21/05/2013 Daily Politics


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Politics. David Cameron nurses his wounds after the rebellion last


night by over 100 Conservative MPs against gay marriage. The proposals


passed with the help of Labour, but many backbenchers are unhappy. Alex


Salmond posts a report which he says shows Britain -- Scotland would be


better off as an independent nation.


Hot sauce entrepreneur Levi Roots joins us to discuss the government


scheme to help the unemployed start own businesses.


And could the coalition talks of 2010 ever have resulted in a Lib-Lab


pact? We will bring together two keep


layers from those five days in May. -- two key players. With us for the


whole programme is the former Labour Transport Secretary and Education


Minister Andrew Adonis. Let's start with a Scottish


government report published this morning which makes the economic


case for independence. Speaking in the last hour, Scotland's First


Minister Alex Salmond said the UK Government had held Scotland back


for decades. Economic policy at the present moment is largely determined


at Westminster. Westminster refused to invest Scotland's resources for


future generations, Westminster has cut capital investment in a


recession. The one thing you must not do is cut back on investment in


the future in a recession. Westminster has allowed too much of


economic activity of the United Kingdom to be concentrated in the of


England. We can't afford to make these mistakes in Scotland, nor can


we afford to have mismanagement by governments we have never re-elected


setting the economic temperature and calls for Scotland. Laura Bicker is


at the event in a bus factory in Falkirk.


Is there anything new we are hearing from the SNP and Alex Salmond? We


have heard those arguments rehearsed many, many times by Alex Salmond.


Are there new figures or new analysis? There is no new figures or


analysis, but I think he is trying to ram home a message. I think the


first thing to note is the venue that he chose to make his speech.


This is a bus manufacturing depot right in the heart of Scotland in


Falkirk, it employs 900 people and ships buses right across the world,


low carbon buses using special technology to Malaysia, Hong Kong,


Australia. This is the kind of manufacturing plants that Alex


Salmond says would do better if decisions were made in Hollywood


rather than Westminster. The key messages he is trying to get across


that, first of all, people should not fear independence. We have had


successive UK ministers coming to Scotland to put across this message


that there is a risk associated with independence, financial risk. Most


recently, George Osborne talked about the currency. Scotland would


like to keep the pound if they became independent, the Chancellor


said it would perhaps not become possible and it might put the rest


of the UK at risk. Alex Salmond is saying that the real risk is if


Scotland stays with Westminster. You have heard many of the points he


made earlier. The second clear point he is trying to get across is that


Scotland is a diverse economy with more to it than just oil and gas. We


know it generates about �25 billion to the Scotland GDP. But he is


trying to say that there is far more than that, there is a �14 billion


turnover in the last year in manufacturing, �12 billion for food


and drink. He says Scotland could do better in these industries if


decisions were made here. There is very little detail in the paper, he


cited two things in it, our passenger duty, which he said would


be lower in an independent Scotland to allow freedom of movement and


businesses to trade. He said it would be good to get a good child


care policy in place so that young mums could get back to work. These


are the kind of things he said an independent Scotland could do, but


there is very little detail so far. He has until September 2014 to put


that in place. Thank you, Laura. One of the things that will boost the


SNP campaign is discontinuing thread that Scotland is not a priority for


Westminster, it never has been, and in an ongoing difficult economic


time, we are suffering in Scotland. Scotland has done extremely well out


of the union and its per capita public spending is higher than in


England. I think this will concentrate the minds of the Scots.


To my mind, the defining moment is what Alex Salmond has said about the


currency. He is saying that he wants to stay with sterling. The SNP has


toyed around with the idea of Scotland in Europe, possibly the


euro. If he was saying that Scotland was going to leave Stirling and join


the euro... He has dropped that.A large part of his economic policy


will continue to be driven by London. The Bank of England will


determine his interest rates and his economic policy will be determined


by what goes on in London. The Scots need to address that if they are


going to stay in a currency union with England, isn't it better to


have some real say in how the currency union is run? That is


precisely the reason why I think the Scots will follow Alistair Darling


and do the sensible thing, not the insane thing of keeping in a


currency union with England and having no control. There will be


months of debate, exactly on the issue of the currency union. Andrew


Adonis is described as a rail enthusiast, but we suspect he might


be more than that. As Transport Secretary he personally


championed the new High Speed two rail line and inspected the nation's


railway. So we wish to see how big a Trainspotting he really is. Here are


four famous engines, and at the end of the programme, if you have time,


we will see whether you can name them all.


Are we a nation of entrepreneurs? This morning, the Department for


work and pensions has been promoting plans to help unemployed people


start up their own businesses. The new enterprise allowance was


launched two years ago to encourage people to consider self-employment.


Participants get action is to a volunteer businessmen tour providing


guidance and support as they develop their business plan. Once they


participant has had their plan approved and start training, they


can access financial support consisting of an allowance worth


�1274 over 26 weeks, and the facility to access a loan of up to


�1000 to help with start-up costs. The scheme aims to create 40,000 new


businesses by 2015. By November 20 15,210 loans had been taken out


across England. This morning, the government has been promoting its


latest recruit, the entrepreneur and hot sauce salesman Levi Roots. He is


an ambassador for entrepreneurship, and he has already been put to work.


Have you ever thought about being your own boss? Using your skills to


do a job your way? You are not alone. The thing that puts most


people off becoming self-employed is the thought of doing it by


themselves. The job centre plus new enterprise allowance can provide the


support you need to get started in business, to do the job you want,


your way. You can use your skills and experience to do something you


really enjoy. Levi Roots has joined us, as has the Pensions Minister,


Mark Hoban. How important our schemes like this? Would it have


helped you? Absolutely, I started out like this. I met my first mental


in 2006 -- I met my first mentor. I said that I thought I had a source


which could outsell Heinz Camacho catsup, and he showed me the door!


-- Heinz tomato ketchup. Here is a mental, somebody in June to you I


am. That's here is a mentor. have to be able to get off the


ground. It is about personality, and you have a big personality, it is a


winning formula. What sort of businesses will you be mentoring?


am working with the young boy from south London, which resonates with


me. He has a great skateboarding business, fantastic passion and a


great opportunity, but he lacks the advice from somebody like me, a


mentor or a role model he can be in June with. What sort of advice are


you giving? Just seeing somebody a bit like himself, perhaps from a


similar area with a similar background, or are you giving hard,


gritty business advice? Hard-core advice, and making the crucial calls


that he perhaps will not make. I would have the experience that was


instilled into me, I now want to pass it onto a young entrepreneur.


You think he will succeed? I think so, I believe he has the tools the


passion. The money helps, but having somebody around who can help showing


you how to use the money is the crucial thing. You will get that


involved? That will make a big difference? But coming onto the


money, you had an investment of �50,000, a sizeable investment from


two Dragons. The amounts here, �65 a week, it sounds poultry. That the


initial money you need to start the business, because before I got to


dragons den, I needed the initial help, I did not go there as a first


step, my business was ready for the next step. And this gives you that


first step. How do you judge who gets the money? Bee people come into


the job centre, they have a new idea from day one. We have a network


dividing advice from people like Dean who we saw this morning, or


Natasha, who was setting up a counselling business. The mentor's


will work with somebody, they will look at their business plan, they


will look at whether or not it will be successful, if they give the


planned a green light, the people get the money and they will be paid


a weekly sum over 26 weeks, six months, to help them get off the


ground. There are some really good quality people giving advice, people


like Levi and others with experience of business, helping young


entrepreneurs setting up a business to look after themselves and their


families. You will rely on people like Levi to root out the dead-end


ideas which will just not make it to money? The mentors that we have in


place are good at defining the opportunities. �65 a week for the


first 13 weeks, �33 a week for a further 13 weeks, do you really


think that is enough? It helps people when they are starting to


earn a living. They are getting their benefits, once they... If they


are going to have their business plan approved, the benefit has two


stop and they have to start trading. In the absence of the scheme they


would get nothing. They would get their benefit. If they are not


looking for work, they do not get benefits. We are giving them


financial support which they would not otherwise get to tide them over


the first period of trading, to give them the confidence of money coming


in, so they take that idea, grow it and develop it. It is real support,


people want to get off the ground. There are fantastic stories from


around the country, people who have taken advantage of this. In Grimsby,


a chap recognise that if you go to hospital you might not have pyjamas,


so he set up a kiosk selling pyjamas in the hospital. It only has


provided a job for him, he has taken an apprentice. Somebody unemployed


in Glasgow who had worked in the care sector provided a tucking in


service for elderly people, she is now employing nine people who were


previously unemployed. We need people like Levi acting as mentors,


role models. But we have a problem of exploding and employment, and the


idea that this will be a big solution, I don't think is correct.


But for those who have set of these companies it will be life changing,


and having mentors like Levi is the right way. Is it right way for tax


payers money to be spent? Just over 15,000 loans. That is not a bad


amount... We rely on people like Levi to show that it will go one


good propositions. But we need really good role models. How many


mentors have you got? Over 15,000 businesses have started, we have


provided advice to 30,000 people interested in getting a business


going. The people I have spoken to today are helping to support


businesses in South London, and they say 75% of the ones they have worked


with have survived a year, a good track record given how precarious


small businesses can be. It is one of a range of ways in which we have


to help people get back into work and look after themselves and their


families. How hard is it for businesses to start about the


moment? Very difficult. We look at this thing about self-employment, it


is a lonely world out there. Part of the reason and part of the message I


am hoping is to tell people that they are not alone. There is


fantastic help, people are azure crew willing to stay the course with


you. It is not just the money. The money is small, but the advice and


the mentorship is perhaps the best thing. How often are you meeting


with some of the business people you are mentoring? Once a week, do they


phone you and say, Levi, come over? It is going really badly and I need


your help? It is an open book. They can have my e-mail address. We will


converse. It is about hands-on help. A bit like a Peter Jones made the


crucial call for me. I am hoping I will be able to make a call for some


of these entrepreneurs. There is an old saying in Parliament that it is


the opposition who are in front of you and the enemies behind you. Last


night the Government pushed throughs its Same-Sex Marriage Bill with the


support of Labour and in the face of opposition from many on its own


side. Here a flavour of the debate. -- here is a flavour of the debate.


This Bill has a single important and straightforward purpose to extend


marriage to same-sex couples. And I'm delighted that the major


political parties on the front benches are unanimous in the view


that this is ants essential objective and I'm grateful for their


unwavering support. It has been reassuring to see the other parties


sharing my determination to ensure that nothing derailed or delays this


very important piece of legislation. If you are a same-sex couple you


have no justice at all. It is not about fairness, there is no justice,


you cannot be married. And it seems to me to be grossly unfair to


continue to perpetuate an injustice particularly the proposal in this


amendment is accepted tonight. a free vote. We are in danger of


being party to a stitch-up, a last minute stitch-up between front


benches, but this is a free vote, not on a conscience issue, but on


equality. Whether they are whipped to support the Bill or will defy the


whip to oppose it. There are people in this House who are supporting


this amendment for the opposite reason. I do not include my


honourable friend in that. There are people who are breathing the word


equality for the first time. It sticks frankly in the claw of us to


be lectured about equality by a group of people who have been


opposing this Bill and opposing equality and opposing every measure


that has come forward to promote equality in the first place


including civil partnerships. I fear that the playing field is not


being levelled. I believe that the pendulum is swinging so far the


other way and there are plenty in the aggress aggressive homosexual


community who see this as a stepping stone to something even further.


Well, that was the debate yesterday. Let's get the latest from Carole


Walker. Hugely divisive for the Conservatives, but where are we now


with the Bill? Well, the debate will continue in the Commons this


afternoon, Jo, and there are more amendments down and there will be a


further vote in principle on what is called the third reading, another


important milestone in the Bill this evening. The expectation is that it


will get through the Commons with a similar figures to the votes that we


have seen in the past. More than 100 Conservative MPs perhaps voting


against it, but with the support of Labour and the Liberal Democrats,


the Government will get through this milestone. It does go on to the


House of Lords where it could face quite a difficult ride. But clearly,


I think, the Prime Minister thinks that this is an important issue. He


will press on with this, but the legacy that it will leave, in terms


of the difficulties within its own party, I think, it is something that


is going to be difficult for him to overcome. He sent this e-mail out


today. It is something when a Prime Minister has to send an e-mail to


his party members saying, " I really wasn't sneering at you." Many MPs


and activists will be looking him to say, " Well, if you really care


about our feelings then you have got to show that in what you do and say


in the coming months." highlighted the disconnect between


David Cameron and his party and we have yet to see if the relationship


can be fixed. How much does David Cameron have to fear from his


backbenchers. Some of whom feel he hasn't been leading the party on the


key issues of Europe and gay marriage? There is a sense of


frustration that every time David Cameron does something which is aP


mrauded amongst his own -- applauded amongst his MPs that is not followed


up with action. We had as one MP put it, four months of inactivity after


that speech during which time UKIP then made great strides and did very


well in the local elections. I think David Cameron now does face a series


of tests and the first one will be the Government's handling of that


Private Members' Bill on a European referendum. I think MPs will be


looking to see if the part of the Government does do all it can to


make sure that that gets some passage through Parliament. As one


senior figure in the party said to me, he has got to start governing as


though he is in a coalition with the Conservatives rather thatten thatten


than looking at his Lib Dem coalition partners. MPs and


activists would like to see him standing up to the Lib Dems more and


pushing some core Conservative issues.


Carole Walker, thank you very much. Are David Cameron was chosen as


Conservative leader because in a way he was different to many grass-roots


Tories, young, moderniser, a little bit like Tony Blair. So who is it


that's out-of-touch in this argument within the Conservative Party? Is it


grass-roots Tories or David Cameron? I think David Cameron is in touch


with middle opinion which is in favour of gay marriage and I am glad


all three parties united to support it. And Carole mentioned it going to


the House of Lords. I suspect it would have a majority in the House


of Lords. The thing I find disappointing what is going to


happen in the House of Lords is the position of the Church of England.


The bishops headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury are opposing gay


marriage and opposing the right of vicars who want to conduct gay


marriages to allow their churches to be used for that purpose. In two or


three years time that will look like a serious mistake and a back ward


looking position on the part of the Church of England.


But you think it will pass? I think so with a big majority.


When you talk about the Church of England. The views chime with many


of not just Conservative voters in the country who feel strongly on


this issue? Opinion is moving. And the polls I see show a majority in


favour of gay marriage and it is a basic issue of equality and with


each passing month. Those who are prepared to argue on principle


against equality are finding it harder and harder to do so. What was


telling about the debate yesterday was Nick Herbert's speech. The


argument for equality is to allow gay marriage.


Tomorrow hundreds of solicitors and barristers from all over England and


Wales are planning to demo in Westminster against the Government's


plans to cut criminal Legal Aid. The Ministry of Justice is consulting on


plans that will save �220 million. BBC West Midlands reporter,


Elizabeth Glinka has been to Birmingham University's law school


to cross-examine witnesses. The key point to look at... What


price justice? Legal Aid for criminal cases costs the taxpayer


over �1 billion a year. The Government wants that to come down


and is consulting on plans to restructure the system, cutting the


number of firms allowed to defend criminal cases from 13600 to just


400. Instead of choosing your lawyer, you will be assigned one


from a Government approved list from a firm which has agreed to work for


at least 17. 5% less than it charges at the moment. . Client choice goes


out of the window. The inhe centretive is there for the


solicitor to do a good job. When that solicitor does a good job, it


the clients come back and refer other clients to us.


So rich lawyers are less rich. Why does that matter? Well, what about


if you want your day in court like these Birmingham students? Your


lawyer would be paid the same whether they take your case to trial


or advice you to plead guilty. obvious fear is they will be putting


pressure on the clients to plead guilty so they can get on with their


next guilty plea and they don't have to waste the time doing the trial.


The consultation on the plans ends on the 4th June and the scheme could


be up and running as early as next year. Under the it changes, 36 firms


would be awarded contracts across the Midlands. There are 55 operating


in Birmingham alone. Which could mean law firms going out of business


a worrying trend for the next generation. At the end of the day,


we are in this to get a job. There is the whole want to do justice and


all the ideals and everything that comes with it, but if you can't put


food on the table what's the point? By saying that you should just be


allowed to cut people's pay, it means you are going to get less


people wanting to do it. And if there is no passion in it, you will


not get the results. Access to justice should be paramount over


cuts when people really need help. think whilst the Government is


sensible to look at cuts, to cut them as excessively as they have in


this case is just bizarre. The Government says fewer firms will


mean better value for the taxpayer. The lawyers fear the quality of


The lawyers fear the quality of The lawyers fear the quality of


The lawyers fear the quality of justice will suffer. Elizabeth


Glinka reporting and Giles Dilnot is outside Parliament with more on


this. Jo, it seems to be a suggestion


about the quality of justice and access to justice that is key here.


What's going on? Well, Elizabeth Davis is the chair of the Legal


Services Consumer Panel. The Government says that within its


search for money and this is what it is, it is a search for savings, you


will still get access to a descent lawyer and you will still get access


when you need it to justice. What's wrong with that? Our main concern is


you might get it, but you will have absence of consumer choice. And what


that means in reality is, at the moment, if you have Legal Aid, you


might use a provider based on how close they are to you. Their


sPesism, the ex-- specialism, the expertise your case needs. It might


be based on an existing relationship. Under the proposals,


you will not have that choice. And under the proposals if you have real


concerns about the kwaflt of -- quality of your provider, you will


not be able to switch to another provider.


If you are paying for it, choose as much as you like? The notion that


choice as a consumer should be linked to whether you are paid or


not is something I would never support and nor do I think many


people would. And let me give you examples of other areas of


Government policy, in healthcare, in social care and in education. The


idea that choice is important is well rehearsed and well accepted.


So why not here? The problem I can see is you don't represent lawyers


and you don't represent clients and their customers, but lawyers will


say the same sort of things, this is going to provide access to justice,


but lots of people say lawyers would say that, wouldn't they because they


are the greatest recipient of the pie? There is a public perception of


fat cat lawyers. Le, they don't do too badly. When it


comes to the pay, the fee structures, I will leave that to the


representative bodies to argue that one for you. My big concern around


this is access to justice, access to quality, and choice that means you


can choose the provider that's best for you. When you have saving money


as the key driver to any change, if all of the things that they fear are


going to happen, don't happen, do you accept they are at least a risk


of what could happen? Well, the reality is that those who are most


vulnerable, so people who have been victims of violence, of domestic


abuse, will be in receipt of Legal Aid. The big question, I think you


touched upon it a minute ago, is in our country, in England and Wales,


we spent �39 her head on Legal Aid. In France and other countries, it is


5 or �6 per head. We are right to introduce rigour into the system and


make sure money is well spent. You heard it is the perception that you


have got fat cat lawyers. There are lawyers, a lawyer earned over �1


million in Legal Aid fees. They are exceptions to the rule? But they are


spending time on spending Legal Aid money on immigration appeals and


plan ning appeals. That can't be right when we are borrow borrowing


426 approximately bds a day. -- �426 billion a day.


I see you sneering? It is a challenge for all areas of public


service. Let's not pre-empt the outcome. Come 4th June, I would be


surprised if you have a lot of responses pushing for the status


quo, saying that Legal Aid is different to any other public


service that they shouldn't face our fair share of economic cuts.


That's good news. Never and not at the expense of quality.


Absolutely right. The most important thing is better focus. The money


going to those in most need. When times are tough, at times of


austerity, what you do is you try and focus every taxpayer pound on


those most in need. Can we see that greater transparency


then? Let's see a competitive tend tendering process that has quality


at the heart of it, not price. Let's see the quality monitoring processes


you set in choice. How will we judge the performances of these firms?


Snool I am all for transparency, the more information that we put out for


people to scrutinise, we will introduce more rigour into the


system. What I have a problem is very wealthy prisoners using Legal


Aid to change what prison they are in. That's wrong. Let's have you


back when we have had a look at whether there is transparency in the


system. You nearly put me out of the job there and a good thing too. I


suspect we will be out here Jo discussing this.


STUDIO: You were pushed out of that conversation, weren't you, Giles?


The days that followed the 2010 general election saw negotiations


between the three main parties as they fought for the right to govern


Britain. The talks resulted in the Lib Dem/Tory coalition we have


today. Was that a foregone con cushion. -- conclusion, a


documentary made by Nick Robinson, David Thompson has been looking at


how the drama played out and how it might have turned out differently.


Five Days That Changed Britain, we know the ending. A Conservative-Lib


Dem coalition. How might it have been and what happens next?


It started with one man's refusal to admit defeat.


Gordon and the people around Gordon were determined so far as we could


to stay in power. We saw this as a straight and important competition


for power between us and the Conservatives.


That meant being anal to do a deal with the man who came third, not


first at the general election. The thing is at times, Labour were so


close. It was ex-cruisenating. If the electorate moved 1% differently


than it had, almost all of those problems would have been self


resolving. After the result then I talked to Gordon Brown on three or


perhaps four occasions over the critical weekend. The message I


wanted to get to him was for me, and a lot of Liberal Democrats, the more


natural position was to see whether or not an arrangement could be made


with Labour. The conversation that really


mattered for Labour was the one with the current Lib Dem leader and that


was the problem. I don't think Nick found him im impossible --


impossible and I think he found him a bit Gordon I shall!


Then there was the lack of a plan. No, we didn't have a document of


paper, a renegotiating position. I mean, we were sort of flying blind


in that sense. Which gave the advantage to David


Cameron. But Gordon Brown had one more dramatic shot in his locker.


The reason that we have a hung parliament is that no single party


and no single leader was able to win the full support of the country. As


the leader of my party I must accept that that is a judgement on me. I


therefore, intend to ask the Labour Party to set in train the processes


needed for its own leadership election.


It all changed in the last hour. is a bid by Gordon Brown to keep


Labour in power. On the Monday evening, I believed there was all to


play for and there was a good prospect of a Labour-Lib Dem


coalition being negotiated. But it turned out like this. Is it


really the end of the story or the beginning of a saga? I think the


possibility exists for coalition politics to be a feature of British


democracy for sometime and therefore p we in the Labour Party have got to


be thinking alliance, coalition, partnership because that maybe the


only way in which we get back into power or it maybe the next way we


Peter Mandelson ending that report. David Thompson reporting with a


little help from Nick Robinson. Our guest of the day Andrew Adonis has


just published a book. You say you felt it was close on


that Monday evening. Was it really, realistic a Lib-Lab coalition?


will never know. There was a possibility. The key thing, it is


clear to me, is that Nick Clegg had decided he wanted to go in with the


Conservatives. That was an an honourable position. He thought they


won the election and for him to try and swim against the tide was too


big a thing to do. He is quite sympathetic to the Conservatives and


was prepared to sign up up -- sign up to their economic strategy.


My party didn't prepare properly for a hung parliament. You have got to


terms in terms of people and ne terms of understanding the


manifestoes of the other parties. I hope Labour win the next election


outright. There is no excuse for the parties not to be properly prepared.


Was Nick Clegg only going to go into coalition with the Conservatives?


That's not right. The second half of Andrew's analysis I agree with.


Parties should prepare beforehand and that's something the Liberal


Democrats had done. Nick appointed the team to do work befores hand.


Some of us faced Andrew with ideas of what needed to needed to happen


and it was fascinating to discover that a party that been running the


country had no plan for the next step forward and that derailed the


negotiations that we had with Labour.


Nothing to do with the nature of Nick Clegg with David Cameron? There


is now a feeling that the two of them were better matched than any


match between Nick Clegg and somebody who is going to replace


Gordon Brown? Well, a match with anybody with Gordon Brown would have


been an interesting challenge, but leaving that particular point aside,


as Menzies Campbell said if you looked at our manifesto beforehand


and the Conservative manifesto and the Liberal Democrats manifesto.


When we met the Labour Party negotiating team, Andrew was there,


they could not give a commitment to support their policy on voting


reform which by the way was something of a dilution of what we


wanted to see. That lack of preparation really undermined any


successful discussion with Labour. You brought it on yourselves? You


talked yourselves out of a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, not just


for the reasons you say, but probably because there was a sense


of we can't do business with these people. People like John Reid and


Andy Burnham were saying it would be a disaster? I think we could have


done a deal. On the issue of voting reform, we were content to hold a


referendum which is the position that... But you had nothing to talk


to them about? We said that in the discussions. I don't accept it was a


negotiating failure. Nick decided he wanted to go in with the


Conservatives. Having said which though, it is important you make the


strongest possible play that you can in a hung parliament situation.


you didn't? He we could have made a stronger play and if we are in the


situation again, we should do so. It is interesting. You can argue


about whether Nick Clegg decided to go in with the Conservatives. In


terms of the negotiating team. It took place over a period of days.


Paddy Ashdown and Menzies Campbell had links with Labour? There were


strong links. But Gordon and Nick didn't have strong personal


relations. It is important the Prince pals they have -- principals,


that they have strong relations smtz Gordon Brown said he was going to


If Alan Johnson had been there, the promise of him as leader. Would it


have been different? Could it have been different for Nick Clegg?


don't accept the point that Nick was Tory facing. Nick said beforehand


that we would if necessary enter negotiations with the party which


had the largest numbering of seats. That was -- number of seats, that


was the Conservatives. It could have been the Labour Party as Paddy


Ashdown pointed out on that clip. It wasn't a predetermined decision to


go with the Conservatives. There was a P plan to say we would discuss


with the party which had the largest number of seats and that will be the


position that I'm sure we will be adopting if that arises at the next


election. Should Nick Clegg have got himself a


department? Do you think, having gone into Government and decided


that he was Deputy Prime Minister, should he have got a department?


Would that have given the Liberal Democrats more influence? The role


Nick has is an oversight of a wide range of department departmental


initiatives in he every department. -- in every department. I have seen


Andrew's comments on this. Maybe if one looks at Continental examples,


you find Deputy Prime Ministers occupying major ministerial posts.


If you want to have a strategic view of what a Government is achieving,


you can't do that from one individual ministerial post and


clearly, that was a decision that was taken by Nick. I have to say


that the negotiating team at no point was discussing those matters,


we were looking at the policies, not the personalities that should be


leading P. That was as mistake. Nick marooned himself in the Cabinet


Office. It is a clearing house. It is not an office of state.


Continental governments, the second party has a significant office. In


Germany, the green leader is the Foreign Minister. In Sweden, it has


been Finance Minister. Having a significant departmental power base


dm a Government is very important to having influence across the


Government. Gordon Brown wanted a deal with the


Liberal Democrats before the last election or it was talked about. Do


you think there should be now proper talks with the Liberal Democrats xw


that he deal before 2015? I think it would be premature to talk about


that. I thought we were just talking about a lack of preparatory is in


the event of hung parliament. don't think we should be in the


business of formerly negotiating, I think preparing means developing


strong relationships between the parties, and a strong mutual


understanding. You have to understand the Lib Dems to


understand why people like Andrew are so mad keen on constitutional


reform. My lot found it hard to understand. Unless you understand


that the first, second, third and fourth concern the Lib Dems always


have this House of Lords reform, you can never really get under their


skin. Peter Mandelson said he didn't even know who you were before the


negotiations were starting. I think I wear that badge with pride!


Preparation is about, firstly, knowing what you want. If ever there


was a team of people in the room who did not know what they want, it was


the Labour team we met, with Ed Balls Parling one-way, Andrew


valiantly pulling in another and Peter Mandelson holding the reins


with some difficulty. We had in the preparatory work, we knew what the


priorities were for Britain, we discuss the pupil premium and issues


about budget and finances, we discussed with Labour all of those


things, and their answer was nothing. We will cancel runway three


at Heathrow. That is not a negotiating position. I said that I


think they could have done the deal. The basic dynamics of that was


moving in on David Cameron. You said that the Liberal Democrat


negotiators only started talks with Labour to get an AV wrap around. As


the person mad about constitutional reform, was that the nub of it?


discussions with Labour, we were ready to have a full range of policy


discussions which we had with the Conservatives. Looking at the


coalition agreement, it is very wide-ranging in a whole scope of


government departments and policies, many of which are in place now and


more of which will follow, things like reform of the state pension


system and someone which are fundamentally radical and, I would


say, left of centre reforms, which were long overdue. We could not get


any engagement with Labour on that. The fundamental decision which Nick


Clegg took was to support the Osbourne plan, to go for further and


faster cuts than Alistair Darling proposed. I would say to throw over


the Lib Dems' own manifesto. Once they had taken up, I think the die


was cast. Do you think what has happened in this coalition


government will put the public off in the future? I don't think it will


be determined in that way. I think the public will be voting for the


party on the policies they favour, we will have to deal with the


consequences. Has this government and coalition a bad name? Thank you


very much. According to our next guest, the


American War on drugs has cost $1 trillion, resulted in 45 million


arrests yet has achieved nothing. This filmmaker argues that


politicians are afraid to do anything but be tough on drug users


and drug dealers. His film, The House I Live In, aims to argue for


the decriminalisation of drugs. Carpenter's perspective on the


severity of drug laws caught me off guard. A long time ago, we may drugs


into this huge thing and we have made it so illegal and we made it


such a national issue with that tough on crime stance. You can't get


elected if you don't profess to be tough on crime. We have to join


together to ensure that drug dealers are punished swiftly, Shirley and


severely. You can't stay elected if you don't do things to be tough on


crime. Build new prisons base for 24,000 inmates. Nobody wants to be


the first person to say, we can't afford what we are doing, let's do


something different. If you made any noise about being soft on crime in


any way, you would be out of a job. Three strikes and you are out.


Eugene joins us now. Wide EU say it has not worked, in broad terms, the


war on drugs? We have been at this for 40 years, we have spent $1


trillion, we have 2.3 million people in jail and we have an unmitigated


rate of addiction. Drugs are cheaper, purer and more in use, more


widely available, so I don't see how it is meant to have succeeded.


is your benchmark for success? we concerned about the ravaging


impact on human life, families and communities of drug addiction? We


would like healthier families, individuals and communities, safer


neighbourhoods, it has made American communities less safe. When you over


apply the police to nonviolent dissent -- offenders, cops are


racking up petty drug arrests all night and there is an closer


violence in America. Communities are made less safe. We have not made


communities safer, nor individual safer, we have just enriched those


who profit from incarceration. a very difficult issue for


politicians, very few governments have tried it on any big scale


because it would not be palatable with the population, despite the


litany of woes that have been associated with the war on drugs.


You are kind to call it decriminalisation, we commonly here


it is legalisation. That scares everyday people, they would think


that overnight there would be a drug dealer in every corner and we would


declare open season on substances, with devastating impact. I am not an


advocate of legalisation, but I'm an advocate of following the example of


Portugal, for example. Portugal decriminalised the position of all


-- the possession of all drugs across the board, up to a certain


point. Beyond that point, somebody is assumed to be a dealer. At every


other level, that criminalisation had striking results. Drug use, HIV


and violence associated with drugs, these figures all went down. And


there was enormous savings in the criminal justice system in Portugal


with which they developed a robust treatment centre. You have thought


about policies that are difficult to make work, for governments to put in


place. Could something like that ever work here? I don't recognise


that position. We don't have a problem with exploding crime and


violence. Crime rates are coming down, violent crime rates much more


rapidly than overall crime rates. Drug-related crime, in terms of the


impact on the court, is coming down. There are big negative effects,


potentially, whether you quality criminalisation or legalisation, on


individual lives and the lives of communities. It can wreck lives. --


whether you call it decriminalisation or legalisation.


In 2013, this situation is improving in this country, it is not getting


worse. Perhaps that is not the case in some parts of the world.


reality is that this was always a public health matter, it was a


complete departure from common sense to treat it as a criminal matter. If


somebody came to you and told you they were addicted, as so many


people in this world are, the first thing you would do was not to call


the police, you would say to them, you need counselling, you need to


get in a programme, somebody to intervene, many tough love kind of


things. In America we just did tough on crime, because it sold tickets


and was good for politicians. The failure is so monumental that even


people from the far right all the way to the far left are finding a


common voice. Washington disagrees about everything except for the drug


war. Many people are against the drug war. Leading Republicans don't


want to see a bloated federal programme that does no good, there


is certainly a common cause with people who think it is inhumane to


treat the nonviolent as though they were violent. We need to do more on


rehabilitation, and I am always struck by the big problem about drug


use in prisons. Of course, when they get out, unless they are on the


straight and narrow, you are just recycling them back into prison


again, and drugs are a big part of that. The amount -- the more that we


can do to help people out of addiction and so on... American


politicians will share that view, Isn't it criminal when you have drug


cartels? It is a massive business? Isn't the problem the shipping of


the stuff in America stickily of the drugs being there in the first


place? Naes a consequence of the criminalisation of the drug. When


you criminalise a drug, it creates the market. We did prohibition. It


was a disaster. So then about five decades later somebody said, " Why


don't we try that again?" We have gone into the prohibition of drugs.


Alcohol is a far more destructive substance to public safety than any


of the drugs. We say some drugs are legal and other drugs are not.


social acceptability is quite a big point. When you are dealing with


substances which the overwhelming majority were enjoying, you have big


problems if you start decriminalising them. In the last


few days, there have been plenty of reports of Conservative voters


jumping ship to join UKIP. Conservative local councillors have


switched parties and there are murmuring is that some Tory MPs


might be tempted to change sides. But political defections are


certainly not a new thing. Winston Churchill, elected as a Conservative


MP in 1900, defected to the Liberal party in 1904. By 1924 and a switch


or two later, he was back in the fold as a conservative. 1981 was


notable for the biggest UK political defection, Labour lost 28 MPs to a


new party when the gang of four founded the SDP. More recent


Parliamentary wardrobe swaps include Shaun Woodward, who left the


Conservatives to join Labour in 1999, Paul Marsden went from red to


yellow in 2001, and Bob Spink went from conservative to UKIP in 2008.


We have been joined by the Conservative MP said Judge Karim,


who used to be a Liberal Democrat, and by a councillor who has switched


to UKIP from the Conservatives. And Lord Adonis was originally a member


of the SDP, then the Liberal Democrats, before defecting to


Labour. Just the Conservatives to go! Suzanne, you are the most recent


defector, how long have you been in UKIP? A couple of days, it is that


new. Have you been warmly received? Allah guess, I said, hello, I think


I am the new leader of UKIP in Merton. What made you decide to


become a cloud or a fruitcake? felt let down by the Conservative


Party. There were various issues locally where I felt the party


should have intervened. I also felt that my residents were not being


represented properly. When you find yourself on the streets delivering


literature that you think is wishy-washy, Labour light, not


getting the message across, and you stand on the doorstep and somebody


says, I've always voted conservative and never will again because of


this, this amp is, you have to find yourself buttoning your lip when you


are thinking, I kind of agree. Surely it is time to examine your


conscience and think where you want to go. How big a threat is UKIP to


your old party? 22% in the polls yesterday. In terms of my local area


in Merton, I think UKIP has more chance of taking seats than the


Labour stronghold. We will keep away from local politics. Sajid, you


followed Winston Churchill, are you now in the right party? I started


out very early, I was seven years old when I was active in the


Conservative Party, I left them at 19 and I came back some years later.


When somebody is on a political journey, it is important that our


political system is quite accommodating, especially if we want


younger people to get involved in politics. We have to allow them to


develop their thought processes and move within accordance of that.


it difficult psychologically to move between parties? It is a very tough


decision. Even at the age of 19 when I decided I was going to leave the


Conservative Party at that stage, it was a tremendously difficult


decision. Then when I made a decision to rejoin once again, it is


a tough call. Most of your political movements over the years, you


develop very strong personal links with people within political


parties. It is important that as you develop you are able to move in


accordance with those developments. Are you hated by the party you left


behind and viewed in suspicion by your new home, or those in your new


home? I was incredibly lucky because I had many, many friends in the


Conservative Party from my younger days who were extremely welcoming of


the fact that I was coming back into the fold, so to speak. And I still


have friends in the Liberal Democrats and, indeed, in the Labour


Party as well. So as a pragmatic politician I think it is important


that you have friends in a wide base and call on those when there is


political advantage in terms of pushing the agenda you want to push.


Andrew Adonis, people are always those bitches when you join a party,


you were liked very much by the Blairites and Tony Blair, but there


will always those in Labour who viewed you with suspicion? I changed


when I was 30, when Tony Blair became the Labour leader. I took the


view that if you are modernising social Democrats, a modernising


social Democrat had just become the leader of the Labour Party. I did


not change a single view I had. Defections are there most potion --


potent when people say that the abuse they hold are better


represented by the new party than the last. -- when people say that of


the views they hold are better represented by the new party than


the last. Many people defecting to UKIP say that their views are at


upheld by UKIP. Just time to find out the answer to


the quiz. Andrew has forgotten! We wanted to test what a rail


enthusiasts years. Can you identify these four famous engines? InterCity


125, Thomas the Tank Engine, the Rocket, and is that just a Mullard?


You are just too good, it is not from Thomas the Tank Engine, but it


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