09/07/2013 Daily Politics


09/07/2013

Jo Coburn is joined by John Sergeant who discusses Ed Miliband's trade union reforms, Margaret Thatcher, and political propaganda.


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Daily Politics where we can bring you news of a huge political gamble.

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The Labour leader Ed Miliband is the one who has rolled the dice and

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crossed his fingers. He wants fundamental reforms to his party's

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relations with the trade unions, which could cost them a fortune.

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We'll bring you all the details. Could we see slums like these back

:00:55.:00:59.

in Britain? We'll meet the MP who says we need new laws to stop

:00:59.:01:03.

landlords exploiting their tenants. When does information become

:01:03.:01:07.

propaganda? We'll take a look at how governments try and influence how we

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think. And we'll take a look at Margaret

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Thatcher's influence on the modern Tory party, as seen by a man who

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occasionally got a bit closer than he realised!

:01:17.:01:27.
:01:27.:01:28.

It's here. This is the microphone. All that in the next hour.

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And with us for the whole programme today is the man you saw in that

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famous clip in Paris there, the BBC's former chief political

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correspondent John Sergeant. Welcome to the programme. You were

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absorbed in the Westminster village for 20 years, how has it changed?

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think many of the old troops have gone, many people thought they knew

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what they were doing. In recent times, people have realised how

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little the parties can do about foreign affairs and so on. When I

:02:03.:02:13.
:02:13.:02:37.

was here, particularly the Thatcher period, politicians knew I could

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argue maybe politicians never did have the power they said they had,

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but now it is more transparent. It is more transparent.

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Because of the expenses scandal, people do not think, you are an MP

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and important. People think you are on the fiddle. That is an

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extraordinary weight to carry around if you are like most politicians

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decent, concerned, trying to make a difference. That is a reputation

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which is difficult to shake, from people who are confused about

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politics because so many issues are highly technical.

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Also, less ideological. Is that a good thing? There is quite a lot of

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consensus around some of the key issues in a way there wasn't in the

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1970s. You could certainly argue it is good

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for the country. The idea that politics is exciting, that is good

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for political correspondents, but it is good where people think it is not

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their concern and they have to get on with their business. When

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politics is really exciting, what is usually happening, it is in the

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middle of a war. Do you miss it? Only when I hear brilliant

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colleagues being too clever. would they be? There are times when

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I think some of my lovely, talented successors could say, we are not

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sure. Add in it they don't know. Or to point out what the problems are

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of knowing. Not so much knowing the problems, but how you cannot do

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this, you don't know that. I often felt that was the key to the

:04:26.:04:35.
:04:36.:04:40.

audience. So, if at various points my brave, wonderful, marvellous

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successors could admit they don't know, I think that would help the

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audience. A bit more human, maybe. Right now, the Labour leader Ed

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Miliband is delivering a speech which sets out his vision for a

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reformed relationship between the Labour Party and the trade unions.

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The move follows the allegations that the Unite union had improperly

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attempted to fix the outcome of the selection of the Labour candidate in

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Falkirk, and suggestions that their broader influence had become too

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great. There are 15 trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party.

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Between them, they have three million members, more than half of

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the total number of trade unionists in the country. Under the current

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rules, members of affiliated unions pay a political levy as part of

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their union subs, some of which is passed on to the Labour Party. If

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individuals don't want to pay the levy, they can choose to opt out,

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but few people do. Under the new rules being proposed by Ed Miliband,

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union members would opt in to supporting Labour. Or, as he puts it

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in his speech, "They would actively choose to be individually affiliated

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members of the Labour Party". That could mean a change in the way that

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union votes are treated in leadership elections, and at party

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conferences. One union leader, Billy Hayes, has described the proposed

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reforms as an "attack on the trade union movement". Former Labour MP

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George Galloway tweeted that Ed Miliband had cut the unions adrift,

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100 years ago, the trade unions found the Labour Party and, decade

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by decade, from Neil Kinnock to John Smith to Tony Blair, we have been

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changing that relationship. We must do so again in this generation. To

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build a new politics, to do more, not less, to make individual trade

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union members are part of our party. 3 million shop workers,

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nurses, engineers, construction workers, people in the public and

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private sector, they should be the biggest asset that any political

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party in Britain has. But, today, they are not. The problem is that

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they are not properly part of all that we do. Let us be frank about

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this. The vast majority are not members of local parties, not active

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in our campaigns, and we have to turn that around. Working people

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should be at the heart of our party. That is why our relationship

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with individual trade union members has got to change.

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Our political correspondent Ben Wright can tell us more about what's

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in Miliband's speech. He is making this speech because of

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the shenanigans in Falkirk. He attacked what happened that as the

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very worst sort of machine politics that needs to be put to bed. This is

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his response, the charge that Ed Miliband is far too close to the

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trades unions, which is why he is suggesting this. The biggest change

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to the labour - trade union relationship since the introduction

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of one member, one vote, 20 years ago. He says, trade unions should

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only be paying affiliation fees to the Labour Party if they choose to

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do so and opt in. That is a massive change if he can get it through.

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Something we shall see during the day. It will be greeted with fierce

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opposition from trade union leaders. It is about Ed Miliband

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saying to his party and the country that this is an issue he is prepared

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to grasp, and he is not in the pocket of the unions. But he is

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making a wider point of the politics he wants to see, a political

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challenge to the other parties. He has said he wants to see a cap on

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how much MPs can earn through outside jobs. And he has said there

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needs to be a start to party political talks on overhauling party

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political funding which has run into so much trouble. Agreement has never

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been reached between the Lib Dems, Tories and Labour. Ed Miliband says

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that needs to be restarted. With me now is Gerry Morrissey,

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General Secretary of BECTU, a Labour-affiliated trade union

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representing the media and entertainment industries.

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We had Ed Miliband saying the relationship between Labour and the

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trade unions had to change. Do you agree that this is an attack on the

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trade union movement? I wouldn't go that far but I think

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it is an attack on stopping unions from being able to represent the

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interests of their members on the political level which we have done

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for many years, and democratically taken on board our members and their

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views. It is difficult to see how we can do that in the future. Do you

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see this as a break with the linked with unions?

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I do not think it is. The Labour party needs a trade union movement,

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the Labour -- the union movement created the Labour Party.

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If he is insisting union members will now have two opt in actively,

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in order for part of their subs to go via a political fund to the

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Labour Party, will it work? I do not think so, he is doing a disservice

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to the Labour Party. When unions are taking forward advice to party

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conferences, we will not speak for as many people. The trade union

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movement consults its members a lot more on those policy matters, issues

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affecting them in the workplace, the minimum wage, the future of the BBC

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licence fee, anybody inside the Labour Party does. If we don't

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consult them and bring forward their views, there is no way the Labour

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Party will hear these views from individual members, many are

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unfortunately cynical about politicians.

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Ed Miliband says there is union members will affiliate directly to

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the Labour Party, he will increase the membership of the Labour Party.

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There will be no middle man of the unions. History does not support

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that. There was an increase up to the 1997 elections. Since then,

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there has been a decline in membership. Ed Miliband has made a

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knee jerk reaction speech as a result of Falkirk. We don't know the

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full details at this stage. Did you see it as a dark period in

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politics, what happened in Falkirk? It is not acceptable. Our union

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prides itself on consulting members, this should not be allowed to

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happen. Ed Miliband started this by asking Peter Hain at re-founding

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Labour and one proposal was anybody could come along and nominate people

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to join the party for �1. Not just unions but all avenues. That damages

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democracy. Why should millions of union members

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who don't even vote for neighbour and up supporting the party

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financially because that is the default position -- don't even vote

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for Labour. Because these are on issues in the workplace which need

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to be taken forward at a political level. Why can't they opt in? The

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reality of the situation is general elections, the majority of people

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choose not to participate. Joining us now from College Green

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are Kevin Maguire from The Daily Mirror, and The Independent on

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Sunday's John Rentoul. Wellcome. How big is this move by Ed

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Miliband? It has created a big fight in this party, he is panicked over

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Paul Kirk -- Falkirk. This is a crisis for the Labour Party. He has

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sketched out his details on the back of an envelope, he has not thought

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through how he will deliver it. The unions may not back him. People are

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talking about living standards, job insecurity, he has decided to put

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the spotlight on his own party 's links with the unions. David Cameron

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must think it will be some everyday. On that basis, it is a huge gamble

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and a big calculation by Ed Miliband, does it bring him any

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political capital, not just in Westminster but out in the country,

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people view this as him standing up to the unions?

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Yes, it is the right thing to do. Kevin is right that the timing of

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this is terrible. Ed Miliband was elected against the wishes of party

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members and MPs by a trade union machine operation, and he had to

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demonstrate within months he was independent of the unions. He has

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waited until now to do it. It is too late. The problem is it now looks

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like a follower and not a leader acting out a weakness because there

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has been a problem in a constituency in Scotland. Does it look weaker? He

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did move to take action in Falkirk. He has now come up with what can be

:14:50.:15:00.
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seen as a massive move to change the relationship with the unions.

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back a year, he was saying, this question of opting in is irrelevant.

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He has changed. He should have done this in 2010, not 2013. He has the

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wrong issue at the wrong time. It will also raise questions about the

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legitimacy of his own election as leader. If he is saying people opted

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out is the wrong way, that part of the electoral college, they voted

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:15:45.:16:02.

for him. He made a complete problem not lie kit. If they say no, it

:16:02.:16:12.
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Len McCluskey came very close this morning. It is the right thing for

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him to do. It is progress. This definitely is what Tony Blair

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should have done when he was leader. It is a very welcome development.

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The problem is, he is trying to presented as a bold and active

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leadership. He has been forced into doing it at the last minute. Let's

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say this does work. Doesn't he then get the prize of putting the

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problem in David Cameron scored, over things like party funding? If

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it appeals more broadly to Middle England, it will work for him.

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always valued people doing the right thing rather than the bold

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thing. I actually think the Labour Party gets a lot from trade union

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links. It gets working people represented and keeps it feet on

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the ground. The truth is that David Cameron will be laughing all away.

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If you are trying to get into some negotiations about finance and

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parties and saying that David Cameron gets too much from the city,

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the point is you do not play it or you'll cards and this game early.

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He will get all of the flak. It may rumble on for months, maybe even

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years. He will get a lot of stick and I think he will get very little

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credit. He is sane Labour's link to the trade unions is a problem. --

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he is saying. People do not see it as a problem. They are talking

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about other issues - big issues. He is talking to his own party when he

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should be talking to the electorate. With us now is the vice chairman of

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the Labour Party, Michael Dugher, and the chairman of the

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Conservative Party, Grant Shapps. Kevin says it is a disaster and

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you're causing civil war within your own party. I love Kevin

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Maguire. He did say we should have done this two-and-a-half years ago.

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:18:43.:18:44.

We played all Arab hearts too early. The truth is, -- hour cards too

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early. The truth is, Ed Miliband has made big changes to how the

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party does its business. We have associated members - people who

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support as a want to play a part in our politics. It is about opening

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up politics to the public. These are big changes. Today is a step

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change. We cannot change Britain unless we change our cells. That is

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uncomfortable and difficult for people. -- change ourselves. This

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is the bold thing and the right thing to do. Why didn't you do it

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three years ago? Why are you doing it now? I suggest the only reason

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is because of allegations over impropriety in the Falkirk

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selection. It is knee-jerk reaction from Ed Miliband. In terms of

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sections, we have dealt with the Falkirk issue. -- selections. What

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happened in Falkirk, I have not seen abuses like that in 22 years

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of Labour Party membership. If you look at selections in reality, we

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have been selecting people from the armed forces, shop workers. I'm

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proud of the candidates we have got. Why are you making these changes?

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The changes on selections in terms of having the code of conduct, I

:20:15.:20:19.

admit that Falkirk has played a part in focusing the mind about

:20:19.:20:26.

taking tough action on this. As for membership, we have taught before

:20:26.:20:31.

about this. We have 20,000 registered supporters. It is a

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continuation of the big changes in the party. It is a step change but

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it is the right one. This is strong leadership, not weak leadership.

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You have tried to distract about some of the vested interests in the

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Tory Party. There will be a break in terms of the financial link. You

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must be delighted. I can see you do not believe a word of it yourself.

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This is an unmitigated disaster. Which is the disaster? You have

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been asking for years for that link in affiliation for people who want

:21:14.:21:19.

to be part of the Union, for that link to be broken and fees going to

:21:19.:21:28.

be Labour Party? It is about a weak leader of reacting to events. The

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Unite union published a paper which was withdrawn which named 40 other

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constituencies. The question for you and your leader, who is weak

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and owned by union barons is, when will he bring the other 40 in? To

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answer your point about opting in and opting out - opting out is when

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a tick a box to not automatically affiliate to the Labour Party.

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Opting in would be more fair. We would have backed him all away in

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doing that. We will help to legislate to make that happen. The

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union barons who owned Ed Miliband have already made it clear they are

:22:13.:22:19.

not going to do this. This is not going to happen. He ran through

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wish list of things, including a contract of agreement between

:22:22.:22:28.

candidates. That agreement is already there. They have shot your

:22:28.:22:33.

Fox in terms of affiliation. That link provides �8 million a year to

:22:33.:22:37.

the Labour Party. That will now be severed the stock that is the

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proposal. You are pleased about that. -- that is severed. Lots of

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members of Unite and others who work hard, Conservative members and

:22:51.:22:53.

supporters, they will have the right to support whichever party

:22:53.:22:59.

they want to through the union levy. It is welcome but he cannot deliver

:22:59.:23:06.

it. What happens if Len McCluskey et Alf say, we are not doing it.

:23:06.:23:15.

Every indication shows they will not do it. Every poll says they

:23:15.:23:19.

will not do it for us stop their members will get a much stronger

:23:19.:23:25.

boys. At the moment we have a relationship with people who fund

:23:25.:23:31.

the Labour Party - people who drive the buses and work the factory full.

:23:31.:23:38.

-- ate much stronger voice. They should have the strongest voice of

:23:38.:23:42.

all. At the moment, we have a relationship with them. They do not

:23:43.:23:46.

nearly played enough of a contribution as individuals. It is

:23:46.:23:51.

about strengthening the voice of people in politics. I would rather

:23:51.:23:57.

be funded by them. We will come to them in a minute. How many will

:23:57.:24:02.

octane? We have announced today there are 2.7 million of them at

:24:02.:24:11.

the moment. -- opt in. We're the only party that has grown in

:24:11.:24:16.

membership. There is huge potential to recruit people through

:24:16.:24:21.

affiliation. Let's talk to those people and say, do you want a

:24:21.:24:28.

director and individual voice? this make Ed Miliband look like a

:24:28.:24:33.

strong or weak leader? In my view he could not run away from this. He

:24:33.:24:38.

could see this issue was going to grind on. It is not the perfect

:24:38.:24:46.

place to stand. Not, can we have a nice option and a horrible option?

:24:46.:24:56.

There are two horrible options. He knows it will be difficult. He

:24:56.:25:00.

realises he cannot go into the next election as the person who ran away

:25:00.:25:06.

from this issue. The issue is too big. The Conservatives have their

:25:06.:25:14.

tails up. It is an open goal. Ed Miliband muss stop that. He was

:25:14.:25:20.

trapped in this brave position. -- must stop. If he wins, it will help

:25:20.:25:26.

him enormously. If he loses, it will be very difficult. He does not

:25:26.:25:29.

often that I agree with Kevin Maguire but he was spot on. If Ed

:25:29.:25:33.

Miliband wants a serious conversation about party funding,

:25:33.:25:40.

we are up for that. And to agree to a cap on individual donations. --

:25:40.:25:45.

and you agree. The problem he needs to ghetto there is he is owned by

:25:45.:25:52.

the unions because he was put in by them. -- he needs to get over. No

:25:52.:25:58.

other party in this country is funded in a way where everything

:25:58.:26:02.

about that party is bought. A union leader is worried about what Ed

:26:02.:26:06.

Miliband is proposing because of the reasons you have put forward.

:26:06.:26:09.

That will all melt away and you will be left with the spotlight

:26:09.:26:16.

being turned on donations on your party. I prepared to catch them at

:26:16.:26:24.

�10,000? We have been talking about it for years. Will you say here and

:26:24.:26:29.

now, we will be agreed and signed up to individual donations being

:26:29.:26:34.

capped at �10,000? We have always been serious about having party

:26:34.:26:38.

funding negotiations. We're very happy to see that resolved. It

:26:38.:26:43.

needs to include everyone and has to include the unions. We can have

:26:43.:26:48.

a situation where they find their way around it by turning individual

:26:48.:26:51.

donations or some other approach which allows them to circumvent the

:26:51.:26:55.

rules. What happens with the Labour Party is they own the leader, run

:26:55.:27:00.

the policies and a place candidates as well. None of our donors have

:27:00.:27:06.

any of those powers. We must move on to the other issue which was

:27:06.:27:12.

brought up by Ed Miliband. millionaire owners of the

:27:12.:27:16.

Conservative Party to bankroll the Conservative Party. They get wined

:27:16.:27:20.

and dined at Chequers and in Downing Street. The Prime Minister

:27:20.:27:26.

has never dealt with those allegations. York chief fund raiser

:27:26.:27:31.

and treasurer resigned in disgrace, I seem to recall, over those

:27:31.:27:34.

allegations of wining and dining high-value donors at Downing Street

:27:34.:27:39.

and Chequers. You have never dealt with that. You walked away from the

:27:39.:27:44.

all party talks. You do not want her to be a cap or take money out

:27:44.:27:50.

of politics. Ed Miliband was not in agreement with the doctor in

:27:50.:27:59.

principle. This issue is important. -- with the bopped in principle.

:27:59.:28:04.

has said we will look at this in the policy review. The public is

:28:04.:28:09.

sick to death with politics in the moment. They think we are all the

:28:09.:28:12.

same and politicians liars are hundreds of miles away from their

:28:12.:28:19.

own. All of us need to address that. -- and politicians lives. We are

:28:19.:28:23.

not saying anything against people at the moment. Is it right that you

:28:23.:28:31.

have people who have a job which is not being an MP but they do lots of

:28:31.:28:37.

other things? In America, they had a percentage cap on the mat of

:28:37.:28:44.

additional income you can earn. I think we need new rules and the new

:28:44.:28:49.

limits. There are dozens and dozens of Conservative MPs, absolutely

:28:49.:28:54.

coining it in from large companies. The public has had enough and did

:28:54.:29:03.

all will have to go in the next Parliament. -- and it all. I do not

:29:03.:29:07.

think to million dollar campaigns is the right way. Ed Miliband is in

:29:07.:29:11.

enormous trouble. He is a weak leader under the grip of unions. He

:29:11.:29:15.

is standing up and making a speech when he tries to deflect attention

:29:15.:29:20.

in all sorts of other areas. He is trying to turn this into original

:29:20.:29:25.

party funding discussion. That is not the issue. The issue is rigging

:29:25.:29:31.

elections for candidates. We have talked about that. Should MPs have

:29:31.:29:36.

second jobs? Should they be paid lots of money? Would you legislate

:29:36.:29:43.

stop that happening? Hold on a second. Today, the row is about

:29:43.:29:51.

elections being raped. He has raters the issue. -- being raped.

:29:51.:29:59.

He has raised the issue. MPs should concentrate on constituents and

:29:59.:30:03.

constituencies. It is not the issue for today at will. What do you

:30:03.:30:09.

think about the idea of second jobs? -- at all. The public has a

:30:09.:30:13.

right to know what is going on. What are they doing in the morning

:30:13.:30:19.

when they should be doing something house? The way the club has

:30:19.:30:24.

operated at Westminster for so long is not acceptable. An American

:30:24.:30:28.

presidential candidate has to immediately publish his income tax

:30:28.:30:32.

returns. You think, how extraordinary? I'm sure people will

:30:32.:30:36.

look back on this period and say, they could earn any money and do

:30:36.:30:40.

other things and set up a little office inside their offers to do

:30:40.:30:46.

this and do that. The whole thing is... Back game is over in the

:30:46.:30:51.

public mind. That is because of MP's reputation being tarnished by

:30:51.:30:56.

expenses. Do not be surprised. The stoppage and say, across the board,

:30:56.:31:06.
:31:06.:31:11.

we're going to be clean. -- you house builders hailed a recovery in

:31:11.:31:14.

the housing market. Good news, you might think. But, as the Labour MP

:31:14.:31:16.

for Tottenham David Lammy explains, the long-term increase in property

:31:16.:31:19.

prices, particularly in London, hasn't benefited everyone. He is

:31:19.:31:21.

worried that a shortage of affordable and social housing is

:31:21.:31:24.

pushing families into the private rental sector, with some worrying

:31:24.:31:34.
:31:34.:31:48.

I am worried that parts of the private rental sector of forcing

:31:48.:31:52.

people back into poverty and squalor.

:31:52.:31:58.

Each week when my constituents come to see me at my advice surgery, the

:31:58.:32:03.

majority come about housing. House prices in London are so high, and

:32:03.:32:09.

waiting lists, council waiting lists, so long. Most people are in

:32:09.:32:19.
:32:19.:32:22.

the private rented sector not out of They come and see me because they

:32:22.:32:27.

are powerless. They can be evicted after six months. Their rent can go

:32:27.:32:35.

up after just two months. The average rent is eight times the pace

:32:35.:32:39.

of earnings. Because of this, they are too scared to ask their landlord

:32:39.:32:47.

for improvements which are often damp and decrepit housing. These

:32:47.:32:50.

factors make it particularly tough for families. Not only is the

:32:50.:32:55.

frequent upheaval difficult with evictions but it is very hard to

:32:55.:33:00.

plan for the future. I have got one constituent who has a son who has

:33:00.:33:04.

been moved three times from local schools in just the last few years.

:33:04.:33:14.
:33:14.:33:20.

Imagine the impact on that young So, we need more homes like these.

:33:20.:33:25.

That will take years to have an effect. In the meantime, tenants

:33:25.:33:30.

need security and stability. They need a minimum five-year term for a

:33:30.:33:36.

contract, with rents increasing no more than the price of inflation.

:33:36.:33:39.

Landlords who offer these fair rent contract should be rewarded through

:33:39.:33:44.

the tax system. This would offer stability to the private rented

:33:44.:33:51.

sector, and offer rewards to landlords who do the right thing.

:33:51.:33:54.

David Lammy is here now, alongside Carolyn Uphill, chair of the

:33:54.:34:01.

National Landlords Association. Will you concede some tenants,

:34:01.:34:06.

particularly families on low incomes, are getting a raw deal?

:34:06.:34:10.

I wouldn't say there are some subtle stance is where tenants haven't got

:34:10.:34:15.

the best accommodation. But the vast majority are happy in their private

:34:15.:34:21.

rented accommodation. It is simply not the case that the bad landlord

:34:21.:34:29.

who are in -- are in the majority. Are you saying that the markets

:34:29.:34:36.

particularly in London has pushed rents up? Why is it affecting

:34:36.:34:40.

particularly low income families? Is it just because they are not able to

:34:40.:34:44.

afford that increasing rent and there isn't enough social housing,

:34:44.:34:52.

rather than bad landlords? We have assured short-term tenancies of just

:34:52.:34:57.

six months. They can put your rent up after two

:34:57.:35:02.

months. The people gaining are letting agents. There is a fee

:35:02.:35:11.

charge, they gain. At the same time, we are spending as taxpayers �23.8

:35:11.:35:14.

billion on housing benefit to these landlords, when a third of

:35:14.:35:20.

properties in London do not meet the decent standard we set for local

:35:20.:35:24.

authorities. That is a lot of properties. Even if

:35:24.:35:28.

the rents are being paid, the standard is not reflected in the

:35:28.:35:33.

properties. Let us be clear, I represent the

:35:33.:35:37.

National landlords Association and we help our members improve

:35:37.:35:41.

standards of their properties so they can run their businesses more

:35:41.:35:47.

successfully, have happy tenants who want to stay. On that point,

:35:47.:35:52.

although it is possible at the end of six months, for landlords to ask

:35:52.:35:57.

tenants to move on, in general, they do not. We survey tenants as well

:35:57.:36:02.

and they say half of tenants have been in their property for four

:36:02.:36:07.

years or more. Every time a landlord changes a tenant it costs money in

:36:07.:36:13.

agency fees, marketing costs. If there is a good, reliable tenant

:36:13.:36:17.

looking after the property, it does not suit their business to move that

:36:17.:36:24.

Tennant on. What would be the motivation?

:36:24.:36:29.

What I am proposing is to end this and move to a situation where you

:36:29.:36:36.

have tenancies for five years, index link rises to inflation. This is the

:36:36.:36:42.

system in Germany. I do not think you should be punitive and demand

:36:42.:36:46.

landlords have a five-year tenancy but you want stability of the

:36:46.:36:50.

landlords so they know how much they will get over five years, and

:36:50.:36:57.

stability for tenants. Some of what people are living in is not

:36:57.:37:02.

acceptable in a developed country. Would that work having a five-year

:37:02.:37:08.

contract, some sort of security and a fair rent contract, whereby rent

:37:08.:37:10.

will not increase much more than the rate of inflation?

:37:10.:37:17.

Be careful interfering with a successful market. If the private

:37:17.:37:24.

rental sector was not providing nearly 8% -- 18% of the homes in

:37:24.:37:29.

this country, many would not have a roof over their heads. We are

:37:29.:37:37.

possibly touching on rent controls which did not work. Landlords do not

:37:37.:37:42.

have the income to invest in their property. David wants better

:37:42.:37:46.

standards, he will not get that if you restrict income the landlord

:37:46.:37:50.

needs. They are running a business in the

:37:50.:37:57.

end. Of course, but we do not need to spend �23 billion in housing

:37:57.:38:03.

benefit to landlords, picking up the cost for free school meals. We need

:38:03.:38:09.

stability in the market. There are landlords at the bottom end for not

:38:09.:38:15.

serving the public or their tenants. The problem is there is not enough

:38:15.:38:22.

social housing. Labour did not build many social housing properties. This

:38:22.:38:27.

isn't the fault of private landlords, there will always be

:38:27.:38:36.

rogue landlords and substandard properties. That is clearly wrong.

:38:36.:38:41.

It's really the fault of not having affordable social housing.

:38:42.:38:46.

We had a balance after the war where a third were living in private

:38:46.:38:53.

rented, third in social housing, a third could buy. Now the prospect of

:38:53.:38:57.

buying in London is remote. Social housing has not been built and

:38:57.:39:03.

labour must take its fair blame. It has decreased under the coalition.

:39:03.:39:08.

In the meantime we have to deal with the private rented sector.

:39:08.:39:13.

Yes, otherwise people will be living in squalid conditions. Isn't there a

:39:13.:39:18.

case of regulation to prevent that happening. If there is such evidence

:39:18.:39:21.

to say people are paying extortionate rents for substandard

:39:21.:39:27.

accommodation, surely there is a case for regulation? There are

:39:27.:39:32.

already regulations to deal with substandard accommodation.

:39:32.:39:38.

Councils have duties and obligations and the ability to act. We would

:39:38.:39:43.

fully support that. Rogue landlords do not do favours to the

:39:43.:39:47.

professional landlords providing good quality accommodation. This

:39:47.:39:51.

conversation is about London. We have housing throughout the

:39:51.:39:59.

country, and in areas around the country there is no pressure on

:39:59.:40:04.

rents, rents have gone down in some areas. We must not legislate for a

:40:04.:40:10.

particular problem in a particular area, a capital city, which will

:40:10.:40:17.

always be under housing pressure. Does London distort the market?

:40:18.:40:23.

This is an issue in London and the South East and major conurbations.

:40:23.:40:30.

London is a massive market, jobs are in London. The population of London

:40:30.:40:36.

is set to grow to 10 million by 2031. We have to deal with this

:40:36.:40:42.

problem otherwise we will see more Our guest of the day is the former

:40:42.:40:45.

BBC chief political correspondent John Sergeant, who spent more than

:40:45.:40:48.

20 years on the political beat, before stepping back to spend more

:40:48.:40:51.

time on the dance floor. He started here at Westminster in 1981, with

:40:51.:40:56.

Mrs Thatcher the figure who dominated British politics. He

:40:56.:40:59.

watched her take on the unions, go to war in the Falklands, and

:40:59.:41:02.

negotiate the end of the Cold War with the Russians. Most famously of

:41:02.:41:06.

all, he was handbagged on the steps of a European summit meeting in

:41:06.:41:09.

Paris, on the night she found out the result of Michael Heseltine's

:41:09.:41:19.
:41:19.:41:20.

attempt to depose her as leader of the party.

:41:20.:41:25.

It is known as a doorstep in the trade, and they don't get better or

:41:25.:41:30.

more memorable than this. The Prime Minister is behind you,

:41:30.:41:36.

John. Mrs Thatcher, could I ask you to comment. Good evening. This is

:41:36.:41:43.

the microphone. One of their most memorable moments. Yet this is --

:41:43.:41:49.

this was the highlight of 20 years covering Westminster. A period

:41:49.:41:57.

defined by a woman who defined post war politics. And John was there.

:41:57.:42:01.

There are few commentators better placed to analyse the Thatcher

:42:01.:42:11.
:42:11.:42:12.

legacy. John Sergeant had a ringside seat here. In his book, he argues

:42:12.:42:16.

the woman remains a Tory icon actually inflicted serious damage on

:42:16.:42:22.

the party she did so much to shape. Some will disagree. Others will

:42:22.:42:29.

conquer. There are few journalists Joining me now is Norman Fowler who

:42:29.:42:31.

served in Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet for her whole time in

:42:31.:42:39.

office, from 1979 to 1990. Welcome to the programme. Your

:42:39.:42:46.

thesis, John Sergeant, in what way did she damage the party? I wrote

:42:46.:42:53.

that ten years ago. Can you remember! The problem was that,

:42:54.:42:59.

obviously, she was very hurt by the way she felt she had been stabbed in

:42:59.:43:04.

the back. So, the sense in which it was her party, not the Socialists

:43:04.:43:09.

who had removed her, but throwing party. That was a major factor in

:43:09.:43:16.

deciding how she would respond when she into opposition. In fact, poor

:43:16.:43:20.

old John Major had to put up with the fact there were two leaders of

:43:20.:43:24.

the Conservative party, the people who thought she was wonderful and

:43:24.:43:29.

shouldn't have been removed. John Major was trying to be the Prime

:43:29.:43:33.

Minister. That caused a terrific tension, particularly over Europe.

:43:33.:43:39.

There were plenty of Conservatives who wanted to support Margaret

:43:39.:43:43.

Thatcher. And others who said, you should be supporting our new leader

:43:43.:43:48.

John Major. That pretty well finished John Major particularly

:43:48.:43:53.

because one of the first things that happened was Britain was ejected

:43:53.:43:56.

from the exchange rate mechanism. The whole idea of Britain being at

:43:56.:43:59.

the heart of Europe under a Conservative leader was not

:44:00.:44:04.

possible. While this was going on, Margaret Thatcher, she didn't mean

:44:04.:44:10.

to really most of the time. Didn't she? She did and she didn't, it was

:44:11.:44:15.

a difficult problem. She did not want to undermine the person she had

:44:15.:44:20.

brought in as leader. She was behind John Major. And she wanted to behave

:44:20.:44:26.

while. But the other part of her was, these dreadful people, can't

:44:26.:44:32.

they see over Europe that I'm right? John Major tried to work out the

:44:32.:44:34.

perfect position so that the Conservatives would be united on

:44:34.:44:39.

this if only he could find what our position was. It was impossible for

:44:39.:44:46.

him. David Cameron is amazingly in the same position. Can't we agree

:44:46.:44:50.

this or that? Large numbers of people in the Conservative party

:44:50.:44:54.

wanted Britain strong and independent and to help with the EU.

:44:54.:44:58.

I personally do not think that is possible. Did she undermine her

:44:58.:45:05.

successors? Certainly with John Major. He was chairman until 1994.

:45:05.:45:12.

She made life much more difficult. The trouble was, the basic trouble

:45:12.:45:17.

was she was displaced not in a general election but in an internal

:45:17.:45:23.

election. Had she been displaced in a general election, we wouldn't have

:45:23.:45:28.

had the problems. I remember going up to Margaret Thatcher just before

:45:28.:45:32.

she, just after she had made the announcement she was leaving the

:45:32.:45:37.

Commons. She was on autopilot. People were saying to her in the

:45:37.:45:44.

division lobby. Basically her reply was, the fight must go on. She

:45:44.:45:54.
:45:54.:46:03.

Was her argument misrepresented? think she had steadily become more

:46:03.:46:08.

Euro-sceptic. She was opposed to Maastricht. The significant thing

:46:08.:46:15.

as for the party - the Parliamentary Party - is that she

:46:15.:46:22.

was a great leader. She put some real spine into those people who

:46:22.:46:27.

were opposing John Major on Maastricht. It could not have been

:46:27.:46:31.

Frankie from that point of view more helpful. The other point was,

:46:31.:46:40.

like lots of us can she felt she was right. When she felt that, John

:46:40.:46:44.

Major and Jeffrey Howe had all been wrong over these issues - I think

:46:44.:46:49.

that really got into her. I have been removed as party leader and I

:46:49.:46:56.

was right and I have won three- party elections and they are all

:46:56.:46:59.

dreadful. How did she feel about Iain Duncan-Smith and William

:46:59.:47:07.

Hague? She felt she would back any one he was not Ken Clarke. They

:47:07.:47:17.
:47:17.:47:19.

lost rather fantastically, didn't they? -- who was not. William Hague

:47:19.:47:25.

is a great politician, as we see now. It was too early for him to

:47:25.:47:32.

become leader of the Tory Party. The fact was that she was not

:47:32.:47:35.

prepared to see a euro enthusiasts becoming leader of the party when

:47:35.:47:40.

it was the obvious thing for the public. If she had not interfered

:47:40.:47:45.

and overshadowed what came after us would it have changed anything?

:47:45.:47:50.

They she had been able to indicate she understood the problem, instead

:47:50.:47:54.

of thinking if she were there or her side could win, that would be

:47:55.:47:59.

straightforward, that has been a problem about Europe in my view all

:47:59.:48:04.

along. If there had been a straightforward position. Of course

:48:04.:48:09.

people drift into fantasy politics full debate thing we do not need

:48:09.:48:15.

the European Union. These are very complicated arrangements. --

:48:15.:48:21.

fantasy politics. They think. For someone like me, it is not serious

:48:21.:48:26.

politics. It is crazy behaviour. If she could indicate there might be a

:48:26.:48:30.

few problems about leading European Union... Sh she would have done had

:48:30.:48:35.

she had been in office. -- she would have done. She would have

:48:35.:48:38.

worked out what the right moves would have been calls that she was

:48:38.:48:47.

very cautious. She did not leap into the dark. -- would have been.

:48:47.:48:50.

Ann Widdecombe was sitting here not long ago and she said she wished

:48:50.:48:56.

the Tories had lost the 92 election. That was quite a fashionable view

:48:56.:49:02.

at the time. Even now she says that the stuff I had a heard her say it

:49:02.:49:08.

before. The theory is you lose the election and bounce back in 97. --

:49:08.:49:14.

even now she says that. I was with John Major to rout the 92 campaign.

:49:14.:49:20.

It was very much his victory. It was entirely down to John Major.

:49:20.:49:27.

Only in the sense he was not Margaret Thatcher! That was

:49:27.:49:31.

extremely important that he was not her. The public actually took to

:49:31.:49:37.

John Major and they did not take to Neil Kinnock. It was a personal

:49:37.:49:40.

victory. His tragedy was he got more votes than Margaret Thatcher

:49:40.:49:46.

but the tragedy was, because of the divisions in constituencies, he did

:49:47.:49:51.

not have the votes in the House. When you are up to Maastricht, a

:49:51.:49:57.

small number of people - which it was at that stage - could hold sway.

:49:57.:50:05.

These things she did leave a fatal legacy? Fatal - I think is probably

:50:05.:50:13.

overstating it. Her legacy... In that respect, in other ways it was

:50:13.:50:19.

tremendous. The ticket ready for the Conservative Party. In that

:50:19.:50:26.

point of view, she should have done what previous leaders have done. --

:50:26.:50:30.

particularly for the Conservative Party. Eden did not come back and

:50:30.:50:36.

make it difficult. Until we got Ted Heath. That again is the irony. She

:50:36.:50:40.

had Ted Heath proving over her shoulder and being as awkward as he

:50:40.:50:47.

possibly could be. He had not won three elections. The she did the

:50:47.:50:51.

same. Oh well, it is all history. Now, is all political propaganda a

:50:51.:50:55.

bad thing? When we think of propaganda many of us may think of

:50:55.:50:58.

the techniques used by the Nazi Party in Germany, or perhaps the

:50:58.:51:00.

spin tactics used by our political parties today. But what about

:51:00.:51:03.

governments who use TV campaigns to encourage us to be careful when

:51:03.:51:08.

crossing the road or warn us about the dangers of contracting HIV?

:51:08.:51:11.

Elizabeth Glinka has been down to a special exhibition at the British

:51:11.:51:21.
:51:21.:51:29.

Politics is about ideas, about how things should be able to be if you

:51:29.:51:33.

want people to vote for you, Folly you into battle or eat their Greens,

:51:33.:51:37.

you must convince them York ideas are best. Propaganda has been a

:51:37.:51:44.

weapon of choice for thousands of years. -- your ideas. This exhibit

:51:45.:51:51.

dates back to 290 BC. The king of Thrace was trying to link himself

:51:51.:51:56.

to Alexander the Great - his predecessor. Power and persuasion

:51:56.:52:01.

brings together examples of state propaganda from around the world.

:52:01.:52:06.

lots of people when they come to an exhibition like this, they think

:52:06.:52:10.

propaganda is about misleading and lies for stoppages what bad people

:52:10.:52:15.

do. When we were planning the exhibition, we took more ethically

:52:15.:52:20.

neutral approach. We defined propaganda as any form of

:52:20.:52:25.

communication which is designed to influence, persuade all reinforce

:52:25.:52:35.
:52:35.:52:39.

Some of the most recognisable images on show casts long shadows.

:52:39.:52:45.

Propaganda gave it a bad name. should be concerned about who is

:52:45.:52:51.

trying to influence us. Are they appealing to a set of evidence we

:52:51.:52:56.

can see and check? Is it more about emotion and playing on existing

:52:56.:53:02.

prejudices? Not everything has such a sinister air. Propaganda has also

:53:02.:53:07.

been used to try to save us from ourselves and even improve our

:53:07.:53:12.

health. There is now a danger that has become a threat to us all. The

:53:12.:53:16.

exhibition includes the 1980s eights television advert, thought

:53:16.:53:22.

to be the most successful public health television film ever made. -

:53:22.:53:28.

- AIDS. The 1990s saw the emergence of propaganda as upstart little

:53:28.:53:35.

brother - spin. Alastair Campbell says the internet has been a game

:53:35.:53:40.

changer. Public opinion used to be based on media opinion. It is not

:53:41.:53:45.

the same thing. That is why I have embraced it. It gives the public

:53:45.:53:51.

more power. His propaganda plane the same old tricks? The challenge

:53:51.:54:01.

is always have to go unnoticed. -- always to go unnoticed. It goes

:54:01.:54:06.

through mass print media, into cinema, radio, television and your

:54:06.:54:11.

homes. It provides a natural home for propaganda to work and get

:54:11.:54:15.

messages and influence through unnoticed. Her while the message of

:54:15.:54:18.

the exhibition is she should question what you are told, it is

:54:18.:54:26.

also perhaps that some propaganda can be good for you. -- you should

:54:26.:54:29.

question. Norman Fowler was the Secretary of State for Health at

:54:29.:54:32.

the time of that memorable AIDs campaign of the late 1980s that we

:54:32.:54:37.

saw featured in that film and he's still with us here in the studio.

:54:37.:54:42.

How do you feel about that campaign - being put in the same exhibition

:54:42.:54:46.

of some of the wartime Nazi propaganda that which used in the

:54:46.:54:51.

1930s? It does not have any relevance whatsoever to that and

:54:51.:54:55.

Goebbels and that sort of stuff. The other thing which came out in

:54:55.:55:00.

that film, the I did it should not be noticed. My whole idea was that

:55:00.:55:07.

it should be noticed. -- the idea. With HIV and AIDS Macro, there were

:55:07.:55:11.

no drugs and no vaccines. Or you could do was warned the public of

:55:11.:55:21.
:55:21.:55:22.

the dangers. Did it work?Yes, it did. HIV went down and general

:55:22.:55:28.

sexual disease went down. Then, of course, the Government being

:55:28.:55:33.

wattages, we'll move on a meat go off the air for the next 20 years.

:55:33.:55:42.

-- being what it is, we all move for off the air. Would you count

:55:42.:55:47.

that campaign as propaganda? would not. The point about

:55:47.:55:51.

propaganda, it is all very well to say they are ethically neutral,

:55:51.:55:56.

propaganda is evil. It is completely cynical. If you were Dr

:55:56.:56:01.

Goebbels, you are not worried about the truth of the Jews, you're

:56:01.:56:07.

thinking, how can we hit them? The essence of propaganda, if you

:56:07.:56:13.

repeat a light enough, people believe it. That is propaganda.

:56:13.:56:17.

Government information - how bad is HIV going to be - is a different

:56:17.:56:21.

sort. I should not say this in public that I was asked to be

:56:21.:56:27.

interviewed for that and I refused. People do not see how people like

:56:28.:56:32.

me and Norman, who has spent a whole lives in this area of

:56:32.:56:36.

government information and reporting, we have not set out

:56:36.:56:40.

cynically to light to the British public. Is there a fine line

:56:40.:56:44.

between what some people would regard as public information and it

:56:44.:56:54.
:56:54.:56:56.

could be quite forceful and Spain - which grew out of the Tony Blair

:56:56.:57:03.

leadership? We saw Alastair Campbell being interviewed. Is

:57:03.:57:10.

there a worry it is presented as government information but it is a

:57:10.:57:15.

viewpoint. You need to be aware of that. Since the years of Margaret

:57:15.:57:19.

Thatcher, governments have feared the bit that way. If you take

:57:19.:57:22.

something like AIDS and the difference between matter what went

:57:22.:57:27.

before, we were about saving lives - attempting to save lives. That

:57:27.:57:30.

was the whole purpose of what we were trying to do. Some people

:57:30.:57:35.

might have said it was about scaremongering. It was hard hitting

:57:35.:57:40.

- doing the opposite of what the chap was saying on the fells.

:57:40.:57:47.

Trying to get the notice of the public. -- on the film. Isn't

:57:47.:57:55.

government spin the propaganda of our modern age? Kids Spain, of

:57:55.:58:02.

course, does not live. -- good spin. It admits, it puts forward

:58:02.:58:09.

arguments about put encounter our arguments. It does all those things.

:58:09.:58:14.

Under Adolf Hitler, the Government set up cynically to deceive the

:58:14.:58:20.

public. You may say, it is the same. It is quite different. The best

:58:20.:58:25.

spin doctors, they very seldom live. That is incompetent spin-doctoring

:58:25.:58:31.

of the worst sort. You are found out. You really are in trouble.

:58:31.:58:35.

What went wrong in Iraq was there were no weapons of mass destruction.

:58:35.:58:41.

They thought there were. The idea that they knew there were not

:58:41.:58:45.

weapons but they but said there were. That is not what happened.

:58:45.:58:52.

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