29/01/2013 Daily Politics


29/01/2013

Jo Coburn talks through all the big political stories of the day with guest, LBC's Iain Dale.


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Good afternoon, welcome to the Daily Politics. The Government says

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it wants cheaper childcare, but can you make it cheaper and better at

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the same time? Or is that, as every toddler knows, having your cake and

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eating it? Does British football desperately need reform?

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An influential group of MPs thinks so. But will it ever happen?

:00:56.:01:00.

Have you got a favourite political book? We will take a look at some

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of the best and worst of the last 12 months.

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How much do you propose to spend? A figure? Why don't politicians just

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answer the question? We will find out what turns people right off

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politics. All that in the next hour, and with

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us for the whole programme today is the political writer, publisher and

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LBC presenter Iain Dale. But first, we've had two apologies

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in the last 24 hours - the first from Rupert Murdoch about this

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cartoon in the Sunday Times. It is by Gerald Scarfe and it shows the

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Israeli Prime Minister building a wall out of the bodies of

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Palestinians. It was published on Holocaust Memorial Day.

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And the second apology has been made by the Lib Dem MP David Ward.

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He has been formally censured by the whips for saying he was

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saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of

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persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of

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liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on

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Palestinians. Iain Dale, should that cartoon by Gerald Scarfe have

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gone into the newspaper? I think we don't know the decision process

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that led to it. There is a new editor on the Sunday Times. I can't

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believe Gerald Scarfe didn't know it was Holocaust Memorial Day. I

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read this morning on Twitter that he says he had no idea, I am not

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sure it is an argument in his defence even if he didn't know,

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because it is a gratuitously offensive cartoon. But we have the

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right to offend in this country, it is not illegal to offend people.

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Similarly with the David Ward case, he has a perfect right to offend

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people but has to justify what he has done. I am not sure what people

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suggest should happen, just because people have been very offensive

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there should be punishment or not? You were more worried in terms of

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the cartoon by Gerald Scarfe with Binjamin Netanyahu at the top of

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the wall, the timing of that? If it was printed on another day you

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would have thought, well, that is just a Gerald Scarfe does his

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cartoons? I think cartoons are meant to be funny. There is nothing

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funny about that. It has a message that is certain group will probably

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agree with and say why does the Israeli lobby always cut rough on

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things like this, why are they offended so easily? I think if you

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got the history that Israel and the Jewish people have, I think you

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will understand it better. I am not saying the cartoon should not have

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been printed, that would have been censorship. It is very difficult.

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It is satirical. Where does satire end and political message start?

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The David Ward case is very different. It is very

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understandable why people thought that was wrong, and most of his Lib

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Dem colleagues thought it was wrong, to be fair, because he used the

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phrase, the Jews. If the have said that gays, blacks or the gypsies,

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everybody would have been outraged. He chose not to apologise initially,

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he stood by every word. He has apologised but not withdrawn the

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comments. I don't know how you can apologise without withdrawing them.

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And he won't use the phrase the Jews in future. How very graceless

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of him -- gracious of him(!) The cynics among us might think he is

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playing to a certain group in his constituency and it will go down

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very well. The Liberal Democrats did well on this, they condemned

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the comments, but they have done nothing about it. They have sent

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him a letter. What does that mean? It is a yellow card? Some people

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think it might ought to be a red card. We are talking about football

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later, we might as well -- might as well get the terminology. I think

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he should have had the whip withdrawn for a time. Far more

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serious than Nadine Dorries going into the jungle, and she had the

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whip withdrawn. Now it's time for our quiz. The

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question for today is which of these things has not been handed

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into the Houses of Parliament lost property office? Is it two jars of

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marmalade, a rucksack of bananas, a brace of pheasants or a plastic bag

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of peppers? At the end of the show, Iain will hopefully give us the

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correct answer. Last time I was on we did not have time! Are we milk -

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- we will make sure we have today. Well, the big parliamentary moment

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of the day will come in a couple of hours when MPs get to vote on

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whether to cut the number of MPs and change all the parliamentary

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boundaries before the next election to make them more equal in size.

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It's not one of those issues that regularly gets hearts racing

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amongst the general public, but it is an issue that is dear to the

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heart of the Conservatives as it will probably give them quite a few

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extra seats. Their coalition partners the Liberal Democrats,

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however, are refusing to back them up on this one because the Tories

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didn't let the Lib Dems reform the House of Lords. Our deputy

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political editor James Landale is with us now. I think the

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Conservatives are unlikely to win this. There is some uncertainty

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about how the DUP will boat, but Plaid Cymru and the SNP will vote

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with the Liberal Democrats and Labour. Unless there are changes,

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the likelihood is a conservative loss. This will be significant for

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two reasons, this is an arcane debate and many people might be

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stretching their heads, but there are two significant points. One is

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over short-term coalition relations. Lots of Lib Dems and Conservatives

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are getting very hot under the collar, talk of U-turns and

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betrayal. I think there will be anger this afternoon. Secondly and

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perhaps more importantly, as you mentioned, at stake potentially,

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the election experts say, are 20 seats the Conservatives might have

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gained at the next election under these boundary reforms. But will

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not now happen and that could possibly make the difference

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between a victory or defeat. Many Conservative MPs are worried about

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this. They think David Cameron should not have allowed this debate

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to get to this stage. However, it could. Arcane and, yes, it will be

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slightly parliamentary this afternoon, but today is one of

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those days that we could look back on in a few years and say, that was

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a costly mistake. Thank you. I am joined by the Lib Dem peer and

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expert on everything to do with political campaigning Chris Lennard,

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and the president of YouGov, Peter Kellner. Chris, if you always

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thought that reducing the number of MPs and equalising constituency

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sizes was so bad, why did you sign up to it? He it was part of a

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package. We did not mind a reduction in the number of MPs if

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we were making the House of Lords more legitimate. We see the all

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these things together. We believe the Government should be called to

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account by parliament. If you are reducing the number of MPs but not

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making the House of Lords more legitimate and effective than there

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is a problem. House of Lords reform was in the Conservative manifesto

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and the coalition agreement, and the Queen's Speech. I believe the

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Conservative Party had a whip on the House of Lords reform. Your

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whip this afternoon, as I understand it, is to oppose this

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measure. It was in your manifesto, you are voting against something

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you agree with? You say there was a whip in the Conservative Party, but

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almost exactly half of Conservative backbench MPs voted against House

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of Lords reform, that is why David Cameron was so angry that night. He

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knew when backbench Conservative MPs torpedoed the House of Lords

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reform that this would happen on boundaries, that is why he was so

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angry. Do you accept the Conservatives did not deliver are

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now part of the deal? Nick Clegg agreed with -- David Cameron agreed

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with Nick Clegg's package, but his package was a dog's breakfast. I

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think there would always have been Conservatives voting against it. I

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don't see what else David Cameron could have done. I think he will

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agree they tried to get as many Conservative backbenchers to

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support it as they could. Your whip is to oppose something that you

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agree with. The electorate, and James Landale said it was arcane,

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it is kind of arcane. But the electorate will thing, why are the

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Lib Dems voting again something they agree with? You agree that the

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House of Commons should be smaller, you agree with equal constituency

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boundaries? In the long run we want to see boundaries redrawn on

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roughly equal constituency size, but we know the date are now is not

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as we thought it would be. At the time of the Bill we thought that

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more than 90% of the people who should be on the register are, but

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now it is about 80%. Around 6 million people are missing from the

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voting register, and you can't redraw the boundaries until they

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are on the voting register. Is this about principles? Isn't it just

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about straightforward tit-for-tat? There are principles on pragmatism

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-- pragmatism. We wanted a package and if the Conservatives will not

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deliver, we will not deliver. We are against a reduction in MPs in

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the absence of House of Lords reform. And if you want the

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boundaries correct and drawn fairly, you need all the people who should

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be on the register on it. 6 million people are currently missing.

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is a view that says the Lib Dems have had to absorb quite a lot in

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terms of losing out on some of their key policies. Have they

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really? They would argue things like tuition fees, for example. It

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was a big line in the sand. And they could not give way on this

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issue? There is a website with all the Lib Dem achievements and the

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coalition listed. I think lots of Conservatives think the Lib Dems

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have to give more and have taken too much. Moving away from the give

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and take, who would lose the most under these proposed changes?

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Lib Dems would lose the most, Labour the next most, the

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Conservatives least of all. In crude numbers. At the last election,

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the Conservatives were nine or 10 seats short of the number needed

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for an overall majority. If that election had been fought on the new

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boundaries, the Conservatives would have been just two seats short. The

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other figure, this will be the last I give you, is my estimate is that

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for the Tories to win an outright majority, they need about half a

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million more boats operating under the old boundaries, the current

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boundaries, than if the boundaries were changed. If they are defeated

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this afternoon, Parliament is imposing a half million vote

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penalty, if you like, on the Conservatives will stop but it is

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half a million and the marginal constituencies... -- in the

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marginal constituencies. Every party is voting for their partisan

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interests, so why are you so upset with the Liberal Democrats? I am

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not, I think there are more important things to discuss than

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this. It seems clear that the election will be fought on existing

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boundaries, I don't understand why David Cameron has pushed this to a

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vote. I will look stupid if he does win it! It is like when interest

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rates are put up and then discounted by the markets. There

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will not be massive rows on the Conservative benches. They are

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terribly angry about it... anger was six months ago. It will

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not reignite? I would not have thought so. Do you think the

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Liberal Democrats' survival depends on the next election been fought on

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the existing boundaries? Parties have survived much tougher times

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than this. You are too young, when I was growing up in the 50s, 60s

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and 70s the Liberals were in a much worse state. They will survive. One

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of the reasons it will be tough with the new boundaries is a Lib

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Dem MPs, more than other parties, depend on personal reputation, the

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incumbency factor. A few radically redraw the boundaries, a Lib Dem

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MPs will lose a lot of voters who know them well and gain a lot who

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don't know them so well -- if you radically redraw the boundaries.

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They could lose how many seats? For if you do the mechanistic uniform

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swing calculation they could lose on a current poll rating more than

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half of their MPs. I don't think they will. There will be some

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incumbency factor. But I would not be surprised if they are down 20 or

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25 seats. That would be pretty disastrous? I'd like to see a

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different system where have you got more votes you got more seats.

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was wondering how long that would take! You can't assume that there

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is a direct collision between opinion polls and bolts. Opinion

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polls and mid-term are very unlikely to be good indicators of a

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general election outcome. I have looked at the last eight

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parliaments, in seven of them the mid-term opposition has been

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completely different during the If you put together AV and the new

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boundaries, maybe lose a dozen seats on the boundary change, but

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gain 25 seats because of the alternative vote system. We have

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got the referendum, and it was lost, which I expected, but the Lib Dems

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didn't, and that is part of the beef. But that is democracy.

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Lib Dems made a judgment call and they lost. You got that in just

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about. What about prospects for the Conservatives under the existing

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boundaries? How difficult is it for David Cameron to get that overall

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majority? My judgment is, and it depends on how the Lib Dems of

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other parties fair, they probably need 41%, 42%, to get an overall

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majority, that is a five-point up lift. The when was the last time a

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governing party got a five-point up lift at the end of a Parliament?

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You have to go back to Lord Palmerston in the 1850s. It is a

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tough call. And that is why you come back to this question about

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anger? For I think it is impossible. Unless the Liberal Democrats to

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vote implodes at the next election, and most of it goes to the

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Conservatives, which is not the most likely repository for that

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vote, and if you kick implodes for some reason, then you could make an

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:16:49.:16:54.

argument for it -- UKIP. So do you think there will be anger towards

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David Cameron for allowing the situation to come about? Yes, to an

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extent. That anger has been there for the last two years. Those who

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don't want a coalition will always be angry with David Cameron for

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going into one. Those who think you shouldn't have given an AV

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referendum to the Lib Dems will be angry come what may. But forget all

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these ridiculous stories, Cameron is in a stronger position now than

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he was this time last year. And that won't be changing. Thank you

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very much. This morning, the Education

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Minister Liz Truss is allowing a relaxation in the rules on how many

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children nurseries and childminders are allowed to look after. Child

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care costs in the UK are the second highest of the 34 countries in the

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OECD. For a couple where both parents than the average wage, they

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are 27% of net family income. Only Switzerland is higher. Other

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countries such as Highland, Australia, Slovenia and the

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Netherlands have higher fees, but lower net child care costs, due to

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more generous state support for childcare benefits and tax

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reductions. According to a study by the resolution Foundation, a family

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with both parents working full-time and two children aged two and four

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in full-time care will spend �13,529 per year on childcare. And

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in London, it can cost as much as �10,000 more. Proposals to help

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families with the costs of childcare are unlikely to emerge at

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the end of next month. Today's announcement would allow carers to

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:18:46.:18:55.

look after four under two-year-olds, or six two-year-olds. The ratio

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issue is a big concern for everybody. The majority of day

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nurseries across the country deliver excellent care and support

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children and families. The issue of increasing the ratio is there costs

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will come down for parents, and it is also questionable, because

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nurseries are already struggling in terms of their day-to-day

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management and the financial situation. If there is more money

:19:19.:19:24.

available, then the staff need to be paid more, especially if you are

:19:24.:19:29.

expecting them to be better qualified. Labour's spokesperson on

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all of this is Sharon Hodgson. What is your response? Half of them we

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agree with. Those following the recommendations of the review into

:19:40.:19:45.

better qualifications for the staff and the status of the staff, the

:19:45.:19:49.

level three in English and maths, paying the staff more, totally

:19:49.:19:54.

agree with those. They are recommended and we agree with them.

:19:54.:20:01.

The ones we don't agree with other ratios, which seems to be

:20:01.:20:11.
:20:11.:20:17.

recommending none of the sector's' No childcare centres that we have

:20:17.:20:21.

visited say that a plan to avail themselves of these ratios, and

:20:21.:20:25.

especially not childminders. thought childminders were keen to

:20:25.:20:28.

try to increase the money they would get by having more children,

:20:28.:20:34.

more parents paying, and be able to reduce the per parent cost. I am

:20:34.:20:37.

not saying they will not be one or more out there, but on the whole,

:20:38.:20:41.

they are not in favour of this. What you think of the Government's

:20:41.:20:48.

plans? Bear in mind they don't have children, so maybe I shouldn't have

:20:48.:20:53.

a voice in this, but they do have an opinion. I don't see the problem

:20:53.:20:59.

in slightly increasing the ratios. When I saw this originally, I

:20:59.:21:02.

thought they were talking about doubling them, but they are only

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going up by one or two children. If it were to be proved that this is

:21:07.:21:13.

unsafe, then it would be bad. But why it is imperative -- why is it

:21:13.:21:16.

imperative to have English and maths GCSEs? We have restricted

:21:16.:21:20.

nursing to people with the equivalent of degrees, cutting out

:21:20.:21:23.

a huge swathe of people who would probably make fantastic nurses but

:21:23.:21:26.

cannot become nurses because of the qualifications. Is the Government

:21:26.:21:34.

not doing the same here? That was explained in the recommendations.

:21:34.:21:42.

Why will it guarantee better childcare come --, having a GCSE

:21:42.:21:49.

grade in maths or English? If we are ever to close the gap with

:21:49.:21:54.

regard to entitlement for the most disadvantaged two-year-old, we need

:21:54.:22:02.

childcare delivered by competent people. But getting back to the

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recommendations with regard to the ratios, there are eminent people

:22:06.:22:11.

commissioned by the Government, professors, who have come out on

:22:11.:22:14.

record and have said that these ratios could damage quality and

:22:14.:22:18.

could even be dangerous. Even though they are only going up by

:22:18.:22:22.

one or two children? At a child minder, the number they can look

:22:22.:22:25.

after his 6, which is staying the same. But she is now saying they

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can have two babies, and four under five. You're saying that one person

:22:35.:22:41.

cannot look after two babies? could have to babies, two toddlers,

:22:41.:22:46.

a five-year-old and a six-year-old. You have a full-time job on your

:22:46.:22:52.

hand just keeping them all safe and fed. Where his early education?

:22:52.:22:57.

Where is the early years foundation stage been delivered? We will talk

:22:57.:22:59.

to the Education Minister in a moment. But what you think about

:22:59.:23:03.

the idea that childcare professionals should be paid more?

:23:03.:23:07.

That would help guarantee higher quality. We would all like to be

:23:07.:23:10.

paid more. We are to situation certainly where the Government

:23:10.:23:15.

doesn't have any money to pay them. You have just explained the cost of

:23:15.:23:18.

childcare. Parents are not getting wage rises either at the moment, so

:23:18.:23:25.

they won't be wanting to pay any extra. What worries me is we seem

:23:25.:23:29.

to be coming to a situation where it is regarded as the Government's

:23:29.:23:33.

job to provide childcare. I don't think we should be in that

:23:33.:23:37.

situation. If parents decide to have children, surely they think

:23:37.:23:40.

before they have children about the cost of the child care afterwards.

:23:40.:23:44.

It shouldn't be left to the taxpayer to pick up the Bill.

:23:44.:23:49.

every country in the world does take a responsibility to providing

:23:49.:23:53.

child care for women for the workforce, to get back out to work.

:23:53.:24:00.

There is the other side of it, it isn't just about looking after...

:24:00.:24:03.

We are restricting child benefit to people earning under �50,000 per

:24:03.:24:07.

year. I don't think we should be spending taxpayers' money on well-

:24:07.:24:09.

off middle-class parents who decide to have children and expect the

:24:09.:24:15.

state to pick up the Bill. So you agree that the child benefit, it

:24:15.:24:19.

was right to take it away? A think the way they did was wrong, but the

:24:19.:24:23.

principle was right. I would much rather that this money was giving

:24:23.:24:26.

to Louise Casey, who is going to these difficult families, give it

:24:26.:24:31.

to her to spend on children who really need it. But we were given

:24:31.:24:34.

money for early intervention, and that has been cut by this

:24:35.:24:38.

Government by 40%, as has the training budget for training these

:24:38.:24:43.

people that they now say need better qualifications. Let's just

:24:43.:24:46.

bring in Liz Truss, the Education Minister. He may have been able to

:24:46.:24:50.

hear some of the debate going on. How can you argue that the quality

:24:50.:24:53.

of care is going to increase when you were reducing the number of

:24:53.:24:58.

workers per child? What we are saying is that only nurseries who

:24:58.:25:02.

hire higher quality staff will be able to take advantage of those

:25:02.:25:05.

ratios, and those ratios bring us into line with countries like

:25:05.:25:09.

France and Denmark, which had really high quality childcare

:25:09.:25:13.

systems. The reason they are high quality is they have more focus on

:25:13.:25:15.

the qualifications of the staff rather than the numbers of the

:25:15.:25:20.

staff, and our regulations have focused on the wrong thing. All of

:25:20.:25:24.

the evidence suggests that having really high quality people,

:25:24.:25:27.

graduates in child care settings, improves the outcomes for children,

:25:27.:25:31.

not just in nursery but also in primary school and for the rest of

:25:31.:25:34.

their lives. We are giving more headroom to nurseries to be able to

:25:34.:25:38.

do that, to hire the high quality staff using the money they gained

:25:38.:25:42.

from being able to offer extra places. But what guarantee is there

:25:42.:25:45.

that having a few more qualifications necessarily make you

:25:45.:25:50.

better at looking after children? All of the evidence on longitudinal

:25:50.:26:00.

studies shows that having teachers in early-years, 3-and four--year-

:26:00.:26:09.

olds, increases the quality of education. Countries like France

:26:09.:26:13.

spent the same amount of money as we do, but get better qualified

:26:13.:26:18.

people and more highly paid people in their settings. Our salaries in

:26:18.:26:22.

early years as six Pan 60 per hour, barely more than minimum wage.

:26:22.:26:32.
:26:32.:26:33.

you think they should be paid more? �6.60 per hour is not enough. They

:26:33.:26:38.

should have more say over how they operate. Lots of nurseries want

:26:38.:26:44.

this flexibility. But she says not. There are. The most popular nursery

:26:44.:26:48.

providers in England have said they want this flexibility. Who are

:26:48.:26:53.

they? Which once? Bright horizons, Busy Bees, all very highly

:26:53.:26:59.

respected Nurseries, want the opportunity. And they will look at

:26:59.:27:02.

it on a case-by-case basis. This isn't going to be an overnight

:27:02.:27:06.

change. What they want is more flexibility like they have in

:27:06.:27:11.

Ireland, Scotland, France, to be able to hire a really high quality

:27:11.:27:14.

people and make sure that they are doing a good job. You mentioned

:27:15.:27:19.

about the level of pay. When you're going to publish the report you

:27:19.:27:24.

Commission last year into increasing the ratios? That was

:27:24.:27:27.

part of the Child Care Commission, and we are going to be publishing

:27:27.:27:34.

that alongside the other evidence we collected. When? Very shortly.

:27:34.:27:37.

What we made clear in the mid-term review is that there will be a new

:27:37.:27:40.

offer for working parents, because we recognise that the cost of

:27:40.:27:43.

childcare are very high and it is stopping people going at work who

:27:43.:27:49.

want to. It is also stopping people getting the benefits of early

:27:49.:27:54.

education. The report contradict what you're saying. The one by

:27:54.:27:58.

Helen Penn and Professor Eva Lloyd. It is difficult to comment on it

:27:58.:28:05.

because we haven't released it yet. So why you announcing the

:28:05.:28:09.

proposals? I was on a debate this morning with Eva, and she said that

:28:09.:28:12.

changing ratios will enable people to be paid more, so she has made

:28:12.:28:20.

that point earlier this morning, and that is right. We are

:28:20.:28:24.

realigning our ratios to match countries with best practice and

:28:24.:28:28.

move away from the minimum wage culture that we have at the moment.

:28:28.:28:31.

And I think that is all to the good. If nurseries don't like it, they

:28:31.:28:37.

don't have to do it. This is optional, and only for highly

:28:37.:28:40.

qualified staff. What about the view that says, it might be better

:28:40.:28:44.

to let parents decide or keep more of their money, for instance the

:28:44.:28:46.

childcare benefit that the Government is cutting for many

:28:46.:28:49.

families, so that they could stay at home and bring up their children

:28:49.:28:53.

themselves? That would be a traditional Conservative view.

:28:53.:28:58.

support people who make the choice to stay at home. Except you are

:28:58.:29:02.

spending money on nursery care and taking away child benefit. There is

:29:02.:29:05.

real evidence that nursery care is really beneficial for children and

:29:05.:29:09.

it helps them in later life, and we need to make sure it is high

:29:09.:29:14.

quality. My frustration is we are spending �5 billion per year, the

:29:14.:29:18.

same as France, but we are not getting the same quality from our

:29:18.:29:22.

system. I am reforming our system, making it simpler, so that parents

:29:22.:29:26.

can go out to work safe in the knowledge that their children are

:29:26.:29:30.

really benefiting from the nursery education. Do you think it would be

:29:30.:29:32.

better prepared to put their children into nurseries rather than

:29:32.:29:35.

letting them bring up their children? Is that what the

:29:35.:29:41.

Government is trying to do? I think it is up to parents. We need to

:29:41.:29:44.

give nursery's choice about how they operate. We have to give

:29:44.:29:47.

parents a choice about the best decision for their children. What

:29:47.:29:52.

we need to make sure is that our early education system is not seen

:29:52.:29:55.

as an add-on, but part of a programme of education where

:29:55.:30:00.

children are really learning. At age two, they are learning

:30:00.:30:06.

vocabulary, had to count. And that build up into school education. I

:30:06.:30:11.

went to a fantastic University yesterday at the Durham Academy,

:30:11.:30:15.

where qualified teachers with quite large classes were teaching young

:30:15.:30:20.

children, engaging, having a fantastic time. That is what I want

:30:20.:30:30.
:30:30.:30:37.

every child. What about You need a Grade C in English and

:30:37.:30:41.

maths, that is for childminders, too. What about people who have

:30:41.:30:46.

come from abroad, will they need an equivalent qualification? At the

:30:46.:30:50.

moment there are no regulations on nannies, but that are on

:30:50.:30:53.

childminders. We have seen a halving in the number of

:30:53.:30:57.

childminders because it is quite difficult to jump through the hoops,

:30:57.:31:00.

so we are enabling childminder agencies to develop so that

:31:00.:31:05.

childminders have a one-stop-shop they can go to. This has been very

:31:05.:31:07.

effective in France and Holland in increasing the number of

:31:07.:31:10.

childminders. Childminders are great for parents who want more

:31:10.:31:14.

flexibility, they might work were long or irregular hours. We will

:31:14.:31:19.

see an increase in the number of childminders as well as good-

:31:19.:31:25.

quality nursery places, which I think is good news for parents.

:31:25.:31:30.

Our guest of the daily, Iain Dale, wrote to a blog worrying he is

:31:30.:31:35.

losing interest in politics. He had a great list of reasons including

:31:35.:31:40.

cynical journalism's and the great bugbear of many, partitions not

:31:40.:31:44.

giving a straight answer to a straight question. -- politicians

:31:44.:31:50.

not giving a straight answer. want to know how much you propose

:31:50.:31:57.

to spend on the Routemaster buses? A figure? Nor more all more or less

:31:57.:32:03.

-- no more or less than the... despair. It is a real blow to you

:32:03.:32:11.

if the deficit rises again. You are not answering the question. I am.

:32:11.:32:17.

Let's move on. Do you accept... urged both sides to put aside the

:32:17.:32:21.

rhetoric, get around the negotiating table and stop it

:32:21.:32:24.

happening again. Get round the negotiating table,

:32:24.:32:28.

put aside the rhetoric and sort the problem out.

:32:28.:32:31.

Get round the negotiating table, put aside the rhetoric and stop

:32:31.:32:36.

this kind of thing happening again. It is about living standards.

:32:36.:32:40.

understand that, but you are not answering my question. Could I have

:32:40.:32:46.

the answer to my question? My point is this, there are fiscal choices

:32:46.:32:53.

that the Chancellor could make. he a resident in Britain for tax

:32:53.:32:58.

purposes? I have no reason to think he has not complied. That is not

:32:58.:33:03.

saying that he is. Have you asked him? I have no reason to think that

:33:03.:33:10.

he has not complied. Had you asked him? Have you asked indirectly?

:33:10.:33:13.

have discussed it with him and I have no reason to think he did not

:33:13.:33:18.

comply. Did you say, are you residents in Britain for tax

:33:18.:33:24.

purposes? Our guest of the day, Iain Dale,

:33:24.:33:28.

wrote recently about his despair at the state of political discourse.

:33:28.:33:33.

Is that the type of thing you were talking about? Partly. We have a

:33:33.:33:37.

culture in this country where political programme produces think

:33:37.:33:40.

that the general public has the attention span of a flea and can

:33:40.:33:47.

only cope with two or three minute interviews. Not on this programme!

:33:47.:33:51.

This is the exception! But when you do that, as an interviewer you

:33:51.:33:55.

can't get to the nub of the problem, which encourages interviews to be

:33:55.:34:00.

very aggressive. If you shout at somebody, which is what's

:34:00.:34:04.

interviewers like Jeremy Paxman, John Humphrys and others do, you

:34:04.:34:08.

will not get anything out of them. But they don't answer a lot of that

:34:08.:34:13.

time. It is not just the thought -- fault of the interviewers, it is

:34:13.:34:17.

the fault of the politicians. We used to have programmes on a Sunday

:34:17.:34:22.

lunchtime where you would have a politician being grilled by Brian

:34:22.:34:26.

Walden or Jonathan Dimbleby for a whole hour. So you are calling for

:34:26.:34:33.

more political programming? Yes, and the BBC made a ridiculous

:34:33.:34:37.

decision to axe Straight Talk with Andrew Neil, a very cheap programme

:34:38.:34:44.

to produce, a black studio, one guest, gripping viewing, because

:34:44.:34:49.

Andrew is an excellent interviewer, and they axed its. Why has this put

:34:49.:34:53.

you off politics? It is the culmination of things. I watched

:34:53.:34:57.

Question Time last Thursday, and for the first time I thought, you

:34:57.:35:03.

know, I think I am seeing how the general public sees politicians. I

:35:03.:35:09.

have been involved in politics the 25 years, I have loved it, when I

:35:09.:35:12.

wrote the blog people said I was bitter because I failed to become

:35:12.:35:16.

an MP, rubbish. Maybe you have just had too much and you have become

:35:16.:35:22.

cynical? I think things has -- things have changed. Prime

:35:22.:35:26.

Minister's Questions have not changed. I think the cynical way

:35:26.:35:30.

that the media deals with politics and politicians is corrosive. When

:35:30.:35:34.

you have a story like Boris Johnson and David Cameron in a pizza

:35:34.:35:38.

restaurant in Davos, that is considered a real scandal. If

:35:38.:35:42.

politicians think that everything they do will be commented on,

:35:42.:35:46.

something fairly normal like having an evening meal with a couple of

:35:46.:35:53.

people like -- that you know, why would anybody go into politics?

:35:53.:35:56.

are people covering it? Because people are interested. You

:35:57.:36:01.

mentioned the story about the pizza and the guys going out on a boys'

:36:01.:36:06.

night out, or something along those lines, isn't that also a case of

:36:06.:36:12.

the digital age that you so strongly support and tweets about?

:36:12.:36:17.

That is how it is? The internet plays a big party and his cynical

:36:17.:36:22.

view of politics and add to it. I'm not sure anything can be done. The

:36:22.:36:26.

internet is very democratising, people can get involved in politics,

:36:26.:36:30.

we see that on your programme. have to take the rough with the

:36:30.:36:34.

smooth. Yes, but you should feel free to comment on the fact that

:36:34.:36:38.

this will end up in a very bad place, because in 10 years' time we

:36:38.:36:42.

will have even more... All the leaders of the political parties

:36:42.:36:46.

have the same background, they have been in politics all their lives,

:36:46.:36:50.

that will continue. We will have a very elite group of politicians far

:36:50.:36:54.

removed from the general public. The current politicians say, yes,

:36:54.:36:59.

we have surgeries and get letters, we are in touch, but nobody out

:36:59.:37:04.

there believes that. I am not sure I can cheer you up. I will drive.

:37:04.:37:08.

Moving on to football, the national game. The football Association, the

:37:08.:37:14.

governing body running football in England, marks its 150th

:37:14.:37:18.

anniversary this year. They're all sorts of celebrations, including a

:37:18.:37:21.

game against five times world champions Brazil at Wembley next

:37:21.:37:25.

week. But English football has received a kicking this morning

:37:25.:37:29.

from MPs on the Culture, Media and Sports Committee. They have warned

:37:29.:37:35.

that the sports needs to reform within 12 months or face possible

:37:35.:37:38.

legislation. The BBC Sports Editor David Bond joins me. Welcome. What

:37:38.:37:43.

did you make of the report? It was not much good news for football,

:37:43.:37:50.

nothing to smile about at the FA. It was a pretty withering attack on

:37:50.:37:55.

the way that the game is run. In a nutshell, it was saying that the FA

:37:55.:38:00.

needed to show much more leadership. It highlighted a few areas where it

:38:00.:38:05.

was particularly concerned, this conflict of interest which keeps

:38:05.:38:08.

coming up between the professional game, the Premier League, the

:38:08.:38:12.

Football League and the grass roots, saying it is weighed too much in

:38:12.:38:15.

favour of the Premier League clubs, who have all the money from the

:38:15.:38:20.

television deals with Sky and elsewhere. Effectively that many

:38:20.:38:26.

needs to be redistributed for the good of the game through to the low

:38:26.:38:29.

levels and a much more efficient way. It talked about supporter

:38:30.:38:34.

representation needing to be much better, fans not having enough say.

:38:34.:38:39.

It talked about the lack of transparency and the ownership of

:38:39.:38:43.

the country's big clubs and so on. Lots of these things have been

:38:43.:38:47.

around for a long time and we have heard lots of talk about the FA and

:38:47.:38:50.

Football needing to reform, and it is not a sport which has been too

:38:50.:38:56.

keen to do that. What grounds do you think MPs feel they have for

:38:56.:39:01.

having a say in how football is run? MPs know it is a big vote-

:39:01.:39:05.

winner to talk about football, there is clearly political interest

:39:05.:39:10.

in seeming to side with the people in the stance. Effectively the

:39:10.:39:14.

select committee does not have any power, it is saying that within 12

:39:14.:39:17.

months it would call on the Government to introduce legislation.

:39:17.:39:22.

As you know, it has no power to do that. The Government is reluctant

:39:22.:39:28.

to introduce legislation. It is an empty threat? Yes, really. They

:39:28.:39:32.

have no power to do it. This Government has no interest in

:39:32.:39:35.

trying to regulate any industry, let alone a sports industry where

:39:35.:39:40.

they think the FA needs to take a stronger lead. In a statement they

:39:40.:39:43.

have said that they will look at introducing regulation, but from

:39:43.:39:48.

people I have spoken to there is no stomach. If you go back even

:39:48.:39:54.

further up to 10 or 15 years, David Mellor's Football Task Force, there

:39:54.:39:58.

was need for a statutory regulator, it has never happened. The

:39:58.:40:02.

Government is not interested in doing this. There is a will and

:40:02.:40:07.

determination from politicians to get that all to change its culture.

:40:07.:40:11.

Football has made some steps in the right direction, independent

:40:11.:40:15.

directors on the FA Board, for example, but it still has a lot to

:40:15.:40:20.

do. Thank you. David Davies is the former executive director of the

:40:20.:40:25.

Football Association, how do you rate the chances of MPs getting

:40:25.:40:30.

football to change dramatically? am a sceptic, I regret to say, or

:40:30.:40:34.

at least in his generation. The reality is that in this generation

:40:34.:40:39.

the leadership of football, which is dysfunctional because of the

:40:39.:40:45.

structure that some mothers inherited's some of us inherited,

:40:45.:40:49.

we have failed to come together and agreed one list of priorities for

:40:49.:40:53.

the whole game -- because of the structure which some of us

:40:53.:40:57.

inherited, we have failed to come together and agree one list of

:40:57.:41:01.

priorities for the whole game. It has proved virtually impossible.

:41:01.:41:06.

Yes, there have been small reforms, and some huge successes. The one

:41:06.:41:11.

thing David did not mention is that some 25 years ago the professional

:41:11.:41:16.

game most certainly was committing suicide. We have had Hillsborough,

:41:16.:41:20.

the Heysel Stadium disaster, attendances were going down the

:41:20.:41:25.

chute. Something radical had to be done. That included the Premier

:41:25.:41:30.

League, which has been a huge success commercially, but has it

:41:30.:41:34.

been in terms of governance? Another issue. You don't believe

:41:34.:41:38.

there will be wholesale change until this current generation is

:41:38.:41:46.

swept away and a new groom has brought in? Rightly or wrongly

:41:46.:41:51.

there will be a new leader of the Football Association. The chairman

:41:51.:41:55.

is 70. However good he has been, and in many eyes he has been very

:41:56.:42:01.

good, and people and the media think he has been good, there will

:42:01.:42:06.

be a new chairman of the Premier League. The change is coming but

:42:06.:42:12.

not fast enough. I do not disagree with that finding of the select

:42:12.:42:19.

committee. They have given football as dead mother given Football 12

:42:19.:42:29.

months. Do you see it as an empty threat? -- they have given Football

:42:29.:42:37.

12 months. David Bond talked about David Mellor's task force. I go

:42:37.:42:40.

back to the time when I discussed with Alastair Campbell this very

:42:40.:42:45.

idea, should there be a regulator for football? This would have been

:42:45.:42:51.

the late 1990s. He put it very clearly, why on earth with any

:42:51.:42:55.

governments, a Labour or Conservative government, he did not

:42:55.:43:01.

mention a coalition government, he hadn't seen it coming, one of

:43:02.:43:09.

football's problems as well as its own! It is not an idle threat?

:43:09.:43:13.

believe you is genuine and that, I believe he is fed up with this

:43:13.:43:18.

problem, the issue and the governments of football. But does

:43:18.:43:24.

the Government at the top believe it? Football is a private business,

:43:24.:43:28.

should the government interfere? it should stay well clear of

:43:28.:43:33.

regulating any sport. Remember when Mrs Thatcher brought in legislation

:43:33.:43:38.

by identity cards? It was a disaster, because not many people

:43:38.:43:41.

and that governments understood football, and I am not sure that

:43:41.:43:49.

many in this Government to event. If there was not enough money going

:43:49.:43:52.

into grass roots from the Premier League, there should be a levy on

:43:52.:43:57.

transfers of over �5 million or something. They are financial

:43:57.:44:01.

issues across the game. Do you accept the Premier League has far

:44:01.:44:06.

too much influence? The way it has emerged, unquestionably there needs

:44:06.:44:11.

to be a rebalancing. The big question arising from this report

:44:11.:44:18.

is the FA should be, is written down as, the governing body of that

:44:18.:44:23.

Paul. But is it able to be the governing body with this

:44:23.:44:26.

extraordinary representation it has? Two-thirds of the council are

:44:26.:44:31.

over 64, there is one female for -- of the Mel board director. Until it

:44:31.:44:35.

is a more representative group running again, it will remain like

:44:35.:44:41.

that. It is too complicated, there is too much for them to represent?

:44:41.:44:50.

I am a big fan of many of Iain's view as... Really?! But I have to

:44:50.:44:56.

say that before you dismiss everybody obeys certain age...

:44:56.:45:02.

not dismissing them all. -- before you dismiss everybody over a

:45:02.:45:06.

certain age... Some of these so- called amateurs are more

:45:06.:45:10.

professional than the professionals? They have been on a

:45:11.:45:20.
:45:21.:45:28.

The short list for the Paddy Power and total politics Book Awards have

:45:28.:45:32.

been drawn up, with the winners to announce next month. We asked some

:45:33.:45:42.
:45:43.:45:45.

of the judges what they like and The thoughts and deeds of the great,

:45:45.:45:50.

for better or worse, or political life is here for your browsing

:45:50.:45:54.

delectation. There are more than a thousand books on politics here.

:45:54.:45:59.

This one is a personal favourite of mine. Others are frankly not so

:45:59.:46:03.

good. But what makes a great political book, and what should be

:46:03.:46:06.

remaindered? If these are some of the contenders

:46:06.:46:14.

for the title of political book of the year. I want it to be well

:46:14.:46:19.

written, compelling. If it is funny, that is also handy. But I want

:46:19.:46:23.

there to be some thought behind it, not taking perceived wisdom from

:46:23.:46:28.

the past but really try to make original connections about how we

:46:28.:46:32.

organise ourselves as people. breaking news, this is what goes

:46:32.:46:36.

straight into the bargain bucket. The bog-standard memoir which

:46:37.:46:41.

starts with your parents and goes through university friends and the

:46:41.:46:46.

various postings which you had is probably going to be a clunker.

:46:46.:46:51.

Even if you have been prime Minister, we tend to look at those

:46:51.:46:55.

books more active duty than anything else. If only someone

:46:55.:47:00.

could give us an example for the -- of the type of thing he is on about.

:47:00.:47:04.

The challenge always is that those who get to the top of politics are

:47:04.:47:09.

not always the most successful writers. Michael Heseltine, a

:47:09.:47:14.

fascinating man, but absolutely terrible writer, and his

:47:14.:47:18.

autobiography was a very dull book. So those with the most interesting

:47:18.:47:24.

things to tell are not always those who were the most suited to tell it.

:47:24.:47:28.

So historically, what is hot? favourite book is the essays of

:47:28.:47:36.

George Orwell. And a lot of the work of American revolutionaries,

:47:36.:47:42.

Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson. They have a lot

:47:42.:47:49.

to say about politics that is still relevant. And what's not? Somebody

:47:49.:47:54.

writing about what it was like to be in power. I think somebody like

:47:54.:47:59.

Bill Clinton did a better man while than, say, Tony Blair. I felt there

:47:59.:48:06.

was a humbleness to it that he didn't get from Blair.

:48:06.:48:11.

Thatcher's Hmam ones are pretty disappointing. Oddly enough, I

:48:11.:48:19.

think Laura Bush's memoirs are more interesting -- Mrs Thatcher's

:48:19.:48:27.

memoirs. Which perhaps shows it is better to be feared than to write.

:48:27.:48:37.
:48:37.:48:38.

And with us now is Keith Simpson, Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk, a

:48:38.:48:42.

well-known political bookworm. He always puts together a great summer

:48:42.:48:47.

reading list of his great -- favourite titles each year. He has

:48:47.:48:51.

also one of the judges of the Book Awards. What makes them good

:48:51.:48:56.

political read? First of all, that it is readable. There are a lot of

:48:56.:49:02.

political books that are worthy, but not readable. Secondly, is the

:49:02.:49:04.

author saying something new and something interesting and

:49:04.:49:09.

challenging? I like to think that, even if it is one that is a

:49:09.:49:16.

historical book, it has some form of contemporaneous relevance. So do

:49:16.:49:21.

you feel it has to reveal something new? Something that we didn't know,

:49:21.:49:28.

in order for it to grab the interest up not just us? Ideally,

:49:28.:49:32.

and I speak as a voracious book read and publisher. As a publisher,

:49:32.:49:38.

I always want a book I take on the have something new to say. It

:49:38.:49:42.

doesn't necessarily have to... I spent most of my life reading

:49:42.:49:52.

political diaries. They are contemporaneous, so they cannot

:49:52.:49:56.

necessarily reveal anything new. They often reveal a lot about the

:49:56.:50:02.

person was thinking and their emotions at the time, but not

:50:02.:50:06.

necessarily... Alastair Campbell's diaries didn't reveal anything we

:50:06.:50:12.

didn't know about the Iraq war, but it was gripping. The trouble with

:50:12.:50:20.

Alistair Darling -- Alastair Campbell's diaries, they have been

:50:20.:50:24.

in different versions as he has been able to add more. So you're

:50:24.:50:31.

never sure with diaries, they are all edited. 2 million words, they

:50:31.:50:36.

think he has there. A Book of diaries is maybe 150,000,

:50:37.:50:42.

so it relies on the skill of the editor. Some of them work well

:50:42.:50:47.

because of the editing rather than necessarily the writing. Some of

:50:47.:50:52.

them make money, because I presume books by a people everyone knows

:50:52.:50:58.

will sell. But what about the others? The short list for the Book

:50:58.:51:04.

Awards, there are loads and loads. Look at Jack Straw's book. We will

:51:04.:51:13.

offer that to publish, and I turned it down I regard him as slightly on

:51:13.:51:18.

the dull side, but it is not a dull book. It is excellent. I gave it

:51:18.:51:22.

great praise, I thought it was good. Jack came through. He ducked and

:51:22.:51:30.

weaved and a bit about some of the political decisions. If you are a

:51:30.:51:36.

big name, or you have shock revelations, if you tie it up with

:51:36.:51:40.

a serialisation in something like the Daily Mail, you might get an

:51:40.:51:44.

advance of �5,000, and then the Daily Mail or the Mirror or whoever

:51:44.:51:50.

might give you 25,000. Unless you were a big name politician, the

:51:50.:51:53.

only way to make money is to get a newspaper serialisation, otherwise

:51:53.:51:58.

you get a few thousand copies sold. But there are other main -- reasons

:51:58.:52:04.

for writing such a book. Is there a sense that people have to do these

:52:04.:52:12.

things for the Careers? A little. I have published one or two books by

:52:12.:52:22.
:52:22.:52:22.

journalists, one on George Osborne, and part of the reason that the

:52:22.:52:27.

author is getting there is because he has written a book which has had

:52:27.:52:35.

good reviews. The old Bernard Montgomery thing, what makes him

:52:35.:52:41.

tick, or what makes her tick? Some of the best books and diaries are

:52:41.:52:44.

not have written by the people at the top. Alan Clark and Chris

:52:45.:52:51.

Mullin, middle-ranking Ministers, who saw the absurdities of life as

:52:51.:52:59.

well. And completely different characters. Alan was very much the

:52:59.:53:06.

louche, risque stuff. Chris was self-deprecating, and a man with

:53:06.:53:14.

some very serious political ideas. When the winner is announced, do

:53:14.:53:19.

you think they are a good idea? do, very much. He is chief judge,

:53:19.:53:27.

what is he going to say? You think they are well worth it? I have not

:53:27.:53:31.

received any financial reward for doing this. He doesn't have to

:53:31.:53:36.

declare it. Her you are a cynic SMAC we will have them back here on

:53:36.:53:41.

5th February. Within the last hour, Downing

:53:41.:53:44.

Street has announced that Britain is to send several hundred troops

:53:44.:53:48.

to North Africa as part of an EU- wide mission. They are not likely

:53:48.:53:52.

to get involved with the fighting in Mali, that is being left to the

:53:52.:53:57.

French. There are reports in this morning's papers that we could be

:53:57.:53:59.

sending a few hundred to the surrounding countries to help with

:53:59.:54:03.

some of the training and logistics. Within the last few minutes in the

:54:03.:54:05.

House of Commons, there has been an urgent question on the likelihood

:54:05.:54:11.

of a British deployment. The UK is also prepared to offer up to 200

:54:11.:54:14.

personnel to provide training to troops from Anglophone West

:54:14.:54:24.
:54:24.:54:25.

Anglican countries -- West African countries contributing. To

:54:25.:54:29.

establish those requirements, we have deployed a small number of

:54:29.:54:33.

advisers to Anglophone West African countries who are likely to

:54:33.:54:36.

contribute to the mission to assess their needs and to gain situation

:54:36.:54:43.

or awareness. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond there. Let's just

:54:43.:54:48.

clear up the first thing. David Cameron, I understood, a few days

:54:48.:54:52.

ago said, we would not be sending combat troops to Mali, and yet we

:54:52.:54:57.

are sending troops to the region. The difference here is, when he

:54:57.:55:01.

said combat troops, he meant formed units who were going to participate

:55:01.:55:08.

with the French in physically fighting the opponents of the

:55:08.:55:12.

Malian government. What he's talking about is sending troops, a

:55:12.:55:16.

mixture of combat and support troops, as part of an EU military

:55:16.:55:21.

training mission, and he was quite open about that. The big questions

:55:21.:55:24.

are, should we do it? Some colleagues raised that. And

:55:24.:55:28.

secondly, the size of it and whether we are going to have our

:55:28.:55:38.
:55:38.:55:39.

fingers drawn into some form of it. Mission creep. I am not sure about

:55:39.:55:42.

how this mission is constituted. I would like to see the figures on it.

:55:42.:55:47.

Are we providing 80% of the troops? I would be wholly against sending

:55:47.:55:51.

combat troops in. We have all sorts of defence cuts going on. The

:55:51.:55:56.

military are already stretched. I'm sure they can spare some advisers,

:55:56.:56:01.

but I wonder what they are doing. Remember when the Soviet Union

:56:01.:56:04.

provided advises in Afghanistan, and that worked out well, didn't

:56:04.:56:10.

it?! Who will protect the advisers? I don't know exactly where they

:56:10.:56:15.

will be deployed. The majority will be deployed to those nations who

:56:15.:56:19.

are going to be contributing to what is effectively a support

:56:19.:56:22.

military unit from the surrounding African countries for the Malian

:56:22.:56:26.

government. That has been constituted under a United Nations

:56:26.:56:32.

resolution. Doesn't that make them targets? I don't think it does. I

:56:32.:56:35.

can understand the concern, but from what I understand, talking

:56:35.:56:42.

with both Ministers and the military, this is pretty low down

:56:42.:56:48.

on the party listing. The example we used here is the fact that David

:56:48.:56:51.

Cameron became convinced that, for example, our decision to intervene

:56:51.:56:55.

in Libya was the right one, and was pretty much at a lower level,

:56:55.:57:03.

actually. The military do for such -- forces destroyed -- the military

:57:03.:57:08.

forces deployed were at a safe distance. And we helped to return

:57:08.:57:14.

Somalia to a country that hopefully will be stable. Are you not worried

:57:14.:57:24.
:57:24.:57:24.

that David Cameron talked about the existence of Islamist militants in

:57:24.:57:28.

this region, and what might happen if they were not contained? I think

:57:28.:57:33.

the French should be capable of doing this themselves. Do we not

:57:33.:57:39.

have an interest? We have a number of interests. We are supporting the

:57:39.:57:42.

French just as they have supported us, and we have been doing it at a

:57:42.:57:49.

low level throw out this part of Africa for several years. Also we

:57:49.:57:54.

have an interest in terms of making sure that Al-Qaeda is stopped.

:57:54.:57:59.

Thirdly, there is a UK national interest in making certain that the

:57:59.:58:03.

whole of West Africa is and destabilised. There are big

:58:03.:58:07.

countries like Ghana and Nigeria that are absolutely crucial to the

:58:07.:58:12.

UK, both in a political and economic sense. Thank you very much,

:58:12.:58:17.

Keith Simpson, for staying with us. And there is just time to find out

:58:17.:58:20.

the answer to our quiz. The question was, which of these things

:58:20.:58:23.

has not been handed in to the Houses of Parliament lost property

:58:23.:58:30.

office? Two jars of Mahmood, a rucksack of bananas, a plastic bag

:58:30.:58:40.
:58:40.:58:41.

of peppers, a brace of pheasants? Peppers. You are wrong. Peppers

:58:41.:58:46.

have been handed in, but pheasants have not. I thought it would be

:58:46.:58:49.

Jo Coburn talks through all the big political stories of the day with guest, LBC's Iain Dale.


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