28/01/2013 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon. Welcome to The Daily Politics. It is full steam


ahead for the next phase of High Speed 2. David Cameron has taken


his Cabinet to Leeds this morning to announce details for the next


stage of the project. But are the economic benefits worth the money?


Can a new government scheme cut energy bills and improve your home?


We speak to the energy minister. Should the goalposts be moved to


help women get jobs in the boardroom? And it is this man the


next Conservative party leader? -- and is this man? All that coming up.


And with us today is the lawyer, businesswoman, broadcaster and


football association board member... Let's start with the economy. After


last week's news that the economy shrunk by 0.3% in the last three


months of 2012, George Osborne hit the Breakfast sofa this morning. He


was talking up the benefits of the HS2 rail extension, but he also had


this to say about the economy. are absolutely determined to tackle


the long-term problems that this country faces. Building high-speed


rail, investing in jobs, investing in the north of the country, is


part of that engine for growth. no let-up in the cuts and the


austerity? No let-up in fixing Britain's problems. Growth is flat,


talk of a triple dip recession, inflation is rising - do you think


the pace of cuts has choked off demand, as Labour claims? I think


it is a very difficult balance to strike. What is interesting about


BHS to announcement today is that it is a real emphasis on investment


to generate growth. Particularly, the regeneration of those parts of


the country, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, which we know are


experiencing challenging times. So I think that level of investment in


infrastructure is important. But I also think that in the area of


small businesses, we are an entrepreneurial culture. I work in


the creative sector, in media. We see a lot of really interesting


small companies, and if they can get access to finance... This is


about not getting credit again? Party, and partly about the culture,


risk-taking, but it is risks not based on where we were before, on


some really complicated innovative, it is risk based on backing people


and producing things. We need to get back to making stuff, which is


what we used to do. Do you have confidence in John Osborne's plans?


-- in George Osborne's plans? the moment we are waiting to feel


that growth come back into the economy. To that extent, the jury


is still out. But I think it is fair to say, there is no silver


bullet, no magic solution. We have become the guinea pigs, everybody


is looking at what we are doing. We have done massive amounts in terms


of quantitative easing... That has kept interest rates down. Yes, and


we have had announcements by the forthcoming new governor of the


Bank of England, which might start to make changes. It has been


terrible for savings, of course. But at the moment, we would so the


jury is out. You were chief executive of Lambeth council in the


mid-1990s. Let's take you back there - is it fair for some


councils to be booking up council taxes in these difficult times?


pink for local authorities who are trying to maintain services,


whether that could be elderly, care, maintaining streets, supporting


their own regeneration, they have to find ways of bringing tax


revenues into their local authorities. What they need to


demonstrate is that they are investing effectively, if those


council tax rises are to be justified. The Prime Minister has


described it as an engine for growth, and this afternoon, the


Transport Secretary will stand up in the House of Commons to unveil


the second phase of the Government's plan to drive a new


high-speed rail line through the north of England, and eventually to


Scotland. The Government has already announced the first phase,


connecting London to Birmingham, a route not without controversy,


especially where it passes through the Chilterns. Today, ministers


will outline the second phase, taking it on to Sheffield and Leeds


in the east, and on towards Manchester in the north-west.


Journey times from London to Manchester will be reduced by an


hour to 68 minutes. Journey times from Leeds to London will be


reduced to 82 minutes, from more than two hours. It will cost more


than �33 billion. It will be opened by 2033. We asked to speak to a


Transport Minister, but no-one was available. But I am joined now bike


a Conservative Impey, and by Labour's Shadow Transport Secretary,


Maria Eagle. Can we afford this? Yes, it is a very considerable


period of time. It increases the connectivity of the system. There


will also be benefits for the north of the country. It is something we


cannot afford not to do. The West Coast Main Line will be full. We


cannot keep upgrading. We need new railway lines, and this is a good


way to start. We cannot afford not to do this? Constituencies like


mine will be taking all of the pain and getting no gain. We will have


no station in my constituency, and in fact, we will have the pleasure


of driving half-an-hour north to get to London half an hour faster.


So, there is nothing in it for us. Added to that, the roots go through


a site for private sector investment, which would create up


to 7,000 new jobs. It has thrown those plans into mayhem. You have


obviously got to defend your constituents, but are you against


the project in principle? Do you accept the idea that this is about


investing for growth, that capacity limitations will mean that these


roots are needed, and that it will be better join up the north and


south? I can agree that we need to do that, but I think the route has


been so poorly thought-out. I have spoken to East Midlands Airport,


where it is that there is going to be a tunnel underneath the airport.


That is an employment hub of 10,000 private sector job, and they have


not even been consulted. It smacks of incompetence. And you have got


the same civil service who delivered as the bomba DA fiasco


and Wayne -- and the West Coast Main Line franchise disaster, so I


think this is totally badly thought out. -- the Bombardier fiasco.


There is a consultation which is about to start, to look carefully


at these issues, and I am particularly concerned about the


location of some of the stations that will be needing. And also, the


fact that they appear to have abandoned the spur to Heathrow. I


think connectivity to the main hub airport would actually be one of


the most important things, so I am a bit concerned about that. So if


you want to get into office, you want to redraw the route, and


change it quite substantially, connect it to Heathrow, I mean,


that will mean even more delay. Well, we have to see how far we get.


There will be a bill published later this year, and once that has


gone through Parliament, that will fix the route. We want to be


constructive, we want to see this done, but that is not to say we


will not be raising concerns as we look in more detail at the


proposals. Listening to Andrew talking about, questioning, the


economic benefits - are you sure that there will be that kind of


engine for growth? I think I can only speak for my experience, in


relation to CrossRail, going across London, and we have already


generated around 7,000 jobs, tens of thousands of jobs in the supply


chain. In terms of regenerating parts of London, and indeed East


Kent, we are at the beginning of that journey, but certainly,


everything is telling us that you - - if you can create those catalysts,


you can begin to influence the economy is around those hubs. I


think the critical point about a just to is about the North-South


question. As Andrew said, the real challenge is to make sure that we


get the Connection's right. All the benefits can be lost if you end up


having to travel for half an hour to get to a mainline station, which


is where you have just come from. So, the question about where the


questions will be, and this really connect with CrossRail and Heathrow


as well. That's what really needs to be hammered out. What are you


going to do about that, we'll be fighting very hard to try to get


stations changed, is there any chance of that happening? I will be


fighting hard to get the route change, quite honestly. It should


have gone closer to Derby, Derby tell wanted that station, and they


have got the infrastructure for it. Have you got a campaign together


for this? I think it will gather support quite rapidly. There will


be various campaigns opposing either of the spurs. That is how


things will pan out in parliament. I would like to hear what Patrick


McLoughlin has got to say this afternoon. I was particularly


annoyed when he said that some people would be a little upset over


the route, when it is announced - that is the kind of comment which


you can only make when you are the MP of a constituency which will be


completely unaffected couple have you got any chance of achieving


anything? At the end of the day, it is not starting until 2026, until


the London to Birmingham route is completed, which is three general


elections away. However, the fear about the plight and the anxiety


will start today. Will you vote against the legislation? A believe


I will, yes. One of our viewers has tweeted us, if this is so good for


jobs, how come Spain has the highest unemployment in the EU?


There are many factors involved in that. But the important point for


us is that our railway system is creaking. Passenger numbers are


going up and up, lost an system is full. We do need new railway lines.


I think we ought to be getting on with this faster. When could


restart, feasibly? Well, you do have to put the legislation through,


to get the planning consent. But the current government are planning


two bills, for both phases, but I think we should have one bill. You


could then start building from the north as well as from the south. I


think our great northern cities need assurances about this.


mentioned that you have worked with CrossRail, and if anything has


taken for ever to actually get started, it was CrossRail. Yes, it


took something like 20-odd years. And they do think that is the


challenge, that on one level, we want to make sure that there is


effective consultation, and on another level, we have to, I think,


get these turntables down. The reason we need the investment is


for all of those reasons we have spoken about today. In 20 years'


time, who knows what will have happened? So, I think, as has been


said, if we could have one built, that at least would begin to bring


down that timetable. It is a bit embarrassing, in a country that


invented the railways, we still have journey times similar to the


Victorians, when the rest of Europe have bullet trains... We have


announced investment in the electrification of the East


Midlands Main Line, which is starting next year. Actually I have


not got a passenger railway station in my constituency. We have asked


the Government to reopen the Ivanhoe Line, to connect up to


Leicester, but I was told there was no money left. And yet there is �32


billion to spend on a just to. Thank you very much all of you. Now,


one of the finest Westminster traditions came up in the Sunday


papers yesterday, a backbench plot against the Prime Minister.


According to some reports, a group of Conservative backbenchers have


been discussing propelling one of their number to the party


leadership if the Conservatives failed to get a majority at the


next election. So, who is the Knight in shining armour? It is the


MP for Windsor, not a household name, yet. After he saw the


newspapers yesterday, he was quick to deny any involvement in a plot.


Were you surprised to read the newspapers this morning? I choked


on my cereal, as did the rest of the family. Let me say, I will


never stand against David Cameron. I a 100% supportive of him. I am


working with many colleagues to make sure that they give the


Conservatives -- the Conservatives the best chance of winning of a


general election and European elections. Well, Tim Montgomerie


joins us now - did you choke on your cereal? Well, it was certainly


a bit of a surprise, in a week when things have gone so well for us. We


have had one of our best weeks in a long time. For these rumours to


appear at this time about David Cameron's leadership, it is


complete nonsense. But it is not the first time, is it? There has


been speculation about David Cameron's leadership, as there is


in every Parliament, about every leader and Prime Minister. But it


was not a total shock, was it? think last summer, David Cameron's


leadership was going in the wrong direction. The boundary review had


collapsed, there was all of the media about the Olympics, the


coalition was in a fraught state of mind. Since then, we had a very


effective speech from David Cameron at the party conference, jutting


out his policies. You have had a reshuffle, seeing people like Chris


Grayling coming on board, a more balanced team. Because of fears of


They knew something was going wrong. Linton Cosby is the campaign


manager. David Cameron has solidified his leadership in the


last six months. There will always be 40 or 50 irreconcilable MPs who


don't like him. But things are going better for him than for some


time. That's a rump isn't it. 40 or 50 monies who can never be reck


sield is still a danger, particularly on issues like Europe,


and there are some in your party who won't be happy unless Britain


pulls out of the EU. There are those who don't like the coalition.


They fear that the Tories may not get a majority at next election. So


you could say they are thinking ahead. I think there are probably


nearly every Conservative and Labour MP thinks in the back of


their mind - perhaps I could be leader. There are quite a few who


talk to friends About whether they would support them in the case of a


vacancy. There is no vacancy. Talk of changing the leadership stkracts


us from what we need to do. We're united on the European issue. We


need to focus on the bread and butter issues of tax and the Health


Service and crime to ensure we can win a majority. You've seen plenty


of Prime Ministers and parliaments going by, what was your reaction


sno --? I too were shocked. Some of our colleagues in the media were


tired writing about Europe and the Obama effect. On one level, how


fantastic that we could have a black MP at least put out there as


potential leadership candidate. That shows how we've moved in


politics. That's something to be celebrated. I suspect that some of


the people who are no longer in Cabinet might be feeling


disgruntled. It's halfway through a term. We often get these


conversations around leadership. I would suspect that, at the moment,


Cameron is pretty well secure. The Europe speech, particularly,


consolidated his position within those parts of the party. The last


four or five opinion polls we've seen Labour's lead fall below 10%.


At this stage of the Parliament that's a very poor showing. One of


them still put them 13 points ahead. Five of them were below 10%. If


there are questions about any leader it should be directed to the


red corner. Does David Cameron feel secure? I think he must do at the


moment. Do you hear that?, No I have no reason to hear that. He


does feel secure. There are issues, gay marriage is one of those things.


Is there are -- he needs to work better at party management. A lot


of people don't feel loved, that their views are heard in the party.


He cannot afford to be complacent. But he is scier. This is the issue.


-- He is secure. This is the issue. Is this why a backbencher name has


been put forward. He had to deny it, Adam Afriyie, do you think that is


a worry that there are quite a few backbench MPs who feel they should


have been ministers, who feel there is a disconnect between Cabinet and


ministers and the Parliamentary party? Cameron has two coalitions.


He has a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, which we talk a lot


about. But he also has a coalition with his own party. The party is a


broad beast. It has - Sure, but has he lost that connection? He still


needs to work a lot harder, not just to keep Nick Clegg happy but


to keep backbenchers happy. This is the generation who cut their


political teeth under Margaret Thatcher. This is have Thatcherite


views. Giving them hope that this isn't the best it's going to be,


that at the next election, there will be more of a traditional


message, that's what he has to achieve. Thank you very much.


Smashing through the glass ceiling, it's what women who get to the top


in male TV dominated professions are described as having done. What


do women need to do to compete in a man's world. Susana Mendonsa has


Football and politics, they're both male-dominated areas where women


try to level the playing field. This woman has done a bit of both.


She used to play football and now combines working at this youth club


in Tower Hamlets with being a Labour politician in Essex. She


says to succeed in a man's world, women need confidence. There have


been so many times over the last 20 years, and I've been on the pitch,


all men, or even a football tournament and it's all men. I have


to believe that I have enough ability to play in that tournament.


Does that make sense? In some ways that seems like a small thing and


you take it into politics and you walk into Westminster, fairly male-


dominated and you have to believe you have a contribution to bring.


While the number of women in football and politics is growing


there are still 13 men for every woman taking part in football. In


politics, around one in five MPs is a woman. Last year, just 15% of


board directors on the FTSE 100 companies were women. Compared with


12.5% in 2010. So the number of women getting to the top of


financial firms has increased but it's not happening quickly enough


according to this former market analyst, who's worked for the


lights of BGC and Goldman Sachs. There has been very, very little


improvement. Women are still massively under represented. I


think we have gots to the stage now where quotas are necessary, where


that force has to happen. In ten years, when we have lots of women


running the world, we don't need quotas any more. The Prime Minister


has made clear he would prefer to avoid quotas and he's been


resisting calls from Brussels for a 40% female quota. There are women


who'd agree with the know-quota approach. When you're talking about


quotas, positive discrimination, what you're really talking about is


tokenism. That dints women's self- confidence. It stokes male


resentment. It creates a culture where suspicion is the norm. That


is bad for everybody concerned. this Labour Parliamentary candidate,


who was selected on an all-women short list in Harlow say quotas are


needed. If you want to address any kind of imbalance, you have to do


it in a purposeful way. You can't just give it good words and dream


about it and one day think, a few years down-the-line, it will change.


That's not how change happens. Things have been changing. Women


have been rising through the ranks. So do they need a leg up to speed


up the process or should they just be playing men at their own game


I'm joined now by Mike Buchanan from the Campaign for Merit in


Business. Before I come to you, can I ask you first, Heather Rabbatts,


what's it like being the only female director at FA? Well, I


think it's interesting. I am also the only female director on some of


the other boards I sit on. We all know that football has a particular


representation in terms of whether it has the most modern outlook to


women, but the fact that I am on the board of the FA is a sign that


times are changing. Do you think they are? Is it tough? How are you


treated? It's always a mix. There are people who are incredibly


welcoming. Others are somewhat suspicious. I think that's true of


most boardroom that's women go into whether they are in football or a


top 100plc. There's always a challenge. I think women invariably


have to work often twice as hard to find that way of being accepted,


because they don't go in with being given the benefit of the doubt. I


think actually to have quotas to wake it worse. You would have a


sticker on your head saying "I'm only here because I'm part of the


quota." How do you change? By some of the work that's being done,


constant exultation, about putting companies on notice, about chairman


being asked serious questions at their shareholders about why there


are no women on their boards. As we were talking earlier, at times,


maybe the threat of quotas, the threat of change might get


everybody to focus about what they need to do. Do you agree we need


more women on boards? No, I don't. Why? We have five studies which


show that when you increase the number on women on boards,


financial performance declines. There is not one single study


worldwide which shows... What about women matter 2010, a report by


management consultants that suggest that companies with gender balance


boardrooms are 56% more profitable? We keep hearing this, if you look


at the reports you'll find that they report in correlation.


have they done these reports when there rnts that many boards with


women on them? There's plenty of them. In Norway there was a huge


expansion of the number of women on corporate boards. The results were


corporate decline. The reason that men dominate the boardroom, the


reasons are well understood. The most important single reason is,


was something that was explained by a renowned sociologist in 2000. Her


research showed that while four in seven men are work centred, only


one in seven women are. You would expect an 80/20 split on boards on


that alone. I'm not aware of some of the surveys that have just been


mentioned. I always find it quite interesting where we look at board


effectiveness and we were talking about the economy and why we've got


into some of the mess, many people would say it was about how banks


are governed. We look at process with failing companies. We look at


lack of regulation. We don't necessarily look at the fact that


they were fundamentally male boards. I don't know about that survey. I'm


sceptical about it. What about women not being work centred


enough? I think that as you look at the indices, women are


participating more in the economy, they're working longer, certainly


women might not be work centred through certain times of their


career, when they're having young families, but when I talk to women


across all sectors one of the things they constantly come back to


is A, they want to come back to work, most need to stay in work. So


I think all of those indices are changing. Also it's about age and


stage. Most non-execs are in their 50s and 0s when they have had


experience. Having experience and wisdom is important. You'll find


that many women are wanting to be back in the labour market during


those years. What about, there are two points there. You could say


maybe a bit crudely that it was men that broke it, the banking system,


that those boards were male- dominated and that they took too


many risks and a mix, having women perhaps as a generality are more


risk averse, add a different dimension would be healthy and


profitable. It's a theory, but it's a self-serving theory. But it was


borne out. It's a bit like your surveys, self-serving to your


perspective to argue that women can't get on board, I don't know


what experience they need to have - There are no surveys that say


performance improves. There's a Deutsche bank where they


voluntarily put more women on the boards. The result was more risky


behaviour. We can argue about surveys one way or the other, but


don't you feel it's right more women should be on boards? 50% of


the population are female, why shouldn't there be more women if


they want to have a role on boards, why shouldn't they be there?


don't think any men feel that just because they want to be on a board


there's some sort of efpb titlement. Some would argue they do. Veryify l


few. We come back to the point that the number of qualified men for


mangor corporate boards hugely outnumbers the number of qualified


women. The last 45 or 25 FTSE 100 have been non-executives.


reason that boards have stayed male is because they want similar people


to themselves on the boards. Again the reason they do that is that the


pool of men is hugely deeper than the pool of women. What do you say


Tha'it, that point doesn't stand up? I think there's been all sorts


of research that says in of the past -- in the past that people


tend to recruit in their own image. When we look at issues of


discrimination, those points have been made. What I would like to


stress is that there's 50% of the population are women. There are


huge numbers of talented women out there. I think increasingly boards


are wanting to have people with diverse voices and diverse


experiences. Having people who've just come up through one particular


part of the industry to then become a non-exec doesn't necessarily give


you the breadth of outlook you want to have. If you start to look at


the criteria about effective non- execs and think about what the


talent pool you want to look at, you will start to find more women


coming onto boards. We always have 50% of the population is women, why


aren't 50% of the directors women? No-one's arguing for 50%. But it's


just 15%. I don't see anyone xam paining for 50% of lorry drivers to


be women. What do you say to that? If women want to be lorry drivers,


they will apply and no doubt, they will be put up with some of the


challenges of getting into lorry driving. What we're talking about


here is power. Actually, most people give up power with great


difficulty. This is about ensuring that power, whether it's around


effective decision making ash our companies, has the best talent. My


belief is that when I meet many women they say we would really like


to become a non-exec. We don't have the confidence, we don't know how


to do. It I don't find the same comments that I get from some of my


male colleagues. Who do feel, the next thing is becoming a non-exec.


We need to support women to find The next crunch day for the


coalition comes on Tuesday, when MPs will vote on delaying boundary


changes until 2018. Could this be the first time David Cameron and


declared end up on the other side - - on opposite sides of the vote? --


We can speak now at to James Lyons from the Daily Mirror, and the


Sun's Emily Ashton. Emily Ashton first of all, two big issues for


the coalition this week, Europe and boundaries - initial reaction,


overwhelming support from backbenchers, but how long can that


unity last? We cannot hear you just at the moment. Now, attic we can.


Sorry, start again, how long do you think Tory unity will last? Well,


David Cameron has had one of the best weeks of his premiership. He


has even impressed some European leaders. It is funny because


tomorrow's vote is not going to be particularly helpful to that unity.


Suddenly, a lot of Tories will be a bit cross and frustrated that they


cannot get his decision on the boundaries through. Remember, this


vote is very important to the Conservative Party. The next


election will depend crucially on them getting those extra 20 seats,


and experts think changing the boundaries will help them get that.


This has put David -- Ed Miliband into a very difficult position. He


doesn't to rule out a referendum, but what is the official line now?


I think it is that they do not want a referendum, but that is the


answer just a now, as you say. They are trying to keep their options


open. They will probably get forced into accepting a referendum at some


point. A lot of people in the party would like to get ahead of the game


by essentially saying that before David Cameron had come out in


favour of one, which means that Ed Miliband is now on the back foot,


but his position is not as bad as some people would like to pretend.


Over the weekend we have seen David Cameron coming under pressure on


Europe again, despite at speech last week, which was very well


received. We have seen people like Boris Johnson coming out and saying,


yes, I would be prepared to campaign to take us out of the EU.


That is not something we have heard from David Cameron, but it is


something his troops will be demanding in the weeks ahead.


terms of demands, Emily, are those demands going to start very quickly


from the Tory MPs who want to repatriate powers? That is the


problem. This referendum is five years down the track. I cannot see


many Tory Euro-sceptic backbenchers saying, OK, we will just wait for


that. He is going to face increasing demands for all kinds of


powers to come back, crime, Justice, all kinds of things, so this issue


is not going to go away. Let's talk about boundaries. Tomorrow night,


Lib Dem MPs will vote to postpone the review of parliamentary


boundaries until after the next election, so what will that do to


the harmony of the coalition? is a very important moment in the


life of the coalition government. We are seeing for the first time,


or we will see, Lib Dem ministers trying to defeat Tory plans. That's


if everything goes to plan. In fact, I think it will be tighter than


some people are expecting. I suspect the Tories have got some


tricks up their sleeve to try to get it through, but very few of


them seriously think they will win. What this does to the collision


afterwards, it is going to be painful. Essentially you have got


David Cameron at the moment fighting on two front. Today, the


whips are out there trying to minimise a Tory rebellion by MPs


who will face their seats going, which will be hugely embarrassing


to David Cameron. The whips are desperately trying to minimise that,


but tomorrow, the real test, that will be when he tries to gather


together the backbenchers who maybe still feeling the warm glow from


his Europe speech, to explain to them why they will probably be


losing the next election. Tomorrow evening could be the day that David


Cameron loses the 2015 election. you see it in those terms, Emily?


Yes, it is quite crucial to David Cameron. You can see that there are


still mutterings about his leadership. The 2015 Election does


depend on anything he can do to help himself to win that, which


includes these 20 extra seats. So, he desperately wants to get this


through. If this vote does not go the right way for him tomorrow, he


needs to leave it, because these Boundary Commission review has been


going on and on, and it has been costing millions of pounds.


Taxpayers want to say, OK, enough is enough. Because I have been


joined by the Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom and my other guests


for the rest of the show... Starting with you, Dan Rogerson,


would you be happy to go into coalition with the Conservatives,


promising tamarin in a referendum? I would be happy to go into


coalition with either of the party's comedy spending on how they


frame their policies at the general election. That is what we are doing


at the moment. We have got some of these constitutional reform issues


to take into account. We will do anything to deliver what we said we


wanted to do.. But you are not in favour of this referendum. I am in


politics to get things done, not just to talk about things. Having


said that, we are not likely to be in a position of having a majority,


so if we are in that kind of situation, we will have to work


with another party again. Europe is a key issue for the


Liberal Democrats, and Nick Clegg has said this referendum would


damage the economic stability of the country. Why would you go into


coalition with them? Because it is not the only issue. That is the


crucial thing. If I speak to my constituents, there are some for


whom the European issues are what keeps them interested in politics,


but they're a small bunch of people, the vast majority are interested in


the economy, the environment and things like that. The gamble would


be that Britain comes out, because it would be up to the people, and


you would be the government, a Liberal Democrat government which


presided over that? I think people are entitled to decide, but


artificially trying to bring it to a head would be the wrong thing to


do. It should be at a time when there is a genuine treaty


negotiation on a particular issue. Your party is not going to be


setting out which powers it intends to bring back to this country until


after the next election, are you happy about that? Actually,


negotiations are going on the whole time. There are issues like the one


over banking union, like the use of the veto on financial services...


But we heard from David Lidington over the weekend, any powers would


not start until the manifesto is drawn up, so you can see which


powers they want to repatriate, and those negotiations will not start


until at least two years down the line. I am sorry, but I do not


agree. There are already positions being taken by the Government of


some of these issues. As you know, the government is minded to opt out


of the justice and home affairs 130 rules which we have an opt-out from.


That has to be exercised by the middle of 2014. So, there are


certain measures which the Government is trying to do, for


example, making some sense of the Common Fisheries Policy. But


because of the timescale, those issues will needed -- will need to


be sorted out before 2015. If these powers are not repatriated, Will


you be voting no in any referendum? There may well be some powers which


we were not calling for. It may be that there were some treaty changes


which we were not calling for, and some that we poor. It will be very


important that each individual.... For you, personally, we you vote


no? I could countenance it, but I think Britain would be better off


staying in the EU. Which member states of the EU are pushing for


reform, and threatening exit if they do not get what they want?


am not aware that any other EU number is threatening exit, but nor


is Britain. We are talking about a referendum. Other member states


have had referendums. Well, they are using the threat of an exit.


do not think that is white. We are not threatening to leave. What we


are saying is, we will renegotiate, but having done that, the people of


Britain will get the opportunity to say whether they want to be in on


the terms of the negotiation or whether they want to leave. At the


negotiating table, everybody will be aware that that is the


possibility. What I'm saying is, no other member states are pushing for


that, are they? They do not seem to be at the moment. Was it wise of Ed


Miliband to seemingly rule out an in out referendum? What he actually


ruled out was a referendum now. Well he did actually seem to say,


no referendum. So you understand it that there is a chance of a


referendum? I do not see that it is on the table particularly. But as


we have just seen from consular's and so, we have got the issue of an


in out referendum on the table from the Tories, without any idea of


what it is that we are advocating even on the basis of. Andrea


Leadsom cannot even answer whether she would vote yes or No 1 that


referendum, and the same goes for the rest of the Tory party. So,


this has created huge uncertainty about our ongoing membership of the


EU. Businesses up and down this country, in quite an unprecedented


step, have been coming out and saying that this is really damaging


for investment in the economy. And just at the time when the Tory


party should be focusing 100% on getting the economy moving.. What


do you say to that argument about instability? Both the Liberal


Democrats and Labour have said this... That is such a


misrepresentation of the situation. Over the last few years there has


been increasing, massive uncertainty, because of the lack of


democratic accountability in the European Union. The eurozone


financial crisis, and all of these other things, have meant that the


eurozone is changing. They have to move towards greater fiscal


integration, which means... What we have seen happening in Europe, as


you have just described, is a more flexible Europe, where, depending


on your own national interests, you either opt in or opt out of various


things. So, some countries have opted into the financial


transaction tax, but Britain has not. We obviously will not be part


of the conversations about the eurozone and what action needs to


be taken there, because we are not in the euro. So, this is what


Europe is already doing. The key point is that the eurozone is


changing. They have to move closer to a country called Europe. To


simply maintain the status quo is not a realistic option. Do you


think David Cameron would have made that speech without awe of the


pressure from your backbenchers? Yes, I think that what the Prime


Minister has done Tiffney, he has taken his time to consider where he


thinks the EU is going. He has been very focused on they go need for


greater integration in the area of currency, but at the same time, for


Britain to lead them towards greater democratic accountability


and a new settlement for Britain. Some key questions which we have


raised there. Fisheries and agriculture, they do be


renegotiated anyway. That is nothing to do with his repatriation.


That is what all governments in Europe are involved in. What I am


confused about, with regard to the Prime Minister, on this, is what


exactly might be negotiated. I tried to amend the bill when it was


going through. I am in favour of the principle of reducing the


number of MPs. You are going to vote against it? The issue for me


is, at the time when we announced an increasing number of unelected


politicians in the House of Lords, we are being asked to vote for


cutting the number of elected politicians. That is not what I got


into the coalition to do. As the Conservative Party were not able to


deliver on getting rid of some of the unelected politicians, it would


be absolutely wrong to cut down on the democratically elected element.


This would be the wrong time to do that. Briefly, how angry with you


and your colleagues be over this? Well, it is a great tragedy that


obviously, it makes sense for there to be regularisation of the number


of voters in each constituency.... And it will not deliver you as


easily a victory? Well, what we are looking for is a level playing


field. We are not looking for favouritism towards the


Conservatives, we are looking for equalisation of the number of


voters in seats and a reduction in the number of MPs. That is in


everybody's interest in the country. It is quite astonishing that


neither Labour nor the Lib Dems We all know what high Energy Bills


are like. The average annual bill is now �1400. There's a scheme


launching today that ministers say will provide savings. One minister


has been quoted as saying - is this transformational? Yes, is this the


biggest home improvement programme since the Second World War? Yes.


You're dying to know who it is. Wait no longer, it's Greg Barker,


the Energy and Climate Change Minister. Welcome. What a great


introduction. Do you still stand by that? Absolutely. Why? Is it,


nothing like this has been tried before. We have a huge challenge.


This isn't going to be an overnight flash in the pan. We're talking


about a framework to see us through into the 2020s. This isn't a stop-


go programme. The framework will bring unprecedented choice and


empoirplt to consumers who want to improve their homes. How many


people have signed up to the Green Deal? It only went live this


morning. It's a bitterlyy to write oaf a 20-year programme about three


hours in. I'm not writing it off. I just asked how many people have


signed up. I have been told that people have starleted writing plans


this morning, but it went live today. So the story that only five


people signed up and there was a computer glitch wasn't true. That


was to do with assessments and that is out of date. Hundreds, maybe


thousands have booked assessments in anticipation of being able to


write a Green Deal plan this morning. Give it time. We're not


claiming overnight success. This isn't a big rush. We're going to


build over the coming months and years to achieve that objective.


What people will want to know and the reason they'll sign up is


they'll want savings in Energy Bills. How can you guarantee


savings from this scheme? We can't guarantee savings because if


somebody decides to buy a series of plasma TVs or to suddenly put up


their central heating to 24, rather than 22, of course their bill is


going to go up. What we can do is give sensible, conservative


estimates on a like for like basis on what their energy costs have


been and what they are likely to be if they take these measures. That's


the Green Deal golden rule. Under that basis, projected savings


should always be greater than the finance costs. Even after you've


put these measures in, which can be a range of things, from double


glazing, new lighting, a new front door, even, a boiler, heating


system, a whole range of things that people actually want and are


going to improve their home that actually they should still be


better off and they'll be insulated not only against the cold but


against future rises in bills as well. It's a high interest rate at


7%, when you think of interest rates at the moment. There's a big


gap between 0.5% and 7% which will make people think those savings are


just not going to be achievable. Firstly that interest rate is fixed


for 20 years. Secondly, it's a lot cheaper than any comparable finance


on the High Street. If you try and finance a kitchen or a conservatory


or a bathroom, compare that to the finance you'll be available through


store cards, personal loans or an APR sometimes of 20% on some of


these schemes. Actually for the vast majority of people that offers


a really good deal for long-term, fair finance. OK. Greg Barker,


thank you very much. How optimistic are you that millions will take up


this deal? As we've heard from the minister, probably not today. In


the long-term, absolutely. I've had constituents of mine who have had


these pre-consultation things. We've ht people going round talking


to people on the doorstep and they're keen to get started. The


key thing is people feel a benefit in terms of energy savings, but


also, will know that this money is going as far as it can. It would be


great if the Government has huge amounts of cash, but it doesn't. Ip


stead of piling in Government money, it's a way tone courage people to


do it themselves. As a country there's a carbon saving as well.


This is a market-based framework. The Government is keen to see this


market work. Is leaving it to the market the best way to improve


energy efficiencyy in homes? As I say, we haven't got the money in


this country to invest huge amounts of money needed to insulate every


home. So there has to be some market solution. The Government can


frame that so it works for the consumer and encourages creating


jobs as well? Will be -- will you be signing up? Yes, I'd love to. I


was thinking over the weekend, I would be quite interested in doing


it. What's putting you off? Well, because I live in a very old, stone


house with very thick stone walls and we did actually when we moved


into it, think about the fact that it would be drafty. It has


technical problems. We put some solar panels on the roof and so we


do in the summer get completely free hot water and no fume costs at


all. It's very attractive -- fuel costs at all. It's very attractive.


You should look at it. Was your response to the idea? I think it's


a perfectly laudable objective, but it's -- as with lots of other


things, the devil is in the detail. You're right to raise the point


about interest rates. The minister is wrong. There High Street


interest rates for personal loans at the moment are comparable to


this rate. You've seen a lot of consumer groups over the last few


weeks and this morning saying there are a number of hidden costs here,


which when you look into it, will put people off. The assessments


that you're talking about, costing between �100 and �150. You only get


that money back if you then take up the offer of the - from the company.


There's worries about koibs entering the marketplace. I worry


about older constituents who might be mis-sold things on the doorstep


and on the phone. We need greater protection for the consumer. We


need to look at the interest rate again. The outlay will put off


poorer households, I suggest, and also, they may not get those


savings for a while. I cannot see how many poorer households will be


attracted to this idea and they're the ones, we all are, keen to cut


costs? That's the purpose of the planning process. They have to be


able to demonstrate that they will save money and save energy too. It


real sli getting that golden rule right. That's what the planning


process should do. We need to get the message across that we should


look at different companies to ensure they have the best deal


possible. Believe it or not, we are in the middle of an election


campaign in Westminster. Haven't you heard? Sadly, the electorate


for this one is limited. In fact it's restricted to hereditary peers.


Giles has donned his iep -- finest tweed to tell you more.


There you are. Yes, pay attention chaps, oh,


chappesss in this new world, a quick word about hereditary peers.


1999 passing of the lourdz act, most hereditary peers cleared off,


all except 92. They are made up of 42 Conservatives, ah, a haunch of


cross-backbenchers, a smatters of Lib Dems and three Labour. These


days the general feeling is that taking part in the Democrat proik


ses by right of birth isn't on, well unless you're the Queen of


course, means those peers in the House of Lords are elected. In


November last year, the 13th Earl Ferrers died creating a vacancy in


the Conservative ranks of sitting peers. Now, his fellow hereditary


sitting peers become the electorate and candidates from the register of


hereditary peers, who don't sit, throw themselves forward for


election. Ironically it takes place under the AV system. The result


will be known on the 5th of February. I'd love to explain more,


but I huge part of Gloucestershire to run.


Oh, life is tough at the top for some people. Joining me now is Lord


Sudeley, who has put himself up for election. Lord Sudeley welcome to


the programme. Why do you want to do this? Well, two things, I


particularly want to bring pieces of business, I'd like toe bring


before the House of Lords. The first reflects the bankruptcy of my


great grandfather the fourth Lord Sudeley at a place in


Gloucestershire called Toddington, personally designed so he was


chairman of the commission for the rebuilding of the Houses of


Parliament. With the debt accumulated my great grandfather


had, he was in debt to about half of what he had. But then he to


suffer a bank foreclosure which meant everything going forward...


OK. You have a personal back story, but why is it important, why is it


important that we have elections for hereditary peers to replace


those who've passed on? At least some element of the hereditary


element has been kept in the constitution. Democracy now has


become a very clean word. I don't think that necessarily has to be


the case. In the 18th century we had something which our ancestors


called the mixed constitution derived from Aristotle and under


such arrangement I believe it was more balanced on the -- whilst


elected to the constitution. What about the election process itself?


Do you have to give a speech? I made an electoral address for


about three minutes. It's not the first time you've gone for this, is


it? No, I've done it six times already. I mean, and I presume


failed to become elected. Why do you want to put yourself through


it? Well, because there's certain things, I was beginning to start to


explain one element of the business. Yes, you were. But you're so keen


you're prepared to go through the election snfrbgts oh, yes, that


doesn't bother me at all. How are you rating your chance that's time?


I have 26 competitors. I always was a bit a maverick, so my chances


there by possibly rendered a little slighter, I don't know. Good luck.


And all the others standing. Thank you for coming onto the programme.


Are there too many peers in the House of Lords? Yes. Would you like


to see the rest of the hereditary peers go? As Liberal Democrats we


wanted to see a Democratically elected House of Lords. That's what


we're working towards. Part of the issue we're having with the


boundaries in the House of Commons is because we haven't succeeded in


reforming the House of Lords. He's a very nice chap, but it's an odd


processes, especially elected by AV, which is an irony. We know what the


Liberal Democrats position is, why is the Deputy Prime Minister set to


create 50 new peers this week? Because we didn't successfully


reform the lourdz. It does seem hypocritical. We need to correct it.


I prefer a democratic House of Lords. What do you think of the


election? No disrespect to Lord Sudeley, is it? Yes. Do you not


know him? He couldn't be a better advert for House of Lords reform.


Obviously, Labour began the process of House of Lords reform. We got


rid of 90% of hereditary peers. We should have got rid of them all. We


still should get rid of them all. We'd be happy to work with the


Liberal Democrats and others - didn't want to vote for the means


to do it. We felt there should be more Parliamentary time. We would


have voted for it and your Government withdrew the bill at


that point. As you say, we're having this very important vote on


boundaries this week. It is about cutting the number of MPs. It's the


very same week that we're seeing David Cameron creating I think the


largest number of unelected peers. I just find that absolutely


hypocritical. Should we get rid of the hereditary peers? I actually


think we probably should, at the same time, I think that we throw


away our heritage and tradition as -- traditions at our peril. One of


the advantages of the Lord's has been that there's been real


expertise. There's a couple of peers that I've met recently, who


are real experts in things like neuroscience, in human rights and


so on, who bring a real case to bear that perhaps through the


democratic selection process, you might not get quite that same level


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