22/01/2013 Daily Politics


22/01/2013

Jo Coburn is joined by the president of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron MP, to discuss Algeria, the royal succession and Prince Harry in Afghanistan.


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Good afternoon. They have lasted for centuries but Nick Clegg says

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that they are it -- they are arcane and in need of modernisation. MPs

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will be discussing just what should be done with the laws on succession.

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David Cameron says the war against terror in Africa may last a

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generation. That does not stop the government releasing details of the

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latest army cuts. Three cheers for France and Germany,

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celebrating 50 years since friendship. Do and is David Cameron

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really a man of the people? In fact, he makes sandwiches. Not the Prime

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:01:27.:01:27.

Minister, a man from Subway. All that in the next hour. With us

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is the Lib Dem president, Tim Farron. Let us talk about the

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economy. Figures show that there has been a rise in public sector

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borrowing. The figure for December, excluding financial interventions,

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was �15.4 billion compared to �14.8 billion in the same month the

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previous year. It is the six months in a role that the Government has

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had to borrow more than it did the year before. When you think about

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how much the Government has made about bringing down the deficit,

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borrowing higher in December than last year, and the six-month

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running that it has been higher, the board one target is under

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threat. What is going wrong? It is not great news for all the weight

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statistic only matters in as much as it affects ordinary voters. --

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although any statistic only matters. You see the actual reduction in the

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deficit, 25%, that is progress. Unemployment is still coming down

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and nobody is mentioning, because the Government has plotted a middle

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way, a sensible course, our interest rates are still rock

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bottom. As a con -- as a consequence, people can afford to

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pay their mortgages and businesses pay their loans. But living

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standards are continuing to be squeezed. Wages are frozen are

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falling and although one upon it is coming down, there are many people

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without jobs -- although unemployment is coming down, there

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are many people without jobs. You're missing your own targets and

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your own projections. Personally, and I have said that before, I do

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not take the view that achieving neatness on statistics is the major

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objective of government. So why make such a big deal about deficit-

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reduction? It helps us to ensure that we have the confidence from

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outside which keeps interest rates low and keeps people in jobs.

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that confidence is diminishing outside Britain. The economic

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rating is out of -- the trouble a rating is in threat. I expect we

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will be fine. We are at the strongest and healthiest economy.

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You need to look at the situation nationally, or internationally.

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Whether you blame the bankers or Labour, the Government inherited a

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basket case. Anybody from any party who says there is a sunshine or

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option is living in cloud cuckoo land. The Triple A rating is based,

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in part, on you being able to fulfil what you promised, to bring

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the deficit down. Did you think Britain will be able to hold on to

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that credit rating? I think so. But the pressure comes from both sides

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and there will be those who say that, yes, the debt is higher than

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we would like but we must cut more. Do you agree? Not in the slightest.

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We would end up in recession. It would be a stupid thing to do.

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would like to spend more? alternative is to pour your way out

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of debt. But borrowing figures shows that is what you're doing.

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That is below -- that is where the growth you have got has come from.

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Tax receipts is going up which shows there is strength in the

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economy. If but I am pragmatic. You should not be dogmatic with

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people's lives. We have to do what works. We have kept things on an

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even keel and have kept the economy strong. The emphasis is on a

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sensible strategy. Some of those on the right are saying, cut, cut, cut.

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Judge George Koren? He wants to continue -- George Osborne. He

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wants to continue austerity. It is not doing what it said on the 10th.

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There is a nonsense that there is a government plan to have austerity.

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We have austerity. It is not our plan, it is not Labour's plan. It

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is something that we have entered into because of mistakes in our

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economy. Austerity is what we have got, not what we want. Borrowing is

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up slightly, and you are confident of keeping the Triple A rating. GDP

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figures out on Friday. Will the economy contract? It is entirely

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possible that it will. We might be bumping along the bottom for some

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months or years to come. There are alternatives. We could spend more

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money, which is tempting. The danger is you end up losing not

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just the rating, but all international credibility and

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interest rates go up. To go back on the interest rates, and how

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important that is, a 1% rise in interest rates would mean �100 a

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month extra been spent from the average mortgage holder. If we did

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what Ed Balls is calling for, it would be a 5% rise, leading to

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massive numbers losing their homes. It is it difficult middle course.

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What is something different, our daily quiz. The questionnaires, who

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recently bolstered the new David Lloyd George? Was a bridge Forsyth,

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Baroness Trumpington or Andrew Neil or Dennis Skinner? At the end of

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the show, Tim Farron has the honour of giving us the correct answer. It

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is an important day in Parliament. MPs will debate a Bill designed to

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give a nip and tuck to the constitution, specifically our

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royal succession laws. But is it long-overdue or being hastily

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rushed through? Let us look at the detail. Nick Clegg wants to modify

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what he calls arcane laws that date as far back as the Treason Act,

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pass under Edward the third in 1351. It refers to the elder son and heir.

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It refers to the elder son and heir. Also in line for a tidy up his the

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Act of Settlement, past Wembley in the third was king in 70 No 1. --

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when it won him the third was king. That tidying up exercise,

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criticised for being rushed, will end discrimination against female

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royals so that men will no longer take precedent over women in the

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order of succession meaning that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's

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first child can become monarch even if it is Aperol. It will remove the

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bar on royal heirs marrying bar on royal heirs marrying

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Catholics. -- even it is a girl. We are joined by the Conservative MP,

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Mary MacLeod, who used to advise the Queen on policy matters, and by

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Paul Flynn, the Labour MP and Republican. Do you support the

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reforms? I do. As we only have these bills once every 300 years,

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there is a chance to make a decent job of it. I think the main change

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that most people would like to see is that we skip a generation,

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because the time that -- because by the time that Charles and carrots

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in 30 years' time, if the Queen lives as long as her mother did,

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Charles will be in his eighties. There are doubts about whether he

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is a suitable person to be a monarch. I think we should vote on

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the subject. We should be able to choose between Charles, William or

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another citizen. What do you think of that? Score in a generation is

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ridiculous and it will never happen. -- skipping a generation.

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Fundamental to the Royal Family is this sense of service and duty.

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Therefore, it will pass from one generation to the next. That will

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absolutely happen. But I am excited about today because I think we are

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creating history and in an -- in a society we want to get more women

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setting up businesses and on to boards, we have had a great female

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Prime Minister and a great Queen, let us build on the Jubilee and

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make this change. You think it is never going to happen. What

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evidence do you have the people would like to see it skip a

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generation? If we had a referendum, we would see it. By the time in 20

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years' time, it will be much stronger. We have broken the taboo.

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People would say that you could not change anything, that these rules

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of succession work after a Tim Stone many years ago. Today, we're

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going to change that and we can change it in other ways. Is this

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not an opportunity to do what he is suggesting? It is an opportunity to

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suggest it. So it might be an amendment that is debated? Be it

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might be. Do you agree? Not really. I think we should move it forward

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in a progressive way with what is on the paper already. My fears are

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that what is good about the monarchy is that it is above

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politics. And the difficulty is that if we are allowed to elect

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somebody through a referendum, that person is going to have the stigma

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of being not chosen... situation is that the Queen has

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been an exceptional monarch and has behaved faultlessly for all these

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years, but the others have not. We have had some that have been mad,

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bad and sad and some of them have been all three. The likelihood is

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that Charles, who has been meddling in politics for a long time, will

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find it irresistible to stay above things. He said he would leave the

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country if the hunting Act was passed. It was that he did not. But

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he is likely to be meddling in other policies and if that happens,

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it will be a constitutional crisis. But you still like the idea of a

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monarchy? At would prefer a better system but now is the chance to

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institute reform. -- I would prefer. I think it is important for this

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bill to keep succinct and focused and let us get something through

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Parliament. Let us look at the focus. There are reports that the

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Queen was not consulted and that Prince Charles had concerns. What

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do you think they are making of the tall? This was put to the

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Commonwealth in 20th October 11. -- making of it all. -- October, 2011.

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I have not discussed it with Prince Charles, so I'm not sure if he has

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concerns. I feel that he will feel, and looking at the work he has done

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with the Prince's Trust, promoting female entrepreneurs, and the work

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he has done, I do not think he will be against this in principle.

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a problem is that it does not get rid of the religious discrimination.

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It would still be impossible to get a Catholic as monarch. I think that

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is an outrage. That would be a problem, if the child marries a

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Catholic. What would happen then? As the rules stand, but would not

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be acceptable. And rules should be changed. -- that would not be

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acceptable. The difficulty is that the monarch is the head of the

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Church of England which is why that is maintained. The answer is to

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disestablish the Church of England. It is something that I believe we

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should do. I feel passionately that the Queen feels that her role as

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head of the Church of England is incredibly important to her. I

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think the thing for us to do, going forward, is to keep focused on this

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specific part of the Bill which is saying that we should change the

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male progenitor issue, let us of that. Across the country, I think

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most people think that is a fair way to go. -- let us solve that.

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But the religious thing is being changed too. The problem is that

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you are not barred from marrying a Catholic but if the child is raised

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Catholic, it will not be allowed to take the throne. Are you happy with

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that? I think the bill is focusing on changing one thing. There are

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three things, but that would take more discussion and decision making.

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Is this being rushed through then? In is not to reform. It is

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reinforcing prejudice against religion. Most people in this

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country are nominally Church of England but the influence is going

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down. Muslims, Catholics, evangelicals, they can say, why

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should one of us not be head of state? The head of state is a

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crucial part of the role. It has not been thought through properly

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by Nick Clegg. One thing at a time. It is appropriate we are looking at

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the issue of succession. The issue to do with the faith of the mark is

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significant only in so far as we have a state church. As it happens,

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the Queen is a Christian. Great, but she could be succeeded by

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people who were not. It is peculiar that the Church would have someone

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at their head who did not share their faith. It is bad for the

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Church. They continue to be a prisoner of the Establishment. The

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Church would be more effective and a say that as a committed Christian,

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if they were let free. That we the government tried to get this

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through, without touching the sides, it was an odd coalition. -- the way

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the Government tried. But there is not to rush. Why is it being pushed

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through? As a new parliamentarian, I am quite relieved that we can

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show that we can get things through Parliament in a reasonable time

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frame. Most people think that Parliament takes months and years

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for anything to happen. But we have started this discussion. I wrote an

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article about this in 2002 and people have written before and

:15:08.:15:12.

afterwards saying that it should happen. I think it is long overdue.

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But this change could last for 300 years and it is doing it in two

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days. There are all kinds of problems. That is why I think we

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should be the focus. It might work out that the future monarch will

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have the job and her younger brother would have all the money.

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The Duchy of Cornwall. That is what the questions that was asked. The

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rights of -- the rights and privileges go to the male heir. How

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is this affected by the new rules? This is an example of the rush to

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build. There are so many unintended consequences of the bill but the

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Government has not considered. on succession, we can agree and I

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think that is why we should do that. But what about the unintended

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consequences because constitutionally, they are

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important. I think we are dealing with succession right now and these

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other issues could come back at a later stage. The this is going to

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be incomplete. But if so, we will be left with important questions.

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They will be dealt within due course? They need to be. There is a

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good issue about the inheritance of property. There is implications on

:16:23.:16:26.

the hereditary principle. If you look at the House of Lords, I think

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it opens an interesting debate about the future of Britain.

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sure the House of Lords will listen to these huge implications, for

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those who inherit large estates. I am sure they will have a go at that

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because they will see the same principle of wine, many of them

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will be against it. I think one appeared this weekend, eight

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daughters that cannot inherit, but yet they are working the estate. I

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What about the issue of the royal veto when it comes to certain laws?

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It is monstrous, this is done quietly, in secret. Tam Dalyell...

:17:08.:17:12.

The Queen still has the right, in theory, to be does some laws.

:17:12.:17:16.

does. I doubt whether Prince Charles would have signed the

:17:16.:17:21.

hunting Bill, he was passionately against it, as he said, and if they

:17:21.:17:25.

do not sign it, there is a constitutional crisis. Tam Dalyell

:17:25.:17:30.

had a bill, a very sensible built to take the power of declaring war

:17:30.:17:36.

from the monarch into Parliament, and it was sabotaged, we are told,

:17:36.:17:41.

by the Queen at the advice of Tony Blair. In 2003, we had a vote

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before we went to war in Iraq. Finally, the Lib Dem conference

:17:45.:17:50.

used to vote on whether to keep the monarchy. What has changed? I think

:17:50.:17:53.

most of us think in an ideal democratic state, you would not

:17:53.:17:58.

start with a monarchy, but that is not where we are, but it has

:17:58.:18:02.

evolved and serves us well. Many people in the UK, they are jealous

:18:02.:18:06.

of us because we have a head of state who is above politics.

:18:06.:18:10.

need to look at this year with the Jubilee, how much unity and

:18:11.:18:17.

excitement and inspiration it created. The royal spin machine has

:18:17.:18:22.

been going at top speed, and if we had had this discussion at the time

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when Diana died... It might have been very different. Nowadays they

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are untouchable, the Queen has done a marvellous job, but beware the

:18:31.:18:36.

future. And let's bring in change for women! Thank you both very much.

:18:36.:18:40.

A list is published today of the 100 most prominent Bangladeshis in

:18:40.:18:44.

public life, including a number of prominent figures from culture,

:18:44.:18:48.

media, sport, business and the professions, but very few senior

:18:48.:18:52.

politicians. There is only one Bangladeshi MP, but if the number

:18:53.:18:55.

of MPs work in proportion to the number of British Bangladeshis,

:18:55.:19:00.

they should be around five. It is a situation reflected across other

:19:00.:19:05.

communities, too. There are 28 black and minority ethnic members

:19:05.:19:08.

of parliament, but if that was to match the make-up of the country,

:19:08.:19:18.
:19:18.:19:21.

I believe there is enough interest and optimism in the Bangladeshi

:19:21.:19:23.

community in local government. What I would like to see is a

:19:23.:19:27.

development, taking that further international politics, so the

:19:27.:19:31.

talented people that we have on our list, that the mainstream parties

:19:31.:19:36.

pick them up and encourage them to stand in winnable seats to play a

:19:36.:19:38.

fully-fledged light in British mainstream politics representing

:19:38.:19:45.

the wider community. Roshanara Ali, the one Bangladeshi MP in

:19:45.:19:49.

parliament, and Alok Sharma at, Conservative MP for Reading West,

:19:50.:19:54.

with responsibility for engagement for engaging ethnic-minority

:19:54.:19:57.

communities. How do you encourage more people from your background to

:19:57.:20:03.

stand for Parliament? I set up a charity called Uprising, backed by

:20:03.:20:07.

the three party leaders, to prepare and support the next generation of

:20:07.:20:10.

young leaders to get them into politics, into leadership across

:20:11.:20:15.

the sector, the media and other sectors as well. How? You make sure

:20:16.:20:20.

they are properly mentored, given training and support, and it is a

:20:20.:20:23.

10 or 15 year project. You start when they are young, you make sure

:20:23.:20:28.

they are known in political circles, so that when opportunities come,

:20:28.:20:31.

politicians can encourage those people within the parties to get

:20:31.:20:35.

into power. But there is a responsibility among the political

:20:35.:20:38.

parties as well, which is that they need to take a leadership role to

:20:38.:20:42.

make sure that happens. Without being too personal, what are you

:20:42.:20:45.

doing? Are you encouraging people from ethnic-minority backgrounds to

:20:45.:20:50.

get involved in politics, even if it is employing someone in your

:20:50.:20:57.

office or whatever it is? We went up in terms of numbers of MPs from

:20:57.:21:01.

two up to 11 at the last election. There is a long way to go, and

:21:01.:21:05.

mentoring is one of the ways of doing it. But when you talk to

:21:05.:21:10.

people from British Britons from ethnic minority backgrounds, second

:21:10.:21:14.

or third generation, they are looking to succeed on merit. The

:21:14.:21:18.

way to do that is exactly through mentoring, getting people involved

:21:18.:21:23.

at grassroots levels. I think it works. Does it work, though? We

:21:23.:21:26.

always talk about the number of women who came into Parliament

:21:26.:21:31.

during Tony Blair's time because of the all-women shortlists. His there

:21:31.:21:35.

still a case to be made for ethnic minority candidates to be put

:21:35.:21:39.

forward in the same way? Not in the same way, because you have to be

:21:39.:21:44.

proportionate. Women make up 50% of the population, ethnic minorities

:21:44.:21:49.

closer to 10%. But there are more things parties can do, for instance

:21:49.:21:53.

doing more around positive action, setting clear regional targets, for

:21:53.:21:58.

instance, to say, when you are selecting 30 MPs, make sure a

:21:58.:22:02.

proportion of those of from minority backgrounds, make sure a

:22:02.:22:05.

significant proportion are women. Even the parties do not use all-

:22:05.:22:08.

women shortlists, it is important they set the tone and the leaders

:22:08.:22:12.

of the parties set the tone. In my case, the all-women shortlist

:22:12.:22:18.

process was very successful for getting women in, but actually

:22:18.:22:21.

getting ethnic-minority Owen was a challenge. I won through an open

:22:21.:22:25.

shortlist, so we need to make sure that ethnic minority groups who

:22:25.:22:28.

want to go into politics, it is recognised that there are other

:22:28.:22:33.

barriers, including discrimination. What about targets? Would you

:22:33.:22:38.

introduce them? I think it is about people succeeding on merit. You do

:22:38.:22:42.

not want targets at all? Third- generation people want to succeed

:22:42.:22:46.

on merit, but that is through mentoring, getting people involved

:22:46.:22:50.

in the political process. That is the way forward, rather than saying,

:22:50.:22:54.

you know, there ought to be positive discrimination for them or

:22:54.:22:59.

any other group. I am not talking about positive discrimination. But

:22:59.:23:02.

there is a responsibility of political parties to take the

:23:02.:23:06.

leadership role that is required, because otherwise you have a lot of

:23:06.:23:10.

very impressive, talented people in the communities, and they cannot

:23:10.:23:14.

get into the system because the system is too close. That has to be

:23:14.:23:19.

opened up, and there is a real problem. How many MPs from ethnic

:23:19.:23:24.

minorities from the Liberal Democrats? 0. That is pretty

:23:24.:23:32.

dreadful. Absolutely, we have fought long as for Racial Equality,

:23:32.:23:37.

and we have no... Why not? It is a really good question. First of all,

:23:37.:23:40.

it is an indictment against the party, and we have to be a lot

:23:40.:23:45.

about it. You are the President. have a leadership programme about

:23:45.:23:49.

under-represented groups being given training and support. One

:23:49.:23:55.

thing we have not got, I mean, we do not have any safe seats. The

:23:55.:23:58.

Labour Party and the Tories have lists, and they have both done a

:23:58.:24:02.

job. Some seats are safer than others, even in the Liberal

:24:02.:24:06.

Democrat ranks. If you were really committed... My personal view is

:24:06.:24:12.

that we should do it. As I say, you have flattered me to say that we

:24:13.:24:17.

have saved seeds, that is not my view, and I do not want to drop the

:24:17.:24:24.

ball into seats that look good on paper. -- safe seeds. Far better to

:24:24.:24:27.

buck the trend by giving support to people on the ground. What I was

:24:27.:24:31.

going to say, the danger in any high position, even positive

:24:31.:24:35.

discrimination does not work. I did some shortlisting and found that

:24:35.:24:40.

the four people are shortlisted work public school boys, white

:24:40.:24:44.

public-school boys. If you look at the numbers, the Liberal Democrats

:24:44.:24:49.

time and again put candidates in seats they could not win, ethnic

:24:49.:24:52.

minority and women candidates. You have got to look at the indirect

:24:52.:24:59.

practices. We tend to lose nearly 600 of the seats that we stand in!

:24:59.:25:04.

There is indirect discrimination which needs to be addressed. People

:25:04.:25:08.

feel... Basically, when they put themselves, talented people put

:25:08.:25:12.

themselves forward and do not get a fair chance, because they are being

:25:12.:25:16.

used as fodder. That is not acceptable either. What to think in

:25:16.:25:20.

terms of numbers for the 2015 election? It is not a question of

:25:20.:25:25.

people being used as fodder. Historically, it has been.

:25:25.:25:28.

Conservative associations select people they believe best represent

:25:28.:25:32.

them. I was a local candidate in Reading, not part of any

:25:32.:25:37.

affirmative action. A-list. Absolutely, and I was selected for

:25:37.:25:42.

the first see that I applied for, because my local party picked the

:25:42.:25:45.

candidate they thought perform the best. What about having ethnic

:25:45.:25:50.

minority candidates on and a list? I have never called for a third of

:25:50.:25:53.

action, privately or publicly, and I think it is about succeeding on

:25:53.:25:56.

merit. Lots of people are coming through the system they will be

:25:56.:26:00.

coming forward and becoming candidates, I am quite sure,

:26:00.:26:04.

because they are talented and do it on their own merits. Do you have a

:26:04.:26:08.

ballpark figure of ethnic minority candidates standing in 2015? We are

:26:08.:26:12.

in the process of selecting candidates, but let's see where we

:26:12.:26:16.

end up. The key thing is that people want to succeed on merit,

:26:16.:26:20.

and that absolutely applies his second and third generation.

:26:20.:26:24.

Whether the Liberal Democrats? It appears their electoral hopes are

:26:24.:26:28.

withering on the vine, and recent by-election results suggest that

:26:28.:26:32.

many voters polled them in withering contempt. Giles has more.

:26:32.:26:36.

Two and a half years ago, there was a joke that he could not buy a Lib

:26:36.:26:40.

Dem manifesto because the party had sold out. Now, although the shine

:26:40.:26:48.

has rolled and Bath -- the shine has rubbed off, they are guaranteed

:26:48.:26:52.

weather proof until 2015. 1,500 local council has gone, new polling

:26:52.:26:57.

lows, three by-elections in which three times they lost their deposit,

:26:57.:27:01.

were behind UKIP and got less than 5% of the vote. The party is

:27:01.:27:06.

completely asleep. It is in a state of shock, really a trauma as a

:27:06.:27:11.

result of the coalition. coalition compromise led one Lib

:27:11.:27:15.

Dem of 10 years to be in his party for Labour, and a long-standing

:27:15.:27:22.

voters should be door in his face. You are there to fight for society,

:27:22.:27:26.

a vision of a society, the values of a society which you are

:27:26.:27:30.

committed to. There's no point and finally getting your grubby hands

:27:30.:27:34.

on power and the first thing you do is abandon those policies and

:27:34.:27:41.

values you believe in. But more Lib Dems have stayed. Policy has been

:27:41.:27:48.

agreed and enacted, the coalition has not fallen apart, and the Lib

:27:48.:27:52.

Dems trumpets key achievements, the pupil premium, taking people out of

:27:52.:27:57.

income tax. Will that be enough in 2015? It is important the party

:27:57.:28:00.

does not fight the election by saying, this is what has happened

:28:00.:28:05.

in the last five years. That can be part of it, that is inevitable. But

:28:05.:28:08.

the next election has got to be bought on the future. Principally

:28:08.:28:13.

the economy, we need to be showing a Liberal Democrat vision for the

:28:13.:28:16.

economy of the UK, because that is very different from what George

:28:16.:28:21.

Osborne will be saying, for example. The carrots narrative is that at

:28:21.:28:24.

the next general election Liberal Democrats will be punished for

:28:24.:28:28.

their part in the coalition. -- the current narrative. They will be

:28:28.:28:32.

particularly worried about an area like this, Bren Central, where the

:28:32.:28:37.

sitting MP as a majority of just over 1,000. But they do benefit

:28:37.:28:40.

from incumbency, and some in the party think there's something they

:28:40.:28:45.

can do about it. Working to buck the first past the post system is

:28:45.:28:48.

something that Liberal Democrats are used to, and people should not

:28:48.:28:53.

underestimate that resilience within the party. But what many of

:28:53.:28:56.

those Lib Dems who go out campaigning ones do here is what

:28:56.:29:00.

Lib Dem policies and manifesto commitments outside the coalition

:29:01.:29:06.

are going to be, and timing is everything. As a party, we have got

:29:06.:29:09.

to have at least six or eight months to campaign independently on

:29:10.:29:14.

our own vision for the future. You cannot do it in three or four weeks.

:29:14.:29:19.

If it is left to the last three or four weeks, we will be dead.

:29:19.:29:24.

Jamming! You'll be dead and as you start campaigning independently. --

:29:24.:29:29.

charming. He is right that if we do not campaign as an independent

:29:29.:29:34.

force, we will go down with the Tories, that is the correct, but we

:29:34.:29:38.

have been campaigning since day one, it is a new world for us, being in

:29:38.:29:42.

coalition government, being in power at all is something that is

:29:42.:29:45.

only in the lifetime memory of people who did know Lloyd George.

:29:45.:29:49.

And only as a result of going into government with the Tories. You say

:29:49.:29:54.

the Tories are going down. If we are attached to the coalition and

:29:54.:29:58.

presenting ourselves as just a part of that and we do not distinguish

:29:58.:30:01.

ourselves, we will get punished, just like the Conservatives will.

:30:01.:30:05.

But we must remember that coalitions are a different type of

:30:05.:30:08.

government, two political parties that things are different things,

:30:08.:30:12.

and we will be fighting each other perfectly correctly and

:30:12.:30:16.

appropriately in local elections, seeing very big differences, three

:30:16.:30:19.

times more Liberal Democrat gains from Conservatives... Right, but it

:30:19.:30:23.

has been dismal in terms of by- election performances, the worst

:30:23.:30:29.

ever by-election results, 2% in Rotherham. I mean, you have lost

:30:29.:30:32.

deposits, come below all the other parties. Let's get back to this

:30:32.:30:36.

idea that he will go down with the Tories, they are actually narrowing

:30:36.:30:46.
:30:46.:30:48.

the polling lead of labour. Perhaps Only if you believe the last poll.

:30:48.:30:51.

Answer the question about the Tories. If you are so convinced

:30:51.:30:55.

they're going down, why not split with them now? The point I'm making

:30:55.:30:58.

is that people will not be voting for the coalition at the next

:30:58.:31:04.

election. They will be voting for the parties that formed the

:31:04.:31:08.

coalition. What Britain has got his stable government and something

:31:08.:31:11.

which many people pretend it would not happen if we had a balanced

:31:11.:31:16.

parliament, a secure government. It would be foolish for any part of

:31:16.:31:19.

the coalition to dismantle that before polling day. The coalition

:31:19.:31:23.

should last five years. That does not mean that Lib Dems should not

:31:23.:31:27.

be campaigning vociferously for a stronger economy and a fairer

:31:27.:31:36.

society. So to make this clear, you're not advocating a split, but

:31:36.:31:41.

you are advocating a separate campaign next year. We should

:31:41.:31:44.

campaign separately now. You would like a divorce now. There is a

:31:44.:31:50.

difference between campaigning separately. Lib Dems and Tories

:31:50.:31:54.

will be fighting each other in the local elections this year and yet

:31:54.:31:58.

nationally, we will govern together. We have a Labour conservative

:31:58.:32:01.

coalition in Cumbria, for example, and they will be fighting each

:32:01.:32:05.

other at the county elections. It is a normal thing in most of Europe

:32:05.:32:08.

to have two or more parties in coalition that govern together and

:32:08.:32:13.

fight each other on the doorstep. That is clear, but what about

:32:13.:32:17.

presentation? Nick Clegg gave a separate report after the Leveson

:32:17.:32:20.

Inquiry. Do you want to see that happening on everything? I thought

:32:20.:32:23.

it was a great step and it was something we should have done

:32:23.:32:28.

earlier. It is important at a time of coalition, something that

:32:28.:32:32.

England have not seen before, but we demonstrate that a coalition is

:32:32.:32:36.

not two political parties that agree with each other assimilating.

:32:36.:32:40.

The arithmetic dictated that we had one choice, to go into coalition

:32:40.:32:47.

with the Tories. We accept the coalition, but we do not become

:32:47.:32:52.

less liberal. But the polls suggest that you support has withered away.

:32:52.:32:55.

Distinguishing yourself has not worked. You have not persuaded

:32:55.:33:01.

people that the Lib Dem policies that they voted for are still there.

:33:01.:33:05.

It is hard to be sure what the cause is. It could be that the Lib

:33:05.:33:08.

Dems went into power for the first time in 70 years and that has

:33:08.:33:13.

shocked everybody. And you could not keep to you're principles about

:33:14.:33:19.

conservation -- tuition fees and reform. To be clear, we have only

:33:19.:33:23.

managed to get 65% of our principles into policies. That is a

:33:23.:33:29.

pretty good deal. He said you liked Nick Clegg giving a separate review

:33:29.:33:33.

after the Leveson Inquiry. Would you like him to do a different

:33:33.:33:36.

speech to David Cameron on Europe? I think it is clear that we have

:33:36.:33:40.

different views on Europe. Nick Clegg gives different speeches on

:33:40.:33:44.

Europe. Should he do his own version of this speech on Europe?

:33:44.:33:49.

He kind of already has done. I'm sure he will again. Yes, it is

:33:49.:33:54.

important that we clarify that we are in coalition and we believe in

:33:54.:33:59.

a collegiate approach, rather than just throwing crockery. Nick Clegg

:33:59.:34:07.

said we have legislation guaranteeing sharing of power in

:34:07.:34:10.

Brussels. He said it was inadvisable to go further than this.

:34:10.:34:15.

I agree, but I think there should be an in out referendum. At the

:34:15.:34:18.

point that there is a substantial treaty change put to us, which is

:34:18.:34:21.

what he is saying. That is government policy now. But it is

:34:21.:34:27.

not. A referendum on a treaty change and referendum -- is not the

:34:27.:34:32.

same as having an in out referendum. What we have all was said and what

:34:32.:34:37.

Lib Dem policy has always been is that next time we have something

:34:37.:34:40.

like the Lisbon Treaty, we should not just a referendum on a treaty,

:34:40.:34:46.

it should be an in out random. It would be a proxy for an in out

:34:46.:34:51.

referendum anyway. We have always said that it would be mad to have a

:34:51.:34:54.

referendum now, in the middle of getting out of the worst financial

:34:54.:34:59.

crisis in living memory. It would be navel contemplation of an

:34:59.:35:02.

unforgivable level. What would the wording be going into the next

:35:02.:35:07.

election? And in out referendum? the point that there is a major

:35:07.:35:13.

change. I think David Cameron's speech is going to be interesting.

:35:13.:35:17.

It will be the moment when we find out whether he is a leader or a

:35:17.:35:21.

four. Up until 20 years ago, the Tory party was pro European.

:35:21.:35:27.

Margaret Thatcher said that the Labour Party the unease would pull

:35:27.:35:35.

us out. -- Louise. It is clearly a massive net benefit. We will end up

:35:35.:35:38.

leaving the European Union unless we get leadership from the top that

:35:38.:35:42.

explains to the public why it is in our interest to remain in it.

:35:42.:35:48.

Looking up the numbers, you won 57 seats at the last election with a

:35:48.:35:54.

24% of the vote. The pollsters say that if you remain at 10%, or even

:35:54.:36:00.

15%, you will be reduced to just 10 MPs. Peter knows better than that.

:36:00.:36:06.

On my uniform swing... I would never hold my seat in the first

:36:06.:36:12.

place. The reality is that Lib Dems exist... How many seats were you

:36:12.:36:15.

keep Q Matt we were aiming to make games and we hope to hang on to

:36:15.:36:21.

what we have got now. -- how many will you keep? We hope to hang on

:36:21.:36:25.

to what we have got now. Any losses are unacceptable. We are digging in

:36:25.:36:29.

to make sure that does not happen. If you look at by-elections on the

:36:29.:36:33.

ground over the last few months, Lib Dems are gaining seats, even

:36:33.:36:38.

some from Labour. I'm not deluding myself. It is a tough time to be a

:36:38.:36:42.

let-down. But it has been a lot worse within my lifetime. It is

:36:42.:36:46.

almost enough to make David Cameron feel nostalgic about the EU wrote

:36:46.:36:51.

debacle. Almost. Only a week ago, Europe was David Cameron's main

:36:51.:36:55.

preoccupation. But now he is tackling the fall-out from a

:36:55.:36:58.

hostage drama and the rising threat of terrorism in North Africa. In

:36:58.:37:02.

the debate in the House last night, he said that Britain would provide

:37:02.:37:05.

intelligence and counter- intelligence -- counter --

:37:05.:37:10.

intelligence in counter-terrorism to help the network. First, here

:37:10.:37:18.

are some highlights from last night. Together with our partners in the

:37:18.:37:22.

region, we are in the midst of a generational struggle against an

:37:22.:37:27.

ideology which is in -- which is an extreme distortion of the Islamic

:37:27.:37:30.

faith and which holds that mass murder and terror are not only

:37:30.:37:34.

acceptable but necessary. We must tackle this poisonous thinking at

:37:34.:37:39.

home and abroad and resist the ideologue's attempt to divide the

:37:39.:37:42.

world into a clash of civilisations. The task is to understand the

:37:42.:37:46.

nature of the threat, more decentralised, more fragmented,

:37:46.:37:50.

taking advantage of the uncovered spaces and security vacuums in

:37:50.:37:55.

parts of North Africa. Does the Prime Minister agree that

:37:55.:37:58.

eliminating a religious and political ideology is not an easy

:37:58.:38:05.

thing to do, as evidenced by Iraq and Afghanistan? Can he give a

:38:05.:38:10.

guarantee that his crusading zeal, in the event of not being able to

:38:10.:38:15.

get many West African troops, will not lead him to the use of British

:38:15.:38:20.

troops in the future? I do not believe that the only answer, or

:38:20.:38:27.

the right answer is security and military action. As I said, and the

:38:27.:38:31.

Leader of the Opposition said, what we need to do is use all the

:38:31.:38:34.

elements at our disposal, development response, political

:38:34.:38:38.

response, working with partners. That does not mean that a tough

:38:38.:38:43.

security response is not part of what is required. The concept of

:38:43.:38:48.

containment, when considering these long-term problems, it has served

:38:48.:38:53.

us well, for 70 years in the cold war and for 38 years in relation to

:38:53.:38:59.

Northern Ireland. It would help avoid an oscillation of policy from

:38:59.:39:07.

over involvement on the ground of one extreme, to too little

:39:07.:39:13.

involvement and over-emphasis on withdrawal at the other. And we are

:39:13.:39:16.

joined by a Labour defence spokesman, Kevin Jones and Patrick

:39:16.:39:20.

Mercer, the Conservative MP and former shadow minister for home and

:39:20.:39:24.

security. Welcome. Do you agree with David Cameron that there has

:39:24.:39:30.

to be an international response to this terrorist threat? Absolutely.

:39:30.:39:33.

In exactly the same way that there was an international response to

:39:33.:39:37.

the threat on the Afghanistan Pakistan border and also inside

:39:37.:39:41.

Iraq. This is the same problem with a slightly different part of the

:39:41.:39:46.

world. And they have ruled out boots on the ground. At the moment,

:39:47.:39:52.

certainly. Do you think we will have to have troops? I do not know.

:39:52.:39:57.

I have not seen, nor will I see, the latest intelligence. I think

:39:57.:40:00.

that we have got to be prepared for whatever is required. The people

:40:00.:40:07.

are quite right that the over use phrase, the Al-Qaeda franchise is

:40:07.:40:10.

spreading and moving. So we must be prepared to spread that move with

:40:10.:40:16.

it. Do you agree? We have got to prepare for all eventualities. That

:40:16.:40:23.

is why the SDSR that took place when the Government came in was

:40:23.:40:26.

already outdated. It was not even mentioned. We are facing

:40:26.:40:31.

redundancies today and the Prime Minister as potentially asking the

:40:31.:40:35.

Armed Forces to do more. There are serious questions about the SDSR

:40:35.:40:41.

and whether it is now a document that should be shelved.

:40:41.:40:44.

Strategic Defence Review, let us give it the full names since not

:40:45.:40:49.

everybody knows what it is. It is bad timing, at best, to be

:40:49.:40:53.

announcing these cuts to the Armed Forces when, on the other hand,

:40:53.:40:57.

David Cameron is talking about our response to the threat in Mali and

:40:57.:41:03.

across North Africa. There is a great irony to it. I'm sure the

:41:03.:41:06.

Government is embarrassed about it. Is it wrong? I don't think so.

:41:06.:41:11.

There needs to be savings made in military expenditure. If you look

:41:11.:41:14.

at what could have happened otherwise, the other two parties

:41:14.:41:18.

would have spent �100 billion on Trident and there would be more

:41:18.:41:22.

cuts in army personnel of that had happened. What about the cuts?

:41:23.:41:28.

Could we actually send troops? Do we have the manpower? Very good

:41:28.:41:32.

question. Of course, this are predicated on the fact that

:41:32.:41:37.

Afghanistan is going to nicely end neatly at 2014, with hardly a Tommy

:41:37.:41:43.

Atkins to be seen in the country. Wrong answer. Secondly, we have to

:41:43.:41:49.

re- intervene? Who knows? The point is there will not be a bubble of

:41:49.:41:52.

troops left over, some of whom can be disbanded and some of whom can

:41:52.:41:56.

be sent to North Africa. It does not work like that. I had been

:41:56.:42:01.

saying this sense 2010. And on that basis, Labour supporting the

:42:01.:42:03.

Government in terms of sending intelligence and logistical support

:42:03.:42:08.

to back up the French. What else can we offer them? If we have the

:42:08.:42:12.

capability. One of the capabilities is the centre Na Li aircraft, which

:42:12.:42:16.

is coming out of service and two years. The his capabilities that

:42:16.:42:22.

have been taken out of the SDSR, now being relied upon. In terms of

:42:22.:42:27.

redundancies, we have people being made redundant who are surfing in

:42:27.:42:31.

Afghanistan alongside Prince Harry. They will be getting their P45s

:42:31.:42:34.

when they come back. That sends the wrong message. What you say to

:42:34.:42:40.

that? A one to make a point about the intervention -- what do you

:42:40.:42:44.

want to say about that? I want to make a point about the intervention

:42:44.:42:48.

anywhere in the world. We should offer support, absolutely, but the

:42:48.:42:52.

lesson we have to learn from Iraq is that even if you retract --

:42:52.:42:57.

accept the premise of the Iraq war, two Western nations going in as

:42:57.:43:02.

liberators, but seen as occupiers, that is going to be a counter

:43:02.:43:06.

productive mood. -- counter- productive move. And is that

:43:06.:43:14.

incredible., but you could escalate it if we go in marching like we did

:43:14.:43:18.

in Afghanistan, but it could be dealt with locally. I am not sure

:43:19.:43:23.

that it could be dealt with locally but we should put the accent on the

:43:23.:43:28.

local forces. There has a great phrase, getting your hands stuck in

:43:28.:43:30.

the mangle. The fact remains, we were attacked lethally, although

:43:30.:43:35.

not as lethally as we might have been, in 2005, by an African gang

:43:35.:43:40.

of Islamists. Old people meant our people no good whatsoever. They

:43:40.:43:44.

intended to kill hundreds on the tube. Anybody that analyses these

:43:44.:43:47.

things or pays attention to these things must understand that the

:43:47.:43:51.

threat has been there for a very long time and will take a long time

:43:51.:43:57.

to be brought to a proper level. the renewed terrorist haven in this

:43:57.:44:04.

region? It has been there for a while. There is a big question

:44:04.:44:08.

being asked that the senior military level, are we able to put

:44:08.:44:10.

troops on the ground anywhere, because of the gamble the

:44:10.:44:16.

Government has taken to reduce the size of the army? We are going to

:44:17.:44:20.

take a look at Prince Harry and the interview he made at the end of his

:44:20.:44:27.

current tour with the army in That is what we revolve around, I

:44:27.:44:33.

suppose. If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our eyes, then

:44:33.:44:37.

we'll take them out of the game, I suppose. Should he have been asked

:44:37.:44:42.

that question in the first place? think the question is in pretty

:44:42.:44:46.

poor taste. It is one of those unwritten rules that journalists do

:44:46.:44:51.

not ask that question. It is uncomfortable and difficult, but

:44:52.:44:55.

I'd do have a sneaking admiration for the Prince, and serene in the

:44:55.:44:59.

forthright way in which he has. Let's be clear about it, that is

:44:59.:45:04.

what soldiers are for. Take a life to save a life, should be up and

:45:04.:45:08.

said in that way or just deflected it? He has been an Apache

:45:08.:45:12.

helicopter pilot, he will have been engaged in action, so in terms of

:45:12.:45:16.

the honest way he answered it, yes. He is coming back to this country,

:45:16.:45:20.

but many of the people he served alongside will be made redundant,

:45:20.:45:22.

and that is something the government have got to explain.

:45:22.:45:26.

They cannot even get their message is right today, two different press

:45:26.:45:31.

releases from the MoD this morning. What was your response when you

:45:31.:45:34.

heard Prince Harry admitting that he had killed? People presume that

:45:34.:45:39.

is what happens, but what was your response? If you look at his answer,

:45:39.:45:44.

it is a third person answer, there was no admission or celebration, so

:45:44.:45:48.

why would he? Why are we using this language of admitting and

:45:48.:45:53.

confessing? He is a professional soldier, is a combat officer, it is

:45:53.:45:57.

what he does. It may not be tasteful, we may not like to dwell

:45:57.:46:02.

upon it. You are right, it is part of the job. He was thrown a

:46:02.:46:06.

question, he may not have seen it coming, I thought his answer was

:46:06.:46:11.

honest without saying his personal involvement necessarily lead to

:46:11.:46:17.

what we are assuming it did. would be remarkable if it didn't!

:46:17.:46:21.

It was a dignified response, what to expect from people serving in

:46:21.:46:26.

the military? What about the security threat? We mentioned in

:46:26.:46:28.

last dreadful incident here, what about the current or future

:46:28.:46:34.

security threat? Well, we must be an absolutely no doubt that there

:46:34.:46:39.

is just as strong a threat of Islamist terror and horror in this

:46:39.:46:44.

country from those with an African origin, both north, east and west,

:46:44.:46:48.

as there is with those living on the Pakistan-Afghan border. That

:46:48.:46:53.

threat has not gone away, this will no doubt intensify, it is bound to,

:46:54.:46:57.

and I'm very interested to see that the French have taken domestic

:46:57.:47:01.

measures to secure themselves at home, which as far as I can see, we

:47:01.:47:05.

are not doing at the moment. Gentlemen, thank you very much.

:47:05.:47:08.

Mention the word Europe around Westminster these days, and all

:47:08.:47:12.

anybody talks about his David Cameron's speech, including us, of

:47:12.:47:18.

course! Not so in the rest of Europe. All eyes this week are on

:47:18.:47:23.

France and Germany who today are celebrating 50 years of friendship.

:47:23.:47:27.

On 22nd January 1963, General de Galle and Konrad Adenauer signed

:47:27.:47:31.

the Elysee Treaty in Paris. Both countries are issuing stamps, coins

:47:31.:47:36.

and literary awards to commemorate the historic accord that cemented

:47:36.:47:40.

peaceful co-operation between the former enemies after World War II.

:47:40.:47:45.

This morning the French President, Francois Hollande, met Angela

:47:45.:47:49.

Merkel at the French embassy in Berlin, presumably a neutral

:47:49.:47:54.

location! Later a joint session of the Cabinets both countries is due

:47:54.:47:58.

to take place. 400 French lawmakers will travel to Berlin to join their

:47:58.:48:02.

counterparts for a debate in the Reich stag. The day will wrap up

:48:02.:48:11.

with a concert at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall. Well, we are

:48:11.:48:16.

joined now from Paris by the French political commentator Agnes Poirier,

:48:16.:48:19.

and in the studio we have a comedian with German roots who

:48:19.:48:23.

performs regularly in German, funnily enough! Welcome to both of

:48:23.:48:28.

you. Tell me, why is it in Berlin, the celebrations today? Is that

:48:28.:48:33.

because Angela Merkel is in charge? Probably, I don't know. Why is it

:48:33.:48:38.

in Berlin and not in Paris? I do know, because the 40th anniversary

:48:38.:48:42.

took place in Versailles of all places, and it went so well that

:48:42.:48:46.

they want to do some magnificent things in Berlin! I see, I thought

:48:46.:48:50.

there would be an explanation. When they all meet in the Reichstag, are

:48:50.:48:57.

they all going to be talking German, Agnes Poirier? I think they will be

:48:57.:49:02.

speaking in different languages, and I assume a bit of English, too.

:49:02.:49:07.

Thank goodness for that! Do you love each other, the French and

:49:07.:49:16.

Germans? I have got the complete set of names. I think the Germans

:49:16.:49:23.

love the French much more than the Brits feel is right all decent. I

:49:23.:49:27.

mean, we are stuck in a groove that was established in 1945, and the

:49:27.:49:32.

French and Germans have long since moved on from that. I think a

:49:32.:49:38.

recent survey from the German- French television channel showed

:49:38.:49:43.

that 50% of each nation has lived in the other country, which says a

:49:43.:49:47.

lot. It does, one might say we are really quite different, if you are

:49:47.:49:51.

looking at all the stereotypes from language, food, fashion. What do

:49:51.:49:56.

the French think of the Germans? Well, I mean, it is interesting,

:49:56.:50:03.

because we went from being hereditary enemies to hereditary

:50:03.:50:08.

friends, because in a way we do not have any choice. We have to be

:50:08.:50:14.

friends. I think the fate of Europe is dependent on it. So it is a

:50:14.:50:20.

false relationship, then. No, it is not, but it can be a difficult

:50:20.:50:23.

relationship, we all know this, because it is very much dependent

:50:23.:50:28.

on the personal chemistry between the two heads of state, and usually

:50:28.:50:32.

it takes a few years for them to get along well, especially if they

:50:32.:50:37.

do not belong to the same political family. But in the end, remember

:50:37.:50:40.

Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, after a few difficult years, they

:50:40.:50:48.

saw each other all the time, and we called it Merkozy. Now Hollande and

:50:48.:50:52.

Michael did not quite liked each other yet, so we will say after the

:50:52.:50:55.

September elections, and presumably they were like each other very

:50:55.:51:00.

soon! I am glad to hear it. Do you agree that Angela Merkel does not

:51:00.:51:04.

have much time for Francois Hollande? It is hard for me to

:51:04.:51:09.

comment about that. As with anybody, a new arrival in an established of

:51:09.:51:14.

this, it is difficult to get your feet under the table. All I know is

:51:14.:51:18.

that in time these relationships to develop, think of me drop and

:51:18.:51:24.

Helmut Kohl holding hands in 1984 in front of the modern it. Two

:51:24.:51:28.

British people, they look like the odd couple, what the hell are you

:51:28.:51:32.

doing there? The comic in me wants to say, it was the first example of

:51:32.:51:36.

openly gay presidential relationship, holding hands, it

:51:36.:51:42.

looks so incongruous. Two people, physically, in terms of their

:51:42.:51:45.

politics, and their outlook, very different, but they came together

:51:45.:51:51.

and made a very strong image. They say, we do not care what others may

:51:51.:51:56.

say, the British may scoff, but this is our statement. I think

:51:56.:51:59.

Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel look quite good together, something

:51:59.:52:03.

to do with being the same height, the same sort of age. They do not

:52:03.:52:10.

look too bad. No, they don't. Perhaps the problem is that

:52:10.:52:17.

Hollande and Angela Merkel bowled starkly opposite positions on how

:52:17.:52:21.

to solve the euro crisis and on economic policies. I think it is

:52:21.:52:26.

going to be quite difficult for them, but in the end, again, France

:52:26.:52:30.

and Germany have no choice but to be friends, so they will get along.

:52:30.:52:34.

Right, you heard it from Agnes Poirier, very firm about that.

:52:34.:52:37.

Where are you going to be for that long awaited speech by David

:52:37.:52:42.

Cameron? Where will you be watching? Probably in front of my

:52:42.:52:47.

computer, working on jokes about it, whatever comes up, and should they

:52:47.:52:52.

be appropriate. We look at this thing with the comedy potential,

:52:52.:52:56.

and the relationship between France and Germany, what strikes me is the

:52:56.:53:00.

funny things that come out of it. For example, in Germany children

:53:00.:53:08.

are encouraged to take French pen pals, but you can imagine how many

:53:08.:53:11.

conversations there have been over the years about how many brothers

:53:11.:53:17.

and sisters you have got. The type of dog and that kind of stuff, that

:53:17.:53:22.

is what we look for. Agnes Poirier, is the whole of France sitting on

:53:22.:53:25.

the edge of its seat waiting with bated breath for that speech

:53:25.:53:31.

tomorrow? No, they don't even know Cameron is making a speech. I mean,

:53:31.:53:37.

I do, and I will be back in London, but a lot of people in France hope,

:53:37.:53:41.

the ones who know, there is going to be a speech, they wish that the

:53:41.:53:44.

British pantomime about Europe stops soon, because it is really

:53:44.:53:49.

getting on their nerves. We do not want to get on your nerves! Agnes

:53:50.:53:54.

Poirier, thank you very much. But why pronounce your name? I speak

:53:54.:53:59.

German as well! When your name is David Cameron,

:53:59.:54:02.

life is rarely easy. First to have got lines of people turning up at

:54:02.:54:05.

your door and you have got to keep everybody happy, whatever their

:54:05.:54:09.

tastes. There are the arguments about in or out, with gherkins,

:54:09.:54:13.

that is, and you have to cater for all appetites, even if they are

:54:14.:54:17.

talking meatballs. Ladled on top of that, you have to make an

:54:17.:54:20.

appearance at Number Ten. We are joined now by David Cameron, who is

:54:20.:54:23.

just on his way back from Downing Street, where he has been handing

:54:23.:54:28.

in a petition to his namesake. Clearly, you're not the David

:54:28.:54:31.

Cameron, Prime Minister, we have noticed that. What are you doing

:54:31.:54:37.

today? Well, today, a group of franchisees, including myself, we

:54:37.:54:41.

have visited Number Ten, and we have dropped off a petition to

:54:41.:54:45.

really try and get a word over to the government that we want to see

:54:45.:54:49.

some vendors on the way that VAT is applied to hot takeaway food. --

:54:49.:54:55.

Venice. Is this your attempt to regurgitate the pasty tax row?

:54:55.:54:59.

follows on from that. When the government first introduced the new

:54:59.:55:04.

VAT laws in October last year, from the 2012 budget, we actually

:55:04.:55:09.

welcomed that, and it brought some transparency to VAT, and ourselves

:55:09.:55:13.

and our competitors were all going to be treated the same. But when

:55:13.:55:17.

the government made a U-turn and introduced this clause whereby hot

:55:17.:55:21.

savoury Products, pasties and sausage rolls, suddenly would be

:55:21.:55:25.

zero-rated for VAT purposes, it is down to the fact that they are

:55:25.:55:28.

deemed to be cooling down when they are sold, but our toasted

:55:28.:55:32.

sandwiches, which we believe fulfil the same purpose for people buying

:55:32.:55:38.

them, a subject to the standard rate of VAT at 20%. I am sure this

:55:38.:55:41.

bring back happy memories for you, Tim Farron. You're doing is purely

:55:41.:55:45.

for commercial reasons, why should you be exempt from tax when your

:55:45.:55:50.

customers have to pay? Well, we are just after fairness. The fact is

:55:50.:55:54.

that our competitors are able to sell a product that fulfils the

:55:54.:55:58.

same purpose. If you go into one of these big high street bakeries, you

:55:58.:56:03.

can buy a hot product that is exempt from VAT. But if you buy one

:56:03.:56:10.

of our toasted sandwiches, and we are toasting them to provide the

:56:10.:56:13.

customer with a product that has a certain texture, not just hot, but

:56:13.:56:18.

both products are great value, tasty, fulfilling the same purpose.

:56:18.:56:21.

We believe that we should be treated equally. I am sure your

:56:21.:56:26.

name has helped in the campaign! Let's see how much you and David

:56:27.:56:30.

Cameron have in common. David Cameron Prime Minister is going to

:56:30.:56:33.

Davos, what have you got planned? For the rest of this week, I

:56:33.:56:39.

actually work in Dewsbury on a daily basis, so from tomorrow

:56:39.:56:43.

morning I will be back there and I will be making sandwiches on the

:56:44.:56:48.

counter for part of the week. I have got some recruiting to do,

:56:48.:56:52.

working at the Jobcentre. Later in a week, I have got to organise some

:56:52.:56:56.

of our lighting to be converted to an ad to reduce carbon emissions.

:56:56.:57:01.

David Cameron's first job after leaving university was working for

:57:01.:57:05.

the Conservative Research Department. For myself, it was

:57:05.:57:09.

working for Subway, I took a job out of university, I worked as a

:57:09.:57:14.

sandwich artist, I was there for two ears, and eventually I decided

:57:14.:57:19.

to take the plunge and go for my own franchise. Good for you!

:57:19.:57:25.

Quickly, which David Cameron do you prefer? This guy seems very nice!

:57:25.:57:29.

Just time to find out the answer to our quiz, the question was, who

:57:29.:57:36.

recently boasted they used to know David Lloyd George? What is the

:57:36.:57:41.

answer? I would have guessed Baroness Trumpington. Well, here

:57:41.:57:46.

she is in action, you're right. this historic day, we celebrate the

:57:46.:57:52.

150th anniversary of the birth of David Lloyd George. I beg leave to

:57:52.:57:59.

ask the question, in my name of the Order Paper. My Lords, I have to

:57:59.:58:09.

add that my father met Lloyd We have somewhere a photograph of

:58:09.:58:13.

my father was Lloyd George and about 3,000 other people in the

:58:14.:58:18.

picture, but never mind, it is still historic. Is the Minister

:58:18.:58:28.
:58:28.:58:36.

aware that I not only knew Lloyd Shut up, everybody! That told them,

:58:36.:58:41.

that is what I'm gonna do to my guests! Thank you to all of our

:58:41.:58:46.

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