15/10/2013 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics. David Cameron says


he'll fight to reduce EU red tape for businesses as a report from


company bosses says regulations are costing UK firms billions of pounds.


Should lads' mags featuring pictures of topless women be sold in


supermarkets? We'll talk to Green MP Caroline Lucas about her campaign to


persuade Tesco to bin them. MPs debate new measures to control


dangerous dogs, but Labour say they don't go far enough.


And as the race to be the next deputy Speaker of the House of


Commons heats up, we'll hear from five - yes, five - of the


candidates. All that in the next hour. And with


us for the whole programme today is the TV presenter par excellence,


Richard Madeley. That's very kind! Take the introduction with a smile.


Let's start with the news that leading British business figures


have attended a meeting of the cabinet today to share their report


on EU red tape. In the last few minutes, there has been more


breaking news on pleb gate. This is a report not into the original


incident, but a report into a meeting held between the former


Government Chief Whip, Andrew Mitchell, and representatives of the


police Federation. You will remember that Mr Mitchell was alleged to have


said that he thought officers who wouldn't let his -- let him ride his


bike through the gates of Downing Street were, and I quote, effing


plebs. He always said that he never said that. He said that he had never


used those words, but that he had been impatient, that he thought the


police were there to help, and that indeed he apologised for it. And yet


the representatives of what in effect is the police trade union and


said that he had simply refuse to clear up what was said on the


fateful night at Downing Street, that he hadn't been clear about what


had and hadn't gone on. Today the police watchdog says, in event, not


good enough. Its report says that this raises issues of honesty and


integrity and discreditable conduct. It says that the police officers


involved had a clear agenda, to discredit Mr Mitchell and to pursue


the police campaign against cuts. This report said that the police


therefore have a case to answer. The police have already investigated


themselves and looked into the behaviour of these officers, and the


report, you would be surprised to learn, clear the officers and said


that there was no deliberate intention to life. This is a


dramatic turnaround, given how long we have been waiting for the report


on the original incident, as you say. But now we have this


conflicting report in terms of what the Police Federation claimed was


said. Where does that leave the police? This it the first act of


drama. There will be a report from the Crown Prosecution Service within


a matter of days. Keir Starmer made that clear on the Andrew Marr


programme on Sunday. What is happening here is that the police


watchdog is acting the man who had to resign from the Cabinet, who in


effect says the police lied. They lied about what happened in a


meeting, they did it deliberately, they did it to bring me down, they


did it to discredit the government. That is a very serious charge


indeed. You may ask where it leads to. In one sense, the answer is


nowhere. Mr Mitchell could in theory now pursue a complaint against the


officers involved, but I am told that he believes there is almost no


point in doing so, given that the police have already investigated


themselves and declared themselves to be not guilty.


Nick Robinson, thank you. Now, to news of a different sort. Leading


British business figures have attended a report today about red


tape. The Prime Minister's business


taskforce has concluded that relaxing rules on health and safety


compliance alone may save ?2 billion. This is hardly a surprise,


Richard Madeley, that business wants to slash red tape. I think and dream


of nothing else other than EU regulation! Apparently the EU red


tape has been under fire for awhile. I wonder if this is Cameron


beginning to position himself for the inevitable debate on whether we


should be in or out. And this will help, because you can use this as a


stick to beat the European commission. As you say, there are


pushing on an open door. The European commission is listening. Is


that a sign of the times generally? Inevitably, legislation in Europe


has become massively top-heavy and needs to be cut back, and that was a


process that was inevitable, I think. But I think it puts Cameron


in a useful position. He can be seen to be criticising be you, but also


making tomorrow and habitable to be. Now it's time for our Daily Quiz.


The question for today is: What did George Osborne claim 160 million


Chinese people were fans of? Was it: Boris Johnson, expensive handbags,


Downton Abbey or Glastonbury. At the end of the show, Richard will give


us the correct answer. New measures to control dangerous


dogs in England and Wales are being taken through Parliament today. It


follows some high-profile tragedies and a vigorous campaign by postmen,


among others. It's estimated that around 210,000 people are attacked


by dogs in England every year. There have been 16 fatal dog attacks in


homes over the last eight years, including nine involving children.


The most recent death was that of teenager Jade Anderson in March this


year following an attack by four dogs in the home of a family friend.


Currently, the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act covers only attacks by dogs in


public places and private areas from where dogs are banned, such as a


neighbour's garden or a park. The Government plans to extend existing


laws to cover dog attacks on private property - but not in cases where a


dog attacks an intruder. And also extend laws to cover cases where


dangerous dogs attack guide dogs and other assistance dogs. However,


Labour says the Government proposals don't go far enough. Among other


things, they want the introduction of Dog Control Notices - basically


ASBOs for dogs. These could enforce the muzzling of the dog whenever it


is in a place to which the public has access, and if the dog is male,


neutering it. Joining me now, Shadow Home Office Minister Steve Reed and


the Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell who in opposition was the party's


animal welfare spokesman. And we should say that we asked the


Government for an interview with a Minister on this, but none was


available. Welcome to both of you. The Government is planning to


toughen up regulation and legislation. That must be a good


thing? They are making some movement, but they are not going far


enough. I met Michael Anderson, the father of jade, the 14-year-old girl


who was savaged to death by a group of dogs out of control. He came to


Parliament to ask us to support the introduction of dog control


notices, that would allow dogs to be muzzled, kept on a lead, the owners


of the dogs to have compulsory training. The Government is refusing


to do this. It exists in Scotland, where it works, it is supported by


Battersea dogs home, the RSPCA, the Association of Chief Police


Officers, everybody except the Government. When a child is killed


by dogs mauling at them, surely legislation can't go far enough to


prevent that happening again? Clearly the law at the moment is


lacking tremendously, and the Government are bringing forward


measures, but I have sympathy with what is being said. It doesn't go


far enough. We do need dog control notices and legislation that ensures


that the owners are brought to book for allowing their dogs to behave in


a dangerous and irresponsible way. But every dog is different, and you


need a law that can deal with a particular case rather than a


broadbrush approach. Can you have a law that is that nuanced when it


comes to animals that are unpredictable? You can, because


there are different breeds of dog, different types of owners. Some


owners are totally irresponsible and don't deserve to have a dog, but


others just make one mistake and should be put in the same category


as someone using a dog for illegal activities. There are breeds that


are banned, but there are dog that can still attack people that are of


any breed. Isn't it the people who look after them that we need to look


at? You are right. The key problem is irresponsible dog owners, but dog


control notices and allow a quick way of addressing the problems of


potentially dangerous dogs before they get out of control. How would


that actually work? You can be served immediately by the police or


a local authority without the need to go through the courts. Is that


what happened in Scotland? It is, and there is evidence that it is


effective. I thought you were here to argue against dog ASBOs sometimes


we do agree when it is a matter of common sense. This is about a


practical way of dealing with a social problem. Micro-chipping is


coming in, and I fought for that, I argued that it should come in. They


can link the dogs are the owner, so it means that a dog control notice


makes sense linking to that, because you can prove who owns the dog. That


is not coming in until 2017. The Government are too weak to come here


today to defend their position. Andrew is a Tory MP but not part of


the Government. Why would they not debate this? This is not a subject


we should turn into a political battle. This is about bringing


sensible laws to deal with the social problem. Dangerous dogs, dogs


being used in crime, dogs being used in an irresponsible way. I think the


Government needs to look at this in a bit more detail and perhaps accept


one or two of the changes this afternoon. It is the owner that is


the problem, nine times out of ten. And some of them don't really seem


to take any care or interest at all in the behaviour of their dog, and


in fact some of them, they are quite proud of having an aggressive dog.


And one of the issues coming up is what is the guidelines for dealing


with a dog owner who allows their dog to kill. How do you make sure


that all of the dogs are micro-chipped? You make it a


requirement when the dog is first-born, or when you sell the


dog. If you buy a dog, the person who has bred the dog... But if the


dog was scanned for a microchip and there wasn't a microchip in it, they


have immediately broken the law. There are lots of advantages of


having a microchip system, and also lost and stolen dogs can be returned


to their owners. Bruce Forsyth's daughter lost her dogs, and she got


them back because the vet scanned the microchip. Why is it delayed


until 2017? Enough agreement! What about harsher sentences for people


who have dogs who go on to attack people? Once again, we have to be


sensible about this. I own a Staffordshire bull terrier, and they


can be mischievous and run after other dogs. And somebody can think


that there is a dog attack when they are playing. So you do have to be


very sensible about how you apply this. But people who use dogs to


attack people in crime, there should be much tougher sentences for those


people. The current maximum sentence for that is two years. Do you think


there are some people who's just shouldn't be allowed to have dogs?


Yes, I do. I did a newspaper around when I was a kid. There were three


houses that I'd refuse to deliver papers to, because the dogs even


throw closed front door would jump up as you you put the paper through


to try to get your fingers. There was another thing that went through


an idea from backbenchers that you have to put a grill over your post


box if you own a dog. I totally agree with what you are saying. It


is a shame the government doesn't. Thank you both very much. Should


magazines with images of scantily clad women on the cover be sold on


display in big supermarket chains like Tesco? Campaign is meeting at


Parliament today says dads' mags like Nuts and Sue or pornography and


should be withdrawn. Here's the singer Charlotte Church talking last


night about young women in the music industry.


to present themselves as objects, and when I was 19 or 20 I found


myself in this position, being pressured into wearing more and


more revealing outfits and the lines I had spun at me again and


again by middle age meant was, you have got a great body, why not show


off? Do not worry, it will look classy, it will look artistic. I


felt deeply uncomfortable about the whole thing. Charlotte Church has


in the past posed for men's magazines. Caroline Lucas is


hosting this evening's meeting in Parliament and we have been joined


by the writer and broadcaster Toby Young. Is the problem with the


content of these magazines or the positioning of them? It is the


positioning and the sense of being in a family retailer. Tesco likes


to portray itself as being a family retailer and it is a family


retailer that does not sell adult material. We have had a judgment


that says publications like a Zoo and the Nuts are adult material.


All we are asking Tesco to do is to abide by its own policy, which is


not to stock it. The does not sound that drastic. I do have some


sympathy for this campaign in general. I have got a daughter and


I do not want her to be the victim of sexual ism. But they have got


the politics of this wrong. The way to go about this is not to try and


banned the sexual or objectification of women, but to


persuade men not to buy them. Caroline was saying it was about


the positioning of them were children could quite easily see


them. We will talk about objectives Acacia in general, but would you


have a problem with it being taken off the shelves at Tesco? I would


say if you want to persuade men to reform their attitudes and not


purchase these magazines, at the way to do it is to persuade them,


not to remove the choice altogether. If people want to get hold of these


magazines they can go to special shops and get them online.


Persuading people not to buy them is part of saying it is not an


everyday piece of consumption. Putting these magazines between


grocery and detergents gives the impression these are normal,


everyday items and they are not. It would have not to have them in


retailers. Are they more every day? They contain pictures of topless


women, that the editor has news features and sport. We are


persuaded by the industry to see them as every day, but they are not


every day, they are soft pornography. I believe in the top


shelf as a concept. How do you persuade your average bloke, who


likes this kind of stuff, to stop buying it? You persuade them up by


appealing to them in the first instance as brothers and husbands


and fathers of women. The problem with setting out with such a


draconian attitude is you are automatically going to alienate the


group you are trying to persuade to change their behaviour. Banning it


is not going to work because these images will always be available on


the Internet will start the question is how best to reform


men's behaviour and persuade them these sorts of images are wrong?


You do not do that by setting out with the censorious attitude. The


only person who is talking about being censorious is Toby. All we


are asking is for Tesco to implement his own policy. How would


you feel if the cheap executive of Tesco, a man, issued a statement as


a husband and a father of saying I had taken the decision on


principle? It is not as if it is an isolated incident. Why they cannot


do it all? One of the reasons Tesco are going in that direction is not


just because they have been subjected gentle persuasion, but


because they have been threatened with legal action. A is that


censorship? That seems to be using the authority of the state to track


and prohibit behaviour of which you disapprove. It is not the right way


to persuade men to change. We have got a statement from Tesco. I want


to come back to the idea of disapproval. The position many of


us are coming from is one that is rooted in concern about violence


against women. What we are saying is there is something wrong when we


have a situation where one in three girls think there are some times


when it is appropriate for a man to force a girl to have sex. When a


girl talks about unwanted sexual contact at school. We have a


concern about the daily diet where it says this kind of stuff is


normal, accessible and fine and a continuum that means violence


against women is more likely. I am not saying somebody goes out and


raised one of these magazines and commits violence. Of course not. Is


there not a defence between those magazines and what is in them and


the scenario you have described? There is no evidence prohibiting


the sale of lads mags, banning paged treatment clear it out


Twitter, and all these campaigns are lent, there is no evidence that


prohibiting the sale of these kinds of things is going to decrease


violence against women. If you look at the societies in which women are


most at risk, does our societies in which these sorts of materials are


already prohibited. You heard from Charlotte Church to herself regrets


posing in an overtly sexual eyes away, she felt exploited. The


market out there made money out of her, that is what she is claiming.


Taking that away would take away some of the interest. This is a


fringe issue. The real issue in terms of the effect of pornography


is on the internet. That is an absolutely huge issue, but I would


challenge the issue that because of that that makes this fringe. This


is where you go and get your groceries. This is what you are


picking off the shelf, this is something about day-to-day


normality. Even if you did put it on the top shelf, does it make it


normal or is it pornography which is what the campaign groups are


saying? It is soft porn if you want to graduate this. But, yes, you are


right, it makes it normal. It gives its a skene of respectability. Do


you think it is pornography? I would be happy to call its soft


porn, that is not the issue. The problem in the way the campaign is


being waged is there is more than a trace of snobbery. This is a point


George Orwell made. He said there was a streak within the British


working class which was fairly hedonistic. They liked gambling,


they liked bawdy postcards and drinking. The left-wing


intellectuals have campaigned against gambling and drinking and


postcards. You are getting more desperate. A You are not going to


persuade people to come over like this morally censorious school


mistress. I do not think I have been sitting here like a


schoolmistress, not that I had anything against school mistresses.


We want Tesco to implement their own policy, which is to say they do


not stop adult magazines. What if they do not? Continue to campaign.


The Co-op has already done it. If there is a case for legal action,


but not to take legal action. Tesco's say they only sell it to


over eight teams and they are on the shelf. Is that not enough? If


they stayed on the top shelf, it would be better, but they do not.


The placing of it within the shop is still not getting away from the


fact that we are sending out a message that this is normal and


acceptable. If you look at this issue in the round, coming back to


what you can do to persuade men not to buy these, you are on a hiding


to nothing. I still cannot see what evidence you have to show that you


could persuade men in large numbers not to buy these magazines. The


extraordinary decline in the sales of lads mags. But has the Internet


not taken that place? We do not know. The point you make about the


internet is a good one, but you cannot prohibit this kind of sexual


imagery. Trying to prohibit it is not the right way to go about it,


you have to persuade people it is wrong. What do you think about


newspapers that have pictures of naked girls? That is in the


mainstream. I do not think page three, again it is about making it


normal, and a paper that is supposed to be about news, and the


thing about it is it is being presented to young children, two


people of all ages as something that is normal and that is


dangerous. This is symptomatic of a liberal, puritanical attitude of


the left. If they do not like something, rather than persuade


people not to engage in it, they try and ban it. If you were


watching yesterday, you will know that election fever is engulfed in


Parliament this week. Tomorrow MPs will elect a new deputy speaker.


All MPs can vote, but only MPs on the Government's side can stand.


Seven Conservative MPs are vying for position. We spoke to two


yesterday and Charles is in the lobby with three more.


This is round two of the look at the titanic struggle for the big


chair. I am not so sure it is engulfed in Parliament, but we have


three candidates taking part, Brian Binley, Nadine Dorries and Gary


Streeter. You have to give a 32nd pitch to the wider constituency.


The opposition parties want to hear what you have got to say. I am


going to be strict with this. Brian, why should you be Deputy Speaker? I


have been in business almost 40 years and have learned the


importance of personal relationships for a successful


business. That knowledge will help me in the chair. You did not even


need 30 seconds. The Hang on. You are very eager. Fire away. There is


not a day when I am here when I do not feel privileged and I love the


tradition of the house of Commons and the processes, but I am a


moderniser as well. I voted to reduce the Tuesday late night and


normal business hours to not make the house of Commons normal. I


speak out often on behalf of other backbenchers and I had served as a


committee chairman. Well done. We have reset the clock. They are


eager this morning. My picture is simple. There is a job description.


The Deputy Speaker should be a good chair of meetings, should have a


wide knowledge of the House of Commons, should be a good team


player and should be a serving member of the chairmen's Panel and


I would like to think that I'd take pot of those boxes. When you are


sitting in the chair, if you get elected, you need various bits of


knowledge about the procedure. We are going to give you a couple of


questions. How did short of money, the annual amount given to


opposition parties, get its name? After a former Labour minister.


Which one? Len short? Edward Short. Which holy books are available to


members at the table when they take their earth? The Bible, the


courante, what is the...? There is also a book if you are a humanist


or an atheist. What is the Jewish boat? The Old Testament in Hebrew.


There is a Welsh Bible and a Gaelic Bible.


What is a money belt? It is where we pass a measure to spend money.


That may not be right, but it is the best thing I can come up with


at the time. It is a bill that deals with national taxation, but


it is only considered to be a money bill if the speaker says it is. He


has to sign a certificate. Exactly what I said. Had you look at my


piece of paper. When was the phrase father of the house first use? I


have no idea, although I am old enough to have been there. In the


19th century. They asked for her experience much sooner than that.


When in the 19th century? It does not say it. 100 years. What is the


Cranborne deal? Viscount Cranborne. This is the arrangement whereby 92


hereditary Peers remained in Parliament... Yes. It was known as


the medical amendment. What are Henry VIII clauses? They allowed


the Secretary of State a great deal of discretion to pass powers and


make decisions after the Act of Parliament has passed. 10 out of 10.


There was one last one for you. What is the procedure on a member


asking the chair on whether they can go to Australia? Go and see the


chief whip. Are you excited or can you wait for it to be all over? I


cannot wait for it to be over. Our next guest is a journalist who's


a big fan of statistics. Well, aren't we all. But unlike me, he's


written a new book with the professor of risk from Cambridge


University, showing how little we really understand probability,


danger and risk. Because very few of us, it turns out, can really


understand the likelihood of falling under a bus or being hit by an


asteroid, they've come up with a new measurement called the MicroMort.


One MicroMort is equivalent to a one-in-a-million chance of death.


That's roughly the risk we all run of something horrible and fatal


happening to us on an average day in Britain. That leads to some


interesting comparisons. For example: the risk of death from a


general anaesthetic in a non-emergency operation is about ten


micromorts. That's the same risk as one sky-diving jump, or two shifts


working down a mine. Giving birth exposes the mother to


about 120 MicroMorts of risk. That's the same risk as riding a motorbike


from London to Edinburgh and back. And it's about the same as two


and-a-half days of active service during the most dangerous period of


the Afghanistan War. Well, to talk about those and other statistics I'm


joined now by one of the book's authors Michael Blastland. It seems


incredible that it is so dangerous to give birth, it is like being at


the height of the Afghanistan war. Well, there are two debates, as to


whether that risk is talking about the birth exacerbated an existing


condition, or just from the birth. Globally, the risk is enormous.


These are just UK figures. It is one of the worst risks a woman can face


in her lifetime globally. Some of the risks in developing countries,


they are stratospheric, it is about one in a hundred. Something like


40,000 MicroMorts. Generally, it seems that we are frightened of


things that will almost certainly not happen to us. Most of the big


risks that we worry about have diminished enormously. I clutch my


child's hand when we cross the road, but the chance of an 11-year-old


falling under the wheels of something is probably less now than


the chance of a two-year-old being caught in the blind cord on your


windows, for example. It has gone right down. There were no fatalities


in that category last year. Because of driver safety and speed bumps? A


lot of reasons. We can't say why it is happening necessarily. It may not


be that the roads are safer. It may be that the roads are so dangerous


that we never go anywhere near them. Is there something that you are


frightened of irrationally that is something unlikely to occur? Flying


is the one that a lot of people have a lot of trouble with, and air


travel is relatively safe. Fantastically safe. Not quite so


safe in light aircraft. Keep out of the little ones. Commercial ones are


safe. I'm fascinated by the statistics. But life is for living,


not endlessly calculating your chances of not getting to the end of


the day. There is an American book, the never list, and they are too


young American girls living their lives by calculating risk and not


doing things. The never list is things that they never do. And by


chapter three, catastrophe engulfed them. Sitting down is pretty bad for


you. There are risks associated with being sedentary. And they are


surprisingly high. If you add up all the damage that is done to everybody


and divided between us. And there is a risk of falling off the toilet and


breaking your neck! I will be careful the next time I go. The


interesting thing is how you apply it to politics, and I'm sure that


politicians are fascinated by the risks of campaigns and certain other


things. Vaccination was difficult for a lot of parents when the MMR


scandal happened, and parents clearly weighed up in their mind,


was it worse not to vaccinate your child, or vaccinating and having a


potential side-effect that proved not to be a threat after all. Do you


think those things are difficult for politicians when devising campaigns,


or should they look at probability and risk? Phenomenally difficult.


Because people are not just talking about the odds. You can say that the


chance of that happening is remote, and your belief that it is a serious


risk is misplaced, but that is not what we are talking about. They


might say, this is an unnatural risk, so they might worry about


somebody may be having too much power or too much money, or it is a


big corporation or a big government. So they say, natural risks can be as


severe as human made risks, man-made risks. Why this fear of an unnatural


risk, like a vaccination. And drugs is another area where people talk


about risks, decriminalising them and how dangerous it would be if


certain drugs were decriminalised when you think about the effects of


alcohol. Politics makes it difficult to make those decisions. Even if you


look at the risk analysis. When I was doing regular television, I have


lost count of the number of government ministers who would come


in and argue against the decriminalisation of drugs, and then


say, afterwards, that they are in favour but can't argue it. It is


politically impossible. Do you think they should take more notice of


possibility? It should certainly be departed the debate. David nuts


compared the risks of ecstasy with the risks of horse riding and found


that they were comparable. That is when it gets politically difficult,


because they start to say things like, may be people think that horse


riding is wholesome and taking ecstasy isn't. You are not looking


at the risks when you say that, you were making judgements on other


values. And because we criminalise drug taking and drug dealing in this


country, there is violence associated with it. Do you take


these things into account or not? Yes, the association with the


criminal underworld and the lifestyle it may encourage. These


things are not resolved simply by the probabilities, unfortunately.


Thank you very much. Now, after the expenses scandal it


was suggested that the public should be given more say over how they


could possibly get rid of their MP if they felt they were no longer up


to the job. The coalition agreed and have proposed a system whereby an MP


can be referred to the Parliamentary Standards committee where their fate


is decided. But one Conservative MP feels this doesn't go far enough -


here's Zac Goldsmith's soapbox. In the wake of the expenses


scandal, all three political parties went into overdrive. The one


meaningful promise all of them made was to introduce a system of recall


into British politics. This would allow voters to get rid of unwanted


representatives at any time. If enough people sign a petition, a


recall referendum is held, and people are asked if they want their


MP to be recall. If enough people say yes, a by-election is triggered.


It is extraordinary that currently if an MP would ignore the voters


from the day of their election and break every promise they made and


disappear on holiday or even switched to an extremist party,


there is nothing the voters can do until the next general election.


They would probably have to vote for a party they don't even support. In


safe seats, that would be unlikely to remove an underperforming MP.


Another system I propose, voters could sack their MP at any time,


select a replacement candidate and then vote in a by-election. CU could


still have areas that were safe a party, but all MPs are kept on their


toes. And the recall could change the dynamic here in Parliament, so


once elected, you were pressured by the party hierarchy to toe the line


and take the whip, so an MP's task is to hold the executive to account,


and under a system of recall, MPs would always know that the most


important three line whip is the one imposed by constituents. Last year,


the government produced its draft recall Bill, but the proposals don't


merely fall short of genuine recall. They are not in any meaningful sense


recall at all. Perversely, they will hand power to


a parliamentary committee, not to voters, up not down. So once someone


complains about the behaviour of an MP, that committee on standards must


then decide if the MP has engaged in serious wrongdoing. But how do you


even begin to define serious wrongdoing?


Recall is not a new concept. It happens all over the world already.


Altima -- ultimately it is about democracy and trusting our


constituents. I think they need more say.


And Zac Goldsmith joins us now. And I should say we ask the Government


for an interview on this, but no Minister was available. Not doing


very well on those today! If voters don't like their MP, they can get


rid of them at the general election. That doesn't work in safe seats. If


you have a 20,000 majority, the only way you will get rid of your sitting


MP is if everyone votes for someone else. In ironing town, where


traditionally people would never vote Conservative, it is too much to


suggest that people might switch to voting for the Conservatives to get


rid of a candidate they don't like. And for the five years in between


elections, there is no method at all where local people can hold their MP


to account. But isn't what you are suggesting similar to a kangaroo


court? It is not, unless you regard your constituents is forming a


kangaroo court. Under recall, any eligible voter is involved in that


process, so it is not a tiny bunch of people. But the people who would


be able to get a cohort together would be those who are always


campaigning, always involved. I'm not saying that there is anything


wrong with that, but would you be getting the legitimate views and


opinions of your constituents? Lets take my constituency. If 20% of the


people signed a petition that would trigger the recall, which involves


absolutely everyone, you would need about 16,000 people. My opposition


in Richmond are Lib Dems. They would need to get 16,000 people to sign a


petition to say that I am so useless, and must be recalled. And


then you would need a referendum for everyone to take part in, and over


half of them would have to recall me, and so this is not a kangaroo


court. Do you think that there is a risk of MPs thinking, particularly


in marginal seats, I just won't support something that might be


unpopular, because they will kick me out. That is the big and obvious


risk. The fact is, in real politics, MPs often have to do


things, follow the party whip, which goes against the interests of their


constituents or what their constituents would like them to do.


That cannot change. If I were an MP under this scheme, I would be


petrified that any day the phone was get a ring and I would have to go


down and face, if not a kangaroo court, an extremely difficult


meeting. And that is the fear that MPs have in relation to recall. But


that doesn't happen around the world. I can't find a single example


of a successful vexatious campaign. If you are a halfway decent MP, you


have nothing to fear through this. You can take a different view to


your constituents. I disagree with a lot of my constituents on equal


marriage, for example. It is rare for one issue to be a deal-breaker.


But would it have cost the expenses scandal? A lot of MPs didn't break


the rules, but abuse the system, and a lot of voters would have taken a


dim view. One of the reasons people are very rarely recall in systems


where recall exists is because you don't make flamboyant, crazy


promises before an election, and when you do make promises, you try


to keep them, and when you can't, you explain why, and you don't do


things that will trigger the ire of your constituents, like paying for


duck houses. What is the problem with the Government's plans? It is


one of the worst piece of political manoeuvring is I have ever seen in


my short career as a politician. It is not recall in a sense that there


is no recall vote. There is a small committee of parliamentarians, a


kangaroo court imposed by the whip, which decides whether or not MPs


qualify for recall. It is only on financial or serious misconduct


grounds. The effect is that if you are a maverick, a George Galloway,


those kinds of MPs would be thrown to the wolves very easily by this


committee, and once qualifies you for recall, you are out. There is no


defence at all. What I'm proposing is a genuine system to protect MPs


from the 70,000 voters or so in your constituency rather than a few


people on a whip. What is it for you? I think a halfway decent MP


would not have anything to fear under recall. I hope I am a halfway


decent MP. I resent the fact that when I turn on the radio and listen


to discussions about politics, when people can call in, the machines


fizz with rage. People detest politicians. Under a system of


recall, I would have an implied mandate. I would be able to say to


anyone in my constituency, found that bad, trigger a recall. If 20%


of people want to sign, then I am doing something OK.


the standing of Parliament. You could stand in the central lobby


this afternoon and asked the first 10 MPs what have you voted on?


There was a rebellious intake in 2010. I do not think it is true to


say that MPs have not stood on their own platforms. Look at the


issue of high-speed rail. If an MP was to say it is a good thing, even


though it goes through their constituency, they would be kicked


out through recall. The same it would be through in my constituency


in relation to Heathrow. But I am one of 650 MPs. If one MP takes a


different view, it will not have much of an impact. The backbenchers


have been more rebellious and they have been doing their job.


Parliament pushes through whatever it was virtually without any


scrutiny. Were it not for the fact that we had the house of Lords, our


legislation would be full of holes. There is a difference between an MP


who is a maverick, like George Galloway, and an MP who has done


something wrong. We use the expenses scandal as an example.


Would this right to recall differentiate between them? An MP


who has committed a crime or has done something illegal... There is


machinery in place. You can be summoned, you can be charged within


the parliamentary system and you can be forced to stand as an


independent. At the moment without breaking any rules at all I could


break every promise I made before the election or go on holiday for


five years and there is nothing anyone can do. I would be


deselected, but I would be the MP for five years with all-expenses


paid. In terms of the triggers, at the moment unless you go to jail


for more than 12 months, you are still entitled to be an MP. They


are going to bring it that threshold down, but that is


difficult. MPs have gone to jail, but there have been loved by their


constituents. For example Terry Fields, where he thought going to


jail was in the interest of his constituents, it should be down to


local constituents to decide. Which is the most prominent democracy


that uses recalls? Switzerland is the purest one, but the most famous


one his Californian -- California and the most famous recall was are


not Schwarzenegger and it was the most famous success I can think of.


01 Paterson said the opponents of GM foods are wicked. That will be


you. You can discuss it forever, but the rice issue he is talking


about is a red herring. Regulators in the Philippines had decided not


to regulate. The people behind it say it is not ready to be issued to


the market yet. The idea that campaigners in the US have got


anything to do with slowing the process is in describable a stupid,


and it is based on misinformation or ignorance. The moment you have


been waiting for. Back to the final two MPs hoping to be elected Deputy


Speaker tomorrow. I am surprised we have got them at all because it its


bring your constituents to work today. Now it is empty and it is


all quiet on the Western Front. You get 30 seconds. Make your pitch.


The main job is that of a speaker, the one of deputy is a supporting


role, but it is important. I had been a member since 1983, I have


been on the chairmen's Panel since 2001 and I fancied having a go at


the job of Deputy Speaker. I have served a long apprenticeship and


most people in the House have become used to my style which his


firm, fair and order with a good sense of humour. Excellent. You do


not need to use the full 30. I am competent. I came in in 1983 and


have been on the front bench for 10 years and many years as a


backbencher. You need somebody who is a master of detail and I have


been a barrister. Somebody who is courteous to colleagues is


essential. Also you need somebody who is going to have a constructive


engagement in a relationship with the Speaker. I have never known


anyone in the position who has not been courteous. Maybe you can think


of somebody. I can, but not in recent years. You have both been


here for a long time, so you should know this these things. An MP must


take their oath initially in English, but which languages can


they followed this oath with? Well, they could... OK, Henry what is the


answer? Greek. Gaelic. It is Scottish and Welsh. I have been


there to listen to it. Aside from English, which language can also be


used in some of the former Milan -- for realities of the bill. French.


Norman French. I speak French. Excellent. You do not get bonus


points. Who is the Captain of Gentlemen at Arms. It is not your


question. Answer it, Henry. The Chief Whip in the house of Lords.


The Government chief whip. Can I have his questions? You will have


to now. If it is easy. Can you give me an example of a Command Paper?


We have a Command Paper which came out to do with immigration. We had


a Command Paper on care of the elderly. That is not that type. The


it is on all the subjects we deal with. It is different types of


papers prepared by Government and presented with the words by the


command of his or her Majesty. Yes. I love it when they say yes. Your


odds have shortened, are you pleased by that? Now I am four-to-


one behind Eleanor Laing. I think the dark horse is running well on


the inside. Are you 100-1 on the outside? I never made predictions


about Basildon, so I am not going to make predictions about my


chances of becoming Deputy Speaker. I will do my best, it is down to my


colleagues. Those are the runners and riders. Has the intrigue got


you going? Yes, that is politics as fun with a nice bit of sadism as


well. What is the best grounding for wannabe MPs? Should aspiring


politicians spend a few years practising law or a bit of banking?


Judging by the recent reshuffles it might be best to become a TV


presenter first. The new Defence Minister estimate they used to


front GMTV. Tristram Hunt is better known as a TV historian. There is


Gloria de Piero also on the Labour frontbenchers who was GMTV's


political correspondent. They are not the only ones. Hello and Good


morning this fine Monday morning. If you fancy... Later on we will


talk about inheritance tax. Let's get started with our first subject.


Giles. Those closest to Tony Blair have been troubled by the events of


last week. Days when the BBC and ITV scheduled Songs of Praise at


the same time on Sunday have long gone. 10 years after being sent to


Broadmoor, Graham Young poisoned again. Why? A teddy bear is for


life, not just for Christmas. There are no hooligans, only citizens


defending their lives and property. All it has done is enraged the


educational establishment. The hero is tall and handsome, strong and


mysterious with a touch of moody. His mother wanted him to take over


the running of the estate. A profit of more than ?1 million was in


prospect, and all before the Scottish Office had been paid the


original purchase price for the land. The train is leaving from


Platt from one on the railway carriage game. Fascinating. Can I


make a correction, Anna Soubry has gone into defence and Esther McVey


is in the work and pensions department. What about you? Not a


chance. Would you go into politics? You answer the questions. That is


where I can go if it goes horribly wrong. Have you ever thought about


it? Not for a heartbeat. They make good MPs because they add telegenic


and they are good communicators and there are politicians because they


have worked in television. You know what television is like. It is a


hotbed. It is not dissimilar to the politics over the road. There are


so many parallels in one's daily lives. You have to watch your back,


you have to make friends with the right people and steered clear of


others. To stay at the top in television is a political balancing


act. I can see why they have been attracted, mostly women. Can you


see why they are attracted? I bumped into Anna Soubry about 10


days ago and she is uniquely gifted to do that job. She will do very


well. You must have seen her on Question Time. Has she been on the


show? Yes, there are telegenic and good communicators. But it is less


glamourous than television, certainly the transition. That is


why I would not dream of going into it because it is such a slog and a


better job and it ages you horribly. Look at Barack Obama. That man


really has aged before our very eyes. I do not want to see you


applying for a seat. I promise you, it is not going to happen. And the


answer to our quiz. What did George Osborne claimed 160 million Chinese


people were fans of? Boris Johnson, expensive British handbags, Downton


Abbey, or Glastonbury? I would love to say Downton added. And I think


you will find you are right. You are joking. They are is no prize.


Thank you to Richard Madeley.


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