04/03/2013 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon. Welcome to the Daily Politics. How do you stop a


sudden influx of immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania? The


Government sthis it can do it by impose -- thinks it can do it by


imposing tougher rules on benefits. The catch - British citizens may be


affected too. Surprise, surprise, Tory right-wingers call on David


Cameron to cut taxes in the Budget later this month. She's the only


female Prime Minister Britain has ever had, but should Mrs Thatcher


get a statue in her home town of Grantham? Labour say yes, the


Tories say, no. We have found MPs with a cause -


they get what they want in the end but sometimes through more


inventive means. All that in the next hour, ve. With us for the


first half of the programme is Jude Kelly, the artistic director of the


Southbank Centre in London. She sat on the board of the Cultural


Olympiad for the Olympic Games. Welcome to the programme. Thank you.


This week, the Southbank Centre is hosting the Women of the World


festival, which promises live music, comedy and passionate debate. A big


title - what is it all about? celebrating what women have


achieved in this country and across the world. It is posing the


questions about what is stopping their potential being fully


realised. So the celebration is the festival side of it. It's all kind


of women from astronauts, women in the British Army, sports women,


including Gillingham lady's football team. Do you have a vested


interest in that? Just to cheer them on. It is to show the range of


skills, expertise and commitments women are making in civil society


and domestic questions. What are we doing about girls' education across


the world? What are we doing about women in public life? There's been


a report showing that women's progress is not as fast as it


should be. Why do you think it is not as fast as it should be in the


UK? There's still a combination of women themselves putting barrier


into their own progress on the grounds they feel that maybe they


cannot do it all, maybe not have the work-life balance. Sometimes


they feel dismayed and pushed back. They don't have the same networking


systems the men have yet. There are some very obvious attitudes that


still prevail. You would be surprised, but they do prevail


about what is suitable for women and what is suitable for men.


woman, in a position like yours, to you promote women enough in your


own mind? Do you recruit enough women who are of merit to do the


job? I do. I know I do. At the Southbank Centre, we're a huge


emplayer in terms of the arts. We have staggeringly good women and


good men, I should stress. On merit is correct. I also think that, as a


woman, I can spot a woman's potential. I can spot when they are


self-doubting. If you hear a story about yourself often enough that


women cannot do things, it is easy to internalise that and say, "I can


do it." I am trying to say "ambition" is not a dirty woman for


a woman. Are you a feminist as well? It is one of the posed posed


- can a woman wear high heels? think that a feminist can really do


anything they want to. I don't think there's a rule book. There is


not a rule book about what feminists should or shouldn't be


like or look like. What feminists are, are people who believe in


equality for women. It is as simple as that. You have to believe that


women are entitled to an equal share of what is available in the


world to realise their potential. That is not the same as saying men


and women are identical in every way. In fact, I was watching the


other day a wonderful documentary about the West Indian cricket team


and looking at how they had really set out to demonstrate that the


notion of racism in sport, ie, who could achieve and who couldn't was


something that eventually white and black together came around to say,


this has to change. I am keen that men should support their wives,


their daughters to have equal opportunities. You have a lot of


men at this festival too? We have men at this too. Absolutely, yes!


Grantham was home to Britain's first and only woman Prime Minister,


Margaret Thatcher. We will have more on her later in the programme.


What are the female first can be attributed to the town? Was it home


to the first women to be a firefighter, a brain surgeon, an


astronaut, or a police officer? An interesting question. We will


give you the correct answer at the end of the show. What price


culture? The Arts Council distributed �310 million of


taxpayers' money in 2012 and 2013, slashed by �40 million on the


previous financial year. Should arts be subsidised at all? This is


at a time public services are being cut? Our guest of the day thinks so.


But Philip Booth from the institute of artistic affairs begs to differ.


London's South Bank - vibrant art to satisfy our cultural yearnings.


It comes at a price. Whether we like it or not.


Those who wish to cut Government funding of the arts are branded


fill stiens or ignorant. Culture is supposed to broaden the mind, yet


it appears some people are incapable of holding a rational


argument. Before 1946 the Government's funding of the arts


took off. England's rich tradition developed funding. Art had to


appeal to the people rather than to the Government or bureaucrats N the


16th century, British theatre developed a public acclaim,


precisely because it had to appeal to the public.


In his day Shakes-Drayton was commercially successful and pop --


Shakespeare was commercially success and popular.


Is state-funding the only option now? The Globe does not receive


state funding and its ticket prices are no higher than those of the


Royal Shake peers Company. The Gilbert hall, the Fitwilliam - the


list of cultural institutions which to which this age gave rise without


Government support is endless. In contrast, what does the Arts


Council do for us? It centralises state funding. 50% of its money is


spent in London. 3% in the eastern region of England. 3% in the East


Midlands and 5% in the North-East. It spends about as much on


administration as it does on these three regions of England put


together. After much-resisted cuts, the Arts Council will have nearly


one employee for every �1 million given out in tpwrapbtds. In 2008,


the Arts Council had 50 communication officers, no wonder


it is such a good advocate. The state cries out for private funding


and raises costs. Would it not be a sign of a less fill stien nation if


those who consumed the arts had a more active interest in their


support? Can the arts survive without state funding? Not if it


wants to reach as many people as possible with the rich programme


which has made Britain famous. I do agree with the last point, that


those who consume the arts, some of them, if they have the ability,


could be greater in terms of their fill lan introduce pi. We have at


the end of our society some very rich people, for whom the patronage


of the arts is not a normal activity like in the States. I


would not recommend what they do in the States, which is basically...


The theatres, certainly in London seem to be packed most nights.


There are a lot of people willing to pay. Why don't people at the


better end off end of the scale give more of their income to the


arts? I think the habit, which did support a lot of the 17th, 18th and


19th century work, the habit has not been - it has not got into the


blood stream in the British culture, in the way it does in America. The


downside of America is if their national endowment scheme starts to


fall, as it has by billions, or if people are short of cash, which


they are, actually it fractures and collapses. The American mod sl a


very poor one to use -- model is a very poor one to use. The UK has


one of the most sophisticated and arts structures in the world. The


amount of cash generates is enormous. Can taxpayers afford it?


I think they can. 25p a week from each taxpayer goes on the arts.


There are free museums, free galleries. Had he filmed yesterday,


thousands of people were coming for the Restless Noise Festival, which


for �25 for a weekend gives them classes, workshops, debates,


concerts, films, et cetera. A lot of those people could never afford


premium price tickets or tickets at any price. This is about extending


the value of the arts for the many, not the few. We don't want


education for the few, we don't want arts for the few. Jude Kelly


says taxpayers can afford to subsidise the arts and should


continue to do so because of the money that is generated as a result.


Well, this is not a matter of affordability. It is a matter of


what is the best way to finance the arts, whether they should be


financed through taxation and through, if you like, bureaucratic


control of the arts industry, or whether they should be financed by


those who consume the arts, those who wish to contribute to the arts.


There is evidence which suggests when you get taxpayer financing of


the arts it raises the cost-base. It does not raise opportunities for


people to attend the arts at all. It crowds out private funding,


which is low in this country. Without state funding, it would


collapse. We would not have the range of arts we have. For example,


we might go back to the environment which existed in the UK before the


Arts Council started to hugely increase Government funding on the


arts, in 1946. I don't see that as a cultural desert at all. You would


end up without all the theatres, all the ballet companies. You would


not have any of the art output, which is so produce livic around


the country. These companies are doing work


which could not be paid for by those giving money. Those who love


the arts, let's take Wagner. People will go and pay a fortune for it,


because that is what they do with their money. You want to say that


opera is as form, as in Italy when it started, should be there for


everyone. I don't think the only way subsidy should be there for the


arts - I think the arts looks at what we believe civil society


should be about, that is not just a trickle down from above. Civil


society should not be captured by the state. Arts and culture should


be embedded within civil society, rather than provided to civil


society by the state. In Italy, you talk about state funding and opera


available to everybody. If you look at those institutions which are


most heavily reliant on state funding, they are no more


accessible to the ordinary individual on average earnings to


those individuals. At the Southbank Centre we reach millions of people.


Millions of whom are on low incomes. They could not afford it and they


would not be able to be included as well. If you said, unless you are


interested you could not do that. As in Shakespeare's day.


That's not true T monarchy was the state at the time. It is not true.


You two, I know, could talk about this for hours. Thank you for doing


the film. Tens of thousands of police officers voted for the right


to take industrial action. 45,000 of the Police Federation members


voted yes. 10,000 voted no. The measure was defeated as the


federation needs a majority of members to vote in favour for a


change of the law. More than half didn't take part in the vote. As


servants of the Crown, policemen don't have the right to strike. In


a moment, we will be joined by Damian Green. First let's speak to


the chair of the Police Federation. There just wasn't enough support


amongst your members. Not enough It sends a clear message to


Government that 81% of the people who voted, over a third of police


officers in England and Wales, wish to seek the right for industrial


action. Now they're concerned, they're very angry and disappointed


at what this Government is doing to the Police Service. What about all


the people who didn't come and vote? They obviously disagree.


that's not necessarily the case. I didn't wish to comment on why


people haven't voted but the significant number - if you compare


that to the relation of Police and Crime Commissioners election, 34%


of police officers are extremely annoyed about what the Government


are doing and we need to engage and I think the Government needs to


take a clear message of what this actually means. We will ask, we are


going to ask the Government in a moment. I come back to the numbers


that didn't vote. Why do you think they didn't? Well, it was my job to


make sure that officers up and down the country in the months that led


up to the ballot taking place were provided with sufficient detail and


that took all different formats, from video recordings, to messages,


to e-mails, to literature, so that when they cast their vote they did


so from an informed position. That was very, very important because it


is of such significant importance. Right. I come back to this point


again. They felt they - they didn't feel strongly enough that they do


want the right to strike or don't feel strongly enough about the


Government's reforms, unlike the rest of the members who did which


means off divided federation or members of the federation. Well, we


have an awful lot of officers who feel very strongly about what's


happening to the Police Service. I do think the Government need to


take heed of that message. Thank you.


Damian Green is here now. Not enough people came out to vote in


this particular ballot. But the strength of feeling as Steve


Williams described must be worrying for the Government, particularly


for a Tory-led Government? I am conscious of the strength of


feeling which is what you would expect at a time where we have had


to keep pay down, we have had to reform pensions and so on. But it's


hugely encouraging that two thirds of police officers don't even want


to contemplate the right to strike. That's very sensible, they do an


important job. They're doing it successfully, crime is down 10% in


the first two years of this Government. We can take this as a


step to move forward with the sensible talks we have to have.


That doesn't mean those people who decided not to vote doesn't mean


they're supporting your reforms if the Police Federation is right. You


have got a significant number of police officers, 45,000 who wanted


to seek the trite strike. That's -- the right to strike. That's a


dramatic move by those police officers for the first time in this


country, even if the others stayed at home and are unhappy still about


what you are doing. Some of the others actively voted against. I


think the issue of the right to strike has been put to bed. The


police... Is that it now? It seems to be so. They've had this ballot


and the Police Federation sensibly set a 50% hurdle that they needed


half the membership to vote yes to proceed with negotiations. I I


think that's sensible. Trade unions should perhaps take some lessons


from that. How would you characterise relationships between


the government and police? They're fragile because of all the


necessary measures swre had to take. The police budget is �14 billion a


year. A time where we have to be tough on the public finances, the


police have had to take their share. You still see them as the last


unreformed public service as someone said about the police?


someone, but not me said that. don't believe that? Precisely


because we have been embarking on huge reforms. Not just to pay and


pensions, which is what obviously the officers themselves are


concerned on, but introduced the College of Policing, Police and


Crime Commissioners, we are introducing the National Crime


Agency, so big reforms that allow the police to get better at their


very vital job. As I say, they are doing it well at the moment. The


figures show that crime is coming down. You have said relations are


fragile. What are you doing to improve those relations? Talking in


practical terms on a regular basis to the Police Federation and to


other ranks, but also making it easier for the police to do the job


they all join up to do, stripping away the bureaucracy, stopping some


of the unnecessary form-filling. Thousands of them don't understand


it, clearly, otherwise they wouldn't have voted in this


election. It's not so much they don't understand, they understand


perfectly what's going on. They don't like it. Nobody is happy...


You haven't brought them on board is what I am saying. Nobody is


unhappy when they have a two-year pay freeze or pensions have to be


reformed. That's not surprising. What's significant about the result


is that even with all of those necessary pressures, two thirds of


the Police Federation members decided they didn't even want to


negotiate about the right to strike. I think we can draw a line here and


say let's go forward. The reforms are making police better in this


country. We can have sensible talks with the Police Federation. Do you


think the reforms are the right way to go in terms of the police?


just thinking that the critical thing for a lay person like myself


and the public is that you arrive at a police force who are motivated,


vocational, committed, and progressive. The last thing you


want is a hard done by feeling amongst police who, whether they


strike or not, might feel that they're undervalued by us and we


only have the Government to value them. We can't personally value


them. I think the thing I most feel about this is that it's not a


debate that's included, even though the voting for police Commissioners


was something that came into being, I don't think that the public,


generally, feel they're involved in this debate in a way they


understand clearly enough. That would worry me. They are our police


force. What do you say to that? What's important is everyone


recognises the police themselves and the public and that we are


trying to increase the professionalism of the police,


that's why we have the College of Policing and also introducing much


more transparency so things that really worry the public,


Hillsborough, some of the scandals like that, are seen clearly to be


things in the past that couldn't happen now and won't happen in the


future. That's the aim. You were a former immigration Minister, we are


going to talk about immigration in the next thing, can I ask you what


would you like to see, new measures brought in to try and curb the


rights of Bulgarians and Romanians who will come later this year?


other Ministers are doing is making very sure that people can't come to


this country, whether they come from the EU or elsewhere, to


exploit either the benefits system or our free at the point of use


National Health Service, that's what really annoys people. Will


British citizens be affected? the work's being done. I am not


involved with the detailed work. Are you worried about that? That is


the quid pro quo, is British citizens may be affected, too.


People want to see a National Health Service that is not an


international health service. They want to see a benefits system that


pays benefits to disadvantaged people or elderly people who


deserve them in this country. But which can't be exploited by people


coming here for that very purpose and that I know is the thrust of


the work going on in Government now. Don't forget, overall immigration


numbers are coming down. The pledge we made at the election was to


bring it down to tens of thousands. It's down by more than a quarter.


Thank you very much. There have been rumours for weeks


but it seems the Government have finally decided to introduce curbs


on benefits for migrants. It's thought any changes will need to


apply to Brits, as well. What are they suggesting?


Government sources have confirmed that Ministers are examining


options to restrict the amount of free healthcare the NHS provides


for immigrants. This could include a crackdown on


charging to ensure non-resident citizens pay for their NHS


treatment. Ministers are also considering


extending the what bitual residency test so migrants might have to wait


six months or a year before being granted residency and therefore


hospital care or other benefits. Cabinet sources have also confirmed


that the Government is looking at encouraging local councils to give


priority on housing waiting lists to local families ahead of any


outsiders. Government sources have said Ministers are prepared to


introduce across the board curbs on benefits for migrants in the near


future, which is expected to be before the Queen's Speech in May.


All these measures will, the Government hopes, bring the UK in


line with policies in other European member states, already


deemed legal by the European Court of Justice. I am joined by the


Labour MP Frank Field who co-chairs a cross-party parliamentary group


on balanced migration and by the Conservative MP Stewart Jackson. Is


Britain a soft touch for immigrants? Well, potentially yes,


it is. Actually, the disappointing thing is that the Government had


the opportunity many months ago to look at these issues and also to


look at the issues that arose from my ten-minute rule Bill in October


which was about the disapplication of the free movement directive


which would have copied some of of the things happening in Spain, and


it is important also to recognise that the free movement directive is


not a tablet of stone, it's a flexible legal document and


ministers should have been working on this months, if not years ago.


Isn't the truth that they have been working on this? This hasn't come


about just as a result of the Eastleigh by-election. That may


have given the issue some oxygen, but Ministers have been looking at


what rights immigrants will have later this year in terms of access


to benefits? Could have followed me - we have been pressing the


government over the last two years on a number of fronts. First of all,


on health. In July last year, the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt,


agreed that our health service should should kraez to be a


national one and be an international one -- cease. He said


nothing to do with me, governor, we have a group, they've made this now


legal. I thought a Secretary of State's job was to stop those sorts


of things happening. Also over the last two years, we have been


lobbying the Government about access to social, what many people


call council housing. Again, saying you don't - local authorities don't


tell you to whom they're giving housing to. We are suggesting it


should be to British citizens. If you haven't actually registered as


a British citizen, should you be getting council council... Don't


local authorities already have some of those powers that you can favour


residents or locals over others? They can do but Government refuses


to actually make it mandatory and refuses to collect accurate data on


both those fronts. Both on health, and on housing. Of course, there is


a much bigger issue, and our welfare and health services are


similar to Britain in 1940. We have no defences. If you look, for


example, we changed our welfare state from one which started out


you had to contribute to one, if you prove low income you have it


and that's the problem of us defending welfare against movement


of Labour in Europe. Why has the Government been reluctant to tackle


this, bearing in mind they've had this target which they're getting


closer to of reducing immigration to tens of thousands, wouldn't this


have fitted, even though it is obviously within the EU and they


can't stop the movement of people, even if they wanted to, why hasn't


the Government grasped this issue? There's been a lack of political


will, frankly. They are beholden to lawyers who say you can't do it


because it will fall foul. Does it fall foul? I understood there were


powers for the National Health Service, obviously not on accident


and emergency grounds but on general grounds they don't have to


do this without some sort of pay up front and the same with local


councils. The thing is let's take a chance on it, because if we


actually invoke the caveat in the free movement directive on public


good, public security, public health, it will take 18 months to


get to the European Court of justice to be tested. Is this being


blown out of proportion? We don't have figures for the numbers of


Bulgarians and Romanians... We do. We don't know exactly. Swre had


Government -- we have had Government Ministers saying it's


impossible to collect data and why scaremonger. The Government's own


data shows there is 150,000 Romanians and Bulgarians here


already claiming to be self- employed. The Government doesn't


know where they are. Doesn't know whether they are self-employed,


doesn't know whether they're claiming benefits. This is what I


mean when I said earlier there are no defences. What we have seen in


our welfare state is moved from one where you had to prove contribution,


to one where you get it if you can prove need. There is no defence in


European law against that, because as anybody - any Brit can turn up


in those circumstances, we have to offer the same services to people


who actually come to this country. We have to be robust as they are in


Spain where they have a registration scheme. They're using


the free movement directive to the enth degree and we have to do that


to protect public services and our employment market. What about


changes that will affect British citizens and their rights to claim?


Are you not worried about that? don't think they have quite the


same impab on the jobs -- impact on the jobs market. The fact that we


had unplanned an unrestriked EU my -- unrestricted EU migration has


contributed to the embedding of welfare dependency and unskilled


people being on benefits, rather than in work. I think that needs to


be looked at holistically as inissue that we are going to have


again with Romanians and Bulgarians if we are not careful. Is this


something you are worried about? Yes, I hope we don't get to the


stage where Romanians and Bulgarians stand in for a sort of


catch-all phrase that means they're bad, because that quickly becomes


racism. You are talking about specific policies that suggest


people can actually - can come here and claim benefits. Broadly


speaking, I think that I am completely with you on the fact


that - I remember with Barking, how much we suddenly realised there was


a wake-up call where you thought that if people in Barking cannot


plan for their family's future and don't know what economic


possibilities their children can have, this is going to produce


massive chaos in terms of social integration. Labour didn't deal


with it at the time. I hope we will make a clear statement that we want


to move welfare from one where you prove need to one where you have to


prove contribution. That's what we actually set out to have and


without any approval of the electorate at all, we have changed


welfare from the contributory basis, to if you can prove need, you get


There's no evidence that the leadership of the Labour Party -


that the Leader of the Labour Party is at all committed, authentically


to these issues. Frank has taken the right attitude and given the


right cause. I don't trust Labour on migration. Are you confident?


am saying what my position over the decades has been on this.


Labour leadership? First of all, the threat now of a mass migration


from Bulgaria and Romania gives the Government the opportunity to


change the nature of our welfare state. Similarly, it is a challenge


to the Labour side about whether in fact they want to see a welfare


state based on contributions that people build it up by their own


residency or whether we continue as we have since 1979 of giving out


welfare if you can prove need. not holding my breath. You have


been consistently on line, but I think you are right - welfare is an


issue we need to look at. I have to say the Prime Minister down needs


to look at this because it is a political imperative for my party


too. Thank you both very much. There's a bitter row brewing in


Grantham about plans for a statue of the town's most famous daughter


- Baroness Thatcher. Visit today and you will see little sign of the


former Prime Minister, just a small plaque on her father's grocer's


shop and a display in the local museum. The council voted for plans


for a new statue on Friday. Labour voted for it and the Tory majority


against. Confused? We are. We asked for an interview. We are joined by


Ray Wootten. We have planned in place, but with Baroness Thatcher


being 87, we hope she lives a much longer time. Do you think it is


unseemingly to be discussing these kind of things while she is still


alive? We do. We have plans in place, but they are confidential at


the moment. You cannot give us guidance about what you are


considering? As much as I want to, I can't. Why do you think the issue


of Margaret Thatcher is controversial for you? What I was


pleased about was to hear that Labour did actually admire Margaret


Thatcher. They did support all her views and, clearly, she actually


put the great back into Great Britain. Are you sure Labour


supported all her views? I am sure they don't all of them. Some of the


Labour councillors said should a statue come to Grantham the best


thing for that statue would be to crush it up and fill the potholes


in, which I think is quite disgraceful. We will ask Labour to


give us their views about Margaret Thatcher on another occasion. It


will seem strange that Labour are promoting this idea. They think it


will be good for tourism? With the county council elections coming up,


this is a move by the local Labour leader to gain publicity for


herself. You think it is playing politics then? I do. We had the


budget meeting on Friday. They made an amendment, knowing we would have


to oppose it and we are putting our own amendment before that to carry


on doing the research to see what we could do in the event that day


does come. We all hope that Baroness Thatcher lives a long,


long life. Thank you. Jude Kelly - a statue in her home town? I am all


for women in public life being recognised N terms of who has


written history and who is known to have existed, I think Margaret


Thatcher has earned her place. I am not very keen on public statues


because pigeons land on them. My thought is, I wonder what artist


would get to do this statue. I thought Tracey Emem because she is


a Conservative supporter. I think wasing of the angel of the north


and can you have a Margaret Thatcher of Grantham of that scale?


What scale would it need to be to be a tourist interest. What would


be a fitting tribute to Margaret Thatcher? I don't know, I was going


to say a digital game. A digital game. I would be intrigued to know


your ideas for that one! I don't know. I know that public statues


have a short life. Eric Morecambe, there he is in Morecambe bay, and


God bless him, I don't think it attracts the tourists, it is for


them to sit and eat their sandwiches under and go, Who is


this again? I just want to think that actually women in public life


need to be spoken of. Whatever we thought of their views, I think she


was a very, very dominant figure, not just in this country but across


the world. We will be left with the thought of Margaret Thatcher and a


digital game then. I will try and invent it for the creative


industries. Last week, politics was dominated by the Eastleigh by-


election. Let's look at the Westminster in-tray for the week


ahead. Later today the Justice and Security Bill, including bills for


secret courts will be debated. Also today Liam Byrne launch's Labour's


campaign against the so-called bedroom tax at a press conference


in Hull. On Tuesday, the Health Select Committee hears evidence


from David Nicholson on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust


public inquiry. Several MPs have signed a motion calling for Mr


Nicholson to resign from his post, giving his previous role as chief


executive of West Midlands strategic health authority. On


Wednesday Ed Miliband will attempt to address voter concerns on


immigration ahead of a speech by the Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette


Cooper, on Thursday. Also on Thursday, the Bank of England's


monetary committee gives the latest decision on UK interest rates. It


is the fourth anniversary of rates reaching the low of 0.5%. On Friday,


the Lib Dem's spring conference begins, with a rally of the party


favourite. Joining me is George Parker and the Independent's Oliver


Wright. Welcome to you both. Oliver Wright, do you think these measures


being discussed by the Government to curb immigration from Bulgaria


and Romania will work? I think there's some significant problems


that the Government have got. If you look at the stories around


yesterday about how they were going to curb the use of the NHS, it


leads to the question of how on earth will you do that? Will you


turn doctors into policemen? Questioning the entitlement of


these people as they come in with a broken leg or whatever it might be?


I suspect medical leaders would not be entirely happy with that.


Clearly the symbolism is important. I think the practical nature of how


you actually either curtail benefits or curtail intitlement


will be tricky for the Government. What is interesting is some of the


things being talked about have been given oxygen since the Eastleigh


by-election, because immigration was deemed a big issue. Are many of


these measures in place and not used by local councils and the NHS?


There's an element of. That it was interesting to see David Cameron


saying the party would not lure too much the right and then we've had


stories about Britain tightening up the rules on benefit claimants. Yes,


it is true. A lot of the things they are talking about in this


Cabinet sub committee about restricting the pull factors are


things that councils, EU rules allow for, which have not been


implemented. The danger for the Government is introducing a raft of


new regulations which make it harder for British people to claim


benefits and taxes for the benefit of stopping a few Romanians and


Bulgarians. Like ID cards all over again. We know how that ended.


that issue then, how much do you think Brits may be affected by


attempted changes, if they are legally allowed? If you take the


NHS issue, the department this morning is very much playing down


the idea of ID cards. That was around for a while. Most people who


went down that particular line have been urging caution. A, it would


cost a huge amount of money. One thing they don't have is money. It


would reach the same kind of opposition. If people say we have


an entitlement card for the NHS does that lead on to an ID card?


All these rules don't just apply to Bulgarian and Romanian, they would


have to apply to French, German, Spanish. A lot of people on the


Costa Del Sol have free access to the Spanish health service. The


European Court of Justice will uphold the rules on the movement of


people across the European Union. They have to be careful about how


they approach this. What about the bedroom tax? Is it a tax? It's not


a tax. It is more withdraw the benefits. Labour will make a


campaign about this with some justification. They will point out


that people who will lose their benefits if they have a spare room


are meant to be encouraged to be moing into a smaller place and end


the problem of underoccupancy. There are not the available smaller


homes for them to move into, which one of the reasons the Government


has put �500 million worth of savings. You can see why Labour are


making a campaign about this. Ultimately the Conservative Party,


under the coalition party, will say if you don't get the money for this,


where will you get it from? Go you think it will be an effective


way of saving money and cutting the welfare bill? They are talking


about saving �500 million. The reason they are doing that is they


know people will not move out of houses with a spare room because


theer houses and flats are not available to them. George Osborne


desperately needs the money off. Politically it is damaging to the


Government. Ed Miliband has been successful. We are all talking


about a bedroom tax, as you rightly point out, it is not a tax. Labour


have a whole series of campaigns in the run-up to April. Remember in


April we get the 1% updating in benefits. We get the maximum amount


you can claim. You get the hoal councils are going to lose money in


the amount they can pay in council tax benefit. There is a whole thing


coming down the track, not to mention the beginning of universal


credit, which could make life uncomfortable for the Government.


It starts to sound to some people in Middle England, targeting voters.


It plays well with traditional Labour voters. Thank you very much.


Joining me for the rest of the programme we have the Tory MP Glenn


Glenn Glenn, -- John Glenn, Steve Reed and Tom Brake. It is a


question of... Are they achievable? Are they affordable at this point


in time? It would be irresponsible to say yes... It would be


irresponsible, did you say? If you cannot see how they would stimulate


the economy quickly enough to avoid interest rates going up. If the


markets are not confident that interest rates, interest rates


could go up and you will have problems with mortgages and the


integrity of the Government's economic policy would be in


question. There's no growth or very little over the past year. So, why


not as people in your party are saying, well, let's try tax cuts?


Because they have to be funded. If you make that move on tax cuts, you


also have to have further cuts elsewhere to justify that. You have


got to gain a political census across -- consensus across...


don't think George Osborne should do anything? That is not what I


said. In terms of tax cuts? should try. Which ones? Where he


can see it will have the maximum stimulus on the economy. Where


would you like to see them? I would like to see further ones to


corporation tax. We need to see more investment in jobs. Do you


agree with that? Of course the Government is implementing a tax


cut on the first April. If you are a millionaire you will get on


average �100,000 back in a tax cut, while they are increasing taxes on


ordinary people with things like the increase on VAT. Would you


agree with corporation tax - a cut in it? At the moment there's not


enough to fund the services we need. I think we need to look at growth


and from that growth deriver further revenues to fund things


like tax cuts and investments. Labour does want and has been


proposing tax cuts or would like to see a cut in VAT. We would like to


see a national insurance holiday. They want to spend money. One thing


Labour has proposed is a mansion tax on properties worth over �2


million in order to fund the reintroduction of the 10p rate of


tax, so people on lower incomes are paying less. That seems a fair way


The Labour Party are late on board, so to speak. If there are going to


be - going to be scope for tax cuts, what I would like to see is the


Government making yet more progress on delivering what we want to see


in terms of a fairer society and that is increasing the tax


thresholds so people on low and middle incomes - definitely going


to hit the �10,000 threshold by 2015. That's an area where the


Government can and should make progress and what that will mean,


because this is money going to people on low and middle incomes


it's money they're going to spend. We need people to spend money. They


will spend it on the basics and that is what we need at this time.


It will be a useful stimulus to the economy if you spend money raising


the threshold, taking more people out of tax? I think it's a policy


that I have always been relaxed about and the coalition is moving


towards the aspiration to move up to �10,000. The question is will it


encourage the investment decisions in jobs? The reality is that it's


easy to make political points around the rich paying more tax,


but the reality is that people need to make investment decisions in


businesses and if they're not making investment in jobs and in


growth, then it's a sort of pryic victory when it's not going to have


an kphebgt as -- affect, as a whole. We need to look at what is we are


doing already. For instance, the investment in infrastructure.


not working in terms of growth. 55,000 jobs are going to come on


the back of Crossrail, we need to move forward with things like High


Speed 2 to ensure that investment happens. It's Africa. We need that.


-- it's infrastructure. We need that. Will you back Labour's


proposal now for a mansion tax on properties worth �2 million.


need to see what they say. But in practice we have been very clear


this may well be a Liberal Democrat commitment in a Liberal Democrat


manifesto in 2015. I am not going to sign up to what Labour - we have


to see what they've got to say. For them to come on on board now is


very late in the day. You came forward with a mansion tax policy.


Labour are now putting it forward. There will be a vote. Which way


will you vote? Let's wait and see precisely what they say. I think we


are going to get another one of those apology videos from Nick


Clegg when the Liberals don't vote for something that was in the


manifesto. The reality is of course you are in coalition, you can't


have everything you want. That's a pragmatic relationship of --


reality of coalition. You know that. Are you happy that reports are


saying nearly a quarter of those due to be affected by the so-called


bedroom tax will be single parents? Well, I think it's very regrettable


that we have got to take these tough decisions. The reality is we


did inherit a massive amount of debt. You can't pay off debt


quickly when you are income isn't rising. Should single parents take


on that burden. There is a lot of discretion of how - all taxes are


levied and all savings are saved and the reality is that local


councils will make some of these decisions and there is a fund


available to help those that are most vulnerable. Let's move on.


Now yesterday the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, raised the prospect


of a British exit from the European Convention on Human Rights. He


stressed that change had to happen but when asked by the BBC's John


Pienaar whether the Tories might pull out of the Convention


altogether, Mr Grayling said that he had not ruled anything in or out.


Here's a flavour of what he had to say.


Well, I'm absolutely certain we will go into the next election with


a plan for change. I think all of us agree that the current framework


for human rights law in the UK is not what we would want it to be.


Ironically f you look at the original convention in the 1940s


and 50s, when Stalin was in power and people were sent to gulags


without trial. Over 50 years, it's moved away from that. That was


Chris Grayling. Should Britain pull out of the ECHR? Absolutely, I


think many people across the country are fed up with the


perverse decisions that come as a consequence of that. I have never


understood why this is sometimes portrayed as a lurch to the right.


I don't see why it's beyond British parliament to make decisions about


human rights and how things work in our country. It seems that we are


capable as a parliament of doing that. I think that what Chris is


pursuing is a sensible way forward. What do you think? I don't agree


with him nor I am sure does Kenneth Clarke. The convention has brought


lots of benefits to the UK in terms of protecting press freedoms,


providing access to pensions for widows and widowers. Actually it


has made a positive contribution. Now I am not say thrg's no scope


for -- there's no scope for reform. There are a lot of cases held in a


backlog that we could process more quickly. The act and the convention


has been of benefit to the UK. For to us come out of it and join only


bell only - would be a mistake. What the Tories aren't doing us is


telling us what they would replace it with. What do they want to lose?


The convention prevents the Government ears dropping on


citizens -- Eavesdropping on citizens. No way different


hierarchy of things can be resolved. We need to have more control at


domestic level. It's all very well saying these things can be reformed.


They haven't been reformed and time and time again people in this


country are frustrated that laws they hope are actually made in


Westminster by their elected representatives, we have little


authority over. What do you say about those frustrations people


feel? They're not telling us. They're not telling us... What


about frustrations? One of the benefits of the HRA decisions,


instead of being taken by British judges in British courts, will be


taken by European judges in Strasbourg. Is that what the Tories


want to do, hand more power to kwrorp. -- to Europe? We need to


have control in Westminster. We need to have British politicians


making rules about what we see as important in terms of human rights,


what hierarchy they actually take... The convention was the product of


British diplomacy. Time has moved on, rather a lot since then. We


need reform urgently. convention has really to show that


- that the British don't always take the right decisions. Access to


pensions for widows and widowers that's come as a result of the


European convention has been of great benefit to British citizens.


We need to take that into account. Nothing would prevent us from doing


that ourselves either. Right. So amongst the advice, analysis, and


criticisms for the political parties post-Eastleigh one thing


seems to affect them all. The seemingly all pervasive view that


they are indeed all the same. It's not a new thought, and perhaps


explains why political rebels have always attracted attention. One


Westminster website has drawn up a list of this parliaments rebels but


as in-house bad boy Giles Dilnot has been discovering the new rebels


actually play within the rules. From long before the invention of


the internal come the -- combustion engine Politics has had rebels.


People who like to drive straight through convention and leave tyre


marks on the best laid plans of Government, so Politics.co.uk


compiling a list celebrating a current crop of feisty folk might


not rev your motor but there IS a difference $:/ENDFEED..


One thing I quite strongly recept is being skaoeub -- resent is being


described as a rebel. I am elected by the good people to be a member


of parliament, not a member of the Government. And certainly not


elected to be a Patsy for the whips office for front bench. I would


call myself an independent-minded loyalist. I am sure it's going to


be carved in me somewhere when I die. You have to stand up for


things and there's ways of going about it. I have made a nuisance of


myself from time to time. But I have tried to do it in a


constructive way. Whether it's Carswell gearing up


with a number of issues, on fuel and 10p tax, Creasy rolling with


payday loans or Field, Goldsmith and Clarke carving their own way


through traffic, is it all principle or is that ego to them


all? There isn't an ego but I have always been a politician who does


say it as it is. It's been my strength. It's also been my


weakness because when I was part of the collective Ministerial team


there were times when I probably said things I shouldn't have done.


But get used to this, because we may see much more of it.


Politicians are realising now they look back at the 2010 election


where we saw unpredictable results, part of the reason was MPs are


becoming better at selling themselves rather than the party.


Leather rosettes, biker gang cabinet anyone? Giles enjoyed that


too much I think. So, have you ever rebelled? I have only only been


there a few weeks! Are you going to be a rebel with a cause? We have to


wait and see what issues come up. We have a party system for a reason.


People need to know what they're voting for when they put X next to


your name. Most don't know who we are individually, they know the


party label and know policies they're voting for and that's


helpful. Have you rebelled? I can't say I am a known rebel within the


Lib Dems, but the advantage of the Liberal Democrats is we are a


relatively small part, I suppose, compared to the other two. On the


whole, our views coincide so I think naturally we are less


rebellious. I suppose we have had to fight on many fronts for many


years and that binds us together more effectively perhaps than the


other two parties. Lots of rebels and they would argue with a great


cause. I think you need to draw a distension between a rebel and


being an effective campaigner -- distinction. You have understood


the film obviously completely. Well done. Is this the beginning of the


end for party politics and discipline that now campaigns are


taking on a life of their own and the 2010 intake are proving that?


To some degree, it's about emphasis. If you asked Douglas Carswell if he


was going to stand at the next election as an independent he would


quickly say no. At the end of the day there is lots more in common


than not. So, whilst he has very clear views that sometimes are at


odds with the Government, he still wants to stand as a Conservative.


There is also an issue about safe seats and marginal seats. There are


times when those, we will find out closer to the election, are going


to tpoeut for that -- fight for that seat and views in that


constituency, whether or not it's anything to do with their party


line. That's true and issues on which individual members of


parliament take a different view. Is that a good thing, will it


inspire people to be more independently-minded? We don't want


people who are stereo types. The backbench business committee, a new


innovation, is something that has enabled Robert Halfon for instance,


and others to push heard on an agenda -- hard on an agenda which


perhaps past governments wouldn't have allowed time to do. Are you


into campaigns as opposed to sticking to the political line.


are elected by constituents to represent that constituency and


every constituency is different. For instance, Croydon North which I


represent, big problem in the riots a year-and-a-half ago. Hundreds of


people hadn't had compensation despite being promised it. I have


to stand and want to stand full square with those people to fight


for their rights. That's a constituency issue. It isn't


necessarily against your party, is it? The key thing there is I am


fighting for the people that elected me. All right. Rebels, not


rebels with or without a cause! Time before we go to find out the


answer to our quiz. What other female first can


Grantham lay claim to. The first woman to be a firefighter, brain


surgeon, astronaut or police officer? Have a go. Police officer.


Astronaut. Police officer. You are going too sky high there! You have


it right. Congratulations. There are no prizes, I have to tell you.


You can come on again! Now that's it for today. Thank you to our


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