12/07/2013 Daily Politics


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 12/07/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Daily Politics. The government junks its plan to force companies to sell


cigarettes in plain packages. Labour accuses Conservatives of giving in


to lobbying. Have you spotted any green shoots of recovery? We will


discuss this week's positive economic news.


George Osborne signals that he will not raise taxes after the next


election. It means he will have to take the cash from public spending


instead. And could you ditch the car and


cycle everywhere instead? Adam has been to Cambridge to see whether


Britain could go mad for bikes. All of that coming up in the next


hour. And with us for the duration, two political journalists who are


always top of the class. Helen Lewis of the New Statesman and David


Woolley from the sun. They have not brought me an Apple because they are


not allowed to take back lunches to school any more.


Actually considering plans to force firms to sell cigarettes in plain


packaging, ministers have decided there is not enough evidence that it


will put people off smoking. The Health Secretary has been accused of


putting jobs in the tobacco industry ahead of saving lives. One


Conservative MP said that it was a day of shame for the government. The


decision does not apply to Scotland, where SNP ministers have said that


they are still looking at the idea. The Speaker granted labour and


urgent question on the subject this morning. It has led to unusually


fiery exchanges in the Commons for a Friday, where not much usually


happens. With the best. Can the Minister confirm that Lynton Crosby


had no involvement whatsoever in today's decision? -- look at this.


There can be no greater responsibility on government than


the health of the nation. Every single Health Minister on that side


has declared their personal support for standard packaging. Ministers


should be ashamed to come to the House today, dragged to the House


today to set out this disgraceful U-turn. We have decided to wait to


see, quite properly, the evidence as it emerges from Australia. And I


make it very clear, Mr Speaker, there is no change in the policy of


this government, and forgive me, but the order paper is quite clear. I


see it for me. It says that there will be a publication in the library


today, a written statement on precisely this matter. I'd just


heard a whole load of nonsense going up in smoke. Going up in smoke,


cigarettes, get it? Let us talk to our Political Correspondent, Ben


Wright. Welcome back to these shores. They looked at this for a


year. There are a lot of accusations going around but do we have any idea


of what really happened? We know the government have decided not to make


a decision on this. Two years ago, the Department of Health seemed keen


on this. Andrew Lansley said there were certainly arguments that plain


packaging would deter young people from smoking, which is why the


government started a consultation. It was very popular. 600,000 people


responded to it and the government had that evidence. But we had a


sense that they were cooling on it because it did not appear in the


most recent Queen's Speech and then today the government confirmed what


many suspected, that they will not pursue this any time soon. The


government's argument, that they have to wait for evidence from


Australia. Labour are incredulous and think that the government have


caved into big business. They are trying to make political history


about Lynton Crosby, the man behind the Conservatives was% forthcoming


political campaign, who worked for tobacco companies in Australia. The


government has denied any link between the two, but it is


uncomfortable for them. Labour think it is -- that they are on the right


side of this. Our colleague on the BBC say that Whitehall sources say


that the government is to abandon its plans to reduce a minimum


alcohol price as well, which again was another measure. There is a


sense of a clearing the decks here on alcohol and tobacco. Would I be


wrong in thinking that? You might be absolutely right. Lynton Crosby may


have had no lobbying influence for the tobacco industry but I'm sure he


is one of those people in government saying, look, do we really want to


start bearing down on people who like a drink and likely smoke? Do we


want to look like a nanny state, the sort of people who Nigel Farage and


UKIP are appealing to at the moment? That is exactly what people like


Clinton Crosby are saying, I'm sure, which is why some of these health


initiatives, bearing down on cheap alcohol, are being brushed aside as


the election gets closer. We have even laid on the good weather for


your return! Thank you very much. You hear the sound of the next


election? We do. It looks like Lynton Crosby is involved, but he is


actually involved. Labour will be looking at the idea that this has


been done because his lobbying firm lobbied for tobacco companies. David


Cameron has not helped with this because he has not said whether or


not he has spoken to Lynton Crosby about it. This is seen to be


clearing the decks, getting the barnacles off the boat. Let's not


focus on anything that is not immigration, welfare or the economy.


That is the strategy for the Conservatives for the next election.


And let's get away from things that might get the Westminster elite, the


kind of voters that the Conservatives did not get enough of


the last election, so forget this business about cigarettes and


minimum pricing for booze. What is baffling about this, it was more


than three years ago when they first announced this. So we have had three


years of discussions and consultation about it, and it is


clear that to go for further consultation now shows that they are


kicking it into the long grass. it is still controversial,


particularly on the tobacco side. We're told that the Department of


Health wanted to go ahead with plain packaging and that Number Ten were


worried about the impact on jobs. I would also suggest that they might


be worried about the impact on vote when it came to minimum alcohol


pricing. Doctor Sarah Woolaston, a Tory MP, she said it was a day of


shame for this government and the only winners were big Tobacco, big


alcohol and big undertakers. And we know that she is quite vexed about


minimum alcohol pricing as well. She works as a GP and sees the effect of


this on people. The weirdest thing we're seeing are the Shakespearean


tones we see in the House of Commons, a substitute for the fact


that we know her heart is not in it. Almost felt a bit sorry for her.


there any case for not moving to plain packaging? I see some people


say that it would only up the demand for counterfeit cigarettes, but they


would continue the brands, they will be available elsewhere and brought


in huge numbers. The evidence does not stack up on that. There is the


Jacob Rees-Mogg argument that people should be free to kill themselves if


they want to. Except we have to pay for it when they are clean


themselves. The trouble is, passive smoking, we know that children in


households with a parent smoke up or health outcomes. And the packaging


industry creates these colourful packaging is, and there are many


jobs there. -- the colourful packaging. And cigarettes still


break-ins something like four times the amount that it costs the NHS to


treat people with tobacco related illnesses. Is that right?There is a


big income revenue. It's time for our daily quiz. The question for


today, George Osborne revealed to journalists yesterday across the


road from here that he was given the latest trendy electronic gizmo for


his birthday. Apparently when Paltrow and Michael Gove have one.


job on wristband or a iToaster% were you at the lunch? You know the


answer? Keep it to yourself! -- job on wristband. Look very carefully


and you might just be able to see the early signs of a smile on


George's face. It is not his favourite burger chain doing freak


reject fries with every order, I'm talking about the green shoots


pushing up through the undergrowth. But can we call them green shoots of


economic recovery? Politicians do not. Earlier this week, the IMF


raised the UK's economic growth forecast from 0.7% to 0.9%. Not that


they really have a clue, but nonetheless, that is what they did.


At the same time, they cut the forecast for emerging market


economies including China. A recent chamber of commerce survey found


that UK business confidence was at a six-year high. Other indicators


found that the service sector, by far the biggest in this economy,


grew at its fastest race for over two years in June. And the housing


market, which as been in the doldrums since the great crash, is


also showing signs of bouncing back, not just in London. Across the


country. Mortgage approvals are at a three-year high. And sales of new


cars were up by 13% last month. That is the 16th consecutive month of


growth. Interestingly, car sales are on their back. Even the bankers have


had good news. Moody's has upgraded the UK banking sector outlook from


negative to stable. It is the first time that they had been upgraded


since the financial crisis way back in the autumn of 2008. Of course, it


turns out that we needn't have felt so travel sick at the beginning of


2012 as we did not experience a 2012 as we did not experience a


double dip recession after all. No, the Office of National Statistics


revised the figures for the first quarter of last year from 0.1%, to


this good news, I'm joined by Vicky Redwood from capital economic, and


Charlie Elphick, the Conservative MP. Are we seeing green shoots?


Well, there is a sense that the economy is definitely healing. Do


not think anyone wants to get complacent. We need to be optimistic


but recognise that there are likely to be bumps on the road because it


is a difficult recovery. But think there a definite sense that the


economy is healing. This latest news is positive. Is that the official


wording you have been told to use in case we end up back in recession?


After last time, no one talks about green shoots! Healing is a positive


word. There may yet be bumps in the road. I think it is genuinely agreed


-- generally agreed among economists and nonpartisan observers, that


there is a recovery on its way, but at the moment, not necessarily a


particularly robust one. Would you agree? I think it is starting to


look like the real deal. We need to be aware that things were so bad


before that even a modest improvement feels like great news.


There are question marks over whether it is the type of recovery


that we want. It seems to be driven by consumers borrowing more and not


an increase in exports. That is the difficulty. If you look at the


engine of this week recovery, it is not exports, which are pretty flat,


despite a 25% evaluation. It is not business investment, which is way


down in real terms compared with a few years ago, even though British


companies have �750 billion ready to invest in the corporate treasuries.


It is not government investment, because that is half what it was. It


is consumer spending, another spending boom done on borrowed


money. But importantly, the deficit is down and we are starting to live


within our means. But household debt is rising. We have had more


private-sector jobs created. Mortgage interest rates are at a


record low, but I'd agree there is more to do to encourage business to


invest. As things heal and consumers recover confidence, I think we will


see business recover confidence, and some of that �750 billion in cash


reserves will start to be spent and I hope will strengthen the recovery.


Let's nail this down. It is household spending that is leading


this recovery, consumer demand at 70% of the total demand in the


economy, but living standards are being squeezed. It seems to me that


the only way that household the man can be rising is because people are


borrowing. Right or wrong? wouldn't be a problem if their


incomes were rising, but we have a squeeze on their incomes, it looks


like they are dipping into savings a bit. That might be because they feel


more confident and that will kick-start a recovery and get a


virtuous circle going. We need to be careful. What could go wrong? As


they say in the meerkat commercial? What could possibles go wrong?


Europe is still a big risk. Things have gone quiet and that is


reassuring, but there could be a ticking timebomb and that could blow


up the banking system. Emerging markets are looking a bit dodgy as


well, aren't they? China, Brazil, India? We don't have that much


direct exposure to them. unluckily. The politics of this is


interesting though, because for Labour we have talked about this


before, here we are the mid-term in the cycle, you would expect Labour


to be 15, 20 points ahead, they are not, even though the past three


years have not been an economic success for the coalition. If will


is growth coming, what happens to their lead then? They need to switch


their attack, you were talking about the figures going from 0. 7 to 0. 9


and people can't really keep track of that. It is not in some ways a


useful measure of how people feel about the economy. We know that


people are, they are not, they are not the standard of living is not


where it was before the crash. lower. It won't recover until after


the next election. What Labour would have do is say, do you feel like it


has recovered? Do you feel like your money is going as far as it used to?


Direction is everything in politics, isn't it. Although these figures we


are talking about, most folk watching this programme will have


almost no impact on them at all, because the recovery is so small,


but a sense that things are getting better often works. It is about the


C word, confidence. If people feel the medicine is starting to work,


particularly if we have a small decimal point rise over the next few


months, the next year, people will begin to question as they move to an


election, whether they want to go back to Labour, who they may feel


caused the economic crash, or to carry on with the same treatment we


have been going through. That is the question they will face. In the US


where a real recovery is under way the interest rates are beginning to


rise, and at some stage the bank, Federal Reserve is talking about


monetary policy going back to normal. I would suggest you don't


want that to happen in this country, at least, till after the election,


you need artificially loose monetary policy for the foreseeable future.


That goes to the heart of the collection choice. Do you want more


borrowing which will raise your mortgage rates, more spending, more


debt, more tax, or do you want with the Conservatives to keep mortgage


interest rates low, live within our means and not have net teches rises.


It has been the bankers keeping interest rates low, not you.


Government are setting out a credible economy... How can it be


credible when you are borrowing more than you said you would? We set out


a clear plan. That didn't workWe have been reducing deficit. We got


the confidence of the markets, that is the most important thing, the one


thing that will put that under threat is the Labour policy of more


borrowing, more spending and the rest of it. It is not credible.


Stick with us. We will stick with the economy.


Let us look at George Osborne in front of the Treasury Select


Committee yesterday, he raised questions about welfare and how he


will tackle the deficit after 2015. You are not doing it on the deficit,


because the deficit has stayed the same for three year, you have given


it until after the next election. Interestingly opposition to what I


am doing on the economy, is crumbling, so that is another way of


saying I am getting more support for what I am doing. How committed is


the Government to an 80-20 split? am clear that tax increases are not


required to achieve this, this can be achieved with spending reduction,


I am not sure where the opposition is, because they say they match


current spending, and I don't know whether they have committed to the


spending plan, I don't know whether they would have big tax increases, I


suspect they would. That is for them to explain. Nay have said they would


increase borrowing to lower borrowing. Do you know what this is


like? Have you struggled to pay your rent? I have had a fortunate up


bringing, my father set up his own business, that was successful. I


have worked since I left education, so, but I come back to this point,


which is, this money is not being used for anything other than trying


to help people get into work. you ever been to a food bank


Chancellor. No, I have not.Talking about good use of public money, what


is the maximum that can be claimed as housing benefit for a one bedroom


flat in London? I don't have that? �250. What is the maximum a member


of this House can claim for a one bedroom flat in London? I don't have


the number. �350. Is that fair?It is up to Parliament to make


decisions, it is up to IPSA to make now the decision. You don't have a


view whether that is fair use of money. I want to reduce the costing


of welfare. Chancellor there struggling when it


came to some of the details of what people have to pay for rent and so


on. Would you like to see, in the next manifesto, a commitment that


what further deficit reduction needs to be done in the new Parliament,


will not be done by raising taxes? Very much so, I think, I mean


instinctively a tax cut, all Conservatives are tax cutters and


what we should be looking at is departmental spending, there is a


book produced by the taxpayer alliance, the bumper book of


Government waste. It should be required reading for every minister


looking at the savings that could be made and whether we can reduce... No


doubt there is scope for further efficiency savings, and I think that


is what what Government should be focussing on, not people saying will


you pay more taxes? For the purpose of the Department of Honesty, can we


agree, given it look, according to the IFS, there will be a black hole


of 20-30 billion that will need to be found if you are to stick to your


deficit reduction plan through to 2018, that if you are not going to


increase tax and you want that in the manifesto, the 65% of Government


spending that is now ringfenced, these ringfencing has to come off.


That is a question for the manifesto committee. It is a question for you


today My own view is that healthcare spending is right to ringfence it


because the country is getting older. You would keep health


spending ringfenced. I would.You would keep international aid


ringfenced for the next Parliament The Prime Minister is passionate.


Would you keep it for the next Parliament I expect it would be.Do


you want it to be kept I think it is right to help developing nations.


Military spending procurement that is ringfenced too, under the


Conservative plans, and pensions, would remain ringfenced as well, I


assume? . They would, from my understanding. So how are you going


to find �30 billion if you are not going to raise taxes, and you


continue to ringfence 65% of Government spending? The Chancellor


said, he set out a clear strategy, in his judgment, he doesn't think it


is necessary to increase taxes, and he thinks he can find those savings,


and make... The in the remaining 35% of Government spending. And that is


the Chancellor's judgment. When you have taken 20% out of most


departmentals He has ringfenced most of it. The protection of certain


departments and welfare, will become an increasing barrier, we have seen


certain departments squeezed very hard, they have to make lots more


savings in the next Parliament. It is becoming questionable whether


that can be done. Is it credible to continue that all the cuts continue


to fall, on tn increasingly smaller part of spending, that isn't


ringfenced? It is easy initially to make efficiency savings. But they


have done that. I think it will get harder. The thing that surprises me,


is that some of the ringfencing is self imposed. Some of it is because


of circumstances you are in coalition, would you not like to


take the opportunity, if you formed an overall majority Government, to


free yourself from some of these spending cut restraints? As I said


health spending which the big ringfence is important. Not as big


as the pensions ringfence. Because the population are getting old,


because the costs of healthcare are going to increase, you have to have


that in place, in order to ensure the nation is kept healthy and well,


so I don't think there is much option practically speaking other


than to do that. You see the politics of this developing, because


I think, my sense is it is unsustainable for the Conservatives


to stick to this line that there will be no tax rises, but they will


find �30 billion from the small bit of public spending that is not


ringfenced. The trap for Labour is are you going to increase taxes?


Liberal Democrats want a mansion tax, what you where listening to is


George Osborne a man who thinks he's won't get an Jo all majority, he can


argue from being in a coalition next. There is no Wray to do it


without tax increase, unless you raid pensions.


-- it is not working age people, a lot of that is retirement age


people, and they have been protected so far. So we see the parameters of


the election campaign coming, Conservatives saying, we won't cut


tax, but we are still going to, sorry we won't increase tax but we


are going to ringfenced all the nice things in public spending, and


Labour have been asked questions, would you increase tax? And will you


ringfenced anything? They have to tear down the ringfenced, they can't


get to grips if I was going to set up a business I would set up


fencing. And become rich.They are round everything. I think the reason


the Conservatives have tone this is because they want to be more touchy


feelly, we will look after health, the elderly. Are you surprised he


says international aid will be ringfenceds. I think the triple lock


on pensions has to go. That is a tough one fighting an election.


before the election. So they will lie to us before the election.


that unusual? I just check. Like to know which particular lies I am


being told. Bet you a tenner if you get an overall majority


international aid isn't ringfenceds. I belt you a tenner it is. Right.


Deal done! Thank you both for being with us. It is all the rage in


Westminster, Boris does it, careful, don't get two excited. David Cameron


used to do it until he became Prime Minister. George Young, Andrew


Mitch, they do it. They are all cyclist, most of the country relies


on the car and public transport but a group of MPs has argued that a


quarter of all journeys in the UK should be made by bike. Any way, can


we become a nation of cyclists? Can the Government mandate us to become


a nation of cyclist? We went to the most cycle friendly city to find


out. In this place, they love bikes.


And I am sticking to tradition. I have hired Cambridge's only


rickshaw to discover the city's secret recipe for cycling success.


The stats here are amazing, one in three people commute to work by


bike, more than half the population psychles at least once a week, no


other place in the UK comes anywhere close.


There are bikes everywhere. You can see that a lot of money has


been invested in infrastructure. Rod Cantrell is responsible for much


of it as the City Council's cycle champion. In the past, we are the


first to introduce a covered cycle parking space, within the shopping


centre, we are about to invest in an additional 500 cycle racks in the


city centre, we are the first in the UK to have a multi-storey cycling


park at the railway station, where the plan ing committee has approved


that this week. It is no just big projects like this new bike bridge.


There are smaller schemes too. People can come along, and they can


park their bikes and they can hire for free, a pushchair to use for


their young children, as they go round the city centre, come back,


return it and cycle home. It also helps that in the place


where DNA was discovered, cycling is in the city's genetic code.


anybody in their 70s how did you get round in your 20s? They cycled. I is


not like we are a not a cycling nation. We have got so used to car,


people can't see beyond the end of the Bonnet. If you get on a bike.


Educate people about how easy it is to cycle, people will cycle.


driver Mark workforce a firm who are trying to inject that spirit into


business. The big curious companies deliver


parcels to their office. Then their fleet of cyclists take it the last


mile into town. Their boss is taking part in an EU


project to expand the concept across the map.


The idea is to move that hub and have two or three of them on the


edge of the city centre, perhaps at park and ride sites where the access


is good by road and vans drop off, the goods get consolidated and we


can do the last mile by bike, or electric van. And to top it all off


the Tour de France will come through here next year. Although not sure I


will be taking part. Who knew that driving one of these would prove so


different? We are currently dealing with the


whiplash injuries claim on that particular right. -- right. We are


joined by Boris Johnson's cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan. Who


would have thought it? Is it realistic that we will ever get to a


stage where a quarter of all journeys are made by bike two we did


a census in central London and we found out the 24% of all traffic on


the roads is bikes already. Is a bike equal to a car? That is right.


That is central London in the morning rush-hour. Some roads, it is


64%. We have huge numbers already and we have to cater for them. It is


not 24% of all journeys because lots of people use the tube and the bus,


but it is a big deal. Does it make any sense to go in for this


Stalinist plan, 25% of road journeys must be, or should be, by a bicycle


by whatever year, as opposed to a general desire to get people onto


bikes? The idea of a target is to give TEFL something to aim for. It


is not a compulsion. -- TfL. We are investing in cycle routes to aim to


get people to feel more confident on their bikes. People feel that it has


got riskier. Within the last week, we have seen the first person to die


cycling one of Boris Johnson's bikes. She was on one of these


superhighways that you are looking to build more of. I have stopped


cycling in London because I think it has got more and more dangerous. I


have found other cyclists more and more aggressive and unpleasant.


was the first death on a Boris bike in three years. 25 million journeys.


It is the fourth this year, the fourth death of a cyclist. By this


point last year, there were nine. The overall number of deaths are


coming down and the number of serious injuries might be rising,


but it is rising roughly over the last several years in proportion


with the rise in journeys. The actual rate has not changed. That is


one of the key reasons, it is not really more dangerous. There are 182


million cycle journeys in London, and of those 14 ended in death.


There is no question that you can see huge increases in London, the


number of bikes on the road. Nitrates that back to 7/7, you got


the sense that after the bombings, more people thought they would go by


bike. Would I see the same in Manchester or a Glasgow Leeds?


seeing ambitious plans in Manchester. They have plans to put


segregated lanes in on one of the main roads in the city centre. They


are further behind but they are catching up. There is a mood towards


cycling interventions across the country, the Western world. It is


the sign of an advanced city. Dublin, Edinburgh, New York, they


are all doing it. Edinburgh they are doing it because they cannot build


the trams! Are you a cyclist? trying hard to overcome my prejudice


because I am a confirmed pedestrian. My encounters with cyclists are


sweaty men getting into the left in lycra. I know that all the evidence


suggests this is great for health and transport policy, but there is


probably a big culture shift that needs to happen. We're trying to


remove the lycra from cycling. The problem is, you're right, it is


disproportionately done by young, impatient men. And one of the


purposes of these new groups is to get less confident cyclists on the


roads, and broaden the appeal. More older people, more women, lower the


testosterone level a bit and change the culture. A lot of people


complained that cyclists can be rather aggressive and we want to


change that but it is a long-term goal. Argue one of these middle-aged


men in lycra? I would contest at I am not a middle-aged man! -- argue


one. I did not mean to intrude into your private life. I am in


cross-country runner. That is why you are so thin. I feel that


cyclists tend to polarise opinion. You ivory lycra loud, or you are a


cycling zealot and you think everyone must have a cycle lane. I


think of the big problem is that while road traffic accidents have


come down, the number of accidents involving cyclists has gone up. If


we are pushing forward with this, we need to do more on cycle lanes, and


that is going to cost money. thing about cyclists, more people


cycling is good for everyone. Even if you never get on a bike, it means


less traffic and fewer cars. It means less pollution and less


competition for a seat on the tube. Investing in cycling is a cheap way


to build transport capacity in a time of austerity. The bike lanes in


London will cost 30 million pounds for 15 miles, and that is good to


have a capacity of 1000 and hour. Putting extra capacity of a similar


amount on the cheap lines would cost a lot more. But a lot more traffic


jams in one lane, with the cars queueing to get past. There has been


a reduction in car traffic in London. As there are?The Victoria


embankment, traffic has gone down by 31% because of the congestion


charge. -- has there been. Car ownership is falling off a cliff.


There is not a single borough in London were 50% of households own a


car. We understand that David Cameron is going to make an


announcement in the next month. heard that. I heard was going to be


last month but it was put off by the murder in Woolwich. I think there is


talk of a cycling champion for the country and there will be more


money. Is that going to be you?I have my hands full. I heard it was


going to be a cycling lane with a gate through Downing Street, with no


police officers on control. might be right! Kabul we're talking


it being dangerous, there is no question that in terms of health,


cycling is a good thing. -- although we are talking about it being


dangerous. The perceived risks of cycling are outweighed by the health


benefits. You will live two years longer on average. Generally, it is


not that dangerous. There are 182 million cycle journeys in London of


which 14 last year ended in death. It is fairly safe, but not as safe


as it could be, or that it will be. Argue still cycling everyday?


here on bike. It took about 25 minutes. I could not have done it


quicker any other way. It is less than an inch long and it weighs


barely a 10th of a gram. The declining numbers of the honey bee


are creating a problem for the UK. The government has just launched an


urgent review of the threat. The loss of bee numbers is costing our


farmers almost �200 billion a year. Our Sunday Politics reporter,


Tristan Pascoe, has been to Dorset to assess the potential sting.


Honey is big business. In the UK, we produce around 25,000 metric tonnes


of the stuff year. At a sharp decline in bee colonies across


Europe is giving beekeepers the blues. And the issue is not just


confined to honey. It is estimated one third of the food we eat is


pollinated by bees. So news that around a third of honey bee colonies


did not survive the winter is a major concern. The government says


the losses are the worst since they began collecting data. Dorset


beekeeper, Ian Homer, is one of hundreds affected. Five years ago,


there were similar losses. 30 years ago, 70% losses. It is not unusual


to have these losses. It is unpleasant but it is not unusual.


Pollen is the protein that the bees need. Nectar, or honey, is the


carbohydrate. The European commission say the declining


colonies is due to pesticides used in agriculture. From December, these


pesticides will be banned for a two-year trial. It is a short time.


The moratorium comes in in December. By that time, the autumn crop will


be in the ground. For beekeepers, the period will be less than two


years. Ideally, we would like to see a longer period where object of


research can be carried out. object of research. The value of


bees is not just to the honey market. As far as wider pollination


goes, there is a range of fruit and vegetables, and the figure is close


to �1 billion. 15 minutes away from the a period,


at an agricultural college, bee colonies have also declined. --


apiary. I think it is fair to say that we are five weeks behind


because of the long winter. Here, there are fears about the impact of


the pesticide ban. Our biggest concern is that we return to


spraying, which drifts and can affect the honey bee. And a range of


other insects and wildlife? It is not just the honey bee. It is the


pesticides. They deal with all pollinators, which are critical to


good crop yields. If we do not have them, food prices will rocket.


Environment campaigners are calling on the government is to make the


issue a priority. Come up with an action plan. Farmers and growers


need some help to find better ways of producing and protecting crops in


ways that they can be sure I'm not honey bees and other vital


pollinating insects. -- sure are not harming honeybees. Let's use the


time that we have now during the ban on pesticides to help farmers to


find other ways of growing crops and use safer chemicals. The government


says it is against the proposal for a ban because scientific evidence


does not support it. Back in Dorset, beekeepers remain pragmatic.


In an ideal world, I would like to see no pesticides used, but we do


not live in that world. Pesticides are designed to kill insects that


are causing harm, and there is a fine line between killing insects


that are causing harm and killing insects that are not causing harm.


We asked for an interview with the government environment minister but


none was available. DEFRA said this morning that by the end of the year


we will have a long-term strategy in place to ensure that these and


pollinators can thrive. We're joined by the shadow environment Minister,


Barry Gardiner. Look into the programme. -- welcome to the


programme. How worried should we be about this problem? It is easy to


make jokes about it but how worried should we be? We should be very


worried about it. We have a real problem. If you look at the


reduction in crop yield, that is significant for our farmers and also


significant for the cheque. Seven years ago, when I was in the


department, I put through the first slug of money in the budget am a �6


million, for research into bee diseases. At the time, the Treasury


thought I was insane! I said, well, look, understand that it will cost


�200 million a year to the economy if we do not get this resolved. And


we still have not got it resolved. We need to. What has provoked the


government to promise an urgent and comprehensive review of white bees


are declining? Well, we have had the European directive on this. -- why


bees are declining. That has placed a ban on these pesticides for two


years. Particular chemicals which some think could be a major


contributor of the decline. Indeed. It is a competition. The reason the


government said they did not want to support the ban, first of all at


staining and then voting against, they say they have not done adequate


field trials. What we need is long-term field trials as well as


laboratory trials in place here. And we need to be looking at integrated


pest control management, because farmers have two make sure that the


crops are resistant. And we need to make sure that they harbour


pollinated. And it is getting that long-term programme of research to


do this. But the farmers do not seem to be happy with this ban. They are


not. Actually, as one of the beekeepers said, they said that


their fear is that farmers might start using worst pesticides, which


are going to do more damage. And this is also a consideration. But


that is why it is important that we have the precautionary system


accepted by the government. It is there from the United Nations, and


we have accepted and integrated that into our own legislation. We should


be applying a precautionary principle that says that in


circumstances where we know there is the potential for a threshold of


harm, as we can see here with the bee population, then we take the


percussion and we say that yes, we were put aside what we know maybe


the economic loss here until we have resolved the problem. And we act in


a precautionary way. That is what the government failed to do. I am


glad that they have got behind the ban and they have said that they


would accept it because Europe is introducing it. But we need them to


be arguing in Europe now for a much longer term solution, and a longer


term ban to get the adequate research in place. Have you been


following? We were told engrain grained in us when being litted


kinds, you can swap a fly but the bees, they are the good guys n the


same way the spider is the good guy, and, yeah, it come out true, that


bees are very important part of our... All the creepy-crawlies are


good guy, If you think of the number of crops. Rape seed is pollinated by


beetles, not bee, and yet people don't like beetles when they see


them. They have a function in the ecosystem and the point here, is


that its economic. We, you know, we use nature, because she is valuable,


but we abuse nature because she is free. And unless we value our


natural capital, properly, we are never going to get our decision


making right, because we are leaving out one very important factor in the


cost benefit analysis. Do you have a policy on bees? We did a leader on


bees saying this. It is a bigger point about the Government's dodgy


relationship with evidence. They opposed to European Directive on the


basis neen anybodies didn't kill bee, if you give a toddler three


glasses of red wine and send them to school, they will make it there but


they won't be any use when they get there. Neonics are useless at


pollinating things. In two years time, where do you think we should


be? We should have an extension of the ban, so we can have a proper


period to examine this. We need to have done, by that stage, very sound


peer reviewed field trials, alongside the laboratory trials that


have been done. Thank you.


Now, two US Congress women want parts of the moon to be designated


as a National Park. They do! They say space tourism is the next big


thing and we need to protect the historic lunar landing sites, there


is no souvenir shop up there yet, we can't have people taking bits of the


moon willy-nilly. I will be talking to Spaceman Doug from the Space


Museum and David Morris, but first a reminder of the historic Apollo


That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.


They have got the flag up now and Bringing back the memory, I am


joined by Doug Millard who is known as Spaceman Doug, from the Science


Museum and David Morris who sits on the Parliamentary space committee.


He is in our Salford studio. What kind of stuff have we left up there?


There is lots, there is about 1700 tonnes in total. 1700 tonnes?That


is everything apart from Apollos as well. Apollo left about 100 objects


on the moon. I mean, shouldn't we be clearing this up, rather than trying


to protect it? How do we get there? Apollo cost in today's money �170


billion, so until we go back, which which is what this is all about it


is going to be difficult. understanding is that as of now,


there are no plans to go back to the moon, is that correct? Well, there


are aspiration, there are private companies that are looking how that


might be done, but we, we must not take what NASA did for granted, it


was a tremendous undertaking. are not planning to do it, are they?


Not a the moment. They are developing craft that will be able


to, but no programme at the moment. David Morris, should we start to


prepare for space tourism on the moon? Space tourism. We are talking


possibly 100 years in the future. It is good that it has been flagged up


and it has been recognised that there could be some kind of tourism


pilfering going on, should we go back to the moon in a tourism guise,


and a National Park created, but it would be commonsense to be frank as


Neil Armstrong said, one small step for mankind, the moon belongs to all


of us. So, the US Congressional loan, it is not up to them to


designate part of the moon a National Park, first of all it is


not national, and it is not a park. That is right. You know, the UN 1967


space treaty said, things that are going on in space, or things that we


are putting into space should not be subject or Astral bodies to one


nation itself. I think it is probably pre-empting


legislation, probably 100, 200 years hence, it really is jumping the gun,


but, yeah, it is good to debate it, isn't it. There is a lot of space


junk round, which is orbiting the earth. There is a cloud of it round


us, there is stuff going round the sun. Stuff going round the sun, from


us? Yeah. A bit of rocket, a bits of Apollo still going round the sun.


it breaks up coming into the atmosphere it goes into orbit not


round the earth. A lot of the redundant stuff was crashed on the


moon, which is what this about, but one or two items are in orbit round


the sun, so long-term orbit. What are these two American Congress


women up to, do you think? Is it a stunt? Far be it from me to say, it


is aenable question, there will come a time when more people are going


back to the moon, and the question is, how, how do you deal with that?


I mean, these are very important sites. I don't know how would would


police them, but... I mean, do, do we really need David Morris, this


concept of a National Park? Would think in a way the whole of the moon


is a kind of earth park, that we have a duty to protect. Don't we


just need a kind of monument, or something that marks where Apollo


first landed on the moon? Wouldn't that be enough? This is the anomaly


of the whole situation. Apparently not one nation can claim the whole


of the moon but certain nations can claim a portion of it.


Can they? Yes. That is the anomaly in the whole situation. I think the


two Congress women are probably exploring that loophole and probably


trying to put down a marker in space tourism for the future, to create a


National Park, let us be honest about this, 200 years time, maybe,


there would be the capabilities the technology to have space tourism on


the level where you could go to see the moon landing site, where similar


to Stonehenge, what is left up there now? I am no expert on the moon


itself, but there are lieu mar winds up there, would the land not be


covered by dust by now? Do you want to be a space tourist?


interesting thing is international law. There 1967 treaty, the outer


space treaty, surely the best UN treaty but we can talk about people


being able to claim bits of space. People would want to mine asteroid,


this will become a thing people be argue about. Countries might go to


war over who owns bits of space. will have to leave it there. I think


we will have plenty of time to talk about this before anything happens.


Spaceman Doug. Thank you both. Who has the played a blinder and who


has had a shocker? Here is our guide to the political week in 60 seconds.


Ed Milliband always wanted to unite his party, and Len McCluskey tried


just that, so Ed announced the union Labour relationship must change.


do not want any individual to be paying money to the Labour Party, in


affiliation fees unless they have deliberately chose into do so. G


government posted notice it will sell off Royal Mail offer offering a


free share parcel to staff. The union may start strike action. MPs


got public flak over a proposed 11% pay rise in 2015. Not that they


asked for one! And G4S are in the dock again, this time for


overcharging by tens of millions of pounds on electronic tagging


contracts I am asking the Serious Fraud Office to consider whether an


investigation is appropriate, into what happened at G4S.


And suits you Sir, as one MP snubs dull grey. Robert Halfon knows when


he's been tangoed! That is the week in 60 seconds.


Another thing we can add, the news has come that Alan Whittaker famous


broadcaster has passed away at the age of 87. Helen, where are we now


with the end of this week as we head to the summer recess, where is Mr


Miliband and the unions? ? Cessation of hostilities. Len McCluskey said


he could deal with it. Other smaller unions are grumpy. Tony Blair swung


behind him. The first time we have seen Tony Blair and Len McCluskey


agree on anything. That will bubble on as we forced through the detail.


He needs to do this, he needs to have some kind of' blueprint, in


place or to Selby the Labour Conference or all hell could Blake


out? That is a fair thing to say. He has got the luxury of time, and it


does feel in the same with way with tobacco and alcohol pricing he will


be saved by the bell. We understand there could be a bit of a man


anyreshuffle but it is going to involve a bunch of popties nobody


has heard of being replayed by another bunch nobody has heard of.


What we are being told it will be a second tyre, so if that is the case


-- tier, it races the question how do you promote the people from the


second tier up into the Cabinet without removing somebody from the


Cabinet? It will probably be a bit of a shuffle to tinge deing at the


edges, maybe bringing new people into, and clearing out a bit of


deadwood. Some could have more time on their hand than they were


bargaining for. Before we go, the question was what electronic gizmo


has Mr Osbourne been spotted wearing?


I am told an i-toaster, it toasts your eyes! It is the Jawbone


wristband. The George bone! I have got one myself, I am not sure it


works. It might. Any way it is sup poetsed


to tell you what you have eat, how many calorie, Don't you know what


you were eating by the fact you ate it. It is a gizmo. Does it go


alcohol and cigarette intake. didn't like wearing it because it


did count the alcohol a bit! That is it for today. Hanks to Helen Lewis


Download Subtitles