27/09/2013 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon, welcome to the daily politics, it is almost certain that


human activity is responsible for global warming says an international


panel of scientist, despite temperatures barely rising for the


past 15 year, can an increasingly sceptical public be persuaded?


Prawns, a lettuce garnish and heaps of sauce sau, the ingredients for a


Prawns, a lettuce garnish and heaps good relationship with big business,


but is prawn cocktail off menu as Ed Miliband gets tough with bosses? Is


our gas a electricity among the cheapest in Europe or the most


expensive, we investigate whether we are really being ripped off by the


energy companies. And we will look back over an eventful week at the


seaside. All that in the next hour, with us


for the programme are are two old hands here at Westminster, Polly


Toynbee of the Guardian and mown. Welcome to the -- Michael Brown. Let


us start with a story briefed to a couple of newspapers this morning,


that is there are plans to make the couple of newspapers this morning,


long-term unemployed do work if return for receiving Job Job Seekers


Allowance, an announcement is expected to be made at the


Conservative Party Conference next week, a poll suggests the policy


would be overhemingly popular among voters.


What do you say Polly? I am sure it will be popular. It the the sort of


thing that sounds like it will make sense. It will be like the bedroom


tax. You will get a turn round. The sense. It will be like the bedroom


bedroom tax is unpopular, having started off popular, because if you


have a large group of people, working unpaid, they are displacing


other people, it turns out to be expensive. It is difficult to find


them all job, and they are going to include people with serious mental


problem, with serious physical problems, and I think we will get a


lot of stories of people in a bad state of distress, being made to do


very unsuitable work, I suspect public opinion will say we didn't


mean those people, we didn't mean in that way, as ever it is one of those


back of the envelope sounds great for conference policies but it won't


work. Or is it is back of the enslope or is it's a progression of


the welfare policies that have been set out by the Government? Yes,


think it is. I think Polly is being unfair to the Government on this.


There is no doubt it will get as she says, a huge cheer at the Tory party


conference next yolk, I went help feeling I have heard this made by


successive Governments made. You have? Whether anything will come of


it, I am not sure. Polly is right, it is where you draw the line, there


are people who are long-term unemployed who do have mental health


problem, single parent families who are bringing up tiny children, will


obviously be possibly worried about this, but I think there is no doubt


that the Government is tapping into a ripped seam of public opinion.


Michael Heseltine did this and he a ripped seam of public opinion.


did it well. I supported it at time I think he call it Work Fair. It was


popular but he paid people, he said, if you are working, you deserve to


get more. They will say there is no money round. The trick is to make it


an inseven sieve. That is where the Work Fair, that was based on make it


pay to work. But I think, but one thing in the Government's defence is


this, you do find that when benefits are withdrawn, or threatened to be


withdrawn, a lot of people may well be on the black economy any way, and


you do find that the number of claimants go down. Do you think


there could be an incentive put into a policy like this, because you are


right, people will say surely it is better to do something, than sit, I


don't want to use George Osborne's analogy of sitting in the room with


the blinds down, but sitting round not doing very much else. Of course


it is S work experience is a good thing. It depend on whether they are


doing things that are useful, and that will lead to work, and whether


they are the right people who are being... But they should be


reregarded. Otherwise they will, if over a long period of time, you


know, you have a million people ng unpaid work, what does that do to


the world of work? It it tips the balance, there are too many people


working at free labour, they will displace real jobs. Do you think


it's a sophisticated enough announcement, in terms of setting


out what Polly is say, which is it does have to be work that could,


that might lead to a job at the end of it, bear in mind the long-term


unemployed is two years, out of work, that it would lead to


something. It isn't just slave labour as some would call it. I hope


something. It isn't just slave the Government when it makes an


announcement like this as a party conference, it is just the headline,


it will get the crowd pleasing delegates on their feet. I do hope


that behind it there has been some work done. Wouldn't count on it!


Sometimes Government make announce and we nev hear about them


thereafter. Who knows where it will go. It might well be something that


the Government will announce as something that could be fleshed


fourth the next manifesto. There is no doubt that the general public are


on the Government's side on this. Thank you. Scientists are on the


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have today published the


first part of their fifth assessment report, setting out the current


state of scientific knowledge about climate change. The panel's fourth


state of scientific knowledge about report which came out in 2007 was


undermined by incorrect projection, about how quickly glaciers were


melt, and controversy over the apparent exclusion of scientists who


challenge the mainstream consensus. But the IPCC insists it has learned


lessons. Scientists are more confident than


ever that climate change is happening, and that people are


largely to blame. They say there is a 95% chance that human activity is


responsible for more than half of the observed changes since the


1950s. The culprit St the emission of


greenhouse gas. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is


40 hers higher than in the preindustrial era. The report says


that global surface temperatures will increase by the end of this


century. On almost all scenarios, the average


century. temperature will rise by more than


1.5 degrees centigrade relative to the period 1850-1900. If emissions


continue as a high rate that is likely to exceed 2 degrees. However,


the expected range of temperature increase this century is lower than


in the previous report. The IPCC now suggests it will be


between 0.3, and 4.8 degrees. That compares with a range of


1.1-6.4 degrees in the fourth assessment. This shift follows an


observed and unpredicted hiatus in at fer Mick warming since the 90s.


It could be that more excess energy is being absorbed by the ocean, and


on sea-level rise the IPCC is more pessimistic than before. The report


says they will go up between 26 centimetres and 82 centimetres by


the turn of the century. A hiring range than previously


thought. Well, with us now is the


Conservative peer Matt Ridley and the climate change minister Greg


Barker. Welcome to the programme. Matt Ridley. Scientists are more


certain than ever about climate change, we have to act to limit the


effects? What this report is saying is that both extremes were wrong.


People who say it is not happening are clearly wrong but people who say


we are in for calf frof is wrong. It are clearly wrong but people who say


has lower the range of likely projections, to about one to 2.5


degrees over this century, most of which will be beneficial. It will be


70 years before we see any harm from climate change, and we are seeing a


lots of harm from climate policy, so I think, the models have clearly got


things wrong over the last 20, 30 year, they didn't predict this


pause, or that climate change would be as slow as it has, and they have


to be revisited. You do accept that climate change is


happening, and they are pretty certain humans are to blame? What


they say is that more than half of the climate change since 1950 is


man-made, and I think virtually everybody I know on the sceptical


side as well as on the alarmist side accepts that. I do and have all


along. Enyou say climate change policies are doing more harm, are


you saying it is better to live with the consequences of climate change


than to take policies that will do something to mitigate them? The


consensus view is up to 2 degrees you don't see net harm to the


economy or the ecology, because you get longer growing season, you get


fewer winter death, more precipitation so it isn't going to


come into play until our great grandchildren. It is worth taking


the policies before harm occurs, what do you say Polly, because they


have been wrong and the rate of temperature increase is not as fast


as they did first think it was going to be, is it worth taking action is


now It is a small change, they have sightly changed the range, but I


mean the catastrophic is the main, you know, is the main part of it,


and what they are predicting. It could be less or more, 70 years is a


short time. I have young grandchildren, that is not very


long. If you look at what they are projecting for Britain, if the Gulf


Stream moves away, instead of being a temperate moderate climate, we


could be cold, we could be sublingt subjected, the idea ewe will have a


longer growing season, that is not for Britain, not if the Gulf Stream


longer growing season, that is not moves, which it may. When you look


longer growing season, that is not at risk you were a chairman of a


company, Northern Rock, you looked at risk, you took the little bit


that said there was no risk and did nothing about the enormous bit that


said there was. That is shot to the way the look at this. To spend more


on becoming self-sufficient on energy is not a huge price to pay,


to counter the very large enormous and more convincing risk of


something catastrophic. I don't know about you and risk assessment, but


so far your record has not been great. Are you complacent. What the


financial crisis teach us is we should not follow financial models


blindly. That is what happens in the financial crisis, everybody was


following the models rather than really. -- reality. We find the


models are wrong and they have been wrong for 20 years: You were taking


your owned a vice. As for the crisis, the cost of these policy, we


are doubling people's energy bills, we are killing 200,000 people a year


by raising food price, the policies are not without enormous pain to the


here and now. Nothing like the proportion of pain that is predicted


by the majority of scientists as being 95% likely. That is not true.


The 95%, remember, is about the fact that there has been more than half


of the warming since 1950, that was caused by mankind.


It is a very small probability of catastrophe. If you read the report


it says the amount of snow and ice as demiles an houred and ocean


warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system,


that is where a lot of the climate change is being absorbed, you are


storing up massive problems for the future. That is not the case... They


are saying that is the case in terms of the sea-levels and the oceans are


warming, Sea-level is rising 3 millimetres a year, there is no


acceleration. That is a foot per century. They project a foot to two


feet. The risk is remote. Very very few scientists they the Gulf Stream


is likely to move. Can I bring Greg Barker in, because you are just


costing the population with policies that aren't necessary according to


Matt. Let us be clear about one thing you said about Northern Rock.


It wasn't us who were responsible, it was the chairman and the


directors the of Northern Rock and the failed banks who were


responsible. But we are talking about people who have a clear view


on how you react to risk and how you manage risk in the face of evidence


and expert advice, I think that is clearly relevant, but what we have


to do is take seriously that 259 of the world's ing climate scientist


from 39 different nation, from the most respected institution, have a


very clear message that climate change is very real, that human


activity is in large part responsible for it, unless we change


activity is in large part our way, we will see not just


warming, but extreme weather events, heat wave, rising sea-level, melting


glaciers they will have a massive effect on people. Even if, I want


you to answer that point directly and particularly when you said there


could be advantages at the moment in terms of your example of the longer


growing season, but not for -- parts of the world. There is plenty of


calculation by leading sin tis, here is another report which I think I


the minister should reed. 47 leading sin tests are written it. It comes


to the opposite conclusion, it is launched today also. 47 important


scientists have launched it. Can I finish the point. In terms of things


like sea-level rise and so on, we are seeing effects of warming, of


course we are, nobody is is denying that, the question is are we seeing


an acceleration to SATS frof and no. We have seen a slow down, that has


been acknowledged by the IPCC. They have cut back their model, they are


saying climate Rons is 1-2 upon.5 degrees. That produces net benefits.


Not in a small island state where we are front sea rise. Respond to this,


it is the crux of the matter, isn't it, there is an agreement that


it is the crux of the matter, isn't climate change is happening... And


that. Sceptics are moving to the fact that gradually there is an


increasingly solid consensus, this isn't a fantasy, it is real. The


question is, how we respond to it. That is... It is milder than it was.


Don't talk over each other. Anything over two degrees is dangerous, and


we have to manage that. It will impact not just us but people in


Africa, Asia, and that all has knock on vents -- effects on us on the


economy, migration, it's a real danger. I am going to, I will let


you, I am going to bring in Polly Toynbee to say the problem is to


some extent there has been a loss of cred bility because of some of the


some extent there has been a loss of things that happened ahead of the


last report, and the public is generally sceptical. Yes, one group


of scientists were caught behaving badly, but it remains the case that


the weight of scientific opinion... They could be wrong and the sun


might not rise tomorrow. But on the whole, anybody looking at risks,


anybody in charge, as you are, of this area of policy, has to look at


probability. On the other hand, we say, why shouldn't we become


self-sufficient in energy anyway? That would be a good thing. Most of


the sceptics like yourself are actually investors in the old carbon


fuels. Aid Davey says people are being misinformed by people with


vested interests. They are blocking climate change policies. Well, there


are people with vested interests in renewable energy as well. But is


that the recent? There are people with vested interests on all sides.


I have actually been banging the drum for shale gas -- coal, and


Charlotte -- shale gas is a bigger threat to that. But the government


does not speak with a unified voice on the subject. George Osborne said


he does not want Britain to go faster than other countries in


cutting emissions. John Hayes was opposed as energy minister to wind


farms. Owen Paterson, the climate change minister, says the measures


taken to combat climate change may change minister, says the measures


cause more damage than they prevent. We have taken radical steps that the


first green investment bank that is capitalising private sector


investment into green growth sectors across the economy, if you look at


the Greendale -- green reforms of the energy markets, we now have the


world's largest offshore industry. So were you crossed with those


ministers when they spoke against pushing faster with green policies?


Well, we have got a record. We don't need to talk about what we are going


to do . We have a record of solid action, and we need other countries


to catch up with Britain. We have international leadership on this. We


need the rest of the world to pick up the pace. Has David Cameron


really had the greenest government ever? I hope not. The problem the


government has got in my view is that there is a danger that climate


change policies may be doing as much damage to British industry as


climate change. What is the evidence for it? When you put additional


costs on industry, I used to represent a steel company, and all


the time that you add to the costs of industry like the steel industry,


you export jobs to the third World. And all the time that you are


dealing with climate change in this country, I don't know what


percentage of greenhouse gases Britain is responsible for, but


compared to Indonesia, China, India and the United States, until we


start making sure that those countries owed by the kind of rules


we have to obey, steel jobs go to Indonesia. The current most


successful manufacturing sector in Europe is Germany, and they have the


highest level of renewable energy. Last year, the CBI tells us that the


low carbon goods and services sector accounted for a third of all growth


in the economy and was our biggest export. I take your point on Germany


will stop my family, apart from me, export. I take your point on Germany


live there. But my sister says that since Angela Merkel closed down the


power plants, they are importing their nuclear power and Germany is


building coal plants. They have much more renewable energy than we do.


They are crucifying themselves on the cost of energy. If you don't


think energy costs are important, look at what is happening in


America, where, by going for shale gas, they have cut the cost of


energy. That is causing manufacturing industries to move to


America wholesale from this country. I was at a fracking site in Virginia


yesterday. That is something -- somewhere where a global move to gas


is a good thing. The worst problem this government has is tied up with


what Ed Miliband said in his speech the other day. The public perceives


policies to deal with climate change as putting up their bills, and if we


don't carry the public with us on the cost of energy, we used the


argument. B the average family Bill is far too high. Last year, it cost


£9 to support onshore wind. £9 out of £1300, the average bill. We have


to be realistic in analysing what is driving up the cost of family


bills. Overwhelmingly, it is not government policy, it is the cost of


fossil fuels. What would it take to change your mind? Evidence. I have


always been driven by empirical data. Very selective data. Body five


years ago, when I was an economist, I was convinced that this was a


dangerous thing. The more I looked into it, the dodgier the data


looked. The wealth of data that into it, the dodgier the data


comes out today says that climate change has happened, which we all


accept, and that we are in for a mild warning for the next -- a mild


warming for the next 70 years. All the public has seen for the last few


years is Italy cold winters. What can be done to convince people more


that it is worth paying something now in the way that Greg Barker has


set out, to avoid the arguable -- arguable catastrophe of the future?


When people realised the risk with the Gulf stream, that we will not be


growing olive trees in this country, I think people are


beginning to see far more dramatic weather systems around the world and


they are taking that on board. There is no evidence for that, Polly. Your


idea of evidence is the 5% of the 95% of world scientists who say one


thing. You were just quoting a minority view on Gulf Stream 's. But


if one is in charge, as you work, of a large company, you have to look at


the risk of fraud probability. The probability is not certain that the


world scientists are right, in which case you have to try and mitigate


what might be an absolute catastrophe will stop not certain,


but might be. Let's take it in pure figures terms. There are more


scientists who are warning about catastrophe than there are


scientists who aren't. You don't know that for sure. Seriously. The


95% are people who say that climate change is affected by humans. I am


one of them. Then what is your problem? I have sat around a table


with all the other countries from Russia to the USA, China and Japan,


all agreed that climate change was real and happening. So do I. Agreed.


And we need to come up with an effective response. Every major


economy. I have to finish it there. Now, the centrepiece of Ed


Miliband's conference speech on Now, the centrepiece of Ed


Wednesday was of course that pledge that an incoming Labour government


would freeze energy prices until the end of 2017. But if you were


watching Wednesday's programme, and I hope you were, you might have


heard Andrew asked this question of labour's Stephen Twigg. If the


energy market in Britain is as dysfunctional as your parties claim


yet to be, why does Britain have some of the lowest gas and


electricity prices in Europe? Now, Andrew's question was based on


figures from Ofgem, as you can see on this graph of domestic gas


prices. Britain's is almost the cheapest, but a viewer wrote in to


save this comparison is misleading. He says the final price consumers


pay includes government taxes, which He says the final price consumers


he says makes up almost half of the final energy price in some


countries. He claims that if you look at the cost without government


taxes, UK prices don't look as look at the cost without government


competitive. So what is the truth? Professor Jim Watson is from the UK


energy research Centre. Have we got cheap gas and electricity, or


haven't we 's we have if you look at most of the comparisons. You have


quoted Ofgem's figures, and European figures show we are towards the


bottom end of the range, but your viewer is right that in some


countries, the proportion of tax is much lower than here. Here, we have


5% VAT. So when we are comparing prices, you have got to compare like


with like. If we look at other countries in Europe, should we use


the end price to the consumer, which includes taxes, or not? You should


include, but it is important to break down the bill and make the


comparison knowing what the constituents of the bill are. How


much is coming from the cost of wholesale energy, how much is coming


from the wires and pipes, how much is billing and how much is taxation?


Countries take very different approaches, and they are all at


different places. In the UK, we are about to go into a major investment


phase. Other countries may not be in that place will stop as long as we


have transparency of what makes up the bills, you can discuss whether


the UK is competitive will stop so it is not worthwhile to compare


pre-tax costs between countries? Well, the geography matters, so if


you did that, you would have to compare Norway, which has a lot of


hydro, and those stations were built along time ago, so they are not


paying those costs of any more, compared to a country like the UK


were recently, we have built a lot of gas-fired power stations. You


would have to take account of those differences. The reason for doing


this, of course, is to find out whether our prices are competitive.


Are we being ripped off, in other words. How do you do that most


effectively? Analysing them in comparison with other countries is a


good start. Many countries are exposed to very similar prices. The


gas prices that feed through into our bills are regional. Coal prices


are similar, and so on. But you have to take into account particular


circumstances so regulators and the government have to look at how


competitive the market is and look at the difference between the costs


of the energy that our energy companies by on the world markets,


of the energy that our energy and what happens to the final bill.


Recently, the costs of the bill have been going up much faster than the


Recently, the costs of the bill have costs of the energy going in. I


looked at a breakdown of the bill on Wednesday, and there are lots of


different things in there over and above what you pay for your energy.


There are. There are distribution network costs, there are the costs


of the people who bill you, and then there are the taxes. You have to


disentangle a lot. But there is a case for looking at the UK market,


because we have these big six companies, and I think the market is


not working as well as it could. It is hard for newer companies to come


in and start competing when the market is not transparent. That


compared to other countries in Europe, it is much more competitive


than countries where you sometimes have only one state owned provider.


There, it is even harder to see if you are getting value for money.


Like France? Yes, their provider is a player in the UK as well and it is


mainly owned by the French state and a player in the UK as well and it is


they are dominant. In that situation, which the UK used to have


before the 1990s, it is difficult for a regulator to know what is


going on inside their accounting, because there is no competition.


Michael Brown, we are not being ripped off, are we? Well, I don't


think the consumer sees it that way. The consumer says, here is the price


when a particular government came into power. The Labour Party are


quoting that it was about £1000 three and a half years ago and it is


quoting that it was about £1000 now more. So the voter looks at a


bill on year and on the following year, and when there is a spike in


price, the energy company has put the bills up. When the price comes


down, there is no reduction. The voter simply sees a bill from last


year and this year. And they have gone up. Polly, when you look at


those comparisons and you have the bare fact in front of you, it does


not seem as bad. But is it worth looking at other countries when we


know that bills keep going up? Gulf You have a dysfunctional market,


where 98% is by six big company, it is also practically impossible and


Ofgem hasn't done this well to analyse what they are doing and


where their profits are coming from. They are making £4 billion a year


profit, while prices have been going up 9% a year. Now, they generate the


electricity horizontal, they generate it, sell it to


themselves... That is the problem for new suppliers. That is why you


need to brake it up. The idea what Ed Miliband is suggesting is some


kind of socialism, he is going the other way, we need to fragment it


more to have more effective competition. A lot of the utilities


were sold very badly, in Margaret Thatcher's day and left these very


big companies, we need more smaller ones.


Thank you. Now what do you, what you get, you


Thank you. take prawn, Marie Rose sauce,


lettuce, a political party and an extra helping of schmooze, I am


talking of the prawn cocktail offensive. Made famous by Labour in


the '90s. It was a strategy, orchestrated by former Labour leader


John Smith who was mocked in the media, for cosying up to big


business in opposition. But although it was derided by journalists and


the Tory, the plan to improve relations with business seemed to


work. So much so, that by the time Tony Blair became Prime Minister in


1997, Labour had wooed bosses to such an extent that they were able


to introduce a windfall tax on the privatised utilities without


ruffling too many feathers. But after a week in which business


organisations have queued up to criticise the party, it could take


more than a few of these and here we r we have four beautifully presented


prawn cocktail. There is no cutlery, so you have, I will spill it. You


can look at them and imagine, go back in Labour's time, a few year,


any way few of these to get business back on side. Does it matter? We are


joined from Hull by the former chairman of Northern Foods Lord


Haskins, ho was a Labour peer but sits in the Lords as a


cross-bencher. Welcome to the programme. Whied did Labour make


such huge efforts to get business on side? They had a record of not


having good relations with business for many years before, particularly


with the price controls and all the stuff that went on in the 70s under


my friend Roy hattersly, it was clear the good will of business is


good for assurance in the Stock Markets, and that was what we set


out to achieve and did. Is it different now? Is it as nose have


big business on side? I think so. One of the problems in those days is


both sides have lost public credibility. The politicians have


lot lost a bit and business has because of the salaries, and the


banks and that sort of stuff. It still means that business is


critical to the running of the economy, probably more so, and


therefore, you may not like what is going on, but you jolly well work


with them and live with them. What to you Mick of Ed Miliband's


announcement this week, to freeze energy prices for two months The


decision itself is a flawed one, because price freezes, in my view,


never work, they have unintended consequence, for example, I am here


never work, they have unintended in the hum berks we are trying to


coke -- Humber, we are trying to coax energy companies to come here


and invest. If those companies feel that the government is going to play


round with markets, in the way this appears to be happening, and in the


way politicians have done over the whole energy policy generally,


people get reluctant to invest. We must get some degree of certainty, a


lot of the problems you have mentioned should be dealt with by


either the regulator, or the monopolies commission, a price


freeze won't help resolve either of the problems mentioned. Stay with


us, but that is the problem, you could have the price freeze for 20


months after after that you are in the same situation as before? They


say it's a temporary freeze, they are not saying it's a perm innocent


price control mechanism. It is temporary while they discombobulate


the companies and force them to temporary while they discombobulate


create a better market, allowing others to come in, then they let the


competition and market rip, hoping you have a healthier one, I think


that is not a bad strategy. If they were going to be announcing


permanent price controls but Ofgem has their eye on them and the energy


market has worked with some understanding, they have bidding to


get from 2030 to 200040 price fixed, so prices in the energy market and


the government, that sort of trilateral agreement is going to be


there. Is the Labour Party looking anti-business? A little bit. I think


there is no doubt about that. You could argue that the Blair


government cosied up to business rather too much, and rather admired


some of the shortcomings of business which we now disapprove of. I think


the Labour Party has to be very careful that it doesn't appear to be


having a go just for the sake of it, because of issues which are nothing


to do with energy, the fact that business people are considered to be


fat cats, I am sure they are, that shouldn't be a reason for having an


fat cats, I am sure they are, that energy freeze, if as Polly says


there is going to be a new policy, I don't see how an energy freeze is


going to help make that policy. That will take several years to develop,


if we have one. In the meanwhile, I don't want all the potential invest


Norse my part of the world -- investors in my part of the world


waiting for what will come out. What do you think will be the


consequences for your region, do you think that Ed Miliband is at risk of


undoing much of the good work as you see et, that Labour had done with


undoing much of the good work as you business, even if they cosiesed --


cosied up too much? I hope not. I talk to a lot of the Labour MPs and


I think they understand the importance of working with big


investors, but these signs don't look very good. They are populist


investors, but these signs don't and I think probably business


dismiss them as being satisfying the party member, rather than actually


dealing with the fundamental issues of the economy. What do you think,


ho the Tories going to respond to in in whatever your view is, about the


price freeze and the so-called land grab he proposed for developers who


don't start building when they own grab he proposed for developers who


the land, what will the Tories say about the risk of looking as if they


are on the side of big business invested interests. I suspect if


there are price rises, the first thing that any Government Energy


Minister will say, Greg Barker or any of his colleagues will say this


is the energy company's preparing for a Labour government. While we


would love to do something about that we can't. You have a Fays of


seeing there is going to be a spike in energy price before the


glenningion, but in general terms, I think that while technically


everything that Lord Haskins has said, I completely agree with, I


have a suspicion when it comes to the ordinary voter, not just Labour


voters, Tory midlet class, the squeezed middle that Ed Miliband is


after, I suspect that he is on the side of the Angel, where Tony Blair


and Peter Mandelson are at ing ing Ed Miliband. I suspect he won't have


sleepless nights, in the eyes of the voter there's is a trawl of votes to


be Garnered because of the banks and everything that has happened. Let me


put that to Lord Haskins. That is what Ed Miliband and his crowd are


banking on, isn't it. Yes, but responding successfully to populist


opinion, anybody can do that. But it is about whose side is are you on?


That is the divide Ed Miliband is trying to create, and, you know,


maybe Michael Brown is right. It won't just be populist but people


will think there is a battle going on. Clearly there is a division,


public opinion has a low regard for business, but political leaders, I


know they have to get votes but they have to take account of the broader


economy, and the broader economy requires long-term planning,


understanding of the problems and not knee-jerk re ing is --


reactions. ? You have the British chambers of commerce and the


Confederation of British Industry united in their criticism and fury


at most of the announcement, because I spoke to them, that Ed Miliband


made. That is not good. Those are Conservative run organisations and


they always are. But the interesting thing is when you refer pack to 97


they always are. But the interesting big business came round not because


of the prawn cocktail, they saw this was going to be the Government. It


was chicken and egg the other way round, so they deal with Governments


when they think they are going to round, so they deal with Governments


take over, the other important thing to say is business has changed a


great deal since then and perception of it big manufacturing, that is all


on one side. The big global economies that have been ripping off


the tax system. Ed Miliband has carefully said, you know, there is


onening about the large global corporations who are often not


paying, you know, their taxes, versus small business, Federation of


Small Business support the idea, that small business, who actually


employ many more people than the big corporation, and I do think there


has been a shift in attitude, what do we do about very large companies


that take over large parts of this country, and have no accountability


to the Government, to the taxpayer, to the citizens or anyone else. I


agree with that and something has to be done, but knee-jerk reaction to


this aren't going to bring them into line. All they will do is put up


people's defences and we end one a polarisation of attitudes on an


issue which is of great public concern for all involved. Labour


can't afford to alienate them for a reason. Labour is broke, can you


tell meme any CEO that is about to drop a couple of million into the


Labour Party coffers. There used to be lots and maybe some will come


back. I think it is chicken and egg, when people see, if Labour continues


to do well and be ahead in the polls and it looks as if they are going to


win, but money is less important these day, the election campaign is


much more about the TV camp, the TV debates and campaigns than it is


about big posters so Labour will have less money: I think it is true


if it is obvious, it isn't at the moment, if it is obvious that Ed


Miliband is going to be the next Prime Minister, as it was obvious


two or three years before I lost my seat in 1997 in humper side, I do


think that the money follows the party into Government. I don't think


that Ed Miliband should have sleepless nights at the moment about


the fact he he has ruffled the feathers in the energy industry.? He


is going to reroom to. It Maybe it will be matter less an. He may not


have enough money to get his tube fare in. It will be expensive. Tony


Blair would have won the 1997 election without spending anybody's


money. Thank you for joining us today.


The National Association of Probation Officers announced


yesterday that they are going to ballot for industrial action oaf the


Justice Secretary's plans to allow charities and private companies to


carry out some of their work with payment by results. The Ministry of


carry out some of their work with Justice say the reforms


carry out some of their work with necessary to break a cycle of


offending, particularly of those reloosed after a sentence of less


than a year. Giles has been looking at how the changes will work.


Chris Grayling is determined to changes how prisoner, particularly


those sentenced to under a year are dealt with when they leave prison.


He wants to shake-up probation, allow voluntary group, charities and


private companies to operate as probation supervisors an mentor,


paying them if reoffending is reduced. Important aims given over


50% those sentenced for under a year go on the refend costing the economy


£13 billion annually. The Probation Service think it is untested,


unproven, threatens public safety and is being forced through too fast


People won't take responsibilties and often serious further offences


and serious harm cases come from that group of offender, that group


of clients, we believe that will increase the risk to community


safety and that is paramount on the increase the risk to community


campaign of resistance to what Chris Grayling is saying. The charity the


St Giles Trust works with 16,000 people a year in communities and


prisons. They see some of the most persistent low to medium risk


prisons. They see some of the most offenders and have a record of


success, 44% of staff are ex-offender, in some projectst 0% of


the team have served time. Ebony thinks that is what makes them a


success and why taxpayers shouldn't be afraid of people like her doing


the work. They shouldn't be worried. I see young people involved in gangs


and potential doctors and nurse, our future. In ters of where I am coming


from, I have been to Crown Courts and often I go with my young people,


and I know what it is like to stand up in that dock and not only that, I


know what it is is like to go in and not come out. Some have pointed out


big companies like Serco and G4S could bid for contracts ing others


say if reoffending comes down does it matter who is providing the


service? It can make better results for both the client, for the less


service? It can make better results future victims of crime, and also


for the taxpayer in terms of savings, it has been frustrating,


because we are not mainstream, you know, what we do, the new and


radical stuff isn't part of the solution yet. Therefore we follow is


a time and place for change. I think that is -- that time has come. There


is less money round, offending rates remain stubbornly high and we know


for those serving less than one year there is a desperate need. What with


are seeing is we can do the job of meeting peep, short-term custodial


are seeing is we can do the job of offenders at the gate better than


anybody and where necessary we will work in partnership with provider,


so we have never argues against that. What we are against... We have


tackled to bring down to lowest since 2006.


Already, the union is looking to vote with its feet and begin


Already, the union is looking to industrial action. Mr Grayling won't


get his reforms without a fight. For prisoners with a sentence of less


than one year, it is not 1% of them that reoffend, it is 60%. There are


some bits of our public sector, often those around criminal


justice, which have been poorly performing for a while. Do use


accent that some organisations are arguing that the payment model will


put off some charities bidding for these contracts? Probably in some


cases, because if you are a small charity, you have not got a big bank


account and it is difficult to step in when you will not get paid for a


number of years. On the other hand, in other areas of the welfare state,


we are seeing big companies marry up with those companies like the St


Giles trust. This is part of the new landscape of policy. But some people


fear that the reality is that it will only be the big companies that


will apply, like G4S and Serco. Is that the sort of privatisation you


would like to see? The organisations which should win contracts should be


the ones best able to do it. I would not exclude anybody. But it would be


putting smaller organisations at a disadvantage. What do you say on the


principle, Polly? In the in-house magazine for Serco in 2009, you


wrote in favour of this idea? In favour of different people being


able to provide things. Nobody could look at the St Giles trust and not


say, what a good thing. There are many who could come in and have a


good experience. But this was how the work programme again, with the


idea that we were shown examples of excellent charities doing really


good back to work programmes. And they were used by the big companies


good back to work programmes. And at was what -- as what was called


big candy. In the end, the whole programme was carved up a big


companies. The smaller companies were squeezed out. The big companies


would then cream off the most money and give the tough Charis -- tough


cases to the charities. Is that an argument not to do it? You have to


be careful to do it where you have got the skills and the people. The


St Giles trust, of course, should be doing it. But the idea that you


should have a wholesale roll-out of this, it will be the big dump unease


that do it. You should have it where you have got excellent providers,


and not do it as a monolithic sell-off to the lowest bidder. Chris


Grayling has called in the City of London police to investigate alleged


fraud by Serco staff working on a major contract to transport


prisoners to and from courts across major contract to transport


London and East Anglia. Nine people who worked for a company paid by the


government for finding jobs for the unemployed have been charged with 60


offences of fraud and forgery. If you have the sort of setup that


Polly has outlined, and those are the major players, are you confident


that that will provide a good service? I am, because this issue of


private sector involvement in public services is controversial, of


course, and some examples you have mentioned, another one is G4S not


delivering entirely on the Olympics. Against that, what is not often


heard is the hundreds if not thousands of contracts being on


successfully. Of course we don't hear about them, because they don't


create news, but they are happening. If we look at the military, which


works hand in glove with companies in everything that it does apart


from the actual front line soldiering, it is a positive


relationship. This is an idea whose time should have come a long time


ago, I think. As you say, the Labour government was thinking about it a


decade ago. It horrified me to learn recently that if you are in prison


for less than one year, the current state provided probation service


does not provide you with anything. You leave prison with £46 in your


pocket, and there is no mentoring or support. Chris Grayling is desperate


to find some mechanism beyond the probation service to ensure that


there is mentoring for that group of people, who tend to be the


reoffenders. By definition on they are probably young, and have no


support. I also learnt that apparently, probation officers


personally, who do a fantastic job, spend no more than 20% of their time


in many cases on face time with their clients. That is because of


the bureaucratic nature of the service as it currently is


constructed. But that is part of the things anyone who runs the service


will have to do. Would you prefer to see the probation service run this?


I would like to see a partnership. That is what the previous government


and the current government intend to do. The current probation service is


outstanding, but it is stretched. I think there is a more efficient way


of doing it, subject to the caveat that Polly mentioned. The service is


desperately stretched. You said the crucial thing. These are the people


you want to give most treatment to, and they get very little. They have


been squeezed and squeezed, and the probation service as well is a poor


service because it has not got the resources it needs. By putting it


out like this, you don't provide extra services. But you might be


able to run it more efficiently. There is no reason to think so. I


agree that in an ideal world, it is a pity that Chris Grayling's


predecessor Ken Clarke was not able from the word go to have a pilot. It


has taken us up until 2013 before they have been able to do it. I


suppose they have run out of time, but a pilot would have been an ideal


start. Prisons have been one under private management. They do better


on reoffending and are generally better managed. They have had some


terrible reports recently. But on better managed. They have had some


average, they are better. If the government wants to do this, fair


play to them. Bawdy humour, grumpy northerners and a pavement brawl.


It must be a week at the British seaside.


Big news this week. Labour's end of the pier show in Brighton, with Ed


Miliband showing unexpected gift for comic timing. She said, I was an


action hero. Why are you laughing? I can't think either. Meanwhile, the


other aid took a pop at David Cameron's holiday shortcomings. I


thought for a prime minister, it was a surprisingly small town. Talking


of balls, John Prescott used one of ours to make clear what he thinks


about HS2. Why cancel it? They are using the north to say you can have


20 minutes on a bloody train to Birmingham. Mind you, Lord Prescott


was out punched on the programme by Iain Dale, publisher of Damian


McBride's spin and tell memoir. Tough on protest, tougher on the


causes of protest. Next week, the Tories in Manchester. What is the


worst that could happen? Michael Brown, it was a proper


scrap, wasn't it, but it did land Iain Dale, the publisher, in


trouble. And Ian should have known better. He is a gentle soul, but I


always have one absolute rule. 18 years in Parliament, five general


elections - the voter is always right, whatever they are throwing at


you. Whatever eggs, whatever dogs are tempted to bite you, there is


only one loser if you have a for a car with somebody who is a voter.


The clear. I am sorry at what happened to you happened, but let


that be a lesson. Do you agree, Polly? There has been a police


caution, is that fair? I do think so. But it is funny that Iain Dale


was actually protecting Damian McBride, who was the one in front of


the cameras at the time, because Iain Dale owns the publishing


company that is publishing Damian McBride. He wanted the guy out of


the shot, but it is a funny turn of events. It did give us some rather


good pictures will stop moving on to Boris. We can't not mention him


ahead of the Conservative Party conference. He has said that he


missed the House of Commons when the Syria debate was going on, an


implication that he is heading back into Parliament? Well, he is


trapped, isn't he? In the sense that he is guaranteed to be mayor of


London until 2016. I suppose if he is guaranteed to be mayor of


somebody vacated a seat in London in 2015... What would he do? He could


just about get away with being a member of Parliament. Ken


Livingstone was a member of Parliament for his first year as


London mayor. He did not immediately give up. So he could run


concurrently? Supposing the people of Croydon, were they seeking a new


MP for Richard Ottaway's consistency, let's say they were to


select him as their candidate for 2015 and he were to become the


number of Parliament and have the dual mandate for one year, he could


get away with it. If he is not in dual mandate for one year, he could


the House of Commons after 2015 and therefore not in the House of


Commons until the expiry of his mayoral term, he is not a player if


anything should go wrong with David Cameron. But he has always reserved


that right. It is a football analogy, do you believe him when he


says he will serve all the way to the end? You can't believe anything


he says. He just goes, I did not really mean it. And he gets


forgiven. But it does show the extent to which they think they are


not going to win the next election, the Conservatives. They will be keen


to have Boris as a possible contender. Or is David Cameron less


worried about interventions and a contender. Or is David Cameron less


few loose comments from Boris Johnson ahead of this conference? I


don't think David Cameron is worried. I meant for after the


election. It shows that they are not expecting to win, and they want


Boris in there so that when Cameron loses, he is a contender. I would


put a bet on Croydon, where there was a vacancy. The retiring member


of Parliament, which got away, is standing down. And would London


object to the fact that their mayor also has a voice in the House of


Commons for 12 months? I would not have thought so. He could get away


with that. Are you trying to tell something? As Polly says, Boris


writes all the rules. It would only be overlapping for one year, and he


would be able to say to the people of Croydon and London, I have only


got one war year of my mayoral term to serve, and I can speak for those


12 months for the people of Croydon. You heard it here first. Thank you


to both of you for being guests of the day. That is it from us.




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