30/04/2013 Daily Politics


30/04/2013

Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including a look at government plans to remove perks from prisoners. With journalist Toby Young.


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There is a straight debt - a debt of honour. These guys enabled Arab

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troops on the ground, at risk of Stabilini Visiloni Ltd --

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There is debate about whether that would include families of people

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who worked with British soldiers out in Afghanistan. The truth of

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the matter is, these are interpreters. The rest of them may

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be at some rest. Should they be helped? -- some risk. These guys

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were at the front line - being shot in day-in and day-out. They were

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not in some area, cleaning dishes. I come back to the central

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proposition. We have done this already for our interpreters in

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Iraq. Ask any soldier were there that debt of honour should be

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delivered and you will get a clear answer. I cannot understand why the

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Government is thinking about it. Have you spoken to anyone in the

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Government about it? Those private discussions ought to be kept

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private. There was a meeting the other day to talk about this. The

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view that it should be treated in same way as Iraq, I am told the

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Home Office is in favour, the MoD is in favour, Nick Clegg is in

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favour. Everyone went away and thought about how to apply it. It

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is not supportable and untenable. Most people seem to be in support

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of it. Here is a question. Find me a squaddie who has served alongside

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these blokes. Find me one who does not. I believe you - I will not be

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able to. What better on such a lovely spring day than a trip down

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to your local market? But imagine if it was selling payment

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protection insurance you don't need - or over priced energy. Not such a

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pleasant experience. In the first of our series of MPs' soapboxes,

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Conservative MP Laura Sands tells us why we need to restore

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transparency in the marketplace. -- Come and buy your horse feed. More

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air than Oates in that packet. PPI at discount rates. Price rises have

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been disguised by the size of packaging. Disguised by substitute

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products. Also price rises with strange promotions. It is now time

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the consumer has the trees. -- the truth. We're up in this market,

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where you can see and taste your food. It is important that we and

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consumers know what the food has in it, what it looks like and how much

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bearers in the box. It looks At the heart of markets is knowing

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what you're going to buy. I am calling for greater simplification

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on labelling and unit pricing. I mean, how many people know what a

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kilowatt hour is? Then there would take kilo of cheeses. -- they know

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what a kilo of cheese is. Companies must not mislead consumers. I am

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calling for greater penalties to companies who do mislead the

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consumer. I am a Conservative and I believe that markets work but only

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when the consumer is king. After that trip to the market, she is

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here now. To really think he can make something like choosing energy

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tariffs as easy as choosing cheese? Ultimately, we have got the wrong

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unit. What does a kilowatt hour do for you and what does it do to your

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home? We need to translate this into units that people understand.

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Also their products have a miles per gallon label on them. That is

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not the same between differentiating between different

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types of gas. It does the same thing - come through the same pipes

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was a cheese is quite different. Cheese tastes, smells, looks

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different and the price is different. Gas is not like that.

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is not about that, it is about the consumer having power to receive a

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product. If the have a plasma television on standby, it can cost

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you a whole lot of money on standby. Tumble driers - one of the most

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expensive products to have in your home. Does it say miles per gallon

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on a product when you bring it into your home? I have constituents row

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really suffering because of high energy prices and they do not know

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how to control it. The marketing gas is not extremely competitive.

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It is not a bad gas. It is about controlling consumption. -- about

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gas. We should be talking about energy waste. We cannot do anything

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about the market, that is what the Government has told me about.

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can choose your supplier but you need to be in control of the

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product itself as a bid is about knowing what a kilowatt hour does

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and what is used in that kilowatt- hour around your home. I am sorry

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to come back to this but it is such a big issue. Political parties say

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time and again that the are the ones are not doing enough. That is

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because she cannot set that up like a market. If it is the way in which

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the Prime Minister says everyone is on a local tariff, there is no

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competition. It is about knowing exactly what energy is being used

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full. The Big Issue I have in my constituency is people are so

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frightened in her -- about their bill, earned energy off and become

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cold. -- they turn. Often it is an argument against privatisation of

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public utilities. Not an argument against competition introducing

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competition between private providers. It is a margin for

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improving and effecting that competition. -- a market. I have

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sat down with might and lectures are D Bell and tried to work out

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what I am paying per kilowatt. -- my electricity bill. Is there any

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sector in which competition in the marketplace does not work? Certain

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places, like water, you're getting it from one supplier of. Instead of

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getting consumers to have food science degrees to understand food

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labelling, will become electrical engineers to understand and it to

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the two girls, these companies have an incumbent responsibility to

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translate their product and await a consumer can activate and push and

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pull within the market. Should there be more competition for state

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school places? Absolutely. A free school in London has created more

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competition. We make Latin mandatory up to the age of 14. One

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of them neighbouring community schools has introduce Latin for the

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first time. -- introduced. You do need surplus places. It is hard to

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make an argument for that during a period of austerity. In a sense,

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there is no choice. There are surplus places in the system at

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present. There is a shortage at primary level. That needs to be

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dealt with and addressed. There is still a surplus of places. What is

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it about Eton? The Prime Minister, the Archbishop of Canterbury and

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the Mayor of London were all educated there. Last week, two more

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Old Etonians got jobs in Downing Street. They're among the many

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds

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movers and shakers educated at Now who better to discuss this

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issue than two people of influence educated at state schools? The

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Labour MP, Hazel Blears, an alumna of Worsley Wardley Grammar School,

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and Toby Young alumnus of Fortismere School in London is

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still with us of course. Let us turn to you, not as an Old Etonian.

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If Eton does have such a commitment to public service, as Jesse Norman.

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Why are there not more of them in social services? One of the manor

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for stations the public service ethic takes at schools like Eton is

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to encourage its pupils to pursue careers in politics. -- one of the

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manifestations. The criticism of having too many old Etonians at

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Number 10, we should encourage other schools - not eaten - to do

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as much as Eton does to try to get their graduates into politics.

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cannot get to these positions because Old Etonians in power just

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keep taking on other Old Etonians. I think, in the past, a Prime

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Minister might have been cautious about promoting people who were old

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Etonians on merit, because of its political toxicity. Britain is now

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perceived to be a less class-bound society. As a result, it is not as

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politically toxic as it might have been. There has been a reaction to

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it. Even from some of his own MPs. They are not all representing

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constituencies in the Westminster village. There are other schools

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and some even admit women, has been said. I have always said I do not

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mind if the Prime Minister has some Old Etonians in his Cabinet. What

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worries me is when you get a Cabinet when you get people made up

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from the same kind of background. If he said on a company board to

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have had every one from a similar background, that business would not

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succeed. In need a range of people with different light expenses,

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different views, the ability to put a challenge into the system. I have

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set up a scheme to bring working- class people to come and work in

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Parliament, paid them a proper wage. Too many people are special

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advisers, getting into government and ending up in the Cabinet.

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there a danger that Labour is characterised as any wanting to see

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state school pupils on the other side? This is a problem in all

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political parties - Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Tory Party. We

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have Tory politicians who have not done any other kind of job. There

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is a political class that does not speak to them. We must do something

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about it. They must become part of politics for people who would

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normally never get a foot in the door. I feel passionately about it.

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The more diversity there is in government, the better. It is as

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much a problem for the Labour Party and as for the Conservative Party.

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Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including a look at government plans to remove perks from prisoners. With journalist Toby Young.


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