07/05/2013 Daily Politics


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Daily Politics. Westminster is gearing up for the big event, the


Queen's Speech tomorrow. We will have the lowdown on what the


government is planning for the year ahead, and what it is not.


The speech won't include a commitment to any EU referendum,


despite today's call for one from former Chancellor Nigel Lawson. We


will discuss the pressure on camera and over Europe.


The government is pressing ahead with plans to sell off the Royal


mail, or at least part of it. We will speak to the Business


Secretary, Vince Cable. We will hear from one MP kicking up a stink about


some cheese. That is all coming up in the next


hour. With us for the duration, former Labour Home Secretary Alan


Johnson. It is so good to see you in daylight! I was beginning to wonder


if you were allowed out during the day.


Let's start with the news over the weekend of the arrest of the Deputy


Speaker of Parliament Nigel Evans. He is accused by two men of rape and


sexual assault, charges leave a and Lee denies. Let's get the latest


from Carole Walker. -- charges he is a are mentally denies. Nigel Evans


will be holding a press briefing in the next couple of hours. We believe


he will simply be -- simply be outside the Houses of Parliament


that he is getting on with his job as an MP, attending meetings as


Deputy Speaker even though we know he will not be sitting in the chair


in the Commons for the Jura Asian of the debate on the Queen's Speech,


which will go on until the middle of next week -- for the Jura Asian of


the debate. Here is not hiding away from the allegations, which he has


described as completely false. He has a lot of support from fellow


MPs, but I understand that behind-the-scenes there is concern


that the office of Speaker and Deputy Speaker should not be in


anyway caught up with controversy. Nigel Evans was elected by fellow


MPs, it is up to the House of Commons what happens to him in the


future. Because he is one of the first Deputy Speakers elected in


this way, the rules and mechanisms are not entirely clear about if it


was considered best for him to step aside. There will be meetings to try


to clarify that, but for the time being the hope is that Nigel Evans


will not sit in the chair for the next week or so. After that there


are only if you parliamentary days before recess, so perhaps the matter


can be left for a fewer weeks until it is


The principle is interesting. Should those accused of this sort of sexual


offence, arrested but not charged, and it looks like he won't be,


should they have anonymity at least until they have been charged?


don't think so. This was a coalition policy, no one knows where it


emerged from, it was not in any manifesto. But that was in the


coalition agreement. It took about two months for them to do an


inelegant U-turn. They are not going to do it now. There was a real body


of opinion that said, why should rape be the only crime, not murder,


not child abuse, not a fraud, where the defendant has anonymity? And the


other body of evidence suggests that many women, seeing the defendant,


most people guilty of rape have raped other women, and that was a


big factor in many high-profile rape cases, the fact that other women


came forward, such as that taxi driver in London, other people came


forward. The Associaton of Chief Police Officers, they say they want


to end, quote, the bizarre power game where journalists try to come


out with the names of people. They talk about a blanket ban on names


being released. When Quentin Blunt, then the minister, withdrew


anonymity for rape defendant, he did so on the basis that they would look


at trying to find a way that these names would not come out in the


media and through the police. There was another way of tackling this.


Nothing much has happened, this might spark it off. For the


government to decide there is a problem because an MP happens to be


the person alleged to have committed the offence, as opposed to all the


others, it looks like, we don't mind anyone else, but when it is an MP...


Is it not a wee bit suspicious that the press were tipped off in time to


get to Pendleton, not a major press hope, photographs of the police


going through his car, they knew exactly where the car was parked and


all the rest. You have a very suspicious mind, it had not even


crossed my mind. Who knows? Knack of the yardstick datapath. Could well


have been. You and your suspicious mind. Put it to good use, it is time


for our quiz. Writing in The Times today, former Conservative


Chancellor Nigel Lawson says it is time for Britain to quit the


European Union, but which former Prime Minister does he think David


Cameron is following in the footsteps of? Is it Harold Wilson,


John Major, Margaret Thatcher or Gordon Brown? At the end of the


show, we'll have the correct answer. If I know, Alan knows! That is for


sure! Last week the Government signalled its intention to sell off


some more of the state's family silver. At least that is what Harold


Macmillan called it. Downing Street's famous 'nudge unit' was


mentioned - it's been thinking up clever schemes to nudge people to do


things like pay their council tax bills on time. And ministers talked


of dozens of other areas of government which could be sold into


the private sector. But the real biggie was the Royal Mail. Last


Monday the Business Minister Michael Fallon announced he was about to


start hiring banks to handle the sale of the national postal service,


a move made possible by the Postal Services Act passed two years ago.


The government's preferred option is to float the company on the stock


market, but it's not clear what percentage of the business will be


sold initially. Another option on the cards could be selling a stake


to a private buyer. The Royal Mail is estimated to be worth between �2


and �3 billion pounds. If the sale goes ahead, Michael Fallon has


confirmed that 10% of shares would be reserved for Royal Mail staff -


although it's not clear whether they would get a discount. Trade unions


are opposed to the move. The General Secretary of the TUC, Frances


O'Grady, says that the Government wants to wreck the Royal Mail. And


campaigners have warned that if the service is sold off, the price of a


a first class stamp could rocket from 60p to �1.


The Business Secretary Vince Cable is with us. You have kept away from


us, you don't call or write! Happy to come on the programme! Happy to


have you. I never thought you would be more Thatcher than Thatcher,


Thatcher said she was not prepared to sell off the Royal Mail eco-she


was, quote, not prepared to have the Queens head privatised. -- the


Queen's head. Bee under Labour, there was a recognition that there


was a problem with Royal Mail. There needed to be a lot of investment. A


report was produced. One element was bringing in private capital, that is


what they are doing. There is nothing new or surprising. Mr Farage


has said so, but you are his boss, that the preferred route for the


government is an initial public offering, that a chunk of Royal Mail


stock would be sold? Correct.Any idea what percentage? We are aiming


to sell the majority, the simple reason is that Royal Mail will need


to raise capital and modernise, in order to do that it needs to get


itself off the public accounts. At the moment it competes with schools


and hospitals in capital spending. So Royal Mail spending shows up in


public debts? The only way around that is to have some private


ownership. Your manifesto says you can only sell off 49 %. We had a


debate before the last election. My colleagues wanted a more cautious


approach. You wanted more than 49 %? We did at the time -- I did at the


time. You will sell off more than 50 %, but on top of that ten % will go


to the workers, but how? Will they have to buy shares? Will they be


donating shares? We still have to bottom this out. We have to speak to


the communication workers union. We are determined that there should be


a workers stake in the new Royal Mail. It will be good for them and


the company. But they could shell the stairs. -- sell the shares off.


Let's say you sell 51 %, then another ten % goes to the


workforce, we are up to 61 %, does the remaining 31 -- 39 % stay with


the government for a period? The aim is to sell off as much private


capital as we need to. It is open, we want to keep our options open


with potential buyers and the mechanics of the sale. Former


postman Alan Johnson, what do you make of this? I'm a Thatcherite on


Royal Mail privatisation. 20 years ago, I think it was the right thing


to oppose, and I think it is now. Vince says quite rightly that the


problem is how you borrow to get capital into the Royal Mail, and it


appears on the government's balance sheet, but the profits of Royal Mail


also help to build schools and hospitals. What has happened where


there is a broad consensus, the pension fund moved on to government


bills rather than weighing Darren Royal Mail, the change in the


regulator has transformed Royal Mail, and a great CEO. Their


operation treble -- profits have trebled in just a few years. There


is a danger that they are selling off a very important part of the


infrastructure and, I would even say, the social fabric of this


country at a time where it is becoming more profitable. Secondly,


there is the issue about breaking apart Royal Mail from the post


office. There is already some separation, but there is a synergy.


Let Vince Cable response. It is becoming a much better operation.


The challenge is enormous. They are losing large chunks of their mail


business, they are picking it up on the parcel side, but they will have


to invest very heavily. I suspect one of the reasons why performance


has improved is they know they have to get ready for the market


flotation. Are we so bereft of any innovation or imagination in this


country that we can't find a way to get some capital into a very, very


much appreciated public sector resorts? The tradition is that you


do it off the balance sheet, which always makes me suspicious, as you


do with network rail? There was a lot of creativity under your former


Prime Minister excavation mark I helped with some of that creativity!


The hallmark of the British mail system, which almost every other


country copied, was that there was a single price for sending a letter


anywhere, not a parcel but a letter. That is enshrined in legislation for


about eight years? What would happen after that? It is for Parliament to


decide. Parliament has to decide if that has changed. One of the key


objectives of privatisation is to underpin the universal service


obligation, which is a guaranteed of a uniform price. If the Royal Mail


is not viable, we can't uphold universal service obligations.


party is criticising, quote, the timing of privatisation, but not the


principal. We voted against this. Royal Mail is improving all the


time. George Osborne is desperate to do something about the borrowing


statistics, �245 billion more than planned, he has all the harm -- it


has all the hallmarks of a fire sale. They haven't thought through


whole elements of which. In which case, this has been in public


ownership for around 370 years, what is the rush? If it was a fire sale,


why have we taken two years? Because you needed to get the pension fund


of the books. The key issue is, what would you guys do? Chuka Umunna made


it very clear that the debate is now closed. You will not re-nationalise


it, we all know that. We are at the end of that particular story.


the Queen's Speech tomorrow, on immigration, the proposals are to


toughen up a lot of things on welfare as immigrants get paid or do


not get paid. You happy to go along We have overseas students come to


go Britain and I would encourage that.


We picked up, we didn't need these elections to tell us, there is a


lot of public anxiety and much of it centres not on the gree gree


free movement of -- the free movement of people per per se, but


it is the sense that people come from overseas and get benefits they


are not entitled to. Your party fought the election an


an amnesty. Wasn't that a principled position? Wasn't it the


right position to start again and have a line drawn under it? Nick


Clegg made it clear that he he thought that was a mistake and we


shouldn't have done that. I'm asking you? We have agreed that


we are we are not going down that road again. The amnesty has been


abandoned? Well, it had merits and demerits. People didn't like it.It


created a lot of public anxiety P. What do you make of Nigel Lawson


saying he will vote against. He doesn't think there will be much


repatriation and he will vote to get out? Well, he is a clever guy,


but he is often wrong on the issues like climate change and this. The


problem he has and is explaining what the alternative model. I mean


if you decide to leave the European Union, what are you going to


negotiate with? He is a free trader I think so you would need to have


agreement on the continuation of the single market, free trade


arrangements. I am not sure how he would secure that.


And where are you on the the idea that it is popular on parts of the


Tory backbenches for a mandate referendum whereby a referendum


would take place mandating the Government to go and repatriate


powers from Brussels? Well, I don't see the need for that. Parliament


has already set out the ground rules for a referendum. We have


passed that legislation. But if the terms of our treaty position


changes, we we should have a referendum. Parliament has decide


that had. We don't need to go back on that.


The Lib Dems would not support a Conservative part of the coalition


trying to introduce mandate legislation?


On the business of RBS if the Treasury is going to sell RBS at a


loss and it looks as if that is what they are going to do. Wouldn't


it be better to nationalise RBS? we had gone back fours years ago,


that would be the thing to do. Nationalise it now would require


the acquisition of the remaining shares... Not that much?It is a


somebody standings sum of money. My main concern about RBS is the


taxpayer get value money for money when it is sold.


Well, they won't if it is sold at a loss. It will be sold eventually.


There is a big issue about why the big banks including the State banks


are not supporting small business and that's a real problem.


Are you part of the three out of four who do not regard Ed Miliband


as a credible Prime Minister or are you part of the one out of four who


does regard him? He has not established that Labour are a


credible alternative Government, but that's the challenge to him.


His problem is not around personality, but he was part of a


Government that oversaw the massive financial crisis and the


consequences that flowed from that. So he a credible Prime Minister?


Not yet and the challenge is for him to prove he is.


Will you come back? I am happy to come back, Andrew. I used to enjoy


my appearances on your programme. I will have the diary outside as


you are leaving! Now as you may or may not know, we're not on air


tomorrow. We are not? That means we don't get paid!


The reason? It's the Queen's Speech. The moment when Her Majesty appears


in Parliament to read out a list of the Government's plans for the next


parliamentary session. Here's our insider's guide to the big event


with Quentin Letts of the Daily Q is for Queen's Speech delivered


at the State Opening of Parliament. It is the biggest day in the


Parliamentary day. All the Queen's horses and the Queen's men and this


is where she arrives. The Queen doesn't write the speech herself,


mind you. It is written for her by the Cabinet and that is because it


sets out the Government's legislative programme for the


coming year. The Queen arrives at Parliament,


comes up the stairs and into this little room. The Robing Room. This


is where she gets ready and she puts on the imperial state state


crown. The opening ceremony as we have it today dates back to 1852


when this Palace of Westminster was built, but some parts of the


ceremony go back further to times when the Crown and Parliament were


on less than friendly terms! Before the Queen travels to


Parliament, certain precautions are taken. A member of the Government


is held hostage at at Buckingham Palace and is kept there until the


monarch returns and the yeoman of the guard searches the zel the


cellars of the House of the Parliament for any gun powder. She


progresses through the chamber. On the day t it is crammed with VIPs


and other guests. Black Rod is sent to to summon MPs to listen to the


Queen's Speech.' arrives there -- he arrives there and the door is


slammed in his face. MPs don't open it until he struck on the door with


his staff of office. Black Rod leads MPs back towards


the House of Lords. They amble slowly not wish to go appear too


concerned and they listen to the Queen's Speech. It is standing room


only. My lords, and members of the House


of Commons, my Government's legislative programme will be based


upon the principles of freedom, fairness and responsibility.


Government's programme as presented in the Queen's Speech is debated


for four or five days or for four or five years! Do you think they


rent it out for parties? Quentin Letts. Joining us from


College Green are Kevin Maguire of the Daily Mirror and Emily Ashton


from the Sun. Well, well, we have had local elections, what impact do


you think the rise of UKIP in the local elections is going to have?


It has to be written on on velum! But, we do know that Nigel Farage


is on the Queen's shoulder when she reads it out because we can say the


way the Government is spinning and Nigel Lawson will be another guest


who is there tomorrow, but we know that there are big issues that the


Queen won't address, but they will be dominating the coalition from


now on. Do you think we will see anything


change substantively in terms of how the Tory-led Government as


everyone likes to call it in terms of what they will do? I mean these


things have been onted agenda for a while, but they have upped the


rhetoric. The message tomorrow will be we are on the side of people who


want to work hard and get on. It isn't really anything particularly


new. Or controversial? Exactly. Yeah,


there will be things like, you know, a crackdown on benefits fraud,


foreigners who want to use the NHS, restricting access to the NHS and


housing and beating out -- booting out out foreign criminals easily.


UKIP who managed to get so many former Tory voters on their side,


they want to get them back. Kevin Maguire, if that's Nigel


Farage circling above your head... It is nearly opening time, Jo.


Kevin Maguire! He has a habit of falling out of


planes! Some of the things that were


dropped like the pledge for 0.7% of GDP on international aid. That's


not going to be there. How symbolic is that? And plain packaging of


cigarettes. The fact if you look at the Cameroon issues, minimum


pricing of alcohol. They have been put on the back burner or dropped


permanently. David Cameron is moving to the right and he will be


answering the voice of Nigel Farage and the old days of the huskies and


tilting at windmills are long gone and that's the significance and it


will lead up to seven weeks time when George Osborne gives his next


three year spending plans which will be a bigger political event


than the Queen's Speech tomorrow. We will see the direction of the


Government, but we will see them moving to the right and getting


harsher, that's what they feel voters want. Whether it is the


right right strategy, I think it is the wrong strategy, but I think


that's where we will see the Government go.


Emily, Lord Lawson's intervention is hardly a vote of confidence in


David Cameron's campaign to go for a reformed relationship with the


EU? Well, it is not ideal, is it? I don't know how central Lord Lawson


is to UK politics now, but the fact that he is saying a renegotiation


with Europe would fail is not quite what David Cameron wants to hear.


And it will probably mean his right-wing Tory MPs feel the same


that a renegotiation is word, what does it mean? What does the changes


mean for Europe? It will ring a few bells and get people on side with


Lord Lawson. On Europe, what about the the


Liberal Democrats? We have had Vince Cable on talking to him about


mandate referendums which have been suggested by Tory backbenchers, the


Liberal Democrats won support it. - - won't support it. What's the mood


amongst them? The Labour attacks on the Liberal Democrats, they are


accomplices of David Cameron sting them and they like to to show they


have a more positive agenda. Sometimes they can get measures


they want. On Europe, I think, they are a party that won't move. They


promise add add add in/out referendum. They will hold their


ground. It is a fascinating period in politics. Europe's torn the Tory


Party apart in the past, maybe it will do it again. Labour's is solid.


The anti-European wing is now small and the Liberal Democrats are just


sitting in there. I don't think the Liberal Democrats promising a


referendum would would win them votes at next election. They are


going to go down far and the hole campaign will be to defend the


seats they already have. Thank you. Enjoy the Queen's Speech.


Thank you. David Cameron, wasn't tilting at


windmills, he will building them. So was his father-in-law. Solar


panels. He wanted to put them in his wee


back garden of 20,000 acres. When is a blue cheese that tastes


like Stilton, smells like Stilton and is made in the village of


Stilton not a stilton? Well, the answer is when it's manufacturers


have no right to call it so under legal protection of products and


traditional foods that are tightly controlled. But what if new


research suggests the so called "source of origin" is more


complicated than those rules allow? I though you have been thinking


about this night and day for weeks. So Giles has been hunting for


scraps to find an answer. It is time for a bit of honesty, being a


political reporter in and around Westminster is a tough job. There


is a lot of pressures and the working conditions aren't great.


You never know when the next meal is coming from and have to put up


with rough things like this. There is a reason why I'm out here with


this. All the products on the table are protected by law. If you want


to sell them under a certain name. Certain morex, a Melton Mowbray


pork pie must have come from mel tonne Mowbray. From Melton Mowbray.


Sam pain has to come from the champagne region otherwise it is


just sparkling white wine. Let me introduce my guest. I I thought the


principle of this legislation was to protect a traditional recipe or


product from cheap copies, marketing under the brand. What's


wrong with that? There is nothing wrong and I am in favour of ensure


when you have a product that calls itself a certain product and says


it is from a certain areas, that's what it is and if there are going


to be cheap imitations then that's wrong. So we should have quality


control. What I am saying, there are strict rules here and there


ought to be flexibility because as time goes on, it is possible that


that people may unearth things like they may find that a particular


product was actually made or grown in a particular area and therefore,


they need to revise the rules to include something else. That is all


I'm asking for. Let me be clear, I am not suggesting that standards or


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 44 seconds


quality control should be at the end of the day, you can say


that this product is the real product. What I am trying to argue


is that these rules are so strict that sometimes it can be difficult


to break through. In a time of austerity, these are nice, high


quality products, which are you partial to? A bit of cheese,


genuinely, a bit of Stilton to use with a bit of wine closedown well.


-- a bit of Stilton to. I think we should have lunch now! Shailesh Vara


is joined as in the studio, as has Nigel White, the chairman of the


Stilton Cheesemakers Association. -- Shailesh Vara has joined us. Does it


not seem silly that a cheese produced in Stilton cannot call


itself a Stilton to? The name was protected in 1967 or 68 by a


certification trademark granted to the Stilton Cheesemakers


Association, which said that it must be made to a prescribed recipe in


the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.


But some historians say that Stilton is has got its name after being sold


to travellers passing through the village of Stilton in the 18th


century? So it came from there? about 1745 onwards, most of the


Stilton was coming from Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.


As far as we know, there has been no cheese made in the village of


Stilton for at least 200 years. there was a Stilton and is recipe


published in a newsletter by Richard Radley in 1723. I remember reading


about it at the time! It was a recipe for what was called Stilton.


The recipe bears no relationship whatsoever with the cheese protected


from 1968 onwards, that recipe was what we call cooked, pressed, cream


cheese. No mention of blue. The Stilton we have been making the


dairies for well over 100 years is unimpressed, uncooked, blue veined


cheese. You are a bunch of imposters! Not at all. A local


historian, working with the people making the cheese in Stilton at the


moment, they have come up with a pamphlet dating from 1722 which not


only speaks of Stilton making a cheese that of making Stilton is.


There is a book which makes reference to the village, and even


Daniel Defoe, writing in 1724, makes reference to Stilton and is being


made in the village of Stilton. Lawrence says a perfect Stilton


should be about seven inches in diameter, eight inches in height,


and weigh about �18, which is exactly what my Christmas Stilton


did. But this was referred to as the English Parmesan. You ought to put


the facts straight, no recipe at the moment adheres to what was made in


the 18th century. In the 18th century, the cheese made in the


village of Stilton was the same as is subsequently amazed in


Leicestershire. Foreign muck? ! Leicestershire, Derbyshire and


Nottinghamshire are new boys to the scene. The owner of the Bluebell in


wanted to increase production, he did a deal with Leicestershire, a


married couple, they then allowed Leicestershire... Or I would say to


Nigel is produce the facts, produced the dates and the documents and the


authors. Have you been making cheese in Stilton for the last 200 years?


Nigel says you have not. There has not been cheese for a while, I don't


know for how long. If you want to change the European definition, it


does not say it needs to be made in... It does.It says it should


originally have been made there, and it was. I certainly know that one


man has been making cheese for the past two years which to all intents


and purposes is Stilton and is. does it matter? For 100 years we had


none at all. Why does it matter? matters that consumers need to know


where the product comes from. What the protected designation does to


any product is to tell the consumer worried has come from. At the moment


it can only come from those three counties. Unless Nigel produces


evidence, what this boils downed two is the existing Stilton is the ones


to maintain their monopoly and cartel, they don't want anybody knew


breaking the market. You as the chairman of the Stilton to should


say, welcome on board if you can provide the evidence. Up to now you


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 44 seconds


Agriculture and then it has to go evidence and we have got to problem


with that. You have got to eat that before you


The political show moves on to tomorrow's Queen's Speech. It is


the moment when the Government sets the agenda for the next 12 months.


So what's on the cards? Jo has the details. Well, the much trailed


Pensions Bill will introduce a single tier pension of �134 a week


for everyone in Britain who spends 35 years working or or caring for


children or the elderly. A new Immigration Bill is coming our way.


It will allow foreign criminals to be deported more easily.


There will be a High-Speed Two Bill. Many Conservative backbenchers will


be pleased that the commitment to dedicate 0.7% to international aid


will not be enthis rind in law -- enshrined in law and there will be


no snoopers charter. Despite the UKIP surge there will be no Bill


paving the way for an EU referendum in the Queen's Speech.


Thanks, Jo. With us now is Bob Neill. So are


you giving up on the standard white cigarette packages and on the


enshrining aid in law and you are going to be tough on immigrants in


welfare. I guess UKIP is getting its way?


Well, we needed to make space in the programme for the cheeses


description amendments Bill, didn't we, Andrew?


UKIP would like that! What we are con concentrating on are measures


dealing with making sure the economy gets back on track,


removing regulation and making sure we assist businesses going for


growth. That's the key for the coming few months.


What will be in the Queen's Speech that will get growth among


businesses? Well, I am not going to pre-empt what's going to be in the


Queen's Speech. But you will find a number of pressures there


Give aus give us a taste of one? And there will be issues around


that and we will be seeing outed important reforms around welfare,


so that people don't have the poorer pensions when they are older but


they have had, looking after carers. Just in the summary that Jo made


earlier, a really good collect Shannon of things will work. -- a


really good collection of things. If you see any studies about the


Borders agency, it has been disgraceful with many people waiting


for ages to see if they are allowed to stay or not. We need to make sure


the system works properly so that people who should be here can get


here easily, people who should not be here cannot. Why have you


abandoned to your pledge to have an amnesty for illegal immigrants?


was not a pledge. We have heard of people who have waited for ten or 14


years to have an answer from the Home Office, it strikes me that as a


Home Office problem. Don't they deserve to stay? Wipe the slate


clean -- clean? People who have been here for a long time are allowed


nationality. You have abandoned a principle position which would make


life easier for people who have been here illegally for a long time to go


for the easier hit of bashing those who are coming recently. I said we


wanted to make it easier for people who should be here to get here.


Constituents find it very hard to get family visas, asylum claims are


waiting for years, the Home Secretary is doing an inquiry


because it is a disgrace that it takes so long. People who should be


able to get into the country find it very hard, we should be able to fix


that. It is hard to avoid the impression that you are running out


of steam, there is nothing which will set the heather on fire.


are important measures going forward. We are putting lots of


things place. I remember my time as a minister, a great deal of the work


is about implementation. That is what I mean, it may be that that is


where you are. The die is cast on your deficit reduction policy, your


welfare reforms are being ruled out, that will not change, your education


reforms are still a work in progress. In a sense, you at a stage


where there are no more big ideas. It is trying to do and get credit


for what you already doing? Doing the job we set out to do, we should


not apologise for that. Alan Johnson, you said that the aftermath


was -- aftermath of last week's election was that David Miliband is


showing too much alike? What does that mean? It is a fixed term


parliament, you do not know when the election will be called, it could be


four years, it could be slightly less. We know there will not be an


election until 2015, so under those circumstances, no opposition serious


about getting into government wants to reveal too much to years ahead.


You can reveal the direction of travel. The criticism of Ed


Miliband, there is a whole raft... What a lot of people see as the


problem is that the direction of travel has been to an unspecified


vague new left, but all the suggestions are that the country is


moving right. I can see nothing that will come in this Queen's Speech


that tackles the main problem, lack of growth, a stagnant economy. What


Ed Miliband is doing is saying how we can get the economy going.


I don't agree that Ed Miliband has revealed very much policy at all. If


the sheer number of bills passed was the test of success, the last


government would have been a huge success. How many Immigration Bills


did you have, eight or nine? last government dealt with the most


serious economic crisis the world has had for 45 years. You campaigned


on the same platform as us with Vince Cable, if you overdo austerity


you will choke growth. We had growth of 1.8 % coming out of a recession,


it is ridiculous for the Liberal Democrats to say that there was


nothing in America, Lehman Brothers didn't happen, we got into this


situation because we recruited more nurses and teachers. You deregulated


the banks, you allowed the boom to continue. Are you in favour of


having a mandate referendum whereby you introduce a Referendum Bill, and


the people voting would or would not mandate the government to


renegotiate their powers? Are you in favour? The one caveat about that is


we know... I am in favour of exploring all the options and making


it very clear that we set out our stall for renegotiation and what it


would be. We said we would publish a draft before the general election. I


am in favour of publishing the draft bill, that makes sense. Whether or


not the bill which would probably not get through adds anything to


that, that is a question. Would it not help you with that was opposed


by other parties? You would say they had a chance to vote, and the only


party which would give you a referendum is to vote Conservative?


That is superficially attractive, but we have already shown that the


Prime Minister has delivered on the veto and the renegotiation of the


Budget, he will do that on the Government is to keep us safe, but


monitoring those who would do us harm becomes more difficult and


intrusive on the pif asy of ordinary people. This Government,


like the one before t has tried to give the Security Services greater


powers to monitor the internet, but its latest attempt, the


Communications Data Bill has been vetoed by Nick Clegg and won't


feature in tomorrow's Queen's Speech. A senior Lib Dem, Lord


Carlisle accused his leader of putting party politics above


national securitypm. David Thompson reports.


Two plots to bring terror to the streets of Britain. One thwarted


using surveillance intelligence, the other stopped by a random


traffic check. That's the head quarters of MI5. Their job, to keep


us safe by keeping one step ahead of terrorism and organised crime.


But in an internet age, that job is increasingly difficult which is why


successive governments tried to give them increased powers to


scrutinise activities on websites. The latest attempt is the


Communications Data Bill and experts believe it is crucial.


kind of legislation is vital. The data that we are talking about has


been used for crucial prsz, murder, -- prosecutions, murder, serious


organised crime. I think it is necessary to have this Bill in


order to organise data which is already available from mobile


telephone operators. This is existing material that tells you


the the when and the how long of communications.


Maybe, but it has been dubbed the snoopers charter and derailed by


Nick Clegg and is unlibly to see -- unlikely to see the light of day


soon. The main criticism is on privacy grounds. The internet


businesses expected to provide information on service users and


hold it for 12 months are sceptical too.


When you have people like Skype and Microsoft and Google asking what


information is it that you want that we don't give you and the


officials condition answer that question. Then it is time to take a


step back from the Bill as we have and think about what information it


is that we need. What people dubbed the snoopers


charter, that is not going to happen.


Nick Clegg was cheered by civil liberty campaigners when he vetoed


the Bill. The man hose job it was to keep tabs on terrorism


legislation. He is scathing. He has torpedoed this. I am disappoint


that had some of the my my Liberal Democrat colleagues including a few


in the Lords decided without knowing any of the evidence to


oppose this legislation. If we don't have an organised


Communications Data Bill which provides the authorities with


access to the when and for how long of mobile phone telephone calls in


appropriate cases then there will be increased danger to the public.


That doesn't seem like responsible Government.


The key task of the men and women who work in these buildings, MI5


and MI6 is to safeguard our freedoms and our way of life. Their


challenge to do it without destroying the things they are


trying to preserve. Alan Johnston is still with us. He


was Home Secretary in Gordon Brown's Government. Alan Johnson as


Home Secretary you were privy to intelligence briefings. What do you


make of the Liberal Democrats tor peed owing this Bill? -- por --


torpedoing this Bill? I agree with Lord Carlisle. Julian sat on a


committee that produced a very good report as did the committee which


men zee Campbell Menzies Campbell sits on said there was a problem


that the problem is growing and the problem needs to be tackled. It


isn't going to be tackled for two years.


So was it responsible of the Liberal Democrats to do what they


did? No, it was responsible to get the balance right between eitheries


and the need for the -- -- civil liberties and there were problems


with the draft Bill, but to scupper it... Is it responsible according


to your colleague who knows something about this stuff. He did


scrutinise terrorism legislation. He says it will lead to an increase


in danger to the public. This was irresponsible Government?


disagree. A huge amount this data is available. Last year, there were


500,000 requests for this data under existing law. We know that


Labour tried to expand it, to collect move information on every


website that everybody went to. That's what that was and that's


what this proposed Bill would have done. It is responsible responsible


not to allow that to happen. The committee had a look and we said


the information coming from the Home Office was unhelpful and


misleading. We never said there was a need for legislation. There was.


It doesn't say there was a need. You can have a look and you will


see it does not say it. It says there is a case for legislation,


but this goes further than it needs That does rather admit there is a


case for some sort of law and an enhancing of the laws to pro at the


time individuals or to -- enhancing of the laws or to catch criminals?


It could lead to less information being available to the police and


the Security Services. If you had �1.8 billion to help the police,


how would you spend it? His answer was not this Communications Data


Bill. It was about having more police on the streets and more


training. I am surprised any party wants to spend �1.8 billion on this


rather rather than doing proper police. Would it have been value


for money? When we have had Alan Johnson saying sophisticated


criminals are going to be ahead of the technology and would have about


enshrined in this Bill, pointless? Jacqui Smith published the


consultation dumb on this. I saw it -- document on this. I think


Theresa May and the Conservatives came in and they were libertarian.


When they saw the evidence of the gap and no one can say what the gap


is because it gives a gift to the people who want to exploit it. It


was clear that there is a problem as the Intelligence and Security


Committee on which Menzies Campbell sits.


There were issues in the join committee report and Nick Brown sat


on that and Julian and they they produced valid points. Now, that


needs to be taken into account because it was a draft Bill and a


new Bill needs to come forward. was a draft because Nick said it


was a draft. I will quote you on that. But the issue about the gap


has not been substantiated. We have been told there is a 25% gap. The


former head of Fife said that relied -- MI5 said that. It was


said by the former head of MI5. The case has not been made to spend


billions of points setting up a database to keep track of every


wooilt we go to. Every time we do something on Google, send a Gmail


that's a huge amount of personal information.


What you have not answered is, was it right to get rid of the


legislation as a result? It is right not to have this new Bill,


yes. You could have put safeguards in.


You admitted there is a case to be made for new legislation and you


have cast aside the legislation? would be comfortable with just


having the extra safeguards. I don't think the Home Secretary was


happy to do that. There is one issue of data about IP address


matching which is is technical where there is agreement. That is


what the police told us would be really useful.


Are we going to be less safe? Julian was dealing with the police.


His colleague was dealing with the intelligence services. A smaller


part of this, law enforcement is the major part. 90% of the cases


they resolve are resolved because they put together who was


contacting who. Who else was in this plot? What the network is. And


there is a tranche of this that is not legislated for and that puts us


in more dangerpm. I am going to have to finish it there.


As well as being a former Home Secretary and former Education


Secretary and former chancellor, Alan Johnson turned his hand to


writing. This book, This Boy, is out this week. It focuses on Alan's


tough upbringing on on an estate in London. Here is a snapshot of his


time in politics so far. People from my kind of background


It is simple. What we are worried about is you


you haven't got the bottle or the experience.


We have got the book. This Boy by Alan Johnson and I will make him


sign it, but the unsigned copies are worth more. It really is an may


an amazing story. My mum had a sad and tough life. She She died young.


I call her Lily. She had a terrible life. She had a terrible life that


that me and my sister escaped from because of her courage and because


of her... Your sister a hero.She should have been Prime Minister!


That generation, they took comfort in us having a better life?


Absolutely. They came through the war. My mother came from a family


of ten. Two of her siblings died young. A really tough life and were


really, really determined to deliver a better future.


We have to go. Harold Wilson is the answer to our quiz. He went to


Europe to renegotiate and didn't give much back. That's it for today.


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