25/04/2013 Daily Politics


25/04/2013

Jo Coburn is joined by the political economist and writer Will Hutton with all the main political news of the day.


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Transcript


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Welcome to the Daily Politics. George Osborne was probably a bit

:00:44.:00:47.

chirpier over the breakfast table this morning. Latest figures show

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the UK has avoided a triple dip recession, something which might

:00:49.:00:52.

have given the Chancellor a rather large headache. Preliminary

:00:52.:00:55.

estimates for economic output, known as GDP, show the economy grew

:00:55.:00:58.

by 0.3% in the first three months of the year, a little more than

:00:59.:01:05.

analysts had predicted. Mr Osborne says the economy is on the up.

:01:05.:01:11.

Labour say it is flat-lining. Danny Alexander and Ed Balls will be here.

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So too will Olympic hero Chris Boardman, demanding safer streets

:01:14.:01:19.

for the our growing number of cyclists. Nice hats. Parliament

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porogues this afternoon. And if you don't know what that means, don't

:01:24.:01:34.
:01:34.:01:35.

And should we be tuning into something like this? One Tory MP

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:01:45.:01:45.

will be advertising the art of All that and more coming up in the

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next hour and with us for the duration is the economist and

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author Will Hutton. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Now first this

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morning let's talk about the economy, because you will all be

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relieved to hear that we are not in a triple dip recession. Figures

:02:02.:02:05.

released this morning show the economy grew by 0.3% in the first

:02:05.:02:09.

three months of this year. Since they came to power in May 2010, the

:02:09.:02:16.

economy has put David Cameron and George Osborne in a bit of a spin.

:02:16.:02:19.

After an upward tick in the first three months after they were

:02:19.:02:25.

elected, the economy shrank by 0.4% in the final few months of 2010.

:02:26.:02:28.

Then, in 2011, the economy bumped along, growing by 0.5%, then 0.1%,

:02:29.:02:31.

then 0.6% but then, in the last quarter, the economy shrank and

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then it shrank in the next quarter as well. It fell into recession at

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the start of 2012. This was the famous double dip as it was the

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second recession since the crash of 2008. After shrinking for nine

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months, herald the Olympic boost, which helped the economy return to

:02:48.:02:52.

growth. But then, in the last quarter of 2012, the economy once

:02:52.:02:58.

again shrank by 0.3%. So, if today's figure had been negative,

:02:58.:03:03.

it would have meant another recession and triple dip. But

:03:03.:03:08.

instead, much to the Chancellor's relief it grew - by 0.3%! Well, who

:03:08.:03:11.

better than our guest of the day, Will Hutton to discuss this and

:03:12.:03:20.

Roger Bootle from Capital Economics. I put it to you that, politically

:03:20.:03:25.

and psychologically, this has been a boost for George Osborne.

:03:26.:03:32.

Economically, it is meaningless. agree with you. 0.3%, better than a

:03:32.:03:39.

fall, but it is reputedly week. It has been up and down all over the

:03:39.:03:46.

place but going nowhere. It could be the beginning of a Pickup but it

:03:46.:03:53.

is far too early. The you would not want to talk about green shoots? We

:03:53.:04:00.

to blame the policies of the Chancellor? Partly, yes. -- would

:04:00.:04:09.

you blame? Fiscal policy has been tighter than I would have liked. It

:04:09.:04:13.

is not only the Government. We have extreme weakness in the eurozone.

:04:13.:04:18.

The banks are very weak and real incomes are being squeezed.

:04:18.:04:22.

Inflation is much higher than average wage rises and that is

:04:22.:04:26.

hitting people in the pocket. It is not all the fault of the Government.

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Would you like there to be a change of direction? We would like to see

:04:32.:04:37.

a boost to public investment. it have been any different had

:04:37.:04:41.

Labour won the election in 2010? Would growth levels look any

:04:41.:04:49.

different? I think they would be a bit higher. Alistair Darling, the

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then Chancellor, his approach on investment was slightly more

:04:55.:05:00.

accommodating than that of George Osborne. He was going to cut

:05:00.:05:05.

capital spending as well. He was. Things like Regional Development

:05:05.:05:10.

Agency did not have been scrapped. There is geography about this.

:05:10.:05:13.

Production industries and manufacturing within the overall

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total are well down compared with five years ago. We need to get

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serious for a second. Here we are, in 2013, five years into the

:05:24.:05:30.

slowest recovery we have seen for more than 100 years. It is really

:05:30.:05:37.

squeezed. Manufacturing is 10% lower than it was five years ago.

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Production is 13% lower than five years give. We have seen nothing

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like this in modern times. -- five years ago. If you are watching this

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programme outside London, in the manufacturing centre in the north-

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west or Midlands, these parts of the country are in real trouble.

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Incomes are squeezed. It is desperate conditions for our fellow

:06:02.:06:08.

citizens. I do not think there is any sense of urgency or

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mobilisation. We have a series of palliatives and tweaks by the

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Government tried to move towards an industrial policy in banking reform

:06:20.:06:23.

but not determined enough. George Osborne lawyers said that spending

:06:23.:06:28.

more and borrowing more would actually have a more detrimental

:06:28.:06:34.

effect on the economy. Was he wrong? It is all a matter of degree.

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If the governor where to go on a great spending splurge, that would

:06:38.:06:44.

be self-defeating and extremely dangerous. -- the Government. It

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would be quite possible to imagine a moderate increase to public

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investment, funded by more borrowing. The idea the markets are

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going to take fright is ludicrous. The IMF has said that fiscal policy

:06:57.:07:05.

in Britain is too tight. Two credit agencies have both downgraded

:07:05.:07:10.

British debt, not because of the overwhelming size, but because

:07:10.:07:14.

growth prospects are so weak. That is the heart of it. When you can

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borrow money for the lowest levels -- at the lowest levels for three

:07:21.:07:26.

years, to not do that and say there is a debt crisis, debt has been

:07:26.:07:32.

much higher during other periods of history. It is not a crisis of

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public debt. Credibility is very important. To agree it would have

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been impossible for George Osborne to signal a change because he

:07:42.:07:46.

staked his political career on austerity that he started out on in

:07:46.:07:53.

2010? It would not be easy. That is what politicians were good at. You

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make a big distinction between public investment and public

:07:57.:08:00.

spending. You call it something different. Gordon Brown was to ring

:08:00.:08:09.

us all the time and there must be a way forward. Let's gauge what

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people think outside in the real world. It is hard to imagine but

:08:16.:08:24.

there are some people who are not that bothered about economic

:08:24.:08:28.

statistics. They just want to choose a patio. A lot of Cotswold

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stone in this part of the world. This man has been laying them for

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40 years. You have been in this game as a builder for about 30

:08:37.:08:43.

years. How are things? In the 80s, fantastic times. Now we have come

:08:43.:08:50.

upon a time where it is basically a struggle. Once upon a time, we

:08:50.:08:57.

would get four, five out of 10 jobs, now we're down to one or two. That

:08:57.:09:01.

is down to a really tight margin everywhere. A lot of guys are going

:09:01.:09:07.

past? Loads in my district. They are hanging on. They are fighting

:09:07.:09:12.

to run the business and supply money to run the workforce. Good

:09:12.:09:17.

luck with your business. Will Hutton mention that construction

:09:17.:09:21.

has been down consistently. No worries about a triple dip in

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construction - not even a double- dip. The building trade has been in

:09:27.:09:33.

recession - one big long dip since 2008. A lot of guys looking for

:09:33.:09:38.

work will come to Stella's recruitment agency. How is it at

:09:38.:09:44.

the moment? The lot of people from the building and construction trade

:09:44.:09:48.

- the jobs are not there. They are having to take other work in an

:09:48.:09:52.

environment they are not used to. Builders like to work outside. They

:09:53.:09:58.

like to use their skills and maybe not do manual work - do something

:09:58.:10:03.

completely different. The rest of the economy is doing a bit better.

:10:03.:10:07.

There are senior politicians listening to you right now. A

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message from Westminster? Absolutely. I would like to see

:10:11.:10:15.

more support for people on minimum wage. Help for people to take the

:10:15.:10:19.

low-paid jobs and top them up so they are out working and not at

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home on benefits. Less regulations or businesses. It is a struggle.

:10:24.:10:30.

You have done my job, giving balance. A minimum wage and

:10:30.:10:35.

deregulation. You will be busy next week. The big Honda factory in

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Swindon next week begins the process of laying off nearly a

:10:38.:10:43.

third of its workforce - 1000 guys leaving. Simply put, they cannot

:10:43.:10:48.

sell cars in the eurozone like they used to. The man who has been

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leading negotiations is Jim. Are the 1000 jobs were these guys in

:10:55.:11:02.

Swindon? No. They maybe a few hundred but they will be low-paid,

:11:02.:11:05.

part-time, contracts. Contracts that really ought truly are vacant

:11:05.:11:11.

because nobody wants to do them. always talk about the unemployment

:11:11.:11:16.

number - in work and out of work. You are saying the quality of work

:11:16.:11:22.

has changed. Absolutely. 800 people are living Honda in the next few

:11:22.:11:27.

weeks. They would have been on �30,000 the year on average. They

:11:27.:11:33.

are looking for jobs that replicate that. They do not exist. Things are

:11:33.:11:39.

going to be dire. They are indeed. Is this the world you live in? The

:11:39.:11:49.
:11:49.:11:50.

world of endless fancy coffees and playing on computers. I have a car

:11:50.:11:55.

crashing game where you have to destroy Big Ben and the London aye.

:11:55.:12:03.

You love it because you made it. I do. These are doing really well.

:12:03.:12:07.

Your whole industry only appeared after the recession started. People

:12:07.:12:11.

seem to have money for all this stuff with tablets and the fancy

:12:11.:12:16.

phones. We started the company in the recession. The Mobot app and

:12:16.:12:26.
:12:26.:12:29.

gaming industry is booming. We 100 and export to 150 countries. Do you

:12:29.:12:33.

not recognise this? We do but we need to encourage other companies

:12:33.:12:39.

to start and grow. Significant that these gains are free. That has

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changed the Mobot economy. Interesting. -- the mobile economy.

:12:46.:12:51.

The real guys making real cars up the road are struggling. This man

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makes virtual cars and he cannot get enough of them. With us is Ed

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Balls. Let's keep away for virtual and go for reality. We do not have

:13:04.:13:07.

a triple dip recession. That may have been something privately that

:13:08.:13:12.

you would have liked to have seen better has not happened. Totally

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opposite. It would have been terrible - unprecedented. To be

:13:17.:13:23.

honest, three years of a flatlining economy, more lacklustre fears and

:13:23.:13:26.

family seen living standards fall, construction workers out of work

:13:26.:13:32.

with unemployment higher than 2010. The deficit not coming down. It is

:13:32.:13:37.

a bad situation. I worry that we will see complacency today. They

:13:37.:13:42.

should be realising this is not working. You have heard why in that

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report. You have to realise that they must change course. White is

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the public not back your line in terms of a mass majority? -- why

:13:53.:13:57.

does the public? We should have had a big economic stimulus and should

:13:57.:14:01.

be trying to boost the economy by beaming more. It has not happened

:14:01.:14:08.

and still is not happening. -- booming more. If they listen to

:14:08.:14:12.

your question and think, Labour, borrow more, I do not want that.

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That reinforces a problem. I do not want to borrow more, I want to

:14:17.:14:22.

borrow less. The Chancellor is borrowing 245 billion. Let me

:14:22.:14:26.

explain. He is borrowing will be is his plan has failed and he has not

:14:26.:14:31.

got people back to work and has not got the deficit down. Three years

:14:31.:14:37.

ago - and not many of us were saying this... It is done by a

:14:37.:14:41.

third because in the first year of this government, they inherited

:14:41.:14:45.

from Labour the economy was growing, and implement was coming down.

:14:45.:14:49.

Unemployment is now going up and the deficit is the same this year,

:14:49.:14:54.

at last year and next year. It is not working. The deficit has come

:14:54.:14:59.

down by a third. As you say, it will probably remain unchanged but

:14:59.:15:04.

it has come down by a third. came down in the first year of the

:15:04.:15:07.

Government because of the inheritance from the last Labour

:15:07.:15:13.

government. They flat lined the economy. The OBR forecast has said

:15:13.:15:19.

the deficit reduction plan has stalled - it has stopped. Where

:15:19.:15:29.
:15:29.:15:37.

would gross be had you been How big was the American stimulus?

:15:37.:15:42.

It was significant. It was huge. Is that what you would have liked to

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have seen here? They should have been a deficit reduction plan that

:15:46.:15:50.

was slow and steadier. Build houses, guaranteed jobs for young people

:15:50.:15:54.

and got people back to work. News America as the comparison. It

:15:54.:15:58.

was a massive stimulus, probably in the region of 50 billion. What

:15:58.:16:04.

would you have done here? Here, in order to get 4% growth, is that

:16:05.:16:10.

what would have been needed? irony is the stimulus... That's not

:16:10.:16:14.

a stimulus getting people back to work, that's lost tax revenue and

:16:14.:16:20.

more unemployment costs. To be brutally honest, this plan isn't

:16:20.:16:23.

working. A steady approach would have got people back to work, got

:16:23.:16:28.

the economy moving. You need that and long-term reform. Even the IMF

:16:28.:16:31.

are now saying this plan is not working. They've got to slow the

:16:31.:16:35.

pace of deficit reduction, get the economy moving to get the deficit

:16:35.:16:40.

down. How blue -- how big with the stimulus have had to be to get 4%

:16:40.:16:49.

growth? Well, you would have had to do that... You would have had to

:16:49.:16:53.

spend probably two packages in two successive years of around 30

:16:53.:17:02.

billion. Would you have been prepared to do that? 1.5 to 2% GDP.

:17:02.:17:06.

That would have given you a good multiplier of about three or four.

:17:06.:17:10.

You would have probably have to follow through with a second or

:17:10.:17:14.

third year package of a similar magnitude. Without it, with 10 or

:17:14.:17:21.

�12 billion, that wouldn't have got... It's the opposite. He put up

:17:21.:17:26.

VAT. The VAT rise was a disaster has hit a confidence. He said, I'm

:17:26.:17:32.

going to have massive spending cuts and cut capital investment and

:17:32.:17:39.

really clampdown. It was a disaster. Alastair Darling said he would

:17:39.:17:43.

halve the deficit over four years. It is standing at a third. In order

:17:43.:17:49.

to get the growth that has been so elusive, to be realistic about it,

:17:49.:17:53.

the country would have had to have borrowed in the region of 20 to �30

:17:54.:18:00.

billion. Is that right? George Osborne has borrowed 245. I would

:18:00.:18:03.

have said is lower deficit reduction plan, which would have

:18:03.:18:05.

meant the deficit would have come down less fast in the early period

:18:05.:18:10.

but by the end of this Parliament, in my view we would have had longer

:18:10.:18:14.

-- stronger growth and less of a deficit. It is very constraining,

:18:14.:18:20.

there you are, shadow chancellor, and you have to steer this path,

:18:20.:18:27.

but they needed to be a stimulus package of around 30 billion in

:18:27.:18:32.

2010 to 2011. I called for AV a teacup which would have been told.

:18:32.:18:35.

The that would have delivered a higher growth trajectory. You might

:18:35.:18:39.

have followed through with a second one, had things been faltering.

:18:39.:18:43.

This would have been financed at these 300 year low interest rates.

:18:43.:18:47.

But they may not have been that low. That's always been the point from

:18:47.:18:50.

the government. Us interest rates may not have stayed as low as they

:18:50.:18:54.

have done on our debt if there had been a plan to borrow some been in

:18:54.:18:59.

the region of 30 million -- billion. The markets would have freaked.

:18:59.:19:05.

That's nonsense. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I said it at the

:19:05.:19:09.

time. Spending plans. You would have spent a bit more, or you

:19:09.:19:13.

wanted to spend a bit more. We know what the overall spending envelope

:19:13.:19:17.

is going to be in 2015 to 2016, are you going to stick to the

:19:17.:19:21.

Government's spending plans? not going to make any commitment

:19:21.:19:25.

now. It would be irresponsible. I will not make promises until I know

:19:25.:19:28.

how much of the catastrophe George Osborne is going to leave us to

:19:29.:19:33.

inherit. 2 billion more in tax rises, 25 billion more in cuts. We

:19:33.:19:40.

used the -- Will you stick to those broadly? I'm not going to make a

:19:40.:19:46.

budget or Spending Review. Two years ahead, George Osborne, rather

:19:46.:19:49.

than playing political games three years ahead, he should be having a

:19:49.:19:53.

discussion about what he's going to do in the next couple of months.

:19:53.:19:57.

Let's get people back to work, a compulsory jobs guarantee, a house

:19:58.:20:02.

building programme and reform the banks. I do think you should be

:20:02.:20:06.

talking about reform of the banks more. And also innovation and

:20:06.:20:10.

investment. There's a lot of stuff to do. We are going to hear from

:20:10.:20:18.

George Osborne in a moment. Is he here? No, he's just here on film.

:20:18.:20:21.

think these numbers are an encouraging sign that the economy

:20:21.:20:26.

is healing, despite a tough economic situation. We are making

:20:26.:20:29.

progress. The people know there are still difficult decisions to be

:20:29.:20:33.

taken. There's not an easy road ahead. We've got to go on

:20:33.:20:37.

confronting our problems in order to be fit for the future. We have

:20:37.:20:41.

encouraging signs, the deficit is down by a third, over 1 million new

:20:41.:20:44.

jobs have been created in the private sector. But I have never

:20:44.:20:49.

pretended that this is going to be a quick process. That was the

:20:49.:20:53.

Chancellor, George Osborne. We are joined by his number two, the Chief

:20:53.:20:59.

Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander. The Office of National

:20:59.:21:03.

Statistics say GDP is broadly flat for 18 months. George Osborne says

:21:03.:21:07.

that progress. Where's the progress? We've seen figures today

:21:07.:21:13.

that show that in the first quarter of this year, GDP grew by 0.3 %.

:21:13.:21:19.

That is obviously welcome news. pretty flat. Especially given the

:21:19.:21:23.

very tough economic environment in which this country is operating.

:21:23.:21:26.

What we've seen is particularly as a result of a number of factors the

:21:26.:21:29.

OBR have identified, the weight of the financial crisis and the

:21:29.:21:33.

problems in our banking system. The impact of the eurozone crisis on

:21:33.:21:37.

our economy. All of those things have held our economy back Bargh

:21:37.:21:40.

walk. Not just the British economy. Looking at France and Germany in

:21:40.:21:43.

the final quarter of last year and look at what has predicted this

:21:43.:21:48.

year, it is to have an even tougher set of circumstances than the UK.

:21:48.:21:52.

In those circumstances... You think you've done well. The mix of

:21:52.:21:56.

policies we been pursuing is the right one for this country. But it

:21:56.:22:02.

had no effect. It had no effect. If you look at growth, that ONS figure

:22:02.:22:06.

is its broadly flat for 18 months, we are in the same position we were

:22:06.:22:09.

six months ago. If we have a look at rebalancing the economy, would

:22:09.:22:14.

you and your colleague, Vince Cable, had spoken so much about... Where

:22:14.:22:19.

is it? The service sector is now above pre-recession peak.

:22:19.:22:23.

Production, manufacturing and construction are well below.

:22:23.:22:28.

Where's the rebalancing? example, we've seen 1.3 million

:22:28.:22:31.

jobs in the private sector created in this country over the last three

:22:31.:22:36.

years. But answer that question. are seeing Britain exporting cars

:22:36.:22:40.

to the rest of the world, a net exporter of cars, for the first

:22:41.:22:46.

time for 30 years. Through the industrial strategy of Vince Cable

:22:46.:22:51.

four sectors like automotive, aerospace, Hagrid technology and

:22:51.:22:54.

Health Sciences, sectors that are important in many parts of the

:22:54.:22:57.

countries. We are moving away from the obsession with financial

:22:58.:23:01.

services and the City of London, which is what dominated the 13

:23:01.:23:03.

years of Labour government, to a country that is much more focused

:23:03.:23:08.

on building up industries in a wide range of sectors. Coming back to

:23:08.:23:12.

those figures, while production, manufacturing and construction

:23:12.:23:17.

down? For precisely the reasons they give you a moment ago. We are

:23:17.:23:22.

operating in a very tough environment, where the impact of

:23:22.:23:25.

the eurozone crisis, particularly on our exports, it's much more

:23:25.:23:30.

severe than anybody forecast back in 2010. Our policies can't make

:23:30.:23:34.

any difference to that? They can make significant differences to

:23:34.:23:43.

that. So where is it? We also need to grow our exports to the emerging

:23:44.:23:48.

markets of the world, where our performance was lamentable and

:23:48.:23:50.

where we have seen dramatic increases in our exports to those

:23:50.:23:54.

markets over the last three years. What is behind a question is the

:23:54.:23:57.

suggestion that somehow governments can wave a magic wand and deal with

:23:57.:24:01.

what is the most severe financial and economic crisis this country

:24:01.:24:06.

has experienced in modern times. And you can't. What we can do is

:24:06.:24:09.

take the right decisions and tough decisions to rebalance our economy,

:24:09.:24:13.

deal with the big problems and our public finances, key interest rates

:24:13.:24:21.

low and a way that supports businesses to invest. Two points. I

:24:21.:24:24.

think you are laying the foundations of an industrial policy,

:24:24.:24:29.

but its tremulous and timid. The technology strategy board has only

:24:29.:24:35.

got 300 million. It's a budget of a billion a year. You've got these

:24:35.:24:41.

little catapults which are very good ideas, but a fifth of the size

:24:41.:24:45.

of their counterparts in Germany. You are doing things that actually

:24:45.:24:51.

it is done very constrained. Secondly, you need to do it more

:24:51.:24:54.

determinedly. The mantle of austerity constraints, you should

:24:54.:24:59.

be doing more. I don't think you are serious enough about the

:25:00.:25:04.

banking crisis. I actually think we need a bad bank and to put the bad

:25:04.:25:07.

debts of our banks, I think we should be talking about breaking up

:25:07.:25:11.

some of our big banks, thinking seriously about putting the public

:25:11.:25:16.

balance sheet behind new lending. There's a big agenda about putting

:25:16.:25:18.

the banking system back on its feet. I don't think the coalition has

:25:19.:25:23.

been sufficiently serious about these two things, although moving

:25:23.:25:26.

in the right direction over the last few years, but these are very

:25:26.:25:29.

serious times. They are very serious times. I'm grateful for

:25:29.:25:33.

what you said about the industrial strategy. I would add to the things

:25:33.:25:36.

that you have listed, the first time ever the UK government is

:25:36.:25:39.

offering guarantees to major infrastructure projects. We just

:25:39.:25:43.

saw another one announced yesterday. A massive investment in

:25:43.:25:46.

apprenticeships, doubling the number of apprentices in our

:25:46.:25:49.

economy, which has a great way to ensure our population get the

:25:49.:25:53.

skills needed for the sorts of industries you have described.

:25:53.:25:58.

Protecting the science budget, a crucial part... It's not really

:25:58.:26:06.

fair... How do you go about rebalancing the economy? We agree

:26:06.:26:09.

about the direction there. There's an argument about how far we can go

:26:09.:26:12.

and what we can afford to do and the priorities we have all stopped

:26:12.:26:18.

you froze council tax at a tax expenditure of 600 million.

:26:18.:26:23.

could have let council tax to go up and that would have given you 600

:26:23.:26:28.

million to allocate to the science budget and that technology board.

:26:28.:26:32.

These are big calls to make and they are not made, in my view,

:26:32.:26:36.

serious enough in rejuvenating our industrial base. The pressures on

:26:36.:26:39.

household budgets are also a very important part of what we have to

:26:39.:26:43.

try and deal with. And those pressures are getting worse.

:26:43.:26:47.

example, the council tax breeze helps with that. The massive

:26:47.:26:54.

reductions in income tax through the income tax personal... We have

:26:54.:27:04.
:27:04.:27:07.

championed it, as Liberal Democrats in government. There could steps.

:27:07.:27:11.

No real pay increases for the last few years and, in fact, any real

:27:11.:27:15.

pay increase was the road from February last year to February this

:27:15.:27:19.

year. With inflation running at over 3%, you are not going to have

:27:19.:27:23.

a consumer boom any time soon, are you? Of course you are right that

:27:23.:27:29.

real wages are constrained. So you were worse off. That is a

:27:29.:27:33.

consequence of the very severe economic challenges we face as a

:27:33.:27:38.

country. The actions that we are taking, cutting income tax, Action

:27:38.:27:42.

on Council Tax, reversing the massive increases in fuel duty that

:27:42.:27:46.

Ed Balls had planned for every word in this country. But they are not

:27:46.:27:50.

working against the crisis. This is really important. You should not

:27:50.:27:53.

dismiss them. These are helping people with real pressures that

:27:53.:27:58.

face everybody in this country. We can't just pretend that the

:27:58.:28:02.

financial crisis doesn't exist. Not take the tough decisions necessary

:28:02.:28:05.

to get the public finances back inaudible start but we can help

:28:05.:28:10.

people. In 2010, the economy was predicted to grow by 6.5 %. It's

:28:10.:28:16.

grown by 1.2 %. Ubar admitted we'll pay has not risen. People feel

:28:16.:28:20.

worse off than they did a few years ago. So the policies that you've

:28:20.:28:25.

taken on not working in order to mitigate what may be coming from

:28:25.:28:29.

the eurozone, and that is going to continue. What is going to change?

:28:30.:28:34.

When his growth going to come back in any real sense? I don't agree

:28:34.:28:39.

with your analysis. The Office for Budget Responsibility has analysed

:28:39.:28:44.

what are the reasons why they are forecasting 2010 did not turn out?

:28:44.:28:48.

They have identified three things. When will we see anything like 2%

:28:48.:28:52.

growth? The OBR, who are independent and who we've given the

:28:52.:28:58.

job... Whose forecasts have been wrong almost nine times talk of 10.

:28:58.:29:04.

But they are independent. Their forecasts for growth this year of

:29:04.:29:09.

0.6 %. We've seen 0.3 in the first quarter. They forecast from the

:29:09.:29:13.

growth next year and the year after. We're doing everything we can to

:29:13.:29:16.

reform, strengthen and rebalance our economy in very difficult

:29:16.:29:20.

circumstances. What we will not do his step away from the plan for

:29:20.:29:23.

dealing with the problems of our public finances. It we were to

:29:23.:29:30.

follow Ed Balls' advice, if Labour were in charge, borrowing an extra

:29:30.:29:33.

�200 billion. I think that would jeopardise the confidence and

:29:33.:29:41.

credibility that... Why has the IMF lost faith in your strategy?

:29:42.:29:45.

IMF are coming to this country to do their assessment next month.

:29:45.:29:50.

Let's see what they say. They've told the Chancellor it's worried.

:29:50.:29:54.

They are asking for alternatives are on the budgetary stance. What

:29:54.:29:58.

we've been doing is in line with what the IMF has been recommending.

:29:58.:30:02.

But they are worried about the strategy. We would all like to see

:30:02.:30:09.

more growth in this country. have the scope to do it, Danny.

:30:09.:30:15.

would disagree with the IMF. Your characterisation of the IMF, rather.

:30:15.:30:19.

We will see what they say. If the idea that we should just borrow

:30:19.:30:25.

much more money... Which you are borrowing any weight. And have a

:30:25.:30:28.

consequence of our economy and a weakening of the political

:30:28.:30:30.

commitment to deal with our financial problems, I think that

:30:30.:30:35.

would be catastrophic. The question about being in a state to borrow

:30:35.:30:45.
:30:45.:30:50.

because interest rate payments are The Government will borrow by the

:30:50.:30:56.

end of this Parliament Bar more than it planned in 2010. It is how

:30:56.:31:02.

you sequence this. Had there been a stimulus package in 2011, you would

:31:02.:31:08.

have had a better chance to have an economy which is improving and

:31:08.:31:12.

rising tax revenues and less public borrowing. It is that kind of thing

:31:12.:31:18.

I have argued for since 2010. The IMF are coming around to it.

:31:18.:31:25.

Interest rates are at a 300 kilos. The stock of public debt is not

:31:25.:31:32.

high. -- a 300 year low. When you go into coalition with Labour after

:31:32.:31:40.

the next election, I'm sure you will be doing it. I disagree with

:31:40.:31:49.

what he just said! I think you know that anyway. Now should we all be

:31:49.:31:53.

on our bike? Well, one man who thinks so is the Olympic cycling

:31:53.:32:03.
:32:03.:32:11.

gold medalist, Chris Boardman. When I was a cyclist back in the

:32:11.:32:17.

90s, they were seen as oddballs in tights. We had not won a medal

:32:17.:32:22.

since the 1920s. Last year, Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France and

:32:22.:32:26.

Britain topped the medal table at the Olympic Games. More importantly,

:32:26.:32:33.

all around the country, in cities, towns and villages, as a nation

:32:33.:32:40.

where starting to get on our bikes. -- we are starting. Let's be frank.

:32:40.:32:45.

The way we are travelling is killing us. According to in recent

:32:45.:32:51.

study, there are 5.3 million deaths a year down to inactivity. We need

:32:51.:32:55.

to capitalise on the bicycle as a way to improve the health and

:32:55.:33:05.

wealth of our nation and improve our standard of life. We need to

:33:05.:33:14.

change the culture and we -- about how use our roads. Right now, the

:33:14.:33:19.

philosophy behind all of this is to keep cyclists saved by getting them

:33:19.:33:26.

out of the weight of the cough. -- safe. We need to fundamentally

:33:26.:33:30.

change roads, its streets and communities, making them places for

:33:30.:33:40.
:33:40.:33:48.

people wear cycling is and feels a British cycling has made a great

:33:48.:33:52.

journey. Now we need a bold vision from government that puts people

:33:52.:34:02.
:34:02.:34:02.

You are watching the Daily Politics. Irish like to welcome our Scottish

:34:02.:34:08.

viewers who have been watching First Minister's Questions. -- I

:34:08.:34:12.

would like. And Chris Boardman is here and he's been joined by the

:34:12.:34:16.

Transport Minister, Norman Baker. You have your opportunity to put

:34:16.:34:20.

everything you ever asked about why the Government is not doing enough

:34:20.:34:25.

to promote cycling. This is an unusual situation. I know the

:34:25.:34:29.

minister is very supportive of things we want to do. It is not

:34:29.:34:33.

just about cycling, it is a bad transport and Harry do things in

:34:33.:34:39.

this country. -- it is about transport and how we do things. It

:34:39.:34:44.

is not a question of, should we do this? More a question of, if we do

:34:44.:34:51.

not, what will it look like? people feel safe on the roads?

:34:51.:34:56.

is an obstacle in the way. We make decisions emotionally. We do not do

:34:56.:35:00.

it logically. We will do the easiest thing for us right now. If

:35:00.:35:10.

you genuinely want people to shift, you have to make this the easiest

:35:10.:35:15.

thing. How do you do that? start with a philosophy. Keep

:35:15.:35:21.

cyclists saved by ridding them out of the wake of the car. That is not

:35:21.:35:27.

working. -- cyclists safe by moving them out of the way. The philosophy

:35:27.:35:33.

needs to be, how do we make this something that people want to do?

:35:33.:35:38.

From a government point of view, that is quite difficult. Cycling is

:35:39.:35:43.

good for the Environment, good for health and good for the economy, so

:35:43.:35:49.

everyone is signed up to this. People are not cycling any more.

:35:49.:35:54.

They are beginning to. In London, attention has been given to the

:35:54.:36:00.

issue and levels are going up. There is a perception of safety. At

:36:00.:36:04.

least saved thing you can do is to sit around, watching television all

:36:04.:36:10.

day rather than go on your bike. is quite intimidating if you are

:36:10.:36:14.

riding around the centre of London, particularly if you are not a

:36:14.:36:19.

brilliant cyclist and you are not very confident. People do want

:36:19.:36:24.

separation from cars. In some places, it is appropriate. In other

:36:25.:36:29.

places, it is possible to arrange the vote in a way that cyclists can

:36:29.:36:36.

feel safe. In London may feel safer because there are more of them.

:36:36.:36:46.

Where it is unsafe if you only have a few of a day. I lived in

:36:46.:36:50.

Switzerland where there were cycle parks especially built. The same

:36:50.:36:58.

story in Austria. Even in parts of New England. It seems to me a

:36:58.:37:04.

friend of mine, whose son is a keen cyclist, a few of his friends have

:37:04.:37:10.

died in cycling instance. It is not very safe - cycling. I want to

:37:10.:37:19.

cycle. I came here on Boris bike. It is perilous. Getting more of a

:37:19.:37:24.

sense of drivers being more careful about cyclists but also being well

:37:24.:37:29.

protected places for cyclists to cycle. I do not agree it is

:37:29.:37:35.

perilous. You do not think so. How many near-misses have you had?

:37:35.:37:45.
:37:45.:37:45.

cannot remember. I'm not saying there have are not been accidents,

:37:45.:37:52.

there have. I want speed limits to be reduced to 20 miles an hour.

:37:52.:37:56.

They are putting up mirrors at junctions. Where it is unsafe is

:37:56.:38:03.

where lorries and buses turn left and catch cyclists on the inside.

:38:03.:38:10.

Those things will happen, or will they? What about local councils? Do

:38:10.:38:17.

they not make decisions which would help locally? They do. There is a

:38:17.:38:22.

brand new sum of money into Jews by the Government. 96 different

:38:22.:38:28.

cycling schemes which deal with safety issues and off-road issues.

:38:28.:38:32.

Wouldn't we like to have cities more like Amsterdam and cities in

:38:32.:38:36.

Switzerland and Germany? We all would. What is the level of

:38:37.:38:42.

commitment to make that happen? Funding has been announced and that

:38:42.:38:46.

is all positive. If you put that into perspective, that is what

:38:46.:38:51.

needs to be looked at. We need to incorporate this into how we get

:38:51.:38:56.

around. This document that came out yesterday - There is one sentence

:38:56.:39:02.

in it which is more important than anything else. The recommendation

:39:02.:39:05.

is a statue to require that cyclists and pedestrians need to

:39:05.:39:15.
:39:15.:39:15.

continue at an early stage of any to that meant. -- a statutory

:39:15.:39:20.

requirement. Is there going to be a statutory commitment? We will look

:39:21.:39:26.

at all the recommendations. That sounds like a gnome. It is not. The

:39:26.:39:34.

document came out yesterday. -- 8 no. He said it was about changing a

:39:34.:39:37.

philosophy could changing a mine said the DUP that needs to happen

:39:37.:39:45.

if you're going to change the whole culture. -- changing a mindset.

:39:45.:39:48.

will look at that seriously. Another suggestion we will also

:39:48.:39:56.

look at. No suggestion. We want more people cycling and more safely.

:39:56.:40:03.

What about helmets? Do you wear a helmet when cycling? I do not tend

:40:03.:40:10.

to wear a helmet on Boris bike. Otherwise I do. He did not wear a

:40:10.:40:19.

helmet in that film. You would have to wear a helmet walking. It is a

:40:19.:40:24.

safe thing to do, as Norman said. 800 times around the world per Si

:40:24.:40:33.

King death. It is perceived safety that is important. -- per cycling

:40:33.:40:40.

death. It would be better to wear a helmet. I do not wear one either. I

:40:40.:40:44.

think it is a safe activity. A lot of people would not cyclic they had

:40:44.:40:54.

to wear a helmet. If you cut people out of it, be is not a benefit.

:40:54.:41:01.

get where you are going. -- it is not a benefit. Last night, peers

:41:01.:41:04.

were asked to vote on the Government's plans for the NHS.

:41:04.:41:07.

Depending on who you believe, the changes will lead to privatisation

:41:07.:41:11.

and the end of the NHS as we know it. Or they will build on New

:41:11.:41:13.

Labour's reforms, improving efficiency and quality by boosting

:41:13.:41:21.

competition. It was a lively debate. You cannot always said that about

:41:21.:41:25.

the House of Lords. A former Health Minister in the new Labour

:41:25.:41:30.

government was taking part. Dr Lucy Reynolds is an adviser to the

:41:30.:41:35.

National Health Action Party. You voted against your party, with the

:41:35.:41:41.

Government, saying that opening up to more commercial er organisations

:41:41.:41:44.

and delivering health services is a big thing. People love it but they

:41:44.:41:49.

get worried that you are privatising by the back door.

:41:49.:41:53.

is no back door. I was voting for the policy under Labour before the

:41:53.:41:57.

last election. I was implementing that when I was Health Minister in

:41:57.:42:01.

a Labour government. The people who have shifted their position up

:42:01.:42:06.

parts of the Labour Party. We have always had to operate within the

:42:06.:42:10.

framework of EU competition law. These EU regulations last I put

:42:10.:42:14.

into statutory form the procurement guidance which was issued by the

:42:14.:42:18.

Labour government. Why not make the NHS better at delivering services

:42:18.:42:22.

that people want rather than selling them out to other people?

:42:22.:42:27.

We're giving clinical commissioning groups, run by GPs, who are

:42:27.:42:30.

themselves small businessmen, to actually make decisions on behalf

:42:30.:42:34.

of patients as to what the best service provider is for people in

:42:34.:42:40.

their area. People buy it and I large are not that upset who

:42:40.:42:50.
:42:50.:42:52.

provides the service as long as it Is actually said the public cares

:42:52.:42:57.

about whether the service is public or private. That is the rub. When

:42:57.:43:01.

you operate services, in order to generate as much money as possible

:43:01.:43:07.

rather than optimising patient care, what you get a his services which

:43:07.:43:15.

are not terribly good for patients. -- what you get his services. In

:43:15.:43:20.

Cornwall, Serco took on an out-of- hours service and they had one GP

:43:20.:43:28.

on for the entire county. Now there has been a speech saying they were

:43:28.:43:34.

not out-of-hours services at will. Isn't one thing a principal problem

:43:34.:43:40.

or is it fundamentally wrong in your opinion? It is not wrong for

:43:40.:43:46.

me as a concept battle. It is wrong because it is more expensive. -- a

:43:46.:43:51.

concept at all. It diverts resources away from delivering

:43:51.:43:57.

decent care towards generating as much money as possible. An example

:43:57.:44:01.

is the general health care group. Lord Warner is an adviser to that

:44:01.:44:07.

group. It has been reported that has been the case. Is it true?

:44:07.:44:14.

is not true. I was an adviser five years ago. That it is owned by a

:44:14.:44:18.

consortium headed by a South African country, whose senior staff

:44:18.:44:23.

have been found guilty of selling trafficked kidneys from miners.

:44:23.:44:28.

This is not somebody we want involved in a health service care

:44:28.:44:34.

delivery. They have been pressing the Government harder. If the sort

:44:34.:44:40.

of people we are talking about are in there just to make money, should

:44:40.:44:42.

the public are worried about that? I do not think that is what they

:44:42.:44:46.

are doing. If you are going to shut at independent sector providers,

:44:46.:44:51.

you're shutting out voluntary organisations, shutting out a load

:44:51.:44:56.

of people who are currently working in partnership with the NHS from

:44:56.:44:59.

the voluntary, private and social enterprise sectors, working with

:44:59.:45:08.

the NHS. It is equally regulated in the private sector as the NHS.

:45:08.:45:18.
:45:18.:45:19.

Thank you. Hotly-contested debate. Would you like to see something

:45:19.:45:29.
:45:29.:45:29.

more like this during the Ike for President, Ike for

:45:29.:45:39.
:45:39.:45:40.

President. We don't want Jon Lord Dean or Harry. Let's get in step

:45:40.:45:50.
:45:50.:45:52.

with Ike. You like Ike, I like Ike. Everybody likes Ike. Travel day and

:45:52.:46:02.
:46:02.:46:07.

night. We'll all go with Ike. Ike for President. We'll take Ike to

:46:07.:46:12.

Washington! Now is the time for all good Americans to come to the aid

:46:12.:46:21.

of their country. That was a television advert from 1956. For

:46:21.:46:23.

Eisenhower's presidential campaign. One man who thinks the rules on

:46:23.:46:27.

political advertising in this country should be relaxed is the

:46:27.:46:31.

Conservative MP George Eustace, who's got a shiny new job in the

:46:31.:46:38.

Number 10 policy unit. Is this what we can look forward to if you get

:46:38.:46:43.

your way on political advertising? Dave, for Prime Minister? We ought

:46:43.:46:47.

to review the way we approach this as a country. We are too easily

:46:47.:46:52.

dismissive of the way most other democratic Stewart. People say they

:46:52.:46:55.

don't want Cross, negative advertising like they have in the

:46:55.:46:59.

US, but most other European countries allow some form of

:46:59.:47:02.

political advertising, as do countries like Australia, who have

:47:02.:47:06.

the same political culture as ours. You need a mixed diet for democracy

:47:07.:47:10.

to work. You need the rough-and- tumble of the newspapers, the

:47:10.:47:14.

attempt at impartiality from the broadcasters. It's a genuine

:47:14.:47:18.

attempt, but it's always from a particular perspective. People like

:47:18.:47:21.

Nick Robinson are almost the arbiters of truth in a given story.

:47:22.:47:25.

But we also need more direct communication between political

:47:25.:47:29.

parties and the electorate. will it improve our democratic

:47:29.:47:33.

state? It will enable political parties to set out clearly what

:47:33.:47:38.

they want to achieve. I think that is important in a democracy.

:47:38.:47:41.

Otherwise too often with the media coverage we have it is who's up,

:47:41.:47:46.

whose dam, who's fallen out with food. Or the public say they don't

:47:46.:47:49.

understand is what political parties are standing for at the end

:47:49.:47:53.

of that political process. Ward direct communication is a good

:47:53.:47:58.

thing. What do you think of that? understand where you're coming from.

:47:58.:48:05.

I think democracy is about arguments. One of the strengths of

:48:05.:48:08.

the democratic system is that politicians have to get into the

:48:08.:48:15.

broadcasting studios, and they do get taken on rather effectively by

:48:15.:48:20.

most of our cross-examining presenters. I'm uneasy about moving

:48:20.:48:24.

to an Americanisation of British politics, where you can set out

:48:24.:48:33.

your stall in an unblemished weight, no criticism. I don't think it will

:48:33.:48:37.

enhance trust in politics. I do think there's a problem with our

:48:37.:48:42.

media more widely, and they do think there's a problem about the

:48:42.:48:45.

way that politicians are held by the public. I don't think you are a

:48:45.:48:50.

bunch of untrustworthy Roques, all out to further your nest - which is

:48:50.:48:52.

the widely held perception or so most people I come across genuinely

:48:52.:48:58.

want to make the world better. But I'm not certain, and beyond not

:48:58.:49:02.

certain, I'm absolutely certain that slicker political

:49:02.:49:06.

advertisement is not the solution. We've already recognise the

:49:06.:49:11.

importance of parties communicating directly, that's why we have party

:49:11.:49:14.

political broadcasts. We could modernise that, so rather than

:49:14.:49:19.

having four minutes and 40 seconds long broadcasts, maybe give 15th

:49:19.:49:24.

lots of one minute. People will see those party broadcasts and there's

:49:24.:49:27.

a better chance that people will go to the ballot box informed of what

:49:27.:49:30.

the parties actually stand for. Let's have another look at an

:49:30.:49:36.

example of what we could have. Celebrity endorsements have been

:49:36.:49:40.

around for quite a while. Let's have a look from J F K's 1960

:49:40.:49:50.
:49:50.:49:56.

presidential campaign, and see if # Everyone is calling for Jack.

:49:56.:50:01.

# Because he's got what all the rest lack.

:50:01.:50:11.
:50:11.:50:12.

If you had political advertising in Britain, it wouldn't have an

:50:12.:50:15.

American accent. America has a slightly different political

:50:15.:50:20.

culture to us. In Britain, it would be with a British accent and it

:50:20.:50:23.

would be much more subtle. It wouldn't be brash and have people

:50:23.:50:28.

singing and dancing. How do you know? It might be exactly like that.

:50:28.:50:35.

That sort of thing would not work with the British public. So we

:50:36.:50:39.

wouldn't have adverts in Britain that didn't work with the British

:50:39.:50:43.

public, we'd have adverts that people would find persuasive and be

:50:43.:50:46.

willing to listen to. Having political adverts doesn't mean

:50:46.:50:52.

American accents. What's the problem that this initiative is

:50:52.:50:57.

trying to solve? It is basically to make sure that the electorate have

:50:57.:51:02.

a mixed diet. I'm not saying let's replace broadcast news bulletins,

:51:02.:51:06.

they are the single most important source of information... Is it

:51:06.:51:11.

because you've got money to burn? If there isn't a potent enough

:51:11.:51:17.

reason to do it except to increase, in the voters' minds, the presence

:51:17.:51:21.

of a particular party? All the parties now have quite hard

:51:21.:51:25.

restrictions on what they can spend. They are all limited. So this idea

:51:25.:51:29.

that it means people with deep pockets will have we more to spend

:51:29.:51:34.

is not true. You want to flex up the system so there'll one-minute

:51:34.:51:39.

bulletins and not four minute bulletins, many more of them.

:51:39.:51:45.

you look at Australia, people who work in politics there say if they

:51:45.:51:48.

get incredibly unfair coverage in the news and the story goes against

:51:49.:51:52.

them, and this can happen to political parties for reasons that

:51:52.:51:55.

are beyond their control, and if they believe they are not being

:51:55.:51:59.

heard properly and their policies misunderstood, they can put down

:51:59.:52:03.

some broadcasting and adverts and explain to people what they really

:52:03.:52:07.

bad - that really stand for. That can't be a bad thing. Negative

:52:07.:52:10.

adverts is one of the biggest complaints about American political

:52:10.:52:15.

advertising, and that would happen here. We already have some negative

:52:15.:52:19.

political advertising. I don't want to see more of it. I don't think

:52:19.:52:24.

that is what would happen. We have restrictions already on party

:52:24.:52:28.

political broadcasts. You can't, for instance, used footage of your

:52:28.:52:32.

opponents without their permission. The Read my lips attack on George

:52:32.:52:36.

Bush would have been banned in Britain, even under our existing

:52:36.:52:46.
:52:46.:52:47.

broadcast rules. What are you doing in your new job? It's very much

:52:47.:52:51.

about giving us a more political engagement on the policy... Be cos

:52:51.:52:54.

there's been a lack of it and there needs to be more input from the

:52:54.:52:59.

backbenches? We are going into a phase now, it's absolutely natural

:52:59.:53:03.

that you would want to have a stronger political leader and

:53:03.:53:08.

stronger political involvement. What does that mean, what political

:53:08.:53:12.

lead would you like to see? What policy would you like to see go out

:53:12.:53:16.

there now? For having just accepted this role this morning, I'm not

:53:16.:53:21.

going to go out and say what it might be. But this is a process

:53:21.:53:25.

that starts do to do thinking, both for the end of this Parliament and

:53:25.:53:29.

for the next Parliament as well. It is really to make sure that we get

:53:29.:53:32.

engagement from all the talents in the party. We have some very

:53:32.:53:36.

talented people, some of them have served on committees and have a lot

:53:36.:53:40.

of expertise in lots of different areas. We want to make sure we get

:53:40.:53:45.

that involved in the policy process. How his morale? It's very good.

:53:45.:53:50.

We've undoubtedly had a difficult year. But what is true is over the

:53:50.:53:52.

last few weeks, there's a feeling we have turned that corner and

:53:52.:53:58.

people are getting back in the saddle. This afternoon, MPs and

:53:58.:54:01.

peers will be taking part in an ancient ritual. It's not the summer

:54:01.:54:05.

solstice and, no, no one, not even David Cameron will be donning a

:54:05.:54:10.

white dress and dishing out flowers. It is the prorogation of Parliament.

:54:10.:54:13.

If you don't know what it is, don't panic, because we have the world

:54:13.:54:19.

expert on hand to explain it all. Prorogation, it's a word that just

:54:19.:54:22.

doesn't seem to come up in everyday language, but round here they've

:54:23.:54:27.

talked of little else for the last few days. They are all asking -

:54:27.:54:30.

when his prorogation? But more importantly, how do you spell at

:54:30.:54:36.

and what exactly is it? Well, it's a message from the Queen, red in

:54:36.:54:38.

the Chamber of the House of Lords, essentially bringing down the

:54:39.:54:41.

curtain on this session of Parliament. In other words, the

:54:42.:54:46.

extreme opposite to the State Opening of Parliament. The

:54:46.:54:49.

government have finally persuaded both Houses to accept its

:54:49.:54:53.

legislation. Amendments have been batting to-and-fro all week between

:54:53.:54:57.

the Lords and Commons. It is a process known as parliamentary

:54:57.:55:03.

ping-pong, or with Waqar, as Boris would no doubt call it. So what

:55:03.:55:08.

happens? When the legislation is all done and dusted and sent for

:55:08.:55:11.

Royal Assent, the leader in the House of Lords reads the message on

:55:11.:55:15.

behalf of the Queen. It not being personally convenient for Her

:55:15.:55:20.

Majesty to attend, in fact, no monarch has bothered to turn a Sin

:55:20.:55:24.

City 54. You will have noticed they're wearing some extremely

:55:24.:55:28.

fetching ropes and hats. Perhaps perform an age-old constitutional

:55:28.:55:33.

function. Well, they don't actually, but they do look good. If you are a

:55:33.:55:37.

lord, you have to doff them in unison to greet MPs who walked down

:55:37.:55:41.

the corridor from the Commons. If you are a baroness, you don't have

:55:41.:55:45.

to bother. You may notice some lords are rather better at it than

:55:45.:55:50.

others. The MPs listen to royal assent being formally announced. It

:55:50.:55:53.

is one of the oldest ceremonies in Parliament. And then the Clarke

:55:53.:55:59.

says... If you're Norman French isn't up to it, you may not have

:55:59.:56:04.

understood a word, but that's what I'm paid for. It means the Queen

:56:04.:56:09.

wishes it. The monarch can refuse a bill, but they haven't done so for

:56:09.:56:15.

over 300 years, 1707, I checked! It's all over and the MPs troop

:56:15.:56:18.

back to the Commons, where the speaker makes another statement

:56:18.:56:22.

before shaking every one of them by the hand. It's the last time they

:56:22.:56:25.

will be in the chamber until that much grander occasion, the State

:56:25.:56:32.

Opening of Parliament, usually just will be on the three-line whip to

:56:32.:56:42.

attend. And Daniel is with us now. Is this really all still necessary?

:56:42.:56:46.

Absolutely, otherwise the session couldn't end. You might ask, is it

:56:46.:56:52.

a little involved? You might say prorogation makes the State Opening

:56:52.:56:58.

look quite a logical ceremony. It is complicated, there's a lot of

:56:58.:57:02.

bowing. But essentially, it's doing what it has always done through the

:57:02.:57:06.

entire history of Parliament, which is bringing down the session. The

:57:06.:57:10.

leader of the Lords will begin by saying, it's not being personally

:57:10.:57:14.

convenient for Her Majesty to attend. It hasn't been personally

:57:14.:57:19.

convenient for about 150 years. It hasn't been personally convenient

:57:19.:57:24.

to give Royal Assent in person either. Do you like the sort of

:57:24.:57:34.
:57:34.:57:35.

thing? My own view is that we hear this Norman the French being spoken.

:57:35.:57:39.

You are aware how deep-rooted the constitution is. And it is now

:57:39.:57:44.

written constitution. All this procedure and protocol masks still

:57:44.:57:54.
:57:54.:57:57.

a very regal way that our ministers have power. Ministers rule with a

:57:57.:58:03.

great deal of executive discretion, which has its roots in one of your

:58:03.:58:07.

government, which shows itself up in wearing the roads and doffing

:58:07.:58:13.

caps. My own view is it would be fantastic if we could start again.

:58:13.:58:18.

But we are never going to, so here we are. It's interesting, because

:58:18.:58:22.

the Queen has her own office in the House of Lords. Being head of state

:58:22.:58:26.

has taken quite seriously. The Crown has an office in the House of

:58:26.:58:29.

Lords, dealing with all the matters that endlessly, about the Queen as

:58:29.:58:39.
:58:39.:58:40.

being head of state. Happy prorogation is all I'm saying!

:58:40.:58:44.

Thanks to all our guests. The news is starting on BBC One now. Andrew

:58:44.:58:49.

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