16/07/2013 Daily Politics


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 16/07/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Politics. Labour and the Tories argue over who is to blame for


unnecessary deaths in NHS hospitals as a critical report slams the


standard of care at 14 hospital trusts in England. The Government


outlines options for replacing Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent


programme, but the Lib Dems and Conservatives cannot agree on a


plan, we talk to both. What would Britain look like if we leave the


EU? Nigel Lawson will explain why he is backing a 100,000 euros prize to


find the best route map out of Europe. Tony Blair likes them,


Gordon Brown loves them. As the UK swelters, should ice cream vans be


allowed to play their chimes more often? We have the inside scoop,


And an hour full of puns, no doubt. With us for the whole programme is


Richard Lloyd, executive director of the consumer organisation Which,


welcome to the programme. Hundreds and thousands of pounds, even!


report from Which says that Britain's big six energy firms


should be forced to separate their generation businesses from their


retail arms to ensure customers are not overcharged. Are you suggesting,


like the banks, that we break up the big six? Exactly what you should do


is but a ringfenced between the part of the energy companies that have a


generation business and that sell it to us in the retail market. They are


able to sell themselves power and then sell it on to us, and that part


of the business is completely not transparent, it is impossible to see


whether they are competing properly with each other. They are very often


hiding behind trades of huge volumes of gas and electricity, and that is


a massive chunk of our bills at the end of the day. So what we want a


disease is a clear division between those two parts of unified


businesses that do generation and retail, and proper transparency,


proper competition. Would it actually bring down bills? Npower


has said it is the government's predictions on savings with more


investment in green technologies that has pushed up the bills, not


their profits, not from cycling a bit from generation to retail, but


that is what is pushing up the bills on the Government was over


estimating what can be saved. have got a blame game going on. The


suppliers are saying it is the Government's fault because of the


cost of taking Harman out of electricity generation, in


particular. -- carbon. There is a bit of truth in what both sides are


saying. We what we want now is to see wheelchair and by the


across-the-board. If the Government is going to negotiate for a new


nuclear power station, let's make sure there is transparency. We pay


for that through our bills, and at the same time we have this problem


in the wholesale market, where generators probably are not being


forced to compete with each other really strongly, and that, we


think, would keep prices in check, too. Across-the-board we need to see


these costs kept under control, much more honesty about what is driving


prices and bills. At the moment it is all done behind closed doors, it


is not transparent, the Government needs to ensure consumers we are


getting a good deal. I think they are starting to see that you cannot


persuade consumers to pay for this stuff unless you are honest about


how much it is going to cost and that they are fighting our corner


for a good price. It remains to be seen how much of the new legislation


that is about to go through Parliament is going to bring about


the transparency we are calling for. Well, it is time for our daily quiz.


Vladimir Putin is famous for photos done is showing off his virility, so


the question for today is, what's daredevil escapade has the Russian


president got up to now? Was it wrestling a giant squid? Skydiving


from a fighter jet? Travelling 50 metres under the sea in a high-tech


submersible? Or serving one of the world's largest waves in Hawaii? At


the end of the show, Richard will hopefully give us the correct


answer! Britain's Trident nuclear system is coming to the end of its


life. Ministers will have to decide if and how to replace it. Chief


Secretary Danny Alexander has been tasked with answering the question,


what type of deterrence does the UK need? As we have the head of Which


on the show, we thought we would review the options, although it will


be for the Government in 2016 to decide which is the best. Investors


could decide on a like-for-like replacement, that is expensive. --


ministers. Building four new submarines could cost �25 billion.


But it will allow the UK to operate a continuous deterrent, as we have


done since the 1960s. This will get the stamp of approval from the


Conservatives. David Cameron has said he is crystal clear that it has


to continue in its current form. We could downgrade Trident, cutting the


number of submarines down to either two three. The Lib Dems say this


would save billions, money that could shore up conventional military


budgets. But it would mean the end of the round-the-clock deterrent,


something that Philip Hammond says is a reckless gamble with national


security. It is the option favoured by the Lib Dems, arguing the current


Cold War system is out of date. The UK could of course get rid of


Trident entirely, but with Labour saying it supports a nuclear


deterrent, that looks like the one option that will not prove popular.


The Defence Secretary said any talk of cutting back on Trident was


naive. Moving away from a tried and tested system which has protected us


for over 45 years now to try something different, potentially


more costly, certainly more risky, at a time when Russia is spending


$150 billion rebuilding its armed forces, including its nuclear


forces, Iran is attempting to attain nuclear warheads to put on its


existing ballistic missile Isles, I think this would be an extremely


foolhardy thing to do at this stage. -- ballistic missiles. I have been


joined by Penny Mordaunt and Nick Harvey, welcome to you both. Nick


Harvey, we have seen this morning two former chiefs of defence staff,


people of all political colours lining up to say this review is


wrong. I think they are wrong. We have had the first serious look at


this question for several decades, coming at it with an open mind,


looking at what we need in the 21st century, rather than what we needed


at the height of the Cold War, and I think now is the opportunity to take


a few steps down the nuclear ladder, to come off continuous at


sea deterrent. It might have made sense at the height of the Cold War


when we had a known nuclear anniversary, the Soviet Union,


patrolling as 24-7. But that ended 25 years ago, and it does not make


any sense in this day and age. the report does not make any clear


recommendations, does it? The review does produce options, but it does


not tell us anything we did not know. It does not back up your


political case. It never set out to make recommendations. It set out to


inform a political debate, and I can see that debate running from now


until the 2015 general election, when I think the nuclear deterrent


will be an issue for the first time since 1983. I think public attitudes


have shifted a great deal since 1983, and when people look at the


opportunity cost of putting all this money into a Cold War scale nuclear


deterrent, they will question the wisdom of that when there are so


many other competing demands, not least in the military, not least in


the surface navy, which is dear to Penny's hard in Portsmouth. You are


a former Royal Navy reserve cadet, looking at this review and the


options set out, is there anything that changes your mind about having


a continuous deterrent? No, it backs up what we knew all along, which is


that if you are going to have this, you needed all year round, and the


best value and most effective deterrent is what we are currently


got. The tragedy about this is that the two - boat option, which is what


the Liberals seem to be moving towards, was not part of the review.


It is such a nutty option, because it relies on is basically persuading


malign regimes and state-sponsored terrorists not to attack us on


months of the year which do not have the letter A in the name. Danny


Alexander ruled it out. He said it would be a crazy option. It is not


in the detailed costings. The three-boat option, which the


Liberals were going for, has now been shown to yield so little


savings, and not until 2025, that they are reverting to the two-boat


idea. It is good news, it backs up what we have been saying all along.


Do you accept the world has changed? We do not live in the Cold War


anymore, we do not face those same dangers. We face difference dangers,


but not the same ones, so it maybe that would provide cover, but do we


need it? We do need it. This is not a capability that would be used in


all scenarios, so some terrorist activity, Somali pirates, it is of


no use, but that is not an argument for not having it, because it will


cover us for a whole variety of scenarios. Your viewers will know


about North Korea and Iran. Russia, which might seem like a very


friendly country towards us at the moment, just last year was talking


about a first strike against US missile bases in Poland. The really


important fact is we have not got to just plan for what is happening


today with the deterrent, but what will happen over the course of its


life. But we have no known nuclear anniversary. Not at the moment.The


national-security strategy has downgraded the nuclear threat to a


second tier. There is no other part of our military capability that we


keep on constant patrol. We keep the skills, the equipment, and we have a


contingency basis, and we deploy them when we need them. There is no


reason why the nuclear deterrent should not be operated on that


basis. This is a threat we face, it is a threat that we will face over


the life of the next deterrent, and when you are looking at... This is


coming down to money, and to run the four-boat solution is 1% of the


welfare budget. �25 billion is a lot of money. But what it gives us, as


long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, our public want us to


have systems that will protect us from them being used against us, and


that is what this does very effectively. Would you feel less


secure without this deterrent? think most people will be thinking


it is right to look hard at the cost of all of this, is it still the


right thing to be doing? Have things changed so much that we should be


thinking again? I think, for most people in the run-up to the next


election, they will be thinking about where money is being cut from


many other budgets, pressure on public spending across-the-board.


This hypothetical defence question, it is going to be very hard for


voters to engage in it, but the numbers are enormous. You cannot


escape the track record of the Ministry of Defence in procuring


equipment, it is appalling. Absolutely right to be having a hard


look at this, exploring all the options, and are there more cost


effective ways of doing this? have to build two boats anyway,


because of the state of the current submarines, we need two to continue


the policy as it currently stands. So we are talking in the difference


in cost between two submarines, three and four, and the more you


build, the cost drops. So what are the savings? If we are talking about


�1,000,000,000... This is nonsense. Those figures... Villa Pam and is


making its figures up as he goes along. -- Philip Hammond. If you


look at the Vanguard submarines, the first one cost 40% of the total


project, the subsequent ones cost 20%. I am not asserting that you


would say 40% by reducing from four to two, but you would certainly save


substantial sums, and if you went down to two, you could save as much


as 8 billion, and if you went down to three, as much as four billion.


And then crewing two three for 40 years, you are racking up savings of


possibly half a billion or more. bring us back to where we started in


all of this. If you are going to have a nuclear deterrent, you need


it available all year round. You cannot do that on less than four


submarines. The idea that things only work if you are using them the


whole time is self-evidently nonsense. The only other way to do


it is wait until London has been taken out or things are escalating,


and then send your submarines out with warheads. What would happen in


a prolonged stand-off? That is a more likely scenario than the idea


Penny is proposing that it will come out of nowhere. Even the current


nuclear deterrent would take three or four days to be ready to fire, so


we are not ready at a moment's notice, as we were at the height of


the Cold War. That.You would not get into a situation where a new


adversarial has popped up from nowhere and is threatening to


obliterate the United Kingdom overnight. You would be sensitive to


the situation and crack capacity up to something far more acting to this


as you felt it coming. If we were in a 1939 situation where the future of


the state was seriously at risk, we would have to have enormous


rearmament right across the board, nuclear and non-nuclear. I would


throw the gauntlet down to the Lib Dems and say, if you are really for


some kind of nuclear deterrent and are prepared to pay hell of a lot


more money for two boats, why don't we get a move on and sign up to two


now this side of the general election? We don't need to and it


wouldn't be right for the public purse to make contracts before they


need to. This contract will be signed in 2016. We now have the


opportunity for a national debate. Is it a red line in the sand for


post-2015 coalition politics? If they principle you will stand by?


is something to put on the table and discuss in a coalition. This is


critical to protect the UK. We should commit ourselves to replacing


this deterrent. It has stood us in good stead and we don't know what


world we will be facing in 20 years time and we have to have that back


up. The public wanted, and we should get on and sign for it. We will have


two ended there but no doubt we will have to do have this discussion


again. Fancy entering a competition which could net you 100,000 euros?


It's quite a prize, and all you have to do is write a 2,000-word essay


explaining how Britain would thrive if we leave the European Union.


We'll talk to the former Conservative Chancellor Nigel Lawson


about this in just a moment. He is chairing the panel that will decide


the winner. First though, here's a flavour of the debate amongst


British and world leaders about Britain's place in Europe that's


know... If we don't address these challenges, the danger is Europe


will fail, and the British people will drift towards the exit. I do


not want that to happen. I want the EU to be a success. And I want the


relationship between Britain and the European Union that keeps us in it.


My priority will always remain yes, reform it, a referendum whether


circumstances are right, as we set out in law, but above and beyond


everything else, promoting growth and jobs and building a stronger


economy in a fairer society. Labour 's position has been consistent and


that's the right thing to do. We've said is not right now to have a


referendum in four years time because we think this bigger issues


the country faces at the moment. would ask the inhabitants of this


wonderful island that you can be very happy but you won't be happy if


you are alone in this world. can't do Europe a la carte. Imagine


Europe as a football club and you join. You can't then say let's play


rugby. Everything must be decided in Brussels and by Brussels. We do


indeed differentiate, but cherry picking is not an option.


probably want to see if you can fix what is broken. In a very important


relationship before you break it off. It makes some sense to me.


we've been joined by the former Conservative Chancellor Nigel


Lawson. Just explain to us exactly, there isn't a further stage before


you win that 100,000 euro prize? Everyone is asked to do a 2000 word


essay. The top 20 will then be invited to do a more substantial


piece of work between 10000 and 20,000 words, more thorough job and


come on the basis of that, we will award prizes. What is the point of


it? Why do you need a prize for someone to set out a blueprint for


Britain leaving the EU? It encourages people to do it, no bad


thing, and has been done over the centuries to get things going on.


The purpose is that there's going to be an in out referendum at least.


What people have on their minds is, OK, we realise that the European


union is very unattractive in various ways. But what will be the


consequences of leaving? And this will be an exercise in looking at


what the economic consequences are, the legal consequences and political


consequences are, and how we would handle those. I think it's something


people will want to be informed about. Then they can cast their vote


in the referendum. You would like to set out what has not been debated in


full to encourage more people to perhaps make that choice in favour


of Britain leaving the EU? I have come to the conclusion we should


leave the EU and I have written at length the reasons. And I think a


number of people are concerned about all the bureaucracy, the fact the


regulation has become a bit of a bureaucratic monstrosity, the


interference when none is needed and so on, but they are concerned, so


they don't love the EU. But they fear leaving. They fear the unknown


so it's important that, although the future is unknown, we need to make


it slightly more mapped out. But we don't know what would happen. It's


all theoretical so that fear, to some extent, is well founded. Do you


think Britain is drifting, even though David Cameron has said he is


negotiating to stay and eventually? I think what most people think is


there's a few good things coming from Brussels, lower mobile roaming


charges in time for the summer holidays, things which matter to


people in their daily lives, and squeezed budgets, being helped by


the decisions made in Brussels. Other things people can't stand


about it but, in the end, it does feel as if the views of consumers


and businesses are being rather swept aside by a very intense


political debate. I'm not sure that will be helped by your prize. I'm


sure people will be willing to write about it. There's huge issues at


stake here and to talk just about lower mobile roaming charges is


trivialising it. That's important to many numbers of the public.


goodness sake, you have to decide where the balance of advantage lies.


I'm not saying members of the EU are wrong but it's a question of whether


it brings more good than harm. You have to judge where the balance is,


where it's going and the fact of the matter is, the European Union has


changed. There's been a fundamental change since the coming of the


common currency and the Eurozone which, quite rightly, we are not a


member of, and that is change the whole nature of the European Union,


and Britain's relationship with it and therefore it's time to take


stock. What I think you could usefully do with your prize is to


get people to focus on what matters to people in their daily lives about


Europe, good and bad. There are some very practical changes that affect


us all, as a result of the barriers between countries coming down, as a


result of the EU, and I think he should get people to concentrate on


that as much as the risks and what might happen if we exit. There's got


to be a debate about this, absolutely but, frankly, it seems to


be the debate is already happening without your prize. What do think in


terms of those Conservative MPs who going along at the moment with the


idea of renegotiating our relationship with Europe? Will they


be disappointed? I think so. I think it's clear from the interviews you


had before this discussion, that the European Union is not prepared to


make any significant changes. Any changes which David Cameron is able


to negotiate with Ed Miliband, will be, in my judgement, and I have


known the EU very well and have many, many friends there for many


years, I think they will be inconsequential. Do you agree with


that? David Cameron is campaigning for a new relationship with Europe


and then, when it comes to the referendum, if he still Prime


Minister, he will campaign to stay in, not what many of his


backbenchers would like to hear. He's got a problem keeping his


backbenchers and his party onside, and I think for most people looking


on, it does seem a bit odd to be having a referendum and, at the same


time, to be saying is Prime Minister, I want to stay in if


that's what you believe. Then you should stay in and promote the


benefits to businesses and consumers. If you want to get out,


take further steps faster towards getting out. Why does he think he


can renegotiate successfully a different relationship? Maybe he's


an optimist and I certainly wish the best of luck my own judgement is


that he is not going to get anything of any significance whatsoever. The


same with Harold Wilson, we've been through this before, in the 1970s.


He said he will renegotiate the terms and he got absolutely nothing


and there was a 1975 referendum where he got nothing but the


majority of people, it is a different setup, and we voted in


favour of it. What's interesting is that you're asking for people to


write a blueprint as to what happens to Britain if it leaves the EU. We


heard from European leaders saying you can't cherry pick, we're not


going to give up everything but we also heard from Barack Obama who


said it would be better to fix it and leave. Of course, Barack Obama


is not the president of Britain but the USA. The United States once as


in, why? Because they're afraid of anti-Americanism the European Union.


That they want a spinner. They want us to remain in for their interests.


If I was an American, I would be the same, but that's not the question


before the British people. It is about spheres of influence. Have


they got a lot to be frightened of about leaving as perhaps some people


think? Maybe we will shed some light on this through the essays Lord


Lawson will generate but for most people, they aren't much more


relaxed about the prospect of staying in for the long term. -- and


they are. Hoping the poem to get successions bashed hoping the Prime


Minister get some successes in his renegotiations. We must give credit


to the economic Institute of economic affairs. They just asked me


to do this and judge it. Will the winning peace be presented to


anyone? Will we see it in lights? Of course, it will be prominently


published. I will take it to number ten and I'm sure they will be


anxious to read it. I'm sure they will. You need to get your entry,


it be your neighbours' loud music? Don't get me started! People putting


their feet on the train seats? Or even apostrophes put in the wrong


place? Well, for our next guest, the Lib Dem MP Mike Crockart, the most


irritating thing is none of these. It's nuisance calls. Unwanted phone


calls from firms trying to sell you anything from insurance to double


glazing. And he's got a plan to deal with them. Here's his soapbox.


Excuse me, is this a good time to talk? Have you considered a


stairlift? I'm calling in regard to your property. We are a country


under siege. 90% of the people I speak you don't realise it's on


their policy. I'm fed up with nuisance calls to my mobile phone


and landline and I mean unwanted marketing calls. Silent calls,


abandoned calls, text messages and recorded messages. Being pestered


day in and day out by these calls. And I know I'm not alone. If you


have this done you will notice a difference in your energy bills.


It's absolutely free. constituents have contacted me in


great numbers for stories about complaints about companies who


pester them. You may be entitled to payment protection insurance.


single month last, the independent regulator of Com recorded 10,000


complaints about nuisance calls. Payment protection insurance and


insurance Company is where responsible for more than half


unwanted calls and are frequently blamed for this rise. They are an


annoyance for most people but, for many elderly people, they are also a


menace and one which puts them at risk of fraud, just as much as if a


pushy salesman turned up at their doorstep. Many of my constituents


complain about receiving nuisance calls despite being registered with


the Telephone preference service. A scheme designed to block cold calls


from telemarketing firms. The problem is, the calls just keep


coming and coming. Is this a good time to talk? With 19 million


members registered with a telecom preference service, around three


quarters of all landlines in the UK, something clearly isn't working. I


want one single point of contact, one regulator who takes in all forms


of unsolicited contact and one single simple process for any


individual who wants to protect the privacy but, for now, I will settle


for changes in the laws around how personal data is used and more


powers for the regulators to tackle companies which break the law. And


Mike Crockart is here now. And from Glasgow, we're joined by Anne Marie


Forsyth, Chief Executive of the Customer Contact Association, which


is a professional body for contact centres. And still with us is


Richard lloyd of Which? You can understand how frustrating and


irritating nuisance calls are. Absolutely, we are living in a 24-7,


always on world, and about 1 million people work in customer contact


centres across the UK, just about all of them dealing with 3.5 billion


inbounds transactions, lots of them very complex. Every time we do a


transaction, whether financial or anything, any interaction we do, we


tend to leave trails, and of course the whole thing becomes appealing to


organisations who want to contact us. So I can understand the


frustration. I think the most recent statistics I heard was a average of


two nuisance calls per week, and this has been hugely exacerbated by


the recent PPI thing. The news there is that once PPI is out of the road,


if it ever is, there will be other things, we live in a compensation


culture. It is not just small businesses doing this, it is also


big companies and big corporations, who are using and may be abusing the


idea of cold calling. The air. As you point out, there are two very


separate things going on, large organisations which, in some cases,


can be helpful, they called to tell you you are overdrawn, for example,


a text to say your shopping will be late or something of that nature,


perhaps your security has been threatened through fraud. All of


these calls are being drowned out somewhat by the nuisance and the


random, less targeted, and for larger organisations, the


reputational risk in doing these things is absolutely huge. The work


we do, we work between organisations and consumers, and our advice always


to organisations is, K, it is a very small percentage of the overall


customer service world, tiny, less than 5%, but it is huge in


reputational risk, and it is rather silly organisations who think they


can flout the law or just be careless in not checking the


processes. OK, let me come to Mike Crockart, because on that basis


nuisance calls are a pain, but there are legitimate reasons. Larger


organisations to make those goals, as we heard, and there is


legislation in place, is it not being applied very well? There are


two aspects here. Some of the legislation is not being applied


stringently enough, but also there are gaps, huge, yawning gaps in the


legislation. If we look at the level of annoyance this is causing people,


you know, we have 10,000 calls, 10,000 complaints per month to Ofcom


about silent and abandoned calls, 4000 about TPS, and we have no idea


how many are going to others about this. This is a huge problem, not


just a few calls being made by legitimate companies, it is


enormous. So there is the Telephone Preference Service in place, but who


is in charge of regulating nuisance calls? This is part of the problem,


too many people are in charge, at least five regulators have something


to do with it. That is because there are so money different parts of the


law that go towards dealing with nuisance calls, so there is a claims


management regulator that deals with PPI claims companies, there is Ofcom


that deals with silent calls, and there is the Information


Commissioner, that deals with nuisance calls and texts that are


unsolicited, laws of data than not allowed. We want the government to


get all those regulators to work together properly, we have started


having conversations, interrupted by a spam text the other day, with the


Minister and the regulators about how they can work together better.


Why not have one regulator? That would make things much clearer, one


organisation accountable, but they have all said the law is not clear


enough. It requires a lot of distress to be proved before the


regulators can find companies for using these techniques for getting


in touch with people. But companies are fined, and they? The current


fine is up to �500,000, a lot of money, that would break quite a lot


of businesses. It would not break some of the major companies that are


involved. The powers that the Information Commissioner's office


has to chase up those fines is not strong enough, so if someone ignores


the Information Commissioner for a month, the powers that they have to


force them to pay that fine are actually quite limited. What we need


to do, actually, is to massively change the whole way that consent is


organised around this. Because it is all about whether people want to


receive these calls, and clearly they don't. I was slightly worried,


reading the background to this, that consumers who tick the box that


say, yes, please send my details to a third party, for all those people,


including myself, who do not take that box, yet that information is


somehow sold on, that is illegal, isn't it? There is a massive issue


here around complexity, and as consumers I don't think we often


realised that we are doing this. Sometimes we are desperate to get to


the end of a script without reading it. I completely agree with that


piece. One of the reasons the regulator is an issue, we need a


stronger and better working of what we have got. We have recently seen


some of these large and well publicised fines, but perhaps they


are not big enough. Your point by breaking companies, we want to make


sure that legislation works and people do not -- who do not wish to


recall not called, and also those organisations which are dragging


down the whole customer services industry are properly dealt with,


you know, and a good example is the recent BBC Three documentary about


the company in Wales, the rather opportunistic company who ended up


with a very large fine. More of these, I think, will help with that.


Can I make a separate point? Very quickly! Regulation is one half, and


the other half is standards. The reputational risk to large brands,


if they are not seen to be staying within the law or annoying


customers, is huge. There are standards, we need to have more


adoption of standards that are well recognised, there is a global


standard. We need to have more of this, and we need to make it a


boardroom issue. Too often we see on the cover of stories, people are


shock are about things... Very briefly. Standards will not fix


this. Over half of nuisance calls come from PPI claim companies that


will disappear overnight if they are fine. Only proper regulation will


fix this and proper powers for a single regulator. Thank you very


much. Later this afternoon, the Health Secretary will make a


statement about a critical report into care at 14 hospital trusts in


England. The report, led by NHS England medical director Professor


Bruce Keogh, was commissioned after the Stafford Hospital scandal.


Jeremy Hunt has been answering help questions in the Commons, including


this from Andy Burnham. Seven of the 14 hospitals in the review have,


between them, cut a shocking 1117 nursing jobs on this government's


watch. Unsurprisingly, A&E performance has plummeted at all


seven. All 14 hospitals were meeting the A&E target in my time in office.


None of them are meeting at under him. Surely the right response to


this review is to stop dithering and act now on safe staffing levels.


Well, I am surprised that he wants to talk about the Keogh review


before we have our statement, but I'm particularly surprised because


it is the review that Labour never wanted to have. In all those


hospitals, stretching right their way back to 2005, a record of


inaction by Labour. I think the house might be interested. As a


former Labour councillor, a Mid Staffs campaigner, Ken Lowndes said


today, can you imagine this review and Andy Burnham or any Labour


Health Secretary? Not a chance! can talk to Vicki Young, who joins


us from outside Parliament. We have not had the report yet, but already


the politicians are lining up to blame each other for failings in a


number of NHS hospitals. What is interesting is that you have the NHS


leaders in England, if you like, trying to move on, to go into these


hospitals, which is what Sir Bruce Keogh's team did, going to speak to


patients and staff about what is going on, to see what improvements


can be made, DC the regulatory system is robust enough, to see if


people are taking responsibility for what is going on. Whereas, as you


saw there, the Conservatives wanting to go back to the past, and there


has been a huge political Barney about this going back to the big


debate, the big row about Mid Staffs. The Tories have Andy Burnham


in their sights, the man who was the Labour Health Secretary for just 11


months, and he has come out and given his works to robust defence of


Labour's record in office. He says there is no evidence of a cover-up


by him, no evidence he was ignoring the warnings. He says completely the


opposite, that some of these hospitals, about five of these 14,


when he left office, he left a health warning on them, so this had


been flagged up by him and he said, going back to Mid Staffordshire, he


organised the first inquiry into that, even as civil servants did not


want him to. What the politicians at the end of this want to be able to


say is that the NHS is not safe in their opponents' hands. What period


of time was Sir Bruce Keogh covering? Did it include the time


that Andy Burnham was Health Secretary in the last government, or


is it solely looking at the years under the coalition? It has been


triggered because these 14 trusts had a higher than normal mortality


rate over the last two years, but it is certainly the case that in some


of these hospitals there were problems before, and I think that is


Andy Burnham's defends here. He is saying, look, I didn't like this up


when he was Health Secretary. But of course it is a much bigger debate


about the NHS, how will it cope in the future with higher demand, all


of us getting older, not much more money to go around? A lot of people


think some hospitals will have to close. The Labour I commit is that


the coalition has tried to paint the NHS in a bad light in order to


soften the public for changes. -- We are joined by Priti Patel, one of a


group of Labour MPs who have accused Andy Burnham of ignoring... Welcome


to both of you. Priti Patel, he went out of his way to sound bipartisan,


why has the Conservative Party and you decided to take the gloves off


now? From my own point of view, in the county of Essex, there are two


hospitals on the list of 14 hospitals, and I have just found and


my colleagues have discovered that the culture in the NHS around these


hospitals and some of the questions we have been asking have actually,


we have uncovered a range of not just failures but institutional


defensiveness, basically, where there has been a degree of denial


about what has happened in the past, and that's just fails patients


and does not mean we can move on in an adequate way to address the wider


concerns around patient care and the neglect of patients and


constituents. And you are blaming Labour for the institutionalised


objection and not helping or listening to patients? Well, if you


go back and listen to those who were around under the previous Labour


government, some of the independent experts, like Brian Jarman as well


and Baroness young, who was heading up the CQC, they have said there was


a culture at the time, the denial machine is how it is referred to by


Brian Jarman, but also Baroness Ye Yang has said there was a focus on


talking about good news, as opposed to dealing with things such as the


high death rates at these hospitals. Many of the challenges associated


with were patient care that the CQC has been trying to expose. That get


a response to that from Andrew Gwynne. That is not the full


picture, because it was under the last Labour government that


regulation of hospitals was introduced. It was under the last


Labour government that all these death rates were published on the


website. And of course if you were trying to cover these issues up, you


certainly wouldn't be going fully for transparency by publishing all


the mortality data online. Now, what about the patients in this, Richard


Lloyd? One of the biggest complaint is that they were not listened to,


they will not listened to by medical staff in many cases. This is why it


is so disappointing to see this being used as a political football,


and we want all the politicians to focus on why it was that patients


and their families, who time after time ran out the red flag and said


things were going horribly wrong, were ignored. How can we make the


regulator, the inspectors be made to respond to the patient voice? How


can we create a stronger patient voice? As well is getting data out,


the information out about how hospitals are performing, right down


to the individual consultant level. We need to see more transparency,


more honesty about what is going on, but also that responsiveness to


patients and their families when they do say, hang on, look how I


have been treated, this is not right. Is it fair to play politics


over deaths in hospitals? I do not think this is about politics at all.


You said that Andy Burnham's job was not sustainable. This is about


patients, and we have discovered there is this culture where they


have not been listened to, and to be fair, as the Parliamentary questions


I have been asking have demonstrated, 1500 red flags went


into the Department of Health, raising concerns about these


hospitals, and this comes back to the lack of transparency within the


NHS in terms of what just happened. We have to learn lessons of the back


of this review, when we hear the statement later, and not just for


hospitals to learn, but for them to engage with patients and their


families and the public to work with them in terms of managing


expectations and providing good clinical care. 1500 warnings about


the trusts but why were they not acted upon? They were acted upon and


that's where I take issue with what Priti Patel has said. In 2009, I


went to see Andy Burnham when he was the Health Secretary and I was a


backbencher at the time, along with my two colleagues who also


represented Tyneside and repainted the complete picture of what was


going on at a Tyneside. His officials told him he couldn't act,


as Secretary of State because it was a foundation trust and these words


were that there was no place in our NHS for substandard care and he


ordered the sea QC to go in and announced to Tyneside Hospital which


has happened right up to the review. Do you know what is the most


scandalous thing? For the last three years, there were still problems at


Tyneside except, up until March this year, when they gave it a clean bill


of health. That's battling to people. Shouldn't you be more


worried about conditions in these hospitals now? It's all very well


getting people to take responsibility for what happened in


the last government but Andy Burnham has been saying all of 14 are


missing their AMD targets and it is understood, the report will point to


the concerns over nurse staffing levels in the hospitals under


investigation. We are missing the point. Nurse staffing levels are too


low in these hospitals and it's led to poor standards of care. Bruce


Keogh has referred to that but that is not the full answer to the actual


challenges faced by these hospitals. We are talking about quality of care


and transparency. Actually, this is about the culture in these hospitals


and the NHS. I am convinced this is just the tip of the iceberg right


now. Some of these hospitals will go to special measures today and we


should be deeply concerned about that but as I have said this is


about transparency in the NHS, learning lessons and ensuring


patients are listened to and they and their families get the care


required. Andrew Gwynne and Priti Patel, thank you very much. Now,


remember this? The number of votes recorded for the candidates at each


election is as follows. Martin Bell, Neil Hamilton, 18,000.


scandal back in 1997. Or a surprise for me! Counts still provide much of


the drama of election night. But a report out today from the Electoral


Commission says that, despite a generally successful set of


elections in May of this year, provision of information at some


counts was patchy and in some cases announcements were infrequent or


inaudible. Goodness. We've been joined by Tom Hawthorn, head of


electoral policy at the Electoral Commission. And Mike More, Chief


Executive and Returning Officer at Westminster City Council. Can I


start with you, Michael. Were you happy with the way the elections


were done in May? I, personally, was not responsible for the elections in


May but I was very happy with them. We have them coming up in London


next summer aligned with the European elections, but yes, I think


what has happened across the country in the last couple of years has been


a good story. Do you agree? Apart from picking up on this patchiness,


what do you mean by that? Where were they patchy? What we found overall


weight the elections were run, backed up by what the voters were


told, 90% said it was well run. In a couple of places we saw on election


night there were some places where the communication wasn't as good as


it could've been and maybe it was good and bad in parts. Does this


concern of voters, how local elections and national elections are


run? Remember big queues when people couldn't actually getting beyond the


ten o'clock cut-off point? I think in the 2010 example, when it goes


wrong, people are up in arms and rightly so. What we should be


thinking about is how to make elections engaging, encouraging


people to get involved, people to maybe stay up late and watch it all


night and see the results, helpfully audibly. There's a need to keep the


excitement about elections and the results going. Otherwise, more and


more people will drift away from the process and won't engage with it. So


how we do does matter. What about the idea some returning officers are


inaudible? It's not good if you can't hear the result. We saw


announcements which are really good but the PA system in place wasn't


good enough. Probably, it's all right for some candidates have been


doing this for lots of years, they've been around a bit and they


understand what's going on but if you are a new candidate, you don't


understand and you need to know what's happening so you can provide


that essential element of transparency. What is your response?


Maybe this has not come across terribly well. Some colleagues don't


come across well but they should do. Surely they should be able to speak


loudly enough? My role is to talk to all the players, front of House,


this is what's going to happen next, no surprises, the result will


be a surprise but they're not surprised by the process, so keeping


communication going all the way through that, culminating in the


very clear, positive presentation. You're not going to sack the ones


who don't speak clearly or hold some sort of poll to find out? We are


front of House agent and we can agree that's what we are there for.


We have some good examples of excellent practice and will work


with colleagues and returning officers to explain a best practice


model for people to use for next year 's elections. How worried are


you about the next two years because there's a lot on your plate?


London, we have the European and council elections at the same time,


the third week of May, individual electoral registration, new process,


and then the general election. you, gentlemen, very much, and I


heard you perfectly, both of you. Now, in case you hadn't noticed,


it's rather hot outside. Time for an ice cream you might think. Well, in


a seasonal slashing of red tape, ice cream van drivers will be allowed to


sound their chimes for a whole 12 seconds, up from the current four.


But not until this autumn. But what will really freeze your brains is


noise campaigners think the Government has been wasting its


time. Our very own Mr Whippy, Giles Dilnot, is finding out why. I've


come to the conclusion I'm rapidly becoming a Daily Politics culinary


correspondence having done a burger tasting last week, following a tub


of ice cream but weirdly, it's not about how ice cream tastes, but how


it sounds. Confused? Meet Leander. Tell me why we are discussing the


sound of ice cream? The law used to be it was the four seconds you were


allowed to play it, but now it is changed to 12 seconds. What would be


the difference of seconds for us? What difference does that make?


Apparently it can affect your business. We had a lot of customers


complaining that we weren't coming down their streets but of course,


they weren't hearing is because the times were not chiming for long


enough. They are complaining they don't get to hear you at all?


love the chiming, that's what British summer is all about.


would we have the noise abatement Society with us, because it's not


about the fact we don't like this, but about the fact that this was an


exercise in government cutbacks and you tell me why it didn't work.


code of practice was put in place to protect the mobile food industry and


by local agreement, vendors could have chimed for as long as they


wanted to anyway. The four second guidance was put in place 30 years


ago for worst-case scenarios, never to not allow the industry to China.


It was the consultation, the wait was carried out and put forward,


actually could potentially endanger the industry and set a dangerous


precedent for noise pollution in general. The government says it


spoke to noise stakeholders, I'm not sure what that is, but I would have


thought it would include your society. So would I. We worked on


the original code of practice I don't understand who they spoke to


but they did not speak to us. We could've had a chat, and ice cream


together, and worked out ourselves. Is there a push for you, soon there


was a relaxed, we can do 12 seconds now? We were surprised that there


was a fuss in the first place because ice cream is one of the


things Britain does best in the world. You'll never see an ice cream


van as good as ours. To be honest, for us, it's a lot better 12 seconds


because it's what people want to hear. I've not show sure about the


parents when the children ask for ice cream. It's good for us.


there any suggestion people don't like it? There's occasions when


certain times of day when children are sleeping, or elderly people, who


might be ill, sometimes people with special needs, can react strongly to


certain types of noises, so there is a need to have a legislation and


guidance in place, but it was never about stopping mobile food vendors.


It's about striking a balance. you regulate yourselves and think,


we tend not to go down there because not many customers want us and as a


residential area? People wouldn't come out if they didn't want it. We


would waste our time otherwise. can't think of any other industry


that is allowed to use sound to advertise in this way and


presumably, we wouldn't want to go back to Victorian times when people


are shouting in the streets? Absolutely not. It's important to


understand why the code was put in place to protect the industry as an


exceptional case against the control of pollution act, and the


regulations which would normally apply. Essentially, the government,


to cut red tape, has made more work for itself and didn't need to do


this? It was a completely pointless exercise but at least we still have


the mobile food vending industry chiming in the streets for those who


want ice cream. We may as well taste some of it so let's have an ice


cream. There's no point doing this unless you get to eat the food. Come


on. Thank you. Thank you. enjoyed your ice cream is because


Richard and I will suffer without. I did like it when they said the best


ice cream vans in the world, but not at the best ice cream is. Do you


have a view on the times? I think it will wrap up a storm of protest who


will be pestered even more by their children but I think we should


relax. I think we can probably live with it. There's just time before we


go to find out the answer to our quiz. If you can remember what it


was. Let me remind you. So what daredevil escapade has the Russian


President got up to now? Was it: Wrestling a giant sea squid?


Sky-diving from a fighter jet? Going under the sea in a submarine? Or


surfing in Hawaii? Richard, what's the answer? My choice is that he


went in a submersible. I think we might be able to show that picture.


This may not be very politically correct but I think he could be a


good James Bond villain. Do you think, Vladimir Putin and a


submersible? Was that a cat sitting with him? He's obviously a he-man.


That's all for today. Thanks to Richard Lloyd and all my guests. The


Download Subtitles