25/04/2013 Daily Politics


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


chirpier over the breakfast table this morning. Latest figures show


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


have given the Chancellor a rather large headache. Preliminary


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


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


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


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


So too will Olympic hero Chris Boardman, demanding safer streets


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


it would have meant another recession and triple dip. But


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Inflation is much higher than average wage rises and that is


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


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


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


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


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


then Chancellor, his approach on investment was slightly more


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


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


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


Production industries and manufacturing within the overall


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Incomes are squeezed. It is desperate conditions for our fellow


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


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


Government tried to move towards an industrial policy in banking reform


but not determined enough. George Osborne lawyers said that spending


more and borrowing more would actually have a more detrimental


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


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


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


would be quite possible to imagine a moderate increase to public


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


been impossible for George Osborne to signal a change because he


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


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


make a big distinction between public investment and public


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


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


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


there are some people who are not that bothered about economic


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


luck with your business. Will Hutton mention that construction


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


There are senior politicians listening to you right now. A


message from Westminster? Absolutely. I would like to see


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


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


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


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


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


Swindon next week begins the process of laying off nearly a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Your whole industry only appeared after the recession started. People


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


family seen living standards fall, construction workers out of work


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Government because of the inheritance from the last Labour


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


spend probably two packages in two successive years of around 30


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


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


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


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


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


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


going to have massive spending cuts and cut capital investment and


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


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


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


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


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


have said is lower deficit reduction plan, which would have


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


think these numbers are an encouraging sign that the economy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


very tough economic environment in which this country is operating.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Production, manufacturing and construction are well below.


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


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


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


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


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


four sectors like automotive, aerospace, Hagrid technology and


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


countries. We are moving away from the obsession with financial


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


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


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


those figures, while production, manufacturing and construction


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


operating in a very tough environment, where the impact of


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


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


any difference to that? They can make significant differences to


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


markets of the world, where our performance was lamentable and


where we have seen dramatic increases in our exports to those


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


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


what is the most severe financial and economic crisis this country


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


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


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


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


think you are laying the foundations of an industrial policy,


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


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


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


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


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


determinedly. The mantle of austerity constraints, you should


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


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


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


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


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


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


been sufficiently serious about these two things, although moving


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


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


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


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


offering guarantees to major infrastructure projects. We just


saw another one announced yesterday. A massive investment in


apprenticeships, doubling the number of apprentices in our


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


skills needed for the sorts of industries you have described.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


serious enough in rejuvenating our industrial base. The pressures on


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


consequence of the very severe economic challenges we face as a


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


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


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


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


dismiss them. These are helping people with real pressures that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


with your analysis. The Office for Budget Responsibility has analysed


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


reform, strengthen and rebalance our economy in very difficult


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


consequence of our economy and a weakening of the political


commitment to deal with our financial problems, I think that


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


because interest rate payments are The Government will borrow by the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Switzerland where there were cycle parks especially built. The same


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


is a statue to require that cyclists and pedestrians need to


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


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


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


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


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


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


will look at that seriously. Another suggestion we will also


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Labour's reforms, improving efficiency and quality by boosting


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


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


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


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


Government, saying that opening up to more commercial er organisations


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


get worried that you are privatising by the back door.


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


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


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


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


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


into statutory form the procurement guidance which was issued by the


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


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


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


themselves small businessmen, to actually make decisions on behalf


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


concept at all. It diverts resources away from delivering


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


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


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


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


consortium headed by a South African country, whose senior staff


have been found guilty of selling trafficked kidneys from miners.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the voluntary, private and social enterprise sectors, working with


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


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


more like this during the Ike for President, Ike for


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


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


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


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


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


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


political advertising in this country should be relaxed is the


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


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


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


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


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


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


US, but most other European countries allow some form of


political advertising, as do countries like Australia, who have


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


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


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


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


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


But we also need more direct communication between political


parties and the electorate. will it improve our democratic


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


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


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


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


understand is what political parties are standing for at the end


of that political process. Ward direct communication is a good


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


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


the democratic system is that politicians have to get into the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


certain, I'm absolutely certain that slicker political


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


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


political broadcasts. We could modernise that, so rather than


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


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


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


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


example of what we could have. Celebrity endorsements have been


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


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


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


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


American accent. America has a slightly different political


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


heard properly and their policies misunderstood, they can put down


some broadcasting and adverts and explain to people what they really


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


adverts is one of the biggest complaints about American political


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that you would want to have a stronger political leader and


stronger political involvement. What does that mean, what political


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


extreme opposite to the State Opening of Parliament. The


government have finally persuaded both Houses to accept its


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


back to the Commons, where the speaker makes another statement


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


written constitution. All this procedure and protocol masks still


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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