29/01/2013 Daily Politics


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


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


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


eating it? Does British football desperately need reform?


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


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


of the best and worst of the last 12 months.


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


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


politics. All that in the next hour, and with


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


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


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


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


Israeli Prime Minister building a wall out of the bodies of


Palestinians. It was published on Holocaust Memorial Day.


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


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


saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of


persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of


liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


suggest should happen, just because people have been very offensive


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The David Ward case is very different. It is very


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


extra seats. Their coalition partners the Liberal Democrats,


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


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


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


Conservatives are unlikely to win this. There is some uncertainty


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


not now happen and that could possibly make the difference


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


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


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


slightly parliamentary this afternoon, but today is one of


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


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


expert on everything to do with political campaigning Chris Lennard,


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


thought that reducing the number of MPs and equalising constituency


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


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


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


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


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


making the House of Lords more legitimate and effective than there


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


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


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


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


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


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


almost exactly half of Conservative backbench MPs voted against House


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


knew when backbench Conservative MPs torpedoed the House of Lords


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


angry. Do you accept the Conservatives did not deliver are


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


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


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


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


agree they tried to get as many Conservative backbenchers to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


million more boats operating under the old boundaries, the current


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


this afternoon, Parliament is imposing a half million vote


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


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


marginal constituencies. Every party is voting for their partisan


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the existing boundaries? Parties have survived much tougher times


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


is a direct collision between opinion polls and bolts. Opinion


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


general election outcome. I have looked at the last eight


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


about. What about prospects for the Conservatives under the existing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Conservatives, which is not the most likely repository for that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


very much. This morning, the Education


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


children nurseries and childminders are allowed to look after. Child


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


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


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


countries such as Highland, Australia, Slovenia and the


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


more generous state support for childcare benefits and tax


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


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


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


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


families with the costs of childcare are unlikely to emerge at


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


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


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


nurseries across the country deliver excellent care and support


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


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


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


management and the financial situation. If there is more money


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


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


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


agree with. Those following the recommendations of the review into


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


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


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


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


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


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


especially not childminders. thought childminders were keen to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


imperative to have English and maths GCSEs? We have restricted


nursing to people with the equivalent of degrees, cutting out


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


cannot become nurses because of the qualifications. Is the Government


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


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


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


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


childcare delivered by competent people. But getting back to the


recommendations with regard to the ratios, there are eminent people


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


record and have said that these ratios could damage quality and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the idea that childcare professionals should be paid more?


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


paid more. We are to situation certainly where the Government


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


every country in the world does take a responsibility to providing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


France and Denmark, which had really high quality childcare


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


the qualifications of the staff rather than the numbers of the


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


the evidence suggests that having really high quality people,


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


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


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


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


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


that having a few more qualifications necessarily make you


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


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


olds, increases the quality of education. Countries like France


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Commission last year into increasing the ratios? That was


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


realigning our ratios to match countries with best practice and


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


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


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


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


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


childcare benefit that the Government is cutting for many


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


themselves? That would be a traditional Conservative view.


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


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


real evidence that nursery care is really beneficial for children and


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


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


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


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


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


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


better prepared to put their children into nurseries rather than


letting them bring up their children? Is that what the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


went to a fantastic University yesterday at the Durham Academy,


where qualified teachers with quite large classes were teaching young


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


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


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


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


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


childminders. We have seen a halving in the number of


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


so we are enabling childminder agencies to develop so that


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


effective in France and Holland in increasing the number of


childminders. Childminders are great for parents who want more


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


rhetoric, get around the negotiating table and stop it


happening again. Get round the negotiating table,


put aside the rhetoric and sort the problem out.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


purposes? Our guest of the day, Iain Dale,


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


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


culture in this country where political programme produces think


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


lunchtime where you would have a politician being grilled by Brian


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


politicians think that everything they do will be commented on,


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


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


are people covering it? Because people are interested. You


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


governing body running football in England, marks its 150th


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


game against five times world champions Brazil at Wembley next


week. But English football has received a kicking this morning


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


was particularly concerned, this conflict of interest which keeps


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


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


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


television deals with Sky and elsewhere. Effectively that many


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


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


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


It talked about the lack of transparency and the ownership of


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


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


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


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


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


winner to talk about football, there is clearly political interest


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


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


months it would call on the Government to introduce legislation.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Football has made some steps in the right direction, independent


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


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


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


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


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


the leadership of football, which is dysfunctional because of the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the Heysel Stadium disaster, attendances were going down the


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


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


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


there will be wholesale change until this current generation is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


governments, a Labour or Conservative government, he did not


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


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


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


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


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


should the government interfere? it should stay well clear of


regulating any sport. Remember when Mrs Thatcher brought in legislation


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


professional than the professionals? They have been on a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


remaindered? If these are some of the contenders


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


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


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


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


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


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


starts with your parents and goes through university friends and the


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


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


books more active duty than anything else. If only someone


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


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


not always the most successful writers. Michael Heseltine, a


fascinating man, but absolutely terrible writer, and his


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


author saying something new and something interesting and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


political diaries. They are contemporaneous, so they cannot


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


5th February. Within the last hour, Downing


Street has announced that Britain is to send several hundred troops


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


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


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


sending a few hundred to the surrounding countries to help with


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


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


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


personnel to provide training to troops from Anglophone West


Anglican countries -- West African countries contributing. To


establish those requirements, we have deployed a small number of


advisers to Anglophone West African countries who are likely to


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


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


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


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


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


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


with the French in physically fighting the opponents of the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


are going to be contributing to what is effectively a support


military unit from the surrounding African countries for the Malian


government. That has been constituted under a United Nations


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that David Cameron talked about the existence of Islamist militants in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


whole of West Africa is and destabilised. There are big


countries like Ghana and Nigeria that are absolutely crucial to the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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