08/07/2013 Daily Politics


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Daily Politics. Times tables, fractions, Cromwell and Queen


Victoria. Michael Gove unveils a new curriculum for England - but most


secondary schools won't have to follow it.


A nation delights - but which nation, Britain or Scotland?


And has he got what it takes to win? Ed Miliband prepares to take on the


unions in a big speech in the next few days.


And is this what passes for grown up debate in the mother of parliaments?


I'm sorry, Mr Speaker, the opposition don't want... It is very


discourteous of the house to issue a collective groan.


All that in the next hour. And with us for the whole programme


today is Geraldine Bedell, the editor of gransnet. At least there's


one job you haven't got to be old to do these days! Welcome to the


programme. First today, the mansion tax could cost an average �36,000 a


year - that's according to Treasury study that's been looking at


proposals supported by Lib Dems and Labour to raise up to �2 billion


from a levy on properties worth more than �2 million. Treasury officials


estimate it would apply to about 55,000 properties. Geraldine, a good


idea? It is quite difficult to argue against it, from a fairness point of


view. If you have a �2 million house, the chances are that you are


beneficiary of the incredibly over-heated south-eastern property


market, and it is a windfall, in a way. But it will be difficult for


older people with houses as assets but no income. �36,000 a year is an


awful lot of money for people on retirement incomes. I suspect what


is behind this is an attempt to get people to downshift. It will be


successful because people won't be able to afford it. Using that as the


basis of the argument, can we be talking about a lot of old people


sitting in houses worth more than �2 million who do not have quite a lot


of money themselves? It is very possible to own at house in London


worth �2 million and not to have a very high income. Lots of older


people want to stay in their houses because they say they use them for


family gatherings, they look after grandchildren there, they have a


network of support and relationships in that area that they don't want to


leave. Properties in the area are very expensive. It will affect a


minority, but affect them severely. Isn't downsizing a good idea in the


main? I'm not saying people should dictate what people should do, but


perhaps more elderly people should consider it? It is a great idea when


you are ready. It is people being given the opportunity to choose.


What about a wholesale re-evaluation? It looks as if that


would have to take place on, maybe, most properties in order to find out


which ones are worth more than �2 million? That would be a lot of work


and expense. And it probably would not go down well. Do you think it


will be a runner. Possibly, but it depends who wins the next election.


If Labour got in, it is very possible.


Now it's time for our daily quiz. The question today is, Fred Perry


was the last Brit to win Wimbledon 77 years ago. -- the last British


man. Which of the these facts about life in Britain in 1936 is not true


- university graduates had two votes, a loaf of bread cost


four-and-a-half pence, women had to have a licence to wear trousers in


public or the average house price was �550? At the end of the show,


Geraldine will give us the correct answer. No, Geraldine won't be here


at the very end, you don't need to worry! It is our MPs. The Department


of Education has published details of Michael Gove 's plan for a new


National Curriculum covering primary and secondary schools in England. It


will be the biggest shake-up since the original document was first


introduced by Kenneth Baker in 1988. Michael Gove wants a more


traditional curriculum to be taught in England's schools. Five-year-olds


will be taught fractions and nine-year-olds will have to learn


their times tables all the way up to 12. I thought they did already!


There will be more focus on English history, with pupils learning about


Oliver Cromwell, Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill - though Mr Gove


has conceded that all pupils should also learn about world history. He


says the reforms are about getting basic skills right, and David


Cameron says the new curriculum will be rigorous, engaging and tough. But


the majority of secondary schools will not have to implement it. There


are now over 3000 academies in England which have the freedom to


choose their own curriculum. And coming on top of the changes to


exams announced last month, which will see GCSEs scrapped, teaching


unions have complained that too many reforms are being rushed through too


quickly. None of the government's current ministers were available to


explain the new proposals. But we have the former Schools Minister,


thank goodness, Nick Gibb, and Mary boasted, Secretary-General of the


Association of and lecturers. Nick, did you accept that too many changes


are being made to the education system at once? The government is


unapologetic. There is a rush to make sure our education system is on


a par with the best in the world. Young people leaving education will


be challenging in a -- competing in a challenging global race for jobs,


therefore they need to be literate, have good maths skills and


understand science. We need to make sure that our school leavers compete


for those jobs and get them in a very competitive market. But if it


is done in a rush and the system can't cope, we will not get the


success and improvement that you want? I say in a hurry, not in a


rush. There is still a year before this is implemented in primary


schools. It is not that different, frankly. Maths is maths. It is just


a skewing of how not up location tables are taught at the age of


nine, not at 11. GCSE 's don't come in until September 2015, so there is


plenty of lead time. That it is essential that we have a rigorous


and demanding curriculum. Can you do it in a year? I don't think it is


possible to do it well in a year. Schools will make every effort to do


it, but not to do it well. To give you one example of more haste, less


speed. Children starting this curriculum in 2014 will be tested in


2015 on the old curriculum, because there isn't time to bring in new


tests. That might be the case in 2016. We don't know what the new


GCSEs will look like. The new curriculum has very little relation


to the foundation curriculum that children do before they start


school, so these are very rushed changes on a very poorer base. The


first proposals for changing the National Curriculum were so poor


that only Michael Gove could say they were worth anything. They were


not accepted by teachers, academics, employers, parent, they were roundly


condemned and criticised. They are starting from a very low base and we


will need to see if these proposals are real improvement? Do you agree?


No, the curriculum was of a very high standard... Did anybody except


them? They were based on a curriculum from around the world.


There was criticism of the history, too much was being put into the


primary school. Only up to 1066 in the primary years, and then


secondary education afterwards. There have been changes to design


and technology so that we are sure that our children can be the


designers of the future, they can use 3D printers, they can use


robotics and understand the basics of leavers, wheels and cogs and so


on. It is robust. So you will have a system where children will be tested


at GCSE while a new curriculum is being introduced that won't be part


of our testing. It makes no sense. Schools and understand the syllabus


for the GCSEs they will be taking before 2017. In terms of the primary


curriculum and what is tested at the end of Key stage two, teachers


clearly understand what is in the syllabus now and what will be tested


next year. The syllabus comes in September 2014. Because it is more


rigorous, if schools are teaching to this new curriculum and getting


children learning that tables are earlier, not later, if they become


fluent readers earlier than before, they will do just as well, if not


better, in the current test than if they were teaching the old


curriculum. Is merrymaking too much fuss? I think so. Unions need to say


something about government proposals, but I think Mary will be


supportive of this curriculum. Children will be fluent in


arithmetic, they will understand fractions... You keep reciting these


lists, they are just statements. I am profoundly unhappy by the way


this government does education policy. We have had three


announcements about GCSEs and massive backtracking, proposals for


a primary curriculum which were roundly condemned. You do not


involve the profession, you don't listen to experts. More so than the


previous system which was produced by quangos. Even the teacher expert


groups which were hand-picked by the National College to talk about


teacher training and resources, they said in essence that they were


unteachable. That is a very low base. They are teachable in other


countries, successful countries. We are dropping down the international


league tables. What about Finland? You start school at seven, they are


top of the league tables, they are moving towards a more skills -based,


practical curriculum. They are... They have a much simpler language in


Finland than we do. It is not rigorous to introduce concepts to


children before they are ready to learn them. Bee we are making sure


they are ready... How?Teaching the algorithms, teaching children how to


do maths and learn to read is the key thing. So they are not


struggling with this concept is. you think they will be ready at a


younger age to deal with some of the concepts in maths and evolution


which have been talked about, doing fractions at perhaps the ages of


seven and eight? I think parents and grandparents want to see children


learning things as soon is they are able to, but this all seems a little


bit irrelevant to me. Free schools and academies will not be forced to


follow this curriculum, secondly, this is not really what parents are


interested in. They want inspiring teaching. I don't think most of us


care very much whether our children are taught about Nelson Mandela or


Winston Churchill. We want our children to have the resources and


enthusiasm and creativity to do something with their learning and to


go on to learn more. It is about the teachers, you cant we can change the


system, and the previous government did just as much. If you just rely


on teachers to do their job and find the best teachers, which I know


Michael Gove has focused on, isn't that more important? Two the changes


to the curriculum one part of an overall reform. We need inspiring


teachers. We have raised the bar of entry into teaching. We want to


raise the status of teaching as a profession. This is the government


which has dropped the requirement for qualified teacher status and


schools. It talks about higher status for teachers, but then it


says they do not need a qualification. This curriculum is


far less prescriptive than the national strategy, which told


teachers how to teach a 3-part lesson, group teaching etc. It has


all been swept away to use that professional experience...


Unqualified teachers. We will come back to the qualifications very


briefly. As Geraldine said, if the National Curriculum is so great, why


don't academies have to follow it? We are giving them the same


regulatory structure as independent schools. It will inform the exams


they take, the Key stage two tests, the GCSEs. Parents will be able to


look at the curriculum and say, why don't my children know about the


civil war? Why haven't they understood about long division? If


their school isn't to Burke that are delivering, they can challenge it.


Three of the first round of free schools have been told they are


virtually in special measures. This freedom equal in quality does not


exist. The fact you have a National Curriculum applying to some schools


and not others is nonsense. The government can't get off the feet


about that. There are Key stage two tests. Most schools will be teaching


the National Curriculum, as a main. Some academies and free schools


might be teaching beyond it. That is a good thing. But this curriculum is


being informed by experts, it has been based on successful


jurisdictions around the world. If it is successfully in fermented and


schools, as I think it will be, it will put this country pulls-macro


educational system on a par with the best in the world, which is where


education needs to be. What about unqualified teaching? Won't it lead


to further problems? Schools have the freedom to employee who they


choose to, most will employ qualified teachers. But if you want


to employ a professor of chemistry from a university in his later


years, or somebody who has taught throughout their life in an


independent school who does not have qualified teacher status, to attract


them, you have the freedom. It is about having the best communicators,


as well as people who know their subject. A teaching qualification


may well be essential for some people but not everybody? It is a


guaranteed you have been through appropriate training. Not that you


will be a good teacher. The standard for qualifying is very high. To have


another tree, no, you don't need to be qualified, lowers the status of


the profession. We are talking about excellent teachers who are involved


in curriculum development. There is no such requirement in the


independent sector. They have a very Speaking of history... It is 77


years since Fred Perry won the men's title. Yesterday, of course,


Andy Murray finally did it again for Britain. Or was it Scotland?


Union flags and Saltires were waved amongst the throngs camped out on


Murray mound and, in defiance of a ban on large flags on Centre Court


itself, Scotland's First Minister controversially unfurled a Scottish


Andy Murray himself described his victory as a British win.


understand how much everyone wanted to see a British winner at


Wimbledon. I hope you guys enjoyed. I tried my best. That was Andy


Murray celebrating the big win. It was an amazing match and a


beautiful day to go with it. Celebrations have been continuing.


With me now is the Conservative MP and vice chair of the all party


tennis group - Mark Pritchard - and the SNP Member of the Scottish


Parliament Keith Brown, who is in his constituency in Dunblane.


Welcome to both of you. First of all, why shouldn't Alex Salmond


waive the sole tyre? He can. He is the master of the political stunt.


I do not think the future of the United Kingdom should be viewed as


a stunt. It is serious. People can be very proudly Scottish, Welsh,


English will come from Northern Ireland and still be proudly


British. They can be very complimentary. I do not have issued


with people waving around francs. - - flags. I think it should unite


the nation. Those trying to detract away from that and wanting to just


unite the nation - I think it is unfortunate. It was unfortunate and


a political stunt. It is unfortunate it is seen to be


politicised. In Dunblane, people were glued to the televisions. It


was testament to the long years of sacrifice he made. It is nothing to


do with politics. Why did he unfurled the Scottish flag? Alex


Salmond is the first minister of Scotland. He has followed the


career of Andy married for 10 years. He wanted to celebrate. -- Andy


Murray. Had his opponent won, and the Serbian Prime Minister unfurled


the Serbian flag, there would be none of this. First of all, it is a


great achievement for him and for Scotland and for the United Kingdom.


The great achievement for tennis in this country. I hope we will seek


other people coming up through the ranks and then on to win future


Wimbledons. Let's hope he wins next year as well. I take the view the


United Kingdom is a stronger country when all the countries are


united together. Scotland is more prosperous and safer. That is very


much part of being the United Kingdom. It is unfortunate that


this incident has overshadowed what should be a personal and national


victory for tennis in this country. To believe the Daily Mail's outrage


is more likely to drive a wedge between the nations instead of


encouraging unity you have talked about? I do not think so. The Daily


Mail is a very good newspaper. It is right they highlight the


political mischief of people like Alex Salmond. He is the master of


the political stunt. Some in tennis might be frustrated at what he did.


Yesterday should have been about Mr Murray, rather than tennis, rather


than political statements. -- and tennis. Andy Murray himself talked


about a win for Britain and not a win for Scotland. Of course, people


across Britain will take huge satisfaction. As well people in


Scotland and Dunblane. Nothing wrong with that. Whether it it is


Union flags, sold tyres, St Georges crosses. People are entitled to


celebrate. The only person talking about politics is Mr Pritchard. I


would rather talk about Andy Mario Mandzukic and his achievement and


the ultimate success, which must be the ambition of every tennis player


in the world. -- Andy Murray. Alex Salmon did not have politics


on his mind at all. -- Alex Salmond. Of course he wanted to celebrate.


He will not be thinking about constitutional politics. The


children are thinking about, how can I get the same kind of shots


and baseline controlled that Andy Murray had? Apart from wanting to


improve their tennis, it is difficult to believe that


politicians were not thinking about how it would help them. I'm sure


David Cameron was thinking, we have had a few good weeks of weather and


Andy Murray has won for Britain. The Prime Minister is probably the


best tennis player in Parliament. He could have taken advantage and


pulled out the Union flag. He was dignified and realised it was a day


of British tennis. We have to really go at our loins. There may


be other political stunts from Alex Salmond as he sees the polls


increasing in favour of Scotland staying within the United Kingdom -


upsetting the Catholic Church in Scotland - even the BBC in Scotland.


He had the golden touch of politics and he has made strategic error


after strategic error. They realise they're making mistake after


mistake after mistake. The argument has been seen through by the


Scottish people. They're probably likely to see further political


stance in desperation by the SNP. What about the Commonwealth Games


next year? Will it be used to boost the referendum campaign? Of course


not. The Commonwealth Games is about the whole of the Commonwealth.


They're very proud of the fact we hosted in Glasgow, just as London


is that it hosted an Olympics last year. The only person scoring


political points is Mark Pritchard. Every time he has brought it back


to constitutional politics. It is about Andy Murray. Let's not


detract from that. It is a huge achievement. It says more about the


Conservative Party than the people of Scotland or indeed the people of


Britain. They are basking in the glory of a fantastic achievement by


Andy Murray, let that be the story today. I want to see you pick up a


tennis racket and have a game behind me. Thank you very much.


am happy to play. We are all in this together. That was George


Osborne's mantra when the belt- tightening began in 2010. But one


section of society has come-off relatively unscathed from the cuts.


Pensioners have been promised healthy increases in their pensions


and winter fuel payments continue to be made even to the better off.


Fair play, or have pensioners been shown a distinct advantage? Adam


Missing Wimbledon, don't worry, I've come to Rhyd tennis club in


Tottenham to talk to people about the welfare state. Right now, at


roughly �80 billion a year is spent on a state pension, alone in


pension credits. A further �2.1 billion is spent on the annual


Winter Fuel Allowance. 578 million is spent giving free television


licences to those over 75. We have not mentioned bus passes yet.


think pensioners have a bad deal actually. I know some pensioners


are frightened to put the heating on in winter. That is sad. They and


the people can work and the older people cannot always work. They


have given their lives to this country and they need to be looked


after. The country fields broadly the same. -- feels broadly the same.


Politicians are engaged in a rally over been less generous. Ed Balls


said that Labour would take away the Winter Fuel Allowance from the


richest 5% of pensioners. The Lib Dem said they could not guarantee


the existence of the so-called triple-lock, which means pension


rise by 2.5% a year. A couple of weeks ago, George Osborne said the


Tories would have to look at the affordability of universal pension


benefits at some point in the future. Our tennis-playing pm


promised they would be safe with him in charge. -- Prime Minister.


Once you break down... It you drive a wedge into the universal


principle. You have to look at fuel allowance for wealthy pensioners


and other areas. All three parties have coalesced around the fact we


cannot do this universe he had to. There is another freebie for older


people. -- universality. I take it as fighting for the National Health


Service. Are they going to say at a certain point, if you earn �42,000,


you have to pay for your medical care? Are they going to say that?


It is not a big step. Tough choices lie ahead on welfare. Who will have


the balls to make them? Geraldine Bedell, editor of Gransnet, is


still with me. And to take her on, Ed Howker, author of Jilted


Generation. Do you think pensioners get too much? That is a harsh way


of characterising it. As the cuts have fallen, they have fallen on


younger sections of the population - insulating rather wealthy, older


people, who continued to get a lot of welfare benefits and they do not


need them. Is that fair? It is not unfair. We do not have results but


what we're going to find his responses of quite nuanced. Older


people are not implacably opposed to being part of the solution and


recognise there is a fairness issue here. Including universal benefits


been taken away... When George Osborne announce the suspension of


winter fuel payments to people living abroad, there was not a


great deal of protest. No one will argue that Mick Jagger meets winter


fuel payments. Only 10% of pensioners have incomes of over


�30,000 a year. We're not talking about fast groups of greedy people.


50% of pensioners are living entirely on the state pension.


not have to be careful what you wish for? You could be causing more


deal with these things than others? It is not an argument, young people


have been more adversely affected, in terms of the job opportunities


they have and the fact that they might become more dependent on


parents and grandparents. If you look at how the cuts have fallen,


they have fallen towards young people. One of the things I find


most offensive about the arguments made by the likes of that woman in


that film who said that older people say they are slicing away at the


universal principle by tackling pensioner benefits. That universal


principle has disappeared entirely by young people, who have been


targeted through DMA, the shared room rate, university fees in a way


that is disproportionate. I don't think there is a world of difference


between the argument that we would have about this. I think it is wrong


to characterise pensioners as greedy, that is not necessarily the


case. A lot of electoral sweeteners given to them turn out not to be


worth it, I think. I think if you were to dismantle the universal


principle, you have to look at the cost and benefits. The benefits


would not be huge, there are not that many people involved in paying


higher rates of tax. The cost would be high. It is an inefficient way of


going about things and it creates a new set of unfairness is. One of the


things that bothers me about this argument is the stigmatisation of


older people as somehow sitting comfortably when, in fact, older


people are net contributors to the economy. Huge amounts of


grandparents are neighbouring young people to work. Run parents feel


strongly about this because they see first-hand what it is like to be a


young person out of work or trying to buy a house. But do you accept


that some older people have had it good in a way that their children


will never have, because of house prices, their children would have


had free University education and their pensions are index-linked?


There is inequality, and we are prepared to accept that, but it is a


minority of people. What have you done in terms of making wealthy


pensioners pay more? -- what can be done in terms of bastion muck the


House of Lords about ageism was the best way to divvy up how government


assistance is handed out. If you look at the Winter fuel payment,


free television licences, the fact that a chunk of pensioners work and


pay no national insurance. If you look at those wings, in a very


straightforward way, there are questions to be answered about


whether we can afford those. Can we, and should they be looked at?


is no harm in looking. Over 75s is still the group most likely to live


in poverty. And I agree, and we need to do more for them. Age is not


necessarily the best way at divvying things up. We need to think much


more constructively about the whole life course and opportunities. To be


old in Glasgow is very different than to be old in Kensington. There


are many people who are able to go on working for much longer and


should probably not be retiring at 50 and living on the state for 30


years. Is there a worried that there is an intergenerational tension


being built up by this sort of discussion? No. I think people talk


about young people waging a war against their parents. In reality,


that is not how the cuts and the crisis affecting poorer sections of


society is operating. When young people get poorer, they are much


angry with their parents, they are reliant on them. -- they are not


angry with their parents. Thank you both.


It's the last full week for MPs here in Westminster. The sun is out and


no doubt one or two will have half an eye on a Mediterranean beach - I


mean, British seaside holiday! - but first there's a busy few days ahead.


In the next few days, Labour leader Ed Miliband will set out his plans


for the unions following the recent row with Unite over candidate


selection. Then on Wednesday, the Privy Council


will meet to discuss the alternative draft Royal Charter on press


regulation put forward by newspaper bosses a few weeks ago.


Also on Wednesday, BBC bosses Chris Patten and Tony Hall are being


grilled by the Public Accounts Committee on big payoffs for


managers. And on Thursday, MPs will find out


if they've been awarded the pay rise that, supposedly, none of them want.


IPSA, the body now responsible for MPs' pay have hinted that our


politicians could be in line for a 15% hike in their salary.


To discuss all that I'm joined now from the heat of College Green by


two of Westminster's big hitters - Joe Watts from the London Evening


Standard and Craig Woodhouse from The Sun. Welcome to you both.


Craig, what does Ed Miliband need to say in his speech about Labour 's


future relationship with the unions? Something, big, bold and radical


which we have not heard before. Two years ago there was a document which


was seeking to recast this entire relationship. Team Edwards breaching


fairly heavily that he would water down the influence of the unions. Lo


and behold, we have another union height on our hands. Joe, could it


be turned to Miliband 's advantage? It is a crisis, the worst scandals


for a political party play into people 's pre-existing fears, and


this goes right to the heart of fears about Labour. Ed Miliband sees


this as an opportunity to be seen to be standing up to the unions. He can


only capitalise on that opportunity if his actions match his rhetoric


tomorrow. There will be lots of Tory MPs waiting to see if it doesn't.


Craig, Joe is right, Tory MPs will want to capitalise on this as much


as possible. Is there a danger for him? There is a danger if it looks


to the public like it is a party political row and David Cameron


shoehorned in the words Unite and Len McCluskey last week to the


delight of his backbenchers. If it looks like they are crowing, there


is a danger. But Joe was right, this is a fantasy for the Conservative


Party, to have a caricature Labour leftie taking an someone may have


been trying to portray as the puppet of the unions. Let move on to press


regulation. John Prescott has said the Privy Council could talk about


this for up to nine months or so. A bit more prevarication, it will be


kicked into the next Parliament. What do you think are the chances of


a new royal charter being in place before the next election? I would


highlight that, this morning, the newspaper industry has published a


draft constitution for a new press Watchdog. For their part, at least,


it shows they can is to get moving despite the ongoing discussions of


the Royal Charter. Craig, do you think that is the case? If the Privy


Council is discussing an alternative Royal Charter put forward by


newspaper bosses, which will delay any system being put into place,


even if the Prime Minister says he wants to make sure they have gone


through it with a fine tooth comb, will it be the Son what won it


again? I would not like to say that. We are where we are, and due to the


slightly arcane laws of the way in which the Privy Council works, they


can only discuss one charter regulating one industry at any one


time stop this is one being discussed first, which has upset


Lord Prescott, no longer the right honourable. Those arcane rules are


pain! Do you think the new royal charter for press regulation will be


placed by the next election? There will need to be a way of getting


some sort of consensus and agreement which suits everybody. It is not a


question I am suitably qualified to answer. MPs' pay rise, does the


Government stop it? That is an interesting question and it is a


nightmare for the party leaders. The only god send for them is that it is


a nightmare for all three, not just one. They will hide behind this


theory that it is out of their hands and it has been passed to the


Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. The government sets the


guidelines for IPSA to calculate an MPs' pay, so we will have to wait


and see how David Cameron handles it. One interesting point is how we


move is on this. They benefit from protest votes so it will be


interesting to see how they benefit. It could be barred for David


Cameron. Craig, if you work Cameron, how would you deal with it? I would


make clear that I want nothing to do with it, but I could do nothing


about the rules. Thank you. With me now are three MPs, all of


whom have tried to get their own private members' bills through


Parliament. James Wharton, whose EU Referendum Bill got its second


reading on Friday, Labour MP Lisa Nandy had wanted to see a crackdown


of zero hours contracts but lost out in the ballot and Lib Dem Julian


Huppert had a bill on local planning but it didn't get beyond a first


reading. Welcome to all of you. But let's start with Labour's woes. As


we've heard, Ed Miliband is preparing to make a speech about the


party's relationship with the unions. On the Sunday Politics


yesterday, former Labour Home Secretary John Reid warned of the


seriousness of the crisis. I have no doubt that the leader of


Unite wants to impose an ideological direction on the Labour Party that


with leaders into political oblivion, as it did in the 1970s and


1980s. That is why this is a political struggle. Lisa Nandy,


funnily enough, I will come to you first. He says Len McCluskey wants


to take Labour back to the 70s and 80s, to impose an ideological


direction which would lead us into political oblivion. With respect to


John Reid, it sounds like he is talking about 1990, not 2013. Ed


Miliband was right to recognise that this is a bigger issue than Falkirk,


wherever you have a small number of people exerting a great deal of


influence on a political party, you have a problem, as we have seen with


wealthy donors in the Conservative Party. There are 6.5 million working


people in this country who joined trade unions because they recognise


that without that they would not have the minimum wage, maternity and


paternity leave, the weekend and other rights that we take for


granted. What I think you will see from Ed Miliband tomorrow is a


speech looking at how we rebuild democracy in the Labour Party. I


hope we will see something similar from the other political parties who


have, rightly, been criticised for having a small number of people


exerting influence. Are they wrong for exerting that level of


influence? The strength of the Labour Party has been being a


grassroots organisation drawing strength from the communities that


we live and work on. The difficulty with parliamentary selection is they


are extremely long and expensive and difficult to navigate. Should Unite


be trying to control them? It is right and proper that they play a


part, and I would support that, but ordinary members have to look at


candidates across the board, including those who have not played


an insider role in political life, the trade unions or any other


movement. Len McCluskey says he can no longer go on with the activities


of a Labour Party in which I can face no trust. Do you back the


general secretary or Ed Miliband? have been a member of Unite, or the


T7G, as it was then, as long as I have been a member of the Labour


Party. -- or the T&G. Will Ed Miliband have to resign? The truth


is that the people who have to win the members of our party, many whom


are trade unionist as well, all of whom have a lot to contribute and


offer. They have a right to decide what happens in their own party.


your sympathies lie with Len McCluskey or Ed Miliband? With the


trade union movement and the Labour Party, both of which have worked 400


that 100 years to get rights for people in this country. We have just


had the 65th birthday of the NHS, the coalition wants rid of it. We


need to stick together. McClusky said that Shadow Cabinet was in the


lead in initiating this attack. have not seen the Falkirk report and


I am not in the Shadow Cabinet. I don't know why the police were


called in, I have not seen the report. If that was the decision, it


would have been made for a reason. What law is alleged to have been


broken? I have not seen the Falkirk report, I do not expect the leader


of the Labour Party would call the police in likely, now it is up to


the police to investigate without interference. What you have seen


over the last few days is that this party takes this sort of thing


really seriously. You will seize on concrete recommendations from Ed


Miliband about how we will rebuild democracy within our party. Without


ending the link with ordinary working people across this country


who rely on both the Labour Party and the unions for a better life. I


wish we could say the same from other political parties. We have not


been that openness or acceptance from the Conservatives about their


It is true that if you're going to reduce unions' of undue political


influence and been s'like selection, you are going to have to clear up


your own house? -- in things like. It is overriding Ed Miliband


because he is too weak. Many of these people may go on to become


MPs. The local Labour Party is very weak on the ground. It shows


effectively between two Unite candidates and one of them won. The


a list was given by Central Office. There is no mention of impropriety.


The unions tell Labour MPs how to vote. The Labour Party is


controlled by the unions and they're giving parliamentary passes


to union representatives. How do you explain the fact that Michael


Gove recently made John Nash - one of the biggest donors and minister


in the House of Lords - he put one of the biggest Tory Party donors


into education? I work with him. Both parties have links with donors.


John Nash is hoping to secure a new free school. I am grateful for the


expertise he brings to the role. is about exerting influence.


accept that. Which donors make donations to all the political


parties. -- rich donors. There is no suggestion that rich donors in


the Conservative Party are choosing the MPs. Unions are not rich donors.


They are made up of individuals paying an individual levy to the


trade union. They have a ballot about whether they want to donate


to the Labour Party. All the money they give is to the Labour Party.


There is a ballot. There is a huge issue here. It comes partly to


political funding. I think the real problem with the influence within


Labour - unions do some fantastic work - I am very pleased with some


of it. They are getting too big and too powerful. They have incredibly


well-paid bosses. It is really tricky for Ed Miliband. He did not


win the vote among MPs. He did not win the vote among the Labour Party.


Allegations work it was the unions that gave them victory. I really


hope one of the things we can do is that we can change how party


funding works. It should have been bowled together for them,


particularly when Unite accept the majority of members vote Labour.


is a very important issue. Is that why he is doing it? It is very


important. When I first came out, we all thought when Labour Party is


controlled by the unions. More and more has been revealed. They are


controlling individual selection. It has been revealed the number of


union officials which have been given parliamentary passes coast to


the heart of the Labour Party. -- goes to the heart. In terms of


retaining grassroots support, it is failing. It is about keeping


grassroots Tories on board. A survey shows a 19% of Tory members


are seriously considering poking UKIP and others think they're not


being respected by the leadership. I do not know how many members were


polled. I accept it on the face of it but this Bill is about the


commitment made by David Cameron about negotiating the relationship


again with the European Union. It would be put to a boat and it would


be an inn/apt choice. -- 8 vote. Youth -- you accept this? I do not


think so. It was long before this issue really arose. I am pleased to


be bringing it forward. Over a generation of people have not had a


say in membership. It has been painful to see the Conservatives


try to cope with this. It really is a desperate attempt to tried to


play Kate UKIP. That is a great shame. -- tried to placate UKIP.


There should be a referendum when there is a transfer of power. But


does what we passed into law in the European Union Act of 2011. I think


that is right. I wanted to be an in/out referendum. We benefit


massively from being within Europe. That has to be when there was


something to be discussed. It was incredibly damaging. It hits the


economy and confidence. We see that obsession throughout the


Conservatives. Police say if we get rid of the European arrest warrant,


it will be harder for people to get justice. Ates a simple concession


with the Conservatives. the survey demonstrates people do not believe


David Cameron when he says at some point there will be a referendum.


The number of Liberal Democrats campaigned against the referendum.


The Liberal Democrats campaigned for it. They have changed their


mind. People do not trust politicians of all parties. It is a


good thing to show intent. This is meant to be Conservative Party


policy, whether it is successful or not. It is not about to enshrining


in law the guarantee the British people will be given a say on and


in/out for it. No parliament can bind its successor. It is not a


complete guarantee? It is as close as it can be. Will Labour off and


in/out referendum? I agree with what Julian said about offering a


referendum at point where there is a transfer of powers. It is the


wrong priority at the wrong time. We have 1 million people in this


country who cannot get a job, who were desperately trying because the


economy is in such a mess. It is about the Tory Party talking about


their own priorities. They should concentrate on rebuilding the


economy. An increasing number of Labour MPs are calling for an


in/out referendum. Discussions privately article 4 and in/out


election before the next election. -- are for and in/out election.


colleague is also drawn in the private member's ballot. He has


brought in a cap on excessive charges from legal loan sharks.


That issue was huge in Wigan and across the country. We should make


these things a priority. Do you think Labour will often this?


have not ruled it out but there is the real issue about the economy in


getting it back on track. That has to be the top priority. Stay with


us. Now, it may be called the mother of parliaments but sometimes


the behaviour of its members is less than edifying. And Julian


Huppert here has been on the receiving end of some their more


childish outbursts There is just The energy bill is legislating to


force energy companies to give people the lowest tariffs. I am


sorry, Mr Speaker. It is very discourteous of the house to issue


a collective groan. -- the House. Notably, on the opposition benches.


It is quite inexplicable. I have called the good doctor. Let's hear


from him. Thank you. Thank you, Mr Speaker. This is National carers


Week. Will the Prime Minister join me in paying tribute...? If the


session has to be extended to accommodate the democratic rights


of members, it will be extended. The Honourable Gentleman will - are


repeat will - be heard. Thank you. Two days ago it saw the start of


independent retailers month. How do you characterise that behaviour?


is clearly inappropriate - Beatty's bullying. It moves around. The


Elizna Naude sexist behaviour and deeply rude behaviour. -- deeply


rude. I have made comments it was bullying. It is fine. I will keep


going. It must make you feel pretty dreadful. And number of people have


come up to me and thanked me for commenting on it. They choose not


to stand up on speed because of the atmosphere. To get more women into


Parliament, we have to show it is a mature place. Do you agree with


that? It does seem extremely pathetic. I would say PMQs is a


national embarrassment. It shows the worst of politics. One thing I


have been surprised about since I got elected is how much the party's


work cross-party and with other people from other size to get


through things in the national interest. Parties what we need to


be showing. Not that childish behaviour. There is a difference


between that sort of cheering for an individual - at the Theatre of


PMQs - it is quite interesting and entertaining. It is an


embarrassment. There will be those who can see it differently. This


barracking of individual MPs is totally unacceptable, isn't it?


is. I do not entirely agree that Prime Minister's Questions is a


national embarrassment. The mood of the House is important. You get a


feel of what other people think by what is happening around you. It is


quite isolated. What breaks through is the feeling as to how the House


reacts. It should not be aimed at an individual. That aspect is wrong.


Theatre of Parliament is part of it. Has John Bercow helped matters?


think it is a very tough job for the Speaker to try to control


things. He has not always done things I consider most helpful. We


want to keep energy but it should be about responding to what people


say. It needs to stop for everybody. . The question was Fred Perry was


the last Brit to win Wimbledon 77 years ago. Which of these facts


about life in Britain in 1936 is not true? A) university graduates


had two votes. B) a loaf of bread cost 4.5 pence. C) Women had to


have a licence to wear trousers in public. Or d) the average house


price was �550. Probably the women. Well done. You are right. Thank you


to my three guests - the three MPs. For 1 o'clock News is starting over


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