18/04/2013 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. It's the day


after the morning before as politics starts to return to normal.


After the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. Will we ever see an event


like yesterday again? Probably not. How will the Thatcher legacy change


today's politics, if at all? Ed Miliband says he moved the centre


ground of British politics. Fair enough. But what's the Labour


leader's direction of travel? And can he do the same?


Another Poe ten sthal inheritor of the mantle, Theresa May talks


terrorism and Abu Qatada this morning.


We'll have the latest. And while all eyes have been on


North Korea, is Iran the number one nuclear threat to global security?


All that is coming up in the next hour. With us for the duration,


publisher, blogger, radio host at LBS, Iain Dale. Congratulations on


your drivetime show. Thank you. It's very American. 24 Hours ago


the political world, media world, armed forces and much of the


British establishment from the Queen down gathered in St Paul's


Cathedral for the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. More than 2,000


guests from around the world were inside, many thousands more lined


the streets to witness her final journey. Our guest Iain Dale was at


St Paul's. What due make of it all? It was a funeral unlike any other


I've been to before. It was an event rather than a funeral. It was


very unemotional. I think the Chancellor might disagree with that.


I didn't move to tears. Normally at a funeral I get choked up. Why do


you think you felt like that? Because it was so big probably.


scale of it and St Paul's too. you didn't have the family filing


in after the coffin. That's all a very emotional moment. I mean it


was a great service. The bishop of London was absolutely superb. I


don't say that about bishops very often. A tough gig, there were so


many ways to get that wrong. sounded like a bishop and I think


the message he put over was very good. He didn't talk about politics


a lot. It was mainly the fact that her personal persona was very


different to the image she cultivated publicly. Most who knew


her would recognise that. I notice that the most emotional part for


many people in the church wasn't about what happened inside the


church, but when the coffin was taken out at the end and they could


hear the cheers and the applause of the crowd and I think, they found


that emotional, I think we can see the coffin now coming out there.


There we are. I think the people inside the church, it took them by


surprise. It did a bit. A few friends of mine were in the crowd


outside. Many people were in tears, grown men in tears. It's not very


often you see that public. People always think crying is a sign of


weakness. I think it's a sign of strength and nothing to be ashamed


about. All of these people having a go at Chancellor for shedding a


tear at the funeral. For goodness sake, politicians are human too.


Even the Chancellor? Yes.That's a shock. Even journalists too.I know


too many for that not to be true. The protesters, I think, many


people may have felt they shouldn't done -- have done anything at all.


But it is a free country going through the streets of our capital,


they behaved in a pretty restrained British way, did they not? There


were comparatively few. Most behaved with a reasonable amount of


dignity and respect. We do live in a free country. I was worried bit


reports that there would be pre- emtive arrests. Like Nazi Germany


or Stalin's Russia. Exactly. I think what the protesters didn't


understand about Margaret Thatcher is that she would have seen it as a


tribute. She wouldn't have cared less. She wouldn't have cared less


if Radio 1 had played ding dong the witch is dead. She would think it


proved she made a difference. If she hadn't made a difference no-one


would care about the legacy. Given, I mean, we have, I have to confess,


some viewers will agree, we've come pretty close to being Thatchered


out at the moment. We've had a lot. I just wanted to ask you, how has


it played for Mr Cameron and today's Conservative Party, has all


this Thatcher coverage been overall a plus or a minus? I don't think


it's made the slightest difference. What it has done, it may have, some


may have thought at least we knew what she believed in. We're not


still not 100% what David Cameron believes in. I think for those of


us who broadcast four hours a day and have to do phone-ins on the


subject, the audiences sometimes get tired of. It you have to think


of a new angle for it. I have to say today, there will be no


Thatcher on my show. There you go. I say that as a Thatcher devotee.


Even I'm relieved. Another reason to listen to Iain Dale! What is


Margaret Thatcher's legacy then? Would David Cameron do bet fer he


was more like her? Who would win in a fight between her and Winston


Churchill. I don't mean a real fight, I mean popularity. I think


Winston Churchill would probably come out ahead given the war years.


Some of these questions have been asked in the studio. But they come


down to one wig word - leadership. Is the big L really as mysterious


as it seems? It turns out it isn't, as our Adam has been finding out.


Now there was someone who knew about leadership. Winston Churchill,


who oversaw the war effort from this bunker under Whitehall. In a


recent poll by U gof for the Sun, 24% of people said Churchill was


the best Prime Minister, in first place was Margaret Thatcher with 28


% of people saying she was the greatest post-war Prime Minister.


Sometimes it seems that great leaders are carved out of sterner


stuff than the rest of us, but is that really true? Or can leadership


be learned? The new leader of the Liberal Democrats. When Ming


Campbell led the Lib Dems in 2006 she was schooled to overcome one of


his biggest weaknesses. Perhaps he'd like to explain why one in


five schools do not have a permanent head teacher. When the


Prime Minister entered... PMQ's.I just knew it was going to be one of


those days. We examined the problem of me looking at my notes and


wearing spectacles and how we could deal with that. I mustn't always be


looking down and not up. We decided I had to learn the questions. So I


had to learn more than one question in case the leader of the


Opposition took all the possible questions on the subject. I learned


to take my spectacles off to use them to reinforce the point I was


trying to make. Back in Churchill's bunker it's less presentation and


more plotting a strategy with leadership guru Zoe Gruhne of the


institute for Government, who coaches Cabinet ministers on their


management style. It's almost holding up a mirror actually and


saying to them, you know, what are the positive and negative


experiences you've had when you've been led and getting them to think


about those qualities. Who do they see as great leaders and why? So


you start to understand what it is that motivates them. And the more


they become aware of that, the more you help them to understand that


other people can be motivated by different kinds of leaders. Begin


to unpick what are the different qualities of a leader. Sadly she


won't say who round this table has been to see her, because it's all


strictly confident shl. She reckons even a Prime Minister can be caught


how to govern. They have a Cabinet to run. They need to think about


how they manage that Cabinet. If there is discord what do I do about


that, how can I manage in terms of my own leadership style and the


impact I have on others. Yes, leadership coaching is excellent


and I'd be delighted to talk to the Prime Minister about it. David


Cameron, she'll see you now. Before you say, isn't this all a


bit too personality focused? A bit subChurchill, remember this at the


2010 general election, for the first time ever, people said the


party leaders were as important as the party's policies when they were


deciding who to vote for. That was adds am. We're joined by


the former Labour Deputy Leader and former Foreign Secretary, Margaret


Beckett. Welcome back to the Daily Politics. Is there something in the


fact that, let's take, put atly to one side on this, but take Mr


Churchill, Mrs Thatcher, Mr Blair, not one of these three came from


the mainstream of their party. They were semi-detached from their


parties. That's a good point, yes. I'm not sure that you have to be.


Atley Clearly wasn't. No. But they were slightly big than their


parties. In the end, yes. I don't think you could say that as


Margaret Thatcher as leader of the Opposition. Once she was Prime


Minister it was a different ball game. But I suppose it may be, I


think there's a quality leaders have to have of being able and


prepared to take the judgment that they feel they have to take and


live with the consequences whatever they are. And maybe if you're a bit


of an outsider that gives you, you know, that means you either can do


that or you give in. The constant complaint of Mrs Thatcher, every


time since she died, every time in broadcasting someone would say


something good about her, we've cut to someone else who said she was a


devicive character. I think that's a fair complaint. Buff it's


possible that almost Great Leader is in their own way a divisive


character pl. Blair certainly was. A million people marched on the


streets against one of the things he wanted to do. Before the Second


World War, which was a unique circumstance, Winston Churchill was


certainly a very divisive figure. Yes, but I think if you set aside


Iraq, which I know is not an easy thing to do, you're looking at his


leadership as a whole, I don't think he was seen as divisive up


until that point. The thing that I think was different about Margaret


Thatcher, Matthew Parris said in a conversation we had on radio Derby


the other day that not only was she seen as divisive by other people


but that she herself divided people in her own mind into those who were


on her side and everybody else. mean unlike the Blairites? Well...


Any politician who has any conviction at all is going to be


divisive. You're either going to love them or you're going to hate


them. I think that's a strength in a politician. I think actually Ed


Miliband has got it in him to be a conviction politician. At this


stage in hills leadership he's far ahead of where Margaret Thatcher


was in her leadership as leader of the Opposition. That's absolutely


right. I mean, I'm afraid, I know it's perhaps people might think


it's not the right time to say it, Margaret Thatcher was a terrible


leader of the Opposition. She never laid a glove on Jim Callaghan.


had bad PMQ's. Dreadful. And speeches especially before they did


her voice. The thing I used to say to people in her party, who were


saying oh, it will be all right because the wise heads around her


will steer her, they were note supportive. They undermined, they


sneered at her. I used to say to them, she won't owe you a thing.


When she becomes Prime Minister, if she becomes Prime Minister, she


won't owe you anything. Well you're right. If you think that, you don't


understand women and why should she listen to you. But tough, I mean,


the normal form of leadership -- leadership is to try and be seen to


be on the centre ground, usually as defined by the middle distance


between the two parties. And as defined bit mainstream media as


well. Indeed.And to be seen the cuddly person, the consensus


politician. People like Mrs Thatcher and Tony Blair and Winston


Churchill too in the time of war, they didn't look for them. They


said this is where I stand, either join me or we'll have a fight about


it. But I'm not looking to be all things to all men. This is where I


think, I was interested that you drew the comparison with Ed


Miliband, because so do I. If you notice what he said in his speech


about Margaret Thatcher, he drew out the fact this she was a


politician of conviction. I think he like her wants to shape where


the centre ground is. That's a tough one because no-one, I mean in


her years in Opposition, no-one thought she would be able to do


that. I don't think even she thought she could do that. No, I


think that's probably true. always don't know if you can do it


until you get into power. Knowing whether you can and knowing that


you want to, those are two different things. What went through


your mind for the period when you were leader of the Labour Party?


don't think I will ever live through a more difficult personal


period in politics. If you think about it, we were on the brink of


the European elections, which we had planned, I was campaign


coordinator, we had planned to use it as a dry run for the following


general election. There I was a leader without a deputy, without a


campaign coordinator on the brink of a nationwide election, and I say


this with all, because I completely understand why it was the case, but


without necessarily the enthusiasm among my colleagues that one might


have hoped for. That's very polite. She's saving it for the memoirs.


don't plan to write any. I know you've told me that before. That's


a pity. That's what I told her. Maybe. What would you regard, let's


stick on the Labour Party side on your own party side, what acts of


leadership in recent years, past Neil Kinnock understood that the


Labour Party had to change dramatically. And he set about


making sure that it happened. Tony Blair built on where male paved the


way. Neal transformed the Labour Party, because I think, for the


first time in British political history, he made us the party that


was looking into years into the future and working back instead of


reacting to this week's events and preparing the manifesto for the


local elections. He provided a lot of leadership. Think of the Derek


Hatton's speech. We all remember that conference. The problem for Ed


Miliband is that the Tories will depict him as a meal Kinnock. Can


you imagine this man standing on the steps of Downing Street? That is


there election strategy. It could work, but I think too many Tories


underestimate Ed Miliband. I am sure you are right. And what's more, they


themselves are torn, because on the one hand, they say, isn't this a


terrible man? Look, fratricide, he took on his own brother. For me, one


of the things a leader has to have is a core of steel. I thought Ed


should run for the leadership. I had no idea if he would. And when he


did, for me, that was the moment. Yes, he has that steel core, because


it was a hard thing to do. Would you agree that in this country, we have


now come to regard leadership is synonymous with youth? Every new


leader we choose tends to be younger than the leader stepping down. It


contrasts with the United States, where the Republicans ran with


Senator McCain, and he did pretty well. He was only a few percentage


points behind Mr Obama. And Hillary Clinton could well be the next


Democratic nominee. We don't seem to do that in this country. But it


might be an accident, rather than a culture change. I take your point,


at if you think about it, in the normal course of events, when we


lost in 2010, some of the people who had been around the Cabinet table


for a while probably would have been in the frame. But as it happened, we


were also people who had been in opposition for many years and


thought, been there, done that. And knowing just how hard work it is


being in opposition, we said, let's leave it to the next person. It is


completely chants. One of my criticisms of Margaret Thatcher's


leadership, especially compared to Neil Kinnock's, is that one of the


jobs of the leader is to prepare the ground for a potential successor,


because there will be one one day. My feeling about her was that every


time a successor pumped their head up, she disposed of them. If she had


stayed in power six months longer, she would have had John Major out.


Look what happened to Cecil Parkinson. Thank you for joining us.


Tessa Jowell was on the Daily Politics earlier this week, and she


revealed that a meeting had been arranged between Tony Blair and Ed


Miliband. Nothing unusual about that, you might say, former Labour


leader, current Labour leader. Relations between Mr Blair and Mr


Miliband, given the timescale for him to win an election, looked


pretty strained recently. Last week, Tony Blair used an article in the


New Statesman to reveal that Labour risk falling into a comfort zone of


opposing government cuts, simply becoming the repository for people's


anger. A string of other Blairites including John Reid, who was on our


own Sunday Politics, and David Blunkett, then spoke out to agree


that Labour had to stick to the centre ground. Ed listened politely


as a well brought up young chap. He had a meeting with his MPs earlier


this week and responded to their advice. He said, we have to


recognise that the next election has to be a change election. That means


change from the past. He also told his party, we are like a football


team that is winning at half-time. Is Labour winning and Ed Miliband?


The party is ahead of the Tories in the opinion polls, as you would


expect at this time in the electoral cycle, but not by a huge amount.


Labour frets about how robust that lead is. Critics of Mr Miliband have


pointed to a survey suggesting that this could be in spite of rather


than because of his leadership. This gives him a net approval rating of


-23, even worse than Mr Cameron's less than stellar -11. So, is there


a serious question over whether Mr Miliband can win in 2015, or is this


all just the storm in a Blairite teacup? We are joined now by Labour


commentator Dan Hodges and from the Fabian Society, Andrew Howell. Dan


Hodges, when a lot of Labour people have sympathy for the Labour MP who


said, I am not sure how much Tony Blair knows about what the British


public feels these days. From the first-class lounge at terminal five,


this Labour MP clearly does not know - I spend a lot of time in the first


class lounge at terminal five, but he must be in the private jet


lounge. You have your finger on the pulse of the budget people! You


could look at it in two ways. You could say Tony Blair won three


elections and has been the most successful Labour leader in


political history. He knows what he's talking about. You could say,


let's listen to the guy. What is interesting about Tony Blair's


intervention is not that he is a back-seat driver making a grab for


the steering wheel will stop he was actually tapping Ed Miliband on the


shoulder and saying, I will get out and walk from here. What does that


mean? Blair is a bit of a bellwether for Ed Miliband's political


fortunes. When he has been on the up, we have had these briefings from


totally behind-the-scenes. This was going the other way. This was Tony


Blair selling shares in Ed Miliband's leadership. That is an


indication of how Tony Blair thinks Labour's political fortunes are


going, rightly or wrongly. So Tony Blair, John Reid, Tessa Jowell, they


are all wrong? They are wrong. It is nearly 20 years since the 1997


election, and a lot of people are trying to just fight the last war


again. Things have changed massively since the New Labour period. Things


have changed in terms of the economy, but also how politics is


working. Labour is riding high in the polls, and that is not because


it has attracted many conservative voters who voted for Mr Cameron in


2010, it is rather despite of not having won many over. They have got


together with the Liberal Democrats and got many voters who did not vote


at all. Young voters are probably the most unreliable cohort in any


election, because they tend not to turn out. That is why the next


election will be all about organisation. We love to talk about


Westminster, but Labour will win next time because they will have a


much better organised and pain. It is doing a huge amount


behind-the-scenes to get ready for that. But it is also important that


we don't assume that that polling lead will collapse. It will be more


robust than we expect precisely because Ed Miliband has not won over


a large number of Conservative voters. He has got a few, which


means there are more people ready to go back at the first sign of


trouble. You think Ed Miliband has embarked on May 30 5% strategy, that


because of the vagaries of our system, he can win an overall


majority with only 35% of the vote? He has stumbled on the 35% strategy.


Are you sure he has got one? That is the question. The starting point for


Ed Miliband's strategy is that for political reasons, he cannot afford


to shift the Labour Party for the left or make a grab for the block of


Tory support. So he is left with the 29% he got last time and the Lib Dem


refugees. And there was this ludicrous strategy of trying to


build a winning election campaign on first-time voters. A great American


political strategist said, show me a campaign based on first-time voters,


and I will show you a losing campaign. But Labour can't appeal to


Tory voters, so they somehow want to get another strategy. Mr Miliband's


people deny that there is a 35% strategy. Dan is misunderstanding.


The number 35% has come along because that is the worst case that


the Labour Party might face. In 2005, 30 5% in the polls lead to a


government. But that is if everything goes wrong. All the


support that Labour currently has would have to melt away. Ed is


aiming for 40% or more in the polls, and he can do that by bringing


together a coalition which should include some former Conservatives,


but it does not need to be nearly as many as people like Dan seem to


think. But do you think UKIP will get 14 or 15%. Even if UKIP


collapses and the Lib Dems collapse, they could improve. The Lib Dems


will get less. UKIP will get more. Rather than arguing about


percentages, what is the evidence that the centre, at the moment, is


moving left? The centre has moved left in terms of public opinion when


it comes to economic elites and how we think about the top of society.


There has not necessarily been a wave about a Gallic territory and is


-- it Gallic Arianism, but people are angry about the way the economy


is run. He said the one thing the coalition have going for themselves


at the moment is that despite the failure of their economic strategy,


they think they can do better than Mr Balls and Mr Miliband. Where Dan


and I would agree is that any Labour opposition has to demonstrate its


economic credibility, and that is not about left or right. The reality


is, the political centre on welfare has moved right. The political


centre on Europe and immigration has moved right. On the economy, it has


also moved right. The Labour Party can say it hasn't, but it has. When


will the Labour Party face up to this? Now, or the day after the next


general election? The centre ground has moved left on some issues like


how we run the economy. Then why are the Tories still ahead on economic


issues? For Labour to win a majority, you need a group of people


who are more left-leaning than they were because of the collapse of


other left forces. You will not get a majority simply by banker bashing


and promoting the politics of envy. That is a danger for Labour. The


elephant in the room here is Ed Balls. He is actually a talented


politician, but it was a mistake for Ed Miliband to make him Shadow


Chancellor. You saw in the new statesman that it is thought that Ed


Balls will be moved before the next election. To restore economic


credibility, you either get a policy that people can accept, or you


change the personalities. I think there is an increasing likelihood


that Alistair Darling will be brought back. Ed Balls clearly would


not like that. At Ed Balls clearly has not go down well with a lot of


the electorate. I like him, he is a great politician, but does he


resonate with Essex man almost a woman? I don't know.


We need to move on. Otherwise, you will be arguing all the way to 2015.


Another conservative woman was dominating the political press.


Theresa May gave a speech which many thought was a sign that she was on


leadership manoeuvres. This morning, she was in front of the


home affairs select committee, answering questions about Abu Qatada


again. And also are medications of the Boston macaques and security for


this Sunday's London Marathon. fair to say that nobody has yet been


identified as being responsible for the incidents that took place in


Boston. There has been press reporting about the investigation


that has been taking place by the Americans to identify the


perpetrators. We have looked at the plans for the London Marathon in the


light of that, and they have made appropriate arrangements. A year ago


yesterday exactly, you told the house, I believe that assurances and


the information we have gathered will mean that we can soon put Abu


Qatada on a plane and get him out of the country for good. Why is he


still here? Frustratingly, we thought we had the assurances we


needed from the Jordanian authorities. Those assurances were


accepted when the case went back. And it was made clear that the


Jordanian authorities would bend over backwards to make sure there


We are responding to that specific issue as I say. What is most


frustrating of course, is that the majority of assurances that we


obtained from the Jordanian Government were accepted by SIAC.


What has this cost the taxpayer? don't have a figure for you as to


what the current cost is. What was the last time, you must have asked


this question, the last time you had your officials roupbldz the


table and you said "How much has it all costs?" Is it now in millions?


My faem SIS, chairman, whenever I have anybody round the table, is


how can we ensure we can deport this individual. That was the Home


Secretary this morning before the Select Committee. We're joined Iain


Dale has been with us since the start of the programme. When you


look at this now, you see how just as Labour Home Secretaries before


her, they have no power to get rid of this man, do they?. No, the Home


Office is a bed of nails for anybody. Most people think treelza


May has been quite a success in this job. She is going to be


defined in part as to whether she gets rid of this man. If she does,


she will have made a reputation on the benches and will be considered


a leadership candidate. At the moment there are no Mayites in the


party. There aren't backbenchers promoting her cause. If he pulls


this off, I don't see how she can, but if shi does, her reputation


will go into the stratosphere. It's a tough mountain to climb. She


can't give any time table. At some stage somebody is going to say it's


costing us more to get rid of him than to keep imhad. She's made a


gamble. She's staking her entire political future on this case. A


lot of Tories want somebody to emerge to fight Boris Johnson.


There isn't a huge amount of leadership chatter, but what there


is is all around Boris Johnson. She's often mentioned as a


potential leader of the Conservative Party, a female leader,


but that, I would suggest is because she is the best known of


all Conservatives at the moment. Are there other female


Conservatives who could be up for the job? Not now. I think...I'm


thinking after 2015. Four, five years' time, I have a few that the


next leader of the Conservative Party is probably not even in the


Cabinet yet. I don't mean Boris Johnson, maybe somebody who isn't


even a minister yet. Somebody in the 2010 intake who will make their


reputation in the next two, three years. Names?A lot of people talk


about Andrea Ledson. Or Jesy Norman. Pr eti pattel? Maybe, possibly.


There are a lot of names out there, but none that have put their heads


above the parapet. What do you think the row laigsship is like


between Mr Cameron -- what the relationship is like between Mr


Cram Ron and Mrs May. I'm told it's quite frosty at the moment. Earlier


this month, once again talks between Iran and six world powers


collapsed without agreement on Iran's nuclear future. The Iranian


President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said in the day's after the talks,


western nations have tried their jut most to prevent Iran from going


nuclear. But Iran has gone nuclear. That was the President. The


negotiations between Iran and the six powers, the UK, the Usmani,


France, Germany, Russia and -- the USA, France, Germany, Russia and


China, have been going on for a decade. There are sanctions,


including curbs on financial transactions from crude oil exports,


which are its main source of overseas revenue. The Iranians say


their nuclear programme is purely peaceful energy and Medsical


purposes and that it has a right to process uranium for reactor fuel


under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But the head of Iran's


Atomic Energy Organisation said this week that Iran may, in the


future, need highly enriched uranium to power submarines, which


would then be a relatively small technical step to weapons grade


uranium. I'm joined by two guests who have published books on Iranian


- Iran's ambitions Peter Oborne and it's your view that Iran is not


heading or trying to build a nuclear deterrent is that right?


It's not just my view, it's the view of US intelligence, probably


the view of Israeli intelligence. It's the view of the IAEA, they all


say, serm American intelligence that Iran $not have an active --


Iranians do not an -- have an active nuclear programme. This was


said in the national intelligence estimate report is clear about it.


You believe that Iran's nuclear programme is purely for peaceful


purposes? I cannot say to you, and nobody can say that it is purely


for peaceful purposes. Nobody can say they are not actually, nobody


can prove it, I cannot be clear. But the intelligence people seem to


be saying that there is no active nuclear weapons programme and that


we would know if there was one. Aren't these the same intelligence


people that told us Saddam had lots of weapons of mass destruction?


Indeed. Intelligence can get things wrong. But I think it is worthy of


note that US intelligence does not believe at present that there is an


active programme. What's your view on this? There is no doubt at all,


and I speak as someone who was a judge, that they were up to a


nuclear weapons programme until 2003. They had... I can accept that.


They had... The father of the Pakistani bomb. Yes. The Sunni


Islam bomb. He was brought in and paid millions to develop a nuclear


weapons programme. They stopped their nuclear weapons programme in


2003, after they had been outed, after the lies that they had told


were exposed. Have they start today again? They had an Aladdin's cave.


You both agree up to 2003. wouldn't put it nearly as strongly.


You can't be as difintive as Geoffrey is now. I think they were


going for gold in the nuclear stakes. That's an opinion. I think


if you were prosecuting barrister, you're the best QC in Britain, you


would destroy what you've just said in court. I think 2003 to 2005 they


were terrified that America was going to invade and George Bush


virtually was, it came very close. Then in 2006, we got the lies again.


We got the facility they didn't disclose. In recent years the IAEA


has not said that they're not developing, it said there is


evidence that they are going for weaponisation at -- and do they


allow the IAEA to investigate? No. Why wouldn't you let them? Not you


personally, the Iranians? report would be destroyed in court


totally. The word alleged appears 27 or 28 times. You'd be perfectly


at home on that. You would destroy it. What I, can I just go back a


little bit. Let me go into the background of this. The fundamental


purpose of the book I published today, actually It's quite a small


book. It's not as big as mine! My book is bigger than yours. His book


is extraordinary. Size is not everything. Indeed. I published


that one, not that one. You better be quiet. Carry on. I think that


there is a demonisation ofive Republican going on. I think -- of


Iran going on. I think it's portrayed as an aggressive country


which refuses to cooperate with the rest of the world. If you look at


the record, we show in our little book that there was a very


comprehensive deal offered by Iran in 2005, offering the West or


however you want to use that term, pretty well full access to


everything they're doing, oversight of it. They would co-ownership on


one occasion and that was reputiated. It was repudiated by


Britain and the United States, I guess, on the grounds that they


couldn't have one centrifuge running. What do you say to that?


think this book is, it's arguments against some of the Bush regime


policies are terrific, but there are only two lines, two lines about


Iran's human rights record. This is a criminal regime. It killed 7,000


prisoners. This particular regime, this particular President, who is


now the Supreme Leader, it ran an international assassination


campaign in which this Supreme Leader authorised 168 killings,


assassinations. Of course, the 2009, they pretended that Ahmadinejad had


won the election. They killed hundreds of demonstrators, tortured


many more. Virtually every human rights lawyer in Iran is now


serving eight years in prison. So you cannot ignore the fact...


What's the response to that. That the regime who says it doesn't want


nuclear weapons, lied about the elections, lied about being no


torture. Firstly, we are changing the -- subject to human rights.


It's part of it. It's incredibly important subject. What's your


response that? I guess he's saying this a country that can behave like


that why wouldn't it want nuclear weapons? I would be careful talking


in the strong terms in which Geoffrey Robertson is doing. If you


read and I do think we should all read. There's a wonderful book


Going to Tehran by two former CIA officials, who dealt in this area.


It answers, if you read chapter six of that book and still go on saying


those 2009 elections were fixed, I think you're, you will not be


convinced. What about hanging homosexuals? I don't know about


that. They do, do they not? I've spent six months interviewing


victims and witnesses to the 1988 prison, thousands of people killed.


I have no doubt at all that this is an internationally criminally


regime. If it gives itself impunity for killing thousands of prisoners,


well... Don't they want President Sadat to hold onto power in --


Assad to hold onto power? I'm sure they're aligned with him. We've


broadened it here. What we're talking about with Iran, Syria and


so forth, is this interesting and important conflict which dominates


the modern world between Saadi and the Gulf States and Shia, Iran. It


needs to be understood better than it is. Why are we on the side of


Saudi, which is ghast live on human rights, where women can't drive a


car. Lots of women drive cars in Iran. 63%, when last looked of


university students in Tehran are women. It's a much, much more


liberal society. Liberal?I know that - There are a number of women


in prison for ten years for human rights lawyers. If we compare Iran


to the record of Saudi Arabia, our great ally... That's a kind of ugly


baby contest, isn't it? I am worried. Big up the human rights of


Saudi Arabia and Iran. It will... The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt


will develop a bomb. They help to bank roll the pack -- Pakistan bomb


in the first place. Give us your view on this interesting argument.


Peter has written brilliantly about being Zimbabwe, made documentaries


about Mugabe and exposed their human rights records. The


impression you've given is that you're giving Iran a free pass on


these human rights issues. A final word. I've accepted there are many


questions that need to be asked about Iran, but what I have tried


to do is say, if you look back ten years and the certainty about WMD


and now we have the similar rhetoric and certainties about what


Iran is up to, I'd say, all I'm trying to do really is say let's


examine the evidence. All I said is as night follows day, if Iran has a


nuclear bomb, if that becomes established the Saudis will buy.


I'm all favour of examining the evidence, but the evidence is that


Iran is positioning itself to move to a nuclear weapon within a few


months, but it doesn't have one yet. The problem how we stop it. I will


challenge that as well. The battle of the books. We'll leave it to you.


Gentlemen, thank you. I forgot, we were doing the Theresa may to


welcome Scottish viewers who finished first ministers questions.


Hello, nice to see you. Now from one perennial international


disagreement to another, the EU budget. There's a row brewing in


Brussels. You'll find that hard to believe I know. It is a certainty.


Even Peter Oborne might have to agree with. It it's about the


budget. MEPs have warned that Governments including the UK might


need to stump up billions more to keep the budget on track. There's


always at times like this I like to send my best people to Europe to


find out more, no expenses spared trip, which is why Jo Co joins us


Here, the demand from the European commission for an extra 1.2 billion


euros to fill a shortfall in funding this year has been met with a


certain amount of this made by member states. It was a proposal


that was discussed by MEPs here in Strasberg earlier this week. Two of


them join me now, the Dutch Liberal MEP and a British Tory MEP. 11.2


billion euros sounds a lot of money, but there are reports that it could


be higher. What have you heard? can only take care of what is


officially announced. In October, there was talk of an extra 16


billion. But at the moment, the commission thinks that 11.2 billion


is sufficient. Why should member states stump up 11.2 or even 16


billion euros? Because they have authorised certain expenditure for


themselves in the first place. They have authorised themselves to do it.


The bills came in too late. They should have arrived earlier. Because


they came too late, we sent back to the member states 13 billion euros.


So the 11.2 is still something that has to be paid. So bills have to be


paid. Projects have to be signed off, there was no alternative but to


cough up the money? I don't think this is true in reality. Do you not


believe the commission? Well, I don't, because the figures the


commission gives are totally unreliable. Last year, in October,


first they said they needed 6 billion, than 9 billion. Suddenly, a


16 billion amount has come up. But actually, they should have a record


in their account of what has been committed legally and what they need


to pay according to those commitments. Haven't they got


invoices? They are not shown to MEPs at all. I doubt they are shown to


the member states. But you could easily go to the member states and


say, please raise a demand for such an amount. The issue here is that


there was a budget agreed for 2013, and you cannot come three months


later and say, we want 8% more of what you gave us at the beginning of


the year. It is ridiculous. They should be able to determine the


needs when there is negotiation. Isn't that a fair point? How can


there be such a massive miscalculation? Why don't they know


what they need at the beginning of every year? In the first place, we


always have to verify what the commission is presenting us. So you


would want to see the invoices, to? Not every invoice, but we have to


justify it. But when we accepted last December the budget for 2013,


we knew it was not enough. But not to the level of 11 billion. We knew


it was not enough, but we wanted to give the member states time to make


up their mind. But we expect from the commission early in the next


year a new budget to account for the shortfall. And the president of the


Parliament asked the president of the Council, do you agree? And the


president of the Council, on behalf of the member states, said yes.


it comes to a vote in the European Parliament, will you support member


states paying up 11.2 billion euros? Yes, if the justification is


enough. We have to verify the figures of the commission, but I


think that if you sign a contract, you have to pay for it. You


obviously have obligations to pay up. You knew there would be a


shortfall. How much would Britain have to pay to contribute to the


shortfall? Around 2 billion euros more. Why so much? There are 27


member states. Because of the percentage they have to pay. The UK


is a net contributor, and many of the other countries which will


receive this 11th billion are net recipients. 2 billion euros from


Britain? What do you think David Cameron should do? He should refuse


to pay these invoices. He agreed on a certain amount of cash that he was


going to put in. The commission should not allow projects to be


started if they exceed the amount of cash that the member states agreed


in December. But the budget committee chairman has warned that


the commission could become insolvent unless the full amount is


met by member states. This is not true. The commission should stop


projects that they don't have money to pay for. What the commission has


done is continue to put through commitments, legal obligations for


projects that exceed the amount of money they were going to get from


the member states. Isn't it worrying that actually, this is a political


issue? The British Liberal Democrat MEP has said it is a political


statement on an estimate of what is needed in budgetary terms. Is that


fair? We have to verify if that is true. But if you look at the amount


of commitments that have been approved by member states and by the


Parliament, it is much more than we are asking now because we have a


backlog in commitments of something like 230 billion that has been


approved by member states to be incremented. The only solution is


that you commit less money, that you do not commit money if you are not


sure you campaign for it. That is what I am saying. That is what the


liberal group has done for the last two years. And we were the only


group that supported it. Well, good for the Liberals. Let me finish it


there. As always with these budgetary disagreements, they will


continue, Andrew. At least it keeps us in a job.


Now, the charity behind a network of food banks says it has fed more than


290,000 people in the last financial year. The Department for


environment, food and rural affairs has commissioned research into the


reasons why people end up needing food aid. It has become a subject


that is raised regularly at Prime Minister's Questions by Labour


backbenchers anxious to embarrass the prime minister. So what is


behind this growing trend? I have been struggling a bit financially.


This is this woman's first time at a food bank. She has four children and


is on income support. The money I get, I can't provide for the house


fold. Here in south London, there is a food bank twice a week. People:


Only pick up food if they have qualified for a voucher. Lorraine


has to choose between paying for food or electricity, and tells me


this was her last resort. I knew about the food banks, but I was kind


of embarrassed, and I wanted to see if I could survive without it. Then


a friend of mine told me about it, so I thought, no, I am not going to


go without. We need this for the family. This food bank is one of


more than 300 around the country set up by the trust or trust. It says


the number of people it is feeding has risen from 40,000 in 2009-10 to


290,000 in 2012-13. But is that down to increased need or better access


to food banks? We are worked hard to roll them out. So one and so is our


effort. The other issue is straightforward. We are in a deep


recession. We have not seen anything like this in this country for


perhaps 100 years. As a consequence, lots more people are in


deep need. The government has been doing research into who is accessing


food aid and why. David Cameron has claimed that the coalition has done


more than labour to help people get access to food banks. One thing


Labour refuse to do which we have done is actually to allow job


centres to point people towards food banks if they need them. But the


trust or trust says that close to 45% of the people who come to food


banks have been referred here because of delays or changes to


their benefits. We are already beginning to see the people who have


got changes due to the bedroom tax who already know that they will be


affected and are trying to work out how to pay that extra. The Labour MP


here in Norwood says the coalition is to blame. It is the actions of


this government that have increased the demand by families in poverty on


food banks. And it will get worse with changes to the social fund.


this Conservative MP tells me benefit changes are not the reason


that people are turning to food banks. The main thing is that the


cost of living has really hit people. The benefit system has


continued to function. Benefits have been paid and we do everything we


can to minimise delays. The purpose of bringing in universal credit is


to simplify the benefit system and make it clear to people that they


are better off in work. The cost of living was Lorraine's reason for


coming here. These bags of food will ease things for her family for now.


You do a phone in show. Does this come up? It does. A few months ago,


I did an hour on this, wondering if anyone would phone in, but we have a


full switchboard almost immediately from people who had used food banks


and people who had never heard of them. It is a comparatively recent


phenomenon. They did not exist about eight or nine years ago. And the


more you have, they almost create a demand. People who don't know that


they exist will not use them. But they are now mentioned a lot in the


press. Fundamentally, I suppose everybody wishes there was no need


for them, but well done to the trusts or trust for providing them.


Given that there is clearly a need for them, it is embarrassing for the


government. I guess it is an embarrassment for society as a


whole. It is a failure of the benefit system to cope with people


who have the need. They are actually quite rigorous about who they give


food to. Quite a lot of people go a long, asking for food, and they get


refused because they are not entitled to it. That is tough. I am


told there was a bit of fraud that goes on, which is sad as well.


sense there will be more of them before we see the demise of them.


Absolutely. They are only in certain parts of the country at the moment,


and I suspect we will see a proliferation of them over the next


few years. Thank you for being with us. That is it for today. The one


o'clock News is starting an BBC One. I will be back on BBC One with


Michael Portillo, Jacqui Smith and Andrew Walmsley at 11.35 after


Question Time tonight. Then I will be back here again, there was no


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