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The Liberal Democrats continue their autumn party conference in Glasgow


with debates on the economy, taxes and benefits and a keynote speech


from Business Secretary Vince Cable. Afternoon, folks, welcome to the


Daily Politics Conference Special. Today's headlines from Glasgow: Lib


Dems get down to business with a debate on the economy. Nick Clegg


wants conference to back Government policy, but some activists want more


focus on employment and growth. Vince Cable


All that in the next hour, as well as an interview with the Energy


Secretary, Ed Davey. And with us for the whole programme today is the


writer, broadcaster and prominent Lib Dem supporter John Kampfner.


Welcome to the Daily Politics. Well, Nick Clegg was out and about early


in his sandals this morning doing the media rounds. I know you were


in his sandals this morning doing probably all still in bed, so here's


what he had to say to BBC Breakfast when he was asked about a poll in


the Independent that suggests 59% of all those who voted Lib Dem at the


last election believe the party has got worse in the last three years,


last election believe the party has and only 9% believe it has got


better. We are in government in difficult times. We came in, stepped


up to the plate, rolled up our sleeves, got our hands dirty and got


involved in this crucial once in a generation task of rescuing and


repairing the British economy, which really was teetering on the edge of


repairing the British economy, which the precipice in 2010. Without the


Liberal Democrats holding our nerve, we would not now be starting to get


a flow of better economic news. It is because we held our nerve. I


understand that has unsettled some people, but it was the right thing


for the country. Nick Clegg, not set to music!


I would suggest he is having quite a good Conference. There is no


possibility of any sort of leadership challenge. A confident


interview on BBC breakfast yesterday morning, a confident interview on


the today programme this morning. We understand he has just won the


economy debate. The left-wing alternative was beaten, he won. He


is. If you compare it to his first year, year and a half, with


situation fees, he said he used to have things thrown through his


letterbox and pretty unpleasant thing shouted at him in the Street.


It was wondered whether he would survive a couple of years into the


Government. You never survive a couple of years into the


happen with voters, that he could be the kingmaker again and potentially


the next deputy. Given they have been right in the middle of


headwinds in terms of the recession and the general mood of gloom in the


country, it is a pretty robust performance. But whether you get


votes and plaudits for being tough and robust, whether you need to


offer a different vision, that is how they are being challenged, how


they show they are different from the other two parties. He still has


about 18 months to do that. Let's get a sense of the mood at


conference and talk to Andrew Grice from the Independent and Isabel


Hardman of the Spectator. Isabel, cut to the chase, what is Vince


Cable up to? It is a little bit unclear what he was thinking he was


doing. He did not want to go into the economy debate because he was


doing speech crap, then he decided he would have to come and vote in


favour of Nick Clegg 's motion. It is probably because this was


supposed to be Vince Cable 's leadership bid conference. Two years


ago, people were expecting him to ride on the shoulders of activists.


That has not happened. When he walked into the conference hall


earlier, the cameras watched him sitting down, looking miserable. He


managed to cause a stir but the economy motion was passed without


his support, quite overwhelmingly. Are we making too much of the


alleged split between Nick Clegg and Vince Cable? There is some


substance. Vince Cable has always wanted the coalition to be more


flexible with economic strategy. Nick Clegg thinks that as the


economic tide is turning and there is a return to growth, it is a


stupid time to reopen that argument. If they go back to calling for a


Plan B, in Nick Clegg 's words, the Lib Dems will get no credit for the


recovery, it will go to George Osborne and the Conservatives. There


is confusion about why Vince Cable wants to show difference between


himself and Nick Clegg. Even internal polls show that this is a


party full of activists who are on the left. Mystic leg is a party full


of activists who are on the left. Mystic laggards governing and


leading -- leading his party from the centre. Can he do that


indefinitely? I think what the debate we have just seen showed is


that the left-leaning faction of the party may be the loudest but not


necessarily the most powerful. That is dominated by the very well-known


Social Liberal Forum, but Liberal Reform, which is more market-based,


is going in to the ascendancy. Many people are backing market-based


speeches. What is the overall mood in bars go? Every time I have been


to a Lib Dem conference since the coalition they are torn between, on


the one hand, being happy they are finally in government after all


these years and able to do some things, on the other hand, not that


happy that they are in power with the Conservatives? That is true.


They are growing up as a party. Yesterday they accept that they


could not go into the election saying that they would get rid of


university tuition fees, a big change since last time. They


embraced nuclear power, a big U-turn. They have rallied behind


Nick Clegg on the economy. Is a painful process, but I think they


are along the road what Nick Clegg want, a party of permanent


government, not a protest party in the comfort zone of opposition where


they can vote against anything the Government was doing. I think we are


seeing a transformation along the lines that Nick Legge wanted. Do you


agree? I think the votes vindicate the leadership strategy of


confronting activists. One MP said it is a scab picking conference,


where they talk about some of the difficult issues. The scab picking


has paid off so far, although we have a debate on the 50p tax, which


the leadership is briefing that they will lose. I gather from yesterday


pulls-macro speech that Ed Davey is now using Sarah tether 's joke


right? It was that bad? Is that right? It was quite painful. He had


a good narrative about fighting Owen Paterson but he peppered it with


terrible jokes. Where they bad, Andy? He tried to say he was


fracking responsible for exposing the hyperbole of the Tories on


fracking. But after his first joke fell flat he should have drawn


stumps, skipped a few pages and got onto his serious message. It was a


joke too far. When I interviewed him later, I will tell him to avoid the


jokes. Thank you both for joining us, enjoy your time in the fair city


jokes. Thank you both for joining of Glasgow.


Now it's time for our daily quiz. The question is, which sport did


Nick Clegg not try his hand at yesterday? Table football, pitch and


putt or beach volleyball. At the end of the show, John will give us the


correct answer. You will get is the correct answer? You don't know it,


do you? I saw a photograph of one that he certainly did. That is not


the question. Whisper it quietly, but after three


years of little or no growth the economy appears to be recovering. A


bit. Somewhat. At last. And one half of the coalition certainly seems to


be happy to take the credit, with George Osborne boldly declaring last


week that the UK is turning a corner. What is around that corner


is another matter. But what of the other half of the coalition? Well,


Nick Clegg certainly thinks Lib Dems should be loud and proud about their


economic achievements, while those on the left of his party feel pretty


uncomfortable about any taking credit for what they call


Osbornonomics. The internal Lib Dem row over economic policy is in the


spotlight today in Glasgow. Nick Clegg wanted party members to


endorse the coalition's deficit reduction plan, but left-leaning


activists from the Social Liberal Forum tabled an amendment calling on


the plan to be rebalanced with more flexible policy on the pace of


deficit reduction. Ie slower deficit-reduction. They also want


some councils to be allowed to borrow more to build an extra


300,000 new homes a year, as well as the reintroduction of the 50p higher


rate of tax. There was some speculation over whether Vince Cable


would even turn up today. He was thought to be unhappy. When did that


happen? ! He was thought to be unhappy that the motion did not draw


on some of the amendments tabled by the party. There are rumours that he


is not entirely happy with some of the Government 's economic policies.


He is particularly concerned that the recovery is not sustainable,


especially with the potential for another housing bubble thanks to the


Government 's help to buy mortgage scheme. In a newspaper interview


over the weekend he said the danger lights had been flashing for some


time over rising house prices. Well, this morning Lib Dems have backed


Nick Clegg in his motion on the economy. Here are some highlights


from the debate. On Sunday the 9th of March 2008,


Nick made his first speech as Lib Dem leader. I would like to remind


you of what you said and how much we welcomed these words. You said, I


will never allow the Liberal Democrat to be a mere annex to


another party pulls-macro agenda. Conference, unamended, this motion


would do just that. We must not vote for an ideological merger with the


Conservative Party 's economic odysseys.


We are the balancing force for whichever party is in Government, we


are able to put Labour 's spending excess in check and we are able to


make sure the Conservative Party remains fair. That is the message I


need to be able to say on the doorstep to win in Hampstead and


Kilburn. That will only resonate if we stay the course on this motion,


if we stay the course with the fiscal mandate.


I want the party leadership to talk more about housing, to shout about


it from the rooftops. The shortage of private and public housing is a


social and, yes, economic crisis in this country that never seems to get


to the Cabinet table. We should be building more new homes, social and


private. We should not be inflating another housing bubble.


The evidence is that the original planning of George Osborne has been


a disaster. If you look across the piece, if you not selective, such as


the proposals of the motion, if you look across the piece, the original


Osborne planning has been a disaster. Fortunately, people like


Vince Cable and others have gently finessed away from the original


planning. There is a lot of good in the body of this motion, which I


wholly support. But what I am asking you to do today is a vote in favour


of three things. Amendment one, Amendment two and intellectual


honesty. If we reject the two amendments we will be going into the


election with a miserable little compromise. 50 years ago this


weekend, we talked about marching towards the sound of gunfire. I want


the ammunition to fight that battle and win. In government, the Liberal


Democrats have delivered. I will not repeat everything everybody else


says that, time is short. But it there has been a lot of pain in that


process. And to now think about jumping ship just as things are


starting to improve seems to me to not be a very rational or sensible


decision. Nick, I bid you to accept the whole amendment. You are not


alone Ranger and we are not Tonto. Please show the world that we are an


independent policy and we have a better taken on a policy than the


Tories. That was the flavour of the economic


bait. It was thought to cause problems for the party leadership


but in the end, the party one. Jeremy Browne joins me now from


Glasgow. Vince Cable says there are dangers


signs of a housing bubble. The Vince Cable says there are dangers


Government is right. It has the right policy. It is about slowly


implementing policy - getting the country back on its feet. Part of


that is about recovery in the housing market. We want a boy


galloping ahead and escalation of house prices -- we want to avoid a


galloping ahead. We do not want to repeat the problem. That is why the


Government is being cautious in its problems generally inquiry are not


getting ahead of ourselves and taking things step by step. I think


we have the right policy. You say the Government is right. Both Vince


Cable and Mr Alexander are members of the Government. It would seem


you side with Danny Alexander. That is the Government's policy. Danny


Alexander is a Treasury Minister, which is the responsible government


department. I think the whole government is united behind that


policy. Is it true that bins Cable and Danny Alex Song are barely on


policy. Is it true that bins Cable speaking terms? -- Vince Cable and


Danny Alexander. I am not able to see the relationship in the Cabinet.


They seem to be working together as far as I can see. The Government is


They seem to be working together as united in its purpose. The Liberal


Democrats in the Government a very determined we see through the


economic rebuilding of our country after the ruinous state it was in


three, four, five years ago. We are on part to get our country back on


track. It is a slow and incremental process. The Liberal Democrats were


strongly committed to seeing it through. Isn't it tactically less


than the siege - just as many people think the economy is now


coming right after three years' hard pounding - for many Lib Dems,


led by Vince Cable, to be questioning whether the economic


policy was right or not? I strongly agree with your question. The


Liberal Democrats have shown commitment to resilience can afford


to do in government. We have stuck to our guns. -- resilience,


fortitude in government. We are now in a position where the country


appears to be starting to turn a corner. We are not there yet. We're


off our knees and on our feet again. We are not yet fully up and running.


We need to see this job through. The Lib Dems should be unequivocal.


We need to see this job through. We have been instrumental to the


success of this government. The decisions this government has taken


on economic policy have been labelled Democrat decisions as much


as conservative decisions. -- Liberal Democrat. There difficult


decisions -- the Liberal Democrats need to ask themselves, are we


proud of our government of the ashamed of it? We should be


unequivocally proud of it. We should not be bashful about our


achievements. The achievements are just as much a result of Liberal


Democrat policies as they are conservative ones. Talking about


your own department, you want to start a debate about banning young


Muslim women from wearing the veil. Why do you want to do that? There


is a debate already. There is a debate that people discuss at her


name, they discuss it in schools and the media. It is legitimate. --


at home. Mainstream liberal-minded politician should be engaging in


public debates which are matters of the national interest to people


across the country. It would be regrettable if the only people who


are willing to talk about this issue publicly were people with


extremist political views. I want us to value freedom of religious


expression. We have a proud tradition in this country of


religious tolerance. I do not want religious majority opinion to


impose itself. We can talk about how we can have a harmonious


society where everybody feels a full participant in that society.


There is debate happening. IG not have necessarily fixed fees. I have


not necessarily come to a conclusion. We may come to


differing conclusions were rethink about and analyse these issues. It


is a good subject to debate. We should be confident about


discussing how we can make our country a harmonious and inclusive


country. You have said in an article or newspaper interview,


you're concerned about where the girl should feel a compulsion to


wear a veil. -- where the girls. Is it not hard to determine those who


are wearing it because they want to and those who wear it because they


are being forced to? My starting position is that I am very keen to


protect religious minority expression. I ate her in this


debate on not going down the path of trying to tell people what they


should wear and restrict what they should wear. Most people attending


school, at school age, what they wear is restricted. They are


obliged to wear school uniform of some sort. I was only making an


observation when talking to the newspapers that we, as a society,


one people to have freedom of choice but we to restrict that for


people under the age of 18 in a whole variety of ways. We think


they have not yet got sufficient maturity to exercise those choices


they have not yet got sufficient in the way that an adult could. I


suppose there is a legitimate debate about whether women should


be able to wear veils and because. I am overwhelmingly instinctive


with you that they should be. They are adults and expressing that


opinion. I have a predisposition to protecting religious opinion. There


is escape about whether children are able to exercise those choices


in quite the same way as women can. I do not have a conclusive you on


it. Nearly every child who goes to school wears a uniform already.


There are restricted in all sorts of ways. This is something that


mainstream politicians can reasonably discuss. In the party's


official talking points that were sent this morning to MPs like


yourself, appearing on programme's like this, I'm sure you have a copy.


By mistake we were also sent a copy, for which we are very grateful. One


talking point is that an example of the Tory backbench being beyond the


pale, your party says they wanted to ban the backer. -- burkha. Sarah


Wollaston is a Conservative MP in Devon. She is famously independent-


minded. I think she occasionally causes some frustration in the


leadership or her party and maybe people in other parties as well. No


leadership or her party and maybe one would regard her as an extreme


political figure. She has mainstream views. She has broadly


quite liberal views. She has expressed some opinions on this


subject in the media today as well. What I suppose I caution you about


is I do not think we should close down debate. I do not want to have


a situation where only people with marginal extreme views feel able to


discuss these issues. In private, people of all religious Bates to


discuss these issues under scour people of all religious Bates to


how we can have -- and discuss how we can have a harmonious society.


There were five things you had to a member for every interview this


morning. I think you got three of them. That is not bad. You missed


out the economy and that the Conservatives cannot build a fairer


society. Three out of five is pretty good so far. You plug this


two and between us we will get the 4th one. You plug them and then a


question you! Thank you for joining us. You are deep into freedom


issues. Where on view on banning the frail? -- veil or the burkha?


It is about people not feeling constrained. It is about


termination to take offence. That has been almost elevated into a


human right. -- determination. Issues around gender politics or


whatever are circumscribed because of this determination by a vocal


minority to take offence. The facts of the debate itself, where every


it ends up, is a good name. -- wherever it ends up. I am more in


the British position of freedom of expression. Yesterday on the Sunday


Politics, Paddy Ashdown told me that the Lib Dems are a centre-left


party but that it would be up to voters to decide whether the Lib


Dems would go into a coalition with the Tories or Labour after the next


election. Adam has been busy talking to Lib Dem activists and


party members in Glasgow to test Lord Ashdown's theory. Here at the


Lib Dem conference there is loads of talk about whether the party is


Centre Left, a bit left, a bit right, so, we're asking delegates,


who would they rather go into coalition with? The Tories or


Labour? Who is your favourite coalition partner? Why Labour? I


feel closer to them in underlying philosophy. Has it been tricky


being in bed with the Tories? A bit. My heart says layback and my brain


says the Tories. You are physically conflicted. -- Labour. The Tories


are more likely to compromise in the national interest. Nick Clegg


is going to have to separate the head from the rest of your body. It


will be a difficult decision to make. I would rather cut of my left


leg before they go into coalition with the Tories again. Disabled


benefits and benefits in general have been most upsetting. I find Ed


Miliband a totally ineffective leader and I would not want to find


a government run by such a weak man. We have been at this for quite some


time. The boxes are not really getting that full. Loads of people


put the balls on the floor because they do not want to vote for either.


There will be of the people who will be balanced between the Labour


Party and the Tory Party. -- other people. It is quite a tricky


proposition. Oh, horror, horror! Dangling in the middle. Down to the


voters. The electorate will decide. Where does your heart lead you -


Labour or the Tories? You vote in a slot that matches your view. I do


not think there are enough slots. It is all about what we can get.


That sounds mercenary. It is all about the people who vote for us,


what they get out of it. I'm not going to pick. I can predict


exactly what you're going to say. I say, who is your preferred


coalition partner next time around? You say, we let the voters decide.


Dean that down. Let's both go her name. Most of the balls have gone


in the Labour box. -- let's both go home. It is coming up to 12:30pm


here on BBC Two. Let's take a look inside the conference hall in


Glasgow as delegates wait to hear Vince Cable's keynote speech. Our


deputy political editor, James Landale, joins me now.


A good morning for the leadership, they won the economy debate so they


can continue to take credit, but Mr Cable and his people really causing


mischief? Mischief is a pretty good word. To allow a story like this


about whether he will vote for the leadership or not, will he even


attend the debate, to allow that to last for a whole new cycle and then


do a rush to the rescue at the end, I spoke to a Lib Dem minister who


said it is like Vince Cable being Gordon Brown to Nick Clegg 's Tony


Blair. It is a little bit of vanity, some genuine difference about


economic tone and a little bit of flirtation with the left of the


party. What he says is crucial and we will listen to him fairly soon.


Let go straight to the hall and to we will listen to him fairly soon.


the Business Secretary, Vince Cable. But Glasgow has experienced one part


the, that is Labour, rule for decades. I was part of the Labour


political machine here in the 1970s. And on one level, it worked


well. In sanitary slums were raised to the ground, we built 30,000 new


social homes for rent in a decade. Actually, 5001 year, I think on a


scale unimaginable today. -- 5000 in one year. But there was tribalism


and a culture in which union bosses had excessive influence in picking


candidates and deciding policies. Judging by Falkirk and other Labour


fiefdoms, nothing very much has changed. That is one major reason


why we must not concede to Labour the mantle of radical progressive


politics. We must assert our control. We must assert our


ownership of that tradition, which in Scotland runs for over a century


- Askwith, Gladstone, Charles Kennedy, Bob MacLennan, many others.


The challenge today is to reinforce that liberal tradition, which is at


risk of being compromised by working on Clydeside. Like you, I have spent


most of my political life fighting the Tories, from Glasgow to


Twickenham. But despite that, I believe it was both brave and


absolutely right for the party, and a Nick Clegg 's leadership, to work


with the Tories in an economic emergency, in the national interest.


Theresa May once characterised the Tories a decade ago as the nasty


party, and after a few years trying to be nice and inclusive it has


reverted to type. We have got dog whistle politics orchestrated by an


Australian Rottweiler. We have got hostility towards organised Labour


that micro-organised labour, people on benefits and immigrant


minorities. The list of people the Tories disapprove of this even


longer. Public sector workers, especially teachers, the unmarried,


people who don't earn property. I suspect their core demographic


excludes pretty much anybody who wouldn't have qualified for a vote


before the 1867 reform act. APPLAUSE


I think these prejudicial as can perhaps be explained in part by


their age profile. I suspect I would qualify, not an ideology but on age,


to be a member of the Young Conservatives. But I think the other


reason is deeper. A cynical calculation that in difficult times


fear trumps hope, and that competence requires callousness.


fear trumps hope, and that That is not our kind of politics. It


is ugly and we will not be dragged down by it. That is why our Liberal


Democrat message, about fairness, is absolutely key. That


Democrat message, about fairness, is legitimately claim ownership of the


tax policies, which have lifted millions of low earners out of


income tax. Remember, it is our policy. Don't let the Tories steal


it. I can remember in opposition


bringing this proposal to this conference at a time when George


Osborne's top priority was cutting inheritance tax for millionaires.


And our commitment to taxing unproductive wealth, that is


valuable property, through the mansion tax, is economic league


sensible and popular and, above all, fair. Don't let Labour steel that,


either. -- is economic league sensible. Fairness takes so far


but, in my view, not far enough. We're not just a nicer version of


the Tories. There are fundamental differences about how we create a


stronger economy and more jobs. Remember, we are five years on from


the biggest market failure of our lifetime. Financial capitalism


collapsed and was rescued by the state. Labour was in charge, they


had fallen asleep at the wheel and they were negligent. But the


Tories' friends and donors were also at the heart of the greed and


recklessness that lay behind that disaster. And today they yearn to


return to business as usual. Whilst we work with them, as we have to


do, pragmatically and constructively, to clear up the


mess, we must not allow them to turn the clock back. In essence, the


Tories have a very simple world-view, which is private good,


public bad. Labour offers the polar opposite. As Liberal Democrats, we


value both private and public sector. I support, of course,


Private business, big and small, but I also support mutuals and employee


ownership. And I don't think even Tony Benn could have claimed to have


launched two state-owned banks. The green investment bank, now based


in Edinboro, which was promised three years ago, is already


committing £685 million to green project is. And the business bank


that I launched at conference exactly one year ago, is mobilising


private capital to support new banks and local banks. It is the key to


stopping the suffocation of good small companies by the big banks. By


contrast, the spiritual home of the Conservatives is the United States.


They have become the Tea Party Tories. They want to throw overboard


any tax or regulation that get in the view of their blinkered small


states ideal Jew. Deep down, they believe their are native to


unhindered individual self-interest, and interest that


attempts to tackle big disparities of interest and health must be on


the road of suicide safe -- socialist safety. Our rejection of


that dogma leads us to an eclectic mixture of market and regulation. In


government, we are, rightly, getting rid of the red tape that throttles


small business and holds back entrepreneurs. But some regulation


is essential. That is why I work with Ed Davie to resist Tory


pressure as it is in their ludicrous bills. It is why we have seen of


demands from a Tory donor to make it possible to fire people for no


reason whatever. Let nobody tell you... APPLAUSE.Let nobody tell you


that Liberal Democrats have not made a difference. Without is in


government, we would be ruled by people who think that the problem


with this country is that workers have too much job security. Instead,


I propose to act against abusive practices in zero-hours contracts,


like exclusivity arrangements preventing workers from seeking


alternatives even when they are given no work. I have secured


agreement in Government to launch a formal consultation on the best


mechanism to tackle this abuse. APPLAUSE


. We have had to take some tough and necessary economic decisions with


the Tories. There is, of course, common ground with them on the need


to cut the structural deficit and to promote private enterprise. There is


welcome sign of returning confidence in the economy. And let's not get


carried away, and let's not get sucked in to a petty point-scoring


Tory/Labour Punch and Judy show on sucked in to a petty point-scoring


the economy. It took many years of mistakes to create the financial


crisis. It has taken as five years to start to dig our way out. We must


not now settle for a short-term spurt of growth fuelled by


old-fashioned property boom and bankers rediscovering their Mojo.


We have seen it all before. There already and amber lights flashing,


warning us of history repeating itself. -- that are already amber


lights flashing. You will recall from your reading of the old


Testament that Jeremiah was right. David Cameron says I am a Jeremiah.


He warned that Jerusalem would be overrun by the armies of


Nebuchadnezzar, and in my own Book Of Lamentations I described how


Gordon Brown's new Jerusalem was overcome by an army of estate


agents, property speculators and bankers. The problem we now have is


that the invaders are back. They have got a bridgehead in London and


the south-east of England. They have got to be stopped. Instead, we need


sustainable growth. That involves got to be stopped. Instead, we need


rebalancing the economy across the UK in favour of exports and


investment, which is the central purpose of our government's


industrial strategy. We should celebrate the success of motor


vehicles and aerospace and the creative industries and educational


exports and the partnership dream business and government in all these


areas. Manufacturing is coming back through rebuild supply chains. We


are tackling the country's scandalous neglect of skills through


our successful relaunching of large-scale apprenticeships. We have


given priority to Britain's world-class science and created a


chain of innovation centres, the so-called Catapults, of which there


two in Glasgow, promoting new technologies for building,


manufacturing and offshore renewables. We are building a


genuine cross-party consensus around these Government intervention so


that they end you are, that make absolutely no mistake. Without the


Liberal Democrats in government, they would never have happened.


But if sustainable recovery is to be achieved, we must meet the enormous


challenge of house-building. Demand growth has been outstripping supply,


pushing up rents and prices. Property is simply unaffordable for


families without big incomes or access to the Bank Of Mum And Dad.


But we are nowhere near it capturing the level of house-building that


pulled Britain out of the slump of the 1950s. Anyone had a thousand


homes a year are being compared it. That is a quarter to four was


achieved in the 1960s -- barely 100,000 homes a year are being


compared it, a quarter of what was achieved in the 1960s. Hence the


enormous pressure on families trapped by low pay, rising rent


enormous pressure on families tighter benefit rules. The priority


now is increasing housing supply through both private and public


sector. And, Conference, we took a strong step forward this morning


with the proposal to give councils greater capacity to get on and build


more social housing. What the country desperately wants


is delivery of homes, not a dogmatic argument about tender. Now, I hoped


that we would find some common ground with the Tories, at least in


one area, which is supporting the idea of an open, outward looking


country. Indeed, we said with one voice that Britain is open for


business. Sadly, that message has changed. Brazilian and other


overseas students who would bring economic and wider benefits to


British universities are being told that they are heard in some


immigrant, so they go to the United States instead. We have Chinese


tourists and businessmen who was so fed up with the hassle and


humiliation of trying to visit Britain to make investments here


that they are taking their money to Germany and France instead. What are


they here is that we are closed for business, that must change.


Moreover, our status as a popular destination for job-creating


investment from Japan, the United States and mainland Europe will be


compromised by careless talk from some of my coalition Cabinet


colleagues, let alone the backbench bones and collarbones about leaving


the European Union and the single market. Britain's future in the


European single market is now being put at risk by the Tories, yet


millions of British jobs depend on protecting that relationship. We


are leaving that speech at the Lib Dem Conference. You can still


follow it live on BBC Parliament and probably on BBC News as well.


He began his speech really with a very savage attack on the


Conservatives. You would find it hard to believe he was in the same


government as them. He kept that theme throughout the speech. His


attack on not doing enough visas for Brazilians and Chinese is an


attack on the Conservatives immigration policy. He took on the


Tory chief spin doctor for the campaign, an Australian Rottweiler.


They had seen off demands of a Tory donor he wanted to free up the


labour market a bit more. The only people the Tories really like


others who had the vote before the 1867 Reform Act. The Conservatives


introduced that act. What did you make of all about? As you say, it


was pretty full blooded against the Tory side of the Government. It


was pretty full blooded against the suggests Vince Cable is becoming


increasingly unhappy with being there - sitting around the table


with these people. It is fine put that he can do it. He can attack


the Conservatives. -- it is fine. The flipside, and this is the side


that Nick Clegg and Jeremy Browne and others have not got to grips


with, what happens come 2015 if they have to go into bed with


Labour? This narrative is clearing up the mess that Labour left behind.


In other words, a Labour trashed the economy. How can you go into,


for all the differences they have with the Conservatives, how can you


go into coalition with a party they regard as... OK, the bankers did


their bit Amport the economy to its knees. That bit of it is far harder


to reconcile. Nick Clegg is not moving anywhere away from that


rhetoric. We shall see. While all eyes today have been on the Lib


Dems' mild disagreement over economic policy, yesterday saw a


much bigger row, at least in Lib Dem terms, over nuclear policy.


much bigger row, at least in Lib Party members were asked to change


Lib Dem policy to support new nuclear power. It provoked strong


feelings on both sides of the argument. Not one Liberal Democrat


MP voted for the national policy statement that committed us to more


nuclear. We row right not to support it. Conference has been


right every time it has rejected a nuclear power. -- rejected nuclear


powerful stuff I'm shocked to hear some of the things I have just


heard about nuclear power. I live in Somerset, next they're actually


to Hinckley Point power station. A nuclear power station that has been


bad for a long time. I was one of the local councillors that opposed


the building of the third power station a number of years ago. I


have grown up. I now live in the real world. In the end, the party


leadership won the argument and got the backing of conference for their


policy U-turn. Let's talk about this now with the Energy and


Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, who joins us from Glasgow. In 2006,


you said, we will not want nuclear. The alternatives are cleaner and


safer for the environment and the The alternatives are cleaner and


tax payer. Quite a U-turn? I did change my mind because of the


threat of climate change. That is a huge threat to our planet crack our


species and we have to do everything possible. -- our planet,


our species. The amount we have to do in terms of low-carbon transport


and low-carbon heating is massive. I have changed, because I have now


realised that the pupils and energy efficiency cannot do it alone. We


need all forms of low-carbon on the table. In 2006 you a warning about


climate change as well and the dangers of that. -- you were


warning. You lodged a press release saying, say no to nuclear. You are


right. -- launched. In 2006, what I was hoping in the strategy put


forward was that carbon captured storage would come on much quicker.


That would be a boost to energy efficiency. I still think that can


come on. What I have rarely had to face is the risk of climate change


is so big that I am not going to take a risk of tackling climate


change. I'm now think we should not take any low-carbon option of the


table. A broad mix is the best way to ensure we can tackle climate


change. The conference voted that way and it enhances Liberal


Democrat credibility on the environment and tackling climate


change. As recently as 2010, when people like you a warning that the


huge risk of climate change, the Liberal Democrat manifesto, despite


talking about these huge risks set, based on the evidence Skype nuclear


is a far more expensive way based on the evidence Skype nuclear


reducing carbon emissions than promoting renewable energy. I will


tell you for a third time and if you want me to say a 4th time and a


5th time, I have changed my mind. On the cost issue, that is


something that still worries me. The history of nuclear power has


been very expensive. Two-thirds of my budget is spent on


decommissioning costs, cleaning up the waste from nuclear power in the


past. I am cautious to make sure the price we strike with nuclear


companies is something that actually is cost competitive was a


bit make sure the consumer and actually is cost competitive was a


British business is not paying over the odds. -- it is cost competitive.


As you have moved towards nuclear power, you have said you would


support it providing there was no subsidy for it was you know, as


well as I do, there will be no nuclear power stations - the EDF is


negotiating now - unless you agree to a price guarantee. A price


guarantee way above the market price. That is a subsidy. I have


not seen you at any of our negotiations. You seem to be well


informed of what is private and confidential. Let me tell you the


facts. We are clear that low-carbon electricity has to be compared


price Warren with dirty coal or gas. You are wrong to take the market


price. The market price is price of dirty power which is causing a


climate change problem. You have actually got to compare apples with


apples and pears with pears. If you do not commit you come up with


spurious arguments against it. With the correct analysis, you will have


to wait for our decision to complete the negotiations, you will


find that nuclear can be cost competitive. I will not signed a


deal where it is not. What do you make of Nick Clegg


saying he will not support a party on economic policy and then turning


up to do so? I saw Vince Cable vote for the economic policy. I have


heard him in private. I have heard him in private as appears very


supportive. The Liberal Democrats are playing a critical role in


getting economic recovery. I am proud of what he's doing. He has


worked with me on industrial strategy issues. He has been a real


tower of strength in injury get economic recovery. There have been


huge measures to make sure we get the growth. The Green Investment


huge measures to make sure we get Bank will make sure we attract


people into green energy. That would not be happening unless


people like Vince Cable when not in the coalition. Today, listening to


his speech, he is taking credit for the role Liberal Democrats have


played in creating over 1 million new jobs since the demolition came


to power. We have a good story on the economy. We have turned round a


complete mess. The department has taken some tough decisions. It is


now beginning to deliver - deliver jobs was to clutters what the the


Democrats are about us to bring jobs and a fairer society. --


delivered jobs. That is what the Liberal Democrats are about. He has


said he has to -- reluctantly decided to vote for it because it


has become an issue about the leadership of Nick Clegg. You have


been mapped by a poster! It is wind power. And therefore quite


dangerous. Clearly for humans as well as birds. Why did Vince Cable


only reluctantly changed his mind because it has become an issue of


leadership? He has been a tower of strength in this coalition economic


policy. He has been really supportive. The largest investment


in our railways since the Victorians come up with with not be


seeing green things like that had it not been for the Liberal


Democrats and Vince Cable. -- since the Victorians, we would not be


seeing. What has been said to people like me this morning, its


social party is looking at how the richest 10% of people - those


earning over 50,000 a year - could give further contribution in tax?


Should people earning over 50,000 be paying more tax? I want to make


sure we have a much fairer tax system. What Liberal Democrats had


done in government is to deliver that. We have closed a lot of


loopholes. What is the answer to my question? I am coming to that. We


had closed loopholes. I will answer the question in my own way. We have


close the loopholes to make sure the richest pay their fair share


and taken out of the tax people are lowest incomes and delivered a tax


and taken out of the tax people are cut for people on low and modest


incomes. In terms of future tax policy, we are having a debate to


mind. Do come and join us was dug you had ended just in time before


we go off air. -- and join us. The answer to the quiz was that Nick


Clegg would not play beach volleyball. Who can blame him for


that. That is it for today. Thanks to John Kampfner and all my guests.


that. That is it for today. Thanks James Landale presents highlights


from Glasgow in Today at Conference tonight on BBC2 at 11:20pm, and


we'll be back for more live coverage


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