30/04/2013 Daily Politics


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


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


There is debate about whether that would include families of people


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


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


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


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


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


proposition. We have done this already for our interpreters in


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


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


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


Government about it? Those private discussions ought to be kept


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Conservative MP Laura Sands tells us why we need to restore


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


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


been disguised by the size of packaging. Disguised by substitute


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


calling for greater penalties to companies who do mislead the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


not the same between differentiating between different


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


public utilities. Not an argument against competition introducing


competition between private providers. It is a margin for


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


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


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


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


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


getting consumers to have food science degrees to understand food


labelling, will become electrical engineers to understand and it to


the two girls, these companies have an incumbent responsibility to


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


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


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


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


of them neighbouring community schools has introduce Latin for the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds


movers and shakers educated at Now who better to discuss this


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


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


and Toby Young alumnus of Fortismere School in London is


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


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


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


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


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


manifestations. The criticism of having too many old Etonians at


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


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


cannot get to these positions because Old Etonians in power just


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


Minister might have been cautious about promoting people who were old


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


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


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


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


constituencies in the Westminster village. There are other schools


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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