15/02/2013 Daily Politics


15/02/2013

Andrew Neil with political news, interviews and debate. Andrew looks ahead to next month's budget and gets the latest on the horsemeat scandal.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Afternoon, folks, and welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:39.:00:41.

The horsemeat saga takes another turn as the government hits out at

:00:42.:00:45.

retailers for remaining silent. They're waiting for the results of

:00:45.:00:51.

tests on how widespread the crisis is. We'll have the latest.

:00:51.:00:54.

The Budget is just over a month away. What can George Osborne put

:00:54.:00:59.

in his red box to stop the economic rot?

:00:59.:01:02.

Did Karl Marx predict the collapse of the banks and the subsequent

:01:02.:01:07.

credit crunch? And, speaking of brainwashing, we

:01:07.:01:14.

ask whether joining a political party alters your brain.

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All that in the next hour of public sector Friday broadcasting at its

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finest. And with us for the whole programme today are two of

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Westminster's finest - Rafael Behr from the New Statesman and Anne

:01:25.:01:31.

McElvoy from The Economist. First up today, an influential

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group of MPs have criticised the government's clever wheezes that

:01:34.:01:38.

are supposed to be injecting growth into the economy. The Public

:01:38.:01:40.

Accounts Committee says quantitative easing - that's the

:01:40.:01:43.

scheme the Bank of England uses to effectively create money - is an

:01:43.:01:45.

expensive experiment, and that the Treasury has limited understanding

:01:45.:01:48.

of its role. And they have criticised the Treasury's other

:01:48.:01:58.
:01:58.:02:06.

This comes from Margaret Hodge's committee. Is she not in danger of

:02:06.:02:12.

lashing out at too many targets? I'm a great fan of the way she has

:02:12.:02:17.

run the committee, made it quite irrelevant. I think this may be a

:02:17.:02:21.

bridge too far. All of the things you say about quantitative easing -

:02:21.:02:26.

we don't know what the outcome will be - are true. But anything you do

:02:26.:02:35.

to stimulate growth is by definition untested. It is how you

:02:35.:02:38.

test the government. The Americans have done the same thing on a huge

:02:38.:02:46.

scale. We have done more than the Americans. The American economy is

:02:46.:02:51.

five times bigger. That is not what she is criticising. She is

:02:51.:02:56.

criticising the principle. I'm not convinced, given the committee has

:02:56.:03:00.

come out for quantitative easing, I am not convinced that her committee

:03:00.:03:04.

has the greater knowledge. One does sometimes want to put the question

:03:04.:03:10.

back, OK, what would you do? The whole business of policy is

:03:10.:03:17.

complicated. This is uncharted territory. You do wonder what the

:03:17.:03:22.

public accounts committee brings to the table in this. Margaret Hodge

:03:22.:03:28.

has carved out quite a big role. I respect that. You have the

:03:28.:03:34.

executive doing its thing. There's often an accusation that government

:03:34.:03:38.

just rubber-stamped what is going on. If you have parliamentarians

:03:38.:03:44.

out there Making noise, saying, look, let's have this massive

:03:44.:03:48.

policy experiment, I think that is quite good. It puts in the public

:03:48.:03:54.

domain the question of the Governor waving a wand and creating all this

:03:54.:04:00.

money. Nobody knows where it has gone. We do, actually! It is in

:04:00.:04:10.
:04:10.:04:11.

Barnes! -- bonds! She has made a number of important changes in her

:04:11.:04:18.

committee. The criticism the committee makes of monetary policy

:04:18.:04:24.

are very general. They are not specific. Anne's question - what do

:04:24.:04:32.

we do next? That is the question. If the Chancellor had a theory

:04:32.:04:36.

about what would happen to the economy and he pursued a certain

:04:36.:04:43.

strategy and monetary policy was part of that, clearly it has not

:04:43.:04:49.

worked. The economy is not growing. You don't know if it worked. You

:04:49.:04:54.

can't know that. What worries me is that Margaret Hodge comes from the

:04:54.:05:00.

left of the Labour Party. She is unlikely to come out in favour of a

:05:00.:05:07.

monetarist conclusion. I would imagine see backs Ed Balls's

:05:07.:05:17.
:05:17.:05:21.

strategy. -- she backs. She is a powerful chairperson. She is very

:05:21.:05:26.

well favoured. I think things do tend to end are being like the

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chairperson wants them. -- end up. A lot of her reports have had a lot

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of impact. We're only a month away from the

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Budget. George Osborne has been in his country retreat of Dorneywood

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this week, working on the detail with a small team of senior civil

:05:48.:05:51.

servants and political advisers. He'll be keen to avoid some of the

:05:51.:05:54.

issues which dogged last year's statement. Initially, last year's

:05:54.:05:56.

Budget was well received. But within days the Chancellor was

:05:56.:05:59.

mired in a series of tax rows. It started with the so-called granny

:05:59.:06:02.

tax, a freeze in the age-related income tax allowance for pensioners,

:06:02.:06:06.

which raised howls of derision and an e-petition to Downing Street.

:06:06.:06:08.

Then there was the pasty tax row Then there was the pasty tax row

:06:08.:06:08.

Then there was the pasty tax row Then there was the pasty tax row

:06:08.:06:08.

Then there was the pasty tax row Then there was the pasty tax row

:06:09.:06:10.

over plans to apply VAT to hot over plans to apply VAT to hot

:06:10.:06:14.

takeaway food. After a backlash from the media and the backbenches,

:06:14.:06:18.

there was a U-turn. And then there was the caravan tax,

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which aimed to impose VAT on static caravans. Cue more outrage and a

:06:24.:06:32.

watering down of the policy, He'll be hoping the so-called

:06:32.:06:42.
:06:42.:06:42.

omnishambles can be laid to rest on March 20th. But the economic

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outlook is not good. The UK economy contracted by 0.3%

:06:48.:06:58.

in the fourth quarter of 2012. And borrowing is not coming down. In

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fact, the Institute for Fiscal Studies says borrowing will be �64

:07:00.:07:10.
:07:10.:07:18.

billion higher in 2014-15 than they I'm now joined by the editor of

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City AM, Allister Heath, and the Associate Director of the IPPR,

:07:21.:07:31.
:07:31.:07:37.

Let me get you to lay out your stores. You are the Chancellor.

:07:37.:07:42.

Give me two or three of the big things you would do. I would dump

:07:42.:07:46.

the current policies and embrace a more supply-side policy. I would

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cut corporation tax to a level below Ireland, which would reduce

:07:54.:07:58.

revenues -- increase revenues. I would pursue but of the regulatory

:07:58.:08:06.

measures. And you were run a bigger budget? The deficit would increase

:08:06.:08:10.

but I would anticipate spending cuts to anticipate that. And you

:08:10.:08:15.

are the Chancellor. What would you I think the economy has to be

:08:15.:08:20.

stimulated. The policies are not working. But differently, I would

:08:20.:08:27.

look at the OBR and the IMF's analysis. Multiply as for spending

:08:27.:08:34.

are greater than taxes. The government has only delivered 100

:08:34.:08:42.

of its infrastructure projects. Let's be that up. Let's improve

:08:42.:08:47.

energy efficiency in homes. If we are going to have a tax cut, let's

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not give it to companies. The Chancellor has tried that. Foreign,

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direct investment fell last year. Let's give it to working people.

:08:58.:09:06.

What do you say to that? problem is, the Chancellor's

:09:06.:09:10.

tactics have not had a big change effect. I would cut corporation tax

:09:10.:09:18.

in half. It has already been cut 7%. I would make it 11%. It would make

:09:18.:09:22.

the UK the most competitive economy in the world. It would send a

:09:22.:09:27.

message that the UK is open for business. I would/or abolish

:09:27.:09:33.

capital gains tax. -- I would cut or abolished. It is time for

:09:33.:09:37.

companies to start investing. The return on investment would suddenly

:09:37.:09:42.

become larger than it was before. Capital gains tax is a small part

:09:42.:09:52.
:09:52.:09:56.

of the overall government revenue. Peanuts. Would it - and it is only

:09:56.:10:04.

28%. Lots of very smart accountants would start working out how what

:10:04.:10:14.
:10:14.:10:15.

was really my income was really a capital gain. It is a risk. We know

:10:16.:10:20.

how to account for lot of those evasion measures. One would have to

:10:20.:10:24.

do that. In one day, you would see a recruit -- return to investment

:10:24.:10:30.

of around 20%. In one day, the bank for the buck was suddenly go up

:10:30.:10:34.

drastically, making it more worthwhile for them to do that.

:10:34.:10:39.

would run a big deficit, too? Absolutely. Look at what George

:10:39.:10:43.

Osborne has done. People warn him about the rate of the deficit

:10:43.:10:48.

reduction. Borrowing is going to rise this here relative to the

:10:48.:10:52.

previous year. Of course we have got to bring down the deficit. But

:10:52.:10:58.

the way to do it is to boost demand. That is the problem we have here.

:10:58.:11:05.

You are talking about a Keynesian method. If your policy work, Japan

:11:05.:11:10.

would be the world leader. It would be the booming economy. It has been

:11:10.:11:15.

trying that for years, and it has not worked. The problem with Japan

:11:15.:11:18.

is it brought down its interest rates later than we did here. We

:11:18.:11:22.

were more stimulative on the monetary policy side. We have not

:11:22.:11:27.

tried expenditure of the same extent. They have not tried the

:11:27.:11:35.

kind of boost that we are calling for. The Japanese national debt is

:11:35.:11:44.

around 200% of GDP. Borrowing twice as much has not worked. Japan went

:11:44.:11:49.

into deflation. Prices started to fall. As a measure of GDP, their

:11:49.:11:55.

debt rose. That is the reason for it. We have to anticipate that. We

:11:55.:11:59.

don't want inflation to be too high but we don't want prices to start

:11:59.:12:06.

slipping back. The problem you budget would face is one of equity

:12:06.:12:14.

and of a sense of fairness. We live in a country now where people are

:12:14.:12:18.

on below average earnings and they are suffering. The food prices,

:12:18.:12:22.

enterprises are taking big chunks of income. There's also a sense

:12:22.:12:26.

that this is happening because some rich people screwed up the economy.

:12:26.:12:31.

They are still rich. The poor and the average are suffering. And you

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are now going to put in tax cuts which will benefit the rich. You're

:12:36.:12:42.

right, that is how it would be perceived. Two responses. The most

:12:42.:12:46.

pro equity measure is to boost growth. If you do it back to proper

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levels, you start to create great numbers of jobs and wages will

:12:49.:12:53.

start to go up. Secondly, the biggest reason for the decline in

:12:53.:12:58.

real wages, which is a catastrophe, is that inflation is far too high.

:12:58.:13:04.

I think that is the main issue. Thirdly, we just need to forget

:13:04.:13:07.

about the short-term distribution effect for once and focus on the

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long run. How do we get the economy to grow again? I don't care how it

:13:11.:13:17.

happens but we have to do it. do you say to me two Chancellor's?

:13:17.:13:23.

They are good candidates for the job! Better than the incumbent?

:13:23.:13:29.

That was hanging over the debate. Maybe we should do it, it X-Factor

:13:29.:13:38.

style. Could be a good programme! Your idea, I fundamentally agree

:13:38.:13:46.

with that. We are getting too much into distribution. What we really

:13:46.:13:50.

need to do is get the economy moving and then everyone will

:13:50.:13:55.

benefit. An interesting thing is you did not have a problem with the

:13:55.:14:00.

deficit per saved. Your idea is a problem for the Tory government.

:14:01.:14:05.

They have been saying that the deficit was a big problem. I'm not

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surprised that you want to build a bigger deficit. No, it is cutting

:14:11.:14:16.

the deficit in a different way. well, the Public Accounts Committee

:14:16.:14:22.

might say that is untested. On the right, you are going in a different

:14:22.:14:27.

direction to where the government is going. What is your appraisal?

:14:27.:14:34.

Firstly, it is easy to say that you should not looked back the -- look

:14:34.:14:38.

at the short-term impact. But there's an election in a couple of

:14:38.:14:48.
:14:48.:14:51.

years. A lot of those arguments were brought to bear on the 50p

:14:51.:14:54.

rate, and that was a political disaster for the government. You

:14:54.:14:59.

can understand why the Chancellor might think, actually, I have got a

:14:59.:15:05.

bunch of people who are suffering and I need to show them that I am

:15:05.:15:11.

on their side. That is his moral obligation. I also think it is

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interesting - I agree there to need some kind of Big Bang and thither,

:15:14.:15:24.

somebody to say we need something new. -- Big Bang manoeuvre. The

:15:24.:15:30.

Chancellor has staked his reputation on that his cause was

:15:30.:15:40.
:15:40.:15:49.

the right one. It is hard to see $:/STARTFEED. You can bring some of

:15:49.:15:53.

the cuts in in subsequent years. whole bunch of painful cuts. Very

:15:53.:15:56.

painful and difficult. It's extremely difficult and painful,

:15:56.:15:59.

but the economy's not growing, people's wages are falling and we

:15:59.:16:04.

have a big, big problem. If you look in the international context

:16:04.:16:09.

or the European context, we are not alone here any more. The figures

:16:09.:16:14.

are out. Germany in the fourth quarter its economy went down 0.6%.

:16:14.:16:18.

It's forecast very little growth this year. France in the fourth

:16:18.:16:24.

quarter down 0.2%. Its economy ended 2012 no bigger than it was in

:16:24.:16:30.

2011 and it's not expected to grow in 2013. So for two years, more

:16:30.:16:34.

stagnation, unemployment rises. Italy lost almost 1% of its GDP in

:16:35.:16:41.

the fourth quarter and is expected to lose another 1% in 2013. Even

:16:41.:16:49.

the Dutch lost almost 1% of their GDP. The Hungarians 2.7%, the

:16:49.:16:54.

Czechs 1.7. There's one country that's done something a bit

:16:54.:16:58.

different. That's America. They took a much longer time to bring

:16:58.:17:01.

down their deficit, they postponed the cuts and are only now starting

:17:01.:17:05.

to consider it and as a result they are growing at 2%. That tells you

:17:05.:17:12.

what you need to know about the untested theory. They also have

:17:12.:17:15.

something called the dollar which has changed. If you look at the low

:17:15.:17:19.

cost of borrowing to the pound, there's been a similar effect to

:17:19.:17:22.

the pound as there has for the dollar and our pound's depreciated

:17:22.:17:26.

against the dollar. If you are borrowing in dollars, you could

:17:26.:17:31.

pretty much borrow until the cows come home. Like has been in the

:17:31.:17:36.

case in the UK, with historically low interest rates. The American

:17:36.:17:46.
:17:46.:17:47.

response is different. Different responses to the bank there is too.

:17:47.:17:56.

Congress won't let them get there yet because state budgets were

:17:56.:18:00.

skhrashed. -- slashed.

:18:00.:18:07.

Gentlemen, thank you. I'll call Gideon now. We may have

:18:07.:18:15.

to cut his salary. Call Simon Cowell first. Simon who? ITV, ssh h.

:18:15.:18:20.

It's been a month since horsemeat was first discovered in meat

:18:20.:18:24.

products and the scandal grows by the day. Three men were arrested in

:18:24.:18:29.

abattoirs in Wales and Yorkshire of offences under the fraud act and

:18:29.:18:32.

ASDA became the latest to withdraw meat products from its she-sms. We

:18:33.:18:37.

are expecting results from hundreds of tests on minced beef products

:18:37.:18:41.

stocked in UK stores. -- shelves. Last night, Downing Street launched

:18:41.:18:46.

an attack on the smarblgts, saying it wasn't acceptable for them to

:18:46.:18:50.

remain silent -- supermarkets. The Director General of the British

:18:50.:18:53.

Retail Consortium is Helen Dick inson. She spoke to the BBC this

:18:53.:18:59.

morning and defended the supermarkets -- Dickinson. We need

:18:59.:19:02.

facts. That is why today is important because we'll be able to

:19:02.:19:06.

see the collated picture of the results of all the testing that's

:19:06.:19:13.

gone on over the last three weeks, much of which has been at the

:19:13.:19:16.

instigation of the retail industry itself. We'll be able to see the

:19:16.:19:21.

extent of the problem. What we do know is that any problems that have

:19:21.:19:26.

already been identified to date, we have acted on them straightaway,

:19:26.:19:30.

withdrawn the products and apologised to our customers.

:19:30.:19:34.

We are joined by our Europe correspondent, Matthew Pryce in

:19:34.:19:37.

Brussels, where the food safety experts from across the continent

:19:37.:19:42.

are meeting today. Just mark our card here - what is the meeting

:19:42.:19:45.

about? They are essentially following up

:19:45.:19:49.

from the meeting of agriculture ministers earlier in the week of

:19:49.:19:52.

which it was decided to increase both the testing of beef products

:19:52.:19:59.

for horse DNA and also to increase the testing for this horse

:19:59.:20:03.

painkiller which is believed could be -- which it's believed could be

:20:03.:20:08.

many the food chain. They are looking at ways to efficiently set

:20:08.:20:13.

up basically a much more faster moving system and far greater test

:20:13.:20:18.

than they have at the moment. To get that done as soon as possible

:20:18.:20:23.

with the results coming bay some time in April. I understand the

:20:23.:20:32.

French company, Comigel, has issued a statement this morning?? It's the

:20:32.:20:36.

other company. The other one, Matthew, sorry? Yes, the French

:20:36.:20:40.

Government yesterday pointed the finger of blame at that company,

:20:40.:20:43.

saying 750 tonnes of horsemeat incorrectly labelled as beef had

:20:43.:20:48.

been sent out by that company over the last six months. One of our

:20:48.:20:52.

colleagues has spoken to the sales director at the company today

:20:52.:20:56.

apologising to British consumers but saying the mistake was not

:20:56.:21:02.

theirs, that they did not mislead anybody, they did not label

:21:02.:21:06.

horsemeat as beef and saying they've been unfairly hung out to

:21:06.:21:10.

dry by the French Government. That is their claim at the moment. I

:21:10.:21:16.

think what's also clear from the extent of this crisis across Europe,

:21:16.:21:19.

some 16 countries have been involved in some way, shape or form

:21:19.:21:22.

at the moment, is that this won't be the only company at the end of

:21:22.:21:25.

this which finds itself having blame pointed at it.

:21:25.:21:29.

Thank you for that. Just while Matthew was talking to us, we got

:21:29.:21:33.

the latest results of the independent tests commissioned by

:21:33.:21:37.

the Co-operative Group announced today. They've proven negative for

:21:37.:21:42.

horse DNA in all of the 59 out of 102 own brand minced beef products

:21:42.:21:50.

that were separate tested. No horses in them. It says we have had

:21:50.:21:56.

68 results on Morrisons products as well. So far we have found no

:21:56.:21:59.

contamination with horsemeat. The latest results there suggesting

:21:59.:22:03.

that the horsemeat's not in the ones they've been investigating.

:22:03.:22:13.
:22:13.:22:14.

I'm joined by the chairman of the environment Food and Rural Affairs

:22:14.:22:17.

Anne Mackintosh. Meat producers are forced to carry

:22:17.:22:22.

out meat testing. How did the FSA let us down in this crisis? I think

:22:22.:22:26.

it was surprising that they were on the back foot when the Irish FSA

:22:26.:22:31.

informed the British FSA that they were doing DNA testing on a

:22:31.:22:34.

particular line of products in November. We were surprised that

:22:34.:22:38.

the FSA didn't ask more questions and perhaps conduct their own tests

:22:38.:22:42.

at that time and we'd have had more knowledge and been much further

:22:42.:22:46.

into the food chain than we currently are. You are the expert,

:22:46.:22:51.

but in the processing plants where a lot of the different kinds of

:22:51.:22:54.

meats could be brought together, that is not the responsibility of

:22:54.:23:00.

the FSA is it? That is the responsibility of local standards

:23:00.:23:03.

officials employed by local authorities? And their numbers have

:23:03.:23:08.

been seriously cut in recent years? There are various layers that you

:23:08.:23:12.

have to unravel. Whether the meat originally came from Romania via

:23:12.:23:19.

France, Poland, Ireland, it's the responsibility of the exporting

:23:19.:23:21.

countries authorities to test physically the content of that meat

:23:21.:23:28.

and that the label says what the content is. Then you have

:23:28.:23:31.

Environmental Health officers for district councils, Trading

:23:31.:23:36.

Standards officers for county councils, they all have a role to

:23:36.:23:40.

play. What we were surprised by was to learn that the FSA does not have

:23:40.:23:45.

a statutory authority saying that they can compel testing to happen.

:23:45.:23:49.

They can request retailers and normally retailers will be nice and

:23:49.:23:53.

say yes, we are prepared to test. We are saying they should have a

:23:53.:23:55.

statutory authority to test, that it's the responsibility of

:23:55.:23:59.

retailers to share the results of their tests. Will they be able to

:23:59.:24:04.

do the testing in the food processing plant? The key is in the

:24:04.:24:10.

words "Food processing". I mean if horsemeat is getting into our meat,

:24:10.:24:15.

it's probably in the food processing plants? Most processing

:24:15.:24:19.

takes place in other countries, so it would appear if there has been a

:24:19.:24:22.

criminal act, it would potentially have been in another European

:24:22.:24:26.

country. What I think we need to know is, we need to understand

:24:26.:24:29.

better the whole food supply chain and I had no idea that the

:24:29.:24:32.

ingredients were travelling quite so many miles through so many

:24:32.:24:35.

different countries over a long period.

:24:35.:24:40.

But the supermarkets who're the ones labelling the products, don't

:24:40.:24:46.

they have a bigger responsibility for testing to make sure that what

:24:46.:24:54.

the label says is the correct one? The testing regime that is set up

:24:54.:24:59.

in the country is risk assessed and you are never going... I was

:24:59.:25:03.

surprised to learn, you might be as well, that to test all the product

:25:03.:25:07.

lines for one company, Tesco told us that in one year, it would cost

:25:07.:25:11.

between �1 million and �2 million simply to do DNA test samples. We

:25:11.:25:15.

also understand that we don't have the facilities in this country to

:25:15.:25:18.

do all the tests. What's particularly ironic is that we seem

:25:18.:25:23.

to have reexforted some of the contaminated meat to Germany where

:25:23.:25:30.

they have the labs to test. You say Tesco claims it will cost �1

:25:30.:25:35.

million or �2 million... That's just one company. Yes but the

:25:35.:25:39.

biggest supermarket. Do you want me to tell you what their profits

:25:39.:25:47.

were? Go on? �1.7 million. They can afford to do that. -- �1.7 billion.

:25:47.:25:51.

They don't have to do everything. A random test would give you a fair

:25:51.:25:56.

idea if the food chain was what it says it was or wasn't. So I put to

:25:56.:25:59.

you again, haven't the supermarkets got more responsibility to take

:25:59.:26:04.

better care of labelling the food they sell to us? Well, what I think

:26:04.:26:07.

should happen is that we should source more of our food from the

:26:07.:26:10.

British farmers where we have clobbered them with animal welfare,

:26:10.:26:15.

traceability, inspection costs, labelling costs and what do we do?

:26:15.:26:19.

We undercut them by taking this inferior meat. That would boost

:26:19.:26:23.

consumer confidence overnights if, as Waitrose have said that they are

:26:23.:26:29.

going to do, that Morrisons do most of their food that is sold in North

:26:29.:26:34.

Yorkshire stores, they take from British farming produce. But there

:26:34.:26:38.

are arrests at two British abattoirs yesterday? I think that

:26:38.:26:47.

is shocking. It's not free from horses? What emerges there is that

:26:47.:26:51.

the horse passport was not marked. This bute, it's not harmful to

:26:51.:26:56.

human health in the quantities we are talking about. It is if you eat

:26:56.:27:00.

60 Hamburgers a year? struggling at the moment to eat one.

:27:00.:27:04.

But that passport should have been marked up as being infected with

:27:04.:27:09.

bute and the horse should never have entered into the human food

:27:09.:27:14.

chain. You cannot force anyone to buy British. You and I may agree

:27:14.:27:18.

it's the west thing to do and we should support our own produce --

:27:18.:27:22.

best thing to do. But under European rules you can't force

:27:22.:27:25.

anyone to buy British. Until you can encourage us, and the

:27:26.:27:31.

supermarkets, to source more from this country, I come back to my

:27:31.:27:35.

point, I'm surprised at your reluctance to criticise the

:27:35.:27:39.

supermarkets. They need to do more testing and better labelling?

:27:39.:27:45.

we have learnt, as a country, from BSE and foot-and-mouth, we know

:27:45.:27:50.

more about how to put your house in order and it seems ironic that

:27:50.:27:54.

having clobbered our industry with those costs, we then undercut and

:27:54.:27:58.

don't take their meat. So yes, the supermarkets have a role and I

:27:58.:28:02.

would expect them to comment when we know the results of these tests.

:28:02.:28:08.

But these tests will only tell us what's on the Shells now. It does

:28:08.:28:14.

not tell us where the contamination entered the food chain -- shelves.

:28:14.:28:16.

I slightly feel for the supermarkets on this one because

:28:16.:28:18.

you are asking them to take more responsibility for the labouring

:28:18.:28:23.

but the key labelling question was, it said it came from a cow and it

:28:23.:28:27.

came from a horse. One might be reasonably expected to think that

:28:27.:28:32.

if they think they are buying beef, it is actually beef. Now we realise

:28:32.:28:36.

something's gone dreadfully wrong in the food chain. Cottage pie

:28:36.:28:40.

delivered to 57 schools in Lancashire has been contaminated

:28:40.:28:45.

with horsemeat - that's what I've just been told. People will be

:28:45.:28:48.

feeling anxious. What I find fascinating is that inevitably when

:28:48.:28:51.

this happens, people want politicians to respond because they

:28:51.:28:54.

are our elected representatives and have to do something and you notice

:28:54.:28:58.

from Downing Street, having a bit of a go at the supermarkets, that

:28:58.:29:03.

actually, political power is quite dispersed here. There's not much

:29:03.:29:08.

purchase they can get on it. If you are on the left, you could say,

:29:08.:29:11.

global capitalism, spread accountability and sort of putting

:29:11.:29:14.

pressure on the bottom line means we have all this junk in the food

:29:14.:29:18.

chain and if you are on the right you might say the European Union is

:29:18.:29:22.

taking power away and Brussels bureaucrats force feeding us donkey.

:29:22.:29:25.

You can configure it whichever way you like, but the politicians, they

:29:25.:29:30.

are faced with public anxiety and don't have any levers to pull to

:29:30.:29:35.

make it go away. I have sympathy with Downing Street on this one.

:29:35.:29:39.

One thing I noticed early was the way the blame was immediately

:29:39.:29:42.

passed along the line. I didn't get the impression the supermarkets

:29:42.:29:45.

were saying, we'll stand back and loots mp look at where our

:29:45.:29:51.

responsibility might lie here. It was like we had a supplier, they

:29:51.:29:57.

have a supplier and we had another supplier. They all pride themselves

:29:57.:30:00.

on corporate social responsibility, they have expensively paid people

:30:00.:30:04.

being employed to do this and yet when push comes to shove, they put

:30:04.:30:07.

up big signs in the supermarkets saying all the great things they

:30:07.:30:11.

are doing, the labelling is a farce. It's made to look as if we are

:30:11.:30:14.

being given information, but when it comes to it, the information

:30:14.:30:16.

isn't there. I think the supermarkets do bear a lot of the

:30:16.:30:19.

blame and after this, they will have to do more, whether they

:30:19.:30:25.

resist it now or not. Anne Mackintosh, this story's

:30:25.:30:29.

cranked up a notch now that we have found out that horse has gone into

:30:29.:30:34.

the food chain in schools in Lancashire. Your reaction to that?

:30:34.:30:38.

It's deeply worrying. I'm not saying there is any health aspects

:30:38.:30:41.

but it comes to the basic point that we need to find out where in

:30:41.:30:44.

the food Hain the contamination is taking place. I'm not convinced

:30:44.:30:48.

it's taking place in the UK. I believe, particularly the evidence

:30:48.:30:51.

we heard from Tescos, that there was a degree of complacency that

:30:51.:30:56.

yes, they went to huge lengths when they set up a new supply chain, but

:30:56.:31:01.

once that supply chain was in place, they didn't revisit it often enough

:31:01.:31:11.
:31:11.:31:19.

and I don't think we'll see that Is capitalism doomed to failure?

:31:19.:31:22.

Marxists have long thought so. But the global financial crisis has

:31:22.:31:24.

even got some economists wondering whether Marx was right. So can

:31:24.:31:28.

Marxism do it any better? If the Soviet Union's anything to go by,

:31:28.:31:30.

probably not, and socialist states like Venezuela haven't been spared

:31:30.:31:32.

from having financial troubles. Susana Mendonca has been speaking

:31:32.:31:40.

to one Marxist thinker, though, who thinks the tide is turning.

:31:40.:31:45.

Meet Alan Woods, a Welshman in east London whose writings have

:31:45.:31:49.

influenced a nation. He is a founder of a campaign called hands

:31:49.:31:54.

of Venezuela. He had the ear of the President, Hugo Chavez.

:31:54.:32:01.

He did not describe himself as a socialist, let alone a Marxist. It

:32:01.:32:07.

was not in his programme. I think he has evolved. Without wishing to

:32:07.:32:13.

exaggerate my own role. Venezuela's revolution has not put

:32:13.:32:18.

an end to unemployment and poverty. Its inflation rate is one of the

:32:18.:32:24.

highest in the world. There are serious problems of crime, of a

:32:24.:32:27.

certain dislocation of the economy. But I would say the reason is not

:32:27.:32:33.

so much that they have preceded too fast and too far with

:32:33.:32:38.

nationalisation of the economy, but on the contrary, they have not

:32:38.:32:45.

proceeded far enough. He would like to see them and the rest of the

:32:45.:32:53.

world go the way this man suggested. Karl Marx. He was buried here in

:32:53.:32:58.

Highgate cemetery back in 1883. In his lifetime, he argued that

:32:58.:33:03.

capitalism was unfair and therefore doomed to failure. 130 years on,

:33:03.:33:07.

the current crisis has led some to wonder whether he was right all

:33:07.:33:15.

along. The capitalist system inevitably

:33:15.:33:19.

involves crisis. One prominent American economist, Nouriel Roubini,

:33:19.:33:28.

said recently that Marx was right. We thought that the market worked.

:33:28.:33:33.

It does not. The global financial crisis has been met by anti-

:33:33.:33:38.

capitalist protests. This village outside St Paul's was one example.

:33:38.:33:45.

A sign, according to Allen, that Marxist ideas are resurfacing.

:33:45.:33:52.

You have the Occupy movement. You have the events in Spain. Even in

:33:52.:33:55.

sleepy old Britain, there's the beginnings of a movement. At the

:33:55.:34:01.

very least, you could say, there is now a question about this system

:34:01.:34:06.

and its values and the way it is run but was not there before.

:34:06.:34:13.

By it if Marxism is the answer, why did the Soviet Union for? Wife has

:34:13.:34:20.

China embraced state capitalism? don't defend the Stalinist regime.

:34:20.:34:26.

But what it did show, as in Russia, was that by nationalising the means

:34:26.:34:30.

of production, the Chinese people achieved what they never did in the

:34:30.:34:36.

past. So, Marxist theory lives on. But despite predictions of his

:34:36.:34:39.

demise, capitalism is still with us for now.

:34:39.:34:42.

Susana Mendonsa reporting. We're now joined by Dr Madsen Pirie of

:34:42.:34:50.

the Adam Smith Institute. It may be a long shot to say that

:34:50.:34:59.

Marxist ideology is making a comeback. But the sense that the

:34:59.:35:05.

rich are another country, that they have brought a lot of badness in

:35:05.:35:08.

recent years and that ordinary people are getting a rum deal, that

:35:08.:35:13.

has taken root. It is prevalent at a popular level. When Marks of

:35:13.:35:20.

aside that the destiny of capitalism was to of press the

:35:20.:35:25.

workers, he was wrong. Capitalism has done more to lift the standard

:35:25.:35:29.

of the common man than any other force. It is one of the most benign

:35:29.:35:34.

things that people have done. now. In this country, the median

:35:34.:35:40.

wage is now back to where it was in 2003.

:35:40.:35:45.

British -- which is further ahead than it was 10 years earlier.

:35:45.:35:49.

Capitalism has some crisis, but it is flexible. Always, we come back

:35:49.:35:53.

with an improved version and start to generate wealth again. Even on

:35:53.:35:58.

the right, you see an awareness of class politics. Mr Cameron is

:35:58.:36:05.

uncomfortable about talking about having gone to Eton. The Chancellor

:36:05.:36:13.

is anxious not to be seen as part of a coterie of well-off by public

:36:13.:36:19.

schoolboys. On the Labour side, you see a class rhetoric. Class in the

:36:20.:36:25.

Marxist sense is back in our politics. It is not necessarily an

:36:25.:36:28.

equation with wealth. Class in Britain is not the same as wealth.

:36:28.:36:34.

It's part of background, education, culture or choices. Britons have

:36:34.:36:37.

always been obsessed with class. But this is not necessarily anti-

:36:37.:36:47.

rich. But there and anti- rich movement, isn't there? But when the

:36:47.:36:51.

rich get richer, the poor get richer too. It is the best thing

:36:51.:36:59.

that can happen to poor people. the rich are getting much richer.

:36:59.:37:07.

am not worried about the gap. It is capitalism that allows the advance.

:37:07.:37:13.

Does the gap not matter at all? When the gap is so large, the

:37:13.:37:17.

globalised rich live a life and a style just totally beyond most

:37:17.:37:22.

people. It is part of the process of development that initially, when

:37:22.:37:27.

a country goes from relatively poor to affluent, part of the process

:37:27.:37:30.

involves income disparities increasing. This has been happening

:37:30.:37:34.

in China. There are more billionaires in China than America.

:37:34.:37:38.

This affects the world figures. The result will be that the ordinary

:37:38.:37:41.

people in China will benefit, as they have done spectacularly

:37:41.:37:47.

already in these last two decades. Where are you on this? Capitalism

:37:47.:37:50.

is not really going anywhere. If you look at the leader of the

:37:50.:37:59.

Labour Party, who is to the left of Tony Blair, and what he wants is a

:37:59.:38:04.

kinder, more gentle capitalism. It is not useful to discuss it in

:38:04.:38:08.

terms of whether anybody is going to junk capitalism. This point

:38:08.:38:12.

about the super rich is about political consent. It is hard for a

:38:12.:38:18.

government to achieve things if it is felt to be for the benefit of a

:38:18.:38:22.

tiny number of people. fundamental question is, do count

:38:22.:38:32.

conditions lead to a revival of Moxon? -- current conditions.

:38:32.:38:35.

would be dubious about what will Marxist in the film was saying. He

:38:35.:38:42.

was saying that Marxism is a good way of articulating discontent. The

:38:42.:38:46.

problem with relying so heavily on Karl Marx was that he predicted a

:38:46.:38:52.

lot of things that did not happen. I don't really see where it takes

:38:52.:38:58.

you. Unless you are prepared to sign up to his agenda or support

:38:58.:39:03.

deranged autocrats like Hugo Chavez, how do you bring it into the

:39:03.:39:07.

political system in a democracy? On the other hand, I think you are

:39:07.:39:10.

complacent to say that it does not matter that you have a massive

:39:10.:39:14.

wealth gap. It does make life more difficult to put across a good case

:39:14.:39:20.

of capitalism. To say you are not interested in it is not convincing.

:39:20.:39:24.

I don't think it is as important as people think it is. The important

:39:24.:39:28.

thing is to have economic growth. Deeply in an expanding society,

:39:29.:39:33.

that see their future as being better off than the past are more

:39:33.:39:38.

likely to be happy. -- people. you don't care about relative

:39:38.:39:45.

wealth, when a lot of people do. this end of the? I think that is a

:39:45.:39:54.

reasonable response. I would not dismiss it. If you see a Super

:39:54.:40:02.

Class pulling away from you, this is going to be a problem. As the

:40:02.:40:09.

left and regroups after the crash of 2008 and tries to evolve

:40:09.:40:15.

policies for a post-crash world, are Marxists playing any role in

:40:15.:40:21.

that? I don't think they are, substantially. The interesting

:40:21.:40:27.

point about the tented village is not that it existed but that so few

:40:27.:40:33.

can -- few people rallied to it. If you look at the point about what

:40:33.:40:40.

makes people cross, the stagnation of ordinary people's wages started

:40:40.:40:48.

in 2002. That was before the big crash. This disparity, I'm speaking

:40:48.:40:52.

on behalf of ordinary middle-class people, it is hard to do

:40:52.:40:55.

politically when you see a small number of people taking more of the

:40:55.:41:03.

pie for themselves. And that is bought raw anger.

:41:04.:41:08.

-- that his middle-class anger. Wages have been stagnant for a

:41:08.:41:12.

while in this country. Some estimates suggest average real

:41:13.:41:17.

wages today in America are not higher than they were in 1973.

:41:17.:41:21.

Corporate profits have gone through the roof. There is something not

:41:21.:41:25.

functioning for the majority of people here. It is not that the

:41:25.:41:29.

balance has shifted from wages to profits. The difference has been

:41:29.:41:34.

made by taxation. It is government share that has increased. That is

:41:34.:41:41.

what has made the difference between the two. Share of profits

:41:41.:41:47.

as a percentage of GDP was higher in recent years than in the 1950s

:41:47.:41:53.

or 1960s. We are in a crisis of capitalism, people say. But nobody

:41:53.:41:59.

is suggesting we go back to state- controlled planning. Whenever we

:41:59.:42:03.

have this crisis, everybody says, it is over. But it always comes

:42:03.:42:13.
:42:13.:42:17.

back in a different form. On your optimism, we will leave it there.

:42:17.:42:20.

Now, we all like to think that our views are the right ones. Or the

:42:21.:42:23.

left ones. But can you tell someone's political views just by

:42:23.:42:26.

looking at their brains? Well, scientists from the Universities of

:42:26.:42:30.

California and Exeter observed 82 people gambling. And from the

:42:30.:42:32.

results they say left wing and right wing people use different

:42:33.:42:35.

parts of their brains when they make risky decisions. So someone on

:42:36.:42:38.

the left, like Ed Miliband, would show significantly greater activity

:42:38.:42:41.

in the left insula - as you all know, that's the region associated

:42:41.:42:44.

with sociability and self-awareness - and someone on the right - David

:42:44.:42:47.

Cameron, for instance - would have significantly greater activity in

:42:47.:42:50.

the right amygdala, which is, of course, the region involved in the

:42:50.:43:00.
:43:00.:43:05.

body's fight-or-flight system. The scientists say affiliating with

:43:06.:43:14.

a political party may alter the brain. Well, we all knew that.

:43:14.:43:17.

Joining me now are Dr Jonathan Rowson, director of the Social

:43:17.:43:26.

Brain Centre at the RSA, and Lucy Beresford, who's a psychotherapist.

:43:26.:43:30.

Do you buy this? Yes, but it is not surprising. I'm not sure what

:43:30.:43:37.

people think where we would hold our values if not our brain. Your

:43:37.:43:42.

brain shows activity when you eat horsemeat or think of Karl Marx. It

:43:42.:43:46.

is not, in itself, news. Is a chance to reflect on where people

:43:46.:43:52.

are coming from. It is a chance to renew democratic debate. It is a

:43:52.:43:56.

chance to say that Ed Miliband and David Cameron come from a different

:43:56.:44:01.

place. Do they come from a different place because of their

:44:01.:44:06.

brains? The brain is there when you are thinking and walking and

:44:06.:44:12.

talking. People tend to use the brain as if it is innate and fixed.

:44:12.:44:16.

The brain is plastic. It responds to experience. Just because it is

:44:16.:44:22.

in the brain, doesn't mean it is fixed. What do you think? I agree

:44:22.:44:26.

with Jonathan in that this report is reductionist. It implies that

:44:26.:44:30.

people can't change their mind. We only have to look at what is

:44:30.:44:34.

happening in Eastleigh. A whole group of people are descending on

:44:34.:44:36.

Eastleigh with the sole purpose of trying to change the mind of

:44:36.:44:40.

another group of people in the idea that people can be swayed in the

:44:40.:44:46.

political appellations. -- affiliations. They're not entirely

:44:46.:44:51.

wasting their time. Politics is more than just the personalities.

:44:52.:44:58.

The desire whole constellation of things that makes people change

:44:58.:45:05.

their mind. -- There is a whole constellation. Run-through how

:45:05.:45:11.

joining a political party alters the brain. From early on, Ed

:45:11.:45:21.

Miliband is left of centre partly because of his father. As that was

:45:21.:45:26.

happening, his but -- his brain was changing. David Cameron was

:45:26.:45:31.

undergoing different structures. I don't see why that is surprising.

:45:31.:45:35.

It is something we have known for a long time. The brain functions as a

:45:35.:45:41.

kind of touchstone. If Ed Miliband had been born with the same brain

:45:41.:45:45.

but brought up in David Cameron's household, he would be leader of

:45:45.:45:51.

the Tory party? Not necessarily, but the point is valid. We have our

:45:51.:45:54.

brains, which are not just a blank slate. They are organised in

:45:54.:46:04.
:46:04.:46:08.

certain ways. But the impact is $:/STARTFEED. This research implies

:46:08.:46:12.

everything is fixed and never changes and it simplifys the way

:46:12.:46:17.

that brains work. The problem with this kind of research for me is

:46:17.:46:21.

that it grabs the headlines and perhaps attracts more money, more

:46:21.:46:27.

funding for the scientists, but it can be so easily unpicked that it

:46:27.:46:29.

denigrates really important research, for example, looking at

:46:30.:46:35.

the way brains function for gamblers in particular, the way

:46:35.:46:40.

that they are attitude to risk can help clinicians predict relapse for

:46:40.:46:44.

example. That's really important research. This kind of research

:46:44.:46:51.

grabs the headlines, states statements that are obvious. I have

:46:51.:46:57.

top political brains with me. I bet you are a bit sceptical of this?

:46:57.:47:03.

Funnily enough I disagree slightly because I've seen similar research.

:47:03.:47:08.

The Economist with whom I work for wrote about this. There's

:47:08.:47:14.

disposition, some inherited. Jack Straw is his dad. Occasionally you

:47:14.:47:18.

get a push back against that but there is a grain of preference

:47:18.:47:22.

against left or right which runs strongly in families. Attitudes to

:47:22.:47:26.

risk or the big state versus individualism, they seem to get

:47:26.:47:30.

fixed quite early on many people. But it doesn't mean that they turn

:47:30.:47:33.

necessarily Labour or Conservative. A Blairite might have a view of a

:47:33.:47:37.

smaller state and be a bit like a Conservative to that degree and on

:47:37.:47:39.

other things, they are have been Labour. What is coming out of the

:47:40.:47:44.

broader mass of research is that political dispositions are possibly

:47:44.:47:48.

more accounted for by this kind of newer science than we might have

:47:48.:47:53.

thought a few years ago. question you would have to ask is,

:47:53.:47:57.

how useful... You were born with the left-wing brain? I very much

:47:57.:48:01.

doubt it. Were you born with a brain? It's in there somewhere, I'm

:48:01.:48:05.

very confident about that. If you are practicing politics, how is

:48:05.:48:12.

this useful to you? As Anne says, there's evidence that there are

:48:12.:48:16.

arguments that Conservatives are better at appealing to emotion and

:48:16.:48:22.

fear. You take an argument that there might not be an obvious left

:48:22.:48:26.

right position on, say Scottish independence, do you frame that

:48:26.:48:30.

argument in terms of your view that we are terribly afraid that the

:48:30.:48:36.

country will go to rack and ruin if we go along with this, or do you

:48:36.:48:39.

build rational arguments about where GDP will fall. That might

:48:39.:48:43.

tell you whether you are appealing to people on the left better or the

:48:43.:48:46.

right. That's strategic as to how you frame an argument. Let's assume

:48:46.:48:51.

this research is right. Where do we go from here? What does it mean?

:48:51.:48:56.

means politicians are coming at issues from different angles. They

:48:56.:49:03.

may agree with you because they have a different sit of assumptions.

:49:03.:49:08.

To some extent it being lodged in the brain is not the story, the

:49:08.:49:12.

story is we start from somewhere and we should come from that point

:49:12.:49:17.

that comes in a good place that's different from ours and not always

:49:17.:49:20.

assume that they are wrong all the time or immoral.

:49:20.:49:23.

Never assume that they are wrong or immoral, at least not all of the

:49:23.:49:30.

time but part of the time. Thank you. A council is introducing �80

:49:30.:49:36.

pont spot fines for anyone caught spitting or urinating in public.

:49:36.:49:40.

It's true! David Thompson's been out and about in Walthamstow. That

:49:40.:49:45.

is the place asking if the new fines leave... I'm not going to say

:49:45.:49:55.
:49:55.:49:58.

that, let's just run the tape. Spitting. Bob Carol gees and spit

:49:58.:50:03.

the dog did it. If they come here, they could be in for a nasty shock.

:50:03.:50:09.

A quick gob could land you a fine of 80 quid. It will be enforced by

:50:09.:50:14.

the civil enforcement officers who'll get you for urinating in

:50:14.:50:20.

public or dropping litter. From the feedback we got when this was

:50:20.:50:24.

announced yesterday, we think we have tapped into a real national

:50:24.:50:27.

mood that set, spitting, gobbing in public is disgusting, ruern naiting

:50:27.:50:33.

up against houses and shops is disgusting and someone needs to do

:50:33.:50:38.

something and here in Waltham Forest we are doing something --

:50:38.:50:42.

urinating. Believe it or not, there was a pro-spitting lobby and they

:50:42.:50:46.

were ready to gob off about the council's plan. It's. Some people

:50:46.:50:52.

are used to it, you know. �80 is too much. If you are pregnant or

:50:52.:50:56.

sick and you want to get something out, sometimes it suddenly comes

:50:56.:51:02.

out, don't it? I would say yes there should be a restriction on it

:51:02.:51:06.

but I wouldn't agree with charging �80 for spitting on the street.

:51:06.:51:12.

you think it's a good idea? I spit in the street all the time. She's

:51:12.:51:17.

from North Carolina, mate. However, North Carolina aside, there were

:51:17.:51:24.

those who wanted to make Waltham Forest a spit-free zone. What's

:51:24.:51:28.

next, the world? Not sure if it would work but it's a good idea. It

:51:28.:51:33.

would be nice if it worked. Spreads germs and looks foul. I don't know

:51:33.:51:39.

why people do it. It's a good idea. You have to enforce certain things.

:51:39.:51:42.

Once enforced, people accept them and then there's no reason why

:51:42.:51:48.

anybody ends up paying an �80 fine. Sadly, the man who was made for

:51:48.:51:53.

this job, my colleague, Adam phlegming, was made unavailable for

:51:53.:51:57.

comment! The BBC would like to apologise to

:51:57.:52:03.

our many viewers in South Carolina if they took offence at the

:52:04.:52:06.

gratuitous remarks of your lovely state.

:52:06.:52:12.

A lot of people might say yes, good on Walthamstow Council trying to

:52:12.:52:18.

raise the level of behaviour and reduce the yobbish behaviour on our

:52:19.:52:24.

streets? I'm complete lit with them. I can't see what the problem is,

:52:25.:52:30.

unless you have to be sick if you are pregnant and you are discreetly

:52:30.:52:37.

sick, you won't be brought to book for that. I like the idea of the

:52:37.:52:39.

council taking responsibility and saying a lot of people don't like

:52:39.:52:46.

this and it's a sort of low level antisocial behaviour which builds

:52:46.:52:52.

into worse behaviour like extreme drunkenness. What do you think?

:52:52.:52:58.

tend to agree. I question the quif lens of urinating and spitting,

:52:58.:53:02.

they are not equivalent. Perhaps the councils have different levels

:53:02.:53:07.

of fines. What about hanging for those who spit chewing gum out on

:53:07.:53:12.

the pavement? You would probably have to have... Is that too far?

:53:12.:53:18.

You might need to have... It costs a fortune to clean it up? It does.

:53:18.:53:23.

The other way you could go about it is a nudge thing where you make it

:53:23.:53:29.

easy for people to throw away the chewing gum and have more reminders.

:53:29.:53:36.

There's a lot of chewing gum in some places. I think urinating and

:53:36.:53:41.

spitting shouldn't be on the streets. Tax the chewing gum

:53:41.:53:44.

companies and they can have the chemicals put in that make it

:53:44.:53:53.

easier to get off the pavement. thumbs up for Walthamstow Council

:53:53.:54:00.

from our panel? Three thumbs from me. Three thumbs you have. Strange!

:54:00.:54:06.

It's been a week of Popes and pancakes, abattoir raids, political

:54:06.:54:11.

tirades and an unwanted spaghetti ready-made meal. Here is jiels to

:54:11.:54:19.

serve it up within 60 seconds -- Giles. Holy smoke, God's elect, the

:54:19.:54:23.

Pope resigns over failing health, a bold move since the last time the

:54:23.:54:27.

Pope gave up for lent was 1415. He'll leave at the end of the month

:54:27.:54:31.

to withdraw from the world. Glory glory, President Obama gave his

:54:31.:54:34.

State of the Union address saying his second term will focus on

:54:34.:54:38.

immigration, gun control and the economy.

:54:38.:54:43.

Holy cow. Actually, holy horse. 100% beef products turned out to

:54:43.:54:49.

have nagging doubts about content. My concern is that many of the

:54:49.:54:53.

answers may contain 100% bull. businesss in the UK are raided.

:54:53.:54:56.

Horsemeat is seize and the Chancellor is offered a hot meal,

:54:56.:55:03.

though not a pasty. Ed Miliband makes a speech. He reinstates the

:55:03.:55:06.

10p tax and uses a mansion tax to pay for it. He thanked the audience

:55:06.:55:12.

for being with him and Ed Balls for Valentines. Tuesday was flat. For

:55:12.:55:19.

some, the week just got better and better.

:55:19.:55:24.

How long can it be before some Government minister's stuffing a

:55:24.:55:32.

beef lasagne down? Yorn didn't look very pleased. -- George Osborne.

:55:32.:55:37.

Parliamentary mid term break - well it's in recess now for all of next

:55:37.:55:40.

week. A few things have happened and they are not necessarily

:55:40.:55:42.

supporting each other. David Cameron's laid out the European

:55:42.:55:48.

policy, but secondly, Labour's lead in the polls has consolidated and

:55:48.:55:53.

grown? Yes. Very interesting? Ed Miliband looks to me like a much

:55:53.:55:56.

more confident performer watching him speaking this week. I think he

:55:56.:56:03.

really feels he's now got command of his part and that's a good step

:56:03.:56:06.

to feeling very sure of yourself. He doesn't have a lead on

:56:06.:56:09.

immigration, the economy or welfare, so the worry among strategists is

:56:09.:56:16.

it's very encouraging but very soft. Also on basic deficits. The public

:56:16.:56:21.

is still very divided, more so than you might expect, given the lack of

:56:21.:56:27.

growth. What have we learned since the Christmas break? The people who

:56:27.:56:31.

care passionately about a European Union won't be bothered when David

:56:31.:56:35.

Cameron stands up and gives them what they want which is significant.

:56:35.:56:38.

I agree the Labour Leader is very weak or soft largely because of the

:56:38.:56:43.

economy. The budget might change that either way. Strengthened

:56:43.:56:50.

though? But still weaker than you think it should be? Single issues.

:56:50.:56:54.

When you drill down what people care about, they care about the

:56:54.:56:58.

economy, immigration, welfare spending being got under control.

:56:58.:57:02.

Those are things were Labour are weak. What they don't care about

:57:02.:57:06.

that much actually is the European Union and the Prime Minister's

:57:06.:57:08.

biggest political gambit of this political term so far was on that.

:57:08.:57:15.

It hasn't done anything. I don't agree with that. I think this

:57:15.:57:20.

referendum had to have been offed. He would have been dead meat. If

:57:20.:57:23.

you can't sort out your own party, you are not going to be Prime

:57:23.:57:26.

Minister for long. And you are not if people think your only care

:57:26.:57:31.

about your own party. I don't agree with that. His problem arises if he

:57:31.:57:35.

wins the election he has to campaign for a yes-vote. It gets

:57:35.:57:38.

him through and cuts often UKIP where it was beginning to advance.

:57:38.:57:42.

He had to do it, not because anybody else cares but his own

:57:42.:57:45.

party needed it. People who care enough about this to really care

:57:45.:57:49.

about the referendum and hate Brussels with every fibre in their

:57:49.:57:54.

being, remember David Cameron's made promises like this before,

:57:54.:58:04.
:58:04.:58:06.

those people will still vote UKIP. Who has the vote? Lib Dems. UKIP.

:58:06.:58:13.

The people I've spoke to have no idea, don't care or say the Libs

:58:13.:58:19.

have done good why let Chris Huhne spoil it for the rest of them.

:58:20.:58:27.

for Mr Clegg but not Mr Cameron. They got the wrong candidate. Could

:58:27.:58:32.

have been a liberal seat. We'll hold on to that and if they are

:58:32.:58:37.

wrong, we'll rerun that. A full list of candidates for the

:58:37.:58:39.

Eastleigh by-election is on the BBC website. That's it for today.

:58:39.:58:45.

Thanks to all the guests. The One o'clock news is starting on BBC One

:58:45.:58:48.

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