15/10/2013 Daily Politics


15/10/2013

Jo Coburn is joined by Richard Madeley to discuss the political stories of the day, including how to control dangerous dogs. Plus, do former TV presenters make good politicians?


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Transcript


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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candidates. All that in the next hour. And with

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Government Chief Whip, Andrew Mitchell, and representatives of the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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integrity and discreditable conduct. It says that the police officers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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conflicting report in terms of what the Police Federation claimed was

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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themselves and declared themselves to be not guilty.

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

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British business figures have attended a report today about red

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tape. The Prime Minister's business

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taskforce has concluded that relaxing rules on health and safety

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

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

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

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

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beginning to position himself for the inevitable debate on whether we

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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us the correct answer. New measures to control dangerous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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toughen up regulation and legislation. That must be a good

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

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

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

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Parliament to ask us to support the introduction of dog control

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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lacking tremendously, and the Government are bringing forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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comes to animals that are unpredictable? You can, because

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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night about young women in the music industry.

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

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myself in this position, being pressured into wearing more and

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

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

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

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felt deeply uncomfortable about the whole thing. Charlotte Church has

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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banned the sexual or objectification of women, but to

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

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the positioning of them were children could quite easily see

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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everyday piece of consumption. Putting these magazines between

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grocery and detergents gives the impression these are normal,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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appealing to them in the first instance as brothers and husbands

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

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draconian attitude is you are automatically going to alienate the

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

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

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the Internet will start the question is how best to reform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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just because they have been subjected gentle persuasion, but

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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normal, accessible and fine and a continuum that means violence

:20:32.:20:35.

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

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

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

:20:47.:20:50.

the scenario you have described? There is no evidence prohibiting

:20:51.:20:55.

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

:20:56.:20:59.

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

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

:21:05.:21:09.

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

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

:21:15.:21:19.

already prohibited. You heard from Charlotte Church to herself regrets

:21:20.:21:25.

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

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

:21:31.:21:35.

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

:21:36.:21:41.

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

:21:42.:21:47.

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

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

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

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

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

:22:08.:22:11.

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

:22:12.:22:16.

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

:22:17.:22:25.

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

:22:26.:22:30.

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

:22:31.:22:36.

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

:22:37.:22:40.

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

:22:41.:22:46.

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

:22:47.:22:51.

working class which was fairly hedonistic. They liked gambling,

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they liked bawdy postcards and drinking. The left-wing

:22:58.:23:03.

intellectuals have campaigned against gambling and drinking and

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

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persuade people to come over like this morally censorious school

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

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schoolmistress, not that I had anything against school mistresses.

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

:23:28.:23:33.

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

:23:34.:23:40.

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

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

:23:46.:23:49.

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

:23:50.:23:54.

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

:23:55.:23:59.

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

:24:00.:24:03.

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

:24:04.:24:08.

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

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

:24:13.:24:19.

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

:24:20.:24:23.

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

:24:24.:24:28.

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

:24:29.:24:35.

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

:24:36.:24:40.

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

:24:41.:24:45.

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

:24:46.:24:50.

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

:24:51.:24:53.

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

:24:54.:25:03.

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

:25:04.:25:07.

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

:25:08.:25:12.

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

:25:13.:25:16.

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

:25:17.:25:21.

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

:25:22.:25:26.

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

:25:27.:25:29.

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

:25:30.:25:35.

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

:25:36.:25:39.

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

:25:40.:25:45.

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

:25:46.:25:50.

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

:25:51.:25:55.

yesterday and Charles is in the lobby with three more.

:25:56.:26:00.

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

:26:01.:26:05.

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

:26:06.:26:10.

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

:26:11.:26:15.

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

:26:16.:26:19.

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

:26:20.:26:26.

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

:26:27.:26:32.

have been in business almost 40 years and have learned the

:26:33.:26:37.

importance of personal relationships for a successful

:26:38.:26:39.

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

:26:40.:26:48.

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

:26:49.:26:56.

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

:26:57.:27:00.

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

:27:01.:27:06.

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

:27:07.:27:11.

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

:27:12.:27:15.

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

:27:16.:27:24.

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

:27:25.:27:29.

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

:27:30.:27:35.

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

:27:36.:27:39.

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

:27:40.:27:42.

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

:27:43.:27:46.

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

:27:47.:27:52.

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

:27:53.:27:57.

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

:27:58.:28:04.

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

:28:05.:28:09.

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

:28:10.:28:20.

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

:28:21.:28:25.

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

:28:26.:28:35.

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

:28:36.:28:40.

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

:28:41.:28:48.

There is a Welsh Bible and a Gaelic Bible.

:28:49.:28:55.

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

:28:56.:29:00.

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

:29:01.:29:06.

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

:29:07.:29:11.

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

:29:12.:29:17.

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

:29:18.:29:24.

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

:29:25.:29:29.

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

:29:30.:29:37.

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

:29:38.:29:43.

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

:29:44.:29:57.

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

:29:58.:30:02.

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

:30:03.:30:12.

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

:30:13.:30:17.

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

:30:18.:30:22.

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

:30:23.:30:28.

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

:30:29.:30:33.

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

:30:34.:30:44.

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

:30:45.:30:47.

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

:30:48.:31:00.

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

:31:01.:31:03.

written a new book with the professor of risk from Cambridge

:31:04.:31:06.

University, showing how little we really understand probability,

:31:07.:31:09.

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

:31:10.:31:12.

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

:31:13.:31:16.

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

:31:17.:31:18.

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

:31:19.:31:25.

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

:31:26.:31:28.

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

:31:29.:31:31.

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

:31:32.:31:34.

general anaesthetic in a non-emergency operation is about ten

:31:35.:31:37.

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

:31:38.:31:39.

working down a mine. Giving birth exposes the mother to

:31:40.:31:48.

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

:31:49.:31:52.

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

:31:53.:31:55.

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

:31:56.:32:00.

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

:32:01.:32:03.

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

:32:04.:32:15.

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

:32:16.:32:20.

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

:32:21.:32:25.

whether that risk is talking about the birth exacerbated an existing

:32:26.:32:28.

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

:32:29.:32:36.

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

:32:37.:32:41.

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

:32:42.:32:45.

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

:32:46.:32:54.

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

:32:55.:32:57.

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

:32:58.:33:02.

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

:33:03.:33:08.

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

:33:09.:33:12.

falling under the wheels of something is probably less now than

:33:13.:33:16.

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

:33:17.:33:21.

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

:33:22.:33:27.

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

:33:28.:33:33.

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

:33:34.:33:40.

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

:33:41.:33:48.

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

:33:49.:33:51.

frightened of irrationally that is something unlikely to occur? Flying

:33:52.:33:56.

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

:33:57.:34:01.

travel is relatively safe. Fantastically safe. Not quite so

:34:02.:34:05.

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

:34:06.:34:09.

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

:34:10.:34:13.

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

:34:14.:34:20.

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

:34:21.:34:25.

young American girls living their lives by calculating risk and not

:34:26.:34:29.

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

:34:30.:34:32.

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

:34:33.:34:39.

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

:34:40.:34:47.

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

:34:48.:34:51.

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

:34:52.:34:56.

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

:34:57.:34:59.

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

:35:00.:35:03.

politicians are fascinated by the risks of campaigns and certain other

:35:04.:35:08.

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

:35:09.:35:12.

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

:35:13.:35:16.

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

:35:17.:35:21.

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

:35:22.:35:26.

think those things are difficult for politicians when devising campaigns,

:35:27.:35:29.

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

:35:30.:35:34.

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

:35:35.:35:40.

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

:35:41.:35:44.

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

:35:45.:35:48.

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

:35:49.:35:54.

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

:35:55.:35:59.

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

:36:00.:36:04.

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

:36:05.:36:15.

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

:36:16.:36:18.

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

:36:19.:36:22.

certain drugs were decriminalised when you think about the effects of

:36:23.:36:26.

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

:36:27.:36:31.

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

:36:32.:36:34.

lost count of the number of government ministers who would come

:36:35.:36:36.

in and argue against the decriminalisation of drugs, and then

:36:37.:36:41.

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

:36:42.:36:46.

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

:36:47.:36:50.

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

:36:51.:37:01.

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

:37:02.:37:03.

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

:37:04.:37:08.

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

:37:09.:37:15.

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

:37:16.:37:20.

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

:37:21.:37:25.

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

:37:26.:37:27.

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

:37:28.:37:34.

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

:37:35.:37:37.

criminal underworld and the lifestyle it may encourage. These

:37:38.:37:42.

things are not resolved simply by the probabilities, unfortunately.

:37:43.:37:45.

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

:37:46.:37:48.

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

:37:49.:37:52.

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

:37:53.:37:56.

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

:37:57.:38:00.

can be referred to the Parliamentary Standards committee where their fate

:38:01.:38:03.

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

:38:04.:38:05.

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

:38:06.:38:31.

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

:38:32.:38:36.

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

:38:37.:38:40.

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

:38:41.:38:44.

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

:38:45.:38:48.

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

:38:49.:38:52.

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

:38:53.:38:58.

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

:38:59.:39:02.

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

:39:03.:39:07.

disappear on holiday or even switched to an extremist party,

:39:08.:39:10.

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

:39:11.:39:14.

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

:39:15.:39:19.

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

:39:20.:39:22.

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

:39:23.:39:28.

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

:39:29.:39:33.

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

:39:34.:39:39.

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

:39:40.:39:43.

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

:39:44.:39:48.

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

:39:49.:39:53.

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

:39:54.:39:56.

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

:39:57.:40:00.

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

:40:01.:40:07.

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

:40:08.:40:09.

recall at all. Perversely, they will hand power to

:40:10.:40:18.

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

:40:19.:40:24.

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

:40:25.:40:29.

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

:40:30.:40:31.

even begin to define serious wrongdoing?

:40:32.:40:37.

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

:40:38.:40:46.

Altima -- ultimately it is about democracy and trusting our

:40:47.:40:49.

constituents. I think they need more say.

:40:50.:40:53.

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

:40:54.:40:57.

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

:40:58.:41:03.

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

:41:04.:41:09.

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

:41:10.:41:13.

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

:41:14.:41:19.

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

:41:20.:41:26.

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

:41:27.:41:31.

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

:41:32.:41:37.

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

:41:38.:41:42.

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

:41:43.:41:46.

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

:41:47.:41:51.

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

:41:52.:41:56.

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

:41:57.:41:59.

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

:42:00.:42:05.

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

:42:06.:42:08.

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

:42:09.:42:11.

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

:42:12.:42:17.

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

:42:18.:42:21.

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

:42:22.:42:23.

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

:42:24.:42:31.

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

:42:32.:42:36.

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

:42:37.:42:41.

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

:42:42.:42:45.

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

:42:46.:42:51.

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

:42:52.:42:55.

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

:42:56.:42:58.

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

:42:59.:43:02.

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

:43:03.:43:06.

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

:43:07.:43:09.

constituents or what their constituents would like them to do.

:43:10.:43:15.

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

:43:16.:43:17.

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

:43:18.:43:21.

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

:43:22.:43:26.

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

:43:27.:43:29.

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

:43:30.:43:37.

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

:43:38.:43:42.

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

:43:43.:43:48.

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

:43:49.:43:51.

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

:43:52.:43:58.

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

:43:59.:44:08.

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

:44:09.:44:11.

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

:44:12.:44:18.

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

:44:19.:44:21.

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

:44:22.:44:24.

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

:44:25.:44:30.

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

:44:31.:44:35.

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

:44:36.:44:38.

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

:44:39.:44:42.

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

:44:43.:44:47.

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

:44:48.:44:50.

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

:44:51.:44:56.

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

:44:57.:44:59.

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

:45:00.:45:04.

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

:45:05.:45:08.

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

:45:09.:45:13.

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

:45:14.:45:21.

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

:45:22.:45:27.

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

:45:28.:45:33.

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

:45:34.:45:39.

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

:45:40.:45:42.

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

:45:43.:45:46.

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

:45:47.:45:51.

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

:45:52.:45:56.

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

:45:57.:46:02.

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

:46:03.:46:18.

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

:46:19.:46:23.

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

:46:24.:46:29.

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

:46:30.:46:35.

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

:46:36.:46:41.

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

:46:42.:46:46.

though it goes through their constituency, they would be kicked

:46:47.:46:51.

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

:46:52.:46:55.

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

:46:56.:47:03.

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

:47:04.:47:08.

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

:47:09.:47:12.

Parliament pushes through whatever it was virtually without any

:47:13.:47:17.

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

:47:18.:47:22.

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

:47:23.:47:26.

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

:47:27.:47:33.

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

:47:34.:47:37.

Would this right to recall differentiate between them? An MP

:47:38.:47:43.

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

:47:44.:47:50.

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

:47:51.:47:54.

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

:47:55.:48:01.

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

:48:02.:48:05.

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

:48:06.:48:10.

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

:48:11.:48:15.

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

:48:16.:48:19.

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

:48:20.:48:25.

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

:48:26.:48:29.

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

:48:30.:48:34.

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

:48:35.:48:39.

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

:48:40.:48:45.

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

:48:46.:48:51.

local constituents to decide. Which is the most prominent democracy

:48:52.:48:56.

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

:48:57.:49:04.

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

:49:05.:49:08.

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

:49:09.:49:13.

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

:49:14.:49:21.

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

:49:22.:49:29.

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

:49:30.:49:34.

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

:49:35.:49:39.

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

:49:40.:49:43.

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

:49:44.:49:49.

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

:49:50.:49:55.

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

:49:56.:50:03.

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

:50:04.:50:07.

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

:50:08.:50:13.

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

:50:14.:50:19.

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

:50:20.:50:24.

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

:50:25.:50:30.

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

:50:31.:50:36.

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

:50:37.:50:39.

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

:50:40.:50:44.

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

:50:45.:50:53.

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

:50:54.:50:59.

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

:51:00.:51:03.

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

:51:04.:51:08.

been a barrister. Somebody who is courteous to colleagues is

:51:09.:51:12.

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

:51:13.:51:16.

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

:51:17.:51:22.

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

:51:23.:51:27.

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

:51:28.:51:35.

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

:51:36.:51:41.

take their oath initially in English, but which languages can

:51:42.:51:49.

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

:51:50.:52:00.

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

:52:01.:52:07.

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

:52:08.:52:15.

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

:52:16.:52:25.

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

:52:26.:52:39.

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

:52:40.:52:46.

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

:52:47.:52:53.

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

:52:54.:53:00.

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

:53:01.:53:06.

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

:53:07.:53:12.

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

:53:13.:53:17.

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

:53:18.:53:24.

papers prepared by Government and presented with the words by the

:53:25.:53:30.

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

:53:31.:53:34.

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

:53:35.:53:40.

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

:53:41.:53:46.

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

:53:47.:53:50.

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

:53:51.:53:55.

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

:53:56.:54:01.

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

:54:02.:54:10.

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

:54:11.:54:18.

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

:54:19.:54:22.

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

:54:23.:54:28.

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

:54:29.:54:33.

presenter first. The new Defence Minister estimate they used to

:54:34.:54:38.

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

:54:39.:54:43.

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

:54:44.:54:47.

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

:54:48.:54:54.

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

:54:55.:55:02.

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

:55:03.:55:08.

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

:55:09.:55:14.

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

:55:15.:55:17.

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

:55:18.:55:23.

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

:55:24.:55:34.

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

:55:35.:55:39.

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

:55:40.:55:47.

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

:55:48.:55:53.

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

:55:54.:55:58.

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

:55:59.:56:02.

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

:56:03.:56:06.

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

:56:07.:56:19.

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

:56:20.:56:30.

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

:56:31.:56:34.

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

:56:35.:56:41.

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

:56:42.:56:45.

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

:56:46.:56:52.

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

:56:53.:56:57.

and they are good communicators and there are politicians because they

:56:58.:57:01.

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

:57:02.:57:07.

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

:57:08.:57:14.

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

:57:15.:57:19.

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

:57:20.:57:24.

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

:57:25.:57:29.

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

:57:30.:57:36.

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

:57:37.:57:41.

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

:57:42.:57:47.

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

:57:48.:57:53.

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

:57:54.:57:58.

glamourous than television, certainly the transition. That is

:57:59.:58:02.

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

:58:03.:58:08.

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

:58:09.:58:14.

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

:58:15.:58:19.

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

:58:20.:58:26.

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

:58:27.:58:34.

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

:58:35.:58:39.

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

:58:40.:58:46.

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

:58:47.:58:52.

Thank you to Richard Madeley.

:58:53.:58:58.

Jo Coburn is joined by broadcaster Richard Madeley to discuss the political stories of the day, including how to control dangerous dogs. Plus, do former TV presenters make good politicians?


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