26/04/2013 Daily Politics


26/04/2013

Andrew Neil with the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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LineFromTo

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

:00:43.:00:46.

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

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

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

:00:54.:00:59.

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

:00:59.:01:06.

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

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

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

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

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

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:01:36.:01:39.

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

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Iain Martin, political commentator at the Telegraph, and the

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

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latest developments in Syria. Yesterday, the US administration

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said its intelligence agencies believed with varying degrees of

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

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

:01:58.:02:08.
:02:08.:02:08.

Syrian regime could be using chemical weapons. This is extremely

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

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

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

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

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

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

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international community needs to investigate. We need to find out

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

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

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

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needs some unity in the international community and see

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

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

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

:03:10.:03:16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:04:34.:04:36.

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

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

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

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divisions some battles that are going on in Syria are being

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

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

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

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particular but those weapons and other conventional weapons will get

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

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:05:21.:05:28.

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

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despite being assured by the mannequins and British intelligence

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

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

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

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We are playing with so many uncertainties. We are still

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comfortable in our seats, watching Syria destroyed itself and watching

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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understand these weapons falling into the wrong hands. Nothing can

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really happened without the Americans. The only sound I hear

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from Washington is the Obama administration rolling back like

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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feel that chemical weapons would become of watershed in the whole

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

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

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:09:05.:09:09.

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

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will give us the correct answer. Yesterday, newspapers launched

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

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

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

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who still understand the arguments about the post-Leveson royal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the powers of the regulator to require apologies or corrections

:10:23.:10:33.
:10:33.:10:34.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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effective regulation. Even the voluntary self-regulation that has

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

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

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

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

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He said the independent self regulator must have the power when

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necessary to direct where apologies go. He repeated it in

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

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

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

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

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found guilty of unlawful and unethical misconduct, and then I

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had been consulted by the Conservative minister all the way

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

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

:12:44.:12:54.
:12:54.:12:54.

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

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

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

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newspapers! No single newspaper thinks Oliver Letwin represents

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

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were represented in that room. David Cameron at the Leveson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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there. Parliament has voted overwhelmingly for a particular

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

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

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

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concerns them is that Levison laid out the principles of voluntary

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

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

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

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hate to offend the majesty of Parliament but the most toxic

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

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our politicians. They have an incestuous claustrophobic

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relationship with journalists and that makes them the least impartial

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

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

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

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Labour peers back into a recognition panel - which is

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

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

:15:21.:15:28.

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

:15:28.:15:30.

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

:15:30.:15:40.
:15:40.:15:52.

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

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

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

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

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

:16:11.:16:18.

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

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would institute Lord Leveson's recommendations unless they were

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:16:58.:17:04.

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

:17:04.:17:10.

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

:17:10.:17:15.

Press Complaints Commission. For every victim who appeared before a

:17:15.:17:18.

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

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

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bloodstream through the brilliant campaign by the lobby group. The

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

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

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is that when he makes his recommendations, there is no

:17:47.:17:51.

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

:17:51.:18:01.
:18:01.:18:03.

that literal implementation dot-macro Harold Wilson set up

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

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

:18:14.:18:22.

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

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

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

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

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compromise. What was announced yesterday the old with my major

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

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removes Parliament from charter renewal. If what he wanted is

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

:19:02.:19:04.

wants to investigate major corruption and felt there and had

:19:04.:19:14.

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

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

:19:20.:19:27.

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

:19:27.:19:33.

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

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appointed independently to be independent of press and

:19:37.:19:40.

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

:19:40.:19:49.

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

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would understand, is that press stands apart from the legislators

:19:56.:20:03.

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

:20:03.:20:09.

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

:20:09.:20:14.

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

:20:14.:20:24.
:20:24.:20:29.

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

:20:30.:20:33.

excellent journalism is the parade of outrageous behaviour on an

:20:33.:20:41.

industrial scale by journalists acting on the orders of editors at

:20:41.:20:45.

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

:20:45.:20:50.

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

:20:50.:21:00.

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

:21:00.:21:06.

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

:21:06.:21:10.

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

:21:10.:21:14.

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

:21:14.:21:21.

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

:21:21.:21:24.

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

:21:24.:21:32.

go willingly into even involuntary system. Leveson set up some

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

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

:21:43.:21:48.

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

:21:48.:21:53.

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

:21:54.:22:00.

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

:22:00.:22:07.

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

:22:07.:22:13.

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

:22:13.:22:18.

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

:22:18.:22:23.

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

:22:23.:22:28.

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

:22:28.:22:33.

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

:22:33.:22:37.

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

:22:37.:22:47.
:22:47.:22:47.

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

:22:48.:22:52.

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

:22:52.:22:59.

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

:22:59.:23:04.

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

:23:04.:23:08.

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

:23:08.:23:16.

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

:23:16.:23:24.

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

:23:24.:23:28.

local election results and draw conclusions about the national

:23:28.:23:32.

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

:23:33.:23:38.

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

:23:38.:23:44.

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

:23:44.:23:48.

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

:23:48.:23:52.

of local elections is all about who controls this building.

:23:52.:23:56.

Nottinghamshire county council. It is basically all of the county

:23:56.:24:01.

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

:24:02.:24:06.

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

:24:06.:24:12.

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

:24:12.:24:16.

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

:24:16.:24:23.

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

:24:23.:24:27.

caring about. They don't care about how many

:24:27.:24:34.

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

:24:34.:24:37.

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

:24:37.:24:41.

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

:24:41.:24:46.

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

:24:46.:24:53.

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

:24:53.:24:58.

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

:24:58.:25:02.

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

:25:02.:25:08.

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

:25:08.:25:11.

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

:25:11.:25:15.

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

:25:15.:25:21.

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

:25:21.:25:24.

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

:25:24.:25:27.

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

:25:27.:25:33.

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

:25:33.:25:37.

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

:25:37.:25:42.

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

:25:42.:25:45.

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

:25:45.:25:52.

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

:25:52.:25:57.

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

:25:57.:26:06.

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

:26:06.:26:09.

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

:26:09.:26:14.

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

:26:14.:26:21.

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

:26:21.:26:27.

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

:26:27.:26:31.

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

:26:31.:26:38.

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

:26:38.:26:45.

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

:26:45.:26:48.

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

:26:48.:26:58.
:26:58.:26:59.

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

:26:59.:27:04.

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

:27:04.:27:14.
:27:14.:27:19.

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

:27:20.:27:26.

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

:27:26.:27:33.

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

:27:33.:27:37.

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

:27:37.:27:42.

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

:27:42.:27:52.
:27:52.:27:53.

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

:27:53.:28:01.

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

:28:01.:28:09.

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

:28:09.:28:12.

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

:28:13.:28:22.
:28:23.:28:27.

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

:28:27.:28:30.

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

:28:30.:28:37.

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

:28:37.:28:40.

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

:28:40.:28:49.

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

:28:49.:28:55.

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

:28:55.:28:59.

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

:28:59.:29:04.

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

:29:04.:29:10.

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

:29:10.:29:20.
:29:20.:29:23.

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

:29:23.:29:29.

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

:29:29.:29:39.
:29:39.:29:42.

Parliament. performance, the government is not

:29:42.:29:48.

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

:29:48.:29:56.

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

:29:56.:30:01.

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

:30:02.:30:06.

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

:30:06.:30:16.
:30:16.:30:25.

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

:30:25.:30:30.

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

:30:30.:30:36.

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

:30:36.:30:44.

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

:30:44.:30:49.

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

:30:49.:30:52.

through the start they could do extraordinarily well because people

:30:53.:31:00.

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

:31:00.:31:06.

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

:31:06.:31:13.

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

:31:13.:31:18.

extraordinary and unpredictable on Thursday, the losses Ford David

:31:18.:31:27.

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

:31:27.:31:37.
:31:37.:31:37.

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

:31:37.:31:42.

doorstep does not tell you everything but it is interesting to

:31:42.:31:44.

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

:31:45.:31:47.

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

:31:47.:31:50.

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

:31:51.:31:54.

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

:31:54.:31:56.

British government thinks the science and evidence doesn't yet

:31:57.:32:01.

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

:32:01.:32:03.

marched on Westminster to demand the Government change its mind but

:32:03.:32:12.

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

:32:12.:32:19.

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

:32:19.:32:25.

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

:32:25.:32:31.

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

:32:31.:32:35.

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

:32:35.:32:41.

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

:32:41.:32:46.

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

:32:46.:32:51.

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

:32:51.:32:57.

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

:32:57.:33:02.

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

:33:02.:33:07.

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

:33:07.:33:12.

We are looking at issues around precautionary principle, which is

:33:12.:33:17.

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

:33:17.:33:20.

parliament think there is sufficient evidence to take action.

:33:20.:33:30.

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

:33:30.:33:36.

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

:33:36.:33:41.

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

:33:41.:33:46.

practices that would damage that bee population. The precautionary

:33:46.:33:51.

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

:33:51.:33:56.

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

:33:56.:34:00.

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

:34:00.:34:07.

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

:34:07.:34:15.

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

:34:15.:34:19.

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

:34:19.:34:25.

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

:34:25.:34:29.

have not been publishing their research. You are hearing an

:34:29.:34:34.

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

:34:35.:34:41.

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

:34:41.:34:43.

European Food Standards Agency. They have looked again at the

:34:43.:34:48.

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

:34:48.:34:56.

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

:34:56.:35:06.

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

:35:06.:35:16.
:35:16.:35:17.

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

:35:17.:35:22.

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

:35:22.:35:27.

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

:35:27.:35:35.

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

:35:35.:35:40.

this particular issue, the European Food Standards Agency has put

:35:40.:35:45.

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

:35:45.:35:50.

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

:35:50.:35:56.

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

:35:56.:36:01.

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

:36:01.:36:09.

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

:36:09.:36:19.

neonicotinoid insecticides, there is no evidence to show they are

:36:19.:36:24.

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

:36:24.:36:30.

neonicotinoid insecticides, we cannot show if there are benefits.

:36:30.:36:37.

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

:36:37.:36:44.

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

:36:44.:36:50.

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

:36:50.:36:54.

are seeing improvements in bee health. The would not necessarily

:36:54.:37:00.

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

:37:00.:37:10.

moratorium on debt and use insecticides which are not

:37:10.:37:16.

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

:37:16.:37:21.

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

:37:21.:37:26.

result of banning neonicotinoid insecticides. Why not give it a

:37:26.:37:34.

try? It is incredibly important. assumes the neonicotinoid

:37:34.:37:38.

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

:37:38.:37:45.

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

:37:45.:37:50.

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

:37:50.:37:57.

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

:37:57.:38:03.

next Les best thing. Potentially unforeseen consequences to the

:38:03.:38:09.

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

:38:09.:38:16.

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

:38:16.:38:26.
:38:26.:38:26.

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

:38:27.:38:36.

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

:38:36.:38:41.

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

:38:41.:38:46.

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

:38:46.:38:53.

might or might not be happening. Potentially more catastrophic.

:38:53.:39:03.
:39:03.:39:10.

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

:39:10.:39:16.

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

:39:17.:39:23.

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

:39:23.:39:28.

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

:39:28.:39:32.

Parliament spending less time on the green benches than in previous

:39:32.:39:41.

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

:39:41.:39:44.

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

:39:44.:39:48.

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

:39:48.:39:51.

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

:39:51.:39:54.

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

:39:54.:39:57.

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

:39:57.:40:01.

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

:40:01.:40:04.

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

:40:04.:40:08.

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

:40:08.:40:18.
:40:18.:40:19.

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

:40:19.:40:25.

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

:40:25.:40:35.
:40:35.:40:39.

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

:40:39.:40:46.

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

:40:46.:40:52.

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

:40:52.:40:56.

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

:40:56.:41:05.

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

:41:05.:41:11.

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

:41:11.:41:16.

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

:41:16.:41:21.

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

:41:21.:41:27.

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

:41:27.:41:32.

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

:41:32.:41:37.

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

:41:37.:41:42.

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

:41:42.:41:46.

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

:41:46.:41:50.

legislating on everything underneath a son. -- bill after

:41:50.:41:57.

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

:41:57.:42:04.

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

:42:04.:42:08.

legislation. Rather than passing legislation, they could do their

:42:09.:42:16.

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

:42:16.:42:25.

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

:42:25.:42:34.

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

:42:34.:42:37.

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

:42:37.:42:44.

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

:42:44.:42:49.

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

:42:49.:42:57.

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

:42:57.:43:06.

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

:43:06.:43:10.

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

:43:10.:43:19.

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

:43:19.:43:24.

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

:43:24.:43:31.

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

:43:31.:43:36.

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

:43:36.:43:40.

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

:43:40.:43:46.

formidable chair of the public demands -- Public Accounts

:43:46.:43:53.

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

:43:53.:43:56.

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

:43:56.:44:01.

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

:44:01.:44:08.

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

:44:08.:44:10.

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

:44:10.:44:15.

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

:44:15.:44:20.

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

:44:20.:44:24.

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

:44:24.:44:28.

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

:44:28.:44:35.

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

:44:35.:44:41.

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

:44:41.:44:45.

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

:44:45.:44:51.

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

:44:51.:44:56.

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

:44:56.:45:00.

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

:45:00.:45:05.

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

:45:05.:45:09.

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

:45:09.:45:12.

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

:45:12.:45:19.

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

:45:19.:45:26.

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

:45:26.:45:32.

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

:45:32.:45:37.

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

:45:37.:45:42.

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

:45:42.:45:52.
:45:52.:46:09.

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

:46:09.:46:13.

parliamentary salary is higher than the average British salary of

:46:13.:46:23.

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

:46:23.:46:33.
:46:33.:46:33.

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

:46:33.:46:40.

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

:46:40.:46:47.

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

:46:47.:46:52.

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

:46:52.:47:02.
:47:02.:47:03.

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

:47:03.:47:13.
:47:13.:47:22.

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

:47:22.:47:28.

century, some of our biggest politicians were not from wealthy

:47:28.:47:37.

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

:47:37.:47:43.

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

:47:43.:47:49.

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

:47:49.:47:54.

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

:47:54.:48:04.
:48:04.:48:06.

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

:48:06.:48:13.

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

:48:13.:48:21.

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

:48:21.:48:27.

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

:48:27.:48:32.

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

:48:32.:48:40.

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

:48:40.:48:48.

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

:48:48.:48:56.

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

:48:56.:49:01.

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

:49:01.:49:04.

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

:49:05.:49:10.

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

:49:10.:49:17.

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

:49:17.:49:26.

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

:49:26.:49:33.

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

:49:33.:49:37.

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

:49:37.:49:43.

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

:49:43.:49:47.

you are automatically a multimillionaire. What do you think

:49:47.:49:52.

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

:49:52.:49:55.

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

:49:55.:50:03.

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

:50:03.:50:09.

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

:50:09.:50:18.

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

:50:18.:50:22.

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

:50:22.:50:28.

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

:50:28.:50:35.

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

:50:35.:50:38.

unfashionable view. I think politicians should be almost

:50:38.:50:48.
:50:48.:50:49.

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

:50:49.:50:57.

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

:50:57.:51:06.

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

:51:06.:51:11.

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

:51:11.:51:21.
:51:21.:51:23.

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

:51:23.:51:27.

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

:51:27.:51:32.

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

:51:32.:51:37.

gastropods. The government is encouraged to

:51:37.:51:40.

spend more on cycling. Unsurprisingly, this message came

:51:40.:51:46.

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

:51:46.:51:50.

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

:51:50.:52:00.
:52:00.:52:07.

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

:52:07.:52:11.

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

:52:11.:52:15.

Qatada for some comedy with Mark reckless.

:52:15.:52:25.
:52:25.:52:28.

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

:52:28.:52:32.

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

:52:32.:52:38.

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

:52:39.:52:44.

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

:52:44.:52:50.

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

:52:50.:52:54.

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

:52:54.:53:00.

can have the same rights, inheritance, pension, everything

:53:00.:53:06.

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

:53:06.:53:14.

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

:53:14.:53:21.

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

:53:21.:53:26.

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

:53:26.:53:31.

anthropological question, really, rather than ending to do with

:53:31.:53:37.

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

:53:37.:53:40.

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

:53:40.:53:47.

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

:53:47.:53:51.

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

:53:51.:53:57.

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

:53:57.:54:03.

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

:54:03.:54:08.

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

:54:08.:54:17.

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

:54:17.:54:27.
:54:27.:54:30.

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

:54:30.:54:37.

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

:54:37.:54:45.

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

:54:45.:54:51.

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

:54:51.:54:58.

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

:54:58.:55:05.

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

:55:05.:55:11.

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

:55:11.:55:20.

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

:55:20.:55:30.

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

:55:30.:55:35.

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

:55:35.:55:41.

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

:55:41.:55:45.

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

:55:45.:55:51.

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

:55:51.:55:55.

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

:55:55.:56:00.

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

:56:00.:56:04.

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

:56:04.:56:11.

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

:56:11.:56:15.

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

:56:15.:56:23.

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

:56:23.:56:30.

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

:56:30.:56:35.

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

:56:35.:56:40.

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

:56:40.:56:43.

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

:56:43.:56:48.

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

:56:48.:56:52.

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

:56:52.:57:02.

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

:57:02.:57:08.

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

:57:08.:57:17.

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

:57:17.:57:27.
:57:27.:57:35.

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

:57:35.:57:40.

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

:57:40.:57:46.

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

:57:46.:57:49.

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

:57:49.:57:56.

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

:57:56.:58:01.

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

:58:01.:58:06.

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

:58:06.:58:16.
:58:16.:58:17.

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

:58:17.:58:23.

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

:58:23.:58:29.

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

:58:29.:58:37.

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

:58:37.:58:47.

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