26/04/2013 Daily Politics


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Afternoon folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. David Cameron warns


Syria that use of chemical weapons is a red line that could lead to


intervention but he does not want to see British troops on the ground.


The PM is in a pickle over press regulation, after the newspaper


industry tables a rival Royal Charter plan for self-regulation.


We'll look at the details and ask what happens next. Should the


Government back a ban on a widely- used pesticide, which campaigners


say could be killing off our bees? As protesters swarm around


Westminster, the Green Party and And, is this tanned man the richest


politician in the land? We've got the lowdown on the Times' latest


All that in the next hour. And with us for the whole programme today is


Iain Martin, political commentator at the Telegraph, and the


broadcaster, Anne Diamond. Welcome to you both. Let's start with the


latest developments in Syria. Yesterday, the US administration


said its intelligence agencies believed with varying degrees of


confidence that Syria had used the nerve agent, sarin. This morning,


both David Cameron and Ed Miliband reacted to this news that the


Syrian regime could be using chemical weapons. This is extremely


serious. But President Obama said it is right. They should form, for


the international community, a red line for us to do more. I have


always been keen to do that. We want our allies and partners to do


more with us and shaped the opposition to make sure we are


supporting people with good motives, who want a good outcome to put


pressure on a regime so we can bring it to an end.


international community needs to investigate. We need to find out


what is going on in Syria. The most important thing for the


international community, which so far it has failed to do, the show


unity. We have Russia on one side and other countries on another. The


needs some unity in the international community and see


what action is possible in Syria. We can talk now to our world


affairs correspondent, who joins us from Beirut, which borders Syria.


Is there a feeling in the region that Syria has been using chemical


weapons? It depends which country you speak to. The Israelis came to


that few earlier this week. They said they had not just analysed the


video but other evidence let them to believe that, on several


occasions, the Assad regime had used chemical weapons. They had


detailed sarin gas as a weapon which might have been used. They


raise concern about the veracity of these reports. From Syria, the


Assad regime has denied using any chemical weapons. It does not


confirm it has stockpiles of chemical weapons. It says if there


has been such an attack, it is at the hands of the opposition. A lot


of speculation in the region. Could is the operative word. The


Americans have been wrong before - famously 10 years ago in Iraq.


Everyone wants to make sure the evidence is bang on correct before


action is taken. Could it not be said that much more serious than


the possible use of chemical weapons is the way events in Syria


a destabilising the whole region? The Lebanon has suffered. Jordan


has a major refugee crisis. You are right. 17,000 people have been


killed and more than a million refugees have fled. In Lebanon, in


particular, in the north of the country, the same sectarian


divisions some battles that are going on in Syria are being


replicated in Tripoli. Huge concern. The use of chemical weapons would


add to that. If you look at the Israeli issue in particular, Israel


is worried that these weapons will not be used against Israel in


particular but those weapons and other conventional weapons will get


out of Syria and end up in the hands of her and be used in the


future against Israel. -- Hezbollah. Given what happened in Iraq,


despite being assured by the mannequins and British intelligence


that weapons of mass destruction mother, which you not want -- mass


destruction were there, which you not want more than burying degrees


of competence? We need to investigate. We will never get that.


We are playing with so many uncertainties. We are still


comfortable in our seats, watching Syria destroyed itself and watching


the regime in the most appalling way destroy its own people. We


cannot stand by on the sidelines any longer. To take one further


step, it is all very well to say this is the red line and they have


gone over it, we need to figure out what it is we are going to do.


do we have to do something? It is immoral not to. Destabilising is


very dangerous. We did not do anything, for example, in south


Sudan. We did not do anything in Rwanda or in Chechnya. Why do we


have to do something? What makes this case different and will mean


there is action is the Israeli situation. The West is loosely


backing the rebels. The West Trust the rebels. The last thing they


want is those weapons, as latest reports from the region suggest


they are, the last thing the Israelis want is those weapons


falling into the hands of rebels and used against Israel. I can


understand these weapons falling into the wrong hands. Nothing can


really happened without the Americans. The only sound I hear


from Washington is the Obama administration rolling back like


mad after having said it would be a red line. This is a defining test


for the Obama administration. He is running away from it rapidly.


Tehran is watching best. If it is not a red line, they will carry on.


It is also tricky for the Brits. William Hague and the FCO had been


at the forefront. If the Americans do take some action - which I think


their wealth - at that point, the Americans will be looking for more


than just rhetorical support from the UK, they will be looking at


military and intelligence backing, even if it is not beads on the


ground. We can use one of power aircraft carriers that we do not


have! -- groups on the ground. We will watch with interest. We did


feel that chemical weapons would become of watershed in the whole


conflict. -- at a watershed. Now it is time for our daily quiz. The


question for today is: The Bank of England has said the new �5 note


will feature a famous person. Who At the end of the show, our panel


will give us the correct answer. Yesterday, newspapers launched


their own, rival plan to regulate themselves - one in the eye for the


government and for the opposition - who thought they had done a deal to


tame the press. One newspaper said this morning that the few people


who still understand the arguments about the post-Leveson royal


charter are dead, mad or past caring. Well, folks, we might be


mad but we're still here and we still care. Let's take a look at


where we are. It was two years ago that phone hacking led to the


closure of the News of the World and a year-long inquiry into the


ethics, culture and practices of the press. Lord Justice Leveson


came up with a 2,000-page report and recommended a new press


regulator, which would be able to fine and direct newspapers to print


apologies and corrections. In a deal done in the middle of the


night in Ed Miliband's office, the three main parties and campaigners


came up with proposals for a new regulator, which would be set up


through a Royal Charter. But, yesterday, proprietors and editors


launched their own rival charter. This would remove parliament's


power to change the regulator, lift a ban on the involvement of former


editors, make it more difficult to bring group complaints, and change


the powers of the regulator to require apologies or corrections


rather than direct them. Still with us? Joining us to make sense of all


that is Sir Christopher Meyer, who chaired the now defunct Press


Complaints Commission. Also Evan Harris. Still with us are Anne


Diamond, who gave evidence to the Leveson inquiry and the journalist,


Iain Martin. Evan, you cannot be surprised by this. You did a


stitch-up in the middle of the nights with the politicians. They


were bound to do something different, went there? It is not a


stitch up and it is not a setback. This is the press saying, we do not


want to lose the power we have at the moment or have any form of


effective regulation. Even the voluntary self-regulation that has


been proposed. They accepted the leather some principles, didn't


they? They have rejected ending the practice of apologies on page 94.


They are following what he said. In the middle of the night, you beefed


up the bid. He did not say direct. He did. In Recommendation 15 and 16.


He said the independent self regulator must have the power when


necessary to direct where apologies go. He repeated it in


recommendation 16. He would direct if the newspapers did not behave


fairly. That is one of about 12, by the way. A how would you have felt


if a deal had been done at 3am involving the politicians and


newspaper proprietors and had not involved Hacked Off? If I had been


found guilty of unlawful and unethical misconduct, and then I


had been consulted by the Conservative minister all the way


along and tried to do a side deal and fell because the public, the


victims and parliamentarians did not want it, and then I saw a deal


had been done against me, I bid be enraged. You do not think there is


nothing there about how they behaved? No. They were represented


by Oliver Letwin, who was there. Oliver Letwin was representing the


newspapers! No single newspaper thinks Oliver Letwin represents


them in anything. You ask a very fair question about why the victims


were represented in that room. David Cameron at the Leveson


Inquiry, in June, under oath, said that the test of whether this will


work is whether it satisfied the victims - the people who have been


thrown to the Bulls. You have a journalist he was in that category.


-- the walls. They will not allow anything to be settled unless the


victims say whether it will work for them. We had to compromise. We


did not want a Royal Charter. We did compromise. At least you were


there. Parliament has voted overwhelmingly for a particular


type of regulation. Why would the newspapers think they are above the


law and not go along with that? am not speaking for the newspapers


but I do not think that they think they are above the law. What


concerns them is that Levison laid out the principles of voluntary


independent self- regulation and as it was emerging from the deal


cooked up in the small hours of 18th March, it was not voluntary,


independent and it was not self- regulation. Another point which I


hate to offend the majesty of Parliament but the most toxic


people who can possibly envisage as to how the press can be regulated


our politicians. They have an incestuous claustrophobic


relationship with journalists and that makes them the least impartial


judges. That is what the regulator must be independent. What the


Leveson proposals and the cross- party charter did was stop them


being on the recognition panel. It brings up active Conservative or


Labour peers back into a recognition panel - which is


supposed to be independent - and the self regulator. It must be


independent of politicians and only the cross-party one is. It must


also be independent of the industry. The royal charter says the Press


Board of Finance will own the Royal Charter and will constitute the


human stories of terrible abuse by the worst of the press. The enquiry


was set up to try to address that. We are already so far away from the


recommendations. Just so many months down the line and we are rebelling


against politicians and with the press. It is divorced from what it


was meant to be about, which is the human being is complaining about the


way they had been abused. Where did it go wrong? David Cameron said he


would institute Lord Leveson's recommendations unless they were


bonkers. He agreed they were not bonkers. He started to backtrack all


down the line. Nothing will ever happen. That only shows he is a


novice when it comes to setting up enquiries. He is a politician and


now the argument is back in the hands of the politicians and the


press. They should not be setting up their own regulations. One thing I


would say about the Leveson enquiry is that yes, there was a parade of


people who had been abused by the press before the Press Complaints


Commission even existed. That we were never allowed to bring before


the enquiry the scores of people who had be helped and protected by the


Press Complaints Commission. For every victim who appeared before a


Leveson, I could produce somebody who had been helped. We were not


allowed to do that. As for Leveson itself, it has got into the


bloodstream through the brilliant campaign by the lobby group. The


Lord Chief Justice himself, Leveson 's superior, said in a speech in


October 2011, I recommended Leveson. One thing you need to know about him


is that when he makes his recommendations, there is no


obligation on anybody to implement anything that he says. The notion


that literal implementation dot-macro Harold Wilson set up


commissions to kick things into touch. I may be one of the only


people around this table, except for you, ain't -- Andrew, who has read


the entire royal charter. Where do we go from here, Ian? It seems that


the government has called a party and that nobody has turned up. There


is no law to force the newspapers to turn up. Absolutely. Newspapers


cannot be compelled to do this. It is a perfectly fair and sensible


compromise. What was announced yesterday the old with my major


concern is a journalist, which is that it removes politicians and it


removes Parliament from charter renewal. If what he wanted is


implemented, if even for a second in two or three years a journalist


wants to investigate major corruption and felt there and had


been stayed, but the charter is coming up for renewal, at that point


free press is dead. But it is not like the BBC charter, which does not


hold back. But the provision says is that the self regulator never looks


at content before it goes out. recognition panel is it self


appointed independently to be independent of press and


politicians. And you cannot change those rules without a two thirds


vote. Cut through all of that, but Americans on the left and right


would understand, is that press stands apart from the legislators


procedure. Don't preach about the American system! Your left-wing


American friends would be appalled at what you are trying to do. Every


major liberal newspaper in America poses what you are trying to do.


Absolutely not. What makes this country a disgrace and what taints


excellent journalism is the parade of outrageous behaviour on an


industrial scale by journalists acting on the orders of editors at


dash-macro and executives. And even worse, the conspiracy to cover up


and concealed from the police dot-macro if you took two people


abroad, they are appalled by what this has done to good journalists.


-- if you talk to people abroad. have overplayed your hand, haven't


you? By doing this in the middle of the night, the newspapers are going


to go their own way. There is nothing you can do to bring them to


your party. You can search it as much as you like, but it was not


done in the night. It was always recognised that the press would not


go willingly into even involuntary system. Leveson set up some


intensive is. Dash-macro incentives. What happens now is that the


incentives will come into play. happens if the press don't take


them? In a year, they will have to be reviewed. Parliament will think


again. What David Cameron said was that Parliament may have to


legislate. That is what he said. You agree with that? Parliament will


have to look at it again. We cannot have them above the law. I support


Leveson, which is not legislate to. I think the bottom line, we are


getting a lot of posturing going on. The bottom line may be that we are


going to have to come up with something the press will agree to.


They have got to voluntarily buy into it. They want to be seen to be


setting the agenda. They don't like being told what to do by politicians


or anybody. We should all go away and let the dust settle and come


back. That is what the Guardian is asking for. I put it to you, Iain


Martin, that the status quo is not acceptable. If the newspapers are


not going to go down this route, they have to do something that is


seen to be a major difference from what went before. I agree. That is


part of what was announced yesterday. There is no doubt that if


this can provide can be agree, you get tougher regulation. We shall


see. Thank you, I enjoyed that. There is a ten station to look at


local election results and draw conclusions about the national


fight. Local elections can often be about council tax, services, rather


than the narrative of Westminster. Giles has been to Nottinghamshire, a


political battleground. Eyes are going to be on what they are talking


about on the doorstep. Here, carving out a win in this set


of local elections is all about who controls this building.


Nottinghamshire county council. It is basically all of the county


except the city of Nottingham, which is a unitary authority. For Labour,


this area should be child's play. They have traditionally been in


control. But in 2009, with MPs expenses and frustration at Gordon


Brown, the Tories took it from them. It seems to be how a general


election would go. At what a result here might mean now people are less


caring about. They don't care about how many


points anybody is ahead. They care about the issues that are going to


affect them and their families, their children, whether they are


going to have a job, whether the cost of living is going to rise.


They don't care about political programmes. It matters, the


difference I can make if elected. The Lib Dems elsewhere suffered last


year locally for national politics and a price for coalition. You might


think they would be bracing for more of the same. Actually, they think


that is less likely. In vast parts of Nottinghamshire, we have a record


of action, not just recently but for years. When you translate that to


your voting for your counsellor, people know who the bloke is who


fixes the potholes. Secondly, we have a grassroots campaign across


Nottinghamshire that can't be matched by any other party.


Tories know that holding on here would be a victory for them locally


and they blow to Labour nationally. They have had �132 million of


backhaul is in the finances to handle. That has meant taking tricky


decisions that are not always easy to sell on the doorstep. It is a


large amounts to find over four years. We know that what we need to


do. We know where savings need to be made. That is what we have already


done. We have already found �170 million. From that, we have


reinvested in services. That is what we need to do all over again.


Apart from the votes going in these ballot boxes for the main parties,


the added frisson here is the smaller parties, the Greens and the


UK Independence party. They put forward 91 candidates this year. How


much they draw from the party 's or vote will be interesting.


Filling boxes means getting the vote out and talking to the electorate.


Anybody who pounds the pavement must be ready to tackle anything. Last


week, I canvassed a gentleman. He was in his house, naked excrement


and Mark it was unexpected but he said he would vote Labour so I was


fine with it. Dash-macro he was in his house, naked!


I spoke to a lady who was very Merry. She thought she had voted for


me. It was a lovely thing to see. Sometimes they are drunk and naked!


Let me try to suggest a yardstick. When these elections were last held


in 2009, Labour was at its absolute lowest. It was under Gordon Brown.


They were getting trashed in the polls. They lost 300 sheep


dash-macro seats. If they can't win back against this coalition


government, it is not a good result. That is going to be a question for


Ed Miliband. If Ed Miliband can win in 2015 in the South and the places


he needs to win, he needs a good showing on Thursday. He needs about


40% of the vote. If he falls short of that, questions will grow and


develop about his availability If Labour stars to win 450 seats, Mr


Cameron, whose reputation among Tory backbenchers is not high to begin


with, that becomes a problem for the Prime Minister. Things have shifted


in the parliamentary Tory party. The Tories are in better shape than they


have been since last year. You think they are united? You think the


chickens have found their heads? hard-core still want to remove David


Cameron. The prospect of them persuading a large group of their


colleagues to join them in that, I think, is disappearing. The key is,


will this harmony, which is partly because of the Thatcher Festival of


the past couple of weeks, which it survive contact with the electorate?


I have always thought you can never have too many old attorneys in


Parliament. performance, the government is not


doing well. And yet, Mr Miller band and the Labour Party still seem to


be struggling to have a real identity. There is nothing there


that looks tasty to the voter. Two of my sons have been canvassing for


work experience. They said that more and more people are coming to the


front door, saying, UK Independence Is it not possible that the big


story after the elections on Thursday will be UKIP? That is the


marvellous thing about this set of elections. They have no idea how


they will do. They are a political phenomenon. The Tories have no idea


how they will do. It has taken time for a political phenomenon to come


through the start they could do extraordinarily well because people


anxious to do something with their boat. -- come through. Finally, is


it fair to say that the better UKIP turns probably means the worst the


Tories will do? Absolutely. If UKIP goes off the scale and do something


extraordinary and unpredictable on Thursday, the losses Ford David


Cameron start to get up to 500 current 600, at 700, Tory harmony


will disappear. -- 500, 600, 700. We shall see. Sometimes the


doorstep does not tell you everything but it is interesting to


know. Even more than usual, there is a real buzz around European


politics this week. On Monday, the European Council of Ministers will


vote on whether to ban a pesticide thought to be responsible for a


large decline in bee numbers. But there is a sting in the tail - the


British government thinks the science and evidence doesn't yet


prove the pesticide is to blame. This morning, protesters have


marched on Westminster to demand the Government change its mind but


that seems unlikely. Here's the Environment Minister, David Heath,


being asked about campaigners' concerns. I actually share many of


their concerns. I was one of the first MPs in the House of Commons


to be talking about bee health. We have to base everything on the


scientific research available. That is far from conclusive. We need to


get this right. During the wrong thing may actually involve worse


effects on the bee and pollen 80 population than acting in a knee-


jerk way. And we are joined now by Green MEP Jean Lambert and Dr Chris


Hartfield from the National Farmers' Union. What do you say in


response to the minister that you are spearheading a knee-jerk


response? I do not think we are spearheading a knee-jerk response.


We are looking at issues around precautionary principle, which is


in the legislation. So does the audit committee of his own


parliament think there is sufficient evidence to take action.


Her what you say to that? Farmers fully understand how important bees


are. -- what do you say? The pollination service is valued at


around �510 million a year. It would be crazy to undertake any


practices that would damage that bee population. The precautionary


principle is there. You do not need absolute evidence in order to take


action. What it also says is, if you take action, it needs to be


proportionate and cost-effective. If we look at the evidence - what


it tells us - if we look at the harmful impact of bees in the field,


we have not been able to seek those impacts. I think there is some


argument about the quality of recent research a lot of this is


based on. Another problem is that some of the big pesticide companies


have not been publishing their research. You are hearing an


argument on research which is not in the public domain. What research


do you base your position? On the position which is coming from the


European Food Standards Agency. They have looked again at the


evidence - at some of the more up- to-date research - and this was


their conclusion. Is your decision research based? You want to say


they use neonicotinoid insecticides band? -- peas. You want to see it


all pesticides banned. Yours is not evidence based opposition, it is


ideological based opposition. You would like to see them all band, or


whether they are harmful or not. We're looking at the evidence -


whether it is gradual build-up and potential impacts - all round. On


this particular issue, the European Food Standards Agency has put


forward a recommendation, which the petition is working on. That is the


science they are using. Even you say the consequences of getting


this wrong could be huge, given all the crops that depend on it.


Shouldn't there be a moratorium on using these pesticides? There


appears to be muddled results which need to be clarified. The ban on a


neonicotinoid insecticides, there is no evidence to show they are


harmful to the bee population. If we cannot do that, when we banned


neonicotinoid insecticides, we cannot show if there are benefits.


We are talking about actions which may show no measurable results for


bee health. There are also results coming through from Italy, Germany,


where certain of these have been banned in particular processes. You


are seeing improvements in bee health. The would not necessarily


say it is a direct consequence. -- you would not. Why don't we have a


moratorium on debt and use insecticides which are not


neonicotinoid insecticides. They know the fact of the matter is we


would not be able to demonstrate any measure will benefit as a


result of banning neonicotinoid insecticides. Why not give it a


try? It is incredibly important. assumes the neonicotinoid


insecticides are used for no good reason. They are used because they


are the most effective products. there something else you could use?


The reality is, these are the most effective things. Is there


something else? They would be less effective. You would move on to the


next Les best thing. Potentially unforeseen consequences to the


environment. If you get it wrong, it is a catastrophe. We are not on


a precipice at the moment. The need to be led by science and evidence.


-- we need. There is a hole challenge facing bees. This is one


of the issues. I am very pro bee. What I find extraordinary about


this is that we all accept this is potentially very dangerous. This


seems to get about 5% of the coverage of global warming, which


might or might not be happening. Potentially more catastrophic.


get both on the Daily Politics! We thank you for being here. Once


again Parliament is in recess. They are soon off for another 10 days.


Then there was the three-week Easter recess. That seems like it


was only two weeks ago. And it was two weeks ago. Our MPs in this


Parliament spending less time on the green benches than in previous


years? Back in 1997, when Tony Blair first took office, there were


163 sitting days from May to April. And, over the intervening years,


that has stayed roughly the same - all the way through to the last 12


months, when parliament sat for 146 days. And, what about PMQs? Some


have been saying that David Cameron has tried to avoid them. But


according to our research, there were 30 PMQs in 1997, rising to 35


in 2004/5, and, in the last year, there were 31. And, it turns out


that of the PMQs that were actually held, David Cameron has only missed


3.2% - that is compared to 5% for Tony Blair and 11.8% for Gordon


Brown. So, Iain and Anne, what do you make of that? It flies in the


face of what you think will start it seems light there has not been


one for ages. -- it takes a lot out of them and some of them are not up


to it. We all enjoy a PMQs. I love it. We like to see our prime


ministers and others accountable. If there were 30 in 1997, I am


assuming there were at least 60 in the previous year. They used to be


twice a week. Tony Blair slimmed it back to one. Tony Blair did not


want to days of the week having to be dominated by prep. He would get


it all into one. Are you surprised by the figures? You get the sense


that Parliament is sitting and doing less than it did. I am not


surprised by the figures. I happen to think it is not necessarily


particularly a bad thing. You mean, they cause more trouble when they


are here! They are an obsession of a modern government. The coalition


has started to move away from it. Under New Labour, the Government


did not feel comfortable unless it had built after Bill and was


legislating on everything underneath a son. -- bill after


Bill and was legislating on everything under the sun. We could


probably do with a break. I do not think we need lots of the relevant


legislation. Rather than passing legislation, they could do their


real jobs in holding the executive to account. A lot of committee work.


Lots of people think MPs are lazy. Committees are not such sexy stuff.


It's his if it is the Public Accounts Committee. If you look at


the work of Andrew Tyrie on banking, he and his fellow politicians have


come closest to getting serious, proper answers as to what went


wrong. Parliament then a be sitting next week but the Daily Politics


will be back. There is nothing more infuriating and fascinating and


finding out who is richer than you. The wealthiest peers and MPs in


Britain have been revealed. We thought we would bring them to you


as well. Hook is rolling in it? Who is worth been very nice to? -- who


is rolling in it? You may not have heard of him but Britain's richest


MP is Richard Bennion - a junior agriculture minister. His family


fortune is �110 million. He is number seven. Wealthiest


backbencher, Zac Goldsmith. Which is Labour MP is Margaret Hodge, the


formidable chair of the public demands -- Public Accounts


Committee. The Lib Dems are not on the list. Around the Cabinet table,


it is Defence Secretary Philip Hammond you should be nice to. In


at number 20 with a fortune of �8 million. That should be good for a


few flak jackets. Most people think that politicians - they might often


think that politicians are more wealthy than they are. When they


see figures bandied around like the collective wealth of the Cabinet is


70 million, it does tend to confirm those prejudices. The average wage


for a parliamentarian - even then her heart of hearts they may think


it is not very much - is much higher than average earnings in


Britain. They are wealthy by any measure. Only one Prime Minister is


on the Rich List. Step forward Tony Blair, but David Beckham of


politics. What does that tell us about the ability of our


politicians to make a buck or two? We're looking at President Putin,


who is worth a lot. The President of Pakistan is worth over a billion.


The same in India and the Middle East, where we are completely


outranked. Even if you take Tony Blair, who has made probably 30


million, that is nothing compared with the rest of the world. Our


politicians are not particularly greedy or they are not as good as


others around the world in getting money. OK, so he is richest of the


rich in the House? In at number three is Lord Sainsbury - allegedly


worth �400 million. Next to Lord Ballyedmond he is worth �860


million. And the daddy? The richest politician in Britain is Lord


Ashcroft, with a healthy bank balance of �1.2 billion. Ever think


self-made people. Very few seem to be that wealthy. The average


parliamentary salary is higher than the average British salary of


�26,000. It does not seem that most MPs are living off of their salary


alone. The best time to be around as a politician was under Henry VIII.


That was a one off, though ex-macro from the 19th-century, you get the


impression that particular the on the Tory backbench, these were the


landed gentry and they seemed to be worth on average, a lot more than


today's MPs. That is right. It wasn't until 19 11th that a salary


of �400 per year was brought in. -- aristocrats. Throughout the 19th


century, some of our biggest politicians were not from wealthy


backgrounds. The thing that interests me, on all sides, MPs


extol the enterprise culture, the need to create jobs. When you look


at the richest ones, Zac Goldsmith, �75 million inherited. Margaret


Hodge �18 million, inherited. Shaun Woodward, �15 million, married into


it. Geoffrey Robinson, the inherited it. The leader of the Conservatives


in future, possibly, he inherited it. We are often sold the idea that


we just need an amazing idea to open a milk bottle and we can all be


billionaires. But the majority of people who are wealthy come from the


right background. Tony Blair always said he believed in enterprise. He


is now proving it! Should we be more likely to applaud him? It makes you


want to spit. The only thing worse than somebody who is much more rich


than you is a politician who is much more rich than you. To all of us,


those are big numbers. What astonishes me is how low they are.


What has changed is that above our political class, where real power


lies, is a global elite. If you look at the real rich list, the Queen is


at 268. There is only one British born person the top ten, and he


inherited it. That contrasts with the 19th-century, where if you


constructed a similar list, many of the top players were not rich.


are always told it is a Cabinet of millionaires. Philip Hammond is the


only one on this list. But if you own a couple of houses in London,


you are automatically a multimillionaire. What do you think


the public attitude is to this? tends to be rather unsympathetic to


MPs, who they feel and too much money. There has been lots of talk


about businesses on the side. There is concern that people who are


within politics initially, then leave politics, they earn a lot


after politics. That is when they feel they have the contacts, and


especially with the NHS and its changes, people can earn a lot of


money later. What these tables don't take into account for a number in


the Cabinet is what they will inherit. Wow, really? I take an


unfashionable view. I think politicians should be almost


compelled to had -- have second or third jobs. They are doing better


than the French. The French peasant -- president had to put out a list


and they were all pretty poor. dear! The poor French. Now, as we


all know, a week is a long time in politics. We have only got 60


seconds to summarise it. Thankfully, Good news! Britain avoids a


triple-dip recession by 0.3%. Although better than expected, to


say that growth is slow would be unfair to the mobility of


gastropods. The government is encouraged to


spend more on cycling. Unsurprisingly, this message came


from the All Party Cycling Group. MPs finally approved same-sex


marriage dot-macro not here but in France. Although some seemed


We will not introduce what has been called a snooper 's charter.


reason may still smiling. She briefly gave up the day job over Abu


Qatada for some comedy with Mark reckless.


It is a reckless step! Well, I say We are now joined, as we often are,


by Agnes Poirier, to discuss the vote this week in the French


government on gay marriage. This was a divided France. It was a really


big issue. Why was that? It is totally different than in the UK. We


have to explain. The bill had two parts. One was not contentious at


all. An overwhelming majority of the French people agreed that anybody


can have the same rights, inheritance, pension, everything


that is linked to marriage. Now, the contentious part of the bill was


about adopting rights for homosexuals. In the UK, this is not


a problem. It is already legal. That really proved quite divisive.


is what the argument was about. was about family. It was an


anthropological question, really, rather than ending to do with


equality before the law. We often describe France as an increasingly


secular country, but I understand the Catholic church played quite a


big role in this campaign? It did, but all religious leaders did.


Remember, the state and the church are separate in France. It is not


like Britain, the question of whether gays and lesbians can marry


in church. France has an even lower church participation than Britain. I


was surprised to see that the church still seemed to be a strong lobby in


France. It is an aggregate. What happened is that a coalition of


ultra groups, they are only 100 strong, but suddenly we had street


violence like in the 1930s. And the general attitude of France 's Muslim


community, is my -- community? Again, it is not an issue for them


in that they are not going to celebrate religious weddings of gays


and lesbians. We are only talking about town halls. Yes, and the


church can do what it wants. Religious value -- weddings have no


equal value in France. The economist said it was good news for Francois


Hollande because it took the news away from the economy. I am not so


sure! It is not good news. He is not doing very well. But he is in for


the five years. He controls the parliament. The controls 19 out of


the 20 cities of France. He is in a very comfortable situation. But a


lot of people on the left also said this was not a priority, the


same-sex marriage. He could have done it at the end of his mandate.


At the moment, the French want to hear about the economy, employment,


not about same-sex marriage. same-sex marriage has been a big


debate in Britain. It has not taken on the far-off city or even the


divisiveness that it has in France. -- the ferocity. It came close to it


in the Tory party. It is something that Cameron launched and rather


regrets in a way. I think he needs to build as big a coalition as


possible. Do you think it was misjudged? I think he thought he


could take his core vote for granted. I thought he could add more


liberal voters. In effect, what he did was not particularly impressed


the liberal part of the vote and he alienate it a lot of his core


supporters, a lot of whom will vote for the UK Independence party.


makes you wonder why Francois Hollande decided to go for it as


well. He had the majority for it, didn't he? Is the French government


is taking comfort from, we are beginning to see the loosening of


the reins of austerity in Spain, and Italy as well with the centre-left


government - are things going to Europe. He was relying on the


Socialists to come in, and we saw what happened. In many ways,


austerity haven't really hit France yet. They are saying, we must stop


this austerity, but it hasn't happened yet. I was there yesterday


and it seemed pretty affluent. Just time to find the answer to our


quiz. The bank of England announced the new design of the �5 note


featuring a famous person. Margaret Thatcher? Within Churchill? Nick


Clegg? Margaret Thatcher. neglect. OK, it is going to be


unveiled here and you can see that it is, let's have a look, come on,


get on with it! Winston Churchill! The fiver isn't just getting a new


face. Mervyn King unveiled the note. We can now call them a Winston.


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