15/07/2013 Daily Politics


15/07/2013

Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate from Westminster, including the roll-out of the benefits cap across Britain with Green MP Caroline Lucas.


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Daily Politics. A welfare cap limiting households to �26,000 a

:00:41.:00:44.

year in benefit payments is being introduced across Britain from

:00:44.:00:48.

today. The Welfare Secretary says the measure will encourage people

:00:48.:00:53.

back to work. But campaigners fear it doesn't take into account the

:00:53.:00:56.

high cost of housing in some areas, and will hit large families

:00:56.:01:00.

particularly hard. Tory activists complain they're not

:01:00.:01:04.

respected by the leadership. We'll be asking have the political parties

:01:04.:01:10.

forgotten their grass roots. Is media coverage of women too

:01:10.:01:16.

titillating for today's tastes? And is this man value for money? MPs

:01:16.:01:26.
:01:26.:01:27.

will be scrutinising the Prince's All that in the next hour and with

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us for the first half of the programme today is the Green MP -

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she also used to be the party's leader - Caroline Lucas. Welcome to

:01:35.:01:39.

the programme. First today, let's start with airports and Mayor of

:01:39.:01:42.

London Boris Johnson who has been setting out his vision for the

:01:42.:01:51.

future of London's airports this morning. As well as his pet project

:01:51.:01:55.

for a hub in the outer Thames Estuary - dubbed Boris Island - the

:01:55.:01:58.

Mayor has also endorsed Lord Foster's plan for a new hub airport

:01:58.:02:02.

on the Isle of Grain in Kent or a major expansion of Stansted Airport.

:02:02.:02:04.

He branded anyone who supports Heathrow expansion "quite simply

:02:05.:02:07.

crackers" and said the Heathrow area should instead be re-developed with

:02:08.:02:15.

new houses. What do you think about that idea? Is it worth spending �15

:02:15.:02:20.

billion to buy Heathrow and turn it into another London borough?

:02:20.:02:23.

certainly need more housing but I am not convinced this is the best way

:02:23.:02:27.

to do it. You can't keep up with Boris, every two moment he has an

:02:27.:02:31.

idea of where he would like another airport. The bottom line is, as the

:02:31.:02:37.

government knows, they do recognise that aviation growth has to be

:02:37.:02:40.

constrained. We need to learn to live within the capacity it has got,

:02:40.:02:45.

naked better. For environmental reasons and the -- make it better.

:02:45.:02:52.

For environmental reasons that have been probed strongly in recent

:02:52.:03:00.

months... Business leaders have said we are at full capacity pretty well

:03:00.:03:03.

at Heathrow and without any expansion, the economy, particularly

:03:03.:03:08.

in London and the South East, will be really damaged. That is what they

:03:08.:03:13.

are saying in Schiphol, in Paris, it is the same message, that we are

:03:13.:03:19.

going to lose out or other countries will lose out. If you add together

:03:19.:03:23.

the capacity of all of the London airports, it is far above of what

:03:23.:03:27.

other respective capitals can come up with in other European countries.

:03:27.:03:32.

Already we have more capacity. The same argument, if we don't expand

:03:32.:03:34.

then business will go to France or Amsterdam, that is what they are

:03:34.:03:40.

being told. The bottom line is if we are serious about climate change, we

:03:40.:03:44.

know that aviation accounts for 12% of climate change emissions in

:03:44.:03:51.

Britain. If we carry on unconstrained, it could rise to 30%

:03:51.:03:56.

by 50 -- by 2050. If people want to use a third of our greenhouse gas

:03:56.:04:02.

budget on aviation, it would mean there is little left for other of

:04:02.:04:10.

business. The WWF are working with more and more businesses saying they

:04:10.:04:15.

could be more efficient through videoconferencing and so forth, not

:04:15.:04:19.

every business but there is a lot of capacity. The figures do not support

:04:19.:04:25.

your argument that we are at full capacity, he throw is already full,

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running at 99% of committed traffic -- Heathrow is already full. All

:04:34.:04:37.

major airports in the South East will be full by 2030, it is sticking

:04:37.:04:42.

your head in the sand to say we must not expand further. I think it is

:04:42.:04:46.

sticking your head in the sand to say we can go on expanding ad

:04:46.:04:50.

infinitum where we live on a planet with very constrained resources over

:04:50.:04:55.

whether it is land or emissions. If you add up the capacity we have

:04:55.:05:00.

throughout London and the different airports, it is more than in Paris

:05:00.:05:04.

and Amsterdam. It means we are in a good position. Let's learn to use it

:05:04.:05:08.

more effectively and that might mean substituting trains, more

:05:08.:05:12.

videoconferencing, using the capacity that is there for long

:05:12.:05:15.

distance aviation that can't be replaced by Eurostar or similar.

:05:15.:05:20.

Let's learn to use the capacity more effectively and let's also have

:05:20.:05:24.

prices that reflect the true cost of flying. As long as you can go from

:05:24.:05:30.

one end of Europe to the other for �20 on a cut-price flights... It is

:05:30.:05:35.

hard to say... It is not surprising people will do that. Those prices do

:05:35.:05:41.

not reflect the full cost of those flights. But Heathrow, it is

:05:41.:05:46.

Heathrow that has to compete with Frankfurt and Schiphol and Paris. We

:05:46.:05:50.

know already that there are now direct flights to the second cities

:05:50.:05:54.

of some of the emerging countries, you can't get them from Heathrow so

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people are flying to Frankfurt via Paris, it is a loss of hard income

:05:59.:06:07.

for people here. I disagree with that. It is true.I think you could

:06:07.:06:11.

be using the capacity on all London airports more effectively so you're

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not concentrating solely on Heathrow. From the tourism aspect,

:06:14.:06:20.

more money goes out with tourists flying out than comes from people

:06:20.:06:25.

flying in. The economic arguments are massively overstated. There are

:06:25.:06:29.

constraints and aviation is ready difficult area cos no one likes to

:06:29.:06:32.

begin the message that you can't expand infinitely, but it is the

:06:32.:06:37.

case that if you want a liveable climate into the future, if you want

:06:37.:06:41.

a decent countryside without the amount of noise and stress caused by

:06:41.:06:44.

ever-increasing aviation, at some point you have to say stop and we

:06:44.:06:50.

need to decide where that is. month, Caroline Lucas got a ticking

:06:50.:07:00.
:07:00.:07:03.

off during a debate in Parliament. She was holding up Page three of the

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Sun. You might be surprised then to learn that it was her t-shirt,

:07:07.:07:11.

rather than the half naked models on the inner pages of the red top that

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caught the eye of the chair during the session. But it's not just Page

:07:14.:07:17.

three that women's groups and our guest, Caroline Lucas, are concerned

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about but more widespread sexism in the media. Attention grabbing

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headlines are what newspapers are all about, but are women being

:07:22.:07:32.
:07:32.:07:34.

routinely portrayed by the media in For women like me who work in the

:07:34.:07:38.

media, you want to be remembered for what you say and not just how you

:07:38.:07:44.

look. Although clearly, that is also important. A group of women's

:07:44.:07:50.

organisations has looked into the issue and focused the lens on a --

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11 national newspapers and how they portrayed women in daily coverage.

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They found widespread sexism and one charity has a particular concern.

:08:00.:08:04.

found, particularly in the coverage of violence against women, commonly

:08:04.:08:10.

it would be placed next to advertisements for the sex industry

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or for film and mainstream entertainment and culture that was

:08:13.:08:17.

showing violence against women as part of entertainment. You had a

:08:17.:08:21.

juxtaposition of a Sirius issue of violence against women alongside a

:08:21.:08:27.

glamorous and titillating side of violence against women -- age

:08:27.:08:34.

exhibition of a serious issue. We don't think it is a directly

:08:34.:08:39.

causative link but our media reflects and creates our views and

:08:39.:08:46.

standards in society. I honestly do not believe that the manner in which

:08:46.:08:52.

women are represented in the media could cause them any physicality. If

:08:52.:08:57.

women were concerned about what was likely to happen to them, they

:08:57.:09:01.

should look to the video world of pornography, and let's deal with

:09:01.:09:08.

that. Never far from the spotlight, the Sun newspaper's Page 3 as long

:09:08.:09:14.

and good campaigners who regard it as an acceptable daily dose of --

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unacceptable daily Joe -- dose of objectification. A campaign was

:09:22.:09:30.

recently taken into the chamber. Order. Can I tell the honourable

:09:30.:09:34.

member that there is a standard of dress that members must comply with

:09:34.:09:39.

and can I ask the honourable member to address that and put a jacket on,

:09:39.:09:49.
:09:49.:09:52.

please. I will of course comply with your ruling but it does strike me

:09:52.:10:02.

as... You can get copies of the sun in this place. I admire Caroline

:10:02.:10:06.

Lucas but it is more hot air. To a majority of people in this country

:10:06.:10:10.

it is not offensive and may even bring some joy. By being a member of

:10:10.:10:16.

the Green party, you are by nature, a killjoy. Clare Short stood up in

:10:16.:10:20.

the 80s and try to make it illegal and had thousands of letters of

:10:20.:10:25.

support. 12 were from women who had page three mentioned to them while

:10:25.:10:30.

they were being raped, and yet the Sun called her a killjoy and told

:10:30.:10:34.

her she was jealous. It is not harmless fun. Accusations of sexism

:10:34.:10:39.

are not just limited to the print press, the cost media can also cause

:10:39.:10:42.

offence. BBC sports presenter John Inverdale apologised after saying

:10:42.:10:47.

that this year's women's Wimbledon champion Arion Bartoli was never

:10:47.:10:52.

going to be a looker, a comment that proved a turnoff for hundreds of

:10:52.:10:59.

viewers -- Marion Bartoli. The former deputy editor of the Sun and

:10:59.:11:05.

the new -- News of the world, Neil Wallace, is with us. Let's take the

:11:05.:11:11.

report that found systemic sexism in 11 daily newspapers, are you

:11:11.:11:16.

surprised? Not really, the people who commissioned the report went

:11:16.:11:23.

looking for something to sustain their argument. I think the media in

:11:23.:11:29.

this country is what it is. It has always been like that. I don't think

:11:29.:11:35.

it is any more or any less. I think people are desperately trying to

:11:35.:11:41.

sustain a hollow argument. It is a hollow argument here? I don't think

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it is and the kind of reaction I have had, since having that debate

:11:44.:11:49.

which wasn't just about Page three but sexism in the media, the sort of

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response has been overwhelming from people who say they want a spotlight

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put on this. We are not talking about censorship, we are saying that

:11:57.:12:01.

when you come to Page 3 of the sun, why should that be in people 's

:12:01.:12:07.

workplaces, in cafes and on tube trains and buses where kids can see

:12:07.:12:15.

it. There are some fascinating testimony is from people on our

:12:15.:12:19.

website. A father who went to a hairdressers and Page 3 is in front

:12:19.:12:22.

of them. It is the normalising effect was that if you want to find

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that kind of image, go and find it but don't put it in front of

:12:26.:12:31.

everybody. Can I just say, it must be wonderful that in Brighton at the

:12:31.:12:35.

moment, things are so perfect that the MP spends her time in this sort

:12:35.:12:41.

of gesture politics. I would love to come back on that. The absolute

:12:41.:12:46.

nonsense of her in the chamber, can I tell you what I really think dot.

:12:46.:12:56.
:12:56.:13:03.

if she had stood up with a T-shirt that said no more FGM, far more

:13:03.:13:07.

respect if she had stood up wearing a T shirt that illustrated the fact

:13:07.:13:14.

there are 1.2 million offences of domestic violence in this country.

:13:14.:13:20.

Can I come back on those? I would have far more respect if she had

:13:20.:13:24.

stood up and took about video pornography, sex slavery. -- and

:13:24.:13:31.

talked about. To ban Page 3 it is gesture politics. You don't think it

:13:31.:13:38.

is important? I don't. The idea of why I am picking up on this subject,

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it is because of interest in Brighton. A number of women groups

:13:41.:13:47.

have come to meet about working together. I am absolutely opposed to

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FGM and I do work on that. didn't you demonstrate about that?

:13:53.:14:00.

You were not going to get the coverage. It was gesture politics.

:14:00.:14:03.

It is absolutely not gesture politics and I work on all of those

:14:03.:14:08.

other issues. You challenged me about violence against women and I

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am horrified of violence against women. I am horrified of the fact

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that 60,000 women were raped in this country, I am horrified that the

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NSPCC says one in two boys and one in three girls thinks there are

:14:20.:14:23.

occasions when it is OK to hit a partner or to force them to have

:14:23.:14:30.

sex. The daily drip drip object of occasion of women creates a culture

:14:30.:14:33.

where those attitudes are more likely to happen. It is not just me

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saying that, there are government report saying that, UN reports. If

:14:39.:14:43.

you think violence happens in a vacuum, I think you are very wrong.

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Of course it doesn't. What I am concerned about is the blatant

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gesture politics of you standing up like that. It got us talking about

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the issue, didn't it? Media sexism. The government alone accepts there

:15:02.:15:08.

are 30,000 children in this country under the age of ten who are at

:15:08.:15:14.

danger from the most severe form of FGM. Don't just dismiss it. We are

:15:14.:15:24.
:15:24.:15:24.

not talking about bad. We have done the story about the link between

:15:24.:15:28.

newspaper coverage and what Caroline caused is tripping effect, you

:15:28.:15:32.

support campaigns against violence against women, but if we are looking

:15:32.:15:37.

at this issue particularly, do you accept they could be a link between

:15:37.:15:40.

the overtly sexualisation and portrayal of women in that way and

:15:40.:15:47.

the violence against them? I think that, in this society, we have film,

:15:47.:15:53.

the BBC... Do you think the coverage... That is what the report

:15:53.:15:58.

found, the you say there is no link, that it is overblown? I do not

:15:58.:16:02.

believe that there is a provable link between some images of women in

:16:02.:16:10.

some newspapers and the idea of violence against women. Why?I have

:16:10.:16:14.

never seen evidence that stacked up, apart from vested interest

:16:14.:16:18.

groups. I do not think the government's own report as a vested

:16:18.:16:22.

interest, but I find it very interesting that back in the days of

:16:22.:16:26.

Clare Short, she was told she was stupid and jealous, and the argument

:16:26.:16:31.

has gone on, and it is interesting to see how he will not engage on the

:16:31.:16:34.

issue. The issue now is you are saying that it is not a priority,

:16:34.:16:44.

there are more important things. There are many other important

:16:44.:16:46.

things, and I am campaigning on those, this is one issue that was

:16:46.:16:49.

picked up, but I want you to focus on this issue. The reason that he

:16:49.:16:53.

will not is because you cannot sit there and say that, in a culture

:16:53.:16:57.

where you have more and more images of object of five women, normalising

:16:57.:17:03.

women, young kids who see Page three every day, and you are saying there

:17:03.:17:06.

is absolutely no connection between that and discrimination and violence

:17:06.:17:09.

against women, and if you are saying that, you are in a complete

:17:09.:17:19.
:17:19.:17:21.

minority. Sex does sell newspapers, those stories... Sex sells films,

:17:21.:17:28.

adverts... You accept that, that is what newspapers are about. No! You

:17:28.:17:33.

cannot say that is what newspapers are about. All newspapers, like all

:17:34.:17:39.

television channels, our balances of things. One element appears in some

:17:39.:17:43.

newspapers that is a glamorised image. Turn to the City pages, for

:17:43.:17:46.

instance, of the Guardian and the times on this Sunday times, and you

:17:46.:17:51.

will see pictures of pretty women. I do not see where there is a problem

:17:51.:17:56.

with pictures of pretty men or women. At the beginning of that film

:17:56.:18:01.

I said I wanted to be remembered more for what I say than how I look,

:18:01.:18:04.

but you want to look your best when you are in a medium like television.

:18:04.:18:12.

Of course you too, but that is a different argument. We are arguing

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about whether it is appropriate to have in a newspaper kids that can

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get hold of and see. People choose to buy them. That is not to do with

:18:25.:18:30.

choice, because when you go and see a guy reading page three, when you

:18:30.:18:36.

go into a workplace, it is the ubiquity of this, you do not have a

:18:36.:18:41.

choice not to look at it because it is in your face. I am going to have

:18:41.:18:47.

to finish it there, Neil Wallis, you will be on again, no doubt.

:18:47.:18:53.

From today, a �26,000 benefit cap is being introduced in England,

:18:53.:18:57.

Scotland and Wales. The policy is not only expected to save millions

:18:58.:19:02.

of pounds every year but is also believed to be a vote winner. So how

:19:02.:19:05.

will it work in practice? Couples and single parents will receive no

:19:05.:19:11.

more than �500 per week, while individuals will be limited to �350

:19:11.:19:15.

per week. The cap is set to reflect the average working household

:19:15.:19:20.

income. The benefits cap applies to people receiving jobseeker's

:19:20.:19:23.

allowance, child benefit, child tax credits, housing benefits and other

:19:23.:19:27.

key support from the government. You are exempt if you received

:19:27.:19:31.

disability living allowance or working tax credits. The Government

:19:31.:19:34.

says the changes will encourage people to get back into work and

:19:34.:19:40.

hopes that the cap will save about �110 million per year, but critics

:19:40.:19:44.

say could does not take into account the higher cost of housing in some

:19:44.:19:48.

areas and will hit large families particularly hard. I am joined now

:19:48.:19:54.

by Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, welcome to the programme. How do you

:19:54.:19:59.

know this policy is going to get people back into work? This is about

:19:59.:20:05.

fairness, and you are right to say that there is a discretionary amount

:20:05.:20:10.

where councils can give more money for housing. At the moment, overall,

:20:10.:20:14.

there is a saving there. It is not a big saving, is it? When you think of

:20:14.:20:20.

the bill over the welfare bill, you are saving peanuts. Housing benefit

:20:20.:20:26.

is about 23 billion, but it is about fairness. Why should an out of work

:20:26.:20:34.

working age couple get more than �35,000 gross? You would have to win

:20:34.:20:38.

�35,000, if you were working, to get the same as if you were on benefits.

:20:38.:20:42.

That is simply unfair, and that is why we are introducing this. How do

:20:43.:20:47.

you know the policy will get people back into work? Because that is what

:20:47.:20:50.

the policy is based on, that is the premise, that if we put a cap of

:20:50.:20:56.

�26,000, we will get more people into work. It is not just this

:20:56.:21:01.

policy. It is the whole package, looking at universal credit, which

:21:01.:21:04.

is coming in, and that will mean nobody going back to work will have

:21:04.:21:09.

that sort of cliff edge where the benefits outweigh the going back to

:21:09.:21:14.

work. That is important. With this cap as well, you will hopefully

:21:14.:21:19.

begin to see a nudge in behaviour, people thinking, do you know what?

:21:19.:21:23.

It is better off looking for work, going to work than claiming

:21:23.:21:29.

benefits. Plus, the reality is, your viewers watching this, �35,000 a

:21:29.:21:33.

year as a family, why should your neighbour gets �35,000 for not

:21:34.:21:38.

working at all? The current system is just not there, it is unfair for

:21:38.:21:41.

families who are working very hard to support their families without

:21:41.:21:45.

benefits. Up the whole edifice this is built on is completely flawed,

:21:46.:21:50.

because the Government was saying �26,000 is the average earnings, and

:21:50.:21:54.

that is what they related to. If you look at average income, the working

:21:54.:21:59.

families are able, those earning around �26,000, they could also be

:21:59.:22:03.

getting housing benefit, they could be getting housing benefit, child

:22:03.:22:06.

benefit, and they could be getting rather more. So this idea that there

:22:06.:22:10.

are many out of work families who are raking it in, compared to

:22:10.:22:14.

working families, is simply wrong. The new statesman, and I will quote

:22:15.:22:19.

it, it says exactly the same thing, that actually there aren't that many

:22:19.:22:23.

out of work families who are doing better than those in work. At the

:22:23.:22:29.

moment there is already a situation where if you are in work, workplace.

:22:29.:22:36.

That great impartial publication! If you allow me to speak, you might get

:22:36.:22:43.

an answer. If you are working 24 hours, but we knew you are exempt

:22:43.:22:46.

from this cap. Below that, you are right. If you are a single person

:22:47.:22:52.

working 16 hours... So it will hit working families, too. And element

:22:52.:22:57.

will hit, but you can go up to 24-hour is, that is the idea, to get

:22:57.:23:02.

you to do more work. The private sector has created 1.3 million jobs,

:23:02.:23:05.

we have lost half a million from the public sector, but there are jobs

:23:05.:23:12.

out there to go after... There are five people after every one job,

:23:12.:23:17.

what are the other four meant to do?! If they happen to have bigger

:23:17.:23:22.

families... There is no money tree... Could you answer my

:23:22.:23:29.

question? Look at what is happening in the economy... All I would say to

:23:29.:23:33.

you is, at the moment, there are more jobs, more people in work than

:23:33.:23:37.

there have ever been before. That is a good thing, but we need to do more

:23:37.:23:41.

to grow the economy further. There is no money tree, tell me where you

:23:41.:23:46.

are going to find the money. There is a reality that most voters like

:23:46.:23:51.

this policy, they do think there is intrinsic and fairness and that

:23:51.:23:55.

actually �26,000 is enough for people to live on. Perhaps with the

:23:55.:23:58.

exception of London and the south-east, where housing is

:23:58.:24:03.

expensive, people like this policy. Well, unfortunately, I think this

:24:03.:24:07.

government is trying to appeal to people's less good instincts, in the

:24:07.:24:11.

sense that they are trying to whip up the sense that people are ripping

:24:11.:24:15.

off the system. If you look at some of the figures about what people

:24:15.:24:18.

think, for example the number of people fiddling the system, lots of

:24:18.:24:25.

people think it must be about 30%, but in fact it is 0.7%. Nadhim

:24:25.:24:30.

Zahawi admitted the saving will not be that important from a perception

:24:30.:24:33.

and symbolic importance that people feel that the system is treating

:24:33.:24:38.

everyone fairly. If we had Fairfax, they would have a better chance of

:24:38.:24:41.

doing that, and I come back to the initial point, which is if you look

:24:41.:24:46.

at the working family on 26,000, they can still be getting more money

:24:46.:24:51.

from housing benefit and more money from child credit and so on, so the

:24:51.:24:55.

figures are not comparing like with like. That is wrong. Secondly, we

:24:55.:25:00.

should get away from this idea that you need to penalised people. We

:25:00.:25:05.

know that people, if they have got four children or more, are going to

:25:05.:25:10.

be very hurt by this. Caroline will agree with Labour, they want to make

:25:10.:25:20.
:25:20.:25:25.

hard-working people need a voice, we give them that voice. Credit costume

:25:25.:25:30.

or in the end? If you look at what local authorities have said about

:25:30.:25:37.

housing. -- could it cost you more in the end? There may not be many

:25:37.:25:41.

with five or more children, but they will be pushed into poverty, and

:25:41.:25:48.

that will bump up your costs. are 56,000 households, roughly,

:25:48.:25:53.

about 80,000 individuals, 190,000 children, in London it is 49% of

:25:53.:25:58.

London homes that are affected by this. Around the country, I think in

:25:58.:26:03.

my area in the West Midlands is about 7%. So let's see how this

:26:03.:26:07.

works. It is an important message, it is direction of travel, part of a

:26:07.:26:13.

package of making work pay, making work the right way forward for

:26:13.:26:20.

people when they are making choices. The welfare bill is join or must, by

:26:20.:26:25.

anyone's standard... You say that, but a lot of it is going on housing

:26:25.:26:30.

benefit, can I make the point that it is not going into the pockets of

:26:30.:26:34.

feckless people? Rents are so high, that is why housing benefit is high.

:26:34.:26:40.

I would put a cap on rent increases. Distort the rental market? Caroline,

:26:40.:26:46.

you are flip-flopping all over the place. It is not fair to push more

:26:46.:26:51.

people into poverty! Before you go, would you like it to be lower than

:26:51.:26:56.

�26,000? If this works, would you like it to be brought down further?

:26:56.:27:00.

Let's see if it works. The important thing is to make sure that it is

:27:00.:27:04.

fair... Would you say it would be something you would bring down

:27:04.:27:08.

further? I think people on benefits should never get more than the

:27:08.:27:15.

average income. They very rarely do... It is about living within your

:27:15.:27:21.

means... All right, that is enough, no more money trees, Nadhim Zahawi,

:27:21.:27:27.

thank you. Our guest of the day, Caroline Lucas, is the MP for

:27:27.:27:33.

Brighton. The council is controlled by the Green Party. But is

:27:33.:27:37.

Brighton's green dream turning sour? We are joined now by Lucinda Adam,

:27:37.:27:41.

who has been following events in Brighton, but today she is in

:27:41.:27:45.

Tunbridge Wells, just to confuse you. Welcome to the programme. I was

:27:45.:27:49.

in Brighton a few weeks ago, I saw the rubbish all over the streets

:27:49.:27:53.

because of the strike, and there has been a reprieve, but are they going

:27:53.:27:58.

to go on strike again? There is no clearer sign of trouble at a got

:27:58.:28:00.

cancelled and piles of rubbish in the streets, and the seagulls have

:28:00.:28:05.

been having a field day. This all started because the Green Party,

:28:05.:28:08.

which has a minority leadership of the Council, plans to change the

:28:08.:28:12.

allowances on overtime paid to staff. The GMB says that some refuse

:28:12.:28:18.

collectors will be left �4000 worse off. Negotiations failed and they

:28:18.:28:22.

strike began. But what it revealed, more than disagreement between the

:28:22.:28:25.

council and the union, is the extent of growing division between Green

:28:26.:28:30.

councillors. Many sided with the striking workers, and even Caroline

:28:30.:28:34.

Lucas was at the picket line pledging her support. Green Party

:28:34.:28:39.

members sent an open letter to their leader calling for his resignation.

:28:39.:28:42.

They say he is going against the democratic decisions of members of

:28:42.:28:45.

the party and bringing the party into disrepute. Some even attempted

:28:45.:28:50.

to get Labour councillors to join forces with them at a recent AGM in

:28:50.:28:54.

an attempt to oust him as leader. But Labour capitalised by leading

:28:54.:28:59.

the request to the media. He has fought off calls to resign so far,

:28:59.:29:03.

but his problems are not over. As you said, fresh negotiations begin

:29:03.:29:08.

today to try to find a new pay settlement for refuge workers. But

:29:08.:29:11.

GMB leaders have warned that the boats are on a knife edge and

:29:11.:29:16.

another strike could be imminent within weeks if not been as agreed.

:29:16.:29:19.

Thank you very much. Let's pick up on some of those

:29:19.:29:24.

points. If we look at the strike, you were on the picket line, the

:29:24.:29:29.

Green Party is divided. The images of rubbish strewn on the streets of

:29:29.:29:33.

Brighton looked absolutely terrible, doing nothing at all for

:29:33.:29:39.

your image as a confident runner of local government. Well, nobody wants

:29:39.:29:42.

a bin strike, and you are quite right that it did look awful.

:29:42.:29:46.

Unfortunately, the Greens are not the only administration where there

:29:46.:29:50.

have been bin strikes, there have been under all the administrations

:29:50.:29:53.

in Brighton and hope. One of the reasons that the problem happened

:29:53.:29:59.

just now was, as your reporter said, we are under a legal obligation to

:29:59.:30:01.

get the quality is legislation properly imposed. At the moment it

:30:01.:30:05.

is open to challenge because the amount of allowances that the bin

:30:05.:30:09.

men have been getting has been more than many women in comparable jobs.

:30:09.:30:14.

So we had a legal imperative to be able to equalise the allowances.

:30:14.:30:18.

Ideally, of course, what we would want would be to bring the women up

:30:18.:30:21.

to the level of the allowances of the binman. Let me explain this,

:30:21.:30:24.

because it is important. I would love to have had the money to do

:30:24.:30:30.

that. We had a proposal to other parties in the council to say, let's

:30:30.:30:34.

raise council tax, and Labour sided with the Conservatives, not to raise

:30:34.:30:44.
:30:44.:30:49.

council tax. Ism is as if it is said you have no more money, it was

:30:49.:30:52.

a redistribution of the money you had which ended up with bin workers

:30:52.:30:57.

getting �4000 less. That's not right, we have a living wage policy

:30:57.:31:02.

and I am proud of that. We have a policy whereby there is a ten to one

:31:02.:31:06.

ratio between the highest paid and the lowest paid. The Chief Executive

:31:06.:31:11.

took a pay cut and the lowest paid people took a pay rise. But the

:31:11.:31:16.

Greens have mishandled it? We have not. There is a legacy issue which

:31:16.:31:20.

should have been sorted out under the last administration. We are

:31:20.:31:24.

under the threat of legal action in October which could mean if we don't

:31:24.:31:28.

get equality is legislation in place, the council itself could be

:31:28.:31:32.

liable for millions of pounds. Nobody wants to see that so we are

:31:32.:31:37.

trying to find a way in a difficult financial situation, to find more

:31:37.:31:43.

money. Why is the Green party split, with challenges even to the

:31:43.:31:49.

council leader, splits in the Green party that resulted in labour being

:31:49.:31:53.

asked to come on, who said to sort out your own problem. It like naive

:31:53.:31:59.

politics. I think that was naive politics will stop one person has

:31:59.:32:03.

held their hands up and apologised and said it is naive. I would be the

:32:03.:32:07.

first person to say it has been really unhelpful to the Greens in

:32:07.:32:10.

Brighton, it has been very public and it is not a pretty sight. What

:32:10.:32:15.

we are doing is coming together, working to find the best possible

:32:15.:32:19.

resolution so we can meet equality is legislation, to which we are

:32:19.:32:22.

deeply committed, and ensure people are not losing �4000 from their

:32:22.:32:27.

allowances, because that is not right either. We are trying to sort

:32:27.:32:32.

it out when previous legislation have left us with that. Leaving you

:32:32.:32:40.

bombed rubble to Labour taking over? -- leaving you vulnerable.

:32:40.:32:44.

Labour are second but I am confident that I am able to demonstrate the

:32:44.:32:47.

effectiveness of a Green MP in Westminster. Why have recycling

:32:47.:32:54.

rates robbed? I wasn't aware that they had dropped. The Brighton

:32:54.:32:59.

evening Argus said they had come down from 32%, to 26%. The overall

:32:59.:33:04.

percentage of waste produced has gone down. We are trying to bring in

:33:04.:33:08.

food waste collection, the other parties have not supported that and

:33:08.:33:12.

we have not got the money from the EU that we needed. We want to put in

:33:12.:33:16.

place food waste because it is a massive amount of the waste produced

:33:16.:33:19.

in the city. We haven't got the green light for the money but it is

:33:19.:33:25.

a big priority. Thank you for being our guest of the day.

:33:25.:33:29.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the only thing happening this

:33:29.:33:32.

week is the imminent arrival of a new Windsor, but Parliament is busy

:33:32.:33:36.

tying up a lot of loose ends before the summer break. So, let's take a

:33:36.:33:39.

look at what else is going on this week.

:33:39.:33:42.

Today, Margaret Hodge is taking aim at the tax affairs of Prince Charles

:33:42.:33:45.

- the Public Accounts Committee is scrutinising the accounts of the

:33:45.:33:48.

Duchy of Cornwall. Eric Pickles is launching a new Conservative Party

:33:48.:33:51.

group to try and widen the party's appeal among working class and

:33:51.:33:55.

ethnic minority voters. Meanwhile 40 Conservative MPs in some of the most

:33:55.:33:57.

marginal seats are launching their strategy for the 2015 general

:33:57.:34:04.

election. Tomorrow, the Trident Alternatives Review will be

:34:04.:34:08.

published ahead of a debate on Wednesday. Also, the Government is

:34:08.:34:12.

expected to publish its legislation on the lobbying industry. Wednesday

:34:12.:34:18.

sees the last PMQs before the summer recess. Unemployment figures come

:34:18.:34:21.

out in the morning as well as the Office for Budget Responsibility's

:34:21.:34:25.

latest report on the public finances. The House of Commons rises

:34:25.:34:32.

for recess on Thursday, returning on second September. The Lords will sit

:34:32.:34:38.

until 30th July. And joining us now from a sunny College Green are The

:34:38.:34:47.

Spectator's Isabel Hardman and from The Times, Laura Pitel. Laura, an

:34:47.:34:49.

interesting story about Samantha Cameron pushing her husband to take

:34:49.:34:53.

a more robust stance in Syria after seeing the suffering their first

:34:53.:34:59.

hand. How much impact do you think she has had? I don't think anybody

:34:59.:35:02.

would be surprised by the fact that a Prime Minister listens to his wife

:35:02.:35:07.

at home. What is interesting is she is seen as more normal and a lot

:35:07.:35:12.

cooler than David Cameron. Tim Montgomery in the Times had an

:35:12.:35:16.

interesting line, she said if the story is not on six music, I am not

:35:16.:35:23.

interested. So she is interested, she went to Syria and was touched by

:35:23.:35:26.

what happened. I don't think we should overestimate her role. He has

:35:26.:35:31.

a whole host of national-security adviser is telling him what to think

:35:31.:35:35.

on this. And let's not get carried away with the idea that Samantha

:35:35.:35:38.

Cameron is the epitome of normal, she is the daughter of a baroness

:35:38.:35:44.

after all. Isabel Hardman, you may not be surprised but should people

:35:44.:35:49.

be worried if there is some sort of influence going on at home? I think

:35:49.:35:52.

it is quite normal for a spouse to listen to people in their

:35:52.:35:55.

households, it would be odd if David Cameron did not this on. But he has

:35:55.:36:01.

many other advisers who we will also listen to and give more weight to.

:36:01.:36:05.

Tory MPs will be worried about any attempt to rush into intervening in

:36:05.:36:08.

Syria for that the Prime Minister seems to have cooled on that but if

:36:08.:36:12.

anything happens on the summary says, Britain has to take a decision

:36:12.:36:15.

without insulting parliament. Many Tories MPs leave this could trigger

:36:15.:36:22.

the leadership challenge to David Cameron. It is well-known that the

:36:22.:36:25.

coalition is divided on the issue of Trident but how far do you think the

:36:25.:36:29.

Liberal Democrats will get with the argument that Britain no longer

:36:29.:36:34.

faces a threat that requires round-the-clock deterrent. We have a

:36:34.:36:37.

story saying that the review into Trident alternatives report argues

:36:37.:36:46.

that the Lib Dems think we should not go for like for like

:36:46.:36:49.

replacements but producing half the number of submarines. The Tories

:36:49.:36:55.

have it back on this, saying it would be irresponsible. After the

:36:55.:36:58.

election in 2015, the Lib Dems will not be a power on their own but we

:36:58.:37:02.

might have another hung parliament. The big questions is will the Lib

:37:02.:37:05.

Dems make is non-negotiable, saying they will not replace it and will

:37:05.:37:11.

not team up with anybody who will? Will it be a red line in the sand?

:37:11.:37:15.

Philip Hammond has said the Lib Dem proposals would be a step that note

:37:15.:37:19.

responsible government could take. The Lib Dems need to show it has not

:37:19.:37:23.

just been an exercise they have been sent away to keep them busy and no

:37:23.:37:27.

one is going to pay attention, they want to show it is a responsible

:37:27.:37:30.

alternative and even if it is rejected, it has been paid due

:37:30.:37:36.

attention. The proposals for a register are out this week after

:37:36.:37:42.

many years of looking at this issue. Does it tackle the potential

:37:42.:37:47.

conflict of interests of lobbyists having too much influence?

:37:47.:37:51.

remains to be seen, some in the industry say it is not because it

:37:51.:37:54.

leaves out the area of in-house lobbyists. It leaves out the area of

:37:54.:37:57.

in-house lobbyists. It will only force people who are outside

:37:57.:38:00.

lobbyists to declare their clients. If you are the communications firm

:38:00.:38:06.

in-house, let's say a big oil or media company, you don't have to

:38:06.:38:12.

declare your interest so it is a huge hole that has been left open.

:38:12.:38:17.

The role of Lynton Crosby and his links of tobacco has come to the

:38:17.:38:20.

fork so David Cameron will need to be seen to be taken action -- has

:38:20.:38:26.

come to the fore. Who will be in charge over the summary says since

:38:26.:38:32.

Nick Clegg and David Cameron are both aware at the same time? I don't

:38:32.:38:35.

think being on holiday as Prime Minister is the sort of holiday that

:38:35.:38:40.

any of us would recognise. He does have a phone and staff with him,

:38:40.:38:45.

bodyguards following him around on the beach. Don't they have nominated

:38:45.:38:51.

person to be in charge when they are away? Quite a few people will be

:38:51.:38:56.

hoping it is not Oliver N because when he is left in charge strange

:38:56.:39:03.

things seem to happen. Theresa May weight -- may hope it is heard given

:39:03.:39:08.

the leadership ambitions she seems to have been showing. I forgot what

:39:08.:39:12.

the protocol is if you have the Prime Minister and the deputy away.

:39:12.:39:18.

No one knows! I wouldn't actually bank on it. Thank you both.

:39:18.:39:21.

With the next election fast approaching, the latest blow has

:39:21.:39:24.

been struck this morning in the battle for the future direction of

:39:24.:39:27.

the Conservative Party. 40 Conservative MPs representing the

:39:27.:39:30.

party's most marginal seats have published 40 policy ideas to attract

:39:30.:39:38.

swing voters. And as luck would have it, one of the authors is on our

:39:38.:39:42.

panel today - James Morris, welcome. We're also joined by the Labour MP

:39:42.:39:51.

Gisela Stuart and the Liberal Democrat Malcolm Bruce. It is a very

:39:51.:39:56.

glossy report, especially when I looked it on screen. How did you

:39:56.:40:02.

pull together these policies? groups represents the 40 held

:40:02.:40:06.

Conservative marginals. We wanted 40 contributions because it is quite

:40:06.:40:12.

neat. The book demonstrates the creativity and energy of those 40

:40:12.:40:16.

marginal members of Parliament. Lots of practical ideas for the future of

:40:16.:40:20.

the Conservative party. Was it an act of desperation because you are

:40:20.:40:26.

so worried about UKIP? Not at all. There are ideas about how we tackle

:40:26.:40:32.

the growing problems of mental illness in Britain, access to

:40:32.:40:37.

psychological therapies, lots about improving the enterprise agenda.

:40:37.:40:40.

Stuff about driving forward the localism agenda by giving people a

:40:40.:40:44.

much better and stronger community right to challenge. They are

:40:44.:40:48.

practical ideas for the future of the country. Nothing you could

:40:48.:40:54.

disagree with, is there? There are some interesting ones. As I was

:40:54.:40:57.

reading stuff about immigration, what you intend to do with single

:40:57.:41:03.

mothers, capping university places for foreign students, I thought

:41:03.:41:07.

Nigel Farage does not have to win places because his policies are

:41:08.:41:12.

being incorporated in the next Conservative manifesto. Welfare is

:41:12.:41:21.

the top priority, welfare reform is a popular. The idea around teenage

:41:21.:41:24.

pregnancy is still a big issue, there are very high rates in

:41:24.:41:27.

comparison to European partners. I think we should look at it, I know

:41:27.:41:32.

it is controversial but it needs to be looked at. The interesting thing

:41:32.:41:35.

is you are in government foot up if this was of a party in opposition,

:41:35.:41:41.

if a group of Labour MPs had done this, I would say there is a real

:41:41.:41:45.

fight for the next manifesto, but three years into a government in the

:41:45.:41:50.

first term of a government, for 40 MPs to issue their own manifesto is

:41:50.:41:55.

extraordinary. This book demonstrates that the Conservative

:41:55.:41:59.

Parliamentary party is leading the battle of ideas. The Labour Party is

:41:59.:42:05.

completely intellectually redundant, these ideas are for the future of

:42:05.:42:13.

the country. Malcolm Bruce, do you sign up to these ideas? I think it

:42:13.:42:15.

is against what a Conservative government if it was in majority

:42:15.:42:20.

would be do, what being anchored to the centre ground by the Liberal

:42:20.:42:23.

Democrats. It is an invitation to realise what the Tory party really

:42:23.:42:26.

want to do. Some of it is not growing as, it is up to them how

:42:26.:42:32.

they win their seats. You disagree with policies on improving the

:42:32.:42:37.

approach to mental health? There are policies that are sensible and some

:42:37.:42:40.

that are clearly not thought through. It is like reactions on the

:42:40.:42:46.

doorstep duplicate people. These are your coalition partners? They are

:42:46.:42:49.

not, they are the Conservative party who wish to lead the country on

:42:49.:42:53.

their own next time. The top 30 are exempt from universities and what

:42:53.:42:58.

happens if you are at 31? This is an attack on universities who may have

:42:58.:43:04.

the best courses, it is elitist, how do you define it? It has those rings

:43:04.:43:08.

of picking and mixing the things that you will pander, dog whistle

:43:08.:43:16.

like... There are arguments about this immigration policy, there are a

:43:16.:43:19.

lot of universities that are running courses which have no value and they

:43:20.:43:22.

are attracting overseas students to get the numbers up. It is something

:43:22.:43:27.

we should look at. In this book, it is directly in the centre ground, in

:43:27.:43:30.

the mainstream, it has a balance of ideas about the future of the

:43:30.:43:35.

country, looking at improving health care and services and the lives of

:43:35.:43:41.

children and young people. Why have you felt the need to do it? You are

:43:41.:43:44.

in government, you are obviously not getting your message across to the

:43:44.:43:49.

Prime Minister, or he is ignoring you. He has written a foreword to

:43:49.:43:55.

the book. This is the 40 most marginal seat in the battle ground

:43:55.:43:59.

offering 40 ideas to be taken forward by the Conservative party.

:43:59.:44:02.

Does it worry you question but what about the marginal seats you will

:44:02.:44:10.

have with conservatives it could be a challenge? I have had an even more

:44:10.:44:16.

marginal seat for a longer time than he had. A one term MP, now here for

:44:16.:44:20.

the fifth term. The way you'd track the people on the ground is not by

:44:20.:44:27.

saying, this is my alternative. If I was a voter, I would say, there is a

:44:27.:44:30.

Conservative government and an alternative group of the 40s you are

:44:30.:44:36.

trying to offer an alternative menu. This is not an alternative group.

:44:36.:44:40.

You win the most marginal by saying that as a local representative, you

:44:40.:44:45.

may offer something extra but you have to be part of the party. You

:44:45.:44:50.

are welcome to what you're doing it may help us. This is not some other

:44:50.:44:53.

group, it is a group of not intellectually dead Conservative

:44:53.:44:58.

members of Parliament. There is a huge range of ideas in the

:44:58.:45:08.
:45:08.:45:12.

Conservative arty. We are leading the debate. You cannot get away with

:45:12.:45:19.

saying, I am an MBNA marginal seat, I have a different agenda from the

:45:19.:45:23.

Prime Minister. He said these were interesting ideas that not everyone

:45:23.:45:31.

would agree with, he had no choice. These mainstream ideas that the

:45:31.:45:40.

government are building one. We look forward to getting your party's not

:45:40.:45:46.

alternative manifesto! Now, last week Ed Miliband announced plans to

:45:46.:45:50.

reform his party's relationship with trade union members, and later this

:45:50.:45:53.

week Conservative Grassroots members are meeting to discuss improving

:45:53.:45:58.

relationships with their party leadership. As Parliament goes into

:45:58.:46:01.

recession, how happy are party members with their political

:46:01.:46:04.

chieftains? I'm joined from College Green by Conrad Landin from Left

:46:04.:46:08.

Futures, Gareth Epps from the Liberal Democrat Social Liberal

:46:08.:46:13.

Forum, and Bob Woollard of Conservative Grassroots. Let's start

:46:13.:46:18.

with you, Bob, are you happy with the leadership? It is not a question

:46:18.:46:22.

of being happy with the leadership, there are a range of matters that I

:46:22.:46:26.

am happy with, and a range of matters that I and countless

:46:26.:46:31.

hundreds and thousands of Conservative members and loyal

:46:31.:46:37.

activists are not happy with. ones? If you take same-sex marriage,

:46:37.:46:41.

the bill is going through its final stages in the House of Lords today,

:46:41.:46:46.

and there was no mandate for that, no manifesto commitment, no Green

:46:46.:46:53.

paper, no White Paper. No mandate. If you take other issues, HS2, for

:46:53.:46:57.

instance, overseas aid, a number of this use where the leadership do not

:46:57.:47:00.

seem to be listening to their grassroots. And what has happened as

:47:00.:47:07.

a result? What has happened to the grassroots? They have gone, many of

:47:07.:47:13.

them have torn up their membership cards and are either sitting on the

:47:13.:47:20.

hands or have gone to UKIP. What about the Labour position on

:47:20.:47:25.

austerity? That's supported by the grassroots? I think what a lot of

:47:25.:47:29.

Labour grassroots members want to see is a proper alternative to

:47:29.:47:34.

austerities. I do not think it is enough to say that posterity is

:47:34.:47:38.

going to far, too fast. We need to be saying, as Ed Balls has been

:47:38.:47:43.

saying in some cases, that posterity is crippling the British economy, it

:47:43.:47:47.

is losing people jobs, but at the same time as that, we have not been

:47:47.:47:51.

proposing what we will do in said, so we need to be saying what we will

:47:51.:47:56.

do instead, we need to be saying that we will embark on a massive

:47:56.:47:58.

programme of council house building. We need to be proposing

:47:58.:48:03.

things like nationalising the railways, if we need to make cuts,

:48:03.:48:11.

we should be cutting trident, which is wasting billions of money which

:48:11.:48:14.

could be invested in things that are actually useful for the economy,

:48:15.:48:19.

such as green energy and re-nationalising the railways,

:48:19.:48:27.

things that will create jobs but will not be wasted in their impact.

:48:27.:48:33.

Is Ed Miliband a good leader? think he is a good leader... Just

:48:33.:48:37.

not doing any of the things you say. We are having an open discussion in

:48:37.:48:41.

the Labour Party at the moment about a lot of these things. We need to

:48:41.:48:45.

come to a King collusion more quickly than we have so far, but I

:48:45.:48:55.
:48:55.:48:57.

think we are genuinely making progress. -- a conclusion. I am

:48:57.:49:01.

going to stop you there, because I want to move on to Gareth Epps, what

:49:01.:49:06.

about you? What do you think of Nick Clegg? Has he done enough in

:49:06.:49:10.

coalition? He has been working hard, and we have achieved some

:49:10.:49:13.

significant things, not least lifting people out of paying income

:49:13.:49:18.

tax altogether, but he has got a very tough job and has made it clear

:49:18.:49:22.

that our party, which is a centre-left party, is something he

:49:22.:49:27.

wants to lead from the centre-right, and as we look forward to 2015, we

:49:27.:49:30.

have got a big dilemma on our hands in terms of how we tackle the future

:49:30.:49:34.

debate on the economy, and in particular we had a policy motion

:49:34.:49:38.

that was unveiled over the weekend, came from Nick Clegg and Danny

:49:38.:49:41.

Alexander, which effectively looks as though it is going to be

:49:41.:49:47.

committing us to all spawn's view, and that is not is what Liberal

:49:47.:49:51.

Democrat on the streets or people who have worked hard to ensure our

:49:51.:49:55.

57 MPs got elected in 2010 are going to be able to stomach very easily.

:49:55.:50:00.

Would you rather see Vince Cable leading the party? I do not think it

:50:00.:50:04.

is about personalities. I think at this stage it is about the policies

:50:04.:50:11.

and visions. Nick has achieved a great deal as leader of the party,

:50:11.:50:15.

where some of us are quite concerned is that he seems not to want to

:50:15.:50:23.

route the party in the way that we have always done in liberal values.

:50:23.:50:26.

He seems to be wanting us to follow the centre ground and to be tied in

:50:26.:50:29.

2015, for the next Parliament, to the decisions we have made in

:50:29.:50:32.

coalition with the Conservatives in the last Parliament. Just as I think

:50:32.:50:36.

the Conservatives would find it strange to be tied to Liberal

:50:36.:50:39.

Democrat commitments in 2015, I do not think the Liberal Democrats can

:50:39.:50:45.

do the same and follow the economic George Osborne. We have to have a

:50:45.:50:48.

distinct approach, and that was the approach that Vince Cable

:50:48.:50:53.

articulated so well in 2010. Do you think UKIP are going to make great

:50:53.:50:56.

games at the expense of the Conservatives in terms of not just

:50:56.:51:02.

grassroots members but seats? think they probably will at the

:51:02.:51:07.

European elections. But we have got to really get back, in the

:51:07.:51:11.

Conservative Party, in my opinion, get back to what ordinary people

:51:11.:51:15.

want, what ordinary people are feeling. You know, people are fed up

:51:15.:51:19.

to the back teeth of politicians who say one thing when is an election

:51:19.:51:24.

coming up and do another when they get into power. So this is switching

:51:24.:51:29.

people off totally. Will give Nigel Farage one thing, in particular he

:51:29.:51:33.

is a straight talking type of chap, and we need a much more straight

:51:33.:51:37.

talking, we need to speak from the heart, take people with us, take

:51:37.:51:41.

people along with us. That is what is not happening at the moment on a

:51:41.:51:47.

range of issues. Do you both agree on that point? There is a challenge

:51:47.:51:51.

coming for all the parties, and I see it quite differently to some of

:51:51.:51:58.

the voices... Briefly!I think the Labour Party needs to be offering a

:51:58.:52:02.

more modern vision. I think we need to be at the forefront of campaigns

:52:02.:52:07.

such as for equal marriage, but we also need to be shown... The Labour

:52:07.:52:10.

leadership needs to show they have nothing to fear from openers and

:52:10.:52:14.

debate and from grassroots voices being heard. Is a challenge for all

:52:14.:52:22.

three, and the world has changed. The fact that we are talking about

:52:22.:52:24.

equal marriage legislation is something that none of us would have

:52:24.:52:28.

thought would have been possible ten years ago. Political parties do need

:52:28.:52:31.

to remember that they need to be doing that straight talking and be

:52:31.:52:36.

honest with the electorate. Thank you, gentlemen, very interesting,

:52:36.:52:39.

thank you for coming onto the programme.

:52:39.:52:42.

All of them seem to be unhappy with the leadership in one way or

:52:42.:52:46.

another, not listening to them, the Conservatives said that the

:52:46.:52:51.

grassroot numbers have gone for ever. Ed Miliband has nothing to

:52:51.:52:55.

fear by being open. And that is why I think the recognition that all the

:52:55.:52:59.

major political parties have to become broad movements again, where

:52:59.:53:05.

your grassroots actually not just your members. But can you get any

:53:05.:53:09.

new members with what Ed Miliband is suggesting? My grassroots are not

:53:09.:53:13.

all male and white. I thought it was very interesting that those three

:53:13.:53:18.

examples of speaking for the grassroots. My grassroots are

:53:18.:53:21.

hundreds of people who deliver leaflets, and probably only a third

:53:21.:53:25.

of them will be card-carrying Labour Party members. You engage them in

:53:25.:53:28.

the political process and ask them genuine questions. I am doing

:53:28.:53:31.

something on welfare where I am waiting for responses because I

:53:31.:53:36.

really want to know. The Liberal Democrat there, Malcolm Bruce,

:53:36.:53:42.

saying they are a centre-left, not a centre-right party. Something sounds

:53:42.:53:49.

wrong for him... The party is a liberal party which is broadly

:53:49.:53:55.

centrist. The fact is, if you look recently, an interesting article in

:53:55.:53:59.

the Economist, showing that young people are fundamentally socially

:53:59.:54:04.

and economic li liberal, and our job is to make them vote Liberal. You

:54:04.:54:08.

cannot run away from the facts, nobody likes austerity. We have to

:54:08.:54:13.

do things that nobody came into politics wanting to do, and I think

:54:13.:54:16.

the electorate get it. The debate should be how you do it as fairly as

:54:16.:54:19.

possible, and that is what the debate about the parties will be,

:54:20.:54:23.

rather than trying to pretend you can ignore the background and do

:54:23.:54:28.

something you will never deliver in government. Very briefly, we heard a

:54:28.:54:33.

lot beforehand, but you have lost quite a lot of grassroots for ever.

:54:33.:54:36.

I do not necessarily agree with that. My sense of talking to the

:54:36.:54:41.

grassroots in my constituency is that they are encouraged by the fact

:54:41.:54:45.

that this Government is focusing on these use of ordinary people,

:54:45.:54:49.

Welfare Reform Act off He says you are not listening, HS2, gay

:54:49.:54:57.

marriage. These are things which are of central concern is to ordinary

:54:57.:55:01.

voters in my constituency. Margaret Hodge and the Public Accounts

:55:01.:55:05.

Committee have a new target in their sights, fresh from attacking the

:55:05.:55:12.

likes of Google, Amazon and Apple, the committee turns its attention to

:55:12.:55:15.

Prince Charles. His chief adviser, William Nye will be asked to explain

:55:15.:55:19.

why the Prince pays income tax on the money he receives from the Duchy

:55:19.:55:25.

of Cornwall, but no corporation tax. The cabin is -- the campaigning

:55:25.:55:30.

organisation Republic wrote to Margaret Hodge asking her to

:55:30.:55:34.

investigate his affairs. Why are Prince Charles's tax affairs a

:55:34.:55:39.

problem? He pays income tax. Duchy of Cornwall is the issue, not

:55:39.:55:43.

Prince Charles as an individual. This is one of the excuses they have

:55:43.:55:46.

tried to make, suggesting there is no distinction. There is a

:55:46.:55:50.

distinction, the Duchy is a major commercial property empire, it makes

:55:50.:55:56.

millions of pounds every year of profit on, you know, trading in the

:55:56.:56:00.

property market and pays not a single penny of corporation tax. In

:56:00.:56:04.

this day and age, and people are very upset about this issue, Google

:56:04.:56:08.

and Amazon and Starbucks, there are serious questions to ask about why

:56:08.:56:12.

that is. We will get onto that comparison, but public funding for

:56:13.:56:17.

the Prince of Wales fell by 50% in the last financial year, and the

:56:17.:56:20.

income he receives from the Duchy enables him to be largely

:56:20.:56:23.

self-funded, and he also pays the household expenses of William and

:56:23.:56:33.
:56:33.:56:34.

Kate, a pretty good deal for the taxpayer. No, the funding did not

:56:34.:56:37.

fall at all. All is that happened is that some of the costs were shifted

:56:37.:56:40.

onto the Commonwealth countries. We do not owe him any money at all,

:56:40.:56:43.

he's not be head of state, so we are not getting a good deal. There is a

:56:43.:56:46.

fundamental point of principle, attack should be applied equally to

:56:46.:56:50.

everybody, and there is no justification for the Duchy of

:56:50.:56:55.

Cornwall not to be paying it. All of their excuses have been taken apart

:56:55.:56:59.

by experts, and they carry on trying to twist and turn and get out of

:56:59.:57:02.

paying corporation tax on multi-million pound profits. Thank

:57:02.:57:07.

you very much indeed. Do you think it is fair to compare, as was done

:57:07.:57:13.

there, the Duchy of Cornwall to Starbucks and Amazon? No, I don't

:57:13.:57:16.

think it is. Talking about a personal attack on Prince Charles,

:57:16.:57:19.

no Woody would be suggesting that Prince Charles and his organisations

:57:20.:57:25.

are not doing great work in Britain. -- nobody. It is probably right that

:57:25.:57:29.

we live in an age of transparency, and it is legitimate that the Public

:57:29.:57:32.

Accounts Committee looks at the details of this, but I do not think

:57:32.:57:40.

any Woody -- anybody would be suggesting Prince Charles is

:57:40.:57:44.

avoiding paying tax. But should he be paying corporation tax from the

:57:44.:57:49.

estate, not him personally? He pays income tax on the money he makes, I

:57:49.:57:53.

suppose you could argue that he would be being taxed twice. He would

:57:53.:57:57.

be able to offset one against the other. That is what the Public

:57:57.:58:00.

Accounts Committee are looking into. I do not think I could comment

:58:00.:58:03.

other than it is good it should be investigated. He should be paying

:58:04.:58:08.

his fair contribution, whether in income tax or corporation tax. A few

:58:08.:58:12.

years ago, the Queen did not pay any tax, now she does, and we are moving

:58:12.:58:15.

into a situation where it is expected that the Royals should pay

:58:15.:58:19.

their fair share. I agree that this is the Duchy of Cornwall, not Amazon

:58:19.:58:24.

or Google, this is a domestic business. The only issue is whether

:58:24.:58:27.

it should be managed on behalf of the role family or in a way that is

:58:27.:58:31.

just fair and just to the public sector and to the Royal Family to do

:58:31.:58:36.

the job they have to. transparency, they have to be just

:58:36.:58:40.

as transparent as every videos, so it is a good move. It is a shame he

:58:40.:58:46.

is not going to appear before the committee. I do not think he is

:58:46.:58:50.

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