31/01/2013 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon. Welcome to The Daily Politics. David Cameron said


he would stick by the pledge to raise spending on defence in real


terms after 2016, but can we afford it? And will it be enough, amid the


challenges of the mad, bad, dangerous world? Are education


policies in danger of failing less able students? It has just been


announced that the accident and emergency department at Lewisham


Hospital in London will be downgraded, after a fierce battle.


Can campaigns to save local hospitals destroy efforts to


improve the nation's health? And meet Bob Servant. BBC Four's new


comedy follows a man with no political experience pitched into


the maelstrom of a parliamentary by-election. All that coming up in


the next hour. With us for the programme today is Roland Rudd, PR


man extraordinaire. He heads up the NSPCC's campaign against child


abuse, amongst many other roles. Starting with defence - according


to some papers this morning, David Cameron has promised there will be


no more defence cuts, and he has guaranteed to increase spending by


more than inflation from 2015. But it turns out to be not quite as


simple as that. We have been trying to work out exactly what the Prime


Minister has promised. There is a lot of confusion this morning,


partly because we have got briefings eminating from the


Government here, and also from the back of the Prime Minister's


aeroplane in Algeria. Two things are now bill grinned.. Said he


would not go back on commitments made back in 2010, when he said he


wanted to see real-terms increases in the defence spend. He was


referring to the period of 2015 onwards. Some said, that includes


the last year of the Comprehensive spending Review, which is subject


to intense negotiations which are going on at the moment. But Downing


Street is saying that defence spending for that period, three


years from now, up until the first year of the next period, -- of the


next Parliament, that defence spending is not ring-fenced for


that period. The key thing that we know now, good news if you are


George Osborne, I think, and the other departments which are not


ring-fenced, is that the MoD spend for the following three years is


not ring-fenced. The Prime Minister sending out a clear message on his


North African trip, and remember, a man who is about to deploy possibly


dozens of troops in West Africa, that the aspiration is, possibly,


to see an end to cuts in defence spending, and possibly even more in


terms of real terms growth. Clearers mug to meet! Let's see if


the former defence minister can help us. Gerald Howarth, you were


at the MoD until last year - what is your understanding? -- clear as


mud. I don't think there is much changed here. The Prime Minister


said in 2010 that his aspiration was that for 2015 onwards, there


would be a 1% up lift in the procurement budget. Actually, what


he said was, my own strong view is that this will require a year on


year real-terms growth in the defence budget, in the years beyond


2015. So, not beyond 2016. And not defence equipment, but the defence


budget itself. He then told the Commons in 2011 - the Government


plans to increase in real terms the investment in defence equipment by


1% per year between 2015 and 2020. So, where are we now? The answer is


that there is not much change... what is the position now? Dzeko has


made it clear that there will be an increase, there is an aspiration


for an increase... We cannot bind the next Parliament.. But you can


have an aspiration. So, when? 2015. I thought we were just told


it was 2016. Andrew, this is a very serious issue for the Armed Forces.


That's why I am asking you questions about it. So, you cannot


tell us the year, can you tell us if it is defence equipment or the


defence budget? The Prime Minister has said that he wanted to see a


real terms up left of 1% in the defence procurement budget. But


what has happened since 2010 is that the world has become much more


dangerous place, we have seen a completely unexpected and


unanticipated eruption of turbulence in will have a go. We


have seen Syria, we know Iran is dangerous, and the idea which is


being floated in the past currently that defence spending should not be


ring-fence between now and 2015, and that there should not be


further cuts because the task of restoring the public finances is


proving more difficult that we had imagined - my view is that we need


to invest in defence now. We have given up some capabilities which do


need to be restored, like the maritime patrol aircraft. That's


not going to happen, is it? solution is that you freeze the aid


budget. My argument, and the public will support me, is that we should


freeze the aid budget, not cut it, but freeze it at its current level,


which is about 8.6 �5 billion, and should not increase it by another


more than �2 billion this year. Give that money to defence. Are you


able to clarify for us whether the Government is talking about the


defence budget or the defence procurement budget, which is


equipment? I am not in the Ministry of Defence today, and I cannot tell


you whether that is the case or not. I just wondered, since it is a


mystery, with the two statements being contradictory. Downing Street


has said it is defence spending... But Philip Hammond was talking


about defence equipment this morning. Yes, but Downing Street


has subsequently clarified it. Where is Labour on this? We are


talking about aspirations, but my understanding, and that of my


colleagues on the defence committee, is that it was defence equipment


spending, so that is a 1% increase in less than half of the defence


budget. And what we are seeing is that the Prime Minister does not to


detail. I suspect he was quite tired coming back from Algeria. He


said something without working it out. George Osborne, understandably,


from his perspective, has had to slap down the Prime Minister.


George Osborne is doing his best to try to defend a ridiculous


situation. What I asked you was not about government policy, I was


asking you about your party's policy. Are you going to increase


defence spending up to 2015? Miliband has been clear, we cannot


make pledges more than two years before an election. Gerald Howarth


does not know any more than George Osborne does, what the economy is


going to be like in 2.5 years. they do not know what the economy


is going to be like in 2015, and yet we are planning to increase the


aid budget every year between now and then. We planned to increase


that aid budget when we thought the economy would have grown by six% by


now. As we stand today, our viewers are faced with a Conservative Party


in total confusion over defence spending, and you, with no policy


at all. We have said very clearly that we will make decisions about


departmental spending at the time of the election. We said in the


last -- we saw in the last Parliament Liam Fox promising to


expand the are many, and then cutting it. The big lesson is that


you do not make spending commitments 2.5 years out. You have


no policy. We have no spending commitments which we're making this


far out, and we have demonstrated why that is not advisable.


Prime Minister has indicated that he wants to see an uplift in the


defence budget - whether that is confined to procurement, or with


the that is the overall budget, I don't think is an issue. In any


case, it is in the next Parliament. I think what your viewers will be


much more concerned about is where we are today. We still have 9,000


personnel in Afghanistan. And the Prime Minister how's, as every good


Conservative Prime Minister before him, he has an aspiration to give


Britain influence in the world, which I completely support. But we


need the means to do that. That's what you both to - Labour fought


five wars on peacetime budgets, and your government now wants to get in


to West Africa and have a generational struggle, at a time


when you are slashing the defence budget. The British people are


right to wonder why we have got politicians on the Left and Right


who want to increase our foreign policy commitments and cut our


defence budget? It is vital that they clarify whether this is


equipment or the overall budget. Otherwise, you could take more


money away from pay and allowances to subsidise this procurement


programme, which is why this is important. I think this is simple -


you cannot ask the army to do more for less, which is what they are


being asked. I do not believe the world has become more dangerous


place. The world has been a dangerous place, and it will


continue to do so. If we want to ask the army to do what they are


being asked to do, we have to make sure the spending commitment is


there. If there is a problem in terms of the spending, then we pull


back on our ambitions. We cannot have it both ways. This leak from


the Telegraph in terms of actual spending does not appear to be


correct. They are also being asked, as you know, to come up with


voluntary redundancies, which is another potentially real problem.


Because then, you lose some of your best people, rather than allowing


you to get rid of the weakest people, which is a terrible shame.


Your own position is that the Government should, given the


ambitions it has, which is why Mr Cameron is in Algeria and so on, it


should be looking not to continue to cut defence spending over the


next three years? That is my position to date. That was actually


my position in government. Privately that was the view I


expressed. I said to the Prime Minister that I could see no case...


I said I had not met any Conservative member in the country


there was in favour of cutting expenditure on the Armed Forces. He


said, I gave a commitment, like I did on the third runway, and one


has to respect the Prime Minister's integrity on this. My view is that


the world has changed, the circumstances have changed. On a


positive note, both Philip Hammond and Liam Fox did a fantastic job in


sorting out the horrendous state of the MoD's accounts. They are now


balanced, and would you believe it, we have even got a contingency


amount of �12 billion in the budget! We had better leave it


there. For it is time for our daily quiz. Later in the programme we


will be talking about a new comedy a BBC Four, where Bob Servant is


pitched into a by-election in Dundee. The question today - who


was done the's most famous member of Parliament? Was it Gordon Brown,


Winston Churchill, William Gladstone or Alec Douglas-Home? At


the end of the show, Roland Rudd will give us the correct answer.


have absolutely no idea! I will have it by the end of the show.


was famous. What is Dundee famous for? Jam, Jews and journalism.


Correct. You do not get outside of Now exams. The Education Select


Committee says it has serious concerns about the Government's


intentions to reform GCSEs in England. They say that introducing


the English Baccalaureate Certificate in place of GCSEs so


quickly could threaten the stability of the exam system and


will do little to help less able pupils. Instead, the Government


should be concentrating on the 40% of pupils, who do not achieve five


good GCSEs. Yes, well it has been called the biggest shake-up in


school exams for 16 year olds in England in a generation. The plan


is for GCSEs, seen by some as too discredited due to concerns about


grade inflation and dumbing down, to be replaced by the English


Baccalaureate Certificate or EBC. Students in England are due to


begin studying the EBC in two years' time - initially in


mathematics, English and science, though eventually history,


geography and languages will also be included. Education Secretary


Michael Gove says the aim of the reforms is to restore rigour to the


education system. Announcing the reforms last September, he said: It


is time for the race to the bottom to end. But critics say the EBC


will be too narrow and will sideline subjects like art, music,


religious studies, design and technology and drama studies. And,


this morning, the Education Select Committee said the Government is


doing too much too fast. I am joined now by the BBC's education


correspondent, Luke Walton. How serious it is this criticism?


a swingeing attack. It says the Government has not proved the case


for GCSEs to be scrapped in key subjects. It mentions concern about


less able pupils being left behind and subjects not covered by the new


EBacc will be downgraded. It also voices particular concern about the


plan to ask exam boards to franchise the qualification. It


says introducing that change and a very tight timetable is a recipe


for turmoil. This is just the latest in a series of criticisms. A


few months ago England's main exam regulator wrote to ministers


voicing concern about the pace of reform. There -- there has been


disapproval from head teachers and exam boards. The proposals are just


for England. What sort of headache which cause for the rest of the UK?


At the moment it looks like England is going it alone with


disqualification. The Dutch government said it is sticking with


GCSEs in all subjects. -- the Welsh government. Northern Ireland, we


understand, is running its own review into the future of exams for


14 to 18-year-olds. Scotland has had its own system of exams for a


long time. There is concern about fragmentation of exams. That'll be


a headache for universities and employers. With us now is Graham


Stuart, who is the chairman of the Education Select Committee This


morning, the top experts from the big four accountancy firms appeared


before the Public Accounts Committee. What is wrong with the


English Baccalaureate Certificate, as being proposed? What we say is


the Government is right to say that 16-year-old exams need to be


reformed, cut down the number of resits and have more testing at the


end of the course and tackle grade inflation. What they are saying is


they want to scrap GCSEs in this core group of subjects because the


GCSE brand is broken and tainted. You do not agree? We do not think


the Government has made a strong enough case to justify it. How is


it that most subjects will be left with this discredited brand as


GCSEs for years to come? Is it because those five are the ones


that he really cared about -- cares about? Computer science has just


been added to the science collection today. We're not short


of the details. You think that improvements could be made by


reforming, stiffening, toughening up the GCSE system? It is a cross-


party group which accepts the Government make mistakes on things


like the diploma where they did not listen to things about curriculum


design. Thousands of children took the Diplo, -- the Diplo match and


it has a -- it has up with it on the fine. It has massive political


implications if it is not right. Cross-party we support a lot of the


things you want. Let's look again at the methodology and make sure


you get the implementation right. There is no point of bringing in a


reform witches and kicked by another government and does not


have the support of universities, employers and the profession itself.


It is a good idea to ensure we have more we get in education. When the


last government got rid of languages being compulsory, I think


up was a huge mistake. We need to speak languages. We have been


running a campaign to make at least one language compulsory. There is a


need to make it better. I would be concerned that if you had two


systems, you are left with some good subjects which are still going


to be GCSE and tainted as grated two and great one for the key ones.


You need to do one or the other. You cannot have two systems running


together. That will be bad for the subjects that matter. Do you accept


that GCSE qualifications have become devalued? It may not be


possible to have one exam system covering those who are not at all


academically gifted but also covers those who are going to head for the


Russell group of universities. irony is that the Government is not


a aware of how many people took the foundation Tear of GCSE. This exam


will be sacked by a wider range of children and is the current main


GCSE. -- will be sacked. It will be broader. The Government asserts


Bury's -- the Government says it is a harder exam and it will be taken


by more people. you move your measurement. We do not have the


curriculum review yet. How you can come out with an assessment - you


have a top Tia - without having the foundations in place. We do not


know what you are supposed to teach and how schools can be held to


account. We do not know how it will be assessed. It does not seem very


coherent. If there were red lights flashing, the Secretary of State


said he would listen. We think they are flashing pretty brightly. I am


sure he will listen. You do not stand at all sure! I hope he will


listen. He has a real sense of urgency to. There has been grade


inflation which needs to be tackled. He wants to take us to a more


rigorous set of exams. More stretch of the more able. Those sorts of


things are right. You need to make sure you're clear about he wins and


who loses, in particular about the Government that commits to closing


the gap between rich and poor, there must be a positive outcome


for children with lesser abilities, as well as the Mini Michael Goves,


who are sitting in schools today. Isn't it a very confusing today for


teachers, pupils and parents? When I was at primary school and then


grammar school, in Scotland, take the English exams, it was large-


scale largely O-levels and A-levels so throughout the whole period.


There was an exam below the O-level as well. Since then there has been


a proliferation of exams. I have no idea where to start. It is true.


Nothing irritates children more than when you tell them it is


easier today than it was in our day it! It was, wasn't it? I do not


know. If you have a permanent revolution in education you have


problems. There has been deflation in these grades. They raise their


questionnaire has been a problem in terms of standards. -- there is no


question there has been a problem. What I am concerned about is it has


escalated. It will takeover GCSEs with a new system. We are looking


at ditching exams at AS-level. at the same time. There will be new


A-levels, a new AS-levels and new GCSEs. He needs to get staff and


pupils ready to do it. Can you do a special level A-level? No, they are


long gone. Thank you very much. Good luck with Michael Gove. Come


back and tell us how you got on. The top expects from the big four


accountancy firms stood accused of aiding and abetting corporate tax


avoidance. But, as the hearing progressed, it seemed that they


might also be engaging in question avoidance. I have won the scheme


you offered to a company called Carlisle. Basically you devised the


most complex company structure - absolutely extraordinary company


structure. This is a company called Carlisle. They were European real-


estate partners. Then you devised a hugely complex structure. That is


the company structure. People listening will not be able to see.


Two subsidiaries in Jersey. One subsidiary in Luxembourg. A whole


purpose of the complexity of this structure is too, in your words,


minimise tax - in my words, avoid tax. I know you cannot answer. This


is your personalised offer to large corporations - to create a very


complex set of company structures - the purpose of which, for you, is


minimising tax and for us, avoiding tax. I cannot comment. The tax law


is very complex in the UK and internationally. The Finance Bill


just passed his 50 pages longer than any other finance bill. Do you


offer a complex structures, involving setting up structures in


low-tax jurisdictions bike in this case Luxembourg and Josie and


Delaware and the Cayman Islands? Do you do that for the purpose of


minimising tax? It will be one of the things that is taken into


account. And we're joined by the Lib Dem peer and former Treasury


spokesman Matthew Oakeshott. Is the coalition winning the war against


tax avoidance? It is an uphill struggle. They are trying. I have


been campaigning on this for many years in opposition and now. We are


getting the message across that it is unacceptable. It has been a


struggle. We were not helped by Sir Philip Green. Obviously we have the


chairman of Google, one of the world class tax avoiders. At the


moment he is on the business advisory group of David Cameron.


Maybe we could get some more tax money out of him? I do not think


talking to him would help. He has been very honest about it. There


are ways of being very aggressive and not. I think George Osborne got


it right in the Budget. He said aggressive tax avoidance is morally


repugnant. We're trying to shame big companies into not doing


morally repugnant things. You love to tinker and get your weight and


have a tax cut here or a tax incentive there and so on. How big


is a handbook? It is enormous. is not like that. It is like this!


How many pages? 11,000 pages. not in government. I have never


been in government. A lot of what I do is try to make it simple. Tried


to stop all the dodges actually. First of all, Gordon Brown doubled


the size and created hundreds of ways in which expensive accountants


can find ways around it. This coalition government has added


thousands more pages. I am not the coalition government and I am not


Gordon Brown. As pension spokesman, I spent a lot of my life trying to


stop Gordon Brown and Labour having such a lot of ridiculous tax


arrangements. I have spent a lot of my life campaigning for


transparency and simplicity. We are making progress. We got


PricewaterhouseCoopers in the frame having to defend the outrageous


things they do. There are two reasons why companies and people


used the Cayman Islands. Basically you are doing it because it is


corrupt and dirty money bought it is money that is avoiding tax. No


other reason for it. reputational risks for companies


now... Have I knew advising Starbucks? Yes. It is quite large


reputation any. They are probably exploiting the huge tax code which


has been created. There is a reputational risk if they are not


seem to be paying their fair whack. That is right. I agree with what


has been said. Going abroad to avoid paying tax is not acceptable.


One of the things we are trying to encourage people to do is that you


should not be honoured if you are avoiding tax. That has happened in


the past and should not happen again. The mood has changed.


I have campaigned against Lord Ashcroft and other people, non-doms,


getting status in the House of Lords, and I have done that. Amazon


is a new one, but we have certainly got Lord Ashcroft to come onshore.


It may be of symbolic importance, and I think most people will think


it is only right that if you're not in this country paying your tax,


then you should not be part of the tax and spend debate. You should


not be in our legislative chamber. And you should not be honoured,


that's fine, it is your choice, you can live anywhere in the world, and


you should not get certain things if you do not live here. I


understand that. But that is not going to make a blind bit of


difference to the Treasury, trying to get these billions of pounds. It


is not going to change overnight. EU regulations encourage companies


to place their intellectual property rights in Luxembourg. So,


what is the problem they fact I think it is true that you are going


to have to have a more clear tax system. You have got mixed messages.


We have had a message which said, if you come to Britain, you must


pay a higher tax than the law necessarily says you have to pay.


That is a confusing message to companies. It has to be one clear


message. I agree with that, and this is work in progress for George


Osborne. He stuttered of sending out a message of, come to Britain,


it is the lowest tax place in the world. It is hard for him to move


on from that and say, no, we do not want to say that. We need to look


at the practical things that need to be done now. The key things


include much more transparency in company accounts, so that we can


actually see, and have proper reporting, country by country, for


these big internationals. If you are Google, turning over billions


here and only paying �6 million in tax, that means - and I believe


there should be reform of company law, so that all big companies have


to show exactly what they are paying, and the directors and the


non-executives have to explain how much below the corporation tax what


they are paying actually is. A lot of these companies depend on public


approval. Starbucks is a case in point. They are minor tax dodgers,


compared to Google and Amazon. Can I have my feet afterwards for that


one, please? Your client is almost whiter-than-white! You can go to


Costa Coffee, or wherever else, rather than... Did that come out of


the PR budget? It is a pre-payment. It is just up front? No, they have


restructured their business, so they are going to be paying tax.


They wanted to pay tax immediately, now. On a turnover of? They do not


split it up, it is a difficult question, because they have


transfer pricing, of course. An awful lot of activity seems to


happen in Holland. Holland as well as Luxembourg have got a reputation,


in EU terms. But this is all part of getting this. In the Times today,


PricewaterhouseCoopers are saying, we do not do this kind of thing any


more. I am naming and shaming them, but I am also... We do not do mass


market tax-planning schemes any more, they say. In other words,


they only do a bespoke tailoring. bet you Starbucks' marginal rate of


tax is a lot lower than mine. would never bet with you, Andrew.


If they did not have a reputation or problem, they would not be


paying Roland Rudd good money! After months of campaigning,


residents of south London found out the fate of services at Lewisham


hospital this morning. The Health Secretary told the House of Commons


that whilst he understood the concerns of local people, he had


taken advice that the future of health services in the area would


be better if the accident and emergency department at Lewisham


was downgraded. He explained why he felt he had no choice. The NHS


Trust and is the most financially challenged in the country, with a


deficit of �65 million per annum. It currently spends �60 million a


year, 16% of its annual income, to service two PFI contracts, signed


in 1998. For this and other reasons, repeated local attempts to resolve


the financial crisis at the trust have failed. As a result, the trust


is losing more than �1 million every week. In the three years


since it was formed in 2009, it has generated a deficit of �153 million,


a figure which will rise to more than �200 million by the end of


this financial year, a huge amount of money, which has to be diverted


away from frontline patient care. That was the Health Secretary,


Jeremy hunt. We can now welcome our viewers in Scotland, who have just


finished watching First Minister's Questions. Now, with us from


outside Lewisham Hospital is Alex Bushill from BBC London. What has


the reaction been? As you would expect, dismay, disappointment and


anger. They say that this decision to close the accident and emergency


unit here, downsizing it to a minor, urgent care centre, as well as


downgrading the maternity unit, is grossly unfair. They say the south


London Health Care Trust, this hospital, has debts, but they are


manageable. They do not see why they should be forced to pay for


the mismanagement of the neighbouring trust. The accident


and emergency unit will go, and in its place there will be an urgent


care centre, which means that those 120,000 people who come through the


doors currently, that will drop to 60,000 people. The maternity unit


will this capacity as well. 4,500 births every year here at Lewisham


Hospital. That will shrink now to 1,000 births. So, there is a great


deal of anger here. And as we saw last weekend, the campaigners have


been out in some force. They say the argument may be lost, but the


battle is not over. They will continue to fight this, they say.


They say there are three years for the implementation to be carried


out, and they say they build continue to try to frustrate the


Secretary of State. They say they will also be seeking judicial


review. They say the public consultation period has not been


long enough. They are looking for three months of public consultation,


which is why they will be going to the court to try to overturn that


decision. With us now is Mike Farrar from the NHS Confederation,


and the Conservative MP Nick de Bois. What do you say to that


reaction, that it is grossly unfair, particularly because Lewisham has


not mismanaged its finances in the way that neighbouring hospitals


have? The point is a more general one. About the country, people are


thinking about the changes to the Health Service which we need to


make. At the moment, the way in which hospital care and primary


care is organised means we are not getting the best results for


patients. We are not spending the money has wisely as we can. We need


to make a strong case for a case -- for change, of course, with public


opinion as well. If we do that, we would like to think that we could


count on political support from our elected colleagues at. Can you not


count on that support? In many cases, we can. But we have seen


cases where politicians have agreed with me in private, for example,


when I was running health services, but have then said, they feel they


have to be at the front of the march. That is not helpful. Do you


think actually you're not being straight with your constituents


when, in fact, as an MP in an area where a local hospital is proposed


for closure, because perhaps it is failing or it is not as good as it


would be if there was a merger, by saying, I am going to campaign to


keep it open at any cost? Let's deal with that directly. I was


elected to fight to save chase Farm accident and emergency from being


downgraded. Fundamentally because the neighbouring area, Barnet, was


saddled with ghastly Beefy debts. This was a consultation which many


people had lost trust in. -- PFI gets. I was elected to do that job.


There was no question. You were elected to do that job - is it the


right decision to back keeping a hospital open if there is a


clinical case which clearly says, we would be better off closing this


unit and having a larger, more specialist unit up the road? It is


not for a politician to start arguing about the clinical case. My


criticism of the debate which has gone on around chase Farm is that


the medical profession did not step up to the mark, did not make the


case. If they had done that, they could win the hearts and minds of


people, if it was the right thing to do. Why are they not doing that?


He is white, we have to win the hearts and minds of people, and


clinicians need to be involved in making that case. My argument is


that where those cases for change have been made, like saving lives


or improving survival rates from stroke, where commissions are


saying that, I would expect my MP to be supportive of that. Would you


like local politicians to keep out of the debate altogether? I am a


democrat, I believe in democracy. It is really important that people


understand why these changes are in their interests. They look for


political leadership from their MPs.. But I have got the letter


here, which you actually wrote to the medical director of the NHS,


saying that actually, the front line professionals just were not


there on during the case, they were not taking the lead. If they are


not there arguing for a hospital to be closed because there was a


better alternative, then you cannot expect politicians to do it for


you? I would accept that. I think we have got to step up to the plate,


we have to make the clinical case for change, we have to explain what


it means. But also, we then depend on our politicians. Do you think


there will ever be a case of MPs standing there saying, I think our


local hospitals should close? Could that ever be the case, even when


the clinical case is clear? would be an extremely foolish MP


who stood outside an accident and emergency, which are massively


reduced number of people were going to, and not saying, safe this


accident and emergency. Particularly when the Government


themselves have said that actually, if we do not win the support of GPs


and patients, this is one of the four tests. So, in a way, you have


got this conflict going on between winning the medical argument, which


they think is a reasoned argument, and one that needs to be fronted by


the medical profession, and only then, I think, should the


politicians be making the point about reflecting their constituents,


as to what they wish to do. These things do not happen overnight.


Chase Farm has been going on since 2005. Constituents are never going


to campaign to close the hospital, even if the numbers are low, unless


they are persuaded of a clinical argument, with the backing of the


local MP. If they are told that distances to the nearest hospital


may be further, but you will see a specialist, and your rate of


survival will increase, that is the argument you need to make as well?


If that was a valid argument, I could see a case for someone doing


that. But when you have eight years of consultation being held behind


closed doors in central London, remote from the constituency, take


a look at my example, chase Farm. If you say, we are going to consult


the majority of people from Barnet, Haringey and Enfield, which is the


area we are talking about, is it any wonder that there is a majority,


based on Barnet and Haringey, which said, we would rather downgrade


chase Farm and give everything to our neighbouring hospitals, which


is now happening? I think the medical profession have to take the


lead, but I am not signing up to anything which has been going on


where it has not been transparent It is an issue that is not just


dividing the political class. The business world has been to-ing and


fro-ing over whether David Cameron's promise to renegotiate


our relationship with Europe and set a date for a referendum - five


years from now - is a good move for Britain. So what impact is it


likely to have on firms? Susana Who likes a bit of European tipple?


Tom, the resident wine expert here it is partial to a Bordeaux. A


couple of miles away, but Prime Minister is after something with


less of a European flavour. The wind is an analogy for David


Cameron a pester Ps promised to Alter our relationship with the EU.


-- David Cameron's promise. All those promises have got people in


the business world wondering whether the plan has legs. There is


no doubt that our continental competitors are all going to be


going out there saying, do not invest in Britain, you do not know


whether they will have access in the single market or not. Come to


us. We need to say, you will have confidence in Britain's future.


PM was making clear that the single market remains the sparkling wine


in the relationship and there is no question of David Cameron wanting


the fizz to go out on that. Around half the UK trade's foreign


investment is in UK markets. It says 3.5 million jobs in the UK are


linked to export of goods and services to the EU. They say a fine


wine gets better with age. Some business leaders think our


relationship with Europe has become a bit sour. Business needs to be


negotiated settlement within the EU. Currently, it is not helping our


economy. If anything, the EU is a job destruction machine, rather


than an entity that helps to create jobs and wealth. EU regulation does


have the cost for British firms. It says companies spend up to �9.4


billion on it in 2010. Uncertainty about what flavour we would end up


with after a renegotiation on referendum has got some worried


their firms in emerging markets may go elsewhere. The British Chambers


of Commerce, which supports renegotiation but does not want to


leave the EU, says those fears may be exaggerated. There may be those


who decline to make decisions because of delay and uncertainty.


Many said they will plough ahead anyway because it's his the


location, legal system and friendliness which causes them to


invest in the first place. -- it is the location. Will that be enough?


The business world may find out in five years' time, which is how all


this English wine happens to be. -- old. Joining us now is the City


Spokesman for UKIP, Steven Woolfe. Business is divided. It is subtle.


Do you accept that if Britain could negotiate a less odorous


arrangement with the EU, most people would prefer to stay in?


Good morning. Thank you for inviting me. Your point is on the


premise that you can renegotiate. We do not believe that is possible.


There has never been a renegotiation since the history of


the European Union. It is quite nines were them to think they can


have this but the practicalities are that most businesses recognise


it is impossible. Where do we want to be in this global economy? What


do we want to do? When they look at the European Union, they are saying,


that is one market but it is not the only market. In many ways, it


is not the pre-eminent market. Our trade with the rest of the world


has increased to 55%. Most businesses with any form of export


to the European Union are passionate about wanting to stay in


the European Union. They want a reformed European Union. If you


keep talking about renegotiation and opt-outs, you are not going to


get them. Do not put the bar too high. Look carefully at what you


can get in terms of multilateral reforms, which other countries want,


like the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland and Italy. If you do that a


work on good reforms which improve the European Union for everyone,


you might well get something. People in television studios like


this have been asking for reform since the 1950s. When will it


happen? The creation of a single market was a huge change. That is


not a reform, it is an addition. was a massive reform. It does not


always mean powers coming back from the centre. Some means powers going


back to the centre. The commission is on the side of Britain in terms


of making a more liberal Europe. Why don't we just have a common


market rather than a single market? Canada, Mexico and the United


States have a free-trade agreement. They do not have the massive


bureaucracy that we have in Brussels. There is too much


bureaucracy. It is not just a single market. By coming up have a


free trade area? -- why can we not? It is not possible. America, Canada


and Mexico have it to some extent. What we managed to do was to change


the European Union so we would have a better market - the biggest


market in the world. We're trying to have a free trade arrangement


with the US. That is the prize that Britain wants. If you are right


that it is impossible for a single country to bring back powers in any


substantial way, then you should not care about that? There will be


a referendum when you will get to say, he has not brought back enough,


vote to leave. I care passionately. I care about what happens to the


people of Europe. They need the opportunity to be free of the


economic difficulties that they are in. You will still get the in/out


referendum and you will still be able to campaign to leave. Only Mr


Cameron can deliver that. We are short of one thing and that is that


you cannot. We can. We do not have a single seat but one of the most


exciting things about the positive aspect of David Cameron making his


speech was to show that democracy works. Pressure from ordinary


citizens and businesses, joining parties like UKIP or supporting the


principles, it has caused concern within the political elite in the


United Kingdom. You get plenty of time to speak on this. If I can


just finish. The point is, ordinary people have actually had the


opportunity to press their MPs here and forced pressure on Cameron to


consider that it is not an extreme idea. They need to bring it into


the centre of the table of discussions. That is a positive


aspect. I do not think this would happen in the European Union in its


democratic framework. It is interesting to hear UKIP praising


the speech by David Cameron. 90% of it was about being in Europe and


the vision of being in Europe. did imply he was enthusiastic about


that if he could bring home the bacon. The first part of the speech


said the vision he had about Europe a wire was important. The second


part was about why the future of Britain was in Europe and how he


was confident he could get a reform. He needs to manage that process


very carefully and be careful about the language used. He is a local


man made good. He compares himself to Nelson Mandela. And he wants to


beat the Westminster parties to become Broughty Ferry's independent


MP. Let's meet Bob Servant, the political ingenue, pitched into


sturm and drang of a parliamentary by election in BBC Four's new


comedy, set in East Dundee. Inspector! I want you to know, if I


am elected commit your job is safe. That would not be your decision.


You are the big man from the hospital. I am the medical director.


I have seen you in the papers with the big cheques. Always glad to


receive a charitable donation. am elected, I will not make a big


fuss if one of those big cheques should go... Go missing. I find


that extremely offensive. So do I! We are joined now by the creator of


Bob Servant - the writer, Neil Forsyth. How did you come up with


the character? From books. I wrote his autobiography. I created this


hubristic character. When a 1-did television premise, I landed on a


by-election and an independent candidate. Some people say he is


loosely based on George Galloway. Absolutely not! He is from Dundee.


He has no bigger fan than myself. In Dundee, we do not lack those who


have moustaches. You are clearly from Dundee. Do you think of


character would stand a chance if he stood there? I think Brian would


but not bop. What does the electorate like in Dundee? They are


Broughty Ferry is the posh part of Dundee. It is to the east of Dundee


and it is the posh part. It is the Scottish Riviera? Brian comes from


Dundee. I managed to get the books to him and we were going to adapted


for radio. He had great fun coming back and playing Bob in Dundee. It


was shot in Broughty Ferry largely. It must have been nostalgic. People


were approaching him on the streets. I actually think in the next Dundee


election he will get a few rogue boats. Both episodes are on iPlayer.


Six episodes building up to election night. Will he or won't he


be coming to Westminster? I have seen quite a few MPs talking about


it. Have you ever fancied being a candidate for election? Absolutely


not. The reason this be so successful is it appeals to the


idea of having someone who speaks as he feels. Not lobby fodder. That


is why people find politics so boring. Not enough people are


personalities. He does not have a filter. That carries on in future


episodes. It builds very nicely. Recover things like the question of


independence in Scotland which is covered in his own style. Is there


a message in the series? I think there will be a couple of political


messages as the stakes get higher. It is showing a man who is a big


fish in a small pond who has got into over his head, I think. I will


watch it. There's just time before we go to find out the answer to our


Who was the most famous MP for That is fit for today. The One


O'clock News is starting over on BBC One now. And I am back tonight


on BBC One with Michael Portillo, Lord West, Alastair Campbell, Mary


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