likely that there would


be an in vote. People have views on this, although it may not be at the


top of the list of their problems, but do people want a referendum, or


do they think this is not the right time? They always want a referendum.


If you ask, do you want a referendum, on almost any subject,


in any poll, they will say they want one. I think the news story


could be that this actually create agreement. Because if we agree that


we are good but the final outcome to the British people, in an in a


referendum, in a strange way, I think it could allow us to agree to


differ. But it could give the British people the final say. -- an


in-out referendum. This petition, which spoke about Britain's


membership of the EU, and that only, was this petition circulated during


the last election in your Cambridge constituency? I'm not sure that I


have ever seen it. Our manifesto was quite clear about the timing


issue. But we need to reform Europe, that is absolutely clear. At the


moment, we are not able to fix things like the Common Agricultural


Policy, or the fact that Brussels does not work as well as it should


do. I wish we could have a much more constructive relationship with


Europe, so that we could have a better Europe. Now, If Conservative


backbenchers, like Douglas, are looking uneasy, it is not our


probing questioning style, no, we are pussycats these days, aren't we,


Andrew? What they are worried about is the emerging threat from the UK


Independence Party. They came second at the last European


elections, and some people think they might go one better next year.


They are not yet predicted to win a seat at the next general election,


but they could threaten the careers of some Tory MPs, and make it


difficult for the party to win a majority. So, how seriously should


they take the threat from UKIP? UKIP have been going 20 years, but


for much of that time, they have been pitiful toddlers, pigeon-holed


by the grown-ups as a golf club that became a party, cranks,


racists in blazers, odd. But all the while, UKIP has been doing some


growing up, and now, the adults are worried. I think they are terrified.


The fact that Cameron will be giving this speech on Friday


regarding a referendum, even though we are not sure what it would be on,


basically tells us just how strong UKIP is, because we have driven the


agenda on this subject. What is more scary for the established


parties is the research into who is voting for UKIP, which suggests


Europe is only third on their list of priorities, allowing the party


to attack the fact that it gets labelled as a one-issue party.


There is no constitution to give them a legal framework pandered


chief executive to give them management of the party machine. --


there is a new constitution. This party has tightened up over the


years, but not to the extent that we need. People are used to having


autonomy, and they will lose some of that, so there will always be


resistance. We did have a constitution, but it was devised


for the sort of party which UKIP had been, fairly amateur, we would


have to admit that. It is inevitable in a small party


starting out. But this is a serious game, we are up against highly


professional parties, which have been around, some of them, for more


than 300 years. You cannot play the amateur for ever. One thing we had


to do was to bring in a set of rules to enable us to play the game


on a level playing field. Perhaps one of the biggest signs they are


much during is that they know they are not grown up yet. Loose cannons


have and perhaps will embarrass them. You cannot be a successful


political party if you do not know what you stand for. That is the


fundamental point. There is room for debate, and we welcome back,


but there is certainly no room for people to create their own agendas.


The party does that. Also an acceptable to them now is the idea


that they were too close to the BNP. That has been illegally tackled in


their new constitution. Those kind of people have no place in UKIP.


Nigel Farage has been playing about that. I am behind him 100% on that


aspect. It is vital. UKIP's big weakness is that they have no


geographic base. It is hard to see the winning a seat at Westminster.


But that does not mean they are not influencing debate. If we are


polling 10-15%, it could be very difficult for the Conservative


Party to form a majority, unless at some point they sit down and speak


to UKIP. Douglas Carswell and Stephan Shakespeare are still with


us. We are also joined by Mark Field. How worried are you by the


rise of UKIP? Many supporters feel UKIP speaks for the more than the


coalition government. It goes beyond simply the European issue.


It covers things like grammar schools, law and order. So, the


important thing is that we have to recognise that they are going to be


a significant force in politics. They did very well in the European


elections, and they will do so again next year, there is no doubt


about it. The wrong approach would be to try to dismiss them as being


odd. You have got to take head-on their arguments. On Europe, they


have a different view to the official Conservative view, which


is to stay in the European Union. UKIP obviously want to get out.


do you accept that argument that actually UKIP and its supporters,


people who might be considering joining UKIP, the main attraction


for them is not necessarily the debate about Europe? There is some


truth in that. One reason I believe the Conservative Party should adopt


something like open primaries is to do with this. A lot of UKIP


supporters are attracted to the idea of anti-politics. If we as --


as Conservatives want to do something about that, we need to


change the way we approach that. But what about Europe? The first


lesson in politics is to learn how to count. If you do the maths, you


see that if you can get between 10% and 20% in the polls, it is an


existential threat. Yes, we need to tackle the Europe question, with


brick Nietzschean-about choice, but that is not enough. -- with an in-


about choice. I think the difficulty is, my own view is that


the befriend am I suspect people will be offered will be something


post-2015. The concern I have always had it is the disconnect


between the political class and the public at large. In many ways, UKIP


are able to tap into that. That's partly because the Liberal


Democrats used to be able to do that, but that there are no longer


able to do so. Is the issue of Europe, and the banging on about


Europe, which David Cameron said he wanted to avoid, is that an


electoral desert for the Conservatives? The Conservatives


are ahead of UKIP on the economy. If they are going to take them on


on Europe, I think that will be a problem for them. If on the other


hand they can neutralise that subject and bring the debate back


to the economy, that is when they can get Voce back. So, you are not


doing your party any favours -- votes -- going on about Europe, you


need to tackle the economy. With respect, I would not be sitting


here in Westminster if I had not persuaded people in a marginal seat


to vote for me not once but twice. One reason why I held my seat was


by making it clear that Douglas Carswell wants Britain to have a


referendum on Europe. I think there would be more of them if others who


had been standing at the last election had taken a similar line.


Do you agree that there would have been more Conservative MPs if they


had stood on a similar platform? Without question, do the maths.


is overstating the number who lost last time, I would say. Something


like 20 also lost their seats because of Europe last time. At the


next election, you cap will be up to 8%, compared with 3%. -- UKIP


will be up. You have got to stand on a platform for what you believe


in. There needs to be a sense of leadership, a sense of vision, of


where David Cameron once things to be, not in terms of short-term


political tactics, but a sense of being led. I think the public at


large will take on leadership where AC a sense of vision for the future.


I think a Euro-sceptic line would help the Conservative Party at the


next election, if... My point is that if it is something that the


whole party was unified about. But we know that the consequence of


going on a very Euro-sceptic line is a split, and that is what


worries voters. So, disunity could be... I'm not sure a division


between Ken Clarke and the rest is really a serious thing.... I am not


talking about that. You're saying, if we do not repatriate powers, we


must pull out. Look at the last time we had a referendum, on


electoral reform, it allowed politicians to get over their


differences, the sky did not fall down, the world carried on. As far


as the coalition is concerned, it is an ongoing problem. Without


boundary changes, it is difficult to see how the Conservatives can


get an overall majority at the next election. So there is an ongoing


impact. This is not just an internal Conservative issue, this


is a coalition issue. The European issue is an important strand. There


is an appetite for greater direct democracy, and giving people a


referendum on Europe is part of that. But there are other


democratic changes we need, in order to reach out to people who


are disaffected with the whole of the Westminster Establishment.


you accept that this could give Britain what it wants in terms of


repatriating powers? This is where I think David Cameron is really on


to something. If we enter into negotiations saying, can we please


have a new deal or else we will leave, I think actually he could


achieve something quite extraordinary. That is an absolute


illusion. At the margins, we can get a little bit of repatriation...


The idea that we are going to be able to have a fundamental


renegotiation is an absolute fantasy. But was the last time we


tried? Can I just say, just to throw it into the bitch, on Europe


spokesman for Mark we to's party has said that David Cameron will


not find an ally if he takes this approach. But the Dutch government


will not be voting in the referendum, so it is interesting,


but it is not central. But they will have a veto over the


repatriation negotiations. If we cannot get a deal, then the British


people are more likely to vote for out. At the margins, of course we


can do a little bit. But one of the biggest difficulties I feel is the


City of London, because we are talking about the idea of a


headlong rush towards banking and fiscal union, which under pines --


undermines one of the most important things which we all feel,


which is the single market. We have got plenty of remarks already on


Twitter. Douglas Carswell and Mark UKIP will be happy! Yes! Do you


know what the parliamentary Stone is? It is the extra weight that MPs


gain from all the boozing, schmoozing, the lack of exercise,


it is an unhealthy environment that can play havoc with a waistline.


Never mind the journalists! To help combat this, MPs have been weighing


in to highlight the rise of obesity in Britain and to get people to


take urgent action. Susana Mendonca has got a set of scales on College


Green! We have transformed College Green


into our very own Fight Club, we have the weighing scales, the


measuring chart, a very official- looking man with a clipboard. Conor


Burns and Michael Gapes, and as you can see, he has just had his height


measured. While it is very amusing to watch our MPs doing this, there


is a serious point, a campaign to get us thinking more about how much


we way. It is a very serious point. One in four adults in the UK is


obese, and a third of 11 year-olds, and it costs the NHS �5 billion per


year. This is saying to people, if you recognise it, there's lots of


things you can do to take responsibility, go for a walk, go


for a swim, joy in a gym, take responsibility and save the country


a lot of money in the future. You're off from Obesity Management


Association, which came up this idea. How do people measure their


BMI? It looks quite complicated. is your weight divided by your


height, your weight in kilograms divided by your height in metres


squared. It can be a little bit complicated, it is much easier to


go to the website, you can use the calculator there. And the point of


this is to get people like looking at how much their way, because BMI


is not a perfect measure, is it? is not perfect, but at the launch


we had a group of MPs from across the political spectrum, and on a


hole most of them were surprised how high it was. That is typical of


the population, it creeps up on you. So, Conor Burns, is he looking


good? 27.6 is in the overweight category. The need to keep an eye


on it, he is a big guy, it is not too bad. -- he needs. Mike, how are


you feeling? Fine! MPs have a lifestyle, lots of lunches, a lot


of temptation. People have a lot of temptation, it is difficult to tell


people you need to be checking on your weight. Absolutely, and I


think all of us who are, and I will come out as the obese, there are


millions of people like that, like I am, who have busy lives, and in


my case I do not always eat at regular times. I think there is a


tendency... Sadly, time is running out, what is is BMI? I'm afraid it


is 33.2. You are the loser, how do you feel about that? Not surprised,


but I am working on it, giving up alcohol for January. There are no


winners and losers, if we reach a few people at home who will make


changes, they are the winners. loser will have to do a few laps of


College Green! I think I am going to step up here and see if I can


work out what might the Emaar eyes. However, sadly, we are running out


of time, no time for me to tell you! -- what might BMI is. We will


broadcast it tomorrow! For I thought it was an airline that


British Airways board. We have just been joined by viewers in Scotland,


who have been watching First Minister's Questions. Welcome to


you. Parliament, the banks, Fleet Street, at the police, the BBC,


there is hardly a British institution that has not fallen


from grace. The custodian of Standards in Public Life is


Christopher Kelly. In a moment, we will ask him why standards have


fallen during his tenure. Not that we are blaming him! But first, a


reminder of the scandals we have # Whatever happened to their


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 44 seconds


# Whatever happened to all of the And the chairman of the Committee


of Standards in Public Life, Christopher Kelly, joins us now.


Welcome to the Daily Politics. Please explain how you managed to


conclude that standards in public life have improved! I don't think I


said that. We are in no doubt there is a result that standards in many


areas have improved. In many areas, and that is absolutely true. Given


the perfect storm and of others, the incidence of the last few


months, let alone the last few years, it is easy to fail to


recognise that in quite a number of respects standards have improved.


There is much greater transparency, there is now much greater emphasis


on issues like accountability, proper processes for making


appointments and so on. And yet, and yet, if anyone needs reminding,


we still get these long series of accidents, to put it at its mildest.


You say that all these things have happened, but just to remind you


and our viewers, according to Chris Patten, the chairman of the BBC, we


at the BBC are and will donate tsunami of filth! -- engulfed in.


We have heard of the Xavi abuse, the MPs' expenses bill lingers on.


-- Sabha all. We have had the banks rigging LIBOR and being fined


millions of pounds. We have had the hacking by newspapers, the


investigations into the police for illegal immigrants, and a former


Cabinet minister on trial! Many of those things are not in the public


sector, although a lot of them reflect cherished institutions. You


do not need to convince me of those things! Did you think long and hard


before you wrote this?! It is important to keep these things in


context. There are a large number of things that need to be done.


There are still very many instances which show that people have not


fully internalised what needs to be done to maintain high standards.


But in a number of respects, things are better. You can ask me about


this as long as you like, I do not dispute that there are lots of


things that are wrong, and the reason, I imagine, the reason you


are vast media is because we produced a report this morning


which looks at what are the things that need to be done in order to


address these issues. -- the reason you have asked me here. The public


cannot agree, never mind me. 2003, 81% of people trusted BBC news


journalists. 44% now. ITV was 82, now 41. Your local MP, 44, 37.


Senior tier-one. Leading Conservative politicians have gone


from 20 down to 19! The red-top papers are down to 10, even


upmarket papers, like the Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian,


according to the polling, down from 65 down to 38. The standards of


journalism and journalists do not fall within my remit. Otherwise you


would still be writing the report! We tracked public trust and


confidence ourselves, and there has been a long-term decline in trust


and confidence in all kinds of public institutions and semi-public


institutions. That is evident elsewhere. What pollsters often


tell you is that, it was ever thus. What say you? Certainly, it is


declining as a result of what we have seen exposed, but the process


here is that the more that is exposed, the more people censor


themselves, and one day we will not need a committee, because it will


be so obvious if you do anything wrong, it is going to be seen by


everybody. What does your report think now needs to be done? You


think it is getting better in many areas, not everywhere. What needs


to be done in your view now to improve standards in public life?


OK, well, there or two sorts of sets of things. One is really


boring, routine, bread-and-butter stuff. We know what is needed to


maintain high standards in organisations, and it is things


like a clearly expressed, a clearly expressed set of values relevant to


what the organisation is doing. It is things like processes which


embed those values. And processes that are aligned with them, and not,


as happened at the banks, one set of values expressed and another set


of behaviours which were rewarded. And it requires leadership which


embeds those values in the culture of the organisation and exemplifies


them, and we have known that for a long time. The issue really is, why


isn't there more of that happening? The second, if I may, the second


set of issues is, in his report, there is a long list of issues


which need to be addressed, recognised issues that need to be


addressed. Things like party funding, for example, on which my


committee produced a report last year. Which has not been


implemented. Will it ever be implemented? This is the point.


Many issues are quite difficult to address. Addressing party funding


requires some people to give up party-political advantage, it


requires some people to change a long-standing and highly symbolic


relationship with the trade unions. It requires all the parties to


address a possible public objection to some of the things. These are


difficult issues, but the point is, unless they are addressed in a


proactive way, they will come back and hit you, and when they do, by


the time that happens, trust has gone down even further. The damage


done by these expenses is enormous. It will take a long time. I use


that to be going? Am I sat to be going? -- sad. Yes and no. Now you


sound like a politician! It is important that people do not do


jobs like this for too long. Thank you for coming.


1,000 gigabytes makes a terrified, did you know that? 1,000 of them,


do not get me started on the next one. We are not talking about


another dodgy snack from Tesco. yes, we are! These are names for


huge volumes of computer data, the government churns out a lot of it,


and our guest of the day has been asked to see if any of it is used


for. Here is Adam to explain. You thought CSI was sexy, wait


until you hear about Public Sector Information! All the facts and


figures generated by the government and its agencies, and there is a


lot of it. It includes information from the likes of Ordnance Survey,


the Land Registry and the Met Office, and the coalition is


serious about releasing as much of it as possible. Here is sum, the


Treasury's list of all public spending, called the coins database.


Pretty impenetrable, but it is not really for you and me. The idea is


that software developers will turn it into use of apps and website


that we can use, a whole new growth industry that might boost the


economy. But at the same time, politicians are getting seriously


worried that releasing too many embarrassing documents through the


old-fashioned Freedom of Information Act, so we are getting


a lot more numbers and potentially Joining us is the Freedom of


Information Campaign and Heather Brooke. Is there any useful


information in that, or is it just a case of providing a lot of


numbers which do not tell us very much? There is a huge amount of use


in this. If you just think about the applications for medicine in


the NHS. We had Jeremy Hunt announcing that everything would be


digital soon, in about a year's time, and that the courts would be


able to be exchanged between hospitals. This means that we can


get fantastic efficiencies not only in the Health Service, but across


the public services, as we see what's really going on, what works,


what doesn't work. Without this information, how can you actually


make things better? How can you know what methods in medicine, in


surgery, are working better? You need this data, which has been


hidden, to suddenly become available. You must welcome this,


Heather Brooke? Yes, I have been campaigning about this since at


least 2004. It is certainly welcome. There were some ridiculous things


which happened in the past, when public data was copyrighted by the


Crown, and even the first computer analysts, who were trying to


digitise Hansard, and they were threatened with a copyright breach


for doing so. So, yes, I welcome this, it is great. Is there a risk


that all of this information is out there, and people will be worried


about the wrong sort of people getting their hands on the


information? There are two points. We have to realise that, is this


going to be about the public interest, or is it going to be for


business? I think you can do both. There is a strong public interest


in relating the data, but there may not be an obvious business case.


the idea that it is going to be available to everyone?. You can get


schools data already, can't you? Actually, you cannot get very much.


You can get very, very basic comparative data. You have to stop


worrying about the privacy issue in terms of hiking in all of this, and


deal with it through legislation, because there is no way that you


can make data completely safe. It is not safe now. You Ruislip


somebody 50 quid and... It is not safe now, that is exactly right.


The only way to be totally safe is not to keep it in the first place.


But I think one has to look in the past. In Britain, access to data


and information has always been about class, really. It was not as


if certain people could not access information, they have always been


able to, but usually they were the people at the very heart of power.


I think what this debate brings out is the unease about the regular,


common man having access to data. Politicians would argue that with


freedom of information, there is a danger of letting the plebs,


although they would not use that word... That's not go there! Of


letting people have access to all sorts of very sensitive information


on things like security... Obviously, on things like national


security, that is an issue. But the argument has basically been


accepted in government that there is such a thing as freedom of data.


As taxpayers, we have paid to create this data, why should we not


have it? The issue now is, how do we make it available, how do we get


value out of it, and how do we get the capability to turn it into


something useful? Rows of numbers are of no use to anyone. You're


convinced that it will lead to growth? In America, they have a


huge knowledge industry, precisely because they do not restrict.


Government documents in America are not copyrighted to the government


alone, whereas they are in this country? Yes. That's remarkable.


Now, Are You Being Served? By your Education Secretary? That was the


question asked by the Commons education Select Committee


yesterday? They evoked the spirit of the 1970s sitcom to put Michael


Gove in the spotlight. If you listen carefully, you will even


here the answer to our daily quiz. I think there is a bit of an


upstairs downstairs mentality in the department. The ministers were


on the seventh floor. Officials were summoned to the office, when I


just wanted to have a quick chat, and it had to be an official


meeting put in the diary, and it was put in the diary. Occasionally


I actually went to another floor, it was like a state visit! Most


officials have never met the Secretary of State. It might be


just a few like people for the Christmas party, or something like


that, appearing and disappearing like Mr Grace from the Grace


brothers. That is no way to run an important department. Effectively


now we have only one Children's Minister, for whom I have a great


deal of respect, but who now has a huge brief to deal with, and a


declining number of officials to help him do that. I think Michael


would say that he felt he had confidence in his ministers to get


on with it, and that he was focused on his priority, and I did not


feel... If I had a battle to fight around government, and there were


plenty of battles, as you would expect, particularly on the agenda


on special educational needs, for example - Michael went in to bat on


those things. If I went to him and said, I need your help on


negotiating with this government department, he delivered. One last


question from me, why were you sacked? Well, your guess is as good


as mine, chairman, and having spent 45 minutes in a pleasant drink with


the Prime Minister before Christmas, I came out of that meeting with no


greater insight into the answer to that question than I went in with.


And having not had any communication with the Secretary of


State for Education since the reshuffle, I am none the wiser. So,


if you find an answer as a result of this inquiry, I would be


delighted to hear it. Not sure we can help him! That was the former


Children's Minister Tim Loughton. He is not better, not at all.!


Anyway, did you get the answer to the quiz? The question was, with


which character from Are You Being Served? Was Michael Gove compared


yesterday? And the answer, of course, was the elderly and rather


remote Mr Grace. It was a good programme. Now, God Save our


Gracias Princess's, Beatrice and Eugenie, who have been chosen by


Downing Street to promote British industry. They will hit Berlin,


where they will be driving a Mini Cooper from the Brandenburg gate to


the British Embassy. The car is British-built but owned by Germans.


Next, the princesses, whose sense of style has not gone unnoticed,


will attend a so-called bread and butter fashion event. Then they


will be scooting back to their roots, the German city of Hanover,


where they might bumping to a long- lost cousin or two. We went out to


find out what the great British public think. They are women on a


mission, riding around the streets of -- of Berlin, in a Union Jack-


branded what a. But has Downing Street chosen the right people for


the German job? -- Union Jack- branded car. I do not even know


them. They are the princesses, sixth in line for the throne..


you think they might be the right people for the job? They might be..


Who would you have as a trade ambassador? Alan Sugar. He is


synonymous with business and trade. Maybe him. You think he should do


this help -- the Thelma & Louise thing instead of these girls?


I don't know... Maybe if he is going to wear that hat, then yes.


That car is not built by British Leyland any more. You could send


Richard Branson. Somebody like Hugh Grant, maybe. I think he would be


interesting. David Beckham, pretty much. Everybody knows he is British,


and he does that kind of stuff already. Do you think he would be


better than the Princess's? He is better dressed, he has got more


style.. Victoria, she could do it! Who would you send to foreign


customers to promote British interest? Certainly not those. I am


not sure they would understand what they were supposed to be achieving..


An interesting range of views there. How is this going to go down, do


you think, in Germany? I think the Germans love the Royal Family, much


less so than here are the scene as a home-grown royals, as it were,


which is of course what many Brits associate them with. But I think


the joy of royal stories continues unabated in Germany. I'm sure they


will be given a very warm welcome. Will people know who they are?


Probably not. Is that a problem? Unless they remember very well the


wedding, the Royal Wedding, and that spectacular hat that one of


them was wearing. Yes, what do you call it, the hat? Somebody called


it the pretzel hat. It was fairly unforgettable. Is it going to work,


do you think, for them, and for us, if they are trying to sell Britain


abroad? Well, they are young, everybody is obsessed with youth. I


think they are young and royal and they are princesses, and they are


actually really charming girls. As long as they do not have the


arrogance of perhaps the father, or the profligate... Habits of their


mother? Profligacy, I want to say, I don't think it exists, does it?.


Oh, yes, it does. I think they will do well. Having said that, they do


not want to do this all of the time, because they have got jobs, and


they want to work, because they do not want to be criticised all the


time for being royal freeloaders. What do they do? I knew you were


going to ask that. I think Beatrice works for Goldman Sachs, doing...


Something. I dread to think. they style icons, in Germany, for


example? No, a kink the cars they are driving. Well done, BMW, they


are getting loyalty to promote a German car. Excuse me, it is a


British car. What is British about it? It is made in Oxford, last time


I looked. Will it work? It is great advertising for BMW. We did a Sagna


-- we did a poll on this about a year ago, and it was about two to


one sale and the girls should stay at home and have a royal life! --


saying the girls. They love to do some charities have occasionally,


but they know that they have got to be seen to be working, otherwise


they will just be criticised all of the time, and it is horrible and


hurtful. They want to be princesses, but they want to get on with their


lives. Their father is a trade ambassador, and he gets criticised


or of the time for this. I think he is behind this. I do not think it


is their mother. Finally, will there be a lot of press coverage in


Germany? Interestingly, I believe initially the idea was for the two


foreign ministers to drive the car. At the moment, tensions are


increasing between Berlin and London. I think they are very


interested in Cameron's speech tomorrow. That was going to be a


symbol of... That's it for today. We thank all of our guests. I am


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