21/06/2013 Daily Politics


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Politics. Is economic growth being backed by a workforce without the


skills needed, including basic numerous sea and literacy? That is


what British businesses. What has gone wrong? It is Ed Miliband 's big


idea but I bet you were wondering what pre-distribution actually


means. You have come to the right place! Let the wonkathon begin!


London is the place for me... It is 65 years since HMS Windrush arrived


with the first wave of West Indian immigrants. We will debate where


multiculturalism went right and wrong. And do you believe in strange


little men from other than its? -- other planets? We have one live in


the studio! Lembit Opik will be here to talk about UFOs.


All that in the next hour. Who better to discuss it all than the


Captain Kirk and Mr Spock of Westminster punditry. You can decide


which is which! I am talking about the Daily Mail 's Andrew Pierce and


Carla Buzasi from the Huffington Post. You got that right!Let's


start with the scandal over the cover-up of the deaths of 16 babies


and two mothers at Furness General Hospital 's maternity unit in


Cumbria. This morning the Health Secretary said he had little


confidence in the work of the care quality commission, the CQC, the


body that is supposed to regulate the health service and make sure


they do their job. He thought it needed to undergo big changes.


have these awful deaths in that hospital in Morecambe Bay is awful


enough, but then the very body whose job it is to speak up for the


public, speak up for patients, to be involved in covering it up, is


totally unacceptable. I think we do have to pause for a moment and


recognise that if we didn't have this new management at the CQC,


coming in with a new broom, we wouldn't have this independent


report, we wouldn't have the names in the public arena. There is a huge


job to do to restore public confidence. He didn't mince his


words. You wonder if the Secretary of State would take such a line like


that, maybe he should just abolish the whole thing and start again? We


are in a difficult position. Lives have been lost, babies lives, the


general public is understandably upset. You need a statement like


that, you need to feel someone is going to do something about it. You


would end up with another body, may be the same people doing the same


thing. They need to fix this and move on and ensure that if tragedies


like this occur, people will be held to account. Things can go wrong in


hospitals, we all understand that, but two things seem to have happened


here. A lot went wrong at this hospital, too often. And the people


that we, the taxpayers, paid to monitor these things, to step in,


make sure it doesn't happen again, they did not do their job and they


covered up the fact they hadn't done their job. They gave this hospital a


clean goal of health. extraordinary thing is the cover-up.


This week the banking commission recommended a new criminal charge


for bankers who are guilty of reckless conduct. We can all think


of a feud bankers who perhaps should have been charged with that. Isn't


it time that this approach was brought into the NHS, which is a


life or death industry? Years now, terrible things have been going


wrong, we saw it in Stafford, where 1200 people died needlessly. Sir


David Nicholson is now the Chief Executive of the NHS, you has not


been held to account. I think Jeremy Hunt should go further and get the


law officers to look at what sort of criminal sanction can be introduced


into the NHS. A lot of people see this as another example of the


divide between the governing elite and ordinary people, this is a


country where we have bankers who can money-laundering the Mexican


cartels drugs money, create a financial crash that leaves millions


unemployed, we have health service bureaucrats who don't do their job


even when lives are at stake and nobody goes to jail. There is also


an issue here, there is a salary thing, the bankers want to line


their pockets and everyday people 's savings are not worth worrying


about. By the standards of everybody else, these Chief Executive 's are


earning a lot. And she has a pension of 1.35 million, gold-plated public


sector pension which you couldn't get in the private sector. Do you


think this undermines the British love affair with the NHS? I don't


think so. That is a broad brush stroke, this is one hospital, they


have been other hospitals where they have been horrific incidents.


have been told at mid Staffordshire was not untypical. We have been told


the British public still wants to use the NHS... I wonder if that is


partly because their expectations are too low for a start, and


secondly, that until recently, this CQC which has not done its job


properly, but as Alan Johnson pointed out last night in this


studio, until about 2000 we had nothing monitoring what was going on


at all, we didn't really know. last time I was on the show we were


talking about the number of complaints, that was mainly about


GPs. That had gone up, the reason seems to have been because we have


made it easier for people to complain. My parents generation,


which was the first to enjoy the NHS, were so grateful because they


had lived through the 20s and 30s, they wouldn't really think of


complaining. If anything went wrong, it was their fault. They have been


several generations since then, generations who now think that


complaining is their right and of course it is. We have been told by


successive governments, they are spending ever-increasing amounts of


our money. Millions of millions of pounds of money has been spent on


gagging orders in the NHS, gagging whistleblowers, which is a scandal,


because they are trying to raise concern with what is going wrong in


hospitals and they have been suppressed with taxpayers money,


legally. There is a lot to go on here. I want to ask you, what is


your favourite political buzzword? Crowd sourcing? That Heidi Parenti,


omnishambles? What shame none of you mentioned the current phrase in


Labour circles, which is pre-distribution. It is an idea


dreamt up by Ed Miliband 's new intellectual guru, Jacob Hacker. It


is a way of redesigning what the government does when you don't want


to spend any more money or raise A conference in Oxford, 2012. The


leader of the Labour Party meets an academic called Professor Jacob


Hacker. He is sceptical of an economic system that lets the rich


get richer and pays off the rest with benefits and tax credits.


it has left them in is a position of having to mop up after the market


when things go bad, either do redistribute to make sure that


middle and working class people have enough income and adequate benefits,


or to clean up after financial crises. The answer?


Pre-distribution. A fairly similar -- simple idea, that inequality can


be prevented before it even starts. Historically, the most important and


effective things the state has done has been through pre-distribution,


sanitation standards that protected public health, setting the standards


that allowed Labour to -- labour movements to form. It can't just


involve the government endlessly stepping in after the market deck


has been built. We need to get the deck stacked a little bit in the


favour of the people. It is a thread that runs through many of his


biggest fans, like Ed Miliband. The idea that employers should be


encouraged to pay a living wage which is higher than the minimum


wage, so that business shares responsibility for the issues of


income along with the government. But there is someone who isn't


buying, David Cameron, who ridiculed Richard Bhushan last year. --


redistribution. His recommendation is we spend an extra 200 billion and


borrow an extra 200 billion in this Parliament. But in the work I have


done, I have discovered his new book. It is published ) is to need


of the press and it is called, the road to nowhere. We joke in the use


of the best thing that can happen to a progressive is you are attacked in


the Wall Street Journal. The best thing in the UK is you get attacked


by conservative Prime Minister. His next appointment is he's off to


Parliament to see if Miller band. -- Ed Miliband.


We're joined by a former adviser to new Labour. Tell us, give us a


simple explanation, short and simple, of pre-distribution.


idea of prudish to be shown is added into the back of the jobs market in


Britain has become hideously in equal -- pre-distribution. Tax


credits are unsustainable so we have to make work, jobs and the labour


market much fairer. For example, the best example that has been developed


is the minimum wage has made some improvements in terms of making jobs


fairer for people but the minimum wage, particularly in areas like


London, is far too low. So the idea of a living wage is that we have


higher minimums to which people are entitled, which makes the jobs they


do fairer. It is an issue that speaks... A few years ago that was


called London weighting. If you particular profession, he led a


national salary but if you worked in London where the costs of living was


higher, you got London weighting, a bit more to account for that.


role sorts of ways in which governments step in to make things


fairer, but the issue that is speaking to is the fact that despite


lots of changes in benefits in the last 15 years or so, we still have a


situation where insignificant parts of the country you will have a


household with two income earners, going to work every day will working


long hours, which is not adequate to keep them and their family in


reasonable conditions. The notion of pre-distribution is looking at


different ways of making the outcome fairer. The last Labour government


favours tax credits and the minimum wage, so is this really --


repudiation of that approach? an interested critique of some of


the policy measures that were introduced by the previous


government. One of the measures was to introduce a huge number of tax


credits designed to subsidise low wages. There is a recognition that


that approach has become unsustainable for a number of


reasons. Wages were simply not improving in time, real wages were


actually decreasing for a significant proportion of the


working population, but also, since the financial crisis, the amount of


public money available to spend on these measures is falling, so we


cannot rely on the government to keep stepping in. Except Labour has


not imposed any cuts. The recent speeches by Ed Miliband and Ed balls


have signified that Labour is going to... They didn't mention tax


credits. The reason why wages have not kept pace with rice is and why


real wages have been static, if not falling in some cases, it is a


Western world phenomenon, it is true in the Eurozone and the US. The


reasons behind it are complex that they are a huge macroeconomic


reasons. There has been a shift from Labour to capital, Cheryl profits


has risen substantially, share of wages has fallen. These are big


changes which any Labour government would want to address although they


all continued under the last Labour government. But I'm not sure if


pre-distribution is not a mouse taking on an elephant. That is one


aspect, but there are big structural changes which have driven the kinds


of inequalities we have seen in countries like the UK. One aspect


has to be about education and skills, all governments in the last


30 years have talked about the importance of making the


distribution of skills fairer, but we have a long way to go into and of


addressing the needs of low skilled workers. Another aspect of this


debate, in terms of changing structural attribution, is


increasing the supply of well-paid, high-quality jobs in the UK economy,


addressing issues like the manufacturing industry. The previous


governor did not have a good record on that. So the point is that in


Russian to pre-distribution, it is not just about addressing wages in


the labour market, it is about the the doorstep of the big society.


That bad? I am afraid so.You are seeing it is like the big society in


that nobody knows what it means. They haven't a clue. I was talking


to members in portcullis house when this came out and they were shaking


their heads in disbelief saying, he is too much of a nerd. At the heart


it is a good idea but the problem with political philosophies is how


do you educate the average man and woman to what it means to them. You


can't put predistribution on a pamphlet when you are campaigning


for the next election. If you have a great idea, fantastic. But what will


that manifest itself for the average person? What is the answer?If I


knew that, I would be doing that job. Rather than minimum wage, I am


struggling to see what Labour gets out of this. Administered wages


should be related to the economic circumstances of the region, and


that is only a reflection of what the Tories say about welfare


benefits. If you are nursing in Durham you should not have the same


wage as a nurse in Kensington. Is this, Labour has a problem in the


polls at the moment. It is a head but not by a a lot and Labour


strategists are worried that the league is not robust. If the economy


is going to start picking up, they are even in more trouble. They need


something that says, vote for me. This team does not think this is it.


This team is not yet convinced. Andrew is right that predistribution


is a terrible buzzword. Probably makes very little impact on most


voters. You need a new word!The question is what is the underlying


policy programme. You have addressed the issue of wages. I think there


are big issues about the school system and industrial policy, to use


government to improve the quality and supply of jobs. Political


parties have grappled with that. Since the end of the Second World


War. This is not a search for novelty for the sake of novelty. It


is making sure ideas have an impact. The big society has been a failure.


The previous government did talk about this idea but did not


implement what that meant. The final question to do with perception


rather than substance of what you have been talking about. The public


already think that Ed Miliband is a bit of a Westminster policy wonk.


Don't they reinforce everybody's worst fears? The big test is does


the government have the ideas and policies to make a success of


government? I am sure we could invent a much more voter friendly


concept than the notion of predistribution but the point is,


does the future Labour government have the ideas to make a


difference? That is underlining test. That is true whether you call


it predistribution or not. Indeed. Thank you. Pleasure.Next week


Chancellor Osborne will set out his spending review which will take


departmental spending through the period of the next election in 2015


and into 2016. The election is in May and that he runs until 2016.


Jeffrey, sorry, I mean George, is looking for a further �11.5 billion


from most departments to cover the extra borrowing he's had to


undertake over the last three years. This morning, the ONS released their


latest borrowing figures and Hugh Pym's been looking at them and joins


us now. The Chancellor has been saying


consistently that the deficit was coming down year by year. It looked


as if it would happen by the skin of his teeth and that is what the


estimates showed but the latest figures from the office of National


statistics show that borrowing was up slightly in 2012 than 2011. The


Treasury are saying they have revised down 2011, they borrowed


less and that is good news. Labour as you can imagine are seeing the


whole narrative has been about deficit reduction and borrowing was


up. That is embarrassing for the Chancellor.


They are dancing on the head of a pin. This is a small difference


between two huge numbers and they are the residue of another two even


bigger numbers. For most people, the fact is the deficit was the same


last year as it was the year before. Isn't that the truth?


And probably this financial year as well. Yes. �120 billion flat. No


messing around. The borrowing picture is flat. 120 billion,


unchanged over three years, quite a lot of money. That is where you are.


Playing around with hundreds of millions does not amount to much.


But when you talk about reducing the deficit and borrowing has gone up a


bit, that does raise some questions. It is the same for three years. You


could set deficit reduction has stalled. But the main -- May figures


look a bit better. I understand that is partly because of a shed load of


money has arrived from Switzerland. Yes. The figures for May, the


Chancellor borrowed 12.5 billion rather than 15.5 the previous year,


so down a bit. Once you strip out lots of factors like the Royal mail


pension fund that I will not bore you with. He got �3 million as a


result of deals with the Swiss tax authorities to get more money out of


British people with accounts in Switzerland. That is a one-off


though. But yes, the figures for May were helped by the Swiss factor.


Given that his deficit reduction plan has clearly stored and could be


for three years, I suppose the one thing he may be optimistic about is


if these signs are brought and he does not use green shoots, he says


the economy is healing, if these signs are right and we get more


growth, the deficit will resume its downward trajectory?


Indeed. Growth and more growth than he predicted means more tax revenues


coming in, lower spending on benefits and the deficit coming


down. That is what he is hoping for. The three years, including this


current year, were flat. He will hope to put that behind him. But


where will the growth come from? That debate will go on. Will the


Bank of England new governor help, will the housing market measures


help? We will have to see. That will have a big potential impact on


borrowing and the deficit. Thanks for joining us.


Now, what might be holding back economic growth? Familiar answers


include cuts in infrastructure spending and lack of consumer


confidence but what about the workers? The Confederation of


British Industry thinks we just don't have the right skills or


attitude. According to their new survey, half of UK companies are


having to provide training in basic numeracy and literacy to get their


workforce up to the standards required to do the job. The survey


of 294 firms found 48% of employers organised remedial training in at


least one basic skill area for adult staff already for them. The CBI


found there was also a problem with potential employees leaving schools


and colleges, with a third of companies saying they are


dissatisfied with their basic literacy and numeracy. Almost half


of businesses are worried about whether they can recruit high


skilled workers in the future, with a particular problem in the


technical STEM skills of science, technology, engineering, and maths.


The CBI warn that the "stubborn skills shortage" could hold back


growth in the UK, and is calling on the government not to cut Vince


Cable's budget in next week's spending review.


Neil Carberry, the CBI's director of education and skills, joins us now


along with Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National


Union of Teachers. Welcome to both of you. Let's start with the CBI.


The report is very interesting but I would also say to you it tells us


nothing we did not know already. Reports like this have appeared


since the Royal commission in 1868. Why don't you do something about it?


If you have known for all these years that this country does not


have the right skills, why doesn't industry do something about it?


Businesses all across the country are. If you have been to the JCB


Academy, we have a lot of our major members investing in the kind of


technical and vocational education that will help address the kind of


things you have been talking about. I know the JCB Academy, I know the


work that Ken Baker is doing as well, but these are not the result


of a concerted effort by industry to upscale the nation. These are


individuals who are doing their best by collectively -- but collectively


there is a drop in the pond. We are looking to have up to 200 UCTs, we


are looking at working with colleges, so business spends about


�40 billion a year on training staff, well over �1000 per worker in


the labour market. If that was working properly, we would not have


the skills shortage? Part of the problem is that the skills system is


driven by government and not by businesses so at the moment, the


funding stream to things like apprenticeships runs from government


through the providers. Why doesn't it run on the other way round? Why


doesn't business say, this is what we want, we will pay for it, and we


will take it off the tax bill with government support. That would make


business needs, business would come to be treated as a customer, better


quality of apprenticeships. And importantly, we will build some


links with schools that will help replace the careers advice deficit


that we have at the moment. There are quite significant industry -


school links. I started teaching in 1973 and we had them then. In


teaching, we regret the lack of proper face-to-face careers guidance


and we think careers education should be starting in primary school


and be all the way through. You can have all the careers guidance you


want but one in three school leavers to not have basic numerous sea and


literacy skills. There is a debate about what basic numerous sea and


literacy means. We have half the country getting GCSE maths and


English, a to C, and that is a universal exam, so kids who did not


do any exams aren't doing this. you can't get a job because you


haven't got the basic maths and literacy skills, the debate is


irrelevant. The employers have decided the debate. Why do so many


young children leave our schools without a sick maths and literacy


skills? I am contesting the point about basic literacy and maths. We


are a dressing... I am saying, for example, London schools are doing


the very best in the country and that is because of schools working


together and with other people. Those things are being addressed


through the system. In the way I read the report, these people are


getting jobs and then employers are seeking to address this. There is


probably a discussion we can have about making sure there is an


agreement earlier on. Let him reply. She must be saying that there aren't


these problems. There are but the critical issue is for the most part


we have made some progress on this. You started off saying things rarely


change. Actually we are in a better place today on literacy than we were


ten years ago. The issue is the one son Michael Wilshaw pointed to


yesterday, that we have these pockets of underachievement driven


in particular by a focus on getting people over the C grade GCSE


boundary, which encourages you not to bother with the people there were


down, and that leads to the fact that there is a significant minority


of young people who are not being well served. Your report says 41%


cannot solve problems, 54% have poor self management. That is because


there are perverse incentives in the education system. If schools are


focusing on getting kids across the C grade boundary, and not focusing


on creating rounded and grounded young people, that appears twice in


the introduction to the CBI report and we agree with that. We need to


make sure the whole young person is developed. Problem-solving skills


are critical, creativity is critical, so just focusing on


getting a grade C is not enough. We need to be making sure that we are


dealing with the whole young person so that actually they are more able


to be self-starters, to be self managing, and to deal with


creativity and solving. Did you talk to the NUJ before producing this


report? We had a steering group, talked to them. Have you contributed


to this report? Not to this report we will be working together going


forward. We are all in favour of industry. People need jobs! Would do


you make of it? If those two sticks are true, I think it is shocking. --


statistics. We here at all the time, employers saying that kids are


leaving school and they can't construct a sentence and it is


terrible. Not all employers say that, they will be some people whose


literacy need some support, but the fact is there are large numbers of


people who are now doing public examinations who didn't do them


before and actually who are perfectly literate and numerate. It


is not the case to say there are swathes of these people. The point


that Neal picked up on, that there are pockets... 50% need extra


training according to this report, so there are swathes! There should


be a responsibility on business to provide training. You are saying


about time management, there are two points here, one is that we have a


huge focus on getting people passing exams, identikit is all about that,


it is not about sending everyone to university. It should be on life


skills... But it is about getting basic reading, writing and


arithmetic... You are talking about those things and of course they are


important but then you are talking about time management and those


skills as well, and there is very little emphasis on that in schools


and universities because everyone is going after the grades. Doesn't this


report highlight again the long-running weakness in British


education. All the political elite consecrate an academic excellence


and they have never given, unlike the Germans, due weight to


education? We would like to give the idea that vocational education is


important, but we identify in the report is a shortage of skills at


level four, in the first couple of years of university, in key


technical things that underpin the industrial strategy. If you talk to


businesses around the country, they will say for every engineering


graduate they hire, they hire ten people doing technician work and


unless we can get good people from our schools understanding that these


jobs are available and getting them into them to build the new DLR...


That vocational education should be regarded as just as important.


things we think of as vocational are completely different from other


things we think of now as vocational. I am bound to say there


is no pushback from the National union of teachers about the fact we


need good quality vocational education. The other thing is the


thing of modern foreign languages. If it hadn't been in and out,


voluntary, compulsory, we would be in a better position with that.


the Daily Politics we are fluent in that! We may proceed with the rest


of the programme. We are glad to have brought you to together. Thank


you both. Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the arrival in


Tilbury, Essex, of HMS Windrush. -- 65th anniversary. On board with the


first wave of immigrants from the Caribbean, lowered by us to what was


then regarded as the mother country with the promise of work and a new


life. We were in those days short of labour. Let's have a look at how the


news was covered back in 1948. Empire Windrush brings to Britain


500 Jamaicans, many are ex-servicemen who know England. They


served this country well. In Jamaica they couldn't find work. Discouraged


but full of hope, they sailed to Britain, coming to the mother


country with good intent, prodded by public opinion. The Colonial office


gives them a more cordial reception than was at first envisaged. Our


reporter asks them what they want to do. To seek a job. Anything that can


get a good pay. What is your name? Lord Kitchener. London is the place


for me... London, this lovely city... You can go to France or


America, India, Asia or Australia, but you must come back to London...


The think tank British Future is leading the celebration of the


positive contribution to British education and we're joined by its


director, Sunder Katwala. Just to stick with the people who came off


the HMS Windrush all those years ago, when they arrived here, they


came here, they have their hats on, they are dressed in suits and shirts


and ties. When they got here, this was a country that it isn't today, I


would suggest, a pretty widespread racist attitude to people who came


from the Caribbean. That was a shock to them, because they were brought


up in their schools as British, with Shakespeare, they know the history


of Britain, and they think the British people all know the history


of Jamaica and where it fits in, so that is a shock, to realise it.


There is a sense of people who have come here for a better life, a sense


of change and loss on both sides and of conflict over years and decades.


Also people have come saying, we might come and go back but you have


children and you decide to stay and at that point you fight the place in


society. The shock must've been all the more because we had lured them


to come, especially in the London area, we needed people to drive the


buses, run the tube trains, there was a huge labour shortage the


Second World War. So there is an appeal for immigration, this is


voluntary immigration. They had been a lot of previous immigration to


Britain, but they had to flee, and people had chosen to pay �20 to get


a passage. A lot of them are returning to Britain, Sam King who


was on the boat, had been in the RAF, he had his medals, he was going


back to what he thought was a colony and he didn't want to live in a


colony. He wanted to go for a better life. In spite of the racial


generation, had the Windrush generation there? There was a lot of


conflict, the initial group that came was quite well educated, they


didn't get to use their skills, didn't get jobs at the level they


would have expected, and the children probably had to fight for a


place in society and thought that parents were too deferential and not


assertive enough. We still have a lot of anxiety about immigration but


the question of who is Britain -- British and who isn't is relatively


settled. We now claim the HMS Windrush, it is part of a shared


history and it has become symbolic. About a third of us, our parents or


grandparents were immigrants. But is it also shared by the whole country?


What if your family go back many generations before, do you know


share this part of your shared history? The years after the


Windrush, there were much bigger waves of aggression to this


country, Ugandan Asians, the Kenyan Asians, all those from the


subcontinent as well. Then we had the huge influx and the last Labour


government. There seems to be consensus now that immigration got


kind of out of hand. It is a legitimate debate about what the


choice is Britain should make are, but whatever level of immigration


you decide to have, welcomed the contribution of those who have come,


who have made... It is important that we accept the previous groups


that have come as part of that debate, one of the ways people


integrate is how we bring about the next wave of immigrants. Have we


allowed... The fact is, we have, you only have to go to a northern city


and seamless link amenities living on their own. People want to belong


to a new society, here you have people who felt they belonged and


were told they didn't and earned the right to belong again. People have


too want to feel British and Britain has deep say, you are equally part


of us. I disagree about the words of multiculturalism, we are a


multiethnic society now, we don't have debates about sending them


back, do we have a shared society everyone contributes to? It does


take time, it can be difficult, but as a society, I think a bid to other


European societies and the US we would be getting them more than


other countries. One of the things about Windrush Day is whether you


have been here for generations, we have a shared response ability to


make society work. Would you think? Ed Miliband said that the last


Labour government got it wrong. I think it was their policy to


increase immigration. I think in this designer Labour party


strongholds. There is a failure there of integration is you only


need to go to Tower Hamlets, a few miles from here, people are separate


from the rest. That is regrettable, and in cities like Bradford as well.


It is a very delicate area and a sensitive area as well and David


Cameron is quite right, I think, to say he wants to cut immigration.


is a dodgy figure, the net figure because it depends on the number of


people leaving and that includes just people leaving as well. The


political rhetoric now is pretty much, we have had enough immigration


for a while, let's get the numbers down, isn't that right? It is, but


it feels to me like a knee jerk, negative rhetoric because of the


success that UKIP is having. I think it is wonderful we are celebrating


this and I think we should be remembering and reminding people how


important it is to have migrants coming to this country. The vast


majority of people coming to this country is because they want to find


jobs and they believe they will do here. They are filling huge numbers


of jobs at the youth of Britain are not prepared do. Perhaps because


they haven't got the skills! We have these debates, this is the scourge


of the welfare state, in the vast majority, that isn't the case.


many years, we have come on leaps and bounds. You can still see the


old TV footage from Notting Hill of no dogs, no blacks. No Irish, in the


windows for vacancies. But where does the debate on immigration and


integration go now? Of course you should worry about people who are


being racist but the majority of people worried about immigration are


not being racist and we should become fluent about having that


debate. The Prime Minister wants to reduce immigration, you once more


people, but he's celebrating the Windrush generation, it is important


to get the foundations right and have the debate about what the


choices are. The people who want to say shut the border, that is not the


real world. If the pace of change too great,? Is their fairness? You


can only be fair to migrants if you are fair to everyone and say, if you


get the rules right, then people who want to come and contribute and be


part of a society, you have a history. But it is not racist to say


we should cut immigration and we tomorrow.


Now, have you seen any strange objects in the night sky recently?


Maybe you've spotted little green men from Mars having a look around


Planet Earth. You might even have spent some time on board ship after


being abducted by aliens. It happens to the best of us. Well, if so, this


item's for you! Yes, the National Archives have released files today


relating to reports of unidentified flying objects made between 2007 and


2009. They explain why the Ministry of Defence's UFO desk and telephone


hotline were shut down in December 2009 after 50 years service - a


victim of government austerity. The decision to axe the MOD desk


came despite an increase in UFO reports. Annual sightings rose from


an average of 150 a year at the beginning of the century to 520 in


2009, before the desk was shut down, as well as 97 Freedom of Information


requests. Sightings reported between 2007 and 2009 included "discoid


shapes" above Stonehenge. A report that somebody was living with an


alien in Carlisle. Even coloured lights just down the road over the


Houses of Parliament. So why did the UFO desk face the chop? Well,


according to civil servants, after 50 years' work, it had found no


evidence of a military threat to the UK and that despite costs going up,


it was providing no valuable defence output.


Well, if the truth is out there, maybe one of these gentlemen has


stumbled over it. We're joined by Dr David Clarke, an expert on UFO


history at the National Archives, and Lembit Opik, erstwhile Lib Dem


MP, and a lecturer for the Association for the Scientific Study


of Anomalous Phenomena. Being a Lib Dem, he is pretty qualified to deal


with anomalous phenomena! Greetings. The USA has got a much bigger UFO


desk. Had, in the 60s.We are cutting hours down. Because we


didn't find anything. It all started with Winston Churchill because he


was interviewed by the daily Telegraph in 1954 and his response


was that he thought people on other planets should be treated with the


contempt they deserve. We have just been talking about what a welcoming


country we are! The problem you have is if there are people out there and


they are constantly visiting us, some of these sightings may even be


true, why did none of them ever land and say hello? My stepmother is


Estonian, an alien, that is the same thing. The complaints process is now


underway! In a nice way.They do not land because they are not there!


beggars belief to think there is no other intelligent life among 6


million planets. If there is intelligent life, would they be 10


million years ahead? If so they will be making interstellar journey is


the way we will. I think if they have made 15 trillion mile


journeys, they will be smart enough to cloak themselves from us, we will


not be able to see them. Why do they leave the lights on when they


arrive? As you well know, most of those UFO observations are made at


closing time all over the country and 90 8% of them are explainable,


but a small percentage have not been explained and it is a crying shame


we have not kept that open. Yes I agree but not with public money.


Scientists can do that kind of research. Given the size of the


universe, it is perfectly possible there is life somewhere else in the


universe. But when you look at the distances involved, I think the


nearest Sun, four light-years away, and so many billions of light years


away, it is perfectly possible that these will exist and we will never


ever crossed paths. Patrick Moore said we could expect a visit once in


the entire history of humanity, and yet if you look at these files they


are here every night. They are coming to listen to your programme


perhaps. Some of them are on it!The bottom line is, the universe ought


to be teeming with life. Why haven't they been here already? Because they


are too far away. And maybe, no matter how advanced you are, nobody


knows how to travel at the speed of light. You do not have to get to the


speed of light, you get close to it. If you travel at the speed of light


it could take a billion years to come from one of these? I used to do


astronomy. You are right. I beg to differ. I will see your astronomy


and I will raise you my grandfather, a professional astronomer, and he


would say you can make these journeys with advanced technology.


In 100 years we have gone from the first flight to the most incredible


technology at the space station. What will we be doing in 10,000


years? The big danger is that intelligent civilisations could wipe


themselves out. If we survive this dangerous nuclear adolescence...


want to bring in another point. You want us to believe, I am not arguing


that there could be life out there but I do think the distances of the


universe mean it is perfectly possible our paths will never cross,


but you really want us to believe that some people have come here,


have a look, given a wave, and then departed. Not waived.I made that


bit up. They will not have made contact because it is too


dangerous. We could annihilate ourselves through our lack of


immunity between the two planets and the diseases. That is the anomaly.


The sad thing is the fact it does not happen maybe means that


civilisations do not make it through this dangerous adolescence. But that


would mean they could not come here in the first place. That is one grim


possibility. I choose to believe we can survive and if we can survive we


will eventually meet our alien friends. With the Daily Mail, you


must be used to working with aliens. This is a lovely idea and


perhaps if they did come, they didn't stay because they didn't like


the weather, and who could blame them? Babe all seem to come -- they


all seem to come to the south-west of the United States! They have


visited Stonehenge. They saw Prime Minister 's questions and that was


enough, out of here! Does the Huffington Post have a line on


aliens? Bobbins. -- no. Maybe we should get one. This is officially


the weirdest thing I have ever been asked to comment on! Then we will


move on. We will let you go now. When they make contact with you, we


want to know first! The scoop is ours! Will be get the first


interview? I won 20 of your other percent in that case. It is a deal.


Thank you, gentlemen. Now, if you think that was strange,


it's been pretty weird here on Planet Politics this week too. From


tie-less leaders to the President of the United States confusing the


Chancellor of the Exchequer with his favourite soul singer, here's the


week in 60 Seconds. The G8 in Lough Erne, Syria was on


the agenda along with tax, trade and transparency. As well as ties.


what I was told to do. Good boy. After Frankenstein food it is


apparently time to bring the GM industry back to life according to


Owen Paterson. Politicians saying things are safe risk coming a


cropper. Not been much quality in the care quality remission after


claims it covered up and expects and of a hospital where mums and babies


had died -- the Care Quality Commission. And Boris said that


London is to the suit as Parma is to the Parmesan cheese. And Mr


President's bungle after calling George Jeffrey. That of course is


not his name. It is Gideon. George, Jeffrey, Gideon have to


deliver the spending review next week and we will be live on the


daily politics. My understanding, there is still quite a lot of


argument on between the Treasury and the government departments. All the


champions of the austerity cuts are now running government departments


that are about to be cut and are getting very upset about it.


Understandably none of them want the cuts to hit them. We know education


and the NHS will be protected throughout this. This means that the


smaller amount of departments will have to take these cuts up to 8%


each. If it had been perfectly shared it would have been 2.8% per


department. They thought by the time we got to this stage, the economy


would be flourishing again and we would be starting to spend and that


is just not the case. Danny Alexander will have to say to his


Lib Dem colleague Vince Cable, we have to cut some money. Michael Gove


will also have to save some money. He is resisting. After the


disappointing borrowing figures, it is all the more important George


Osborne gets the cuts he wants. does not resonate with the public


could it is about public spending in 2015-2016 and the figure could


change. This is the problem for the average man and woman on the street.


These numbers keep changing. Every time we hear the budget. It means


people start to glaze over. It does not affect me, I still have less


money in my pocket and therefore I am not happy with the way the


country is being run. It is a tough one for Geoffrey Gideon, because he


has had problems with his own union of ministers, problems with the


coalition, he wanted to cut more welfare. He wanted six billion and


Nick Clegg said no. As I understand it, it is going down to the wire,


they have not got the 11.5 yen yet. They could always cut international


aid which would be popular with the voters but the Prime Minister will


not let him do that. I saw what a bad time Nick Clegg got over student


tuition fees so they are desperate not to go back on explicit


promises, international aid, NHS... Tuition fees was a popular policy


for the Lib Dems. Increasing international aid is not a popular


policy. You will be tuning in, I hope. Absolutely.The one o'clock


news is starting over on BBC One now. I'll be back on BBC One on


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