25/01/2013 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. The programme for


those of you who could not find Yorke remote-controlled and could


not go to BBC One for the tennis. The UK economy shrank again towards


the end of last year, and stagnated overall in 2012. Chancellor George


Osborne has presided over yet another dip in economic growth. At


minus 0.3%, it's even worse than expected for the final quarter of


last year. But it's not my fault, guv! Deputy Prime Minister Nick


Clegg now says the Coalition cut public investment too hard and too


fast. Boris tells George to stop talking up austerity, and even the


IMF says it's time to ease up. But will the government really change


course? Would allowing 16 year-olds the right to vote help bring


Parliament into the 21st Century? Or is this, as one MP put it


yesterday, simply a 'pathetic attempt' by his colleagues to look


'trendy in their constituencies'? All that in the next hour or so. On


Tuesday the latest borrowing figures are were published with


December's borrowing coming in higher at �15.4 billion. If that is


a trend that continues it would see the government overshoot the Office


for Budget Responsibility's borrowing forecast for the year. On


Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund cut its growth


forecasts for the UK, predicting the country's economy will only


grow by 1% in 2012-13, and by 1.9% next year. That's about a third of


1% less than they'd been predicting before. But Wednesday did see good


news for the Government on the jobs front. The number of people out of


work fell by 37,000 to 2.49 million in the three months to November.


But this morning there was that really worrying news that the


economy contracted by 0.3% in the final quarter of 2012, according to


the Office of National Statistics. That's worse than most of the


forecasters had hoped. If it shrinks again in the next three


months we will officially be back in recession. Well, in Davos, the


Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne gave his reaction to


today's figures. We have a reminder today that Britain faces a very


difficult economic situation. A reminder that last year was


particularly difficult. We face problems at home with the debts


built up over many years, and problems abroad with the Eurozone


where we export our products which is deep in recession. We can either


run away from the problems or confront them. I am determined to


confront them so we can create jobs for the people of this country.


That was the Chancellor. With this in here is Craig Wood House and


Mary Riddell. Welcome to you both. First, Danny Alexander joins me now.


He did not go to Davos, and got to come on hearing stead. What is it


like to preside over the worst recovery in 100 years? The figures


are a reminder of the severity and difficulty of the challenges we


face as a country. They are disappointing figures, but not


surprising. It is what the OBR forecast in the last month. The two


is the overall picture I'm looking up. By some calculations, this is


the worst recovery since the 1830s. There is no recovery, is there?


recover at -- economy is recovering from the deepest recession and


worst financial crisis since the Second World War, or some would


argue before that. We are doing so in eight World Environment, whereas


you have said before, as the Chancellor said as well, that the


Eurozone is going through major difficulties. That is the major


export market and that is slowing the economy down. The impact of the


banking crisis is deeper than we thought. But where we are also


seeing, as you fairly observed, not just the deficit falling over the


first two and a half years. But also employment, over one million


jobs created. In 2012 it was the most number of jobs created in the


private sector in the British economy since 1989. There are


positives as well as the grave difficulties. You talk about


recovery, but the economy is not recovering. Effectively, the


economy is no bigger as we sit here today and it was when he formed the


coalition. It is stagnating. Correct? That is a consequence of


the severe problems we are dealing with as a country. When we came


into office, we inherited from the Labour Party a huge mess in public


finances, and unbalanced economy. All the emphasis had been on the


banking in the City of London to drive growth, and that is the part


of the economy that collapsed. We put in place policies, whether it


was guarantees for infrastructure, or capital spending on transport,


investing in apprenticeships, things designed to make the British


economy more competitive. The you knew you had inherited a mess. That


is why you formed a coalition. But having no new inherited the mess


you proceeded on the basis that the economy would have grown by 6%, and


it hasn't grown at all. I don't understand why you knew what was a


mess but she thought it would grow by 6%. Now you say it is a mess and


it hasn't grown tall. We set up the OBR. -- at all. They produced an


economic forecast and that is what we worked on at the time. They


produced an assessment of why the forecasts were wrong. The factors


they cited are the ones I have mentioned. The crisis in the


Eurozone, and the impact it had on the British economy. The impact of


the financial crisis on the economy as a whole. High inflation in the


earlier part of the parliament. All of those things meant that the


circumstances were even more difficult than we expected. That


does not mean that the path of repairing the public finances and


trying to make economy more competitive and investing in the


things we need, like infrastructure and skills, is the wrong mix. Yes,


the road is difficult. I think that is the right mix. More of the same


then? If you think about this coming year, you have the largest


income tax cut coming through the pipeline in a generation, something


they came from the Liberal Democrat election manifesto. The guarantees


put in place for infrastructure and housing coming through the system.


The it still you say the economy will only grow by 1%? -- but still.


The Green Investment Bank we have established, all of these things


are designed to support the economy through these difficult


circumstances. But it is not growing, Mr Alexander. It is not


working. You have no recovery. It is not working. As I say, we are


facing severe challenges in the country. If anything should remind


us of the severity of those challenges, it is today's figures.


That mix of policies I have described, we have to get the


finances under control. But the deficit is rising again, correct?


For this financial year, April to December, the deficit is �7 billion


higher than the same period last year. Correct? If you look at the


financial year we are in, the OBR produced a forecast last month


where they said the deficit would fall. But the OBR is famous for


getting everything wrong. That is why you were in a mess. Why don't


you fire the OBR? They keep giving you the wrong predictions. I think


it is important we have independent people doing this. Even when they


are wrong? I think other independent forecasters made


similar errors for similar reasons. It is a real blow to you if the


deficit keeps rising. You keep asking me questions and I can only


get a third of it out as an answer. I'm still trying to answer three


questions ago. Let me just finish the point. Do you accept that the


deficit will be higher this year than last year? I accept the


forecast that the OBR produced a month ago, setting out what they


expect the deficit to beat. You know as well as I do that the


monthly figures for all of these things very. I April to December is


a lot of mums. I want to bring in my guess -- a lot of mums. Do you


share the regret from at Nick Clegg that he cut the capital spending


too fast and too deep? We inherited the plans for deeper cuts. If you


look at the spending review in 2010, we added �2 billion the year to


capital spending. And in the Autumn Statement there was another 5


billion. And just last December another 5 billion. I agree that


extra capital investment is important for the economy. We have


made decisions that, in the context of the difficulties we face, put


more capital spending into the system. But did you cut it too fast


and too deep? We added to it. He's absolutely right to say that the


cuts Labour had planned were too deep, which is why we added to it


in the spending review and in the Autumn Statement. But he is saying


that we still cut too fast and too deep. I don't think he does say


that, actually. I've read the interview. Lead me just answer the


point. But - let me. When we came in, looking at the Capital plans we


inherited, looking at the financial pressures we face, we will try and


do more. We were able to Addy in in the spending review an extra �2


billion per year and were able to spend money on more that mattered


to the economy. For example, we are spending more on transport


investment, which is one of the best things for the economy than


our predecessors did in the last five years. Our guarantees on


housing is something that no governments have done before.


aren't building them. Which GCSE economics textbook had you not read


it that if you cut capital spending it would hit the economy? Why is it


taking so long to realise, when any student with telly, that is what is


happening? -- would tell you. From 2010 when we set out the parliament


that view, we had to be prudent and careful. In the end the biggest


economic problem we faced was the fact we were spending �150 billion


more than we were raising. In that context, we had to be careful about


where we put money. But also, subsequently, in the Autumn


Statement where we made tough decisions about welfare benefits,


and in the short term, have reinvested some of the money to


have further investment in transport and broadband and new


schools and housing. Mary is jumping to ask a question. It would


seem to me that this is a catastrophic figure. The fact we


have had a lack of growth for four out of five quarters with the


exception being the quarter with the Olympic Games. Clearly we are


not going to have one of those every year. Andrew is right, of


course, that this is the worst four year period since pre-Victorian


times. Give him a question. The question is, is not part of the


problem that you have sucked so much demand out of things with


welfare cuts, the lack of capital spending, to which Nick Clegg


alluded, with tax rises and so on. We need a question. A what are you


going to do to remedy that? interrupt your other guests less


than you do me. I agree with Mary that we inherited the most


catastrophic series of figures in terms of the deficit we had to deal


with, the lack of competitiveness and the economy. The competitive


deficit, if you like. The lack of capital over many years. The


welfare system that was spending out of control. All those things


had to be dealt with. In the end, one of the most important things we


have done as a government is re- establish confidence and


credibility in Britain's ability to deal with public finances. Getting


interest rates down benefits millions of people and businesses


in the country. You mention the international view of what we are


doing, but the sign is we could lose the triple A credit rating,


and everything you have bet the farm on has then gone out the


window. Is there anything you can do? Looking at the figures today,


are we looking at a depression rather than a recession? These


figures are a reminder of the difficult challenges we continue to


face, to deal with the catastrophic mess we inherited when we came into


office. I think it is important we are clear that we will continue to


take the difficult decisions that are necessary. I have always said


that the credit rating agencies are not the be-all and end-all. What


matters in the end is having the right policy mix to ensure that the


country continues to be able to command credibility and keep the


interest rates low. That is what we are determined to do. That is what


a further difficult decisions be made in the autumn statement


demonstrated, and we need to continue to demonstrate that to


maintain the benefits of that credibility to this country. Do you


wish you had gone to Davos? very glad I came here, Andrew!


are delighted you came. You would have had fun in Davos. Have you


ever been? I've never been. Sure we go together next year? We can go


next year and do the interview there. Thank you for coming in this


morning. Good to see you. Joining us now from Nottingham is Labour's


Shadow Treasury spokesman Chris Leslie. When you look at what the


OBR said in 2010, it said that under Alastair Darling you cut the


deficit by a quarter, and that is what the government has done, so is


there that much difference between what the government is doing and


what she planned to do if you stayed in power? -- what you


planned to do. I a big gap, and I think the question to Danny


Alexander hit the nail on their head. They have not cut the deficit


in the way they have spinning. When you look at the figures and


performance for this year, the deficit is widening. Borrowing is


going up and it is adding to the debt burden. Why's that? Because we


have not got the engine of economic growth to make sure we have revenue


coming into the Treasury and to get some of the public expenditure on


welfare lowered. That is the fundamental problem with the


figures today. If you have a flat economy, or worse, it shrinks back,


it will make solving the deficit issue far more difficult. All we


heard from Danny Alexander was, more of the same, we will continue.


They claim that is a strong thing to do. Actually, that is the


cowardly thing to do. If they don't have the strength to say that they


were wrong and they should not have raised VAT and snub doubt the


conference in the economy, and should not have been cutting tax


credits -- snubbed belt. That is what has been partly responsible


for the problems with the economy today. Do you agree with Nick Clegg


that the coalition was wrong to inherit and then implement the


Labour cuts to capital spending? They like to keep characterising


the previous Government's plans as somehow a course that they were


pursuing. In fact, the OBR has said that they have cut capital


expenditure much further. planned to cut it by 50%? We know


the figures, they are there, you planned to cut it by 50% and this


coalition Wendt and cut it by 50%. Was it wrong to do so? Should it


have ripped your plans up? I think it is clear we would have taken a


different course. I have been on your programme, how many times,


it's becoming far too repetitious, we are coming back, almost year


after year, to this flat lining economy with growth figures and the


borrowing figures getting worse and worse. How many more times we are


going to have to do this? What will it take for the government to wake


up and realise they have to change course? This is the most


frustrating thing. It is not just the Labour Party saying this, you


have commentators from Right and Left of centre, the IMF, even that


Nick Clegg showed us what he really knew to be the truth of how he


needed to mobilise public investment. I'm interested in you


saying that Labour was wrong in retrospect to cut capital spending


by 50%. The deficit is still currently running at an annual rate


of around �120 billion, maybe more than that. And it is certainly more


than last year. So if we have a deficit of 120 billion and the


economy is not growing at all, how much bigger does the deficit had to


become to get some growth? How much bigger would you make it? I think


it Danny Alexander it had come on the programme today and said they


would have a change in fiscal policy to stimulate the economy, if


that had meant borrowing in order to get growth going, people might


have given him the benefit of the doubt. But he has not said that. He


said he would just continue that. did not ask what Danny Alexander


was saying. I'm asking what you were doing. If the deficit of over


120 billion still results in that no growth, contrary to what most of


Keynesian economics tells us, how big does it have to be to get


growth? How big would you make it? My point is this. There are some


aspects of publics -- bending the contribute to growth, especially


with Investment in infrastructure - - public spending. That is not what


the Government is borrowing for. Their borrowing will pay the cost


of economic failure. It is going on those costs of welfare, keeping


people in low-paid jobs. The reason the growth figures matter today is


not because of a macro economic statistic. Fire understand that,


but you're not answering the question. Could I have an answer to


Of course, that is a difficult choice to make, but I think it is


better to do something, rather than nothing. Whereas Danny Alexander


has confirmed to you that it is business as usual, no change. We


are now joined by the writer and broadcaster Max Kaiser. Welcome


back to the programme. What do you make of it all? Well, the UK is


screwed. What does that mean? coalition made the wrong bet. They


supported the bond market, instead of the real economy. That strategic


mistake is now having its after- effects. They could have done


something to increase the competitiveness of the country, but


instead, they supported the bond market, they supported the bankers,


they supported bail-outs. They supported bankers being able to


support things like rent seeking. As a result, they have squeezed out


the real economy. Here is the joke - the bond market is now on the


verge of a major correction. mean British Government gilts?


gilt market. It was at a 300-year high. And the cost of insuring


British debt is rising. That's correct. And sterling parity is


slipping. So, there is a sense that these markets are now saying, hey,


this government's fiscal stance has no credibility. Absolutely. The


gilt market is starting to move down. Yields are moving up, but the


overall trend in this market, when you see a bond market like this,


trading at 300-year highs... your view, if the financial markets,


the people who lend us money to pay for this huge deficit, if they


start to lose... The one thing the Government has always said, is,


interest rates are low, people are lending us money, we have got


confidence, but if that confidence goes, and as you say, there are


straws in the wind. The rating agencies are saying they are going


to downgrade British debt. So, what is the consequence? The markets are


poised to attack the British pound double what are the consequences?


That the cost of funding will be sharply revised upwards by 200 base


points, which will mean the cost of funding, a big part of the debt is


the interest costs, and that will go up substantially. So, mortgages


will go up. Yes, and a lot of people are on tracker funds, which


will trigger another real-estate crisis. I wonder whether this is


all very theoretical and high and mighty. It seems to me that no-one


else in the world is doing much better, so where will the bond


market go? If everybody is being downgraded, are we not all in the


same place? Welcome what's happening is, every single currency


in the world is depreciating against gold and silver. Gold is


now becoming the de facto global currency. That's why Germany and


the Netherlands are repatriating their gold. And also of France.


Because they do not trust each other. That is why these bond


markets are problematic, they do not trust each other, they want


their gold back in the vault. That's where these funds are going.


I have been saying for five a six years to position in gold and


silver, because these policies are completely irresponsible. There is


too much kowtowing to the City, too much largesse to the banks. They


have squeezed out the real economy, and now, the day of reckoning is


upon us. It all sounds very apocalyptic. The bond apocalypse!


But to get back to your original proposition, where does this end,


as far as the ordinary voter is concerned? I was watching The


Politics Show last night, and Michael Portillo was talking about


the British pound devaluing. Bass already under way. Well, it is


going to get shopper. A lot of people think, that is good for


exports, but the pound was devalued by almost 20% after 2008, and


exports are up nominally. The That's right. That is a misnomer.


The cost of imports goes up, and there has been no net gain in


exports.. I had better let you go and count your gold. Excellent!


Come back and see us. Thank you very much. How old should you be to


have the vote? In next week's Scottish referendum, 16-year-olds


and 17-year-olds will be allowed to take part, we think. In most other


areas of Britain, you have to be 18. There has been a proposal by a Lib


Dem MP on lowering the voting age for all citizens. He says


citizenship buttons in schools have made young people better-informed.


This generation of young people have hard all of the educational


opportunities to understand the democratic system, yet we continue


to withhold from them the opportunity to put that knowledge


into practice. We should not continue to withhold the vote from


the best-educated generation of young people. I have been in


command of soldiers aged 16 and 17 who are desperate to go on


operations, but they are not allowed to do so because this


country considers them to be children still. Now, you are


suggesting... Forgive me, the Honourable Gentleman is suggesting


that a 16-year-old should be able to vote presumably to send soldiers


to war, but cannot go to war himself or herself until the age of


18. Extraordinary. Extending the franchise has historically always


been a good thing, and in a democracy, people should have the


right to shake the decisions which affect them, unless there is a


really good reason why not. So, my starting point is not why lower the


voting age, but actually, why not? Why prevent people from voting at


the age of 16? The Scottish referendum actually gives us an


opportunity to see how this can work. Why don't we use the Scottish


referendum as a pilot to make sure that 16, 17, 18-year-olds have


their say in that referendum, and then we will have a look back on


how that referendum goes. Because actually, I agree, the genie is out


of the bottle once you have 16- year-olds voting in a referendum.


Then, to say to them, as soon as the general election happens next


year, to deny them the vote, that would be very difficult. There is


nothing so nauseating and ridiculous as seeing MPs trying to


court the youth vote, trying to appear trendy, by wanting to pursue


these kind of youth issues. That is what this is all about, MPs trying


to look trendy and youthful. It is rather pathetic. It would at least


be better if they had some sound logic behind her views, that they


really did trust 16-year-old to make decisions. But what we have


heard today is, we believe 16-year- olds are capable of voting, but


they are not capable of making other decisions which affect their


lives. At the end of the debate, MPs voted in favour of reducing the


voting age to 16, and they did so by 119 votes to 46. But of course,


the decision is not binding on the Government. It is likely to be


taken up in the near future. Before we go on, I can tell you, Andy


Murray has won against Federer in Australia, and he goes on to the


final on Sunday morning. Having caused us problems with The Daily


Politics, he will now do so with The Sunday Politics on Sunday


lunchtime! We wish him well in the final. With us now, Professor of


parliamentary government from the University of Nottingham, Messi,


and Rhammel Afflick, from the British Youth Council, who has been


on before. I do not detect any great clamour from youths to vote


at 16, is there? You will not find young people demonstrating and


doing all those sorts of things, because actually, a lot of young


people, as has been shown with the younger voters, who can vote at the


moment, they may not be as interested in politics as they


should be, perhaps. And so this is the reason why some and you would


find that sort of thing happening with this issue. And also, there


are a lot of other issues at the moment for young people. What is


the reason for nut -- not cutting the voting age? There are lots of


reasons, but the number one reason from my point of view would be that


this is the only bit of the British constitution which people


understand and support. There was a survey a couple of years ago which


looked at 11 different aspects of the British constitution and found


only one which most people said they understood and supported, and


that was votes at 18. So, all of this debate yesterday was about


reinvigorating politics. That was the argument given by Stephen


Williams, who moved the debate. It seems to me to be bizarre to start


doing that by taking the one bit that people like and changing it.


This is opposed by a 70% to 80% of the public. What a strange way to


reinvigorate democracy O. If there is no great clamour for it in the


first place, why would giving people something that they are not


desperate for reinvigorate politics? My argument is not that


giving 16-year-old the vote would suddenly make them want to vote.


That is a separate issue, which needs to be tackled. I think that


actually, maybe a lot of the older generation might not want 16-year-


old to be voting, but at the end of the day, they are not in that


position. They are not, for example, living independently in a situation


where they have no real say in maybe the local council and what


they are doing. At the moment, you can leave school, you can start


earning a proper salary from 16. Nobody ever wants the British


constitution changed. That is why we are stuck back in the... But we


have changed the constitution or the time - Scottish devolution,


Welsh devolution, referendum on proportional representation...


Nobody in his ever crying out for it. But on the broader point, I am


all for votes at 16. The point made in the debate was quite patronising,


that people have better citizenship classes and so on, as if the older


voter has some peculiar monopoly on sagacity and wisdom. But also, I


think a lot of what goes down in politics is aimed specifically at


very young people. In Tony Blair's talent, we had ASBOs, we had all of


these statutes which were specifically aimed at children and


young people. Now, we have got university tuition fees, which of


course affect exactly your generation. Child benefit is aimed


at children, we do not give them the vote. Of course, you have to


draw a reasonable, pragmatic line. 16 seems to be about right. Many of


the arguments Mary has just used would apply to 14-year-olds. So you


draw the line somewhere. When you look at the other ages at which we


are now beginning to allow people to do things, actually, those ages


are moving up to 18, not down to 16. Many people in that debate


yesterday in recent years voted not to allow people to buy fireworks


until 18, not to be able to go into tanning booths. Ages are going up,


not down. That is a crucial thing. This is a solution looking for a


problem. You only have to look at the people sat on the green benches


to see that. If we are going to tackle this issue, we have to look


across the board, what can you do at 16, 17 and 18. We have just


spent 20 minutes talking about the state of the economy. That has got


to be the priority. So therefore why not let young people have a


vote on the state of the economy since their futures will be


affected by it? Are we seriously going to spend days, weeks, months,


are arguing about this in Parliament? I think it is


interesting. It is now more likely to happen, then it was, not because


of yesterday's non-binding motion, with only 25% of MPs taking part,


but because of the fact that the Labour Party has begun to shift on


this. I think that is the key bit about yesterday's debate..


Labour form the majority government after 2015, you think this could be


on the agenda? I think it is very likely to be in the manifesto..


you think they would put it in the manifesto? I would not be at all


surprised. It is absolutely right. Miliband was a supporter before.


And of course, not even just a majority Labour government, but a


deal with the Lib Dems, who have long supported votes for 17-year-


olds. Researchers have been digging deeply, and it seems that all the


Channel Islands, they have it, Austria might have it, and Cuba,


but very few of the world's democracies - Cuba does not really


count - have votes at 16. Surprising, in a way. To have no we


should lead the way, and actually, if you look for examples within


political parties, for example, if it was a member of the


Conservatives, I could vote David Cameron to be leader of the


Conservatives, but I could not fur his party to be in government. So,


there is that argument as well. For me at the moment, I run my own


business. I am 18, almost 19. Immaculately dressed, compared to


most of the MPs that come in here. Will you come back and see us?


Definitely. Nottingham still the best politics department in the


country? Of course. Thank you both. It has been quite a week, starting


with the most appalling tragedy in the Algerian desert, moving on to


the inauguration speech in Washington, culminating with David


Cameron announcing the policy which would define his premiership, the


in-out referendum in Europe. Here it all is in 60 seconds. This week,


that long awaited speech on Europe was made by David Cameron, giving


Conservative Euro-sceptics of the red meet they had been longing for.


To stay in the European Union on these new terms or to come out


altogether. It will be an in-out referendum.. However, they will


have to wait until after the next election forehead, and get the EU


to renegotiate first. Prince Harry headed back from Afghanistan, and


the MoD announced plans to cut more than 5,000. But there was good news


for UK jobs, with unemployment falling to its lowest level for 18


months. The Deputy Prime Minister has been revealing yet more


information than he probably wanted to in his weekly phone-in show.


This time he did not rule out sending his son to private school.


And it was all stars and Blair as President Obama celebrated his


So, plenty of political controversy in the week just gone. In the week


coming up, there will be a vote on Tory plans to change the


parliamentary boundaries, which they are likely to lose, I would


suspect. MPs will also be voting on gay marriage. Now, the week is


ending badly because of his economic figures. In the middle of


it, it was a good week for Mr Cameron, because suddenly, the Tory


press was actually on his side! And Labour is slightly, no more than


that, but slightly discombobulated by this referendum, are they not?


Yes, my guess is that Ed Miliband is not personally discombobulated,


but I think there is a very strong strand of opinion in the Labour


Party which would dearly have liked him to have announced his own


referendum, not on exit but on consent. That feeling that people


should be consulted is very strong in Labour, and I think it is very


difficult, the line of attack which is building up for them, which is


that Labour is the party which does not want to hear what the people


once. I think that will be difficult for Labour. I think it


slightly through them, and their message was a bit mixed. When you


look at the course of the economy, at this moment, you would have to


guess that come the election in 2015, the Tories in particular, and


a coalition, are not going to have a great story to tell. The economy


is hardly going to be in fine fettle, so you need something else


which you think will be popular, hence, we will give you a


referendum, they built not. Desk, and I think that message is very


simple to get across. As soon as Ed Miliband stood up in the Commons


and said, we do not believe in the referendum, the Tories immediately


said, this is a party which does not trust the people. You're right,


they will have to find things, the Tory party. But even for people who


may care deeply about Europe, or they may be strongly Euro-sceptic,


we have jobs, living standards, economic growth, having money to


put food on the table, these things matter more. Of course they do.


Europe comes 9th or 10th in the list of people's concerns. So did


the Scottish Parliament, but they still got devolution! True, but


while it might play well for Cameron in the short term, and buy


him some time, nonetheless, he has got boundary changes coming up,


discontented backbenchers who will be losing seats, and equally, gay


marriage, which will be a knotty issue for the Tories. So,


tactically he has played it very well in the short term, but I think


in the medium to long-term, all bets are off for him.


politically it works for him quite well, because it discombobulated


Labour a bit, and it kind of tackles UKIP, but also, he gets


nice headlines in the Tory press, including no, in the paper - when


did we last see that? That is Drincic, but he has ratcheted up


the potential consequences if he fails on it. -- that is true. If he


cannot get what he wants, if he comes back with what has been


described as a box of tiddly Binks from Europe, then everybody will be


unhappy. And he has to win the next election. That's it for today.


Thanks to both of you for being with us. Sorry we were a bit late


in starting but we got there in the end. And Andy Murray won, and he


will be in the final in Australia on Sunday morning. The One O'Clock


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