01/02/2013 Daily Politics


01/02/2013

Andrew Neil presents the latest political news, interviews and debate. With guests David Wooding, Anne Diamond and George Galloway.


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.

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Spare a thought for poor, poor George Galloway, who was dished

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this, at PMQs. Wherever there is a brutal Arab

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dictator in the world, he'll have the support of the honourable

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gentleman. We'll be talking to the man himself

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about parliamentary etiquette, and supporting dictators.

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Activism, or slacktivism? We'll be looking at the online organisation

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that rallies mass outrage, but nobody's ever heard of it.

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It's more like Downton Abbey than it is Parliament at the moment. But

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is it really? Shocking new research reveals many

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Tory MP are not, I repeat, not born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

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And, is the stalking horse gathering momentum? We'll be taking

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a look back at the week, in 60 All that in the next hour. And,

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with us for the whole programme today, is the broadcaster Anne

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Diamond. She rose to fame as part of a TV double act that's been

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bettered only by myself and Jo Coburn! And now presents her own

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radio phone-in show. And David Wooding, he's never been part of a

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double act, as far as we know, but he is associate political editor at

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the Sun. Welcome to you both. First, today: A senior counter-

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terrorism officer has been sentenced to 15 months in prison

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for offering to sell information to the News of the World about the

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phone-hacking inquiry. Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn was

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convicted of misconduct in public office. The judge at the Old Bailey

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told her it was "a corrupt attempt to make money out of sensitive and

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potentially very damaging The judge said if she hadn't been

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in the process of adopting a baby, she would have got three years, and

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not 15 months. Although not directly related to hacking, this

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is one of the first sentences now linked to the behaviour and conduct

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of the media and the police. That leaves you asking more questions.

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Did she actually sell information, or did she offered to sell

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information? What was it about, what did it result in? We want to

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know more. We are living in an age where we are seeing the results of

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the post Leveson Inquiry. But we still need to know more. You worry

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that we are actually flagellating our souls too much, maybe people

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will be criticised for trivial things and you worry Baby we are

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missing the bigger boat. The bigger boat is still coming down the river.

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It is an indication, in matters of the conduct of the press and

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relationship between press and police, the courts are up for jail

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sentences. The areas they will at the top in

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the establishment to lock people up. In this case, we have a police

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officer who was concerned, in her view, the force was spending too

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much time investigating what she thought was relatively, while a

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criminal offence, a more trivial offence, more serious things were

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being left undone. She rang out of concern, so she said, in court.

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jury didn't believe her. I think there is a well among people...

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Quite right, the jury did not like the idea a police officer who is

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upset about something immediately thinks of ringing the News of the

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World. We can't talk about the substance but I suspect it will

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send a shiver down the spine of those other journalists and police

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officers now being charged on related, similar type offences.

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Clearly, the public is in the mind for jail sentences.

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The other thing is people who called the police, called the press

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as away of getting stories to the open, whistleblowers, maybe more

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fearful. It's time for our daily quiz. The

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question for today is: Sally Bercow, she's the tweeting wife of Speaker,

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John Bercow, told her Twitter followers yesterday that she'd had

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her first tattoo. So what do we think it was? Was it:

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a) A portcullis? B) John Bercow's coat of arms?

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:05:25.:05:29.

C) The names of her children? D) An anchor?

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One of those is correct? At the end of the show, Anne and David will

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give us the correct answer. Now, regular viewers of the Daily

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Politics may have watched this on Wednesday.

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George Galloway. Following yesterday's announcement,

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will the Prime Minister described the key differences between the

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hand chopping, throat cutting a jihadists, fighting the

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dictatorship in Mali, that we are now to help to kill? And the

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equally bloodthirsty jihadists that we are giving money, material,

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political and diplomatic support to, in Syria? Has the promise de Red Ed

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Frankenstein, and did you read it to the end? -- has the Prime

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Minister. There is one thing certain.

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Wherever there is a brutal Arab dictator in the world, he'll have

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the support of the honourable gentleman.

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David Cameron's response there caused a little bit of an upset.

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Some viewers thought it was a tad rude. The Respect MP George

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Galloway, who asked the question, is here.

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When you asked that question, did you not think that you were opening

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yourself to the response but you got?

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If not from that particular pot, when he flew off to pose for

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pictures with the dictator of Algeria, and selling weapons to

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every brutal Arab dictator that will pay, no.

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In any case, vulgar abuse does not an answer make. What your viewers

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have been saying to his, on a par with what is being said to me,

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actually that is an interesting question, I wonder what the answer

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is, David Cameron did not give it. All Western governments are

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vulnerable to having supported Arab dictators but people can say, you

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have your dictators and he has his dictators.

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The British state is in the front of marketing weapons, and giving

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diplomatic and put a little -- political support to a brutal Arab

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dictators and jihadists in Syria. I was really asking, is it a case of

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good Al-Qaeda in Syria and bad Al- Qaeda in Mali? We have been down

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this road before. You and I equally on this platform are awed enough to

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remember when we used to finance other jihadists who later became

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Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the 80s. Whether the British state should be

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doing this. BG had this in northern Mali, and fighting the government

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in its area. It seems pretty care the jihadists had taken control of

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the movement in northern Mali, which had originally been for

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autonomy. They were heading south, calling the shots by then. There is

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no doubt that the jihadists are part of the uprising in that Syria

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but they are not it by any means in control.

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The New York Times thinks they are, the State Department talked about

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the flicker of Al-Qaeda which has become a flame. But they have been

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attacked by the people at the top of the insurgency. Those chaps you

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seek on the news every night, especially on Sky News, lining up

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prisoners to cut their heads off, video -- videoing themselves. They

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sound dangerous to me. This is a Frankenstein monster created in

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Afghanistan in the 1980s. If you have read Frankenstein's monster by

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Mary Shelley, you'll note it is called a monster because you can't

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control it once you have built it. And the Mostar isn't called

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Frankenstein either. Does this then lead you to support Bashar al-

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Assad? I do not support Bashar al- Assad or the jihadists.

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research team has come up with plenty of quotes you being pretty

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friendly to Bashar al-Assad, and pretty friendly to the dictatorship

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of Syria. That's from 2005, I think. At the time he was riding around in

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a carriage with the Queen up the mile and sleeping in her spare room.

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No, I support echo fin and Nana. -- support Kofi Annan. And a

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transition to democracy. Syria, it is a complicated country with lots

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of religious and ethnic minorities and strategically in an explosive

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place. What do you make them of it -- of Iran? We are sending the

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enemies of Bashar al-Assad support. Britain and its American master. We

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are giving their money. Then we are giving them arms. They can do with

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the money what they like. Iranians are sending serious

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weapons and even Revolutionary Guards have been sent there.

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Serious weapons will not do basher macro any good. They are fighting

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in the streets hand-to-hand with BT had this. I understand, they are

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not arguing with you that there aren't jihad this involved, but you

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have to admit they are not the lead this -- the leaders in this. I do

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not accept that at all. The Syrian people had plenty to revolt about,

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had plenty to rise up about. They have the same right to do so as any

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people in the world. But no one who seriously studies this is in any

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doubt the fighting is being done by foreign jihadists and in the main

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and they will inherit the power. The people who do the fighting

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other people who come to power. It is wise you not to dispute that

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central point, because the time will come, if they win, when we

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will be sitting here talking about their latest atrocity, perhaps

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across the border in the UK, and US's favourite country, Israel.

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one your by-election, so -- calling it the Bradford spring. Not the

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Arab Spring? I am absolutely behind the Arab Spring. I have been

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calling for a revolution in the Arab world, and this is a messy

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business, you can't make omelettes without breaking eggs. How would

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you describe its progress so far in Egypt and Libya? In Egypt, it is

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not go well, in Tunisia it is better. In Syria, it is a disaster.

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A classic case. We hated Colonel Gaddafi, then we hated him. We

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delivered the jihadists to Colonel Gaddafi to be tortured. Then we

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backed them to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi. Now they have killed the

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American ambassador in Benghazi and we have a back we did all our

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people from there. Will you be happy when Bashar al-Assad goes?

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Yes, the people of Syria need to choose a ruler who was not part of

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the same family as the dynasty they have had for 40 years there. We

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need democracy in Syria, in Saudi Arabia, in all Arab countries. You

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do not get democracy by bombing countries from a far, neither do

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you get it by interposing jihadists of the Al-Qaeda stripe. Final

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question. Were the French right to intervene in Marley? No, they are

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the last people. Marley used to be called French Sudan. They eluted

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Marley, for as much as they could then carry -- looted Mali. 90% of

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Malians are Muslim. Then if the French hadn't intervened, it was

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quite clear they were going to take the whole of the country.

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throat-cutting, hand chopping jihad is you were complaining about. --

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jihadists. It is more complicated than that. There are legitimate

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demands. But, the point is, the government of the country is a

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military dictator, we are backing that. People are against it. We'll

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see what happens. When terrible things start to happen, do not

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That is the problem, it goes back into history, as to where you think

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allegiances should be? What would be the right thing for government

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to do? I do not think Mali should be occupying our government at the

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moment. It has to! Why? It is a faraway country in Africa. It

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contains no threat to us. We have no historical relationships with it,

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and we are broke! We can't keep pensioners warm in the winter time

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but we are ready to help France set fire to Mali. It does not compute.

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I would not give my son's life in Mali and I know you would not be

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there but we are expecting other people to send their children there

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and fight. These are complex issues. We view it with hindsight. We look

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at Afghanistan now and say, if only we had not gone in. But what would

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have happened if we hadn't gone in? Do we sit and do nothing? People of

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suffering in Syria. I think we probably would go in if we thought

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it was safe and if we had the money and the stomach for it, but we

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don't after Iraq. Bad things are happening all over the world. We

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are a small country off the north coast of Europe that is virtually

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bankrupt. It would be better if the British Government concentrated on

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six in our own problems at home. George, stick with us. Thank you.

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This week it was bees in Europe. The week before it was oil in the

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Amazon, and the week before that it was women's rights in India. They

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are all campaigns that have been launched on the internet by the

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group Avaaz. It means "voice". The biggest political organisation you

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have never heard of. They have got 17 million members worldwide who

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drive MPs mad by emailing them hundreds of times a day. But do you

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know your Avaaz from your elbow? Our Adam does.

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In the last year, at any event related to the Leveson Inquiry, you

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found these guys. They belong to one organisation called Avaaz.

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What? It means "voice" in Farsi and it is like Amazon for protesters.

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You sign up and join other uses in whichever of their campaigns that

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you fancy, and it has more than 70 million members worldwide, who

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provide all the funding from small donations. They UK office is above

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this burger bar in the West End. When we dropped in, they were in

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the middle of a Skype corner with gay rights activists in Uganda.

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Whether it is the future of media in the UK, whether it is bankers

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and how they get away Scot free with so many misdemeanours or

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whichever issue that members care about, like climate change, we can

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jump quickly on to it. We can send messages out on these diverse

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topics and find clever strategies to link the citizens on the ground

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with the powers that be. Those techniques includes petitions, or

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rallies, a newspaper adverts and became its. -- peak it's. A you can

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see the detail here, these are mainly people speaking French...

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The data about the uses drives what they do. A campaign idea could come

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from a member in the UK, Venezuela, anywhere. We look at it and see if

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we could make a difference and if it lines up with what members have

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told us from their on-line polling that they are keen on, we would

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send out a test message to 10,000 people and depending on the results

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of that, we will stop in our tracks or go much fervour. Critics of what

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they do say that clicking on the internet is not really politics. A

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charge I put you Avaaz's found dead in New York. -- I put to Avaaz's

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found in New York. Half of our community have just joined us in

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the last year it so over time, people deepen their engagement. You

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first sign up to it, it is a new community, you gradually build up

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trust and engagement and gradually get more deeply involved. That is

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what we have seen consistently. This is one of the things they are

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most proud of. Many of the pictures that have emerged from Syria were

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filmed on cambers provided by Avaaz. -- filmed on cameras.

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And George Galloway is still with us. We are also joined by David

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Babbs from another online organisation 38 Degrees. You

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concentrate more on UK issues rather than global ones. Yes.

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you having any influence? Yes. 38 Degrees have 1.3 million members

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across the UK. Yesterday you reported on the BBC that the

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government had finally confirmed it was cancelling plans to sell off

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England's woodlands. That was a campaign that 30 degrees members

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started online. -- 38 Degrees. Half a million of a sign that position.

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You saw the result yesterday. Government policy completely

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changed, thanks to the work of 38 Degrees members. You claim to have

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more members than every major political party in this country

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combined? That is right, yes. Membership for a 38 Degrees member

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is different to a membership of a political party. You do not have to

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get involved in it every campaign. It is much more opt in. You have a

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choice as to which campaign you take part in but most of our

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members are very active, both at home to his neck in their office,

:21:53.:21:57.

but more and more meeting in their local communities -- both at home

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or in the office. They do meet? This week I was meeting members in

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Lewisham organising a campaign to save their local hospital, and we

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were part of the demonstration that took place on Saturday. Some

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members were outside their council buildings in Cumbria yesterday

:22:15.:22:19.

celebrating the decision they had been calling for to cancel plans to

:22:19.:22:24.

build a nuclear dump in the Lake District. He starts on internet but

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that is not where it ends. Yes, it gets a manifestation on the streets.

:22:29.:22:33.

What do you say to critics that referred to you, it makes people

:22:33.:22:37.

feel good for the moment as they click but it is not real

:22:37.:22:45.

engagement? It is the junk food of democracy, I am quoting somebody.

:22:45.:22:48.

You will always get some elitists in the political establishment who

:22:48.:22:53.

would rather that ordinary people left them alone to get on with a

:22:53.:22:57.

complicated business of government but what 38 Degrees members believe,

:22:57.:23:01.

is that democracy is better if more people getting involved and getting

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involved has to start somewhere. The first thing to do for a lot of

:23:05.:23:09.

people is not to decide to run parliament and joined a political

:23:09.:23:14.

party, it will be to sign a petition. And it could give them an

:23:14.:23:19.

appetite? Yes, I was chatting with a member, Ken in the West Midlands,

:23:19.:23:25.

who is organising a saving of the NHS campaigns in the West Midlands.

:23:25.:23:29.

He first signed the forest perdition. He is now very active in

:23:29.:23:33.

the community and is standing up for local health services but it

:23:33.:23:39.

started with an online petition. Degrees is the critical angle at

:23:39.:23:45.

which another large can start. did not know that! There we are. We

:23:45.:23:49.

need to know we do not undervalue the power of the mass clicking on

:23:49.:23:55.

this. My sons get their news information online and through

:23:55.:23:58.

Facebook and all of the ways that I know you reach out to people and

:23:58.:24:03.

one day, we will vote online and when people like 38 Degrees and

:24:03.:24:07.

other organisations can influence people on screen, we will all be

:24:07.:24:14.

multi-screen in a few years, you can move your mouse and click for a

:24:14.:24:22.

particular vote, I think we really have to not call them slack

:24:22.:24:25.

activists but understand that people sitting in front of a screen

:24:25.:24:30.

have the same power as we used to have in a queue. There is a danger

:24:30.:24:35.

that this amount of activity and interest and participation, that it

:24:35.:24:39.

leads the dead tree press behind. That is why we have to change and

:24:39.:24:43.

move with the times. We try to embrace the online world. In the

:24:43.:24:51.

old days, on the local paper, you would go down to the local council

:24:51.:24:58.

with a sackful of petitions. It is different now. Now, if I write

:24:58.:25:02.

something I don't like, I hear about it on Twitter! People can

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come and interact with you. It has brought the country closer together.

:25:08.:25:14.

It is amazing. These are very impressive numbers, one win 3

:25:14.:25:20.

million, 17 million for Avaaz. -- 1.3 million. The eye had never

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heard of it. -- I had never. I thought it was something to do with

:25:30.:25:36.

Keith Vaz! I have over $100,000 on Twitter and Facebook. This is the

:25:36.:25:42.

future. There is the danger it is a mile wide and an inch deep. This is

:25:42.:25:47.

the danger of manipulation. I do not know who is behind Avaaz. Is

:25:47.:25:52.

there an agenda? The big campaign about the child soldiers fellow in

:25:52.:26:00.

Uganda turned out to be some hopes, some subterfuge. It can happen on

:26:00.:26:04.

the internet but of course it can happen also in the mass media. But

:26:04.:26:09.

I would not follow the Times, David, because the Times is going down

:26:09.:26:19.
:26:19.:26:21.

even faster than that Sun! The one that Andrew used to, be such a

:26:21.:26:25.

distinguished editor of us. The Dead Tree Press, as you put it, is

:26:25.:26:30.

finished. Ten years from now, all TV, everything, it will be on the

:26:30.:26:36.

internet. Is there not another danger, this is not a pretty word,

:26:36.:26:45.

but it only encourages opposition- itis. There will always be some

:26:45.:26:50.

group of people against it, even if what they are doing is right. Let's

:26:50.:26:54.

take a case of a local hospital. Obviously everybody hate their

:26:54.:26:58.

hospitals to be closed but not every time a local hospital is

:26:58.:27:01.

closed is it necessarily a bad thing for the overall health of the

:27:01.:27:06.

nation. But groups like yours are always against something rather

:27:06.:27:11.

than for something. That is not true. 38 Degrees members are up for

:27:11.:27:17.

getting involved in solutions. Last year, hundreds of thousands of

:27:17.:27:20.

members got in a campaign which we called the Big Switch, about

:27:20.:27:24.

challenging the power of the gas and electricity companies to get a

:27:24.:27:29.

better deal, so they signed up to negotiate with the companies and

:27:29.:27:35.

drive a hard bargain with them. Using our collective consumer power.

:27:35.:27:39.

Through that, thousands and thousands of members switched

:27:39.:27:44.

energy power and collectively saved �23 million. It really worked.

:27:44.:27:49.

are using the collective power art -- against the oligarchy of energy

:27:49.:27:55.

companies. It is only by consumers getting together that you have the

:27:55.:28:00.

counterweight of power. Precisely. One of the exciting things about be

:28:00.:28:04.

internet visitor allows ordinary people to pour resources and level

:28:04.:28:10.

playing fields, to answer back to journalists. What is next?

:28:10.:28:14.

Degrees members decide together what is next so it is hard for me

:28:14.:28:20.

to say. Is at the wisdom of crowds? We regularly ask members on what

:28:20.:28:24.

issues they want to campaign on. A very big priority is protecting the

:28:24.:28:29.

NHS. The online community may already be a huge segment of the

:28:29.:28:33.

population that is already disaffected with broadcasters,

:28:33.:28:39.

newspapers... With the establishment way of expressing

:28:39.:28:44.

ourselves. Maybe that community has not been heard for years. Looking

:28:44.:28:51.

back, have you, Avaaz, similar groups, do you think, that is one

:28:51.:28:56.

we should not have got involved in, that was a mistake? I don't think

:28:56.:29:02.

so actually. The it is going to happen. One of the advantages of

:29:02.:29:04.

having over 1 million people involved in the decision-making

:29:04.:29:08.

process for what we do is that every decision we take is subject

:29:08.:29:13.

to a lot of scrutiny. I am not saying that is a reason for not

:29:13.:29:17.

doing things. It is in the nature of things that one day you were

:29:17.:29:20.

rushed into a campaign and it will turn out to be not quite what you

:29:20.:29:29.

thought it was. Hitler's diary. was going to ask you, have you done

:29:29.:29:35.

one that you regret!? I was certainly surprised when our

:29:35.:29:39.

members Prix amortised campaign on England's and woodlands. It was not

:29:39.:29:45.

an issue that I would have prioritised living in London --

:29:45.:29:49.

prioritise the campaign on England's woodlands. But the more

:29:49.:29:52.

people you off to campaign, at the higher the quality of decisions you

:29:53.:29:57.

will get. There was an element of this in the Arab Spring,

:29:58.:30:03.

particularly in Cairo when people use their mobile phones. The Hosni

:30:03.:30:08.

Mubarak regime tried to stop broadcasting from cellphones.

:30:08.:30:13.

this genie is out of the bottle. Mr Murdoch, Hosni Mubarak, and nobody

:30:13.:30:19.

can control it. It has to be more democratic than the way the media

:30:19.:30:23.

was hitherto controlled. The day will come and not far off when

:30:23.:30:33.
:30:33.:30:40.

people will vote on elections If I can now access my bank account

:30:40.:30:49.

online, then surely they can have a system for voting. You do need to

:30:49.:30:55.

be anonymous when you vote, which can make it difficult. You do get a

:30:55.:31:04.

Here's your Friday trivia question. What book is now so long that it

:31:04.:31:08.

would take the world's fastest speaker more than a week to get

:31:08.:31:11.

through it? No, it's not War and Peace, the collected works of

:31:11.:31:18.

Gordon Brown, or even Fifty Shades of Grey. It's the UK guide to tax

:31:18.:31:25.

regulations. Surprised? Probably not particularly, if you've spent

:31:25.:31:30.

the last week sorting out your tax return. The Tolley's Tax Guide was

:31:30.:31:37.

quite a read in 2001, at 5,952 pages. By 2007, towards the end of

:31:37.:31:41.

the Labour years, it was a shelf- creaking 9,866 pages. Now the book

:31:41.:31:45.

is, wait for it, 17,795 pages. Not bad, when you consider that this

:31:45.:31:55.
:31:55.:32:03.

coalition government promised to simplify tax when it took office.

:32:04.:32:07.

Joining me from our Berkshire studios is the Conservative MP John

:32:07.:32:14.

Redwood. I remember having a go at Gordon

:32:14.:32:20.

Brown for over 10 years doubling the size of Tolley's. You're not

:32:20.:32:26.

have managed to add thousands of more pages in only two years.

:32:26.:32:31.

Depressing, isn't it? They needed to increase taxes to pay for the

:32:31.:32:38.

spending Labour had already committed, and then the coalition

:32:38.:32:42.

decided they wanted to increase spending by 1,500 pounds a year for

:32:42.:32:46.

every person in the country by the end of their period in government,

:32:46.:32:51.

and needed to raise taxes for that as well. They have been drafted in

:32:51.:32:56.

to the same old way as Labour was, thinking, there is a pot of money

:32:56.:33:00.

out there if only they could deal with the loopholes. I don't

:33:00.:33:05.

understand how wanting more tax if leads to adding another 6,000 pages

:33:05.:33:10.

to the Tax Guide. Surely putting up the tax rate doesn't change the

:33:10.:33:20.
:33:20.:33:24.

guide itself. Child benefit, other things, the government has

:33:24.:33:29.

enormously complicated matters. think they would do better to have

:33:29.:33:33.

lower tax rates and fewer tax breaks. Because they have put the

:33:33.:33:38.

tax rates up, people are not willing to pay them. And people are

:33:38.:33:43.

able to find legal ways about them. They have been decided this is

:33:43.:33:47.

dreadful and have come up with extra anti-avoidance devices which

:33:47.:33:51.

are themselves very complicated and create more jobs for tax

:33:51.:33:55.

accountants and lawyers. The result is they are collecting less tax.

:33:55.:34:00.

The higher rates of tax on income tax and capital gains and stamp

:34:00.:34:04.

duty has been counter-productive, they are getting less revenue than

:34:04.:34:12.

planned. Correct me if I am wrong, didn't this government create the

:34:12.:34:16.

Office for tax simplification? did. I believe it is still working

:34:16.:34:23.

away. Kenya. Us to any achievement? It is not designed to do what we

:34:24.:34:29.

have been talking about, to have lower rates, fewer breaks. It is

:34:29.:34:34.

designed to take the massively complicated finance at and other

:34:34.:34:44.
:34:44.:34:46.

legislation, and see if you can rewrite them in a simpler way --

:34:46.:34:52.

Finance Act. What we actually need is policy changes, George Galloway

:34:52.:34:59.

in opposition suggested having a flat tax with no exceptions. If you

:34:59.:35:06.

earn more, you pay more. If you have 18,000 pages in Tolley's, and

:35:06.:35:11.

understand ours is the biggest in the world, more than the Americans

:35:11.:35:20.

and Germans. You have immediately created an opportunity for smart

:35:20.:35:24.

accountants, and for the well be people who can afford these smart

:35:24.:35:29.

accountants. I honestly, I sincerely believe that this

:35:29.:35:33.

government thought it could simplify things. The more you

:35:33.:35:38.

simplify, unless human beings were all the same and equal, there is no

:35:38.:35:41.

way of simplifying the system because it will always create

:35:41.:35:47.

injustice for somebody. One of these simplifications that George

:35:47.:35:57.
:35:57.:36:02.

Osborne tried was the eve pasty tax, and it blew up in his face. It was

:36:02.:36:10.

a complicated issue, takeaways were charged at if they were hot.

:36:10.:36:20.
:36:20.:36:21.

people, I would suggest, are the average tax payers who do their

:36:21.:36:26.

PAYE, they have little latitude, tax is taken from their salary.

:36:26.:36:34.

They don't have fancied deductions, ways of getting around it. The --

:36:34.:36:40.

fancy. The government is encouraging people to pay less tax

:36:40.:36:46.

as well as moralising when they succeed in paying less. A pension

:36:46.:36:52.

fund is a tax deferral which is perfectly legal. You will find that

:36:52.:36:58.

the idea of tax breaks is embedded in our psychology and tax code. Or

:36:58.:37:02.

some affect a large number of people who take advantage of them.

:37:02.:37:07.

The government has to go for those much lower rates, and make it

:37:07.:37:11.

easier for everybody. But, this government, with the Conservative

:37:11.:37:20.

Chancellor, last year it introduced the biggest finance bill in British

:37:20.:37:26.

history. And it doesn't seem to have a tax reforming bone in its

:37:26.:37:30.

body. You must be very disappointed? I think he has got

:37:30.:37:35.

stuck. His forecast assumed this big increase in current spending,

:37:35.:37:40.

this very large increase in the amount of tax needed to pay for

:37:40.:37:44.

extra spending and the inherited Sirpa spending. He has discovered

:37:44.:37:50.

he is not raising the revenue. A tax reforming Chancellor as when he

:37:50.:37:55.

began, has been blown off course by the magnitude of the task of paying

:37:55.:38:00.

for all the spending. So, he is back in the trenches, trying to

:38:00.:38:04.

take away some of the brakes people are using to successfully, and put

:38:04.:38:08.

in the rates up and finding it is counter-productive.

:38:08.:38:11.

Ed Milliband's fed up with the middle classes, and says he wants

:38:11.:38:14.

more working class MPs. Well, perhaps he should look to the

:38:14.:38:20.

Tories. Not only have they just chosen a former postman as a

:38:20.:38:22.

candidate but, according to online magazine Political Quarterly,

:38:22.:38:32.
:38:32.:38:37.

they're becoming as common as muck. Or are they? Here's Giles.

:38:37.:38:39.

There is an image not altogether unfounded, but not without

:38:39.:38:42.

political mischief that a Conservative MP is more usually a

:38:42.:38:46.

man, wealthy, privately educated, Oxbridge. Nice, big house, likes

:38:46.:38:54.

the bubbly. In a word, posh. Their opponents have lampooned it, and

:38:54.:39:01.

used it, even impersonated it ever since an Etonian became PM. We have

:39:01.:39:05.

had enough of the common herd trying to govern themselves and

:39:05.:39:09.

failing dismally, it is about time people are probably bread and

:39:09.:39:15.

dedicated to rule this country, got back in power, today is the day.

:39:15.:39:20.

Day did current used to prance around the dreamy spires of Oxford

:39:20.:39:25.

in a �1,000 a jacket. And you're telling me they are not elitist?

:39:25.:39:30.

Get away. It is irritating but it is good, poor old fashioned, Class

:39:30.:39:38.

War. The Labour Party seems to have rediscovered its old habits again.

:39:38.:39:45.

Not long ago, I did and interview with Nadine Dorries and the subject

:39:45.:39:49.

was whether Posh had become an issue which was toxic in politics.

:39:49.:39:58.

We got more than we bargained for. Are they still two posh boys who

:39:58.:40:03.

don't know the price of milk? only are David Cameron and George

:40:03.:40:06.

Osborne these boys who don't know the price of milk, they are

:40:06.:40:11.

arrogant posh boys, who show no remorse or contrition or passion to

:40:11.:40:16.

want to understand the lives of others, that is their real crime.

:40:16.:40:19.

Now, taking those words as a starting point, Politics Quarterly

:40:19.:40:22.

has delved into the Parliamentary Party of 2010 onwards, and noted

:40:22.:40:26.

the public school contingent has declined. Though still half, there

:40:26.:40:29.

are, in fact, fewer Etonians now, and two-thirds didn't go to

:40:29.:40:33.

Oxbridge. Most come from business or the law, the latter no different

:40:33.:40:41.

in Labour ranks. A quarter of the Cabinet are women. Justine Greening,

:40:41.:40:47.

a wouldn't call her posh. Baroness Warsi, my own boss. Patrick

:40:47.:40:53.

McLoughlin, he is not posh. What is the definition of posh? An accent

:40:53.:41:03.
:41:03.:41:04.

or red background? -- a background. And therein lies the problem. Posh

:41:04.:41:08.

is one of those things that has no definition, but we think we know it

:41:08.:41:12.

when we see it, and look at where people have come from. Me it is

:41:12.:41:15.

true I went to private school, and I got expelled. I do not conform to

:41:15.:41:18.

your typical Tory woman. But, I think life is about how you carry

:41:18.:41:28.
:41:28.:41:29.

yourself, that is what matters. Nobody has accused me of being posh.

:41:29.:41:32.

A useful metaphor for being out of touch, or in pure class war? The

:41:33.:41:36.

label of posh is like all caricatures. A splash of truth

:41:36.:41:40.

exaggerated for effect. It is more like Downton Abbey than it is

:41:40.:41:47.

Parliament at the moment! We're joined now by Peter York, he's an

:41:47.:41:57.
:41:57.:41:58.

author and broadcaster who co-wrote the Sloane Ranger Handbook.

:41:58.:42:02.

Are you there for clay being you are a high-minded meritocracy in

:42:02.:42:07.

the Tories, or a low-budget downturn Abbey? The reality is, in

:42:07.:42:13.

1987 when we had a defeat, we lost a lot of MPs. Over successive

:42:13.:42:19.

elections, more of us are from what Tony Blair used to call bog-

:42:19.:42:22.

standard comprehensive education, half of the parliamentary party

:42:22.:42:28.

comes from state schools. A lot of grammar schools. 84 of us come from

:42:28.:42:37.

comprehensive schools. The number of public school Tory MPs rose in

:42:37.:42:41.

this election. The political Quarterly studies over a longer

:42:41.:42:46.

period. In the recent election, we had a rise of those public-school

:42:46.:42:56.

MPs, as a percentage. Up to 33%. Equally, 46% is from state schools.

:42:56.:43:02.

84 of us out of 304 are from competitive schools, many from

:43:02.:43:08.

council estates, we have learned our living and come to Parliament.

:43:08.:43:12.

We are reflective of the people out there we represent. Except, that is

:43:12.:43:15.

not seen by the people who follow the government, the government does

:43:16.:43:25.
:43:26.:43:26.

not represent that. The Conservative MPs in the top

:43:26.:43:31.

positions, from the Prime Minister down, tend to be from public

:43:31.:43:35.

schools and Oxbridge. For naturally, after the 2010 election, those

:43:35.:43:39.

people sitting in opposition, speaking on behalf of the party,

:43:39.:43:44.

have tended to be the Cabinet and ministers. We are seeing people

:43:44.:43:47.

from the 2010 intake becoming ministers and making progress,

:43:47.:43:55.

those people come from ordinary backgrounds. Look at the number of

:43:55.:44:04.

seats we have gained. You are not chock-a-block with people who

:44:04.:44:09.

represent the north of the country. We are looking to make more games

:44:09.:44:14.

in the future. We need people from the local community who are

:44:14.:44:17.

representative of their local community who can then know and

:44:17.:44:25.

feel what it is like to be a hard- working family. Peter York, D U by

:44:25.:44:31.

this decline? No, because you would expect it to happen over time. In

:44:31.:44:39.

2013, the decline from the suit of Eden, Churchill Cabinet's, not

:44:39.:44:44.

spectacular at all. What comes out of that survey is how

:44:45.:44:50.

unrepresentative parliamentarians are as a whole. Across every way.

:44:50.:44:55.

It is a graduate profession, nine out of 10. Fantastically

:44:55.:45:01.

unrepresentative, whether that is good or bad. Second, that there is

:45:01.:45:05.

and remains a real difference between the parties. If you look at

:45:05.:45:10.

the number of privately educated people in the Tory and Labour

:45:10.:45:16.

parties, it is very different. Much higher in the Tory Party. If you

:45:16.:45:20.

were to read certain newspapers, you wouldn't think that was true

:45:20.:45:26.

but it is very much the case, one bird, less than one-third the

:45:26.:45:33.

numbers of independent school products in the Labour Party than

:45:33.:45:43.
:45:43.:45:47.

I think it is a shame we are debating from the few that posh his

:45:47.:45:52.

bat. Eton provides an incredibly good education for people -- that

:45:52.:45:57.

posh is bad. I know quite a few parents who got their kids there on

:45:57.:46:07.
:46:07.:46:08.

total scholarships. It turns out thinkers. A much scholarships at

:46:08.:46:13.

Eton... I know somebody who deals with a lot of interns and says the

:46:13.:46:18.

ones they get from Eton are two or three years ahead of the others.

:46:18.:46:26.

Don't decry a good education. Don't hold an education again somebody.

:46:26.:46:29.

Maybe halt against them what they have done after their education.

:46:29.:46:34.

But I don't think anybody is arguing against a decent education.

:46:34.:46:40.

Let me finish. All that a decent education is not a good criteria

:46:40.:46:46.

for being in government. The argument is that that good

:46:47.:46:50.

education has restricted to a small number of people and that therefore

:46:50.:46:56.

restricts the number and the kind of people that get into government.

:46:56.:47:00.

I do not want to discriminate against people because they come

:47:00.:47:04.

from a state school or a private school. All I care about is whether

:47:04.:47:08.

they are doing their job well. The problem the Conservatives have in

:47:09.:47:14.

the Cabinet is that two-thirds of them, of all the ministers, are

:47:14.:47:20.

from private school backgrounds. About 10% of from Eton. In the

:47:21.:47:27.

general public 7% go to private schools. There is this via that

:47:28.:47:33.

they are not in touch with what ordinary people think -- this fear.

:47:33.:47:37.

Whether that is right or wrong, that is a perception that is out

:47:37.:47:42.

there. If there is the long march through the tall institutions of

:47:42.:47:48.

ordinary folk, as Alastair Burnet said, playing folk, which he meant

:47:48.:47:53.

as a compliment, where is the perception of your party that it

:47:53.:47:57.

has gone back to the Macmillan years? That it is full of posh

:47:57.:48:07.
:48:07.:48:09.

people? That is the perception. Why? The biggest intake of 2010

:48:09.:48:14.

since the Second World War in 2010. Many people on the backbenches are

:48:14.:48:21.

from comprehensive schools. They are still be coming to the for.

:48:21.:48:26.

Gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, it was more about that

:48:26.:48:31.

and people of ordinary backgrounds. A lot of the women and non-white

:48:31.:48:36.

Conservative MPs are pretty posh. Even one of the new black intake of

:48:37.:48:43.

Tory MPs went to Eton. There is nothing roll about being educated.

:48:43.:48:48.

But where is the huge intake from those who were not lucky enough to

:48:48.:48:54.

get that education? There is nothing wrong about being educated.

:48:54.:48:58.

More than a quarter of MPs entered parliament after being researchers

:48:58.:49:03.

and walking for MPs and we have to get more people from ordinary lives,

:49:03.:49:08.

not the Westminster bubble. understand this. I did a

:49:08.:49:12.

documentary about it. But it is easier said than done because

:49:12.:49:18.

politics is now so professional, and first advantage goes to the

:49:18.:49:22.

first movers. Be in no doubt about that, we have the three main party

:49:22.:49:27.

leaders, all of them started life basically as political researchers.

:49:27.:49:35.

All of them, straight out of Oxbridge. Oxbridge teaches you how

:49:35.:49:43.

to be a public adviser and the best comprehensive and grammar schools,

:49:43.:49:47.

because there are different kinds, the kind of comprehensive that Ed

:49:47.:49:52.

Miliband went to as opposed to other crimes. This is a problem for

:49:52.:49:56.

Labour, the professionalisation of politics. They may be more diverse

:49:56.:50:00.

in terms of social background than the Conservatives, and have become

:50:00.:50:04.

more so now they are not dominated by the unions, though they have

:50:04.:50:09.

lost a lot of working-class background people, but they also go

:50:09.:50:13.

for professional people who come straight out of Oxbridge into

:50:13.:50:20.

Westminster and never leave. Over- educated. How do you change that?

:50:20.:50:24.

In the old days people went into trade unions, the army, they built

:50:24.:50:30.

a business, from the City, and then they came into the Commons. One of

:50:30.:50:38.

the thing that has changes... of them are councillors. Before

:50:38.:50:42.

they become MPs. They have had a history of representing people,

:50:42.:50:47.

they have had a history of looking after the work of an MP it and they

:50:47.:50:51.

have got their hands dirty. Let's see what the next parliament looks

:50:51.:50:54.

like. You can come back and see us then.

:50:54.:50:58.

So David Beckham's off to Paris. There's been a bit of a kerfuffle

:50:58.:51:04.

over a ball boy. Timbuktu made the front pages of a lot of newspapers.

:51:04.:51:07.

And Prince Charles and his missus travelled by tube. Albeit only one

:51:07.:51:15.

stop. The Bentley was we did Ed the other end! -- was waiting at the

:51:16.:51:22.

other end! Let's have a look at the week in 60 seconds with Susana.

:51:22.:51:31.

High-speed rail says two will go full speed ahead, but not until

:51:31.:51:39.

2032. The PM went to a jury to talk terrorism but he said this is not

:51:39.:51:44.

the next Iran. We do not look at this region and think the answer is

:51:44.:51:51.

purely military. The noes to the left, 334. The Lib Dems joined

:51:51.:51:56.

Labour in knocking constituency boundary changes on the head.

:51:56.:52:00.

Should Scotland be an independent country? That is the question

:52:00.:52:06.

decided, again. Traces of horses have been found in the Conservative

:52:06.:52:15.

Party food chain! The MP has sent an opportunity and is secretly

:52:15.:52:25.
:52:25.:52:25.

plotting to oust David Cameron. it time to say, see you, Dave?

:52:25.:52:32.

David, you have your ear to the ground. Is this a real stalking

:52:32.:52:37.

horse or a load of nonsense? doubt there were plots going on to

:52:37.:52:41.

stand him up as a stalking horse. They wanted this group of MPs, they

:52:41.:52:46.

looked at some of the more senior MPs who might want to take on David

:52:46.:52:54.

Cameron, could not get anybody to do it. There is a group of people

:52:54.:53:01.

chattering away in the background. Who did not get jobs? No. There is

:53:01.:53:05.

disgruntlement. We were talking about the Cabinet being posh boys

:53:05.:53:09.

because perhaps David is patronising and they feel they are

:53:09.:53:16.

left out. But why do they want rid of Mr Cameron? Like you say,

:53:16.:53:20.

disgruntlement. Originally it was all about Europe. Europe seems to

:53:20.:53:25.

have, it down. When he said he would have a referendum, it took

:53:25.:53:29.

the sting out of it. What is also interesting is the fact we found

:53:29.:53:34.

out the name of Adam. We did not know it at first. We only got that

:53:34.:53:41.

name on the Friday. That has killed him off now. The kiss of death.

:53:41.:53:45.

he was a promising looking candidate. I am well aware that

:53:45.:53:50.

David Cameron is not the most popular Tory leader ever on the

:53:50.:53:54.

Tory backbenches. I understand that. But he then did give them the

:53:54.:53:58.

biggest bit of red meat they had been looking for, the in that

:53:58.:54:04.

referendum on Europe. What puzzled me was the timing. -- Pete in out

:54:04.:54:09.

referendum. Exactly. Did he sends it coming and say, I would deliver

:54:09.:54:15.

that speech on Europe? Because that has quelled the disgruntlement.

:54:15.:54:20.

Safe until 2015, that is where they are saying. Are you in any doubt

:54:20.:54:24.

that David Cameron will lead his party into the next election?

:54:24.:54:31.

have no doubt about that, I think he will. Ideas of being knocked

:54:31.:54:37.

down, a load of nonsense? These disgruntled people are now calling

:54:37.:54:42.

for George Osborne to be removed. He might be an easier target.

:54:42.:54:45.

are saying if he can't get growth moving, then perhaps they should

:54:45.:54:51.

remove him. Ed Miliband says we can sense the moves are hurting us, we

:54:51.:54:54.

just consents it is healing the economy at the moment and that is

:54:54.:54:59.

what we need to see -- we just cannot sense. It is only two years

:54:59.:55:05.

away. If we are agreed that as things stand at the moment, but two

:55:05.:55:10.

leaders of the two biggest parties will be there on polling day, are

:55:10.:55:14.

we also in no doubt that the next election will be fought on the old

:55:14.:55:20.

boundaries? I think so. Boundary reform will not happen. No and that

:55:20.:55:24.

would have helped the Tories a lot. David Cameron is riding quite high

:55:24.:55:29.

at the moment with the EU speech and he has done well in Africa, I

:55:29.:55:33.

think he must be very irritated by that. That would have meant 20

:55:33.:55:39.

seats for the Tories. And he needs those. The Poles or Labour were not

:55:39.:55:42.

good at the weekend but they have got better since -- the opinion

:55:42.:55:51.

polls for Labour. But when we say good, we need 10%. When I speak to

:55:51.:55:55.

Labour people, I detect they wonder, shouldn't it be a lot bigger at the

:55:55.:56:03.

moment? It should. Mid-term. They are not having a good time. People

:56:03.:56:09.

are being hurt in so many ways. Taxes, fuel, benefits. They should

:56:09.:56:14.

be much higher. I think the pressure is now one George Osborne.

:56:14.:56:19.

The economy is what is causing the tour is the biggest worry. That

:56:19.:56:24.

will win or lose them the next election -- causing the Tories.

:56:24.:56:28.

I cannot get past the fact that he says we are all in it together and

:56:28.:56:34.

very clearly, he is a toff, he is very rich, and it does not hurt him

:56:34.:56:41.

up like it hurts us. And he is one of their only northern constituency

:56:41.:56:46.

MPs. From the posh bit of Cheshire it. I think Mr Cameron will stick

:56:46.:56:51.

with him, they are a double-act and they have none of the Gordon Brown-

:56:51.:57:01.

Tony Blair tension. It just too. Luckily, I am far enough West!

:57:01.:57:09.

- Hs2. I believe we need it and we have to have it. If you look at the

:57:09.:57:13.

first phase from London to Birmingham, they have listened a

:57:13.:57:17.

lot. They have created tunnels. They are trying to listen to people

:57:17.:57:25.

and as long as they have that, it is good news. The Sun readers are

:57:26.:57:30.

up for this, particularly in the north. It will credit 100,000 jobs

:57:30.:57:38.

in those cities, good for business, cut travel times. We complained

:57:38.:57:47.

about the... We take it for granted. As we do the M25. And the M40. My

:57:47.:57:50.

favourite motorway. There's just time before we go to

:57:50.:57:54.

find out the answer to our quiz. The question was: Sally Bercow has

:57:54.:57:58.

told Twitter that she has had a tattoo. So what was it? Was it a

:57:58.:58:01.

portcullis? John Bercow's coat of arms? The names of her children? Or

:58:01.:58:06.

an anchor? So what's the correct answer? Names of her children?

:58:06.:58:13.

dancer. She obviously read the Sun this morning. It was the shape of a

:58:13.:58:22.

heart. Be it obviously means no more children. Three is enough!

:58:22.:58:27.

That's all for today. Thanks to our guests. The one o'clock news is

:58:27.:58:33.

starting over on BBC One now. I'll be back on BBC One on Sunday with

:58:33.:58:43.
:58:43.:58:44.

the Sunday Politics. Our guest will be William Hague, the Foreign

:58:44.:58:49.

Andrew Neil presents the latest political news, interviews and debate.

Andrew is joined by journalists David Wooding and Anne Diamond, and talks Arab politics with Respect MP George Galloway.


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