05/02/2013 Daily Politics


05/02/2013

Jo Coburn with all the latest political news including the gay marriage debate in the House of Commons, and where should Richard III be buried?


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Afternoon. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Today it is all about the

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bells - wedding and division. Yes, it is the big day in the Commons,

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but will Dave's proposals for gay marriage lead to a divorce with his

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party? We will have the latest before tonight's vote.

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Farewell Chris Huhne. But will a coalition war break out over your

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seat? We will be looking ahead to the Eastleigh by-election.

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We'll meet one of the most powerful men in British politics. Recognise

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him? No? Then you had better stay tuned.

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And talking of powerful men. Who would have thought the bones of

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Richard III would cook up a political storm?

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All that in the next hour. With us for the duration is the Guardian

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columnist, Polly Toynbee. Welcome. Now, first today, let's talk about

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something that has been dubbed the bedroom tax, which isn't a tax at

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all. People in council homes with a spare room have been told they will

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have their housing benefit reduced unless they move to a smaller home.

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Yesterday, the Labour MP Kerry McCarthy raised the issue in the

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House of Commons. She was worried about what would happen to people

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who couldn't afford to stay in their homes but the Lib Dem

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Minister Don Foster said that Labour had supported a similar idea.

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The department's assessment says that more hundred -- more than

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660,000 claimants would be affected by these changes and it is

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ridiculous to assume they can find the money from their own pockets.

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They will be forced to lose their home. What assessment has been made

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of the availability of smaller accommodation? Want to be pushed

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into more expensive private accommodation? -- won't they be

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pushed? There are a very large number of properties that are

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currently under occupied and that will help enormously in a policy

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that is identical, are identical, to the one that was adopted by the

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label government in respect of housing benefit being paid in the

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private rented sector! We are taking the advice of the Labour

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Party who said a year ago, housing benefit is to hire and we need

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tough minded reform. -- housing benefit is too high a.

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Isn't this a fairly practical way to reduce it? The reason housing

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benefit is so high is because the value of housing has gone up so

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much, rent has gone up so much, and unless one government or Another

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find a way of pegging it to inflation at least, that will keep

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happening. One story from Hartlepool, one from Liverpool.

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Families whose children have recently died and were told they

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had to move because they have now got a spare bedroom. Not only do

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they lose their child but they have got to moves. Where to? There often

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are not smaller council properties available so they are told they had

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got to go but without being given the place they can go to. There

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will always be these tragic cases when you design legislation. There

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will be deserving people who lose out. But in terms of what changes

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could be made to bring down the bill of housing benefit, isn't this

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a fairly easy way of freeing up some living space if there spare

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rooms are not being used? A lot of those people will have to go into

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temporary accommodation and bed- and-breakfasts, which will cost the

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earth. The councils have no discretion. This is very rigid. The

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council cannot say, we do not have any one-bedroom property, you are

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in a two-bedroom property with your child, and they do not have the

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discretion to say, so we will leave things as they are. Often, absurdly,

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councils will end up picking up the bill for trying to temporarily

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house these people who have been thrown out. But to call it a

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bedroom tax is to imply something different to what is suggested,

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which is a way of reducing the amount of housing benefit paid to

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people? It is a shorthand. The with political implications. If one of

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your children go to university and may be coming back in the holiday,

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suddenly you are told you cannot be in a two-bedroom place any more,

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your student has gone. We all know students don't go! They come back

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home. And David Cameron is proposing they come back home until

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they are 25, but their bedroom will not be there because while they are

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at university, it will have been gone.

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You can hardly have failed to notice that there has been a bit of

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a barney going on about gay marriage. David Cameron raised the

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issue when he spoke about it at the Conservative Party conference in

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2011. But despite getting warm applause at the time, it by no

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means pleased everyone in his party. The argument has been going on for

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months but so far MPs haven't actually voted on anything. Today

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that changes with the second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex

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Couples) Bill. Jon Pienaar is out on College Green and he can tell us

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more. This piece of legislation

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essentially is going to open up the practice of civil registry

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operations carrying out full- fledged weddings between same-sex

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couples. They will be recognised and recorded as weddings. That is

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the largest change that will take place when this piece of

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legislation becomes law. The most controversial bit as you suggested

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is where churches get involved. Because of the status of the Church

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of England, as the established Church, the Church of England,

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which has stated its opposition, is specifically excluded. The Catholic

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Church has made its use known. No church will be forced to take part.

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-- made its opinions known. It is still enormously complicated

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ethically and particularly so for David Cameron and the Tories.

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It has caused a lot of political argument.

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We expect the government to win. David Cameron will have a majority

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because Labour and the Liberal Democrats will be with him. There

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will be an enormous split on the Tory side, 120 MPs are clearly

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against this. They will be outnumbered. David Cameron will get

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his way. Whether or not this is David Cameron's way of showing how

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far the Tory party has changed or if he believes it, but others say

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there could be a price to pay for David Cameron. That is part of a

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wider debate -- debate. We know three senior Cabinet

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members, Tories, have made an appeal to their party today in the

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leading papers. That could make a difference. There

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are people who do not feel very strongly one way or another who

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could be influenced and they could be swayed by this intervention by

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senior ministers. But so many have pretty clear ideas about this. It

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will not have a massive effect but we know there will be a big, big

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division on the vote at 7pm this evening. It is a free vote, people

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are free to vote with their consciences. It could feel to David

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Cameron as if he has been given a bit of a pasting.

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Well done despite that background helicopter noise there.

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And we are joined now by the director of the gay-rights campaign

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group, Stonewall, Ben Summerskill. And from Catholic Voices, Fiona

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O'Reilly. The bill gives religious organisations the chance to opt out

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but they have been the most vocal opponents. Why? While the

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government is not trying to redefine religious marriage it is

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looking to change civil marriage and that affects all of us in

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society. The church is speaking out because they see the grave risks

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that this brings. They see the risks coming from two different

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places. They are looking at what happens when we changed a

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fundamental building block of our society, marriage. If you change

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the definition of marriage, you effectively removes from law the

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ability to protect marriage defined in that way. The Church says

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marriage is good for children and if you take out of law the ability

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to recognise and protect the fact that it is only between husband and

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wife that new life can come and be given its best start, you we can

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society as a whole. -- you then we can society. Stonewall have never

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regarded ourselves as a gay rights group. The reason I say that is

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because all we have ever sought is exactly the same rights that

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everyone else takes for granted from the day they were born. The

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reality is, they are already tens of thousands of children in this

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country who are grubbing up with lesbian or gay parents -- there are

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already. Growing up with lesbian or gay parents. Fiona may not agree

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with that but that children are entitled to grow up without

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structure. There is no evidence that children who grow up but two

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mums and dads N-Dubz any different from any other children to -- end

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up any different. We do not know what the impact are because this is

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a recent change, but same-sex couples and those who are adopting

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children are doing a splendid job in difficult circumstances. However,

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the Data says that if you want to give a job the best start in life,

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and this is not to be disrespectful of other arrangements, then you do

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so by allowing children to be raised by their biological mother

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and father in a stable and committed relationship. If this

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legislation was truly looking to make marriage available to same-sex

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couples on a completely equal basis, then you would have to wonder why

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same-sex couples do not have to consummate the relationship? Where

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a dog Tree for same-sex couples will not be grounds for divorce --

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why adultery of for same-sex couples? I think you have

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misunderstood the legislation. There is unreasonable behaviour in

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terms of adultery. There is very little evidence that that has

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presented any difficulty in the seven years we have had civil

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partnerships. I do appreciate that some people, particularly in the

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Roman Catholic Church, do like to get obsessed with the sexual

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details of consummation but gay people are not quite as obsessed

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with sex as you might be yourself. Can you respond to the point about

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to make better parents? You seem to cite evidence that gay couples

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could not be as effective? There is absolutely clear evidence now, and

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there used to be a lot of bogus evidence to the contrary, there is

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clear evidence from places like the University of Cambridge that

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children do not grow up develop mentally different from others.

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There are 3 million children in this country growing up in single-

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parent households. If they really cared about two-parent families,

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they would be addressing those long before they turned their attention

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time and time and time again to a tiny number of lesbian and gay

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families. We are not talking about the individual experiences of

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couples, we are talking about how an institution is defined in law

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and what we can provide for, and what we are saying is that it is

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important that in law we are able to recognise a unit, a husband and

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wife, and be able to provide for that and for other relationships.

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For centuries, marriage has quite properly been redefined as people's

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understanding of the changes. Only 20 years ago, rape in marriage was

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made an awful. It is only 15 years ago that people could start getting

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married in stately homes and amusement parks. Can I go to the

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issue of the redefinition of marriage. I think most outsiders

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are a bit puzzled by this because it is just a word. The legal status

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of being a civil partner, nothing changes about that. They have all

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the same legal rights, tax rights inheritance rights, so the argument

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is literally about whether one group of people should be allowed

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to use the word marriage. It has no other legal meaning. Most people

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are saying, the stable door has long shut. The course has gone. We

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have gay rights. -- do horse. We have many gay couples with children.

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All you are left with is the empty word. You can fight over that but I

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think by now the rest of society has moved on and are a bit

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perplexed by it. What about religious organisations? The

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provisions that will protect the Church of England for example. Do

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you think they should be protected. It seems to be idiotic and sad that

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we have a new Archbishop of Canterbury who could be starting

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again, saying, this is distracting people from what we are really

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about, and it pushes the church back to talking about nothing but

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sex. Michael goes's own department has said, safeguards are not worth

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the paper they are we to none -- Michael Gove. Basically because

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what they do is they say the government will take no action

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unless there is discrimination, and discrimination is a highly

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contested topic, and the European Court of Human Rights would be the

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Court of Appeal for anything that happens in this country, and last

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year they said if a government introduces same-sex legislation,

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they would have to make marriage available to everybody on exactly

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the same basis once that is in place and that would also affect

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:15:32.:15:39.

The European Court has made it quite clear that family matters are

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delegated to individual states. Most hopefully, Fiona's

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organisation produced a briefing last year which said precisely that.

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And that briefing was before a particular case, which proved that

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actually, the courts have moved on. We have to take regard of

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legislation. The other thing people have to look at is, what has

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happened in Canada, Spain and other countries. And what you see is, you

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see divorce rates rising, and... This is a nonsense. The Government

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has offered this quadruple lock... It has offered it to denominations

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such as the Roman Catholics, who do not want to engage in same-sex

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marriage. But there is also the really important issue of religious

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freedom. There are denominations success the quitters, who have

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prayed, who have consulted a decided that they want to host

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same-sex marriages. It is not for a denominations such as your own to

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come and trample over the religious freedom of other denominations.

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This is not about the Catholic Church imposing its own

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understanding of religious marriage. The Government is changing the

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definition of civil marriage, which affects all of us. Two Conservative

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MPs whose views are not married on this issue are in the central lobby.

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Welcome to the programme, Peter Bone and Nick Herbert. This letter,

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signed by George Osborne and Theresa May, saying that a

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substantial majority of the public now favour allowing same-sex

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couples to marry, this is the right thing to do at the right time - do

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you agree with it? It is a very interesting argument. What it says

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is that people think this is a good measure. I do not think that my

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view or anybody else's you really matters, it is what the people

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think. This is not in anybody's manifesto. Nobody has put this

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forward as a policy. Let the people decide. It will unite the

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Conservative Party overnight, like the European referendum dead. --

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did. What I am concerned about is the people on the other side of the

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argument, who do not want that referendum, which I think is anti-

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democratic. This kind of issue is usually decided with legislation. I

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do not object to the principles of a referendum, but since all of the

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a pendant -- independent opinion polls are suggesting that a

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majority of the public is in favour of this, then... You have no need

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to worry about a referendum, then. We cannot sort every issue out with

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a referendum. Normally, Parliament takes a view on these issues.

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Normally it is a manifesto issue. David Cameron has always made his

:18:47.:18:52.

position clear on this - in his first speech as party leader at the

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party conference, he spoke about this and won applause, which

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reflects the fact that attitudes are changing in the Conservative

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Party as elsewhere. This is very important - three days before the

:19:07.:19:12.

general election, on Sky Television, the Prime Minister to be said he

:19:12.:19:16.

had no plans to bring in gay marriage. That's what he said,

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that's how people voted, and that is why what Nick Herbert has said

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it is not correct. It was not in the party manifesto at the general

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election, and the Prime Minister to be said he would not be introducing

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gay marriage. The change has happened after the election, which

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is undemocratic. But you're getting a free vote, which is quite often...

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It is not. You know very well that on this motion, the most important

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section of what we are going to vote on today, there is a heavy

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three-line whip, and any minister who votes against it will be thrown

:19:52.:19:58.

out of the government. It is not a free vote. Well, it is certainly a

:19:58.:20:03.

free vote on the key issue, the issue of principle - do you support

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it or not? We know that some ministers will not support it, so I

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think that indicates that it is a free vote. That having been

:20:12.:20:15.

established, and I think the majority of the House of Commons

:20:15.:20:20.

will support it, the Government is perfectly entitled to say, we need

:20:20.:20:25.

sufficient time to debate it. It will have two days of consideration

:20:25.:20:29.

of the floor of the House of Commons, which is additional to

:20:29.:20:35.

what had been expected. We have heard an awful lot of use being

:20:35.:20:39.

presented on this issue - do you dismissed the view which has been

:20:40.:20:44.

expressed by some in your party that it could actually damage the

:20:44.:20:51.

Conservative Party electorally? do not dismiss any views. Firstly,

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we have got the political issues, and I disagree that it will be

:20:55.:21:02.

damaging to the Conservative Party. I don't think there is any evidence

:21:02.:21:07.

to suggest that. Any party has to Mount a broad appeal to society.

:21:07.:21:11.

The most important issue is actually the issue of principle,

:21:11.:21:15.

and I respect the fact that some people in conscience disagree. We

:21:15.:21:18.

must make sure that religious freedom is guaranteed in the

:21:18.:21:23.

legislation. I believe it has been. I would not support the bill

:21:23.:21:27.

otherwise. But let's remember, if you do not want to enter a same-sex

:21:27.:21:31.

marriage, you do not have to. If your church does not want to

:21:31.:21:40.

conduct it, it does not have to. So, why is this proposal harmful? Why

:21:40.:21:46.

is it harmful to the institution of marriage? I would say, far from it.

:21:46.:21:51.

Peter Bone, that's the view which was expressed by David Cameron -

:21:51.:21:55.

you are a conservative, let everyone be able to opt into the

:21:55.:22:00.

institution of marriage, in which you believe... I personally believe

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that marriage is only between a man and woman. That is not to say that

:22:04.:22:09.

my view or David Cameron's view is right. That is why I say that it

:22:09.:22:17.

should be put to the British people. The programme motion is not a free

:22:17.:22:22.

vote, and that is really the problem. Today will be -- we will

:22:22.:22:25.

be allowed a maximum of four minutes to discuss this. There has

:22:25.:22:29.

not been enough time. The Government is trying to get this

:22:29.:22:34.

through, this huge constitutional change, without proper scrutiny. It

:22:34.:22:38.

is really, really wrong. It is a simple answer - let the British

:22:38.:22:42.

people decide. Why not have it on the same day as the in-out

:22:42.:22:50.

referendum on Europe? Briefly, Polly Toynbee, listening to this,

:22:50.:22:54.

out in the country, there could be a feeling that the Tory party is to

:22:54.:22:59.

some extent tearing itself apart over this, but once it is done and

:22:59.:23:04.

it is over, and if it does go through, will it not be forgotten

:23:04.:23:08.

about? I think the issue itself will be forgotten by tomorrow

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morning. I think it is so irrelevant. People are absolutely

:23:13.:23:17.

puzzled - how is it that a party in power, in the worst depression of

:23:17.:23:21.

our lifetime, is wasting time on something most of the voters...

:23:22.:23:26.

What about fox-hunting? That was not in the middle of the worst of

:23:26.:23:34.

the Depression. I think what we'll -- what we will be left with is a

:23:34.:23:37.

sense of quite how disunited the Tories are. Europe is still

:23:37.:23:42.

bubbling away. There are all sorts of issues tearing them apart.

:23:42.:23:46.

That's to say nothing of these curious groups plotting against a

:23:46.:23:51.

leader who was really rather successful, outscoring the

:23:51.:23:54.

opposition by quite some way. Why on earth are they are plotting

:23:54.:23:59.

against him? These kinds of things are very toxic for voters. They do

:23:59.:24:04.

not like splits within parties. Unity is very important. Let's see

:24:04.:24:11.

what happens later on this evening. 7913 miles is quite a long way to

:24:11.:24:16.

go for a meeting, especially when the meeting gets cancelled. Two

:24:16.:24:20.

Falkland Island politicians were invited to London by William Hague

:24:20.:24:23.

to take part in discussions with him and Argentina's Foreign

:24:23.:24:27.

Minister. Their presence was not welcomed by the Argentinian

:24:27.:24:31.

politician, who pulled out. Undaunted, they have come anyway,

:24:32.:24:39.

and they are on College green. any way you slice it, 8,000 miles

:24:39.:24:43.

is a helluva long way to come for a meeting. Perhaps what it shows you

:24:43.:24:48.

is just what a sensitive issue this is for Argentina, and how difficult

:24:48.:24:51.

it will be to find a resolution for this dispute which keeps everybody

:24:51.:24:58.

happy. I am joined now by Dick Sawle and Jan Cheek from the

:24:58.:25:02.

Falklands Legislative Assembly. Has this not been a wasted journey?

:25:03.:25:07.

at all. We will be meeting with the Foreign Secretary, and with some

:25:07.:25:11.

MPs from Parliament. And hopefully, we will be able to speak to Senor

:25:11.:25:15.

Timerman himself. If we do not talk up, the problem will just get

:25:15.:25:19.

larger. Do you think he will come and see you somewhere at the

:25:19.:25:24.

airport perhaps, Jan Cheek? It is rather unlikely, but we thought we

:25:24.:25:30.

should take this opportunity to come across and make sure that the

:25:30.:25:35.

island's view was represented, and that any miss intervention --

:25:35.:25:39.

misinformation which might be put out could be corrected promptly.

:25:39.:25:43.

you not feel a bit used by the Foreign Office, in some respects?

:25:43.:25:46.

It was fairly unlikely that the Argentinians would sit down with

:25:46.:25:51.

you guys. Have you been used in some way to head up a meeting which

:25:51.:25:57.

was never going to happen? I don't think so. It was very clear that if

:25:57.:26:00.

Argentina wanted to have a bilateral conversation with Great

:26:00.:26:04.

Britain, they would be quite free to do that, on any issue, apart

:26:04.:26:07.

from the Falkland Islands. They have made it clear that they do not

:26:07.:26:10.

wish to have any conversations about the Falkland Islands over the

:26:10.:26:15.

top of our heads. It is fundamental, we have the right of self-

:26:15.:26:19.

determination. The British Government respect that. I am

:26:19.:26:22.

sensing from what you say that you have got the referendum coming up

:26:22.:26:27.

next month, and the chances of you voting to go with Argentina are

:26:27.:26:30.

pretty unlikely. Just to play devil's advocate, what would be so

:26:30.:26:36.

wrong with that, planners are Reyes is closer than London? I don't

:26:36.:26:41.

think geographical Brum meet City - - geographical proximity is the

:26:41.:26:46.

issue. It is about the Falkland Islanders and what they want.

:26:47.:26:50.

you were sitting down with Hector Timerman, what would you be saying

:26:51.:26:55.

to him? I would be saying, let's talk. We have some issues we would

:26:55.:26:59.

like to talk about, areas where be can co-operate to mutual benefit.

:26:59.:27:03.

We have the oil industry, opportunities for South America, we

:27:03.:27:07.

have problems with fish stocks, which we used to talk to them about.

:27:07.:27:12.

We used to have regular dialogue with them and regular research.

:27:12.:27:18.

there any way of resolving this to everyone's satisfaction? I think it

:27:18.:27:22.

will be difficult with the current stance of the Argentine government,

:27:22.:27:28.

but we are always open to talk about regional interests. I would

:27:28.:27:33.

agree with that. Also, one has to bear in mind that governments to

:27:33.:27:36.

change. We might have a government in Argentina some time soon which

:27:36.:27:46.
:27:46.:27:46.

we can talk to. I think the Chancellor -- the chances of the

:27:46.:27:52.

Chancellor giving these two a lift back to South America are slim.

:27:52.:27:56.

Last week we heard the Electoral Commission's verdict on the

:27:56.:27:59.

proposed Scottish referendum question. This week, preparations

:27:59.:28:03.

north of the border are gathering pace, with the Scottish Government

:28:03.:28:06.

publishing plans for a transition to an independent Scotland. The

:28:06.:28:11.

referendum has been scheduled for autumn 2014. Under the plans, if

:28:11.:28:15.

the Scottish people vote yes, Independence Day would be set for

:28:15.:28:20.

March 2016. Elections to a new independent Scottish Parliament

:28:20.:28:23.

would take place in May of that year. Before these elections could

:28:23.:28:27.

be held, a written constitution would have to be drawn up. The

:28:27.:28:31.

Westminster government would have to legislate to end the Treaty of

:28:31.:28:35.

Union. The Scottish Government is asking the Westminster Government

:28:35.:28:38.

to end to intro preparatory discussions about this. But David

:28:38.:28:48.

Cameron is resisting. -- to enter into... One might suggest you're

:28:48.:28:51.

jumping the gun a bit with this document. The referendum campaign

:28:51.:29:00.

has only just started... Not at all. The last time on -- the last time I

:29:00.:29:04.

was on a Daily Politics, you were asking if we would act on the

:29:04.:29:06.

recommendations of the Electoral Commission, and that is exactly

:29:06.:29:10.

what we are doing. It is now for the UK Government to respond and

:29:10.:29:17.

tell us how they would sit down and discuss matters of process. We are

:29:17.:29:20.

asking for an exchange of information. We are not asking for

:29:20.:29:24.

the UK Government to campaign for a yes vote, that might be too or

:29:24.:29:31.

ambitious. It is certainly a comprehensive document, given we

:29:31.:29:35.

have not even got a precise date for the referendum itself yet. You

:29:35.:29:38.

say you want to follow the advice of the Electoral Commission, but

:29:38.:29:41.

they have said that the voters will want to know about the process

:29:41.:29:45.

following the referendum, but they do not need to know the exact terms

:29:45.:29:48.

of independence, neither do they have to be agreed before the vote,

:29:48.:29:53.

so why are you rushing? We are not rushing, we are taking our time.

:29:53.:29:57.

Not so long ago, we were told we were being too slow. I think we

:29:57.:30:01.

have got the balance right. We will publish information on what

:30:01.:30:04.

independence would mean, the benefits of independence, and those

:30:04.:30:08.

will be published over the course of the campaign. In the democratic

:30:08.:30:13.

vote, the people of Scotland will have their say in the autumn of

:30:13.:30:20.

2014. You could argue that you are becoming a bit obsessed with

:30:20.:30:24.

process. The Scottish Secretary has said, the Scottish Government

:30:24.:30:27.

should be concentrating on substantive issues in this debate,

:30:27.:30:34.

rather than endless distractions over process. They say, once again,

:30:34.:30:37.

they are devoting their energy to the picture frame, without having a

:30:37.:30:47.
:30:47.:30:53.

You have still got to resolve the issue of financial assets and

:30:54.:30:59.

liabilities, military bases, overseas assets. Are they not the

:30:59.:31:05.

things people want to hear about in Scotland? People want a certainty

:31:05.:31:09.

around continuity. We are more than happy to talk about the substantive

:31:09.:31:14.

issues on Scottish independence, while Scotland would be a wealthier,

:31:14.:31:20.

healthier, fairer and green men nation? People have to know that

:31:20.:31:24.

the process will be fair and positive and the challenge I put

:31:24.:31:27.

back to the UK government is they can solve this in one day if they

:31:27.:31:33.

agree a joint station with us -- joint statement with us on matters

:31:33.:31:38.

of process? Well would you expect David Cameron and the government in

:31:38.:31:44.

Westminster have to agree to details of a constitution now when

:31:44.:31:48.

they are opposed to the idea of independence? We are not asking

:31:48.:31:53.

them to agree to the details of the written constitution. We are asking

:31:53.:31:57.

them to exchange Thatcher will information to show what options

:31:57.:32:04.

are available to Scotland -- exchange factor will informations.

:32:04.:32:10.

We should exchange that information so that there is be clear process

:32:10.:32:14.

on how opposed a referendum negotiations will be conducted. One

:32:14.:32:19.

of our challenges was that the process would be too quick. Since

:32:19.:32:24.

1945, of the 30 nations that have become independent and recognised

:32:24.:32:29.

by the UN, on average the timescale was 15 months, which just goes to

:32:29.:32:33.

show that the position of Scottish government had taken was in keeping

:32:33.:32:39.

with the experience of other normal and independent nations. One of the

:32:39.:32:44.

substantive issues in Scotland's status in terms of membership of

:32:44.:32:50.

the European Union. How are those discussions covering with the EU?

:32:50.:32:53.

The Deputy First Minister has written to the nations of the

:32:53.:32:57.

European Union. A new response? I am not sure what correspondence

:32:58.:33:03.

has been received. I think you would know. The Deputy First

:33:03.:33:09.

Minister has written to the nations within the European Union. Our

:33:09.:33:16.

position is that Scotland will stay in the EU on the vote in 2014 and

:33:16.:33:20.

will have that period to discuss with the European Union our

:33:20.:33:25.

position. It is curious that in the debate in the UK context, the

:33:25.:33:30.

question of whether Scotland will be in Europe is coloured by the

:33:30.:33:34.

position of the UK government, which the Tories are certainly

:33:34.:33:41.

proposing a referendum to take the UK out of Europe. Scotland would

:33:41.:33:45.

only have a say it will have been the powers of an independent nation.

:33:45.:33:49.

What do you make of the ideal setting out the terms of the

:33:49.:33:54.

transition explicitly at this stage? It is sensible. They want to

:33:54.:33:59.

make it seem practical and likely. The more they can discuss it in

:33:59.:34:03.

detail, the more realistic it seems. And that is why the government is

:34:03.:34:08.

worried and will not engage. Indeed and I understand. They do not want

:34:08.:34:12.

to talk about what will happen to pensions, defence, difficult

:34:12.:34:19.

subjects, but the SNP will have their answers to that. Will they

:34:19.:34:25.

bite the referendum date? They will have good enough answers. But

:34:25.:34:28.

others will say they are not good enough answers and the voters will

:34:29.:34:34.

decide. I think the big decisive issue will be, who looks as if they

:34:34.:34:37.

will win the Westminster election? If it looks as if the Conservatives

:34:38.:34:43.

might win again, I think Scotland might go off. If it looks as though

:34:43.:34:47.

the Conservatives are going to use, which it does at the moment, I

:34:47.:34:52.

think it will swing. Scotland is not a Conservative country. Being

:34:52.:34:56.

governed by Conservatives, it is an abrasive time to be having that

:34:56.:35:03.

referendum. Or write. -- a right. Tony thinks it is about time Ed

:35:03.:35:06.

announced a few ideas. But should they be New Labour, Old Labour,

:35:06.:35:10.

Blue Labour, purple? Or even just Ed's Labour? The Daily Politics has

:35:10.:35:14.

been given a rare interview with one figure in the party who is

:35:14.:35:17.

likely to have a big influence on their future direction of travel.

:35:17.:35:22.

But who is he? I will let David Thompson explain.

:35:22.:35:27.

Meet one of the most powerful men in British politics. He keeps a low

:35:27.:35:32.

profile but he might be setting the course of our next government. Ed

:35:32.:35:36.

Miliband certainly hopes so. He is the ideas man for the Labour Party.

:35:36.:35:40.

His job is to come up with the policies that will convince you to

:35:40.:35:46.

vote for Ed Miliband in the next election. But to his seat? He is a

:35:46.:35:50.

sailor's son who went to a comprehensive in Portsmouth, then

:35:50.:35:54.

academia before working for the Labour Party. He became the link

:35:54.:35:58.

between Number Ten and the unions in the first Tony Blair government.

:35:58.:36:02.

He ran unsuccessfully for deputy leadership in 2007. There are

:36:03.:36:07.

interesting, but where does Jon Cruddas begin with the day-job?

:36:07.:36:13.

Getting people to vote Labour again? Has Labour regain the trust

:36:13.:36:18.

of the voters? Not completely. We did not do enough on housing and we

:36:18.:36:22.

acknowledge that. There is a massive crisis in terms of social

:36:22.:36:27.

housing. We did not do enough on immigration. Ed Miliband is

:36:27.:36:31.

beginning to acknowledge that in terms of some of the recent

:36:31.:36:37.

speeches. We have got a lot to do. There were some negative things but

:36:37.:36:42.

our record was extraordinarily strong for 13 years. We have to

:36:42.:36:46.

acknowledge some of the problems but at the same time, owner our

:36:46.:36:50.

record and develop a policy agenda that goes along with people's

:36:50.:36:57.

concerns today. Labour might be ahead in the polls but their

:36:57.:37:02.

leader's personal ratings usually lag behind David Cameron's. You six

:37:02.:37:07.

that over time. I did not know Ed Miliband until I took the job --

:37:08.:37:13.

you fix that. I like what I see and the more I see of him, the more

:37:13.:37:16.

impressed I am. He is tough and resilient. He knows when he wants

:37:16.:37:22.

to take the party. It is not fully done in terms of projecting Ed

:37:22.:37:27.

Miliband but over time, I am very confident we will achieve this.

:37:27.:37:31.

editor where they have not seen eye to eye is on Europe. Jon Cruddas

:37:32.:37:38.

was in favour of a referendum. What does he think now? Until I formally

:37:38.:37:43.

took this job my position was fairly clear. Look, the party

:37:43.:37:49.

political position is that we do not see any need for it imminently.

:37:49.:37:54.

Because of the nature of the crisis in the eurozone. To spite holding

:37:54.:38:00.

the reins, Jon Cruddas's -- despite holding the reins, Jon Cruddas

:38:00.:38:04.

insists the policies will not be a shopping list of Labour ideas.

:38:04.:38:10.

the party put forward an agenda I would want, it would not win. That

:38:10.:38:14.

is not the exercise! The task is to build a process. Use the policy

:38:14.:38:20.

review to tell the story about where we want to take the country.

:38:20.:38:23.

Reform the party. Demonstrate it is across the concerns of the British

:38:23.:38:28.

people, and sell that at the time of the general election.

:38:28.:38:32.

Labour's battle plan may not bear too many of the fingerprints of its

:38:32.:38:37.

co-ordinator, which is exactly how Jon Cruddas likes it.

:38:37.:38:43.

We are joined now from the pollsters IPSOS MORI by Ben Page.

:38:43.:38:48.

Polly Toynbee, quite a candid admission from Jon Cruddas, looking

:38:48.:38:52.

after the policy review, that if he put forward his favoured agenda,

:38:52.:38:58.

the voters would never go for it. Is he the right man for the job?

:38:58.:39:04.

Absolutely. He is a great thinker. Not a nuts-and-bolts man. But of

:39:04.:39:08.

course he is right, Labour's dilemma, from the beginning when it

:39:08.:39:13.

was founded, is how far would it go? We would like to be more social

:39:13.:39:18.

democratic but we have to be careful to what extent. Spending of

:39:18.:39:21.

course is spending -- restricted and to what extent do we have to be

:39:22.:39:27.

careful about public opinion? To what extent should Ed Miliband be a

:39:27.:39:31.

strong leader? To what extent should you follow what his focus

:39:31.:39:36.

groups are telling him? He did not support Ed Miliband from the office.

:39:36.:39:41.

He was a David Miliband supporter. Can we be confident he really

:39:41.:39:47.

believes in Ed Miliband? I think he does. Jon Cruddas is alone us. He

:39:47.:39:52.

has been on his own. He has not been at the heart of things. People

:39:52.:39:58.

have tried to get him to run for leadership and things... He did not

:39:58.:40:04.

become deputy leader. The he is an academic and a thinker. He is a

:40:04.:40:08.

kind of Oliver Letwin figure of Labour. Do you want to hear the

:40:08.:40:12.

policy ideas now? Looking at the economy, which we know is the issue

:40:12.:40:17.

that concerns everyone, do we need to hear a strong narrative on the

:40:17.:40:22.

economy from Labour now? necessarily to be honest. I still

:40:22.:40:28.

think it is true that government tends to lose elections. People

:40:28.:40:32.

cast their votes on three things. Their views of the party, their

:40:32.:40:36.

views of the policies and their views of the leader. The policies

:40:36.:40:42.

are only one part of it. Their gut feeling about the state of the

:40:42.:40:47.

party also matters and increasingly, with leadership debates, the leader

:40:47.:40:51.

themselves matter. At the last general election, people were

:40:51.:40:55.

voting on the character of their leader just as much as the policies.

:40:56.:41:00.

As we get me with a time, the clamour in Westminster for policies

:41:00.:41:04.

and red meat of course will rise but at the moment, I would observe

:41:04.:41:08.

that Labour seem to be doing well by watching the Conservatives fall

:41:08.:41:14.

over their shoelaces. In terms of polling, if you think about the

:41:14.:41:18.

economy, no growth, rising inflation, squeezed living

:41:18.:41:24.

standards, and they are 10, at best 15 points ahead. You could argue

:41:24.:41:30.

they are not capitalising on it enough. Yes. It is true that before

:41:30.:41:33.

the 2010 election, there were points that the Conservatives, who

:41:33.:41:39.

did not win, were 22 points ahead on the same measure, so Labour are

:41:39.:41:43.

not in some place where it is cut and dried. But it is certainly

:41:43.:41:50.

better than it has been for them. In a way, Ed Miliband's ratings, he

:41:50.:41:54.

does less well against his party then David Cameron does against his,

:41:54.:42:00.

but he has recovered from a very low point at the end of 2011. He

:42:00.:42:05.

has regained his stature. Any talk of leadership challenges have

:42:05.:42:09.

evaporated. He has a bit more time. I would probably say he has another

:42:09.:42:15.

year, in my judgment personally. You have written recently that

:42:15.:42:21.

Labour should be more daring to seize ground from the Tories.

:42:21.:42:25.

look at the economy particularly, because that is what really matters.

:42:25.:42:30.

If they could produce a good growth and jobs policy. My guess is they

:42:30.:42:35.

will come up with something quite eye-catching like, we will build a

:42:35.:42:40.

million houses over one parliament. Still less than Howard Macmillan.

:42:40.:42:43.

We will have apprenticeships for the young, get the construction

:42:43.:42:47.

industry back again. That can be done and is perfectly reasonable

:42:47.:42:53.

within the fiscal envelope they will have. Investment and growth is

:42:53.:42:57.

what they will really go for. There will be lots of other policies.

:42:57.:43:02.

They will want to move around the spending within the same envelope.

:43:02.:43:06.

Alan Johnson said this this week, will Labour feel obliged to say we

:43:06.:43:11.

will freeze the total size of spending? Particularly as the

:43:11.:43:15.

Conservatives will have announced the spending for 2015. Do you

:43:15.:43:19.

accept that Labour has a problem with combating the central message

:43:19.:43:23.

of the coalition, which is, Labour spent too much and we are paying

:43:23.:43:28.

the price? Lot of people write in and say, we have had enough of

:43:28.:43:32.

blaming Labour. But there is an acceptance in the public that cuts

:43:32.:43:35.

have got to be made and Labour would not be prepared to do their

:43:35.:43:40.

dirty work. That is still a problem. The gap has narrowed a great deal

:43:40.:43:45.

on who is most competent but that is still a problem.

:43:45.:43:50.

Conservatives retain the lead on the economy. Labour is still more

:43:50.:43:53.

likely to be blamed in the coalition government for the cuts,

:43:53.:44:00.

although that is diminishing. But they have to acknowledge that there

:44:00.:44:05.

are challenges. It is a difficult place for them but it is slowly

:44:05.:44:09.

shifting. Whether it will shift enough... It still could be like

:44:09.:44:15.

1992. At the last minute, do you trust that Ed Balls character?

:44:15.:44:21.

is one of the issues. Very briefly. Is the message from Labour on

:44:21.:44:24.

welfare too vague for the public? We broadly support the idea of a

:44:24.:44:30.

benefits cap but not the one put forward by the coalition? Is it is

:44:30.:44:35.

a bit too vague. The cuts to welfare so far, and there are lots

:44:35.:44:40.

going through the mill at the moment in terms of reforms and

:44:40.:44:46.

Universal Credit and the NHS, it is only when voters see the impact on

:44:46.:44:50.

the ground they will determine it, but people assume that Labour are

:44:50.:44:57.

not quite as keen on cuts as the true Rees. -- the Tories.

:44:57.:44:59.

Now the resignation of Chris Huhne yesterday over driving related

:44:59.:45:03.

offences means the people of Eastleigh need to find a new MP.

:45:03.:45:06.

The last time they went to the polls in 2010, the Liberal

:45:06.:45:09.

Democrats pipped the Tories to the post with a majority of just under

:45:09.:45:12.

4,000. This morning the big political guns have come out

:45:12.:45:15.

blazing ahead of the by-election. Lembit Opik announced that if the

:45:15.:45:18.

party lost the seat, then Nick Clegg should consider his position.

:45:18.:45:22.

So could it be a coalition blood- bath? We are joined now by John

:45:22.:45:32.
:45:32.:45:35.

Curtice, professor of politics at Almost undoubtedly, it is going to

:45:35.:45:41.

be tight. Given the record in by- elections, if the result were to

:45:41.:45:45.

follow current opinion polls, then the Conservatives would narrowly

:45:45.:45:54.

squeaked in. If, on the other hand, it goes the way of recent

:45:54.:45:58.

parliamentary by-elections, at the back end of last year, the Lib Dems

:45:58.:46:08.
:46:08.:46:10.

would still sneak in. So, in truth, it is too close to call. The most

:46:10.:46:14.

remarkable thing about this by- election, yes, the two coalition

:46:15.:46:21.

partners will be fighting it, but in truth, it is an unpopularity

:46:21.:46:26.

contest, it is whichever of the two parties can lose the least votes.

:46:26.:46:30.

Whichever one can minimise deaden losses to Labour will come out on

:46:30.:46:39.

top. The Tories, of course, are going to have to try to minimise

:46:39.:46:43.

their losses to UKIP as well. Both parties know that it is a difficult

:46:43.:46:49.

task. In recent weeks we have seen David Cameron making a major speech

:46:49.:46:53.

to try to minimise the threat of UKIP, which has not had a great

:46:53.:46:57.

impact. Equally we had Nick Clegg last year making his famous YouTube

:46:57.:47:01.

hit, apologising for those tuition fees fiasco, and that did not do

:47:02.:47:07.

much good, either. You did that very well, without drawing breath,

:47:07.:47:14.

answering all of my questions! Thank you very much. Joining us now,

:47:14.:47:20.

Paul Goodman, from Conservative Home - will Eastleigh have a big

:47:20.:47:25.

effect on David Cameron's leadership? It is a burden on all

:47:25.:47:29.

four parties contesting it. If David Cameron cannot win in

:47:29.:47:33.

Eastleigh, in Hampshire, then the question will be asked, how can he

:47:33.:47:37.

win anywhere? But on the other hand, if the Liberal Democrats cannot win

:47:37.:47:42.

a seat in an area where they are the overwhelming force on the local

:47:42.:47:52.
:47:52.:47:52.

council, then where will they win? John seem to imply that everybody

:47:52.:47:59.

will lose, but somebody is bound to win. If we look at 1992, the last

:47:59.:48:05.

time the Conservatives had a majority nationally, they had an

:48:05.:48:08.

18,000 Conservative majority in Eastleigh. They have not been able

:48:08.:48:15.

to win the seat since then. In 1997, in the general election, when Chris

:48:15.:48:22.

Huhne became MP, the Lib Dem majority was just 600-700. So it is

:48:22.:48:25.

generally a Lib Dem-Conservative marginal seat. The only thing which

:48:25.:48:29.

is clear is that Labour are well out of it, as confirmed by the

:48:29.:48:38.

bookmakers yesterday. Will it be a verdict on Nick Clegg? Salmon so.

:48:38.:48:46.

By-elections move on very quickly. -- I don't think so. You say that,

:48:46.:48:50.

but one suspects that this by- election will be conducted in the

:48:50.:48:54.

glare of tribal conflict. Both sets of backbenchers want to get at each

:48:54.:49:00.

other. Coalitions are more common in other European countries, where

:49:00.:49:04.

they are more used to the idea that people will agree on some things,

:49:04.:49:08.

disagree and others, and stand against each other in by-elections.

:49:08.:49:12.

People understand that. But if you read the papers, that is not the

:49:12.:49:21.

way it is being characterised. think the backbenchers and some of

:49:21.:49:24.

the front benchers in both of the main parties will be keen to get

:49:24.:49:29.

stuck in. I doubt if David Cameron and Nick Clegg will be so keen, for

:49:29.:49:32.

reasons which have just been put forward. But at the end of the day,

:49:32.:49:36.

I come back to the point that by- elections are nearly always a

:49:37.:49:41.

protest against the government. But the problem here is that there are

:49:41.:49:45.

two parties in government, and the third party in this seat, Labour,

:49:45.:49:49.

are very weak. What about the feeling that Chris Huhne has let

:49:49.:49:54.

people down there, is this something which will help the

:49:54.:49:59.

Conservatives? I come back to the big Lib Dems strength on the local

:49:59.:50:03.

council. One idea going around about the general election is that

:50:03.:50:08.

the Lib Dems will do badly where they have not got an incumbent MP

:50:09.:50:12.

who works very hard, but that they will do better in seats where they

:50:12.:50:15.

have got a strong presence. And they have a big presence in

:50:15.:50:19.

Eastleigh. So, it is a test for them, as well as for David Cameron.

:50:20.:50:25.

Where would you put your money? think it is too close to call. It

:50:25.:50:28.

is a personal situation about what they think about Chris Huhne. On

:50:28.:50:32.

the other hand, the Lib Dems are very good at holding on to seats

:50:32.:50:36.

which they have had for some time. Labour is in the comfortable

:50:36.:50:43.

position of sitting back. Of course, you have said, Labour voters will

:50:43.:50:47.

know that they have not got a chance, and so Lib Dems will be

:50:47.:50:51.

bidding to get the tactical vote from Labour. Will Labour voters in

:50:51.:50:56.

these kind of seats still give their vote to the Lib Dems? It is a

:50:56.:51:02.

tricky one. In seats like this, at the general election, Labour will

:51:02.:51:05.

not want the Conservatives to be picking up all of the seats lost by

:51:05.:51:15.
:51:15.:51:17.

the Lib Dems. What I said was, it is a question of whether they will

:51:17.:51:24.

or not, we do not know. There is an issue for Ed Miliband. What Polly

:51:24.:51:28.

Toynbee said was right. In these kind of seats, Labour will want to

:51:28.:51:35.

see the voters going for the Lib Dems. However, another argument is

:51:35.:51:39.

that if Miliband cannot get Lib Dem voters to vote Labour, what chance

:51:39.:51:46.

has he got of doing that at the general election? Is this not going

:51:46.:51:50.

to be about the disagreement between the two parties come into

:51:50.:51:55.

the Four? It will be very difficult for Nick Clegg and David Cameron to

:51:55.:51:58.

control it. They will both have to fight hard on the ground to try to

:51:58.:52:01.

win the seat, but neither of them want to see the coalition come

:52:01.:52:09.

apart. How are Nick Clegg going to control his activists and

:52:09.:52:14.

backbenchers? There will be a genuine battle between the Lib Dems

:52:14.:52:17.

and Conservatives, claiming credit for some of the tax changes. The

:52:17.:52:21.

Lib Dems will point out that in Eastleigh, lower-paid people will

:52:22.:52:27.

be paying no tax whatsoever, income tax, compared to before, something

:52:27.:52:37.
:52:37.:52:38.

like 4,000 people. That sounds good, but actually, the low paid will

:52:38.:52:43.

just be stopping paying a tiny bit of tax. Most of the money went to

:52:43.:52:51.

the top third, according to the IFS. But I think the issue of �600, it

:52:51.:52:57.

is quite a substantial tax cut for people on lower and middle incomes.

:52:57.:53:00.

You are fighting a by-election mostly against the Conservatives

:53:00.:53:10.

here. Thank you both very much. Who would have thought a bag of Bones

:53:10.:53:15.

would have caused such a fuss? The body of Richard III is a

:53:15.:53:19.

historian's dream, but that does not mean politicians cannot get in

:53:19.:53:24.

on the act. Was he a goodie or baddy? Adam reports. Our Richard

:53:24.:53:31.

was a bit of an enigma, a villain to many, hero to some. He ruled

:53:31.:53:37.

between 1483 and 1485, during the decade-long too known as the War Of

:53:37.:53:41.

the Roses. He has been credited with some liberal reforms,

:53:41.:53:44.

including the right to bail and the lifting of restrictions on printing

:53:44.:53:48.

presses. William Shakespeare portrayed him as a jealous

:53:48.:53:53.

Hunchback murderer, who offered his kingdom for a horse. But many

:53:53.:53:57.

historians say that was all just propaganda. His rule was challenged,

:53:57.:54:02.

and he was defeated and killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field, by

:54:02.:54:07.

the army of Henry Tudor, who went on to become King Henry VII. We now

:54:07.:54:11.

know that he has been lying dead under a car park in Leicester. Now,

:54:11.:54:15.

the debate is over whether Richard should have a state funeral, and

:54:15.:54:25.
:54:25.:54:29.

where he should be buried. We are joined now by three parliamentary

:54:29.:54:37.

villains. John Mann, how and where should he be buried? With dignity,

:54:37.:54:42.

and in the family plot, which was built for Richard I, at the great

:54:42.:54:47.

Prior in Worksop, which was the centre of the Plantagenet Kingdom.

:54:47.:54:55.

Was it? Well, Fotheringhay was where he was born, so I would say

:54:55.:55:00.

that was probably the centre of the Plantagenet Kingdom. I think John

:55:00.:55:04.

has come up with an ingenious solution here. Personally, I would

:55:04.:55:09.

say Leicester is the best place for him to be buried. Absolutely right.

:55:09.:55:13.

Bravo to John for trying this on, but quite frankly, it is ludicrous.

:55:13.:55:17.

He has been in Leicester for 500 years. He was actually buried by

:55:17.:55:21.

the Grey Friars in Leicester. He should be reinterred at the

:55:22.:55:29.

cathedral. Yes, but he was Richard of York. Why not in York? Firstly,

:55:29.:55:33.

there is the procedural issue. After the skeleton was found, the

:55:33.:55:37.

certificate had to be signed, and it had to be stated where the body

:55:37.:55:45.

was found. I have just written a book about Bosworth, and I will

:55:45.:55:51.

have to we write it now. At the Battle of Bosworth, 400 men were

:55:51.:55:57.

requested, and they did not turn up for the battle. So, have they

:55:57.:56:03.

forfeited their right? Yes, I think Richard would not be too pleased to

:56:03.:56:09.

be buried in York. So far, York is winning. I can tell you, Worksop

:56:09.:56:14.

has a big fat zero. That's because the battle of Worksop has not been

:56:14.:56:22.

properly researched. Tell us about it. The last great battle where the

:56:22.:56:27.

Yorkists Fort, the bodies lay there. Not only was Richard I in this

:56:27.:56:32.

great place, but there is a practical reason - a state funeral,

:56:33.:56:38.

we have the spot in the gate house where people can file past, as they

:56:38.:56:43.

did in the time of Richard III, the resting place at the Great priory,

:56:43.:56:49.

in order to see the remains before the burial. Jon Ashworth, does he

:56:49.:56:54.

deserve a state funeral? I have suggested it in the past, although

:56:54.:56:58.

some people have criticised it. In fact he has already had a burial,

:56:58.:57:02.

so there is an argument that it is not necessarily appropriate for a

:57:02.:57:06.

second funeral. It just needs a service of remembrance, which is

:57:06.:57:09.

what Leicester cathedral have been talking about, which seems

:57:09.:57:12.

dignified and suitable. It seems that everybody is fighting over

:57:12.:57:17.

this because Richard III was painted as a monster, one of

:57:17.:57:22.

Shakespeare's favourite villains. The original has been trying to get

:57:22.:57:29.

his reputation changed. Has he been unfairly portrayed? It is a classic

:57:29.:57:34.

case of history being written by the winners. When you go back to

:57:34.:57:38.

the contemporary evidence, before Shakespeare, it was more complex.

:57:38.:57:42.

Obviously, the Prince's disappear in the tower under his watch, we

:57:42.:57:47.

cannot exonerate him over that. But he was a generous king. He looked

:57:47.:57:51.

after the poor, he created the Court of requests, he was quite an

:57:51.:57:57.

unusual king. Where would you have him buried? I am no monarchist, I

:57:57.:58:04.

would put him back in the car park. So you would still have him in

:58:04.:58:10.

Leicester? But should not all kings be buried in Westminster Abbey?

:58:10.:58:13.

personally think that there would have to be a vote in Parliament if

:58:13.:58:23.
:58:23.:58:23.

it was a state funeral. This is madness! I would like to see the

:58:23.:58:26.

opportunity for the public to pay their last respects, for the coffin

:58:26.:58:34.

to lie in state. Is it really him? I think so, the evidence is all

:58:34.:58:38.

there, the arrow in the back and everything.. We have run out of

:58:38.:58:44.

time, but that will be something for you to debate. That's all for

:58:44.:58:49.

Jo Coburn with all the latest political news including the gay marriage debate in the House of Commons. Also, what direction does Labour need to go in with future policy, and where should Richard III be buried?


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