15/04/2013 Daily Politics


15/04/2013

Jo Coburn with the latest political news and debate, with MPs Sir Menzies Campbell, Cheryl Gillan and Dame Tessa Jowell.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 15/04/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Welcome to the Daily Politics where MPs, like us, are returning from

:00:43.:00:49.

their Easter break. Much of the week will of course be dominated by

:00:49.:00:53.

the funeral of Baroness Thatcher on Wednesday. Early this morning a

:00:53.:00:56.

rehearsal of the military ceremony took place in central London.

:00:56.:00:59.

Hundreds of members of the armed forces lined the route of the

:00:59.:01:03.

procession, from Westminster to Saint Paul's Cathedral. MPs are

:01:03.:01:06.

this afternoon expected to approve plans cancelling this week's PMQs.

:01:06.:01:11.

Campaigning for next month's local elections is under way. We will be

:01:11.:01:14.

asking can any of the parties change the political weather.

:01:14.:01:17.

A limit on the amount people can claim in benefits comes into force

:01:17.:01:23.

for the first time today. We sent Giles out to test the national mood.

:01:23.:01:30.

They want to go and find the drug users and take their benefits away.

:01:30.:01:35.

And should Ed Miliband be shopping around for advice? Save your money.

:01:35.:01:39.

Plenty of Blairites seem to be dishing it out for free.

:01:39.:01:44.

All that in the next hour. We are joined for the whole of today's

:01:44.:01:46.

programme by the former Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan, the former

:01:46.:01:49.

Culture Ssecretary Tessa Jowell and the former Lib Dem leader Ming

:01:49.:01:55.

Campbell. If you can find three MPs that bring with them more wisdom

:01:55.:01:59.

and experience than this lot, then please give us a call. We will sign

:01:59.:02:07.

them up! You can never over flatter any MP. So I have discovered.

:02:07.:02:11.

Now, politics as normal is on hold this week for the funeral of Lady

:02:11.:02:14.

Thatcher on Wednesday. The government is planning to cancel

:02:14.:02:17.

PMQs, and preparations are well under way for the ceremonial

:02:17.:02:21.

procession from Westminster to St Paul's Cathedral. As the sun was

:02:21.:02:23.

coming up this morning, there was a full-scale military dress rehearsal

:02:23.:02:26.

for the event, with regiments which fought in the Falklands

:02:26.:02:29.

accompanying a coffin draped in the Union flag as it was carried first

:02:29.:02:34.

by gun carriage and then by pall bearers to St Paul's. More than 700

:02:34.:02:37.

members of the armed forces were involved, from all three services,

:02:37.:02:39.

and the procession band played the funeral marches of Chopin,

:02:39.:02:42.

Beethoven and Mendelssohn as it made its way along the deserted

:02:42.:02:47.

streets for the rehearsal. Yesterday, the Bishop of Grantham

:02:47.:02:50.

told the Sunday Politics that spending millions on the event was

:02:50.:02:54.

a mistake. Police preparations are also under way to make sure that

:02:54.:02:59.

activists do not disrupt the funeral. But tribal divisions have

:02:59.:03:01.

been largely set aside and discussions about how to

:03:01.:03:09.

commemorate her life have begun. I should start by asking, are you

:03:09.:03:17.

going to the funeral? Yes. Former leaders and those who work in the

:03:17.:03:24.

House when Mrs Thatcher was Prime Minister have been invited. I think

:03:24.:03:30.

it will be a remarkable occasion and one which I am very honoured to

:03:30.:03:36.

have been asked to take part in. far as I am aware, I shall be

:03:36.:03:41.

attending. I think it is a special thing, particularly as she was the

:03:41.:03:46.

first woman prime minister. The reason I am an MP at all is because

:03:46.:03:53.

she encouraged me to stand. We will come to the legacy. What about you?

:03:53.:04:02.

No. What about the fact that it is a state funeral in all but name? Is

:04:02.:04:08.

it appropriate to that that level of commemoration is being set for

:04:08.:04:12.

Baroness Thatcher? The last Prime Minister to have the funeral of

:04:12.:04:16.

that time was Winston Churchill. You are right, the difference

:04:16.:04:20.

between a state and ceremonial funeral will only be in the eyes of

:04:20.:04:27.

those who hold themselves out to be experts in these matters. To the

:04:27.:04:30.

average viewer watching, the distinction will make no sense

:04:30.:04:36.

whatsoever. But I am an MP because I was very much opposed to the

:04:36.:04:42.

policies of Margaret Thatcher and did my best to argue against them

:04:42.:04:48.

in my own constituency. I was about to say, whatever you think of her

:04:48.:04:53.

policies, the fact of the matter is it was a remarkable achievement for

:04:53.:04:57.

a woman at her time to become leader of the Conservative Party

:04:57.:05:02.

and to become Prime Minister. In addition to that, the courage which

:05:02.:05:08.

she showed in relation to the Falklands, for example, was quite

:05:08.:05:14.

extraordinary. It really was a gamble. If two more missiles had

:05:14.:05:18.

hit any more British warships, the whole thing might have changed.

:05:18.:05:23.

Although I disagreed with much of what she did, she won three

:05:23.:05:27.

consecutive elections and has left her mark on British politics and

:05:27.:05:33.

one way or another, she is entitled to be remembered. Do you think it

:05:33.:05:37.

is the right way to be remembered? I think she is entitled to be

:05:37.:05:47.
:05:47.:05:49.

remembered. In what way? I think that what is obvious is that she

:05:49.:05:54.

was heavily involved in planning her own funeral, choosing her music

:05:54.:05:59.

and to she wanted to be there. The question this has thrown up is how

:05:59.:06:03.

we honour a former prime ministers. I think this week is a week of

:06:03.:06:08.

respect to the memory of a woman who was very divisive but by any

:06:08.:06:12.

measure was an extraordinary politician. I think then after that

:06:12.:06:16.

we have got to look at this broader question, so in a way the country

:06:16.:06:21.

is not taken by surprise by the way in which a funeral for a former

:06:21.:06:31.

Prime Minister is organised. The fact is, if you have heads of state

:06:31.:06:35.

or senior politicians from countries around the world, it is

:06:35.:06:40.

going to be expensive, because the security will cost a lot, so I

:06:40.:06:43.

think this is a week for respect. The long-term issue is how to mark

:06:43.:06:49.

this kind of moment but as a young woman, I went on more marches

:06:49.:06:55.

against Mrs Thatcher's policies than I can count, I fought two

:06:55.:06:59.

elections as a Labour candidate as she was about to become Prime

:06:59.:07:04.

Minister. The politics were horrible, raw and divisive, but

:07:04.:07:10.

that does not mean that I don't think, in respect of her family and

:07:10.:07:14.

the people who worked closely with her, that she should not be

:07:14.:07:18.

honoured in this way. So John Prescott is wrong to have

:07:18.:07:24.

questioned the amount of money the taxpayer will pay? �10 million?

:07:24.:07:28.

did not see his piece, apparently he wrote it and the headline was

:07:28.:07:33.

rather out of line was what he actually said. We do not know how

:07:33.:07:38.

much this is going to cost. The Thatcher family are apparently

:07:38.:07:42.

making a contribution. We need more transparency. People have got to

:07:43.:07:47.

know what the plan Tsar. The police have agreed to allow an organised

:07:48.:07:53.

protest. I think that is quite right. One of the things that is

:07:54.:07:58.

for sure about Margaret Thatcher is that she believed in freedom of the

:07:58.:08:01.

individual and the freedoms that we have in this country allow people

:08:01.:08:06.

to protest peacefully and if people are going to mark their opposition

:08:06.:08:11.

to a woman who has now passed on, then I hope they will do so and

:08:11.:08:14.

remember the safety and peace of others who are coming to pay their

:08:14.:08:20.

respects, because she was a game change in politics in this country.

:08:20.:08:26.

She moved people from poverty into home-ownership, into wealth sharing

:08:26.:08:32.

and wealth creation, and I do not want to go into her legacy...

:08:32.:08:37.

will talk about that. I think it is fitting that we should mark the

:08:37.:08:40.

longest serving prime minister for 150 years and the first woman to

:08:40.:08:44.

hold that position. The Conservative MP and friend of

:08:44.:08:50.

Baroness Thatcher Bernard Jenkin is on College Green. What is Margaret

:08:50.:08:54.

Thatcher's legacy for you? Wednesday will be a global event.

:08:54.:09:01.

This is not just for domestic consumption. The reason so many

:09:01.:09:04.

heads of state and ambassadors will be attending his because Margaret

:09:04.:09:14.

Thatcher was a global figure and therefore this non-state

:09:14.:09:18.

occasion...! This is a fitting tribute to what most other

:09:18.:09:21.

countries would recognise as an absolutely normal thing to do for a

:09:21.:09:28.

former prime minister. Apparently there have scrim -- been reports in

:09:28.:09:35.

some of the American press that they have been surprised by some of

:09:35.:09:39.

the vitriol that has been expressed in the UK. But many parts of

:09:39.:09:46.

Britain are still hostile to her legacy. One has the highest respect

:09:46.:09:50.

for people who take a different view but it is a tiny minority who

:09:50.:09:55.

are gloating over her death and indeed that is the kind of real

:09:55.:10:02.

personal unpleasantness that she had to put up with so much of,

:10:02.:10:07.

personalisation of the argument, blaming her. There was a protest in

:10:07.:10:10.

Corby on Friday where apparently all the Labour councillors walked

:10:10.:10:18.

out of a council meeting during a minute's silence, and the Labour

:10:18.:10:23.

Party decided to close the steel mill in Corby, because Margaret

:10:23.:10:26.

Thatcher had attracted the Investment, and by the time she

:10:26.:10:31.

left office, unemployment in Corby was back to the national average!

:10:31.:10:37.

That is the real record, not the distorted record. Do you agree that

:10:37.:10:41.

the protests that have been agreed with the police should go ahead and

:10:41.:10:44.

that there should be a balance for respect for the family and people

:10:44.:10:49.

who want to protest peacefully? hope that protesters will respect

:10:49.:10:54.

that a great majority of the nation do want to honour her memory in

:10:54.:11:00.

this very fitting way. There is a balance to be struck. People

:11:00.:11:06.

complaining about the money, she could have sold her private and

:11:06.:11:10.

personal political papers to an American university and a few years

:11:10.:11:14.

ago when she was offered tens of millions of pounds. She did not do

:11:14.:11:19.

that. She gave them to Churchill College for the nation. That is the

:11:19.:11:24.

kind of selfless person that she was. I think people protesting

:11:24.:11:28.

about this funeral on undermining our country abroad. It will be

:11:28.:11:32.

interesting to see the viewing figures. I suspect the world will

:11:32.:11:36.

be watching this funeral and admiring the country and

:11:36.:11:40.

remembering what an incredible political figure she was. What is

:11:40.:11:47.

your view about a library in her honour? This is news to me. I think

:11:47.:11:52.

it is tremendously good idea. If the money can be raised to set up

:11:52.:11:57.

something like that in Westminster, I am sure it will receive an

:11:57.:12:03.

enormous amount of foreign visitors, just as the Churchill Museum under

:12:03.:12:08.

White will receive an enormous amount of visitors -- quite tall. I

:12:08.:12:13.

think she will be a political figure that fascinates historians

:12:13.:12:19.

both home and abroad for hundreds of years to come. Thank you. You

:12:19.:12:24.

are dying to say something. It is interesting, in a way their

:12:25.:12:30.

response illustrates the fact that she was a divisive figure. It is

:12:30.:12:34.

veering between hagiography and hatred and I think it will take

:12:34.:12:39.

some time before history allows us a proper perspective about the

:12:39.:12:43.

contribution that Margaret Thatcher made. Cheryl Gillan rightly says

:12:43.:12:47.

that she allowed people to buy council houses but at the same time

:12:47.:12:52.

she did not allow money to be spent in replacing them and if you are a

:12:52.:12:56.

constituency MP like me, you have had a parade of people in your

:12:56.:13:02.

surgery who would otherwise be entitled to social housing but

:13:02.:13:08.

because 60% of the council houses in my constituency have been sold,

:13:08.:13:14.

they are denied that opportunity. A good policy, but not always with

:13:14.:13:18.

the necessary mitigation. Are you comfortable with the idea of a

:13:18.:13:22.

library in her honour being in the former Liberal Democrat

:13:22.:13:28.

headquarters? I would certainly enjoy the irony of that. There are

:13:28.:13:32.

a lot of good Liberal Democrat ghosts who would halt the

:13:32.:13:37.

Conservative Party for some time in Downing Street! -- who would haunt.

:13:37.:13:43.

You could argue in large parts of Britain the price of her revolution

:13:43.:13:49.

has made the Conservative branch toxic. One of the benefits of

:13:49.:13:52.

having a library and museum in her name, perhaps we can get some

:13:52.:13:56.

balance into the debate because it is terribly polarised and there is

:13:56.:14:03.

a lot of inaccuracies bringing up from this increased and intensive...

:14:04.:14:10.

But on both sides. I think there will be exaggeration but I do think

:14:10.:14:16.

it is important to remember she was a key figure in ending the Cold War.

:14:16.:14:20.

Burn it is right in saying there are many people abroad that

:14:20.:14:26.

actually think that she was an incredible leader for her time --

:14:26.:14:34.

Bernard. There is no consensus on this. She certainly played a part

:14:34.:14:38.

in the ending of the Cold War but to suggest it was of such pre-

:14:38.:14:42.

eminence, as many people have recently, ignores the fact that the

:14:42.:14:47.

Soviet system was bust and was failing and because it was failing

:14:47.:14:51.

it had to consider alternatives, Gorbachev in particular. We have

:14:51.:14:58.

not got that much longer. Let's talk about winning -- women. There

:14:58.:15:03.

has been a lot of debate about what she did to further the cause of

:15:03.:15:08.

women. She did break the ultimate glass ceiling. Beyond that, do you

:15:08.:15:15.

feel she did much to further the cause of women? No. Her own

:15:15.:15:19.

personal achievement was remarkable but she did not look at the House

:15:19.:15:24.

of Commons and say, this place is unrepresentative of the country,

:15:24.:15:31.

and take steps to introduce positive action as we did in the

:15:31.:15:35.

run-up to 1997, and we saw a transformation in the number of

:15:35.:15:40.

women MPs. No, she was not a feminist. She thought she had to be

:15:40.:15:50.
:15:50.:15:52.

a better man in a man's and what. - - in a man's world for. I think she

:15:52.:15:58.

saw herself as the best person to do the job. When she was the leader

:15:58.:16:04.

of our party, which was unusual, there were only 4% of MPs of any

:16:04.:16:09.

party that will women and even with the positive discrimination, we are

:16:09.:16:16.

only up to 22%. We have not made that much difference! Labour has.

:16:16.:16:26.
:16:26.:16:33.

I can only speak personally. She encouraged me personally, at that

:16:33.:16:38.

dinner. Just briefly, before we move on - her legacy, and the

:16:38.:16:43.

amount of time we spend talking about it, it is a difficult legacy

:16:43.:16:47.

for David Cameron, is it not? very difficult for any Prime

:16:47.:16:51.

Minister, following Margaret Thatcher, because she was such an

:16:51.:16:58.

enormous, huge...! We are joined now from College green by George

:16:59.:17:06.

Galloway, the Respect MP, who does not support the funeral

:17:06.:17:11.

arrangements for Wednesday - why not? You have managed to gather

:17:11.:17:14.

together the only three people in the country who think it is all

:17:14.:17:18.

right that we are spending �10 million on the canonisation of this

:17:18.:17:23.

wicked woman, a woman who laid waste to industrial Britain of the

:17:23.:17:26.

North, Scotland and South Wales. have already had the recall of

:17:27.:17:33.

Parliament last week, with MPs being paid up to �3,700 to fly back

:17:33.:17:37.

from their Caribbean holiday, and then fly back to start their

:17:37.:17:43.

holiday again, Jennie totally unnecessary fawning over this woman.

:17:43.:17:47.

And now, they want to cancel Prime Minister's Questions. It is absurd.

:17:47.:17:51.

She was Prime Minister for more than 11 years, she won three

:17:51.:17:54.

general elections, surely she is a big enough political figure,

:17:54.:18:00.

whether you like her or not, to merit such a ceremony? Mr Wilson

:18:00.:18:04.

high of Ristic four general elections, Mr Atlee totally

:18:04.:18:07.

transformed the country in the wake of the Second world War. Neither of

:18:07.:18:13.

those had anything remotely like this, this tidal wave of guff which

:18:13.:18:23.
:18:23.:18:24.

the country is being forced to listen to, particularly on the BBC.

:18:24.:18:28.

And when we had Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead, you censored it, it was

:18:28.:18:33.

the only way of them expressing how they felt. It is utterly absurd. We

:18:33.:18:36.

would be conducting this conversation in German if it was

:18:36.:18:40.

not for Mr Churchill. He saved the very existence of this country.

:18:40.:18:44.

Well, Mrs Thatcher did her best to destroy what was good about this

:18:44.:18:48.

country, and did destroy more than a third of our manufacturing

:18:48.:18:53.

capacity, reducing us to the state we are in now. People are very

:18:53.:18:57.

angry in Britain, and it is not reflected in your studio, and it is

:18:57.:19:01.

not reflected on the BBC. You want to reflecting it very clearly and

:19:01.:19:06.

loudly... She died one week ago, hundreds of thousands of people

:19:06.:19:10.

have been following me on social media, but I never got one

:19:10.:19:15.

invitation to speak on the BBC. think you will find this is the

:19:15.:19:18.

first programme back after the Easter break, and you are on it,

:19:18.:19:23.

George Galloway. Those sentiments that you have expressed, is there a

:19:23.:19:27.

different time to express those? This is the week that her funeral

:19:27.:19:33.

is taking place, so is this not a time to rise above that? That is

:19:33.:19:38.

what people said last Monday. Now, it is this Monday. How long have we

:19:38.:19:43.

got to observe this fate silence on the record of a woman who caused

:19:44.:19:50.

such destruction in this country? The the Tories were reduced to zero

:19:50.:19:55.

MPs in Scotland. They are branded utterly poisonous in large parts of

:19:55.:20:01.

the North. They lost her deposit against me in the by-election just

:20:01.:20:06.

a few weeks ago. Is there a difference, George Galloway,

:20:06.:20:09.

because Tessa Jowell and Menzies Campbell have stated very clearly

:20:09.:20:14.

that they disagree with her policies, and Tessa Jowell went on

:20:14.:20:18.

marches against a policies - is this a difference between the way

:20:18.:20:22.

you express your outrage and disgust, whether it is done in a

:20:22.:20:26.

more polite way just for this week, I am just asking, or whether you do

:20:26.:20:32.

it in the way that you have expressed it? Was Mrs Thatcher

:20:32.:20:35.

polite about the miners when she destroyed their communities,

:20:35.:20:41.

leaving them in social slag heaps of vice and idleness? Was she

:20:41.:20:45.

polite to the pit workers when she destroyed them? She laid waste to

:20:45.:20:50.

this country. Spare me the centre many about politeness. There are

:20:50.:20:56.

millions of people in this country who hate the very word Thatcher,

:20:56.:21:00.

and Thatcherism continues until this very day. George Galloway, I

:21:00.:21:04.

think we did try to get hold of you earlier for a programme, but thank

:21:04.:21:09.

you for appearing today. Your response to that, Cheryl Gillan?

:21:09.:21:13.

would take him more seriously if he appeared in Yes. More often. I

:21:13.:21:20.

think he has voted in 13% of our divisions, so he does not use the

:21:20.:21:30.
:21:30.:21:42.

arena for which he was elected. seems to me, where George Galloway

:21:42.:21:48.

has made an interesting point, but which may be challenged, is, why

:21:48.:21:52.

was there not this amazing outburst when Mrs Thatcher stepped down?

:21:52.:21:56.

That was the time when it was proper to have reflect on the

:21:56.:22:00.

political consequences of her prime ministership. I have already said

:22:00.:22:04.

that I think history will give us a much better impression of the

:22:04.:22:08.

success or failure of her policies. But for the moment, in this

:22:08.:22:12.

particular week, I think it is legitimate to expect that there

:22:12.:22:15.

should be a degree of respect provided to someone who was,

:22:15.:22:20.

whatever you think of her policies, a dominant political figure. I take

:22:20.:22:24.

issue with some notion that she ended the Cold War, and everything

:22:24.:22:31.

that happened after and during her time, but the fact of the matter is

:22:31.:22:34.

that like it or lump it, she was a dominant figure for a long time in

:22:34.:22:42.

British politics. Done well do you understand the anger expressed by

:22:42.:22:49.

George Galloway...? Of course I do, but I think Mrs Thatcher did divide

:22:49.:22:53.

the country. She governed for the south, she did not govern for the

:22:53.:22:57.

north. In that respect, the communities that were laid waste,

:22:57.:23:01.

and some of which have never recovered, are shown in the faces

:23:01.:23:05.

of those older people, who have come down to London to take part in

:23:05.:23:10.

demonstrations over the weekend. But the fact is, you do not have to

:23:10.:23:15.

pretend that you agreed with her, or you do not have to pretend that

:23:15.:23:21.

there is still anger about what she did, to say that this is a week in

:23:21.:23:28.

which you honour and pay respect to a leader of our country who has

:23:28.:23:34.

died. I think that is absolutely right. There is so much I disagree

:23:34.:23:37.

with with Tony Blair and about the policies of the last Labour

:23:37.:23:40.

government, but I have respect that the man was our last prime

:23:40.:23:44.

ministers, and that Labour were in power for that time. I just think

:23:44.:23:50.

that she has been wilfully misinterpreted in many areas. She

:23:50.:23:54.

said that we have to look at jobs for the future, which I think is

:23:54.:23:57.

genuinely what she was trying to do. As we have been hearing, MPs are

:23:57.:24:03.

back for their -- from their Easter break. They are gearing up for a

:24:03.:24:07.

big event next month, the local elections, on the 2nd May. So, what

:24:07.:24:11.

is happening? There will be elections for 27 county councils,

:24:11.:24:15.

elections for 27 county councils, seven unitary authorities, and two

:24:15.:24:19.

mayoral elections. Altogether, almost 2,500 seats are being

:24:19.:24:24.

contested. It is one of the last major tests of the political

:24:24.:24:27.

weather ahead of the general election in 2015. The last time

:24:27.:24:31.

these seats were up for grabs was in 2009, when Gordon Brown was

:24:31.:24:36.

Prime Minister. Then, the estimated national equivalent share of the

:24:36.:24:43.

vote had the Conservatives on 35%... Four years on, and a change of

:24:43.:24:51.

government later, how will each of the party's Fair? And what of UKIP?

:24:51.:25:01.
:25:01.:25:02.

They come second at the Eastleigh by-election. -- parties fare? We

:25:02.:25:06.

can now speak to Professor John Curtis, who knows everything there

:25:06.:25:10.

is to know about local elections. - is to know about local elections. -

:25:10.:25:13.

- Professor John Curtice. The warning about losing 500 seats, is

:25:13.:25:20.

that a realistic estimate? I think that is probably a realistic

:25:20.:25:25.

estimate, although possibly a bit on the high side. One thing to bear

:25:25.:25:34.

in mind is that these seats, before 2009, they were fought on general

:25:34.:25:40.

election day in 2005, which gives us a clear baseline. In 2009, the

:25:40.:25:45.

Tories won around 350 more seats than they did in 2005. And of

:25:45.:25:50.

course, in 2005, they lost the general election. So, losses on

:25:50.:25:54.

that scale are not to be unexpected. But bear in mind that for the most

:25:54.:25:57.

part, the Conservatives will be facing primarily the Liberal

:25:57.:26:00.

Democrats as their opponents, not Labour. Given that the Liberal

:26:00.:26:04.

Democrats are doing relatively badly in the polls as well, the

:26:04.:26:07.

scale of the Conservative losses probably should not be as high as

:26:07.:26:11.

500. But certainly losses around the 350 mark would not be

:26:11.:26:15.

unexpected. That does not mean to say that the Conservatives are

:26:15.:26:19.

doing well if they lose 350 seats, it will simply confirm the message

:26:19.:26:22.

of the opinion polls that they are not terribly popular Ronnie Moore.

:26:22.:26:28.

You have mentioned that they will be a pop -- up against the Liberal

:26:28.:26:30.

Democrats in the county council elections, but will a certain

:26:30.:26:34.

number of votes go to UKIP? We will be looking at how far the

:26:34.:26:38.

Conservatives are losing to UKIP, as you say. There has already been

:26:38.:26:45.

a substantial UKIP intervention in local elections recently. This is

:26:45.:26:48.

the first time where UKIP will be fighting effectively on a

:26:48.:26:52.

nationwide scale. We have been seeing surprising support for UKIP,

:26:52.:26:57.

going above 10% in the opinion polls, and it seems to becoming

:26:57.:26:59.

disproportionately from the Conservatives. That said, UKIP have

:26:59.:27:04.

a bit of a problem, which is, because the last elections were in

:27:04.:27:08.

2009, it was on the same day as the European elections, when UKIP did

:27:08.:27:12.

extraordinarily well. And they did rather well in the 2009 local

:27:12.:27:17.

elections as well. So, where UKIP stood last time, the extent of the

:27:17.:27:21.

progress they make this time might not be as great as you might

:27:21.:27:29.

anticipate from the opinion polls. But the Conservatives will

:27:29.:27:34.

certainly have reason for concern. One thing we may well not get from

:27:34.:27:37.

the headline results on the night is the degree to which UKIP

:27:37.:27:43.

actually manage to make an advance. Their problem is that there vote is

:27:43.:27:47.

so geographically unevenly spread, that they struggle to turn thugs

:27:47.:27:54.

into seats. Even in 2009, they were getting 15% of the vote on average,

:27:54.:28:01.

but they only won 15 seats. -- evenly spread. Just briefly on

:28:01.:28:08.

Labour, a disaster has been forecast for them... Yes, given

:28:08.:28:13.

that they won 350 more seats in 2005 than they did in 2009, and

:28:13.:28:16.

given that the Liberal Democrats are now in trouble as well as the

:28:16.:28:21.

Conservatives, frankly, it is the Labour Party whose advance should

:28:21.:28:26.

be towards the 500 mark, even if the Conservative losses are not on

:28:26.:28:30.

that scale. I think Labour have been vastly underselling what they

:28:30.:28:37.

might manage to achieve. UKIP's Councillor Diane James, who came

:28:37.:28:40.

second in the Eastleigh by-election, joins us now. First of all, coming

:28:40.:28:46.

to you, Cheryl Gillan, any loss of 500 seats would be dreadful, would

:28:46.:28:53.

it not? It is worth remembering that we were at 42% in the polls

:28:53.:28:56.

last time, defending virtually every single council which is

:28:56.:29:01.

coming up. I think Labour is defending one. So we would expect

:29:01.:29:06.

Labour to do well. I think midterm, with the kind of press and issues

:29:06.:29:09.

that have been surrounding the Government and the coalition

:29:09.:29:14.

government, we are not expecting to do brilliantly. When you say the

:29:14.:29:17.

press, you mean the message is not getting through, people are not

:29:18.:29:22.

convinced by the economic policies? Yes, I think there is a great deal

:29:22.:29:25.

of frustration with the fact that the economy has not been recovering

:29:25.:29:32.

as fast as we expected.. And people have been blaming you... I think

:29:32.:29:35.

people will speak in the ballot box. But don't forget, you are moving

:29:35.:29:39.

from being at the height of your popularity, at the top of your tree,

:29:39.:29:47.

and Labour has only got 255 seats to defend. On the Liberal Democrats,

:29:47.:29:51.

we know what the polls have been saying for the last year or so, but

:29:52.:29:59.

of course, Eastleigh... You took the words out of your mouth -- out

:29:59.:30:06.

of my mouth. What is going to be a good result for you? I am not going

:30:06.:30:10.

to hazard a guess about that. People oversell losses and

:30:10.:30:16.

undersell the gains, it is part of the tradition. So, are you going to

:30:16.:30:23.

oversell the gains for us?! We have to do a bit of analysis regarding

:30:23.:30:27.

Eastleigh. It was won by a local candidate, with a very strong

:30:27.:30:34.

record as a local councillor, and why, because he got things done.

:30:34.:30:41.

The point is that where the Liberal Democrats are not closing libraries,

:30:41.:30:44.

for example, they are representing local people in a way which local

:30:44.:30:49.

people find attractive, and doing their best to maintain services, to

:30:49.:30:53.

maintain the environment, things have that kind, and these are local

:30:53.:30:57.

elections, and people tend to vote for local issues. Sir, you are

:30:57.:31:04.

quite optimistic. It is always qualified optimism, because

:31:04.:31:11.

otherwise people think you're being complacent. I am not. But if our

:31:11.:31:14.

councillors get out and knock on the doors as is necessary, then I

:31:14.:31:19.

expect them to do well. That could be worrying for you, because UKIP

:31:19.:31:22.

are hoping to capitalise on these local elections, and you need to do

:31:22.:31:25.

so, to make some kind of breakthrough in terms of the

:31:25.:31:28.

numbers of council seats that you have, but if the Liberal Democrats

:31:29.:31:34.

are feeling a bit gung-ho about their prospects, then it could be

:31:34.:31:44.
:31:44.:31:52.

The Liberal Democrats brought in people from all across the country

:31:52.:31:59.

for that by-elections. We were understanding that 1,000 Liberal-

:31:59.:32:03.

Democrats were there on the doorstep. That is fine. If you look

:32:03.:32:10.

at the fact that only the postal vote won the Liberal Democrats...

:32:10.:32:14.

The point is the Lib Dems do not have that level of resources to

:32:14.:32:19.

deploy right across the country. When it comes down to it, UKIP has

:32:20.:32:24.

shown a 40% increase in membership, we have tripled the number of

:32:24.:32:28.

candidates we are fielding and we have had a series of consecutive

:32:28.:32:35.

very good results in by-elections. But there is a difference in

:32:35.:32:41.

translating that into actual seats, actual winning. OK, but still the

:32:41.:32:46.

voters were saying, they've voted for instance the Liberal Democrats

:32:46.:32:52.

in the general election, they got a Conservative-Liberal Democrat

:32:52.:32:58.

coalition, and they do not like its. For them, the one party that has

:32:58.:33:03.

been clear and consistent with its messages, listening to people, it

:33:03.:33:08.

is UKIP. How worried are you about UKIP? I have always said you need

:33:08.:33:15.

to take them seriously. When they have 16% of the vote, any party

:33:15.:33:20.

with that percentage you need to take seriously. But if we take

:33:20.:33:25.

their local campaign in Amersham, they are saying to everybody they

:33:25.:33:29.

can stop the high-speed railway that is about to drive through my

:33:29.:33:35.

constituency, which is actually quite wrong. They do not stand a

:33:35.:33:42.

hope of stopping it. They will win some votes because of that, I am

:33:42.:33:48.

sure, because people will be taken in by that message. I think that is

:33:48.:33:57.

the opportunity -- opportunism that UKIP are grabbing on to. UKIP is

:33:57.:34:02.

trying to capitalise on something locally but quite dishonestly in my

:34:02.:34:07.

view for the simple reason that in their own manifesto they were

:34:07.:34:14.

backing high-speed rail two years ago. We have said a number of times

:34:14.:34:21.

we are against high-speed rail... Hold on, please. I had been asked a

:34:21.:34:26.

question. We want to see the economics. None of that is there.

:34:26.:34:31.

We have an MP that on one hand said she was going to vote against

:34:31.:34:37.

something and we then resigned as an MP, did not do that, is taken...

:34:37.:34:42.

You need to check your facts. are the MP for an airy yet got a

:34:42.:34:48.

book I have consistently stood Against this, as have every single

:34:48.:34:57.

one of our candidates. -- You are the MP for this area. It is

:34:57.:35:02.

dishonest for UKIP. To try to come and give false messages in my area

:35:02.:35:06.

is quite wrong. It is more disappointing that the

:35:06.:35:09.

Conservatives say one thing and you have a group within your own party

:35:09.:35:16.

that will not support it. Tony Blair has told the party it needs

:35:16.:35:22.

to get out of its comfort zone. Is that helpful just before local

:35:22.:35:28.

elections? It is what Labour is doing. Why did Tony Blair need to

:35:28.:35:33.

say it then? We will come on to that. He is making a contribution

:35:33.:35:38.

to the debate. Maybe the manner was not ideal but there was a real

:35:38.:35:43.

substance in what he had to say and I hope people will take that

:35:43.:35:47.

seriously in a constructive spirit in which it is meant. Labour is not

:35:47.:35:54.

in a comfort zone. We are not a party of protest. We have a

:35:54.:35:58.

vigorous campaign in these local elections. UKIP is capturing the

:35:58.:36:02.

anti-politics mood of the moment, which is why Labour MPs are going

:36:02.:36:06.

around the country and listening to what people have to say and

:36:06.:36:11.

ensuring that our election campaign for the County Council elections

:36:12.:36:14.

response to the bread-and-butter issues that people are concerned

:36:14.:36:20.

about. Thank you. It is the start of another political term. Let's

:36:20.:36:24.

have a look at the week ahead in Westminster. A new cap on benefit

:36:24.:36:27.

payments begins today, initially in four London boroughs and then

:36:27.:36:30.

across Britain over the summer. The government hopes it will save �110

:36:30.:36:36.

million a year. Also today, we are expecting the writ to be moved for

:36:36.:36:38.

the South Shields by-election, which is now likely to take place

:36:38.:36:43.

on May 2nd. It was triggered by the departure of former Labour Foreign

:36:43.:36:45.

Secretary, David Miliband. On Tuesday, the coalition faces a

:36:45.:36:49.

revolt by MPs from both halves as they vote on the relaxation of

:36:49.:36:52.

planning rules in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill. If passed, it

:36:52.:36:59.

would make it easier to build conservatories and extensions. On

:36:59.:37:02.

Wednesday, the funeral of Lady Thatcher takes place at St Paul's

:37:02.:37:06.

Cathedral. It is expected that PMQs will be cancelled. And on Friday,

:37:06.:37:09.

the Conservative Party's local election campaign begins. Joining

:37:09.:37:12.

me to discuss the week ahead are Pippa Crerar from the London

:37:12.:37:18.

Evening Standard and the Mirror's James Lyons. A different week, a

:37:18.:37:26.

different feel. They retrieved. Westminster seems to be very sombre

:37:26.:37:32.

-- that is very true. Lots of people in the country do not seem

:37:32.:37:36.

happy with the fact that �10 million will be spent on Lady

:37:36.:37:40.

Thatcher's funeral. I was in Glasgow at the weekend, and

:37:40.:37:48.

although the streets were not packed with anti-Thatcher protests,

:37:48.:37:53.

the overwhelming majority of people felt this was not the best way to

:37:53.:37:57.

commemorate her. David Cameron would do well to recognise that. He

:37:57.:38:02.

seems to be suggesting that everyone lit in her shadow, for and

:38:02.:38:12.
:38:12.:38:13.

against. He should be aware of how toxic her memory is in large parts

:38:13.:38:20.

of the UK. She was extremely divisive but where I would part

:38:20.:38:24.

company is the idea that the Prime Minister is being measured in his

:38:24.:38:29.

remarks. We have seen him claiming that she rescued Britain. A lot of

:38:29.:38:34.

people would disagree with that. It is understandable there will be

:38:34.:38:39.

protests when the funeral is put on. In terms of welfare, that will

:38:39.:38:45.

obviously be one of the hallmarks of this government. We have this

:38:45.:38:49.

pilots -- pilot scheme that is starting. The government argues it

:38:49.:38:55.

is on the right side of the argument of the public. Certainly

:38:55.:39:02.

talking about this, the Conservatives recognise this is a

:39:02.:39:07.

divisive issue in the public and there does seem to be a lot of

:39:07.:39:12.

public support for the welfare cap in particular. It has only just

:39:12.:39:17.

come in today. Four London boroughs, so time will tell what impact it

:39:17.:39:23.

has on the ground. 4,000 households in London will be tested as it were

:39:23.:39:28.

so we will be watching very closely to see its families with children

:39:28.:39:32.

are particularly targeted and whether you end up having families

:39:32.:39:38.

having to move out. For many Conservatives, this is a touchstone

:39:38.:39:42.

issue and one where they can stand out from Labour, who have not

:39:42.:39:47.

really taken the same view. They are obviously opposing the welfare

:39:47.:39:55.

changes. That could be very difficult, James, For Ed Miliband.

:39:55.:40:00.

George Osborne seems -- sees welfare as a trap to put Ed

:40:00.:40:04.

Miliband into, rather than something that affects millions of

:40:04.:40:10.

ordinary people. He claims that welfare only goes to the shirkers,

:40:10.:40:15.

and this claim has fallen apart already. Most of the pain of these

:40:15.:40:19.

benefit cuts will be falling on working people. We have a real

:40:19.:40:27.

problem in this country. The government says it wants to make

:40:27.:40:31.

work pay but today it put the minimum wage up by 12p which is a

:40:31.:40:36.

real terms cut. I would like to see them do something where they

:40:36.:40:41.

actually do make work pay without inflicting pain on working for

:40:41.:40:47.

families. But Labour also is upset about the amount spent on welfare.

:40:47.:40:52.

They agree it is not working. have to be careful at taking the

:40:53.:40:57.

government at face value. We have seen over the weekend that Iain

:40:57.:41:01.

Duncan-Smith has been claiming that the benefits cap is already working.

:41:01.:41:09.

In fact, the government's own analysis shows no such thing and he

:41:09.:41:13.

has been reported to the statistics watchdog today. We have to be

:41:13.:41:18.

careful about falling for these ploys put out by the government.

:41:19.:41:22.

There will be stories a great injustice once the pilot is under

:41:22.:41:27.

way and once it is rolled out. There will be people who were

:41:27.:41:34.

genuinely fine things difficult. course. -- find things difficult.

:41:34.:41:38.

The vast majority will impact on people in work and even those who

:41:38.:41:43.

are not to be this safety net and if it is not there, there will be

:41:43.:41:48.

people slipping through. We saw extreme examples of welfare abuse

:41:48.:41:53.

in the run-up to this, at which are not widespread at all, but now we

:41:53.:41:57.

will also see extreme examples of where poverty has been inflicted on

:41:57.:42:01.

people. The reality for most is probably somewhere in the middle

:42:01.:42:05.

but we cannot ignore the fact there will be thousands and thousands of

:42:05.:42:09.

people who want to work or who are in work who will find it very hard

:42:09.:42:13.

from now on. So, as we have been hearing, the

:42:13.:42:15.

government's cap on benefits starts in four London boroughs today

:42:16.:42:18.

before being rolled out across England, Wales and Scotland over

:42:18.:42:22.

the summer. 40,000 households will see their benefits cut as part of

:42:22.:42:29.

the drive to reduce public spending. The debate about benefits dominated

:42:29.:42:33.

much of the Easter recess. So we decided to send Giles out with some

:42:33.:42:35.

multi-coloured balls to test the mood of the nation.

:42:35.:42:40.

Politicians seem keen for us to have this welfare debate, so why

:42:40.:42:45.

not have it now, in Gravesend. Is the benefits system OK or a soft

:42:45.:42:55.
:42:55.:42:55.

It seems to be that everybody is getting benefits apart from me!

:42:55.:43:00.

They want to get out of the office, find the drugs and the drug users

:43:00.:43:06.

and take away their benefits. you think a lot of scrunching?

:43:06.:43:12.

few. But the few makes it worse for the ones who really need it.

:43:12.:43:21.

think we just saw one of the few, don't you? Yes! This country should

:43:21.:43:27.

come first. Put their own before others. People get offered too much

:43:27.:43:33.

too early. They don't have to work for it. It is clear in Gravesend

:43:33.:43:37.

which way the wind is blowing but what is interesting is the reason

:43:37.:43:42.

why. It is going to the wrong people but not me or it is given to

:43:42.:43:46.

others, and by that I mean foreigners, that is definitely

:43:46.:43:56.
:43:56.:43:56.

coming through. They are targeting us. It is like one naughty child in

:43:56.:44:01.

their class and everybody gets punished. It is too easy for people

:44:01.:44:07.

to get benefits but we have to pay for it all. To say that somebody

:44:07.:44:12.

does not want to work is too simple. Do you feel better that your

:44:12.:44:18.

husband goes to work? Yes, he provides us with an lot. I would

:44:18.:44:24.

rather that than going out on benefits. Now to Chatham. Different

:44:24.:44:31.

town, same question. Different answers? People that are built and

:44:31.:44:37.

stuff, it is fine as it is. -- people that are built. We do not

:44:37.:44:44.

normally do this! My son is an unemployed graduate. I have another

:44:44.:44:53.

unemployed graduate child. Why is it a soft touch? I genuinely have

:44:53.:45:00.

no idea. You just voted without knowing what it was about? Yeah!

:45:00.:45:04.

is a soft touch because my heart and money is going to people who

:45:04.:45:11.

just sit at home. -- hard-earned money. A some people have to take

:45:11.:45:15.

responsibility. The majority of people on benefits do use it

:45:15.:45:20.

properly and they do get a sit in the end. It is a negative

:45:20.:45:26.

stereotype at the moment. People just assume it as being correct.

:45:26.:45:31.

have been asking people and the verdict is clear. Most people in

:45:31.:45:35.

Gravesend and Chatham think that the benefits system is as soft

:45:35.:45:40.

touch. Clearly, too many people think that too many benefit

:45:40.:45:50.
:45:50.:46:04.

With us now is the Labour MP Simon The people in Rochdale are quite

:46:04.:46:09.

clear that the trust in the welfare system has broken down. They see

:46:09.:46:13.

people on a daily basis who are perceived to be swinging the lead,

:46:13.:46:18.

which is probably true. There are people on benefits who should be in

:46:18.:46:22.

employment, and we need to talk more about the world of work, and

:46:22.:46:27.

less about the issue of simply making cuts to benefits. So, his Ed

:46:27.:46:32.

Miliband out of touch? No, I think he is doing an excellent job, as is

:46:32.:46:37.

Liam Byrne. We are two years away from a general election, and what

:46:37.:46:41.

Labour needs to do is to talk more about the world of work, to talk

:46:41.:46:44.

more about the aspirations of people in terms of work, and talk

:46:44.:46:50.

more about getting people into work. I have seen the lives of people

:46:50.:46:53.

getting transformed through the world of walk. I have never seen

:46:53.:46:57.

people's lives transformed through the welfare state. That's why we

:46:57.:47:01.

need to talk more about the benefits of working. But the Labour

:47:01.:47:05.

Party is struggling to decide its stance on the benefits system.

:47:05.:47:11.

but they have disagreed with the level of the cap, they have not

:47:12.:47:16.

supported the Government in its policies on welfare, so, I ask you

:47:16.:47:20.

again, has Ed Miliband got it wrong? There is no doubt, there is

:47:20.:47:25.

a distinction between what the current government is doing and

:47:25.:47:28.

where Labour stand on this. The Tories are very keen to push people

:47:28.:47:33.

into poverty, and cut benefits. They are not talking about getting

:47:33.:47:38.

people into work, their work programme is failing. I think it is

:47:38.:47:42.

getting about 3.6% of people into employment. It is clearly not

:47:42.:47:47.

working. What we need to do as a party is to devise policies, and we

:47:47.:47:52.

have got two years to do this, which talk about why work is

:47:52.:48:02.
:48:02.:48:02.

important to people dot dot dot -- important to people... Do you think

:48:02.:48:06.

so far, the Labour Party has been talking about grievances too much,

:48:06.:48:11.

without coming up with positive solutions? Some time ago, Ed

:48:11.:48:15.

Miliband said we needed to have an adult conversation about it. What

:48:15.:48:19.

is going on in the Labour Party is that adult conversation. People are

:48:19.:48:23.

making it quite clear how they want a policy to go in the Labour Party,

:48:23.:48:27.

with regard to benefits. I am saying that we need to talk more

:48:28.:48:32.

about aspirations, more about getting people into employment. The

:48:32.:48:39.

Government has clearly failed to create the jobs that people need.

:48:39.:48:44.

Thank you very much, Simon Danczuk. Tessa Jowell, as Simon Danczuk says,

:48:44.:48:48.

Labour has not been focusing enough on getting people back into work,

:48:48.:48:52.

they have just been focusing on grievances, what do you say to

:48:52.:48:57.

that? I think we have focused a lock on work as the best route out

:48:57.:49:01.

of poverty, the best route out of welfare, and also as the driver for

:49:01.:49:11.

economic growth. Let me ask Cheryl Gillan a question - the �100 job

:49:11.:49:15.

grant, for somebody leaving benefits and moving into work, has

:49:15.:49:21.

been discontinued. Also, the �250 deposit on child care, to enable

:49:21.:49:26.

people to pay for child care when they first start work, and thirdly,

:49:27.:49:31.

the howling -- the housing benefit rollover, to cover the transition

:49:31.:49:36.

from benefit to work. This is where this kind of policy is tested

:49:36.:49:41.

against the rhetoric. We know that getting people into work is the way

:49:41.:49:45.

to reduce the welfare bill and the way in which we can get the economy

:49:45.:49:49.

growing. But what the Government is doing is to rely on heavy rhetoric,

:49:49.:49:53.

without looking at the impact on individual cases, and without

:49:53.:49:57.

putting in place the detailed mechanisms to actually enable

:49:57.:50:04.

people in the JobCentre to make that transition. Is �26,000 a year

:50:04.:50:11.

enough for a family to live on? broader problem is that 49% of the

:50:11.:50:16.

families affected by the benefit cap our family is in London, where,

:50:16.:50:21.

as everybody knows, housing is other costs, like travel, are

:50:21.:50:28.

higher. Would you back that cap? Yes, we would, but we argued

:50:28.:50:31.

strongly for a differential level to reflect the additional cost of

:50:31.:50:37.

living in London. What do you say to that? First of all, Tessa Jowell,

:50:37.:50:42.

like me, agrees that the best way off benefits, for people to get

:50:42.:50:47.

self-respect, is to get them into work. To be fair, business and

:50:47.:50:51.

industry in this country since we have come in has created more than

:50:51.:51:00.

1.2 5 million jobs on top of what we inherited. Largely part-time.

:51:00.:51:03.

they are not largely part-time. Labour said they agreed with the

:51:03.:51:11.

cap. And I agree entirely that if you are going to be earning the

:51:11.:51:15.

equivalent of �35,000 before tax, I do not know how many staff you have

:51:15.:51:21.

got on your Parliamentary Staff under 25,000 -- under �35,000, but

:51:22.:51:26.

that �26,000 cap on benefit would be reasonable. Labour have also

:51:26.:51:30.

said that they believe in a regional cap. This means that

:51:30.:51:38.

people in Rochdale, under Labour policies, would have even less.

:51:38.:51:42.

Apart from the principle that the values of welfare are universal

:51:42.:51:47.

across the country. But are they enough for a family in London to

:51:47.:51:56.

live on? You have got to look at it as being equivalent to �35,000. A

:51:56.:51:59.

lot of people in my constituency would be delighted to believe that

:51:59.:52:04.

they could take home �25,000, because at the moment, they do not.

:52:04.:52:10.

Unfortunately, like everybody else, they have to take alterations, cuts,

:52:11.:52:15.

even, in their standard of living. Tessa Jowell's position, that of

:52:15.:52:25.
:52:25.:52:29.

the Labour Party, would be rather better if they had not voted

:52:29.:52:34.

against every proposal. Name one that they have voted in favour of.

:52:34.:52:37.

8 comes back to the initial question, that Labour is just

:52:37.:52:40.

voting against everything which is proposed, and is not coming up with

:52:40.:52:47.

its own proposals. For instance, why did we vote against the one%

:52:47.:52:54.

increase in benefit payments? -- the 1% increase. If you are a young

:52:54.:53:00.

person aged between 18 and 24, and your benefit is going to go up from

:53:00.:53:06.

�54 to �55, at the same time that you are reducing the top rate of

:53:06.:53:14.

tax for millionaires, it is just not fair. You have got to make

:53:14.:53:17.

these reform as practicable and workable. But you want the welfare

:53:17.:53:23.

bill to come down. Of course. One way to do that is to increase the

:53:23.:53:27.

number of people in work, and the other way is to increased towards

:53:27.:53:33.

an amount, a living wage, which people can have coming in. Do you

:53:33.:53:38.

agree there are people on benefits who could be working? I'm sure

:53:38.:53:45.

there are, but I believe they are a minority. What I think has happened

:53:45.:53:50.

is that there has been an extremely successful campaign of denigration

:53:50.:53:55.

of people who have relied for a period of time on benefits, but

:53:55.:54:04.

really want to get into work. Health, education and defence total

:54:04.:54:14.
:54:14.:54:17.

less than the total welfare bill. The welfare bill... We have done

:54:17.:54:21.

very well by pensioners, because they are perceived, with

:54:21.:54:25.

justification, as among the most vulnerable. I wish we could go on

:54:25.:54:29.

paying as much as we do at the moment, but the factor of the

:54:29.:54:35.

matter is that there has to be a reduction in the welfare bill. If

:54:35.:54:38.

Labour was as enthusiastic about bringing it down as it appears to

:54:38.:54:46.

be, then it would be coming forward with positive solutions. Now, spare

:54:46.:54:51.

a thought for poor Ed Miliband. He was probably hoping for a quiet

:54:51.:54:55.

Easter holiday, but he broke his wrist, and he is probably suffering

:54:55.:54:58.

from earache, because it seems everybody has been offering him

:54:58.:55:02.

advice about how to govern the Labour Party. First, Tony Blair

:55:02.:55:06.

popped up, in the New Statesman, to say that the guiding principle

:55:06.:55:16.
:55:16.:55:19.

should be... Then, former Home Secretary John Reid chimed in...

:55:19.:55:24.

Meanwhile, another former Home Secretary, David Blunkett, also

:55:24.:55:34.
:55:34.:55:36.

waded in... Alan Milburn, Peter Mandelson, and even our guest Tessa

:55:36.:55:43.

Jowell have jumped on the bandwagon. Is this advice right? Back-kick

:55:43.:55:53.
:55:53.:55:53.

this is the march of the old lags. Tony Blair won three elections, and

:55:53.:55:57.

he published what I think lots of people think was a very good

:55:57.:56:05.

analysis of the way forward for Labour. But if you're a former

:56:05.:56:11.

Prime Minister, you cannot blind side. And if you are a former Prime

:56:12.:56:15.

Minister who packs the punch that he does, then, the important thing

:56:15.:56:20.

is to be part of the solution, never to become part of the problem.

:56:20.:56:26.

I think he would accept that. It is also wrong to suggest that we are

:56:26.:56:30.

simply a party of protest. In a sense, we have to engage with the

:56:30.:56:36.

anger that people feel, as we knock on doors day-in, day-out. Solutions

:56:37.:56:41.

are being put forward. I have offered you some this morning. And

:56:41.:56:45.

there are many more in the locker. Did he need the advice? Ed Miliband

:56:45.:56:50.

is a very open-minded person, the talks to Tony Blair, and values

:56:50.:56:56.

what he has to say. But ultimately, Ed Miliband is now the leader of

:56:56.:57:06.
:57:06.:57:10.

the Labour Party, and he will take his own council. -- counsel. Ed

:57:10.:57:17.

Miliband is actually the product of the unions. You cannot say that!

:57:17.:57:20.

think he will always be slightly unpopular with the rest of his own

:57:20.:57:30.
:57:30.:57:40.

party. I knew he was going to talk to me privately. Former leaders and

:57:40.:57:46.

former prime ministers, former ministers, they have got a duty to

:57:46.:57:50.

the party, which allows them to occupy these positions. One way in

:57:50.:57:54.

which they can do that is by offering advice in private, and

:57:54.:58:02.

every now and again, you can have a chat with your former leader. But I

:58:02.:58:06.

would certainly not be writing an article which, by implication,

:58:06.:58:10.

perhaps not explicit, but by implication, attacked the direction

:58:10.:58:15.

in which he is leading his party. He has got a point, was it right

:58:15.:58:19.

for Tony Blair, and the others, to be tears of -- to be so public?

:58:19.:58:22.

think Tony himself would expect that it could have been handled

:58:22.:58:32.

better. But that does not mean that we should back away from the

:58:32.:58:39.

wrote, the questions that he asked, to which there are answers. It is

:58:39.:58:45.

not true that there are not answers. They will meet and talk this week.

:58:45.:58:50.

Jo Coburn with the latest political news and debate, with MPs Sir Menzies Campbell, Cheryl Gillan and Dame Tessa Jowell.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS