14/05/2013 Daily Politics


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Daily Politics. The prime minister gives the order for a draft bill


enabling an in-out referendum on Europe, but it has almost no chance


of becoming law, so will it be enough to say to the appetite of the


Tory backbenches? They are not happy about the


prospect of this either. What trouble will the gay marriage bill


run into when it returns to the Commons next week?


Strivers and shirkers dash as the political rhetoric hots up, what


does Britain really think about welfare benefits?


And we will ask why politicians put themselves through this. Over the


last few months, I have spent a long time trying to work hard on the


National Health Service. All that in the next 60 minutes. And


cheers, not jeers, please, because joining me for the whole programme


today is former Conservative MP and Times commentator Matthew Parris.


When is a draft Bill ordered by the prime minister not a government


Bill? When it is a bill enabling and in-out referendum on Europe in the


teeth of opposition from your coalition partners. The Conservative


leadership expects the bill to be picked by one of their backbench


MPs. There should be plenty of willing volunteers. And introduced


as a private members bill. Let's get more from our political


correspondent. Take us through the process of what is being proposed


here by the leadership? Just because the prime minister is the prime


minister, it does not mean he can get his way on stuff. So when he


gave his big speech about Europe in January, he was not able to say we


would renegotiate and have a referendum before the election


because those pesky Lib Dems would not let him. He could not promise a


bill in government time to guarantee a referendum after an election, even


if you take the principle that a bill could guarantee that something


happened after an election, because again, the Lib Dems would not allow


the government time for it. But when the draft bill that he mentioned in


his speech did not turn up in the Queen's Speech, some of his


backbenchers were not happy, put down this amendment, and started the


process we have seen which began with number ten saying how relaxed


they were and appears to have ended with them proposing printing a draft


bill this afternoon which they will then have to find a willing


backbencher who does well in the ballot to introduce into Parliament,


which even then is highly unlikely to become law, because it is very


easy to stop. So will it satisfy the back who are going to vote in favour


of this amendment, regretting the absence of some sort of European


legislation in the Queen's Speech? Depends which backbencher you speak


to. Douglas Carswell, a prominent Euro-sceptic, has addressed this


issue that people say about the Euro-sceptics, that they are never


satisfied. He says he is happy. There is peace between the prime


minister and Douglas Carswell. But John Barron, who is behind this


amendment, is not. He has urged the prime minister to have the courage


to back this amendment. He wants the prime minister to have the courage


to back an amendment in effect rubbishing the prime minister's


programme for government. It is unlikely that he will do that, not


least because he will not be the country. The prime minister is in


America at the moment. He has been in the Oval Office with the leader


of the free world, to use a disputed term. And what are we doing? Banging


on about Europe. He wanted to stop that sort of thing. He did indeed.


With us now Chris Heaton-Harris, one of a group of Conservative MPs


involved in discussions with other European countries about reforming


the EU, and Labour MP Keith Vaz, who wants his party to back a


referendum. We also hoped to be joined by a Liberal Democrat, but


none of their 57 MPs was available. Matthew Parris, how does this make


the Tory party look 's dreadful. thought your correspondent's


analysis was flawless, but it will all be completely lost on most


voters. And some of us. The voters just see the Tories Rowling about


Europe again. I cannot understand why elements within the Conservative


Party want to drag it into what can only be damaging to the party's


electoral chances. You don't need a political commentator here today,


you need a psychiatrist to talk about what is happening to parts of


the Conservative Party. That is not exactly a vote of confidence, is it?


I obviously disagree. The Parliamentary party is remarkably


united over where we have come from and where we are now, with the prime


minister's speech at Bloomberg and now a draft Bill. If you can get


people across the Conservative Party to agree, the prime minister is a


good uniting factor. People will remember that the Conservative Party


will give the British people a referendum. And Keith Vaz, it is on


that important point where Labour falls down, because Chris is right


dash whatever else it does, it does underline a commitment to an in-out


referendum, albeit in 2017, which neither Labour nor the Liberal


Democrats are promising. I can only speak for myself, not the leader of


the Labour Party, although Ed Miliband has made it clear that it


is a question of timing. He has not ruled it out forever. I believe we


should have a referendum now. I don't think we need to wait. I think


the case has been made on one side or the other. The British people


need to have a choice, and we need to land this boil. So you are closer


to David Cameron than anyone in the Labour leadership? For the reasons


that Matthew has outlined, this could drag on for four years. I have


been at these summits as Minister for Europe. I know how difficult it


is for the prime minister and Minister is to have discussions with


continental colleagues. This has been an MEP, he knows how slowly


Europe works. It is important to land the boil. We should have this


referendum before or at the next general election, and just get on


with it. I don't think four years of negotiations will make any


difference. The quicker we do it, the better. My job as a humble


backbencher is to try and gently persuade Ed Miliband. Have you got


any chance of persuading him? have not rung me yet. But I hope


that over the next few months, we will have a gentle debate about


this. But you are closer to Chris Heaton-Harris and David Cameron on


this issue than you are too Ed Miliband. I have always been closer


to Chris on this issue. We both believe it is important that the


choice should be given to the British people. Let them decide.


Whatever the result, if it is a yes, we stay in. If it is a no, we come


out. Will you vote for the amendment? I will not vote for the


amendment, because it says we should have legislation for a referendum in


the future. But that is closer than Ed Miliband. I will not be voting


against the amendment, because we should have a discussion about this.


At the moment, my position is that we should abstain. Chris


Heaton-Harris, if there were a referendum tomorrow, which way would


you vote? There will not be one tomorrow, but if there were, I would


be campaigning to come out. But I believe we need to have a


renegotiation. There are lots of good reasons why we have a Eurozone


that is coming together in political union, 17 countries which will be


able to outvote the UK at the end of this year. That could have massive


implications for our access to the single market. We need legal


safeguards to stop that. You don't think the electorate trust David


Cameron's word? I do think they will trust him, and even more now with


this bill. Because they did not trust him enough beforehand. That is


why it is necessary to have this draft will? The county council


elections showed that enough people were happy with the prime


minister's view on this. And many of them were happy with what UKIP were


saying. That is why there are these shenanigans over Europe, because of


fear of UKIP. That is not true. The prime minister did not mention the


fact that there would be a bill in his speech earlier in the year.


did not come out yesterday. I believe this was prepared some time


ago, and it was ready to be published. They decided not to have


negotiations with the Liberal Democrats, even though it was


Liberal Democrat policy just a few years ago to have an in-out


referendum. I am thinking of the ordinary voter listening to this


conversation. What is a paving bill? Referendum in four years? All the


electorate here is blah blah blah, Tories Rowling. -- Rowling. If Keith


Vaz's suggest were to be taken up and we had a snap referendum now on


in or out, do you think the Tory Euro-sceptics would be satisfied?


They would immediately say no, they are trying to bounce us into a


referendum. People need to put this to the electorate. It does not need


to be a snap referendum and you do not need a long campaign. Michael


Gove has already said he would vote no. I would vote yes, because I


believe the best way to reform is from within the European Union.


would vote to stay with the status quo? Because the best way to reform


is from within. How do you think the electorate would vote? I think they


would vote yes, because the three party leaders would all be on the


same platform. It would be catastrophic if Britain came out of


the European Union in a referendum at this moment. Do you agree that it


would be catastrophic? If we were to leave the EU? Not at all, otherwise


I would not think it would be a good idea. You want renegotiation, so you


believe that staying within a reformed EU is a good idea.


Absolutely, but as it stands now, we have all sorts of issues on access


to the single market and working practices may you could list a whole


gambit of things that need to be changed. But David Cameron promised


a referendum. Don't you see the damage that you and some of your


colleagues are now doing to any impression of unity that the party


needs to take into the next election? I see a bunch of pundits


talking about something that is not there. There is a whole group of


Conservative MPs from left to right that I united. You have an amendment


to the Queen's Speech regretting the absence of any legislation. You have


calls for a man the tree -- mandatory referendum now, and you


have the Tory leadership publishing a draft bill for paving legislation,


which many people are not sure what that means. And you have others


calling for Britain to leave the EU now because renegotiation is


pointless. That is a united party? They are all the nuances of the same


thing, which is that we need a better relationship now, or we might


have to leave in the future. Is it politically the right place for Ed


Miliband to be in, to almost be ruling out a referendum? He said not


now. Not in 2017. So in effect, no referendum. Politically, is that


wrong? At the end of the day, all the political parties will have to


sign up to offering the British electorate a referendum. This issue


cannot go on dominating our politics year after year. We have a


Conservative government now. This is not the biggest issue in the world,


but it is taking up time. The best way to deal with it is to have a


referendum. All three major political parties will have to sign


up to one, I think. Ed Miliband does not want a referendum on the


European Union, but he may be forced to agree to one unless the


Conservative Party manages to pull itself to pieces between now and the


next general election. Some of you, Douglas, are doing your best to do


that. Not Douglas! Let's go to the issue of terror in the party apart.


We saw it before over Maastricht. You could argue about the nuances of


where everyone is standing, but there is still a risk that the


perception in the voting public is, what is going on? We don't


understand. It is clearer when we listen to UKIP. It is clear that the


only party with chants of delivering a referendum to the UK on their


relationship with Europe is the Conservative Party. That is a good


message for Conservative MPs to get behind. The fact that we now have a


paving Bill adds an extra level of proof, if it were needed, that we


can head in this direction. How did you think the media would talk this


up? But Matthew, why are we not being allowed to discuss this issue


and put it to the British public? I can't understand your objection to a


referendum that would allow the issue to be settled one way or the


other. The Labour Party offered a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.


That offer did not have to be brought to fruition because of what


happened in France. There is legislation which says we have to


have a referendum if there is major treaty change. I have no objection


to a referendum now, except that the let's stay in vote would win it and


I would not have been a proper discussion beforehand. I have no


objection to David Cameron's proposals for a referendum. I am


speaking as a Conservative, thinking it is important that the


Conservative Party wins direct election, and Chris, what you are


doing is not helping. I disagree. The minister has spelt out in his


speech his policies. How much of an impact has UKIP had on what is going


on now? It has had a huge impact on the more nervous Conservative MPs. I


think they will take the wrong lesson from it. They will think that


if they get closer to UKIP, people will like them or, instead of


thinking UKIP is winning the argument. UKIP is important, but we


have to answer their arguments, not move closer. There was a huge spike


in UKIP support, you do, you tackle UKIP by having the conversation on


tissues that count, which is immigration, which could easily be


in my case windfarms and Europe as well. Europe is a by product of


this. I agree with Chris and Matthew. A bit of consensus at the


end? In the East Midlands they said kill Roy sill ing was going to


change the course of British politics and it didn't happen.


you for joining u we will talk end Leslie about Europe for the next few


days. So, the coalition whips have had their work cut out to keep their


troops in line, but just how rebellious are the MPs? Phil Cowley


has been tallying the transgressions for his new book. The last session


of Parliament saw rebellions in 61 Parliamentary votes. That is a


rebellion in more nan quarter of all the votes taken. But it is not the


most rebellious on record. That prize goes to yes, Mr Cameron's


first session as Prime Minister, when there was a rebellion in 44% of


votes. The high levels for any post-war Prime Minister.


So far, 185 of the Government's MPs have rebelled since the general


election, and Professor coulis is here in the studio. Welcome to the


programme. You could say things are looking up for David Cameron this


year? They are looking up, if you just take the numbers, and I would


never advice anyone just to take the number, one of the reasons there has


been a drop from the last session there was a huge House of Lords


shaped hole in the legislative programme. Had the Government


managed to get that bill programmed and take it through, there would


have been dozens more and we would be talking about the same level of


rebellion; even the drop you have seen is to a level that is still


high for a post-war Government. comparing it to previous


administration, how rebellious are the Government's MPs? One of the


most rebellious sessions in the pre-war era, for example, I can find


only one Conservative session which is Edward Heath's session, which saw


a higher level of rebellion. You are talking one of the most rebellious


session, that is true if you split it down into Conservatives and


Liberal Democrats. One would automatically assume it is because


they are in a coalition? Normally one of the deals with coalition


Government is if we do a deal to govern together, we have to deliver


MPs to support the programme, because otherwise there is no point


in being in the coalition. So one of the norms of coalition Government is


that where you have coalitions you normally have low levels of dissent,


we seem to be doing things differently. It has bucked the


trend. Are you surprised? I wonder whether this spike if it is a spike,


in rebellions, is part of a long-term trend since the Second


World War or just a feature of the Government? This is a trend that has


begun for the last 20 or 30 year, MPs are much more independent


minded, the period where they were really plieant to whips is the


immediate post-war period. The '40s and 50, you begin in the late 60s


and 70s to see MPs becoming more rebellious. The 2001 Parliament is


the record breaking and this is on course, despite the drop to be the


most rebellious in the post-war era, it is a long-term trend. The whips


need another war in other words! 1997, presumably, I mean you would


assume where there was a landslide people might feel freer to rebel,


but that is not necessarily the case, the discipline was obviously


there in 1997. There is a big difference between 97 and 2010. In


997 when Labour come in after that long period in opposition, there is


rock solid opposition and I interviewed a lot of Labour MP, they


would say things they were unhappy about, the line is we don't want to


go into opposition, we will keep quiet. That broke down after 2001


and they started to kick and kick heavily. You don't have anything


like the same self discipline at the moment on the Conservative or


Liberal Democrat benches. Presumably for administrations with small


majority, there is the emtakes to rebel because you can have a big


impact on legislation It depends where it comes in the cycle. Matthew


rebelled very early on in his career, and look where it got him!


But, you know, if you look at what happened to John Major after 1992,


if there a period where MPs get used to breling they can't change


behaviour. There are two reasons why a backbencher may rebel or two


different justifications amay give themselves, one is the Government


has a huge majority and so it doesn't matter, I can express my


view and nobody will be hurt, but the other of course, is that when


the Government has a small majority, well, I could make a difference,


but, if the Government has a small majority, the whips can say do you


it does matter, you are going to cause a lot of trouble, so the


pressure increases This is a government with a big majority.


sort of things are they defying the whips over? It depend which party.


There is a difference between Conservative and Liberal Democrat


rebellion, half of Liberal Democrat rebellions are on social policy,


about 40% from memory of Conservative rebellions are on


constitutional policy and a chunk, one in five are on Europe. The


problem for the Europe ones is Europe ones are double the size of


the others. Although interestingly, of course, if you don't bother whips


MPs as there is going to be a free vote, ministers will be be allowed


to abstain in the amendment to the Queen speeches, it is not a


rebellion The only reason they are doing that is because they know the


rebellion would be huge, you have to go back to 1946, to find an example


of Government MPs moving an amendment to their own Queen's


Speech and being willing to rebel in number this is unprecedented stuff.


I can't find any examples of a gove say saying do what you want on the


Queen's Speech. Is this a good thing they are a rebellious lot? It can go


too far when team work breaks down and it may be about do that now, but


on the whole, I think Members of Parliament are voicing their own


opinions, it is a good thing, but within limits. I was looking from


the sort of political science point of view, you must have difficulty in


how to categorize rebellions that don't happen, because the rebellion


was going to be so big... Or pulled the legislation or conceded huge


ground, that is the big problem, nobody should look at the figures


and say they indication influence, there can be considerable influence


with no rebellions and that is because the Government is giving


way. Now, there will be no rebellion on gay marriage when it returns to


the Commons next week, because as we have been discussing the Government


have promised a free vote on the issue. That doesn't Mina


Conservative backbench dissent won't cause David Cameron trouble on a


policy he has chosen to champion and opposition will come from other


quarters too, when the gay marriage bill reaches the Lords. Here is the


former Archbishop of Canterbury speaking in the upper House last


week Of particular concern to many is the bewilderment caused bier a


law concerning same-sex marriage, which would change the face of


society and family with no mandate, or even a proper debate.


Of particular concern at this point in the bill's passage, is for the


first time, the way in which the proposals effectively


institutionalise competing views of marriage in our society. Rather than


promote promoting social cohesion this will lead to greater social


fragmentation, far from ending the so-called battle of a marriage,


these proposals will formalise it, and exacerbate it.


And the Conservative MP David were rows, the aide to the Environment


Secretary Owen Paterson is here now. You are calling for a referendum on


this issue, what is your justification for that? It is


because we, there is not a clear mandate for change, ordinary lit


would come within a main party manifesto and it wasn't in my of the


main part ties manifesto, it is the significance of the change. It isn't


just a tidying up of marriage law, it is a significant change that need


to be dealt with carefully, proper scrutiny and if it needs to happen,


it needs to happen building a consensus, the position of a


Conservative Party which is divided is reflected in the country.


Referendums normally are reserved for major constitutional change, not


social change, do you accept that has but it has constitutional


implications as well. Mr Burrows says he wants a consensus, but I


don't think a consensus would be possible. I very much doubt whether


anything would persuade you to be in favour of gay marriage. I know


nothing would persuade me to be against it. You have to have a vote


in end. I wouldn't fear a referendum, because I no doubt at


all that gay marriage would pass a popular referendum. Absolutely no


doubt at all. But I wonder about this principle that you have a


friend when something wasn't in the manifesto, we are going to bring in


charges for immigrants health charges until they start earning,


that wasn't in the manifesto, do you want a referendum on that You have


to accept the issue of gay marriage has been in the nation you must


allow, obviously a referendum is hot just about the voter, it is about


the national debate. It is good enough for the US, it should be good


enough for us. We have had a debate in the media but not one that allows


considered discussion of what is a vital institution, that reflects


concerns of church, state and all individuals of all faiths, surely we


should allow time to have that debate and put it... You don't want


a debate, you want to defeat the measure So it is a vehicle you want


to use it as a vehicle, to defeat a measure you don't like? It would be,


it would be affect the commencement of this bill, but I am concerned


about that as well as trying to ensure we have freedom of speech,


properly protect and surely the Government should be able to accept


that. It has been controversial, what is your evidence for saying


that it is so controversial in the nation, that it deserves a


referendum? It is controversial for certain parts of the population but


MPs voted in favour by a huge majority, didn't they, of 225 and a


poll by ICM but public support at 62% compared to 31% against. I


suggest Matthew is right. If you had a referendum it would pass the test


We would have to have a proper debate. It depends, with opinion


polls, if you say that civil partnerships give effective legal


rights, then do you want to support gay marriage, it goes up to 70% of


people who are against. Just ask people are you in favour of gay


marriage or not? That is one where you get a clear majority. People


over 50 or 60 tend to be against it. People under it tend to ask what the


fuss is about I am under 50 myself. And you look it. The case we found


in the bill, the lack of the voice of of the reputation, has been


profound in the scrutiny. That is of concern we will make a change


without hearing properly from them. From who? BME.Who are BME From


black majority church, from Hindu, Sikh, we didn't hear any evidence


from them, in the public evidence session, that is a real concern,


they are concerned. It crosses the divides, ethnic divides. Black


andation people have every right to express their opinion in many ways


to do it, but I don't think that you stop a measure, just because one


section of the community is predominantly against it We don't go


ahead without properly considering with care, communities, interests,


the word said by Lord Carey were ones that said scrutiny has been


pushed there consultation, it would move the goal posts from trying to


separate civil and religious marriages to these proposals. It's a


big change. We should have a brother debate about that, and allow it to


come to a public vote. This Government isn't proposing any


church will be forced to conduct same-sex marriage, there will be


protections put in place, so is there any evidence people's


religious freedoms will be compromised? We have to recognise


the issue of marriage is not just about the marriage ceremony. We are


not just talking about that here. The issue of marriage is how people


express it, how they have it as basis as charities doing marriage


preparation, hiring a haul from a Local Authority, teaching about it


in school, expressing the views of employer, we have found examples of


that, and I want to ensure on the face of it we are protecting not


just the church ceremonies but for people's views. I am in favour of


that and the bill will give protection to church ceremony, as


for freedom to express opinion, in a sense that is a different issue, but


I don't think, I don't think those people who are e unhappy ant gay


marriage have been in any sense gagged during this debate. We seem


to have heard endlessly from you all The hostility, the threats and you


will know yourself, this generates. Hostility to you? And the rest of it


and even for myself proposing we should have amendment enshrining


freedom of speech, the hostility on social media to myself, even for


suggesting that. We should allow protection for people allow


allowing... You should have broad shoulders, you are a member of


Parliament and members who have spoken out in favour of gay marriage


have had to put up with hostility too. People feel strongly about it


He got demoted from his job and he has to rely on the Equality Act.


Allow people the extra probing e-- protection, they won't be


discriminated against. How much dissent do you think there will be


when this comes back to the Commons? There will be I would say at least


the same dissent in the same majority who are against, there will


be people who have abstained who want to see additional protections


that go I don't know whatted happens in the church premise, to issues of


freedom of speech. People want to see extra assurance, the government


through the 13 it issings of the bill didn't make any amendments in


that regard. They spoke warmly and positively but nothing on the face


of the bill. There is one question again about UKIP and its uninfluence


in the last set of election, the local elections and also many grass


roots Tories have expressed concern about this. Is that something that


perhaps the leadership should be listening to? It could listen, but


in the end it has to reject that view. Good old UKIP. They are in


favour of a room where people can smoke in pubs, but not a room where


people can have gay marriage. Their view of individual liberty is


extremely selective. This will pass the Lords easily. It will pass into


law easily, and in five or ten years time, you will feel a bit rueful


that you got yourself on the wrong side of a social change. I think I


am on the right side of the argument in favour of marriage. But do you


think in a few years time, in society, it will be regarded in the


same way as civil partnerships, just something that happens? We have come


to recognise and respect civil partnerships. Would you have voted


for them? The position is that we will look back and see whether this


has strengthened marriage. I am in favour of marriage as well, but I


want a broader... Surely there is more we should be concentrating on


which is in our Queen's Speech, rather than getting distracted by


this. What is your reaction to David Cameron's proposal for this draft


bill on Europe? It is excellent news. It makes it crystal clear


whether Palin it is coming from -- where the prime minister is coming


from in ensuring that we will have a referendum. And how will you vote on


the amendment? I will be supporting Thank you very much. Now, strivers


and shirkers. Hard-working families and benefit cheats. The rhetorical


temperature on welfare has risen in recent years, and a report out today


from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggests that our attitudes have


been hardening, too. In 1994, 15% of the public thought people lived in


need because of laziness or lack of willpower. In 2010, that figure has


risen to 23%. And the report says the explanation for the change in


attitudes seems to lie amongst Labour supporters. In 1987, 20 1% of


Labour supporters said welfare recipients were undeserving,


compared with 31% in 2011, an increase of 10%. And there was an


increase from 16% to 46% over the same period in the number of Labour


voters saying that the welfare state encourages dependency. We are joined


now by Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation


and the Shadow implement minister, Stephen Timms. Julia Unwin, we have


had economic uncertainty before, so why have attitudes hardened so much


during this recession? What has changed? It is striking that in


previous recessions, people have expressed more sympathy. They have


no more people who have lost their jobs. It has come closer to them. In


this recession, in part because of the rhetoric you were describing,


but also because people have lost confidence in the welfare system to


support them, they express this hostility. But they express


hostility to the welfare system. But not to the recipients? Much less to


the recipients. People said there was a real problem with child


poverty. They have little confidence in any government of any colour to


fix it. So in response, what does Labour have to do? Does it need to


influence the debate to make people more sympathetic to benefit payments


and recipients, or does Labour need to adjust its policy to look


tougher? I don't think it is about sympathy or looking tough, it is


about making the right moves so that people don't live in poverty. The


welfare system is only one part of that. Unless we have jobs paying the


right sort of money, people will remain poor and the cost to us as a


country of that are astronomic. We cannot afford to have another


generation growing up in poverty. We believe any incoming government


needs to address housing, jobs, skills, education, as well as


ensuring that you have a reliable welfare system for those who can't


work. What is your view towards the universal credit, this complete


overhaul of the system that the government claims will make it more


targeted to people who need it and will ensure that there are not, to


use the rhetoric, people shirking and picking benefits they don't


deserve? We support the notion of universal credit. The idea of some


providing benefits must be the right thing to do. The idea that you bring


it all together in one place is an important step forward. We worry


about the way it is being implemented and all the other things


being done at the same time. And we particularly worry about all of this


happening in a falling, insecure and dangerous labour market in which


jobs are temporary, poorly paid and offer no progression. Stephen Timms,


do you think more people are living on benefit as a result of laziness


or lack of willpower? I am not sure the numbers are any greater than


they ever have been. There are two macro problems here which are


undermining confidence in the system. One is that the system is


supposed to encourage people into work and help them into jobs. The


other is that people who pay into the system although working lives


and then need help too often find there is not help when they require


it. What sort of people are those? I am thinking of people perhaps in


their 50s who have worked their whole adult lives, running into a


health problem and having to give up work as a result, and then they find


out there is only one year's worth of funding available to them, and


the amount is far lower than they thought it would be. That is


weakening confidence in the system. But do you accept that you as


politicians have played into the portrayal and the rhetoric that has


been used to talk about the welfare debate that has not helped? Labour


policies have promoted individual responsibility. But I am talking


about the rhetoric used by politicians. Well, you are right. We


have promoted individual responsibility over the last 20


years. Julia is making the point that that is reflected in the way


Labour views have changed. Why is there a perception that Labour is


soft on welfare? I don't think that is a fair perception. But it is what


the polling shows, that Labour is not seen as being tough enough in


terms of welfare and the people who receive it. In government, we


actually made the system much better, but there is more to be


done. That is why we have our jobs guarantee policy at the moment,


where we say everybody is entitled to the offer of a job, but once


offered, they will be required to take it up. Do you think the


government has succeeded in changing the debate on welfare and have


managed to champion the idea that it will be tougher in future to get


welfare? I think it is the other way round. All parties have noticed a


hardening in public attitudes. they have responded to it? They have


responded. And we should consider the possibility that the public are


right, that there has been growing abuse of the benefit system. When


the more stringent tests for what used to be called is a bloody


benefit were brought in recently, there was a huge drop in people


claiming it. But there are also many people claiming that there will be


awful in justice is done to people who will genuinely need it in their


lives and may not be able to get it. Around the margins of any system,


there will always be injustices. But there is a public perception that


the bar should be raised a bit, and I think the public may be right. I


can see that the Conservative Party has understood that and I believe


the Labour Party has, too. What about the misconception by many


people about where the bulk of money on benefit is actually spent? Half


of it is on pensions. And then at least another quarter is on people


who are in work. That is the point I want to make. The vast majority goes


on pensions. And most people think that is appropriate. Indeed, most


people are shocked by how little money is received on pensions. They


are also shocked by how many families receiving benefits where


someone is in poverty, somebody is going to work. We are right that we


a system that is not working. We can't walk away from provision for


people who are not in work. Are you saying the parties are doing that?


am not saying that, but we need a system in which people have


confidence. The previous system did not do that. We are now going for


what I have described as a gamble with universal credit. We have to


hope it works, because the price paid by people who fall through the


gaps will be very high. How else do you bring the welfare bill down?


have to create jobs which pay enough to enable people to work without


using benefits. But do you think the tax credit system championed by


Gordon Brown as chancellor and prime minister actually created dependency


in itself, that it was not enough to get a job that paid you a living


wage, you had to rely on handouts from the state in order to survive?


The handouts came because people were not getting a living wage. They


were working for very low wages, paying high rents, and the


completion of those two put our benefits bill up to a level that is


unacceptable. So in the end, it was a false economy having such an


intricate and edit system. At one of the results was a big increase in


the number of lone parents working, which is a big game for the economy


and society. We need the system to help people into work. You are right


about pensions. I shall be approaching the time I get a pension


at the next general election, but I don't think any party should repeat


the pledge the Conservative Party made not to touch pensions. Do you


agree with that? I think we will have to look at all these things,


given continuing austerity beyond the next election. But Labour have


not said that yet, so do you think Labour should look again at


universal benefits to pensioners? will have to look at a range of


things, and that is one of them. the weekend, Peter Mandelson said


the Labour government in 2004 were sending out such parties for people


to come to work in this country. Then yesterday, he said, we have to


realise that the entry of migrants to the labour market is hard for


people entering the labour market to get jobs or keep jobs. Does


Labour's immigration policy have something to answer for? He was in


the government at the time. He says it did create that sort of


dependency. We are numbers of the European Union. Sending out such


parties for people to come to work? I certainly did not send out any


search parties. There are big challenges. I agree with Julia that


we need to find ways of raising the levels of income in work to tackle


the problem of in work poverty. is 30 years since your experience


when you were unable to live successfully on benefits. When was


that? That was the television in 1981. I tried living on �26 74 week


near Newcastle. And you did not manage it. I didn't. But I decided


to go with the flow. But you think the government has got the right


level now, both in terms of pitching it to the public, whose attitudes


are hardening? There is no right level for benefits. It will always


be hard to live on benefits. What I hate about unemployment is the way


it breaks people's spirits. People need to feel they have a purpose. It


does not matter what level of benefits they are getting. And they


need employment of the right sort. Currently, our labour market


provides jobs with zero hours contracts, no security. That is no


way to build a life. Thank you very much. Now, it is more


than five years since the start of the global financial crisis, and we


have all spent a lot of that time try to work out who to blame. Was it


the bankers, the economists or the politicians who led Britain into the


longest slump in living memory? A new series on BBC Two called Bankers


has been looking at what went wrong. Rules and regulations were designed


to enable the City to grow, and both Conservative and new Labour


government is appreciated the value and tax revenue that the bankers


brought in. The financial sector was growing at an average of 6% a year,


twice as fast as the wider economy. Lunch? Can't even spell it, but it


virtually went out of the window. There was so much money to be made,


so much of an opportunity. There is probably a disturbing, sometimes


admirable aspect of human nature that we just enjoy a party.


You can watch the next episode tomorrow on BBC 2000 at 9.00. One


man has has been thinking hard about who went wrong is the former Labour


MP who has written a book called Progressive Capitalism. Welcome back


welcome to the programme. Your book is highly critical of the financial


system and there have been other critic, you say the markets became


too focussed on take wealth, why did no-one, including the. Go of which


you were a member notice? Think they is a very fundamental question, and


the answer is we were all sold on this idea of the liberal market


economics that this was the answer, it seemed to get us out of real


problems in the '60s and 70s, when we were faced with stagflation, and


everything seemed to be toing very well, in the years I was -- to be


going very well. In my own case it was only when I came out of


Government that was once again allowed to talk to people in the


financial world, and I sat down with financial advisers and they said


there is real problems occurring now. But in Government did you not


talk to people in the financial world who are saying, this cannot go


on? I don't think they were saying that, they were saying this is


great, we are doing very well, I didn't, because all my investments


were blind trust, and any idea I might meet with a financial person


was out of the question. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn't it.


Certainly no-one, or no-one that I can recall, who was saying at the


time in any of the party, let's stop the party rolling, the credit boom


is going to go on and all, what we need now is lots more regulation, to


make sure the bankers are going to be behave themselves, no-one was


calling for that were they? We were all sold on this idea, and we


thought that was right, in the same way in the 30 years before that, we


all thought Keynesian economics and planning was a good thing.


intervention is what should be happening, in terms of financial


regulation and trying to take a more interventionist view? You put the


word intervention because you want to make it sound sinister and awful.


No! What I am talking about is we had three major, three or four major


institutional failures which caused a monetary boom, to really collapse.


We need to put those things right. Your idea of Progressive Capitalism


seems to be very much the way Ed Miliband is thinking, yet you are


very critical of him? You say... is different. What I am saying is


you need to define what is the role of the state in the economy. We have


defined that, over the last 30 years, as there would be no role.


Governments should stay out of it. We saw some really major


institutional failure, and government has to create it will


right conditions, in terms of corporate governance, the balance


sheet of banks and others. Isn't that what Ed Miliband has been


talking about? He has talked about ending the fast buck culture, about


having a role for the state, in terms of looking or regulating the


economy. Banks are subject to a raft of new rules. David Cameron has


talked about socially responsible capitalism. Do you not think the


problem is being addressed and dealt with? No. These are fine words, but


you need to translate them, into clear policy, for example, the


question of what the balance sheet of banks should be like. We are


debating 3-# % equity, that is absurd. It should be something close


to 20%. All we will see... Then they will stop lending all together.


have to phase this in because of that, the idea we have solved any of


the problems of derivatives of bank balance sheets is farcical. You are


a member of the Labour Party. Who in the Labour Party is there to carry


this torch, if it is not going to be Ed Miliband? I think there are a lot


of bright people there and you can even hope than Ed Miliband will be


the one of the people who carries this torch. I think the problem has


been with both political party, there hasn't been an all terntive


political economy. -- parties. We have begun to realise the nigh owe


liberal one is wrong but no-one is putting forward and alteshtive,


which is why I have writ then book. Ed Miliband isn't doing that either?


I don't think any of the political leaders are. I don't think they


understand that we have got to move away from what was the kind of


received opinion over 30 years, and move to something new. What do you


think of him? I said that I, on the time, I thought he was average. What


I said was... Pretty damningI said all three political leaders are


Avram, if there is anyone out there in your world, who would like to


argue that David Cameron Nick Clegg or Ed Miliband are more than


average, in the same category as Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair...


Speaking from my newspaper if you tell a newspaper that three people


are average, we are entitled to assume you do think Ed Miliband is


average. I do. Equally think that average is in this context is used


to describe all three political leaders, and that none of them are


of the calibre of Tony Blair or Margaret Thatcher, in leadership. Do


you agree with that? You have stopped giving financial support to


the Labour Party? That is a rather different eschew which has to do


with the fact I now have two job, one in the institute of Government


and Chancellor of came bridge, and I like to keep them out of the thick


and thrust and parry of party political situation. In your book


you say you part funded Labour bah because you didn't want it to be


solely funded by the trade union, since Ed Miliband has come to power,


leading the Labour Party, 80% of the party's money does come from Labour.


It sounds like they need you What I also said was I don't like the


situation, where 80% of the money for the Conservative Party is coming


from financial people, and I think the British public would support


what was put forward, as a very sensible thing, on professional,


standards in public life, which is we should have state funding of


party, so party leaders are not dependent on particular groups of


people. And what about the average comment? Do you agree with David


that the three current leaders are average compared to Margaret


Thatcher and Tony Blair? I think different times call for different


types of leadership. At the moment I don't think a Margaret Thatcher


would be the right person. I like David Cameron's conciliate tristyle.


Like the way he thinks before he acts, I want to believe that there


are limits, to how far he will go, and I am still clinging on to that


belief, but it has been a difficult few days. You would think it was a


good sign to have a situation where ministers are allowed to abstain on


the Queen's Speech? It is not satisfactory It cannot be. I agree.


Do you feel like being booed today? What a bizarre question! You could


do worse than to head down to bourment with the Police


Federation's annual conference is kicking off. Theresa May and Jack


Straw have been on the receiving end of police heckles in the past but it


is not the only bear pit for politician, being booed by hundreds


wouldn't be most people's idea of fun so why do they put themselves


through it? Fist, do you remember these cringeworthy scenes?


Over the last few months I have spent working hard on the National


Health Service. Yes, well, you don't remember it, I do, because I spent


18 years in opposition fighting it. nursing director, and of trust


boards is to listen to you when you Why do they put themselves through


it? Lucy Beresford is here, and of course Matthew Parris is still with


us. Why do they do it to themselves? They are partly playing a game and


they want to be seen to be humble, reaching out in the current phrase,


to people who they know, don't share their belief, but politicians are


nothing, if not narcissistic and there is this huge addiction to


almost a zeal to try and convert people who, it is one thing to


preach to a party conference where you hope at least one or two people


will share your views but if you go somewhere where you know they don't


approve of you, what could be more glorifying than to walk off that


stage to triumphant cheers. Is that the truth? The thrill of trying to


get people to come to your point of view? There is an element I I think


desire for publicity of showing off, everybody who goes into politics, I


was not exempt from that. There is one thing worse than a whole lot of


people booing you and that would be an empty hall, people who were not


interested in you. I think they like the attention, they prefer it to be


favourable, if it is unfavourable, that is better than no attention at


all. Ministers are grown up, you don't go into politics if you are a


fading flower. Do they feel bad? Psychologically do they feel bad?


all want positive affirmation, you would want to receive claps and


cheer, but as Matthew said, in a way, to not be talked about,


ignored, would make your ego shrivel and these are people who are


performer, this the what they want. They want the audience and whether


it is the audience in the hall, or the audience subsequently on the


news bulletin, it is all the oxygen that fuels their life as a


politician. And I think too, if you are a minister, it is a feather in


your cap, and it is a sign you are doing something right, if these


ghastly professional organisations and trade unions begin to boo you,


it is standing up to vested interests like that I think is the


mark of a good minister, I think you can console yourself you are doing


something right. Thing on thing you can console yourself is the group


dynamic, to say, it is one thing to be heckled by a very very brave


person, who comes up to you in the street, and really has a go, but if


you are standing in a hall, and one or two people start the slow hand


clap or booing, then you could probably count that as just group


dynamics of a sort of vaguely hysterical kind, if they were on


their own, if they met you in a lift they won't be so brave. What is the


best way to deal with it? You are trying to say your piece, you are


trying to appeal to whoever it is, nurses, police officers, and people


just don't want to hear it or think they you are being unfair, what is


the best way of dealing with it? have to desigh what proportion of


the hall is on your side. If most are on your side and and there is a


small group, you can by a clever response to a heck, win people your


way, but once you have sensed the mood of the meeting is against you,


the best thing to do is to take no notice and plough on, as though it


wasn't happening. Is that right? don't know, you have to acknowledge


it, you have to respect that to show them you are listening, and that is


what politicians are meant to do, but you must never get angry you


must never show you are riled. The problem with one that happened with


Tony Blair, was he so- didn't expect it He did not see that coming. It


was that level of complacency that did for him. A bit quickly, is Lucy


the lady, the psychotherapist to come and help the tomorrow over


Europe? I wish you would tell me what has gone wrong. They are


tearing themselves apart. That is another conversation you can have in


the privacy outside the studio. Thanks to our guest guests, the one


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