16/05/2013 Daily Politics


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Daily Politics. Make no mistake, a lot of Tory backbenchers are not


best pleased with Call Me Dave. Last night, half of them gave him a


ticking off over his failure to include an EU referendum bill in the


Queen's Speech. We will talk to former chancellor Nigel Lawson, who


thinks yesterday's vote was a waste of time.


Could the whole issue rear its head again in a private member's bill? We


will talk to the winner of this morning's ballot. Red Ed may be


ahead, but not by much, according to the polls.


Does he have what it takes to win an election? And from the difficulties


of one man to the troubles of all. We will be asking Diane Abbott why


she thinks men could be in crisis. Diane Abbott, who is she? All that


in the next hour. With us for the duration, former Labour pollster


Debra Mattinson, who had to deal with Gordon Brown. She now runs an


organisation called Britainthinks. That is a great relief to know. I


myself would like a second opinion. First, let's talk about tax and


Google, because the internet giant was in front of the Public Accounts


Committee again this morning. The labour and Pete who chairs it,


Margaret Hodge, said a payslip from a whistleblower showed that he was


given commission on deals made in the UK. The Google executive, Matt


Britain, claimed that 99% of sales were clinched in Dublin and that


that was where they should be taxed. He was a flavour of the


exchange. I would ask you to reconsider what you are telling us,


because it does not make sense to your own staff. It does not make


sense to the committee. It does not make sense to any of your clients,


and it does not make sense that the only people it seems to make them is


to is Google. You are the last man standing on this. I don't recognise


the characterisation you paint. You have written number of points and I


would like to deal with them in turn. It is true that the people


dealing with customers in the UK, the 1% of customers who see UK


Google staff, are incentivised to encourage people to spend money with


Google. That is appropriate. Therefore, they do have targets that


include the growth of the business they are responsible for a cross a


range of industry sectors. So it is true that people have targets. Many


countries incentivised staff to grow the business.


That was the boss of Google. You can tell he is the boss, he does not


have a tie, even when he goes to the Commons. Obviously, people are


paying taxes to the hilt. They hate it when these rich companies make a


tonne of money out of us and are not paying their fair whack. I right in


thinking, though, that people are less upset with Google that they are


with Starbucks? You are right. It is incredibly interesting. If you look


at Google's corporate reputation and track it over time, it has barely


taken a hit over this period. It is still scoring highly. By contrast,


Starbucks has gone off the edge of a cliff. If you think about why that


might be, I think it is about the extent to which a company has


managed to store up some reputational capital. If you seem to


be a good corporate citizen to the public, then when something goes


wrong, you have something to draw on. That is where Google is now. It


remains to be seen if they can keep things that way, but they are doing


OK. It could also be that Starbucks charge for quid per coffee. Whereas


Google is free. Which is why people like it. The high street is full of


other coffee shops. And there are other search engines, but Google


dominates. And they seem to provide a good service. It will be


interesting to see what happens over time. Talking to somebody who works


at Google off the record last week, she said to me that the staff there


were very upset by this. They think they are working for a great


company, and when something goes wrong, it rocks their confidence.


the upset is more internal than external. Staff morale is not good.


Now, time for our quiz. We all know the British consumers


abroad offers welcome assistance to travellers who are in trouble, but


the foreign office is warning that there are some things it cannot help


with, like telling them when spring is going to happen. Which of these


have they not been asked to assist with? Silencing a nosy cockerel,


recommending the best place to watch football, ordering a husband to get


fit and eat healthily so he and his wife and have children, or


requesting an audience with the Pope? At the end of the show, Debra


will have a stab at getting the correct answer.


Now, it will come as no surprise to read your viewers, all three of you,


to learn that last night, half of all Conservative backbenchers voted


to criticise David Cameron's Queen's Speech for failing to propose a


European Union referendum. Maybe they forgot they are part of a


coalition government in which the other country is the most Europhile


of British parties. But memories are short these days, so here is a


flavour of the debate. For too long, the electorate has not been able to


express its opinion on the changing nature of our relationship. The


political establishment has closed ranks over the last 30 years and


denied the electorate a choice. We now have a golden opportunity to


right this wrong. We should be bold of heart, seize the moment and do


what is right by the electorate and by the country. I therefore intend


to move this amendment. Those who voted UKIP and are likely to vote


UKIP in next year's European elections will not be impressed


unless we are making every effort to have a referendum as soon as


possible, rather than when it suits the three main political parties for


whatever reason that we want to put it off. The reason why it is


essential that we hold this referendum urgently is because the


changes in the relationship will enable us to disentangle ourselves


from the spiders web which we have become caught up in without asking


the British people since 1975 has got to be dealt with. It is a vital


question of national interest, and IBEC members of Parliament to


listen. The party opposite claims to be the party of business. And a key


hate for business is prolonged economic uncertainty. And now we are


telling inward investors we might leave the EU, but we will let them


know in four years' time. Japanese, American, European inward investors


all make it clear that they are in the UK because the UK is in the EU.


Millions of jobs are at stake. A semi-detached status like


Switzerland and Norway means being banned by EE decisions without


having a voice. I gather that it is likely that an amendment may be


moved in another place today, regretting the absence of any


mention of this in the gracious speech. I of course would not


presume to give advice to my right honourable and honourable friends in


that place. But if I may venture an opinion, what is needed is a


thorough debate about the momentous issues, political and economic, and


this will not be assisted by an necessary and pointless votes.


That was Nigel Lawson. More of him later. With us now, the man who


proposed yesterday's bill, John Barron. 116 Conservative MPs voted


for your amendment. What have you achieved?


We have achieved the fact that the party has declared that it would


support a private member's bill. This was not on the table a week


ago. I would like to have won. Had we managed to carry the day, the


headlines this morning would have said Tories united, labour and


liberals in disarray, and we would have advanced the cause. So


disappointed that we did not win. instead, the Tories are disunited.


We are united on one thing. We also bought a 2017 in-out referendum. No


doubt about that. But how do you best convince the electorate that we


are serious about it? When you knock on the doors, there is deep public


mistrust when people hear politicians making promises. So many


have been broken in the past. So how do we convince them? Only 1% of


people think Europe is the most important issue facing Britain, but


you lot are banging on about it. tend to disagree. Where does the


economy and immigration come on that? You cannot talk about


immigration and the economy without also talking about Europe. Vandalism


comes higher. Europe is the 12th most important issue if you ask


people to list the most important issues. But Europe transcends a


number of issues. If you talk about immigration, you are talking about


Europe. But how do you best convince the electorate that we are serious?


Legislation is more believable than election manifesto promises.


given that you did not win the last election, you don't have the


majority in the Commons for legislation. But if we had won the


mandate last night, if the party had rallied round, we could have gone to


the Liberals and said look, Parliament has spoken. Now give us


more time. That might have given us more leverage than simply asking the


Liberals for more than. But your party did not rally round. It was


divided. It was not divided. Nobody voted against the amendment. But


yes, you don't table an amendment unless you hope to win it, and I am


sorry that we did not win it. Miliband's lead in the polls is not


great or robust. If you believe the governor of the Bank of England,


there are signs that the economy is on the rise. You could step back a


bit and say actually, things aren't so bad for the Tory party and the


coalition at the moment. So why are you inflicting damage on the pie


Minister? You say damage, but we have nudged the party closer to the


electorate. One week ago, we had no party support for a private members'


bills. We had no publication of the bill itself. Those are steps


forward. Do you not deny that it damages the prime minister? People


do not like divided parties. They see the division is taking place.


This week, you had Peter Mandelson almost confirming a Tory urban myth


at one stage that Labour was good grooming immigrants into this


country, is usually to your advantage. No one covered it,


because you were all banging on about Europe. But Europe is an


important subject to many people. We have achieved a lot in the last


week. The prime minister has decided to go down the road of a private


member's bill. We will support him in that and let's see if we can get


it through, but it is second-best to what happened last night. Deborah,


tell him about the polls. It is really not important to many people.


It has not made it into double figures in a decade, Europe. 7% say


it is one of the more important things. The public will be looking


at the Conservative Party and Bebo will did. They feel the country is


facing lots of problems. They are worried about how to pay the bills,


they are worried about the NHS and a whole bunch of things. And they see


two things, a party that seems to be talking about something they don't


care much about, and they see a party at war with itself. Actually,


we are more united as a party that we have probably been for a


generation. We all signed up to the 2017 referendum. That is not how it


looks. We disagree on how best you convince the electorate that we are


serious. In your view, what happens next? We will rally round and


support this private member's bill. I hope we can get it through, but


history suggests that a determined minority can block it. My worry is


that we have raised expectations again and then failed to deliver.


Unless the Liberals and Labour change their mind and let this


private members' bills through all the whips have a devious plan, and I


hope they have, I am afraid it will fail. So you have hit a dead end.


That is why I was pushing the amendment last night. Had we won


it, and the maths do stack up, we could have knocked on the door of


the Liberals and said, Parliament has spoken. Give us more time.


likelihood is that this train is going to hit the buffers. It is,


unfortunately, because most of private members' bills do. Don't get


me wrong, I hope it succeeds. But it is the best option. Come back and


give us updates, for free. I will! unfolding at Westminster have been


followed closely understandably by politicians here in Europe. With


some bemusement, I understand. And my two guests have also been


following it closely. Sharon Bow le s and a Conservative MEP have come


to talk about it. First of all, would you describe it as an edifying


spectacle that has been displayed by your Parliamentary colleagues over


the issue of Europe? I think it's important that we realise that in


Britain there is a debate, a real debate taking place... Only in the


Conservative Party. No, it's in the nation. It has to be reflected in


Parliament. What would be dishonest if sitting with our partners here in


Europe saying to them that the leadership is dealing with all our


European issues and there's no debate in the United Kingdom. We


have to be up front and have all the cards on the table so we can go into


a mature debate in the UK and a set of reforms here in the European


Union. Would you have supported the amendment that regretted the absence


of any legislation for a referendum? I completely support a thorough


programme of discussion within the United Kingdom about our


relationship with the European Union, that is one of the steps


along the way to achieving that overall reform agenda. If there were


a referendum tomorrow, would you back out or in? We aren't going have


a referendum tomorrow. Are you out or in? A referendum will ultimately


take place, every Conservative in the land is signed up to that. As


and when it does take place, I will be campaigning for a Yes vote along


with the Prime Minister. The Liberal Democrats have been accused of


showing complete disdain to the voting public in Britain. They have,


in effect, blocked paving legislation for a rove dome happen


in 2017. Yes, we think this is totally the wrong time. We are


potentially going to have a referendum on an unknown Unknown.


This is not right. We thought it was right there should be a referendum


if there is any further transfer of powers. I think the way the


political time table works with the next time German and French


elections it's likely something might happen by 2017. To fix


something in stone when you don't actually know what the result is


seems to be wrong and it would certainly be wrong to have some kind


of in/out referendum now when we've not had any debate in Parliament and


don't have enough debates in Westminster about what is actually


going on in Europe in the different policy areas. Everybody is ignorant.


What do you think your colleagues here in Brussels have thought of


what's gone on at home in Westminster? Some actually are quite


understanding because we are all politicians and they understand that


they have problems within their own parties at times. Others are a


little bit surprised. They certainly don't want to be black mailed and


that's the message. I think they understand when you get these


political troubles within a party, but they're aghast that we might do


something by mistake and come out of Europe from a point of ignorance.


Vince Cable today has said the Conservative Party is plunging


Britain into a period of dreadful uncertainty from a business


perspective. Not at all. We've been clear about what we want to achieve


here. We've put in place a review in the United Kingdom. That's under


way. We are leading on a reform programme in the European Union.


Ultimately we will have a referendum. You don't agree with


Nigel Lawson that it's pointless to have a renegotiation? You have a


clear set of stages that have been set out for the British people now.


It's important that we stick to that and we actually have a mature debate


rather than simply mud slinging as is what is happening in certain


quarters as well. Thank you both very much. Back to you Andrew.


As if by magic we're joined by the former Conservative Chancellor Nigel


Lawson. Welcome back to the programme. I hear you've been


causing trouble. Never. You know me, I never cause trouble. I read it.


You can't believe what you read in the newspapers. Now, in the Lords


yesterday we had a clip of it before you came on, you said the EU


campaign would not be assisted by "a necessary and pointless votes". Uals


yesterday's Commons vote pointless? Yes, I think it was. I think it is


the fact that everybody is now, of course it will go away because


somebody once said a week is a long time in politics. But I mean, it


will go away. For the moment now, instead of discussing the issues,


and there are some important issues there on both sides, good arguments


to be made and I've entered the fray setting out the stall as I see it.


Instead of focussing on the issues what they're doing is talking about


the Conservative pitch, nothing else. That's why I thought it was


foolish. Did you, when you wrote this art actual in the Times, which


was more than a pebble in a small pond, did you expect it to ramp up


the pressure on the Prime Minister as much as it has? I hoped,


obviously, it would make an impact. If one's writing something one hopes


it will make an impact. But what I did have a negotiation with the


Times, not only the fee but over the length of the piece. Because it was


longer than they normally do. They were reluctant. I said I wouldn't do


it unless you give me 2,000 words because it's a complicatedish up and


I want to sell -- comploted issue and I want to set it out properly.


Did you alert Downing Street before? I am just an independent


backbencher, old man with a past and no future. I'm not interested in


preferment. All the violins are playing. Let me put to you what the


Prime Minister responded to your pessimism about the likely lack of


success in renegotiation. He said, " We shouldn't give up before


negotiation has started. It seems an extraordinary way to go about


things. The idea of throwing in the towel before the negotiation has


started. -- started is a very strange opinion.". I think he


misunderstood. I wasn't saying he shouldn't try to negotiate. Good


luck to him. I was saying what in my judgment and experience is likely to


be the outcome. Do you say to the Conservatives who sat in that chair,


Sir Malcom Rifkind included, saying ah, they all said that when Maggie


went to get our rebate back which was one against whatever number it


was. No-one gave her a chance. Even the Foreign Office and she did it.


She did extremely well. But that was a simple issue. This is immensely


complicated. It would, nobody I know, I know a lot of people within


the European institutions, I know people who have formally served in


the European institutions, none of them expect that any major change is


negotiable. We all remember the last time a Prime Minister tried that,


Harold Wilson in the 1970s, and the concession,if you like, that he


managed to secure, was so in, not even you can remember what they


were. No, that's true. Actually I can remember one of them was to do


with agriculture. The difference there was too that other thinned


morning star and the Daily Express every newspaper was in favour of us


staying in. They conspired to make it seem a big deal that he had done


enough to get the vote. That's right. It was a very time... Time.


It won't happen this time. No. This time, the press are divided. I think


the people are rather more sceptical. There are people on both


sides where it was the only people on the other side that time were


Enoch Powell and Tony Benn who are both very good ortors but people


didn't trust them very much. It is going to be different this time. I


think the issues are different. I voted in favour of staying in In


1975. But since the coming of the single currency, the euro, and the


creation of the eurozone, and the political consequences of that, the


whole nature has changed. Therefore I thoroughly support the Prime


Minister in his decision that we should have a referendum in 2017.


Just to claireify, you -- Klairify, you support the current strategy of


the Prime Minister to try to get reelected as an overall Government,


go to renegotiate in Europe and put that renegotiate in an in-out


referendum. You just don't think you'll get very far in the


renegotiation? That's right. I don't think he will achieve anything


substantial. I think there will be extreme reluctance to offer anything


substantial. There will be extreme reluctance to offering to us alone


because other countries will say what about us and so on. With the


best will in the world, I don't think it's on. I think if the


British people see that no fault of his but because they're not prepared


to yield, it takes two sides to do a deal, if the British people see that


he's really come back with an empty bucket of goodies then I don't think


they're going to be fooled in the way they were with the Wilson


episode. This issue could face Labour and the Lib Dems as well. If


the eurozone, I've come back from Europe where the talk is what kind


of political, fiscal union do they need to make the eurozone work now,


that will inevitably involve treaty change and we could need a


referendum any way for this treaty change. That's absolutely right.


That is slightly different because the referendum will only be about do


you agree with the particular things in this new treaty. Rather than


in-out. Yes. The eurozone cannot become an ever closer union to quote


the treaty of Rome without that having consequences of Britain and


changing our relationship any way. Yes, absolutely. And people want a


referendum. I mean there's no question about that. Having said


that they'd like a referendum on everything. They like the idea of


having their say. As Mr Atly once said, " We expect a period of quiet


from you now? I should think, so for a little while. Next time you have


anything to say, come back and see us. Thank you very much.Nigel


Lawson. Where next for the EU Referendum Bill? Let's look at an


ancient Parliamentary procedure looks a lot like bingo and it


occurred this morning. 20 names were drawn in reverse order in the


private members ballot. Number one... The last but not least and


the winner of the day is- shake them up, David- 199. James W had a rton.


-- Wharton. Order, order that concludes the proceedings.


winner James Wharton joins us now. Congratulations, what will your bill


be? I'm going to take forward the Conservative Party draft bill on


legislating for a referendum on our relationship with the European Union


by the end of 2017. OK, but yesterday you blamed colleagues who


"enjoy the limelight for allowing the debate about Europe to crowd out


discussion of other topics" what happened? I think that's the point.


We've been talking about Europe a lot in recent weeks and it keeps


coming to the surface and being debated. Most of my constituents


want me to talk about the cost of living, education, hospitals, things


that matter to them. Why don't you do a bill on that? Because this


European issue hangs over so many aspects of British life and


political debate, I think it's time that we resolve it and MPs of all


political persuasions should be given their opportunity to vote to


have their say on whether we believe we should have a referendum or not.


I hope when it's done it can put this issue to bed and focus on the


other issues that matter deeply to the constituents. Have you spoken to


the whips or do they speak to you in advance about this choice of


subject? They didn't speak to me in advance. But I have spoken to the


whips. Given the debate over the last couple of of weeks any


Conservative MP was high up the private members ballot was expected


this is what they would take forward, a very important issue that


needs to be resolved. Clarify, the Conservative whips want you to take


this bill forward? They haven't formally said they want me to do it,


I've had discussions and they're supportive, as are colleagues across


the party. I should say colleagues from different parties as well. I've


had a stream of text messages, e-mails and calls from MPs wanting


to support the bills, not just Conservatives, but in the Opposition


too. It's important that people are given the opportunity to have their


say. You know, this isn't the end of the story by bringing this forward.


This just kicks the story further down the road and puts more strain


on the coalition, that's all it does. Your bill's never going to


become law but it will continue to stir things up in the coalition?


That depends on what happens when this is brought before the floor of


the House. I hope MPs will be given the chance to vote with their


consciences and to agree or not. The Liberal Democrats promised an in-out


referendum in the manifesto at the last election. Nick Clegg has a bad


reputation for going back on his promises. I hope he won't go back on


this one and think again about his positions. Any indication that's the


Government will make time for this? My understands is that it can only


make time if all the coalition agrees and they don't. That's one of


the challenges. You don't necessarily need Government time if


you get it through in Private Members' Bill time. It's helpful if


the Government time table scope for debate on this. That can only be


done with both sides agreeing. The indication shows that's not likely


to happen. The Liberal Democrats promised they would support a


referendum. I want to hold them to that promise. If they don't, it will


be another promise they have broken. I don't think people will look


kindly on it, whatever the view of Europe. You came first in the


Parliamentary bingo, are you buying a lottery ticket this weekend? As


tempted as I am, I don't know if aisle Sree time. I was going back to


my constituency today for a busy day, which has been rescheduled


because of all that's taken place this morning. You're already


neglected his constituency in pursuit of this. We've had to


reschedule a number of things, I'll be there over the weekend but I'm


not sure about the lottery ticket. I'm sure you can find the time. My


I'm sure you can find the time. My I'm sure you can find the time. My


I'm sure you can find the time. My are joining us. They have been


watching first Minister's Questions in Hollywood and now join us on the


Daily Politics. Now for something completely different.


Brian Mawhinney's greatest hits. At five, Brian, the boy from Belfast,


became a Conservative minister in the Northern Ireland since in the


early 90s. A decision was made to bring extra troops to the province.


At four, he had his demonise on labour as chairman of the


Conservative Party. At three, he took to the beat as shadow home


secretary. At two, the early noughties saw him kicking off his


career in the beautiful game as chairman of the football league.


These clubs understand the realities and want to move football forward


under the umbrella of good governance. And that one, in 2005,


he donned the ermine, and the boy from Belfast became a barren.


And Brian Mawhinney is here. When you see some of that, would you


agree that politics has changed a lot? Yes, it has. For better or


worse? Truthfully, I think the jury is out. There is a lot more


information available now in all sorts of new media. I am not sure


that Parliament has come to terms with how important all of that is.


Should it be more important? Should it be just another manifestation of


what is old timers used to know by talking to people day in and day


out? The idea that MPs now know a lot more about what the public


thinks, I am not sure that is accurate. At least we are good MPs.


One thing that has not changed is that Tory leaders asked in a pickle


over Europe. If you will forgive me saying so, it is deja vu all over


again. Would you have any advice, having lived through all this, for


Mr Cameron? This may ruin my reputation, but I want to agree with


what you were saying over Europe. What was that? That Europe is not


the big issue. The big issue is the economy. The economy embraces the


issue of Europe. The single currency, the movement toward data


unity, all of those affect us. Business in the countries of Europe


is not going well at the moment. That affect us. I am not trying to


say Europe is irrelevant, but Europe is primarily important in the


context of the economy, which is the number one issue. Which is your


point. And immigration as well. But people are bill will did about why


politicians spend so much time talking about it. It feels very out


of touch to them. But your party have a problem they did not have in


your day, which is that they have this substantial challenge from the


right now. Mrs Thatcher never left room for a challenge from the right


on most issues. And if one materialised, it quickly petered


out. We have seen the latest polls today, and UKIP is on a roll.


agree again with you, in the sense that it is part of the job of


Conservative leadership to make sure that they can't be passed on the


right. Where they want to place themselves on the spectrum, I have


always been, as I suspect you know, somebody who believes that you win


elections by being fairly close to the centre. You can't get elected on


a core vote of 30%. Excuse me, but I am an expert. You have got to


broaden the base towards the centre. Leadership needs to make


sure you can't be passed on the right. Where it puts itself is a


matter for political judgement. We are seeing a certain amount of


movement at the moment. I am old-fashioned enough to believe that


in two years' time, you will be spending less time talking about


UKIP. They will love to hear you say that, because that is what they want


you to think. Everybody says they want to win from the centre. The


question is, whereas the? Mr Miliband thinks he has the party we


want to see. Some people think Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher have


been able to define whether centre is themselves. It is interesting at


the moment. If you ask people, whereas the centre, and where are


the main parties, people now think the Conservative Party is further to


the right than it used to be and the Labour Party is further to the left.


Both are pulling away in the wrong direction. Let me tell you why I


think your analysis is right. The reason UKIP won't be pleased to hear


me say it is because I say it on the basis that they don't have a


coherent little strategy or set of policies which will create, in the


minds of people, people form a judgement about a party and a


leader. They do not looked at 12 manifesto commitments. They look at


people and how they behave and what the party is about, and they form a


judgement. And when UKIP starts getting under the searchlight which


you generously spread across the rest of the political parties week


in and week out, I am not hopeful. What is the title of your book?


a simple Belfast boy. In all good book shops. Thank you for being with


They are ahead in the polls, they won a raft of seats in this month's


local elections and their opponents are in turmoil over Europe. Despite


these positives, a lot of critics are asking why it has gone wrong for


labour and white Ed Miliband does not seem to be cutting through to


the public. In an increasingly complicated


political world, Ed Miliband is going back to basics and bringing


back the soapbox. It is his way of showing he is down with the voters,


and it did work for John Major. The only problem is that in Ed's case,


the voters have yet to be convinced. The electorate does not see Ed


Miliband as a potential prime minister at the moment. People


preferred David Cameron as prime minister to Ed Miliband, because Ed


Miliband is seen to lack the particular qualities a prime


minister needs. It is a fantastic day for Mr Woodley. You should all


buy Mr Wigley's ice cream today. despite the coalition's best


efforts, Labour's poll could do with some sprinkles. Our polls have shown


Labour ahead for ten points for most of the year. But recently, it has


been more like seven points. Labour are not sufficiently far ahead for


the party to be confident of winning the next election. The rise of UKIP


and the SNP mean that we now have in effect for party politics, so maybe


those big old Leeds are a thing of the past. No party has won an


immediate outright majority in 80 years. So are people asking too much


of Ed? You have to hang on a minute. We did lose that last


general election, so we had to regroup but we are already topping


the polls, although to read some papers, you would not believe that.


We bring better than UKIP, contrary to the reports you here, and we are


winning in all parts of the country, whether that is hollow or Hastings.


We have a message that appeals broadly across the country. But that


kind of thinking actually frightens Labour's internal critics. The real


danger is that the people around Ed Dick they can somehow get there on


one more heave, that they can cross the line with a final surge of


disaffected Lib Dem voters and Labour's core vote to give them the


majority they need. But all the evidence is that you have to reach


way beyond your base. But how? Labour and Ed Miliband need to start


taking risks. When Tony Blair was leader of the opposition in the 90s,


Labour had a huge poll lead and Tony Blair was rightly very defensive and


reassuring. He did not want to lose that Labour vote. Ed Miliband does


not have a beginner lead to operate a defensive strategy. It is like a


football club a goal down at half-time. It needs to go on the


attack and take risks and be bolder. That tone could then help deal with


the other problems to do with economic competence and perceptions


of Ed Miliband's leadership. needs to speak a language that


people can understand. All this talk of predators versus producers and


all of the jargon may have some coherent ideas behind it, but if you


can't explain that across a garden fence, what is the point of it?


There is no point being the cleverest man in the room if no one


understands you. Convincing people you should be their leader is tough.


Ed Miliband is certainly putting in the leg work. But at the moment, it


seems the people are still looking for something more.


I am joined now by Labour's shadow public health minister, Diane


Abbott, and by the populist pollster, Ric Nye. Why is Labour


doing so poorly? You can't judge everything by the latest round of


local election results. They were elections in county seats. We forget


history. I don't think Cameron was cutting through so well at this


point. And he did not win the election. And there is that!She is


already hitting me after being on for two minutes! Is Ed Miliband


ready to be prime minister? 66% say no. That is partly reflecting what


people have read in the media. They are too stupid to make up their own


minds? No, but you know journalists affect how people think. And it is


partly reflecting a lot of embittered David Miliband


supporters. 54% think it is unlikely that he will be PM, and 66% don't


think he is ready. I would suggest that the real weakness for Labour is


that in national politics, if you put aside the issues in Wales,


Scotland and Northern Ireland, but on the overall national issues, if


you don't like this coalition, there was only one major party to vote


for, which is Labour, because the Lib Dems are part of it. So the


centre-left vote is not split any more. If you don't like what this


lot are doing, vote Labour, and yet your party is still doing poorly.


You will find that the Lib Dems will be better in the general election


than those polls indicate. That was how they did so well in Eastleigh.


We are confident that we will do better. The more that people meet Ed


Miliband, the more persuaded they will be. Let me put a proposition to


you. For this stage in the political cycle, Labour's poll lead is narrow


and not robust. Discuss. It is comfortable in one sense, but very


soft in another. A regular seven to ten point lead, depending on what


poll you are looking at. But the dilemma for Labour is whether they


stick or twist. Do they stay where they are, thinking that the Liberal


Democrats -- disaffected Liberal Democrat voters will take them into


the next election? Or do they just wait for it all to go wrong with the


coalition, or do they start to take some strategic risks as your film


suggested to flesh out the kind of prime minister that Ed Miliband


would be? If I were a Labour strategist, I would be worried that


the lead is not that great and seems a bit flaky. And yet we have just


had three years of the most miserable economic news. Almost none


of the coalition's economic indicators have come right, but now


they look like they might be. Doesn't that make my lead, speaking


as a virtual Labour strategist, even less robust? Clearly Labour is not


doing well enough. No party... Has come back from this kind of...


Why? I think they're not setting out their stall clearly enough. Is it


not also that people do not see Mr Miliband as Prime Ministerial?


Almost invariably you don't see someone as Prime Minister or


president,if you like, until they are in that role. Soy don't think,


he doesn't look like a Prime Minister, I don't buy that. I think


just to pick up on what was said in the film, I actually don't think Ed


Miliband himself believes in the one more heave theory. I think he feels


he has to transform thinking. needs to do so much more than he's


doing at the moment. Alan Johnson says he's showing too much in policy


terms. I don't think it's policy, it's vision. People don't know what


he stands for or believes in. vision, at least we know the


direction, his vision is to lay out his stall on a kind of as yet


undefined left which is maybe not left in the way old Labour was, but


not left in the way that New Labour was either. What is the evidence


that this country is moving left? Well, I think Ed Miliband himself


wouldn't use the word left to describe his thinking. When you say


what is the evidence that people are ready for a non-right-wing analysis,


if you look at the polls one of the issues people are most angry about


is bankers. This includes a lot of Tory voters. I think we can


capitalise on that. That's what the Tories and Lib Dems are doing, what


is the evidence other than the bankers, which everybody agrees


with, it may be fair or unfair, but they, do what is the evidence that


the general mood of the country has moved left. Because when I add up


the Tory vote and UKIP vote it seems to me it's moving right. You seem to


think that George Osborne's economic policies are going to succeed.


not at all. I've never said that. That's not what Christine Legard at


the IMF... What is the evidence that it's moving left? I think as the


public has to watch in slow motion the collapse of Osborne's plans and


as people understand the reality of these benefit cuts, I know they're


very popular now, that's because they think it's applying to someone


else, but the reality is that the country will move to Labour. A big


if, if there was to be an economic recovery, of a tangible size, not a


boom, but some kind of recovery that people felt it was getting better,


you'd be skullered. If there was -- scuppered. If there was economic


recovery, pigs would fly. So you're relying on that? I'm not relying on


it. Your winning formula depends on the country going to hell in a hand


basket? No, I'm saying that the things... Remember 1992.I do


remember 1992 very vividly. didn't you win that? The economy was


a basket case. There was the legacy of SDP and the rest of it. I am


saying that as events move forward... You have UKIP to worry


about. Yeah and they're having a nervous break down. In all the


polling you do, what sense of direction do you get that the


country is going in? I get the sense that the country is still feeling


quite pessimistic about the future. What they don't feel is that Labour


is the alternative has a vision for the future of the country. They know


they're not the coalition. I'm not sure that is a sufficient condition


for Labour to win the next election. That is absolutely right. They don't


know enough about what Labour or Ed stands for. Ed's own ratings are OK


but they're not good enough. People are less likely now to recognise him


than a year ago. He's disappearing. Not a dangerous straighty for the


Opposition that the economy's got to continue to stagnate? Even if it


did, we saw in 1992, as we were just saying that people didn't turn,


flock towards Labour, actually they thought I'm staying where I am, I'm


scared. Were you surprised in '92? That was different. The polls were


wrong. I'm talking about the crisis in masculinity in a few minutes.


not got a job? I am the Shadow for public health. Do you want to hear


about drug abuse or alcohol alcoholism, mental health? According


to Dianne, men are not what they used to be. Have they over the years


lost their way? Is it because women are so good at everything these


days? Oar Kyle: The housewives find time


between chores to tackle the job of brick laying, using old bricks


they're building a wall and training come in useful. The only difference


between mixing pastry and cement is housemaids knee. So a kneeling pad


ones, the wall is a pretty good effort. Even an expert couldn't find


fault with the way Joan taps the bricks into line, they're on the


level. Here's something every


self-respecting British workman stops for, a nice cup of tea.


There's no time to relax, their husbands will soon be home and


they're always so tired. Thanks to the Daily Politics team


who shot that film this morning in North London. They just lost the


colour code and Dianne here has been talking about men all morning. She


often talks about men, but she's been talking about men in a speech


this morning to a think-tank. It's called Demos. She's now joined by a


man who likes to talk about men as well, Ian Collins from LBC. Good


morning to you both. This crisis of masculinity, what is it I should be


worried about? You're not worried Andrew because you're an Alpha male.


But 90% of... Alpha male?90% of men are not. Society and the economy has


changed in ways which challenge some of the certainties about what


masculinity was. Some men, not just under-class men, but some men are


challenged by that. I think we need to have a conversation about that.


I've had so much response to this speech. I've only just delivered it.


It's an issue people want to engage with. Are you challenged?


confused, Andrew. That's the problem. Is the Labour frontbench so


bereft of masculinity that the lovely Dianne had to be wheeled out


for this one? What the heck happened there? I like to think that I've


seen every variant of masculine identity... The on the Labour


frontbench? MPs exhibit every type of patriarchal behaviour that you


want to see. You feel every year something like this comes up, that


men are challenged, that men aren't macho niche. Nothing's changed


really. Things have changed. I think men of my father's generation saw


you know defined themselves as men by earning and providing and


protecting. I think in a new economy, where the sorts of jobs


which traditionally blue collar men didn't do no longer exist was more


service oriented. Increasingly we see young men who define themselves


by conspicuous consumption and materialism. I think that can be


problematic. I'm not saying I like the black and white film we just


saw, there was a golden era for men. But I am saying that people want to


talk about what is the definition of masculinity when it's no longer


about earning and providing zpl. What does Britain think men? I think


that men have changed. I think they've changed for the better on


the whole. I think that most men would expect now to have more to do


with their children than they did a generation ago. They expect to do


more house work than they did a generation ago. You say that, but


you're talking about the men you know. I'm not.I'm talking about men


in Hackney and the kind of men in families studies Whose life is more


uncertain than it would have been in the days when London was a shipping


port. That's my point. It's just an evolution. Things change. It doesn't


mean there's a crisis. I'm a socialist. I believe in change. Buff


actually, even though people are less... You're a socialist? You're


in the Labour Party. Even though people are less homophobic at a


certain level, you see more gross and aggressive, violent homophobia


on the streets and on estates than you saw when I was a child. Not


everything has got better. mention technology and one of the


elements you were talking about was the pornification of males, that


we're dealing with that at the moment. These things usually exist


within a very small minority of men. No. It is part of an evolution. We


don't send blokes down pits any more. People get use to theed idea


that the work place has changed. The structure socially has changed. It's


a different kind of bloke. It's not a minority of men and boys. The


average age of boys doing hard core, I don't mean girls, hard core porn


online 11. That's, I don't think that's a change for the better.


Probably a technological change. If they could have done it years ago,


but look we have a minister for women, should we have a minister for


men? No.What's your point? Why do you want one for women though?


think every answer is dependent on Government as a socialist. No, not


that side of government. There are ways, especially economic, that


women have issues and challenges. All of us need to discuss masculine


identity. Labour Party has a women's conference, should we have a men's


conference on men's issues? That's the same argument if we have a black


history month, why not a white history month. If you want to get


George Galloway back... I'm not. This is the gig for Galloway. Ed has


cuddled up with gorgeous George and then spectacularly denied it.


Ed does in his private time is his business. Thank you.We've not an


answer to the famous Leninist question on this- what is to be


done? Better sex and health education and relationship education


in schools. Putting full employment as a goal of public policy back at


the centre and having Sure Start and parenting classes... It's never been


-- there's never been betser education. Sex and health education


is very poor. Also putter things like Sure Start and family classes


should actually focus on men some of the time. I thought when you started


that sentence I thought you were going to stop after you said "better


sex", that That was going to be Labour's policy. All right, good to


see you again. Thanks very much. Just time before we go to find out


the answer to the quiz. Which of these requests has the Foreign


Office not been asked to assist with? Silencing a noisy cock re,


recommend the best place to watch football, order a husband to get fit


and eat healthily so that he and his wife could have children, request an


audience with the Pope. Which was have they not dealt with? The Pope.


That's correct. We made that one up. Every other one is real, including


get a husband to lose weight. That's it. Thanks to our guests. The one


o'clock news is on BBC One. I'm back tonight on BBC One with a super


model line up, Tessa Jowell, Michael Portillo, Katie Price, Adam Boulton


and Toby Young. But not Dianne. She's in the allowed on any more.


What can I say? ! Join me this week at 11. 35pm on BBC One. I'm back


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