17/10/2013 Daily Politics


17/10/2013

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn have the top political stories of the day.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 17/10/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. The dish gas has an

:00:40.:00:46.

early Christmas present for you. Electricity is up 10.4%. Gas is up

:00:47.:00:52.

8.4%. That's both from late November. The company says it

:00:53.:00:58.

understands the frustration. The Energy Secretary says he is

:00:59.:01:01.

disappointed. He urges unhappy customers to switch to other

:01:02.:01:05.

providers. Should benefits for wealthy pensioners be cut? And

:01:06.:01:14.

should the win, when -- minimum wage be increased? Expect Alex Salmond to

:01:15.:01:25.

address the SNP conference later, but can he smile his way to the

:01:26.:01:32.

independent Scotland he desires? And I'll be asking why the government

:01:33.:01:35.

wants to change the rules on what is an official secret. But don't tell

:01:36.:01:41.

anybody about it. All of that is in the next hour. With us for the

:01:42.:01:47.

duration is a man with a CV as long as my arm. A scientist, journalist,

:01:48.:01:53.

businessman, peer of the realm, officially the 5th Viscount Ridley.

:01:54.:01:57.

But we don't do titles on the show, so he is just plain old Matt Ridley.

:01:58.:02:04.

First, the House of Lords, our guest is one of those, he has been

:02:05.:02:10.

actually elected. Not by you or me, but he won an election as a

:02:11.:02:13.

Conservative peer, making one of the so-called 92, the number of

:02:14.:02:17.

hereditary peers that retained membership by being elected by other

:02:18.:02:21.

members. There is a report out from the Commons committee, that wants to

:02:22.:02:25.

do away with that, saying that hereditary peers should not be

:02:26.:02:30.

replaced in this way when they die. The report from the Political and

:02:31.:02:33.

Constitutional Reform Committee also backs moves to expel lawbreaking

:02:34.:02:38.

peers and those members that do not attend on a regular basis. That

:02:39.:02:42.

should be a pretty big cull, if you start to take them out. Time to do

:02:43.:02:47.

away with hereditary peers? Lords reform is needed, everybody agrees

:02:48.:02:53.

we need some kind of reform. But to pick on this one element, hereditary

:02:54.:02:56.

peers and stop the elections to allow them to replace themselves,

:02:57.:03:00.

that would be a pity. I'm in favour of an all elected house. How would

:03:01.:03:05.

you elected? Some kind of regional system. I wonder why we can't go

:03:06.:03:10.

back to the ancient Greek system of picking them by Lott. Out of a hat?

:03:11.:03:18.

The committee suggests expelling lawbreakers and non-attendees. I

:03:19.:03:21.

think a lot of people would be surprised that doesn't happen

:03:22.:03:24.

already. If you break the law, why should you sit and make laws for us?

:03:25.:03:28.

If you don't bother to turn up for a long while, why should you be

:03:29.:03:32.

allowed in the place? I think that is a fair comment. I suspect a lot

:03:33.:03:36.

of people in the House of Lords would probably agree. One of the

:03:37.:03:40.

things that is most frustrating is that the House of Lords is now

:03:41.:03:45.

enormous. The government has announced it is going to install

:03:46.:03:49.

another 30 or so peers. Where are they going to go? Good point. We

:03:50.:03:56.

should blame Tony Blair for this. He started by increasing the number

:03:57.:03:58.

enormous e-commerce that Labour had a majority over the Conservatives.

:03:59.:04:04.

So, David is clawing his way back towards a majority over Labour. He

:04:05.:04:10.

is not quite there yet. The House of Lords, which overall does not really

:04:11.:04:13.

matter, is now eight times larger than the US Senate, which is the

:04:14.:04:17.

most important legislative body in the world? I think we are something

:04:18.:04:22.

like the only other house in the world that is larger than the lower

:04:23.:04:29.

house. You are even bigger than the European Parliament. That is not

:04:30.:04:33.

exactly a byword for efficiency. That may come to our defence for a

:04:34.:04:36.

second. The House of Lords is full of expertise. This studio is full of

:04:37.:04:41.

experts. Why do we need them in the Lords? To introduce legislation for

:04:42.:04:48.

the better. People can influence things on the show, the Commons has

:04:49.:04:52.

to take notice of them. It is a club for dumping the establishment when

:04:53.:04:55.

there is nothing else to do with them. You sit in Cabinet, Labour,

:04:56.:04:59.

Conservative and Lib Dem, when that bit is over you get kicked upstairs

:05:00.:05:03.

and you still collect the dosh, you get to use House of Lords notepaper.

:05:04.:05:10.

A lot of bills come to the House of Lords in a state of disarray and get

:05:11.:05:17.

improved. There are some surprising examples of hard work going on. Late

:05:18.:05:21.

at night, some of these people you are so rude about their drafting new

:05:22.:05:26.

clauses and things like that. Having time to debate a clause. Yesterday,

:05:27.:05:33.

we voted one thing down and two things down. There are changes made

:05:34.:05:37.

in the Lords. We know that, it's just difficult to work out what your

:05:38.:05:40.

democratic legitimacy as for doing so. That is a fair point. Time for

:05:41.:05:46.

the daily quiz. Today's question is, what is Prince Charles's latest

:05:47.:05:51.

hobbyhorse? Is it Paul pointy buildings, wind farms, pension funds

:05:52.:05:57.

or the price of biscuits? Towards the end of the show we will give you

:05:58.:06:04.

the correct answer. The government's Social Mobility and

:06:05.:06:05.

Child Poverty Commission, chaired by former Labour minister Alan Milburn,

:06:06.:06:09.

has published its first annual report to Parliament. It commends

:06:10.:06:13.

some have meant initiatives on apprenticeships and education, it

:06:14.:06:16.

says there has been a lack of progress on improving social

:06:17.:06:19.

mobility. More needs to be done to help children from modest

:06:20.:06:21.

backgrounds to move up the social scale. The goal of eradicating child

:06:22.:06:27.

poverty by 2020 will likely be missed. According to the OECD,

:06:28.:06:31.

Britain ranks amongst the worst countries in the developed world in

:06:32.:06:36.

terms of social mobility. Last year, Nick Clegg described the situation

:06:37.:06:40.

as an absolute scandal. The commission warns that many children

:06:41.:06:43.

are people on low and middle incomes are likely to be the first for more

:06:44.:06:46.

than a century that will grow up worse off than their parents. The

:06:47.:06:51.

report makes a series of recommendations. The minimum wage

:06:52.:06:56.

should go up. It is now worth ?1000 per year less in real terms than in

:06:57.:07:01.

2008. Workers have seen the real value of wages decline. Government

:07:02.:07:05.

money to help with childcare costs should be redirected from higher

:07:06.:07:08.

income families to people on low pay. Unpaid internships as a way

:07:09.:07:14.

into professional careers should be ended. And the burden of tackling

:07:15.:07:18.

Britain's deficit needs to be shared more fairly. So far, pensioners have

:07:19.:07:23.

seen their benefits, like winter fuel allowance, protected, while

:07:24.:07:25.

younger people have had benefits cut. Clegg says he welcomes much of

:07:26.:07:30.

the report. On the last point he strikes a note of caution. Writing

:07:31.:07:35.

in the Daily Telegraph he says, punishing pensioners is not going to

:07:36.:07:38.

help a single child achieve more in life. Alan Milburn, the author of

:07:39.:07:45.

the report is with us. Welcome back to the Daily Politics. Has this

:07:46.:07:52.

permission achieved anything? Time will tell. Our job is to report on

:07:53.:07:57.

what is going on. Nick Clegg said when he set up the commission that

:07:58.:08:00.

he wanted us to hold the government's feet to the fire. I

:08:01.:08:04.

hope we have done that. It is now a scatter-gun approach. It is all

:08:05.:08:10.

sorts of things that people will find very tenuous in the link with

:08:11.:08:15.

social mobility. For example, the minimum wage. When the minimum wage

:08:16.:08:22.

was worth ?1000 more in real terms, in 2008, social mobility was not any

:08:23.:08:27.

better. It depends on your diagnosis of the problem. We say that child

:08:28.:08:30.

poverty, which has been falling for a decade, is now rising. Everybody

:08:31.:08:35.

knows that the 2020 target is not going to be met. The really worrying

:08:36.:08:38.

thing is that there is no evidence we can see in the recovery, and

:08:39.:08:42.

thank God it is happening, we can see no evidence of the decade-long

:08:43.:08:49.

trend when the top part has prospered and the bottom part has

:08:50.:08:54.

stagnated, that that is going to come to an end. That will have an

:08:55.:08:57.

impact on social mobility. The question is, what is the Government,

:08:58.:09:03.

employers and society willing to do about that? We cannot will the ends,

:09:04.:09:09.

but not will the means. So many things you are proposing seem pretty

:09:10.:09:12.

tenuous. It would take a long while to make any affect. And now you are

:09:13.:09:17.

picking on old people? We are all moving in that direction. You can

:09:18.:09:21.

say that again. We are all moving in that direction. Did you just say

:09:22.:09:30.

that again? You can say that again. Nick Clegg already says it is

:09:31.:09:37.

punishing old folk and that will not help social mobility? He is right,

:09:38.:09:41.

nobody wants to punish pensioners. The right question to ask is a

:09:42.:09:46.

straightforward one. When youth unemployment, particularly

:09:47.:09:48.

long-term, is still high, when family incomes are falling, when

:09:49.:09:50.

people on the lowest incomes are being squeezed and the poorest

:09:51.:09:54.

people are having benefits capped, is it right that wealthy pensioners

:09:55.:09:58.

are not only having benefits protect it but also enhanced? Absolutely, I

:09:59.:10:03.

understand that perfectly. I just wonder what it is going to do with

:10:04.:10:07.

social mobility. It seems strange to me that very wealthy pensioners get

:10:08.:10:11.

a winter fuel allowance... The Queen is entitled. The Queen is entitled,

:10:12.:10:16.

all sorts of people are entitled to it, and yet benefits are being cut

:10:17.:10:20.

elsewhere. For the life of me, I don't see how it helps social

:10:21.:10:24.

mobility? For this reason, if we can free those resources up, and we

:10:25.:10:30.

estimate, the IFS fiscal studies Institute estimate, if we give

:10:31.:10:38.

entitlements to the poorest pensioners and take it away from the

:10:39.:10:40.

wealthiest, it would save one point ?4 billion. Where would I invest

:10:41.:10:45.

that? And education maintenance allowance to make sure that poor

:10:46.:10:48.

kids stay on at school. Good for social mobility. That is better for

:10:49.:10:57.

social mobility, parents and carers get more of a chance to get on in

:10:58.:11:01.

life. More to help parents get out to work, good for social mobility.

:11:02.:11:05.

There are always choices in government to be made, however

:11:06.:11:09.

difficult the circumstances. You take ?1.4 billion from people that

:11:10.:11:12.

do not deserve it, you spend is the way you have done, the problem is,

:11:13.:11:15.

your last government shows it does not work. You've doubled per capita

:11:16.:11:21.

spending on schools, school pupils in the last Labour Government. The

:11:22.:11:24.

latest OECD report shows us tumbling down the tables, almost last in the

:11:25.:11:32.

major economies. It's not money that is the problem. It is interesting

:11:33.:11:35.

there is no mention of schools or education. There is a whole chapter

:11:36.:11:42.

on schools. If we had decent schools that taught kids to read and write,

:11:43.:11:46.

created a culture that the world was their oyster, that nothing could

:11:47.:11:50.

hold them back, and we had great teachers that inspired that, job

:11:51.:11:55.

done on social mobility? You should be on my commission and you should

:11:56.:11:58.

read that chapter on that report. For example, if we had have this

:11:59.:12:03.

conversation 20 years ago, where would we have said the problem is?

:12:04.:12:07.

We would have said it was in London and the inner cities. The state

:12:08.:12:10.

schools were so terrible. Today, the best state schools in the country

:12:11.:12:17.

are in London. Today, the worst schools are probably in the North of

:12:18.:12:22.

England. That didn't happen by accident, it was by design. A

:12:23.:12:26.

massive effort to recruit the best teachers into the worst schools.

:12:27.:12:29.

That paid dividends. Michael Gove should take heed. Do you get

:12:30.:12:35.

frustrated by the lack of progress? It is frustrating for me, in a

:12:36.:12:39.

sense. But it is bloody frustrating for people that want to get on in

:12:40.:12:43.

life. It is very frustrating, you know the people that I feel most

:12:44.:12:48.

sorry for, the people that used to come to my surgeries when I was a

:12:49.:12:51.

member of Parliament, the people that were the strivers. They were

:12:52.:12:55.

going to work, standing on their own feet, doing the right thing. There

:12:56.:12:58.

are 5 million of them in this country. They earn less than the

:12:59.:13:01.

living wage. Most of them are women. They listen to what

:13:02.:13:04.

politicians are saying and those other people that need a new deal

:13:05.:13:08.

that is why I think the national minimum wage needs to rise and go

:13:09.:13:10.

back to the level, at least, that was in 2008. Do you think social

:13:11.:13:17.

mobility has got worse? Yes, I do. I think it is clear that the leaders

:13:18.:13:20.

of society that came through the grammar school system have given way

:13:21.:13:24.

to people like me, who... Well, I am not a leader of society, but people

:13:25.:13:30.

who have had a privileged education. It was not so easy for people over

:13:31.:13:34.

the last 20 or 30 years to go from the bottom to the top, through the

:13:35.:13:41.

education system. On this point of wages being supported by benefits at

:13:42.:13:48.

the lower end, which is an interesting and key point, surely do

:13:49.:13:51.

think there is that we have got to get unemployment down. Then you

:13:52.:13:54.

start getting competition amongst employers to drive up wages. That is

:13:55.:13:59.

beginning to happen. We saw 1 million new jobs since the election.

:14:00.:14:04.

But I do not think it is either-or. If you have 2.5 million people

:14:05.:14:08.

unemployed, you have long-term unemployment amongst young people at

:14:09.:14:13.

a 20 year high, of course more has to be done to create jobs and get

:14:14.:14:17.

people into jobs. The old idea that a job was the cue for poverty is,

:14:18.:14:23.

I'm afraid, unproven. -- Q. It is disproven by the fact that two in

:14:24.:14:29.

three kids, that the government says are officially poor, and not in a

:14:30.:14:33.

workless family, not in a work-shy family, in a working family. Those

:14:34.:14:37.

people are doing the right thing. They are going out to work. The

:14:38.:14:41.

problem is that they don't earn enough to escape poverty. But if we

:14:42.:14:49.

could free up the housing market and the energy market, we will probably

:14:50.:14:52.

come to that later, you can see, actually, the diminution of the

:14:53.:14:59.

outgoings. It is both, there are two sides to the equation. One is in

:15:00.:15:03.

earnings and the other is prices. In the end, I personally think that

:15:04.:15:07.

governments have precious little locus when it comes to cost of

:15:08.:15:11.

living. I think they should introduce more competition, not

:15:12.:15:14.

less. That is the way to solve many of the problems. It feels, if you

:15:15.:15:20.

are on the receiving end of a 10% hike in electricity bills, or 8% in

:15:21.:15:24.

gas bills, that feels like a long way away. One thing that would help

:15:25.:15:31.

if we had really good technical skills and they have a status, the

:15:32.:15:38.

way they have in Germany or Sweden. That would create a path way for the

:15:39.:15:43.

none academic and they would start their own businesses and the rest of

:15:44.:15:48.

it. So a bit of encouraging, do you think to see Ben Baker's

:15:49.:15:53.

announcement his move in that direction? : Yes I like what Ken

:15:54.:16:04.

announced and the UTCs he anouzed -- he anewsed -- announced. We

:16:05.:16:12.

criticised politicians for 30 years focussing on kids going into higher

:16:13.:16:16.

education, but not the other 50% who are going into vocational education,

:16:17.:16:23.

more apprenticeships a good thing, but one and a half learners are in

:16:24.:16:28.

further education colleges which are deemed unsatisfactory. That is one

:16:29.:16:33.

and a half million people too many. One proposal we make is the colleges

:16:34.:16:38.

should be paid not according to the numbers they recruit, but in terms

:16:39.:16:45.

of the outcomes they achieve. Internships have become

:16:46.:16:50.

controversial, because the top jobs, the ones kids want to get into are

:16:51.:16:58.

largely in London. Yes. And they're unpaid and if you're a kid coming

:16:59.:17:03.

out a college from Middlesbrough or Glasgow, you can't come to London if

:17:04.:17:07.

there is no money. So they go to kids who are already here and those

:17:08.:17:11.

who have parents that can subsidise them. You want to get rid of them.

:17:12.:17:16.

Is it your idea that the Government should, you could stop the public

:17:17.:17:20.

sector doing that and it would be helpful if some political parties

:17:21.:17:26.

stopped doing it. Indeed. We see them on the web-sites, do you want

:17:27.:17:30.

the Government to actually legislate to ban private companies from doibg

:17:31.:17:35.

it? -- doing? No, I don't think that is the way to do it. The thing that

:17:36.:17:42.

has changed is if you want to go into professional employment there

:17:43.:17:46.

is a new rung on the ladder called internship and if you want to become

:17:47.:17:50.

a doctor, you have got to get work experience. If you want to be a

:17:51.:17:54.

lawyer, you have got to get work expeernts, the -- experience, the

:17:55.:17:58.

question is who gets the work experience and sadly it goes to

:17:59.:18:02.

people on the basis of who you know and not what you know. That has got

:18:03.:18:08.

to change. I think whether or not these things are paid makes a

:18:09.:18:11.

difference. It is a sort of arms race. When I was at university, none

:18:12.:18:19.

of my friend got internships. Now if you don have something lined up,

:18:20.:18:24.

everyone thinks your child will be a failure and the parents get more

:18:25.:18:28.

competitive. It is a big change in the labour market. All I would ask

:18:29.:18:34.

is if it is a new rung opt ladder, employers wouldn't think for

:18:35.:18:37.

appointing any other member of the staff to not advertise a job or not

:18:38.:18:43.

to pay a job. All I ask is for a level playing field. Do the same for

:18:44.:18:47.

sberpships, because they're the route into work as for other members

:18:48.:18:52.

of staff. The Tories didn't do themselves any faves when their

:18:53.:19:01.

donors could bid for interns. Yes, I suspect that isn't a problem that is

:19:02.:19:06.

limited to one partin't Where -- to one party. Where next? Onwards and

:19:07.:19:12.

upwards. But we are going backwards and down wards on this it is getting

:19:13.:19:22.

tougherer for a -- tougher for a bright kid to get into a job. When I

:19:23.:19:28.

came to this city in the dark ages, I was against the old school tie,

:19:29.:19:34.

which was more prevalent than the internships, pause it was -- because

:19:35.:19:40.

it was rv I where. But if you had good education and that gave you

:19:41.:19:44.

confidence and ambition, I mean we took the old tie on and won. Look,

:19:45.:19:49.

if you ask me, I get asked, if you could do one thing what would it be,

:19:50.:19:56.

the key to unlock this, the answer I think is education and

:19:57.:19:59.

employability. It has got to be. So it is great that school standards

:20:00.:20:05.

have improved and that the education attainment gap between poor kids and

:20:06.:20:10.

wealthier kids has narrowed. But boy, oh boy, there is a long way to

:20:11.:20:14.

go. Things like free schools can make a difference and most

:20:15.:20:19.

importantly of all paying good teachers the best to go and teach in

:20:20.:20:25.

the worst schools I believe could transform this. Finland has done

:20:26.:20:31.

some of that too and they expect high standards from the teachers.

:20:32.:20:36.

Thank you Alan Milburn. Always good to talk to you on this subject. Now

:20:37.:20:41.

Ed Milliband announced a new policy today. He is full of policies today,

:20:42.:20:47.

he wants to impose a new levy on pay day lender, the wonga type ones, who

:20:48.:20:52.

are always on TV and use the money, he wants to use the money to double

:20:53.:20:59.

the money for credit unions. He has appointed a new leader of the

:21:00.:21:04.

campaign against what are known as legal loan sharks, something you

:21:05.:21:10.

think she should have done before. She joins us now. Sarah Creasey

:21:11.:21:16.

welcome to the show. Explain what you want the policies should be to

:21:17.:21:22.

these pay day loan merchants? First we are committed now to a total cost

:21:23.:21:27.

cap and capping what these companies can charge, because the problem is

:21:28.:21:32.

this credit is too expensive and a lot of people who borrow in this way

:21:33.:21:37.

end up in debt and having to borrow more. We think pause these --

:21:38.:21:42.

because these companies are causing so much damage that it is right they

:21:43.:21:47.

take responsibility and pay back for credit unions and debt advice and

:21:48.:21:51.

things that can help people get out of the trap. So it is pay back time.

:21:52.:21:57.

It seems there are two parts. First, you say you will cap the amount of

:21:58.:22:02.

interest they can charge is that right? No, not the interest, the

:22:03.:22:06.

total cost of the spire loan. In this industry, 50% of the profits

:22:07.:22:11.

come from default charges. If you just cap the interest rate or

:22:12.:22:14.

charges, they make up the money elsewhere. Taking the entire cost of

:22:15.:22:19.

the loan, a gap and setting a ceiling and preventing the problems.

:22:20.:22:25.

It is what a lot of other countries are doing. So if I borrow ?100,

:22:26.:22:33.

because we are usually talking smallish amounts, what would be the

:22:34.:22:39.

cap and I'm in a bit of default, I see these interest rates are rising,

:22:40.:22:43.

what will the cap be? Well, we need a cap that works with the UK market

:22:44.:22:49.

and we wanted the Financial Conduct Authority to have the cap. I don't

:22:50.:22:53.

think politicians can set a specific cap. We need the regulator to work

:22:54.:22:57.

with the industry to set that cap. The problem is now they're not using

:22:58.:23:00.

that power and not gathering the evidence to use that power and the

:23:01.:23:05.

Government says, we are not sure about capping. The millions

:23:06.:23:09.

borrowing in this way can't weight for this to happen. Can you have a

:23:10.:23:15.

cap or can't you? You can have a cap in law. We fought hard to give them

:23:16.:23:20.

the power. But they're not using it. What whoub the cap? -- What would be

:23:21.:23:28.

the cap. In other caps tefest they have had -- they have had caps for

:23:29.:23:39.

say ?15 per ?100. It leads to lower levels of debts and is the one thing

:23:40.:23:44.

that can change the behaviour of the companies and the fact that

:23:45.:23:48.

Government talks about it not being a good idea is a problem. Because

:23:49.:23:53.

millions are stuck in this trap. You, what you're talking about, the

:23:54.:23:57.

second part of the policy, is this to be a levy on the pay day lenders?

:23:58.:24:02.

Yes, lots of industries where their products cause problems set up

:24:03.:24:08.

voluntary organisations, like the gambling and the drinks industry.

:24:09.:24:12.

This industry have been saying they're responsible, but they have

:24:13.:24:15.

done nothing to help people in trouble. So we think they should pay

:24:16.:24:22.

to help. What would the levy be on? All these companies will have to pay

:24:23.:24:26.

to register with the new authority from April. We are talking about an

:24:27.:24:33.

additional amount and do remember some of the companies are making a

:24:34.:24:36.

million pounds a week. It is important that cap works with how

:24:37.:24:42.

those companies are operating. You're the politicians, you can't

:24:43.:24:45.

say it is up to the regulator. You have got to tell us, will this levy

:24:46.:24:51.

be on the prochts of the company -- profits of the companies, their turn

:24:52.:24:56.

over, their balance sheepts, what size -- sheets what size will it be.

:24:57.:25:01.

That is the reason experts should set a lvy. There are different ways

:25:02.:25:08.

to do it. We think even a levy just on profits would raise ?30 million a

:25:09.:25:14.

year to go into the growth fund to grow credit unions ability to work

:25:15.:25:17.

with, like the one I saw with Ed Milliband in Peckham that is lending

:25:18.:25:25.

?10 to ?15 million. What rate do they charge? They capped and the

:25:26.:25:31.

maximum they can charge is 26% interest rate. 26? Isn't that loan

:25:32.:25:37.

shark territory? Against interest rate of 6 thousand %. -- 6,000%.

:25:38.:25:45.

That is almost as bad as the credit card companies. Good you mentioned

:25:46.:25:50.

that, because the Government did a U-turn on credit cards and consumers

:25:51.:25:55.

are being scammed. Our market does not work. There are things we need

:25:56.:25:59.

to do. All right it seems there is a lot to do. Thank you for coming on

:26:00.:26:16.

the show today. So it's not a good day if you're a customer of British

:26:17.:26:19.

Gas. They've just announced an increase in electricity prices of

:26:20.:26:22.

over 10% and of gas prices of over 8%. The Energy Secretary Ed Davey

:26:23.:26:27.

urged customers to switch companies and had this to say in the Commons.

:26:28.:26:37.

It is disappointing news for British Gas customers. British Gas will need

:26:38.:26:44.

to justify their decision openly and transparently to bill-by aers.

:26:45.:26:48.

British Gas was the only company not to meet its targets under the

:26:49.:26:52.

previous obligation to make its customers' homes more energy

:26:53.:26:56.

efficient. That left more homes cold. So British Gas has fallen in

:26:57.:27:03.

failing to meet its targets. I hope the honourable lady with that can

:27:04.:27:09.

join with me in making sure that British Gas does, is more

:27:10.:27:14.

transparent about its costs. We are pushing competition and I would urge

:27:15.:27:18.

skus hers of -- customers of British Gas to change their supplier. That

:27:19.:27:27.

was a rather angry energy Secretary. He found out as he was taking

:27:28.:27:35.

questions in the House of Commons. And we're joined now by the Shadow

:27:36.:27:39.

Energy Secretary, Caroline Flint. And also Greg Barker. There is the

:27:40.:27:42.

ball on the table, there is an open goal over there, would you like to

:27:43.:27:45.

kick the ball? Today again we are seeing the public are paying the

:27:46.:27:49.

price, because the Government haven't stootd up to these

:27:50.:27:54.

companies. They hike their prices at the expense of the consumer and the

:27:55.:27:57.

Government should do something. We have set out our package, that is to

:27:58.:28:04.

freeze the prices from the day of the general election to January 2017

:28:05.:28:10.

but as part of a package to reform the market. To give us time to get

:28:11.:28:17.

legislation through to reform the market. We are getting eye watering

:28:18.:28:24.

rises. We saw the latest average wage figures and it is under 1%. If

:28:25.:28:28.

you're in the public sector, your pay is falling. But your prices for

:28:29.:28:34.

British Gas are going up 10%. With Eno what Labour would do -- we know

:28:35.:28:40.

what Labour would do, you can disagree, but you're not doing

:28:41.:28:45.

anything are you? On the contrary we are doing a great deal but we are

:28:46.:28:51.

not trying to con people. We Eno hard working people are -- we know

:28:52.:29:00.

hard working people are there and they need more competition and make

:29:01.:29:04.

it easier for people to switch and to bring in new entrants to the

:29:05.:29:09.

market and challenge the big six created under the last Labour

:29:10.:29:15.

Government and rather than increase regulation and bind them in tighter

:29:16.:29:19.

and create greater barriers to entry for new independent companies we

:29:20.:29:22.

need to break down the barriers and bring in the consumer champions, not

:29:23.:29:28.

scare off investment, but all the independent companies the ones we

:29:29.:29:38.

want to deliver the choice. The problem is that we have got to a

:29:39.:29:43.

situation today were these companies dominate 98% of the market. They

:29:44.:29:47.

dominate energy and sell it to themselves before they sell it to

:29:48.:29:50.

us. Other people cannot get a slice of the pie to put downward pressure

:29:51.:29:54.

on prices. That is why we want a power exchange, where all energy put

:29:55.:29:58.

into the exchange, including from independent generators, the big six

:29:59.:30:01.

and other people that want to retail energy can come in and competitively

:30:02.:30:08.

bid to buy energies. That is what we used to do, though? Pretty much?

:30:09.:30:16.

No, the problem was that we only had two generators, they held all of the

:30:17.:30:20.

cards and there was criticism of gaming that system. We are looking

:30:21.:30:24.

at the system the Scandinavian countries use, where we can have

:30:25.:30:28.

two-way bids from generators and retailers. I think we are all agreed

:30:29.:30:34.

we want much more competition and we want to burst the market open. But

:30:35.:30:38.

we don't agree that Labour's return to the 1970s... It's not! Is the way

:30:39.:30:45.

to go. We want to work with independents to open up the energy

:30:46.:30:48.

market. We are bringing through the House of Commons at the market, in

:30:49.:30:52.

fact up House of Lords, we are driving reforms with the biggest

:30:53.:30:56.

package of measures we have seen, probably for ten or 15 years,

:30:57.:31:00.

possibly since privatisation. But it is not enough. There is a wider

:31:01.:31:03.

debate about reforms that are necessary. We need to make sure

:31:04.:31:06.

there is a firewall between these companies generating arms and their

:31:07.:31:12.

retailing arms. We said we would look at the president of this in

:31:13.:31:17.

separating energy companies. At the heart of all of this, is also having

:31:18.:31:23.

a system or a delay should, a better system of regulation, not just

:31:24.:31:26.

layering over, that can get to the heart of what the true price of

:31:27.:31:30.

energy is. We know wholesale costs are less than they were in 2008. We

:31:31.:31:36.

had a drop in 2009 of 45% and that has not been reflected in bills.

:31:37.:31:41.

Ofgem, who I criticise a lot, have done reports saying it is rockets

:31:42.:31:46.

and feathers, the reductions are not being passed on. People watching

:31:47.:31:53.

this are worked up about it. The bottom line is that you are going to

:31:54.:31:58.

do nothing about this 10% rise? The people watching this today,

:31:59.:32:01.

customers of British Gas, they are paying 10%. This is Great Britain,

:32:02.:32:06.

not East Germany. As much as Caroline wants to drag us back to

:32:07.:32:11.

the 1970s, the answer to this, it is going to deliver... Energy prices

:32:12.:32:15.

were quite cheap in East Germany. But how did that end? It's not a

:32:16.:32:19.

happy story. That is clearly where you are taking us. We want genuine,

:32:20.:32:24.

dynamic competition, break down the market walls. You can talk about

:32:25.:32:29.

that, but you are both guilty of driving up energy prices. Caroline

:32:30.:32:35.

has a fair point on transparency. Clearly, successive governments have

:32:36.:32:38.

not done enough, post-privatisation, to open up the market, particularly

:32:39.:32:43.

the way it consolidated under Labour. We will be coming forwards

:32:44.:32:48.

with new measures to open transparency so we can get to the

:32:49.:32:51.

bottom of this question... That does not heat the bedroom this winter for

:32:52.:32:57.

the people facing price rises. You are both in favour, you keep on

:32:58.:33:01.

agreeing to things that will drive up the price rises. ?100 billion in

:33:02.:33:06.

offshore wind, where the price of electricity will be three times the

:33:07.:33:10.

market rate. That is going on to bills. We are going to pay ?155 per

:33:11.:33:16.

megawatt. How much do you think onshore wind... It's twice the

:33:17.:33:23.

price. Onshore contributes ?9 to that. That is onshore, offshore, now

:33:24.:33:31.

you are about to agree with a nationalised French company to agree

:33:32.:33:34.

they will get twice the market rate of electricity price for 30 years.

:33:35.:33:40.

We need nuclear, we need investment. It goes on to our bill, correct? Of

:33:41.:33:46.

course, there is nobody else paying. We need nuclear, we need a

:33:47.:33:50.

diverse energy policy. We are going to hear more details about it. I do

:33:51.:33:55.

back nuclear power, I think it is important. The price, the market

:33:56.:34:01.

price, putting it onto the people watching this show? They will find

:34:02.:34:04.

out the details about that next week. The cost of the bill for

:34:05.:34:07.

developing renewables, it is about ?50 of the overall bill. We have

:34:08.:34:13.

seen price rises of ?300, ?400, ?120 from what British gas is saying

:34:14.:34:19.

today. In no way can they use that part of the bill to explain some of

:34:20.:34:23.

these price rises. We have to get to the heart of the issue. What is the

:34:24.:34:26.

true cost of energy? We can't do that in the market, the way it is

:34:27.:34:30.

set up at the moment. That is why our reforms are so important. I

:34:31.:34:36.

think we haven't seen anything yet. If this is the row we are having

:34:37.:34:42.

now, there is not a huge input of wind into the price, once you get

:34:43.:34:47.

the offshore wind rolling out, three times the wholesale price, once you

:34:48.:34:51.

get nuclear coming in, all of these renewables that are being given

:34:52.:34:58.

these huge rewards, then... The cost is going up and up. The cost of

:34:59.:35:08.

solar has fallen by 70%. Offshore wind is down from ?135. You can have

:35:09.:35:17.

your own opinions, but not your own facts. I just stated a fact. There

:35:18.:35:22.

is also the cost of staying where we are. If we stay hostage to fossil

:35:23.:35:27.

fuels, we will pay the price, not only in higher bills, but the loss

:35:28.:35:30.

of the jobs we can create with these new energies. It's not just me

:35:31.:35:35.

saying that, the climate change committee and former Conservative MP

:35:36.:35:40.

Sir John Gover. The world has changed since 2008, we have

:35:41.:35:44.

discovered shale gas all around the world. We know it is not going to

:35:45.:35:49.

run out anywhere soon as we thought. Fukushima, Olivia... We can't say

:35:50.:35:58.

that until we can find out if we can get it out of the ground in a way

:35:59.:36:02.

that is economic. Gas prices in the United States are one third of what

:36:03.:36:05.

they are here, because they have access to cheap gas. The idea behind

:36:06.:36:14.

renewables... Until 2003, we did not have a prevailing price for gas in

:36:15.:36:19.

the UK that was different to elsewhere in Europe. We want

:36:20.:36:22.

fracking, we are going to bring it in an environmentally entryway. But

:36:23.:36:29.

it is not a magic bullet. Would you agree, surely, that the whole idea

:36:30.:36:32.

behind renewables was that they were eventually going to look cheap

:36:33.:36:36.

compared to fossil fuels, because they will go up in price. They will.

:36:37.:36:41.

It is not going to turn out that way. You have a certain view, which

:36:42.:36:45.

is to deny climate change, so we know where you are coming from. You

:36:46.:36:51.

deny how important it is and how we have to take action to tackle it.

:36:52.:36:57.

Better not get on to climate change or people will have heart attacks.

:36:58.:37:01.

Thank you very much. The SNP leader Alex Sam and opens up the party

:37:02.:37:04.

conference in the beautiful city of Perth this afternoon. He insists

:37:05.:37:08.

that the referendum on independence can be won, despite polls suggesting

:37:09.:37:12.

that the no campaign is still well ahead. He thinks the key to victory

:37:13.:37:15.

is convincing voters that independence will bring economic

:37:16.:37:20.

prosperity. We are joined by the Deputy First Minister Nicola

:37:21.:37:23.

Sturgeon. We hear that the theme of the conference is going to be a big

:37:24.:37:29.

love in, and then next year it will be a big wake when you have lost the

:37:30.:37:33.

referendum? If we play our cards right and do our jobs properly, next

:37:34.:37:37.

year's conference will be a celebration of a yes vote and

:37:38.:37:42.

Scotland voting for independence. But that's getting ahead of

:37:43.:37:45.

ourselves, we have work to do to convince people that we can afford

:37:46.:37:51.

to be an independent country, we are one of the wealthiest countries in

:37:52.:37:55.

the world, even the no campaign does not question that now, but secondly

:37:56.:37:58.

that we should be independent because it means decisions being

:37:59.:38:02.

made here, not in Westminster by governments we often reject. When I

:38:03.:38:07.

last spoke to you, it was a year to the referendum, you were excited,

:38:08.:38:10.

the referendum would build up in your favour. You were the one that

:38:11.:38:14.

was very excited, I seem to remember. I am always excited to

:38:15.:38:19.

talk to you. But you were excited at the prospect that it was only a year

:38:20.:38:23.

to go, things would start to move your way. Actually, support for

:38:24.:38:27.

independence continues to flat line at about 25%. What is going to break

:38:28.:38:34.

that? What we see any opinion polls, and I am not denying that we have a

:38:35.:38:38.

challenge, we have got to convince people. I remember a few months

:38:39.:38:42.

before the SNP won an overall majority in the Scottish parliament

:38:43.:38:47.

the polls said we had no chance, we were 15 points behind Labour. If we

:38:48.:38:52.

pitched the argument properly, the polls can be overturned. The polls

:38:53.:38:55.

say that as people become more informed, when they feel they have

:38:56.:39:00.

the information to base their decision on, they are more likely to

:39:01.:39:04.

fall into the yes camp. Next month, there will be a White Paper on

:39:05.:39:07.

independence and that will be the platform for making and winning the

:39:08.:39:11.

argument that Scotland could be and can be an independent country. But,

:39:12.:39:15.

most importantly, that we should be an independent country because it

:39:16.:39:18.

means no longer having governments we do not vote for taking decisions

:39:19.:39:21.

we don't agree with. We have governments we vote for and they can

:39:22.:39:24.

take decisions in line with the priorities of people in Scotland.

:39:25.:39:30.

You gave the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds for this referendum,

:39:31.:39:32.

thinking younger people would be more nationalist and more in favour

:39:33.:39:36.

of independence. You surprised that turned out not to be the case? There

:39:37.:39:41.

was a mock referendum with 11,000 schoolchildren in part of the

:39:42.:39:44.

country that is very strongly nationalist and only 2000 voted for

:39:45.:39:49.

independence. Firstly, we extended the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds

:39:50.:39:53.

because it is the right thing to do. If you can get married, sign up for

:39:54.:39:57.

the Army at 16, I think you should have a boat, not just in a

:39:58.:40:00.

referendum but in general elections as well. -- vote. Young people, like

:40:01.:40:10.

the population at large, they want to have a referendum, they want to

:40:11.:40:14.

be persuaded. We have seen a number of debates, where once people hear

:40:15.:40:18.

the arguments they turn from being no or being undecided, to being yes.

:40:19.:40:24.

That is our challenge and opportunity. The publication of the

:40:25.:40:27.

Government White Paper next month takes us into a new phase in the

:40:28.:40:31.

campaign. We are very much looking forward to that. The referendum is

:40:32.:40:34.

there to be won and I look forward to campaigning hard to make sure we

:40:35.:40:39.

do win it. Is Alex Salmond going to take part in a live debate with the

:40:40.:40:42.

new Scottish Secretary, Alistair Carmichael? I am sure he will debate

:40:43.:40:48.

lots of people. And Alistair Darling? I am sure he will debate

:40:49.:40:53.

with lots of people between now and the referendum. What we have said

:40:54.:40:56.

and what I will say again today is that we think it is right and proper

:40:57.:41:04.

that there is a debate between the first Minister and the Prime

:41:05.:41:07.

Minister. He has a right to intervene into this debate and

:41:08.:41:11.

persuade people to vote no. But if he is going to do that, he has to be

:41:12.:41:14.

prepared to have a head-to-head debate with the first Minister. I

:41:15.:41:17.

look forward to him changing his mind on that. I wouldn't hold your

:41:18.:41:22.

breath. Are you going to get a major debate between Alistair Darling and

:41:23.:41:26.

Alex Salmond on television. Will that happen? Well, I have already

:41:27.:41:31.

debated with Alistair Darling. I know that, we have seen it. Alex

:41:32.:41:35.

Salmond will debate with lots of people... Will he debate with

:41:36.:41:39.

Alistair Darling on television? I am sure he will debate with all sorts

:41:40.:41:42.

of people. The first and foremost point here is that there should be

:41:43.:41:46.

the debate between the first Minister and the Prime Minister.

:41:47.:41:49.

What is the Prime Minister running scared of? What is Alex Salmond

:41:50.:41:54.

running scared of when you cannot say he will debate Alistair Darling?

:41:55.:41:58.

Alex Salmond wants to debate the Prime Minister. He wants to debate

:41:59.:42:02.

the Prime Minister. I think that is right and proper. This is a debate

:42:03.:42:06.

about a transfer of powers from Westminster to the Scottish

:42:07.:42:09.

Parliament. Surely it is right and proper that the leader of the

:42:10.:42:13.

Scottish Government... You have made that point. I am trying to get you

:42:14.:42:21.

to a address, that his Ford David Cameron to decide, I have no

:42:22.:42:24.

influence on that, there is no point repeating it. I am asking you, why

:42:25.:42:29.

can you not it Alex Salmon to debate with Alistair Carmichael, Alistair

:42:30.:42:35.

Darling or both? Does he just not like people called Alistair? I am

:42:36.:42:39.

sure that between now and the referendum Alex Salmond will debate

:42:40.:42:41.

with both of those people and many others, making the positive case for

:42:42.:42:48.

independence. There is no issue or question about that. The question is

:42:49.:42:52.

why David Cameron will not agreed to debate... Well, we have done that. I

:42:53.:42:57.

think we are going round in circles. We enjoy debating with people called

:42:58.:43:01.

Nicola. Thank you. Last night, Congress agreed to a deal which will

:43:02.:43:06.

see the debt ceiling rise, preventing it from going into a

:43:07.:43:10.

forced to default on debts, with the consequences that would entail, not

:43:11.:43:14.

just for America but the rest of the world. It also means parts of the

:43:15.:43:21.

government which have been shut down and get going again. Maybe some did

:43:22.:43:24.

not notice they have been shut down. That is another story. Here is

:43:25.:43:28.

what Barack Obama had to save the other night. Once this agreement

:43:29.:43:32.

arrives on my desk, I will sign it immediately. We will begin reopening

:43:33.:43:36.

our government immediately. You can begin to lift this cloud of

:43:37.:43:40.

uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American

:43:41.:43:44.

people. Because there is a lot of work ahead of us. Including our need

:43:45.:43:48.

to earn back the trust of the American people, that has been lost

:43:49.:43:51.

over the last few weeks. We can begin to do that by addressing the

:43:52.:43:56.

real issues that they care about. I have said it before, I will say it

:43:57.:44:00.

again. I am willing to work with anybody, I am eager to work with

:44:01.:44:04.

anybody, a crack or Republican, house or Senate members, or any idea

:44:05.:44:09.

that will grow our economy, create new jobs, strengthen the middle

:44:10.:44:14.

class and get our fiscal house in order, long-term. Joining us now is

:44:15.:44:21.

Ron Freeman, spokesperson for Democrats Abroad and the Republican

:44:22.:44:25.

commentator Charlie Wolf. Ron Freeman, are we going to go through

:44:26.:44:30.

is in again in the new year? Yes. So it is never ending? The time periods

:44:31.:44:37.

are getting shorter. When Clinton was president, we went six years

:44:38.:44:41.

without an increase, now we are down to three months. Is this a healthy

:44:42.:44:46.

way to run a country? Absolutely not. What do you think Charlie Wolf?

:44:47.:44:50.

Listening to President Obama, he likes to negotiate the same way that

:44:51.:44:56.

Henry Ford liked to offer cars - any colour you like as long as it is

:44:57.:45:02.

black. He has a legacy that will not last unless he learns to play with

:45:03.:45:08.

others. The Republicans control a branch of congress and they have the

:45:09.:45:12.

right to stand up for what they believe in and as long as President

:45:13.:45:17.

Obama has the my way of the highway approach that is not tegt. --

:45:18.:45:25.

negotiates. Warren Buffet said it is absurd to have this debt ceiling and

:45:26.:45:31.

you can't run a country where you country -- constantly have a debt

:45:32.:45:35.

ceiling. He is right isn't he? It is a stupid way to run a country? No, I

:45:36.:45:41.

want the Executive to have accountability to the people that

:45:42.:45:46.

pull the purse strings, if I was paying your credit card I would want

:45:47.:45:51.

to know there was a limit. OK. History goes the other way. The debt

:45:52.:45:57.

ceiling came into effect in the Spanish/American war in 1898.

:45:58.:46:04.

Because they had to issue sprayed bond issue t. The idea tow give the

:46:05.:46:09.

-- was to give the Treasury discretion as to how to finance the

:46:10.:46:14.

Government. It is only lately using it as a Republican tactic to force

:46:15.:46:19.

through their programme. It is not correct to say it makes the

:46:20.:46:26.

Executive accountable. They have the whip hand, not the president. Now,

:46:27.:46:31.

we have a spending problem that needs to be addressed and Mr Freeman

:46:32.:46:39.

said it has been kicked in the long Gass. We have -- grass. We have

:46:40.:46:45.

massive debt and we have a president spending like there is no tomorrow.

:46:46.:46:50.

He has cut the deficit after he ran it up to a billion. It is still

:46:51.:46:54.

uncontrolled and we have to have some way of watching our books and

:46:55.:46:59.

living within our means. You should have told that to President Bush who

:47:00.:47:05.

tubbed -- doubled the deficit. Are you not worried that there are

:47:06.:47:11.

people in your party that wanted the Government to not pay the debt. And

:47:12.:47:16.

they wants to bring the Government down. Not at all. You're not worried

:47:17.:47:23.

about that. They never said that and the Government was never going to

:47:24.:47:28.

come down. The tax receipts would have paid for is. It is a big

:47:29.:47:42.

Kaboookie, Japanese song and dance. It didn't have to happen. But we

:47:43.:47:47.

have a president who still acts like a community organiser and not a

:47:48.:47:50.

president. If he wants a legacy he will have to work with the

:47:51.:47:57.

Republican house. Where are you on Kabookie? Now, I know what one is.

:47:58.:48:08.

Isn't it the case by going for - Ba ma Care the Republicans were up

:48:09.:48:12.

against an impossible position in terms of winning the argue.

:48:13.:48:15.

President Obama was never going to back down. He won which five -- he

:48:16.:48:23.

won by five million votes in the election. President Obama got

:48:24.:48:29.

elected in 2008 in - you can agree or disagree with the policy, he was

:48:30.:48:37.

elected to implement it and then got re-elected to implement it. Why

:48:38.:48:41.

don't you accept the democratic decision of the American people and

:48:42.:48:47.

its judiciary? Because it is a bad law. But the people voted for it.

:48:48.:48:58.

They also voted for pro-Higgs -- prohibition. But it was implemented.

:48:59.:49:05.

To be fair, there is an ideological battle that we would like to get rid

:49:06.:49:13.

of o' Ba ma Care -- Obamacare. They are saying, why isn't the president

:49:14.:49:18.

and the congress held to the same standard as the rest and why

:49:19.:49:23.

companies get a one year waiver, but individuals don't and some people

:49:24.:49:27.

get subsidies. I think these were fair things to bring up. But the law

:49:28.:49:33.

is now the law and you lost the argument and it seem to be time

:49:34.:49:40.

tomorrow. But Mr Freeman, there are signs that the American economy is

:49:41.:49:44.

recovering. More than signs. Exactly. There are more than signs

:49:45.:49:48.

that the British economy is recovering as well. Indeed. There

:49:49.:49:52.

are signs that the emerging markets are getting their act together after

:49:53.:49:56.

the set back they had as a result of some statements from the Fed.

:49:57.:50:02.

Deficits are coming down. But debt hasn't. I can't think of a worse way

:50:03.:50:06.

of getting the recovery to get momentum than the way the United

:50:07.:50:10.

States is behaving. The United States of course is not a single

:50:11.:50:17.

entity. They have had difficulty holding the faction together. Those

:50:18.:50:24.

who don't like President Obama are a faction. It is a terrible situation,

:50:25.:50:30.

but it can't be fought over whether the Government is open or close.

:50:31.:50:33.

Charlie Wolf we will have you back in February, you will do it again.

:50:34.:50:44.

For the K a, boo -- Kabbookie dance. Why should we dump dollars, you're

:50:45.:50:51.

becoming a joke banana republic. Let's dump dollars and buy Chinese

:50:52.:50:57.

or Swiss francs. I think the United States economy is still the

:50:58.:51:01.

strongest on the planet. Not if you carry on like this. I would rather

:51:02.:51:05.

see that happening that we went through than going through a debt

:51:06.:51:09.

situation that is unsustainable and that is the problem. Or raise the

:51:10.:51:14.

taxes. Well that doesn't help either. We will have to leave it

:51:15.:51:20.

there. Thank you both. When is a secret not a secret? Well, lean in.

:51:21.:51:26.

Listen very carefully. This is a bit hush-hush. Because Whitehall is

:51:27.:51:29.

reviewing how to classify its classified documents. Agent Dilnot

:51:30.:51:34.

has been investigating. Someone once said that the man that can keep a

:51:35.:51:40.

secret is wise. But not half as wise as the man who has no secrets to

:51:41.:51:43.

keep. That is all right for an individual, but for governments it

:51:44.:51:49.

is impossible. They have to keep the secret as best they can, once they

:51:50.:51:55.

have decided what a secret is. And bureaucratically you have to decide

:51:56.:51:59.

you don't someone calmed Edward Snowdon -- calmed Edward Snowdon --

:52:00.:52:07.

xauled Edward Snowdon working for you. Since the Second World War our

:52:08.:52:16.

Government has used unclassified, secret and top secret and the thing

:52:17.:52:22.

is how much damage they could cause if they got into the wrong hands.

:52:23.:52:28.

The joke in the comedy was anything marked confidential pretty much

:52:29.:52:33.

everyone had seen. But culturally in Whitehall the opposite is true.

:52:34.:52:37.

Civil servants have been overcautious, marking things secret

:52:38.:52:41.

when they didn't need to be. That is high the Cabinet Office for the

:52:42.:52:47.

first time in 68 years is reclassifying documents. They're

:52:48.:52:51.

keeping secret and the ones that would endanger life and limb in the

:52:52.:52:56.

wrong hands. But they're making everything else, 90% of documents

:52:57.:53:01.

classified as official. This is to simplify for the digital age. To

:53:02.:53:06.

speed up the government bureaucracy and make government decision-making

:53:07.:53:15.

that bit quicker. What would Sir Humphrey say? Giles Dilnot there. At

:53:16.:53:25.

least he is saving power with the electricity there. Lord West has

:53:26.:53:28.

been the Royal Navy's First Sea Lord, as well as being the minister

:53:29.:53:31.

for security and counter-terrorism in the Gordon Brown government. So

:53:32.:53:34.

he's in a good position to discuss this with us. What do you make of

:53:35.:53:38.

this change? I think it makes sense. You have gone straight to my heart,

:53:39.:53:43.

some 30 years ago I was court martialed for losing something that

:53:44.:53:49.

was classified. So I pay attention. I think it makes sense and it is

:53:50.:53:53.

clear we have too much that is overclassified where you're working

:53:54.:53:56.

with a lot of things are secret, people think, I had better make this

:53:57.:54:02.

secret just in case and handling these documents on computers or

:54:03.:54:08.

sending them to someone else is complex and expensive. Did you find

:54:09.:54:12.

you only got people's attention when you put highly classify on the

:54:13.:54:17.

document? I have to say that I did discover and it is awful, because I

:54:18.:54:23.

have been a minister, if I want a minister to look at it I would make

:54:24.:54:28.

it code word. We have code word. And then they had to be indoctrinated

:54:29.:54:32.

into it and then you gave it to them, then they really wanted to see

:54:33.:54:37.

it. If you gave them that just confidential, which I know sound

:54:38.:54:42.

awful. I think it is time that this was done. And under the previous

:54:43.:54:46.

system most secret documents couldn't be sent electronically and

:54:47.:54:52.

now they will. Is that OK? Well you're to have, the ones that will

:54:53.:54:58.

still be secret, you have to have a system to allow that to happen. But

:54:59.:55:05.

so much was oversclass if Ied -- overclassified that can all be sent

:55:06.:55:11.

and you can use awful the shelf computers to send it. I think that

:55:12.:55:16.

is right. Where we have to careful is when we get to top secret and not

:55:17.:55:22.

do what the Americans have seen, where 4.2 million people within

:55:23.:55:27.

their structure had access to this data and we must make sure that

:55:28.:55:31.

doesn't happen. How could somebody be -- something be properly secret

:55:32.:55:36.

if millions of people have access to it. Among that there were secret

:55:37.:55:42.

things and I have to say why I think it is appalling that the Guardian

:55:43.:55:46.

said we can decide what should be seen and what shouldn't. That is

:55:47.:55:50.

dangerous and I Edward Snowdon I think he is a traitor and to see him

:55:51.:55:55.

in Russia getting awards and looking like an innocent choir boy, but he

:55:56.:56:00.

is not. That worries me. Everyone knows how open and transparn and

:56:01.:56:06.

democratic - transparent and democratic Russian society is. And

:56:07.:56:10.

they have been good at protecting secrets so we have had to build up

:56:11.:56:15.

agencies in the Cold War to get among them. Do you think we have too

:56:16.:56:21.

many secrets? No, I have never seen a secret document. I haven't been

:56:22.:56:27.

inducted into that level of importance. Clearly I think you're

:56:28.:56:33.

right that if there were too many dock ts -- document and too many

:56:34.:56:38.

people seeing them, the point is lost. So you have to simplify it.

:56:39.:56:45.

Are ewe sure -- are we sure our technology is good enough to keep it

:56:46.:56:52.

secret. I think your high grade crypto, which passes secret

:56:53.:56:59.

information, is very good. But it is like when we used to spot people in

:57:00.:57:06.

cybersecurity wreak -- breaking into our system and we would say isn't it

:57:07.:57:11.

awful. The ones that worried me were the ones that we didn't know about.

:57:12.:57:16.

The Germans in the Second World War thought their Cripps pose was --

:57:17.:57:25.

cryptowas rock solid. But it wassen. Do you miss getting the secret

:57:26.:57:30.

documents? I think whent I went to -- went to the other department and

:57:31.:57:34.

didn't have all this stuff that kept you right up to speed was a shock.

:57:35.:57:43.

But it is quite nice now. Thank you. Now let's find out the answer to our

:57:44.:57:47.

daily quiz. We asked what is Prince Charles' latest hobby horse. It is

:57:48.:57:51.

tall pointy buildings, or wind farms, pension funds, or the price

:57:52.:57:59.

of biscuits. The answer is... You won't get this - pension funds! Yes,

:58:00.:58:05.

I am not sure if he has a pension fund. Here is what he said in a

:58:06.:58:10.

recorded message to the conference of the National Association of

:58:11.:58:14.

Pension Funds. With an ageing population, and pension funds

:58:15.:58:17.

liabilities that are therefore stretching out for many decades,

:58:18.:58:24.

surely the current focus on quarterly capitalism is becoming

:58:25.:58:30.

unfit for purpose. So he has even talked about how quarterly reporting

:58:31.:58:38.

wasn't a good thing from the 19th to the 20th century. Maybe he should

:58:39.:58:44.

stand for Parliament. That's all for today. Thanks to our guests. The one

:58:45.:58:48.

o'clock news is starting over on BBC One now. And I will be on BBC One

:58:49.:58:52.

tonight for This Week with Michael Portillo, Adam Boulton, Nicholas

:58:53.:58:54.

Parsons, Philip Collins and someone new on the sofa called Diane Abbott

:58:55.:58:58.

- never heard of her! And I'll be here at noon tomorrow with all the

:58:59.:59:02.

big political stories of the day. Do join

:59:03.:59:03.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS