17/06/2013 Daily Politics


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Politics. On a day when the world's leaders have come to Northern


Ireland, it is the start of the G8 conference in Lough Erne and it has


started with a little political stardust. But warm words aside, the


conference agenda will be tough, with the leaders far from agreed on


what to do about the civil war in Syria. We'll have all the latest.


Plus, Labour sets out its plans for schools, extending some of the


freedoms enjoyed by academies to all. But do plans to sack


unqualified teachers fall foul of employment law? And former minister


Hazel Blears tells us its time to start paying our interns. All that


in the next hour, and our special guest today is the investor and


entrepreneur Julie Meyer of Ariadne Capital. Let's start with the


Co-op's troubled banking division. The news today is that there's been


a deal with the regulators to try and plug a 1.5 billion pound


shortfall in its balance sheet. Is it a good deal, Julie? It is


interesting how they got to where they are and how they will get out,


two separate issues. My perspective would be looking at the rise of new


lenders, like Soper. What happens to the Co-op bank I think has less of


an impact on overall the economy and the financing of small businesses


than some of the new funders. that because we are still living in


an age where banks like the Co-op are still teetering on the edge?


People will find it difficult to hear the news that the Co-op needed


that amount of money? The banks would probably argue that they are


being given mixed messages about whether they should prepare their


balances or keep lending. A new banking system is emerging.


Unregulated? You have to be regulated, and so do the crowd


lenders, so they are dilated but much less so, but the interesting


thing is how much they are growing. People may think this is for the


doctors and dentists of the world, this is becoming a mass phenomenon.


Does it need to be regulated? If you look at the issue of the Co-op, it


is a big test for the regulator, will the regulator turn its


attention to the phenomenon you are talking about? Who guard the


guardians? Do we trust people to be honest? No, and there is something


to be said for new light structures, lean technology,


efficient structures and some new institutions giving broader


competition. Are we seeing green shoots in the economy? Yes, it is a


fantastic time to be an investor, but the economy feels uneven. It is


not just the high-growth start-ups, we work with corporate is trying to


find a system to create high-growth but I feel the economy is very


uneven with people embracing this massive digital transformation in


society, and some people, sometimes the heads of large culprits, who


believe they can choose the moment at which they engage. Spend their


money, you mean? Know, maybe they are sitting on a large amount of


cash, but technology advances not just because large corporate


boardrooms decide it is going to advance at a certain pace or not. It


has its own natural momentum. Now it's time for our daily quiz.


And the think tank Policy Exchange has suggested building new super


prisons and doing away with establishments like Holloway and


Wormwood Scrubs. But what does it want to do with the old buildings?


Is it to use them as army barracks? Turn them into boutique hotels?


Replace them with supermarkets? Or create inner city farms? At the end


of the show we will give you the correct answer. The 39th summit of


the G8, hosted by the UK in Lough Erne is in full swing today. The


great and the good have clamoured to a quiet corner of Northern Ireland


to thrash out the big issues of the day. Joining the Prime Minister


David Cameron for a high level pow-wow are Presidents Obama, Putin


and Hollande, Mrs Merkel, Canada's Stephen Harper, Italy's Prime


Minister Enrico Letta and Japan's Shinzo Abe. The G8 summit's agenda


has been carefully created by the Prime Minister to encompass three Ts


- tax, transparency and trade. With his main focus on setting global


rules to share tax information and cracking down on tax dodgers. But it


seems Syria will be dominating the conversation with high level


meetings expected between the UK, US and Russia. With such a packed


agenda, is it any wonder that the wives and Mr Merkel are not


attending? Mrs Obama is in town for the G8 but she's been sent to Dublin


to watch Riverdance. Well, earlier today, President Obama arrived in


Belfast for the G8 Summit, and he took some time out to talk to young


people about future hopes for Northern Ireland. Here in Northern


Ireland, this generation has known even more rapid change than many


young people have seen around the world. And while you had unique


challenges of your own, you also have unique reasons to be hopeful,


for you are the first generation in this land to inherit more than just


the hardened attitudes and the bitter prejudices of the past. You


are an inheritor of a just and hard earned peace. You now live in a


thoroughly modern Northern Ireland. Of course the recessions that have


spread through nearly every country have inflicted hardships here as


well, but day-to-day life is changing throughout the North. There


was a time people couldn't have imagined Northern Ireland hosting a


gathering of world leaders as you are today. And our chief political


correspondent Norman Smith joins us now from the G8 Summit. President


Obama talking about a transformed Northern Ireland, but of course it


is a conflict in the Middle East that will dominate the talks today,


and as it stands they couldn't be further apart, Russia, the UK and


the US? Yes, there is no disguising the yawning divide of Russia and


everyone else here. Canada's Prime Minister described the summit as the


G-7, plus one. That said, I don't think there is any sign of President


Putin giving in, he doesn't seem to change his position easily and he is


utterly convinced of his stance which means what we are going to see


from President Obama and the Prime Minister is trying to sketch out a


longer argument which is to say that if nothing is done, then the danger


is that in time President Assad will be removed and replaced by an


extreme Islamist regime which will not only be to the disadvantage of


the West but also to Russia because the last thing Russia wants in its


sphere of influence is a fundamentalist regime. The hope is


that in time that may begin to chip away at President Putin's


resistance. What might make that more difficult is America's decision


to arm the rebels in Syria. Is there an expectation now from the Obama


Administration that somehow the UK will follow suit in terms of arming


rebels? Whatever the expectation in the United States, I think the blunt


reality is there will be no arming of the rebels in the near future by


Britain and the simple reason for that is Parliament and public


opinion. If you look at the Parliamentary arithmetic, there is


no way David Cameron could win a vote. Iraq casts a very long


shadow, which is why Downing Street are trying to recalibrate this whole


argument to say it is not just about supplying arms to the rebels, this


is about a broader geopolitical struggle is similar to Afghanistan


and North Africa, about confronting Islamists who pose a fundamental


challenge to Western values. In other words it is a longer campaign


which is William Hague said this morning could go on for years. In


the near future I think there is no prospect of us offering arms which


is why David Cameron and William Hague have been stressing non-lethal


assistance. The stressing is on non-lethal assistance such as


armoured cars and night vision goggles. And the Conservative MP who


chairs the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Richard Ottaway, is here


now. Do you agree with that assessment that there is no chance


of any sort of decision being made by the Government to arm rebels in


Syria? I think it is pretty unlikely, Norman Smith's assessment


is pretty accurate. I would like to see a discussion, but actually what


is going to be proposed is critical here. If we are talking about


continuing support with non-lethal equipment perhaps, I'm sure people


will support it. The line that I think most of my colleagues in


parliament would be reluctant across is physically arming and providing


lethal equipment. Are you in favour of arming rebels with lethal weapons


or not? I want to see the proposal before I make up my mind. If there


is a sensible proposal that could bring this conflict to a closure and


get the sort of pressure on President Putin that Norman Smith


was talking about, then I think that is worthy of consideration. It would


never pass a vote, would it? We have heard from Tory backbenchers and the


Mayor of London saying that arming the rebels would be disastrous


because Britain would be pressing weapons into the hands of maniacs.


think giving a few cases of rifles to the rebels would be a mistake and


I wouldn't support it, but if their work to be a sophisticated approach


combined with a diplomatic effort, I think that effort could be supported


by some sort of pressure. Russian president was pretty angry,


I was surprised by the language he used saying Britain was in danger of


supporting rebels even with their non-lethal assistance, who killed


their enemies and eat their organs. It doesn't sound like there will be


any meeting of minds. I think it is a mistake for him to use an isolated


incident and use it as the basis of a decision that will affect millions


of people. This is a serious civil war that could affect the security


of the Western world. What about America's position here? What is


public opinion about arming Syrian rebels and getting involved in a


conflict? Let's face it, Americans, when they are told they are going to


war by their president they get behind it, but I think we need to


change the rules of the game. We are on the side of freedom and we


believe that, and that is why America and Britain get behind when


there is a call to go to war. One of the told stories about Libya is how


technology played a major role. Why don't we arm everyone, the good and


the bad, with the communications ability to tell their story to


world. Let them get their story out there about the ideals they are


fighting force because frankly I'm not sure the average American knows.


We need the case for what they are fighting for, the principles of that


course, and that is what is being lost and that is why nobody can


really determine whether this is good or bad because nobody really


understands what it is we could be fighting for. Isn't that the worry,


we don't know who the good guys are here. The Syrian Government not, in


the terms that have been framed by the British Government, but who are


these rebels? You are quite right to ask the question, who are the good


guys, I don't think there are any at the moment. We are seeing a conflict


between Russia, Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon on one side supporting the


regime, on the other side you've got the Qataries, the Saudis, Turkey,


supporting the rebels, and now the United States. And this is one hell


of a mess at the moment. Is Assad winning? Those were the reports


coming out now, and the reason I suggest that we are hearing more


desperate rhetoric, if you like, from people like William Hague,


saying the UK Government wants to ensure the opposition in Syria is


not exterminated before a political settlement can be reached, is that


because Assad is winning? He's certainly on top at the moment,


controlling all the major cities bar one. The rebels are in the


countryside and though they have room to manoeuvre, it's hard to say


they are not in control. What about Bosnia? That will evoke strong


emotion. Tony Blair, if you remember, he counted the then


American President, Bill Clinton, and led forces to go into, or


intervention in the form of airstrikes, into Bosnia. Are you


worried about those comparisons coming true in Syria? There's an


important distinction with Bosnia. Bosnia was an oppressed regime with


an oppressed government taking part in ethnic cleansing. Here, we have a


Civil War and we are basically taking sides. Whether or not that is


the right thing, only history will tell us.


All right. Now, the shipping forecast. There


are places that have hosted meetings of the G8 or the G7 or the G 6 when


the group was a bit smaller. Now we can add the name Lokeren to the


list. -- Lough Erne to the list. Do the summits ever make the list?


Think of it as a romantic mini break, albeit one that costs �50


million to stage, with hundreds of journalists and 8,000 police


officers there too. Much is agreed in advance. David


Cameron's already dropped in on most of his fellow leaders and,


behind-the-scenes, diplomats called Sherpas have painstakingly got


consensus. Do you recall what was agreed around


the table by the bejumpered leaders at last year's meeting in Camp


David, what was in the communique issued in the French resort of


Deauville in 201 1? And remind me what the talks were about beside the


like in Canada three years ago. Sometimes a G8 really does stick in


the memory though, like the last time Britain hosted the gathering in


2005 at Gleneagles in Scotland. Or maybe it was the celebrity studded


Make Poverty History campaign that captured the public imagination,


rather than the pledges on aid, and climate change. Many agree the real


action is now at the much larger meetings of the G20. After all, can


you really address the world's problems if you don't include the


leaders of countries like China and India? Richard Ottaway, what is the


point of the G8 if you haven't got people like China? Well, you've got


most of the key players. I agree, there are difficulties if China are


not there. There is an opportunity for politicians to engage on an


agenda they know is coming and to come up with constructive solutions.


What can you remember which was significant, the other question


posed in the film about G8s? Out of that sum my opinion, the Deauville


partnership providing aid for the countries in transitioning in the


Arab uprising. I'm pleased to say, it's back on the agenda again I


think here in Northern Ireland this year. From a business perspective,


do you think it achieves anything? Are the summits worthwhile? I'm not


convinced. We need to take it to the level which is higher. You mentioned


transparency as well. What I would love to see coming out is, at least


can we get all parties to agree a level of transparency, openness and


freedom, even if it sounds idealistic, how can anybody say


that's not a good idea, because then we can start to measure regimes or


Governments by the level of freedom, transparency, openness and then we


can start to say who's a good guy and bad guy. At a minimum, it's just


tit-for-tat without going into a gran lard level of let's be


specific, or taking it up a notch and saying, what are we trying to


achieve at a principal level. I don't pay attention to it, I admit.


If people like Julie aren't Faying attention to it and we are talking


about leaders in the would of dis-- paying attention. What is the point?


As a cynical politician, there are people out there who like failure,


who want things to fail and are fighting for failure and therein


lies the clash between pragmatism and idealism. You are talking about


people fighting for failure. Are the right countries involved? Do we want


to hear what Italy is saying at the high level summits? Well, no,


there's the G20, a bigger grouping. These are the key players running in


the major economies of the the world and they know what is going on.


they solve the big global economic problems? Let's talk about an issue


that David Cameron has been taketh talking about? The economy? Yes, a


commentary piece was in the newspaper today saying everybody


wants companies like Google to come that their economy. The bigger issue


is the contribution that we ask of people who're part of our society,


whether it's a Google, whether it's an... What sort of contribution


though? You are talking about paying their taxes? A bigger contribution.


American corporate tax is high, that's why the technology firms keep


a lot of cash you've shore and end up buying technology which is fine.


There's so much more they could do with the billions kept offshore and


I wonder whether or not we give the large US companies a very long lust


of things they could do for us. They could support our schools,


scholarship programmes, venture capital, all sorts of things. Do we


let them know what being a good corporate citizen is? Do we worship


them and let them do a bit of tax and we think they are wonderful


you think David Cameron's right? don't know, because I don't know


what is being requested, but I believe that we should expect a lot


out of people. I felt that expectation when I came to this


country. Yes. I mean hopefully we'll get a out outcome over tax,


transparency. What do you want to see as a good outcome? The overseas


territories agreeing that they'll publish all the people operating in


those countries. Yes. But will they? Asking is one thing, agreeing it and


being put into practice, do you think it will happen? Jo, what the


G8 does is focuses minds. It's a point in the calendar that says, we


are having a decision on this, and look at the pressure that's been put


on the OTs in the last week and they've fallen into the line. That


is what international diplomacy, what international efforts are all


about and that's what the G8 will achieve.


Richard, thank you. Writing ahead of the G8 conference,


French President, Francois Hollande, stressed that there can be no growth


or development that is not sustainable. And, that the G8 must


do its part to curb carbon emissions. Joining me ahead of the


key vote in the European Parliament's Environment Committee


on Wednesday on the flagship Emissions Trading Scheme is the EU


commissioner for climate action, Connie Hedagardt. Welcome to the


programme. Before that issue, G8 leaders, as we have been discussing,


are at Northern Ireland today and tomorrow discuss trade, tax and


transparency. Climate change isn't on the official agenda. Why not?


Well, you must ask the G8 President about that, but it's in the


preparatory work. President Hollande sent a very strong call that don't


forget also when you are talking about the longer term, that climate


change is one of the overarching challenges you have to deal with


also economically. It's very port. Do you think it's slipping down the


global agenda? No, I don't think so. I think that


it's simply because there are other areas coming up also that we all


understand why they are busy handling the economic issues. I


think the economic community, the leaders of the world need to


understand what the World Bank has said, the IMF has said, the OECD has


said, that dealing with climate change is not an viement issue, only


it's very much something you should do in order to prepare your economy


for the future. That should be a very clear message also to the G8.


Except that the Emissions Trading System, which is the EU flagship


environment policy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions is in


disarray. I spoke to people in Strasbourg who said this policy is


now dead, environmentalists, because the price of carbon is so low and


attempts to intervene in the market have failed. Is it dead?


It's not dead. But it needs some life support. That is the


possibility that the European Parliament airians have once again


been talking about. The Environment Committee of the Members of


Parliament two days from now. I can only encourage everybody to ups that


all kinds of alternatives to having a market-based system where you put


a price on carbon, all the other alternatives. By the way, the


automotive industry too. It's not that wow, how nice it is that it


costs nothing to pollute. The alternative is, you get a fragmented


patchwork of 27 different countries doing things. I hope the


Parliamentarians this time will get their act together, including, by


the way, also some of the British Conservatives who voted no the last


time. I hope they can now endorse the compromise that the Environment


Committee chair has put together. But realistically, it's not going to


happen. Who is going to change their minds? I mean, they sounded pretty


entrenched when you spoke to some of the Conservative mens, some of the


businesses as well who were lobbying mens who've said that the European


institution shouldn't be interfering in a market based system. Either


they don't interfere or the system goes down?


I think the listeners can imagine what would have happened if


everybody had said in the midst of the crisis, we don't interfere with


the banks because they are they are market based. There are so many


extraordinary things we have had to do because of the economic crisis


that I say that people will understand that we must also do


something when the price to pollute has come down to almost nothing.


It's an obstacle for the innovation that we need in Europe, it's an


obstacle for the energy efficiency and resource efficiency that we so


much need in Europe. And what should make them change their mind compare


toed the former vote? -- compared to the former vote? People have


realised that when we in the commission said, please get this


right or else you risk the price coming too close to 0, then I think


many have said wow, that was almost happening after the first vote in


Parliament. So they can see that now it's serious, they had to make up


their mind, do they want to keep this market based system or do they


want a patchwork and fragmented way forward and therefore I believe that


they will get it right later this week, I very much hope so and I


would very much encourage that. you are discussing the issue of the


Emissions Trading System, energy prices, fuel prices continue to go


up? What do you say to the people of Europe? That's what they are


interested in, they are not particularly interested, I suggest,


in a system that they don't have any relationship to. They want to know


if energy prices will come down? very much understand that people are


concerned about high energy praises, but if we get it right with this cap


on trading, the prices will come back to where they were last fall.


That's what we are talking about. What we need in order for each of us


to save money on our energy bill, that is more energy efficiency, that


is more new technologies. I think that most people realise that in a


world where still more people want a share in the good life, the demand


for energy, goods, commodities, will only increase, so if in Europe we


want to create more jobs and improve our competitiveness, it's a very big


advantage to become much more energy efficient, much more resource


efficient and that is what can be helped if we get it right with the


backlogging and the vote later this week.


What was your reaction then to the bid to include a target to decooer


Bonnise the UK's electricity generation by 2030 which was


narrowly defeated in Parliament because the Chancellor insisted a


decision on that target should be delayed to 2016. Was he wrong?


You know, I'm not going to interfere with your domestic UK debate...


you have set out very clearly what is necessary to bring down energy


prices, to try and reduce the polluting that's done. Was it a


mistake by this Government and the chancellor to postpone that


decarbonisation target? The Commission is very much aware


that we need now, not many years from now, we need now to send a very


strong signal to those who want to invest in this area. There's a lot


of potential investments ready out there, but they need to know where


are we heading after 2020. That's why at the European level, we are


suggesting we should define the 2030 targets. I'm very pleased the UK


Government's endorsed that, but what I say is that your internal


discussion of how many targets do you want to have, we can be a bit


patient there, waiting for you to define that. We have just opened the


discussion now from the Commission and I hope that all member states


will understand why the sooner we get the targets right, the better


from Europe and for employment in Europe.


Thank you very much. In a weeks' time, the Chancellor,


George Osborne, will announce the result of his spending review all


the great departments of state like the Home Office, health and


education and defence will find out how much they'll have to spend in


the years ahead. One report today calls for something


far more radical than we are likely to hear next week calling for many


of the departments we are talking about themselves to be merged or


abolished all together. It's been written by the MP, Dom Dominic Raab


who is with me now. It's different when you compare it


with Japan and the US. I think in this report that if we almost half


that number by merging, abolishing some to 11... Halving? That is


dramatic? ! But let's be clear. We trying to do two things. Cut out the


bureaucracy and the waste, so most of this is certainly not touching


frontline services or core programme spending, it's looking at the


administration and capital budgets and we reckon we could save �8


billion a year in doing that. That's still a huge amount which would go


down to paying down deficit faster but also cutting down taxes to give


it stimulation to the private sector. Which departments would you


departments. You don't need the bureaucracy, I think there has been


a lot of debate around the Department for the check, media and


sport. Do we need a freestanding bureaucracy around those


institutions? If you look at Dec and Defra, if you merged them you would


get more joined up policy-making. What do you feel about merging


departments? I am 2000% behind it. I spoke to someone who thought it was


such a shame, one out of eight bodies, run by very nice people who


have no sense of how much of a privilege it is to be given that


money. Was this person from one of the department's Dominic has


mentioned? It is really not... That just resonate so loudly and clearly


with my experience over the past 15 years. They are well-meaning people


but the pest people to have control of their own money are taxpayers. --


the best people. We can figure it out and so forth. The problem I see


with this idea that looks great on paper is how do you save that money?


Because all you are going to do is take freestanding bureaucracies and


put them in another department, and we will have big bulging departments


that spend the same amount of money. They might save a little bit, but


unless you cut the amount of work they do they will be spending the


same. We have been careful in the analysis and the production of this


report to make it clear we are not really aiming centrally at programme


spending. In the private sector, if you have merging acquisition you


would expect the company to save something like this, and why should


those principles not also apply in the public sector? This is another


good example because it is not about the snapshot we have now - The Home


Office was split and since that period there spending has increased


by five billion pounds a year. One of the biggest problems we have got


is deporting foreign prisoners. I think we have less joined up policy


than before. Do you remember John Prescott oversaw the mammoth


department for transport and the regions which was deemed a failure,


it was too big and overreaching, it didn't work? I haven't looked into


his tenure. You are talking about joining departments together, and


what happens is that various sections get forgotten. You might


save money but is it worth it for the loss of function? I think we


would get more efficiency. If you look at Dec and Defra, we have


decarbonisation and energy policy separated from our capability with


flood defences so not only would we save taxpayers money, but we would


drive much greater efficiency. A lot of this proliferation has happened


in the last 30 years so the idea that we couldn't do without some of


this bureaucracy is crazy. Absolutely, and I think when


everybody is tightening their belts, we should. The -- anything we where


can reduce the size of Government means the average small business


person is carrying less of a weight on their shoulders and that is how


we have to go from the macro to the microbe. I am trying to help people


to connect, to reduce the size of Government. Everybody wins, it is


not reducing functionality. think decisions would be made more


quickly as a result? The biggest fixed cost for any company has is


how am I going to pay the Government what I owe them through PAYE


national insurance. Small businesses are focused on what their pay the


Government, not about how they are going to take business to the


world. We have to reduce the cost of Government, the fixed cost of PAYE


national insurance. Each separate silo tries to prove its worth by


creating extra to prove its worth. We will reduce the regulatory


impact. Do you think it will get a good hearing? The Chancellor has


always got an open mind and I'm sure it will get looked at carefully, but


we must stretch the debate and look at it clearly. If you solve this


one, you will get an award, I'm sure. Thank you for being on the


programme. Now, it's time for a look at the week ahead. The political


press pack will be spending today and most of tomorrow camped out on


the shores of Lough Erne in Northern Ireland where the Prime Minister,


David Cameron and leaders of the world's most powerful countries are


deep in conference. After that, Mr Cameron will be hot-footing it back


across the Irish Sea to take his place for Prime Minister's Questions


on Wednesday. A little later that evening it's George Osborne's turn


in the limelight with the Mansion House speech on Wednesday evening.


It's an annual City ritual and Chancellors often use it to set out


their thinking. And, of course, he'll be occupied for the remainder


of the week, putting the final touches to his spending review,


fixing spending budgets for each Government department up to 2015


into 2016. He'll make the announcements in his speech next


week. Joining us from College Green is Michael Savage of the Times and


Elizabeth Rigby of the Financial Times. Elizabeth, how important is


the G8 in terms of being a decision-making organisation now?


is turning more into a talking shop and there is a concrete story about


Syria and how those developments will turn out and whether there can


be any process or any agreement made, but in terms of the big issues


Cameron is trying to put forward, the EU trade deal and tax issues, I


don't think anyone is coming out thinking we will have a concrete


deal. You might make sure of the EU trade deal, Syria also not that


hopeful, not many signs of action I suspect. Let's pick up one of those


things and that is the campaign I David Cameron on cracking down on


tax havens. Do you think he will get any agreement on that? He has been


pushing hard on that one and there are a lot of people in the US


worried about tax who have been praising him. The problem is he


might just get ahead of everyone else in these talks. He wants to


have a new register which would make it much easier to find out which


companies belong to whom to stop them moving tax around the world and


offsetting their tax bill. A lot of charities want this to be a very


public think, and some charities are saying even over the two days of


this G8, �1.4 billion will be moved through tax havens so it is a huge


problem. Does it bring much political capital, this campaign for


David Cameron? I think it does. Arguably Ed Miliband has been the


leader on these issues about fairness in society and there is


always this charge with Cameron that he is one of an elite and he looks


after his rich friends when it comes to tax decisions. This idea of


clamping down on tax avoidance for everyone and making a fairer society


and making work pay, I think it is quite a good line for him


politically, but as Michael said it is very difficult to get any


consensus. You can only really deal with tax on a global level and that


is it big problem. Looking ahead to the Mansion house speech, will


George Osborne dare to talk about green shoots? We have seen the


political dangers in that one before. He will certainly one to be


saying something about returning those publicly owned banks into


private hands. There has been a lot of talks about this, the problem is


how you can do it, the pace at which you can do it, because we bought


shares in RBS at about �5, they are trading at around �3, and we are


long way off making a profit and we could lose money.


Are unpaid internships an invaluable introduction to the job of you


dreams? Or a modern form of slave Labour? Young people work for free,


gratis and for nothing across the world of business and industry. But


is it fair? And should they be paid even though they're happy not to be?


Former Labour minister Hazel Blears has a view on this. This is her


office as a paid intern. Hello, I am a paid intern and I am a paid intern


doing Parliamentary correspondence. These two Rian scheme that I


initiated a couple of years ago. They get to have experience of


working in Parliament, they get paid a proper wage, and they get help


with housing costs, but many young people across the country are being


exploited by unscrupulous employers. They are essentially free labour,


and most young people across the country are excluded. On paid


internships are modern-day scandal and they are particularly rife in


the fields where young people are desperate to get a foothold, in


fashion, media, journalism, and until recently in politics as well,


and that is why I am calling on my colleagues in Parliament to make a


pledge to pay their interns. We have got to take a lead in the House of


Commons if we are going to encourage others to follow. I also want to


make the advertisements of unpaid internships unlawful. In British


law, you are worker and entitled to the national minimum wage, and it


should not be allowed to advertise unlawful jobs. We need to help young


people whose dreams have been dashed because they cannot afford to do an


on paid internships. We need to make sure unpaid internships are bound to


give people a decent start to their working lives.


Well Hazel Blears is with us and she's joined by the other two


members of today's Monday panel of MPs - Andrea Leadsom of the


Conservatives and the Liberal Democrat MP Annette Brooke. Hazel


Blears, what are the statistics? How many interns in Parliament are paid?


About 18 months ago the vast majority of interns were not paid


and in the last two years we have seen fantastic progress in politics.


That recent? Yes, now it is only a handful of MPs and I am saying today


that in order for us to ask other businesses to do the right thing, we


have got to show some leadership on this issue and say we are committed


to paying our interns. We are moving in the right direction but there are


still a handful of MPs advertising for internships up to 12 months on


paid to do diaries, research, fundraising. That handful, is that


across the political spectrum? the handful I have left, I haven't


seen many Labour wants, I have to say. Again, they are minority now


and if you look back to a few years ago it was a culture. I'm not


blaming my colleagues because everybody did it, but in future


let's make sure we do the right thing. Do you believe all interns


should be paid? Do you agree I agree with what Hazel is saying, but some


should have a weeks' work experience. That's fine. Do you have


an intern? A fully paid apprentice. Again, whilst I agree with Hazel, I


would say apprenticeships are even better. Every year, I take a sixth


form lever from a school many my constituency, they get an NVQ level


four and some real Parliamentary experience on their CV. Do you have


an intern? I do, indeed.Do you pay? I've been paying for a number of


years now in wealth. As you will have probably researched. It's been


successful. I take them on a short-term basis, but if they


haven't got a job at the end of three or four months and it makes


sense to extend for another month, I do that, so I'm flexible on that,


but try to use Parliamentary money wisely so don't have an intern for


example during the summer weeks because I wouldn't be giving them a


good experience frankly. Most MPs it seems do they pair interns. What


levels are we talking about? I was going to make the point that it's


great you have an apprentice, but the levels for them are very low. On


my scheme, I've raised nearly �500,000, paid �18,000 a year, they


get help with housing and a person development programme and I worry


because of the way rent levels are in London that if you are not paying


a decent wage, 95% of people from the rest of the UK can't possibly


even entertain the idea of working in London. What do you say to that?


You know, my apprentices come from Northamptonshire, work most time in


Northampton, they come to London a day a week and travel costs are paid


for. For them, it's completely brilliant. They tend to be an


A-level school lever, either deciding to work and see if they


want to go to university or they've decided not to go down that route.


It's a win-win. For a school lever, it gives them a years' worth of


office experience. Should it be unlawful, as Hazel Blears suggested,


to advertise unpaid internship? think that's a difficult one, isn't


it? I absolutely agree with the moral high ground because I found it


just unacceptable to carry on with the practice that was existing when


I first became an inspect. But you wouldn't go as far as what Hazel is


suggesting? I would really want to put as much pressure as possible on.


If I could just see there might be some exceptions, that's all I'm


saying. I would not go back to any form of paying just expenses, as I


have done years ago. It's much better to be paid and to make sure


it's a quality experience and that you see your person into a job.


Which leads me to finally, even though you are agreed on this issue,


unpaid interns whether they are doing a job that's not worthwhile


and may not lead to anything, doesn't seem very fair. But, having


exceptions where you could interns that are unpaid but there is the


likelihood that it might lead to a job, surely that undermines your


call for the advertising to be unlawful of unpaid internships?


don't agree at all. Four weeks' work experience fine, travel expenses


lunches whatever. After that, you are asking people to work long-term


for no pay in this country and actually if you are working set


hours and have set duties, you are a worker under the law and are


entitled to be paid. It's not just politics, it's the media and it's


rife in music. You need leadership. There are good people in the media,


good magazines and journalists. People like Deloittes and PCC, they


pay their interns and as politicians we have to show leadership. I'm


delighted we have cross party agreement. What about you? We've got


to get young people into work, we shouldn't legislate. If they are


offered a job and choose to take it, they should have that job rather


than not take it. It's a huge mistake. The kind of cultural


pressure, the fact we were talking about it now, the fact the behaviour


is changing is all great, to legislate would be to go too far.


You run the risk that the only time anyone gets work experience is to do


nothing and to sit around and make tea. Actually, young people do want


to get on to the job ladder, you should give them the chance to do


that. But they shouldn't have to work for free, not in the 21st


century. We'll leave it there. Labourisation mantra was education,


education, education. Over 15 years on from Tony Blair's famous phrase,


what is Labour's policy on education and how is it different to the


coalition's? This morning, Steven Twigg has been spelling out in a


speech Labour's plans. They want to give all schools some of the


freedoms currently enjoyed by academies and free schools. This


will mean wider discretion over the curriculum, the freedom to change


the length of the school term and school control over procurement.


This is what he said earlier. We know that giving schools more


freedom over how they teach and how they run and organise their schools


can help to raise standards. Innovation excites, it can uncover


new ideas and breathe life town the system. Innovation challenges the


historic inheritances that mean schools do things that way simply


because they always have done. So why should we deny these freedoms


to thousands of schools? All schools should have them, not just academies


and free schools. Stephen Twigg there. Hazel Blears,


Labour has finally and officially adopted the free schools policy of


the coalition? I wouldn't go as far as that. I'm delighted by what


Stephen said today, he wants all schools to be academies, not free


schools. The academy programme was started under Tony Blair and it was


about making the poor school schools up to the standards of the rest of


the schools and I think what Stephen's done today is, he's said


he wants to give all schools the freedom on the curriculum and how to


organise themselves because that's showing to give teachers that extra


incentive to go out there and do the very best they can. I'm delighted.


And in a way, you supported whole heartedly the academies programme?


Yes. I come back to the issue that Labour won't reverse free schools?


Stephen's said the existing free schools will continue to operate,


because you don't want to disrupt children's education and any in the


pipeline will be funded. Free schools came about partly because of


parents' frustration at the low standards that there were and if you


raise standards inle all schools by giving them freedom and having


academies, there 'll be very little demand for free schools. So you


think in the end that somehow the free schools will wither and die?


Probably because I genuinely feel they've come about because parents


can't get their children into a decent school so they set up their


own. Stephen's talked about parent-led academies, there's not


much difference in terms of the ethos we are trying to create.


don't think there's any difference between parent-led academies and


free schools. You talked about freedom in the curriculum, that's to


some extent what free schools and academies are doing? There is a


nuance and you are right, it's the role of the local education


authority. Stephen said the LEA should be able to intervene where


schools are struggle and failing because they have a responsibility


to the people in the community. That's right, whatever you call


yourself, a free school or academy, the LEA should be able to say we'll


help you get back on the rails. you think they should continue to


have that role? No. Perhaps one of the greatest achievements of the


coalition Government has been the academy and free schools programme.


Recently, Sir Michael Wilshere came out and said schools continue to


fail the brightest, they are not aspirational, we are in a global


race for better education and it's interesting that Stephen Twigg is


saying innovation and freedom excites professionals, so let's do


more of it. It sounds to me like a reversal sausage machine whereby


where making all schools academies, somehow we are capturing them all


back under the local council umbrella as they used to be and I


think that would be a retro grade step. I think they are doing


fantastically well. What is your response to Stephen


Twigg saying the freedom should include a longer school day or maybe


a longer school term? I don't have a problem with those freedoms. In


fact, the Liberal Democrats in their manifesto were actually saying, if


freedoms were good for the Labour academies, then they ought to be


good for all schools in terms of the curriculum and matters like that, so


I'm actually finding a couple of lines I'm absolutely agreeing with


them. What we are facing now, whatever


one's views on academies and free schools, it would be just


irresponsible to try to switch the clock back from everybody's point of


view. But personally, I know that I want my party to be thinking through


very carefully what is the role of the local authority in this future


situation. If you take it to its logical conclusion, you have all


academies, all broken free, then actually, your authority, where


parents go to to actually make complaints and so on, comes back to


central Government. It's like having one local education authority based


in the Government department and I don't think that's right.


ALL SPEAK AT ONCE That's exactly what we are saying.


The local education authority should have the right for all schools,


whatever they are called, to intervene when things go wrong.


That's right. And free schools. But that's not going to happen, is it?


But the responsibility is to their children and families. The teachers'


unions, are they happy for a longer school day and term? There will of


to be negotiations, but increasingly, everybody's pretty


much agreed that having the long-terms and then long school


holidays, if you have parents that go to work, it's you expensive to


pay for childcare and the evidence is that poorer children fall behind


during the long holidays because they don't have the money to go to


summer schools and do all the extracurricular education. It would


be a great idea to have more terms and shorter school holidays. Coming


from a teacher's family, let me put the teacher's viewpoint here.


you a qualified teacher? Yes, I am, as is my daughter and husband, so I


speak with some passion here that when you have change, it's really


important that the changes are at the right pace and you carry your


workforce with you. We'd say that in all areas, whatever we are talking


about. There's no doubt about it, there are unhappy teachers at the


moment and there's a lot of work to be done with teachers. But, and...


Do you think Michael Gove's moved far too quickly? What I'll say about


Michael, his motivations are first class, I really understand what he's


trying to achieve. I agree with Andrea on that. I wouldn't go about


it in exactly the same fashion, but standards have to be raised. Michael


is so passionate about turning around education and the political


life cycle doesn't give you very long. If he's been so passionate


that he's not taken everyone with him on day up with, you have to give


him the chance and the benefit of the doubt because the changes are


going to be so beneficial. right. Can I briefly, before we


finish, talk about Labour's report at the weekend, or their policy to


sack unqualified teachers? Do you think that is a good idea? If you


say that every teacher who's not qualified is somehow a bad teacher,


I think that's a bit of a broad sweep. That's what Labour's prop


posing, 5,000 teachers who haven't got the qualifications will go?


danger is that you will have free schools from teachers who have no


qualifications. We have to Bo worried about that and need to be


careful how it's worked out. I don't believe in sacking people.


Qualifications and training is important and we need to rethink


that. I've taught in an independent school where everybody is not


qualified and that does work. All right. Thank you. We have just


got time before we go to do the answer to our quiz. I don't know if


you remember it, it was change or setting up new super prisons, doing


away with establishments like Wormwood Scrubs and holt hoeway.


What would happen to the old buildings? Would they be turned into


boutiques, hotels? They have a Reds didn'tial provision, they are used


to looking after people. It is boutique hotels and not farms. Thank


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