18/10/2013 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Energy price hikes


unleash a torrent of abuse on Twitter. But which political party


is best taking advantage of the public's anger? Sometimes they are


encouraging more of them to come here. Sometimes they are telling


them to go home. What do politicians really want to do about


immigration? Are you sitting comfortably? Plenty of MPs were at


Prime Minister's Questions. But was it right that one pregnant minister


was left standing? I think he is one of the few people old enough to be


Prime Minister who can still talk to youth. Talk to you? Lavish praise


from the Queen of romance for the last truly a wrist acrostic Prime


Minister. We mark 50 years since Alec Douglas-Home emerged that I


minister. -- as Prime Minister. All of that is coming up in the next


hour. Public service broadcasting at its finest. Who better to engage the


youthful viewers of this programme than Iain Martin of the Sunday


Telegraph and Elizabeth Rigby of The Financial Times? They are with us


for the duration. Welcome. Let's start with British Gas, everybody


else is this week. The company PR team will be hoping for a quieter


day after dealing with the fallout from yesterday's announcement of a


10% increase in energy bills. Some bright spark at British Gas, SPARC,


British Gas, get it? They thought it would be a good idea for the


customer services director to take to Twitter to answer any concerns


that customers might have. What could possibly go wrong? It is not


like it is a disaster waiting to happen. Alan Gibbs took to Twitter


to ask: Labour's press team are keen not to


miss an opportunity on this team. What is also interesting, this is an


issue that Labour, the price freezes, whatever the economic of


it, it is clearly popular and they are way ahead on it. But all of the


other polls do not show it is translating into a Labour lead over


the Conservatives, in the general voting intention? No, the Tories


would say the reason it does not translate is because, actually,


voters are not silly and they realise this probably is an


unworkable policy. You cannot just tell companies to freeze prices and


think that there will not be a fallout in terms of maybe not


investing in energy more, putting bills before the price freeze comes


in. So, it is a kind of short-term political gamble, if you like. It is


not yet playing into the polls. That said, clearly, the Tories are very


worried about that. They are worried about it. At some stage, the


coalition will need to come up with a more adequate response, because


when you ask them now, Labour is going to freeze my bill, what are


you going to do, you basically get a load of waffle. In narrow political


terms, this has been very good for Ed Miliband. A month ago he was


going into the conference season in some difficulty, the energy freeze,


unworkable as it is as a policy, there are many questions marks about


it, it has got him back in the game. The entire argument is phoney,


really, from all three of the parties. In that globalisation was


always going to push up demand and prices for gas and electricity.


Laying green costs on top of that, and then they want to blame each


other, they want to try to compete and persuade the public that energy


prices... And they have postponed investment, successive governments.


I'm not blaming one party or another. It is a slightly phoney


argument, I think. When you look at the energy record of the last Labour


government and this government, nobody comes out very well from it.


But they cover that by turning the energy bosses into the new bankers?


Absolutely. I think this is going to be the interesting story going


forwards. Just as we have seen bankers levies, are we going to get


into a situation where the energy bosses become demonised and the


government talk about putting levies on energy companies? The problem the


government have is that actually they need to have about ?110 billion


investment into new power plants over the next generation to keep the


lights on in the UK and to make us less dependent on international


gas, to make us more energy-efficient and energy secure.


So, they do not want to slam the energy companies too hard. Because


that is where the energy is about to come from? But nothing they do at


the moment makes a blind bit of difference. This deal they have done


with the Chinese and the French, the Chinese are just ponying up some


money. The French are involved in building plants in Finland and


France, eight years late and twice over budget. Nothing that was


decided in China will produce a single light bulb of electricity


until 2030. You are absolutely right. Yet again, the argument is


being conducted on a phoney basis. Also, the Tories have been rumbled,


in that for the last few months they have been trying to run this line


that they are going to be tough on green taxes. Actually, when you look


into the detail, there is very little scope for movement. Well, the


Lib Dems won't let them? Precisely. The Tories are trying to give the


impression they are tough on green taxes, which they implemented. They


voted for Ed Miliband's climate change policies? The irony of the


new nuclear power station that is finally going to be built between


the French EDF and the Chinese investor, the price that the


government are guaranteeing on the energy coming out of that is twice


the amount of current wholesale energy prices. It will be between


?90 and ?93. They are locking consumers into paying for that.


Whatever happens. They could be guaranteeing, we don't know the


details, it is coming out on Monday, but that could be a three decade


deal. That is really going to whack up prices. There could be a


documentary in this. Thank you. It is time for the daily quiz. Which of


these photographs is really of the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles?


Pickles on the beach? Pickles giving a speech? Pickles going to a


nursery? Pickles in the jungle? At the end of the show, they will


give us the correct answer. You will, won't you? Iain will. 40,000


texts, tweets and e-mails have been sent to immigrants that the


government believes have overstayed their welcome in Britain, asking


them to leave. It turns out, what a surprise, some of them went to the


wrong people. And, of course, we don't know how many of the intended


recipients were persuaded to return home. Politicians want to look tough


on immigration, an issue behind only the economy in terms of importance


to the public. But what do politicians really want to do about


it? Sometimes, politicians want people


to come. London was founded by pushy Italian immigrants called the


Romans. Where would we be without them? Sometimes they want them to


go. Sometimes they tell them to their face exactly what they think.


I'm afraid he has no right to be in the United Kingdom and he should


leave. But what do politicians really want to do about immigration?


You could be forgiven for being a bit baffled about what governments


of all types really think about what people... People that want to come


and live in Britain. Why the mixed messages? Essentially, it is very


difficult to be clear about immigration because, with the


public, you are looking to talk to their concerns about immigration.


With business, it is much more about the economic benefits. The messaging


is very difficult. Given that businesses do not vote, politicians


can be very keen to be on the right side of public opinion, or at least


what they think is public opinion. I think on immigration, there is a


sense that politicians, wrongly, think that the public are against


immigration. That they have views that may be the views in some of the


red tops, but are not actually shared by the public. There is a


view amongst the public that politicians do not want to discuss


the issue. Take those two things together, and you get a pretty


difficult relationship. And yet, according to pollsters, voters are


actually quite savvy about the kind of immigration politicians like and


the kind that gives them a headache. They do differentiate between


different kinds of migration. The high salaried, global, footloose


business leaders are welcomed and people do see immigration as part of


the progression of the economy, innovation. But, at the same time,


economic migrants are seen to be really problematic. Do politicians


have a bit more freedom to be frank about immigration than they think?


In the run-up to the election, Chris Grayling, we had a fabulous public


meeting. You know, we all said our bit. I think the public was


impressed that there was a large degree of consensus amongst


politicians about this issue and how to tackle it, including the problems


that are caused in some communities who are disproportionately affected.


So, maybe that public can handle the truth about immigration? The


question is whether the politicians can handle telling it.


We are joined by Atul Hatwal from pressure group Migration Matters and


Conservative MP Mark Reckless. Who do you want to come here and who do


you not want to come here? Well, I want to cut immigration, from the


two wooden 50,000 a year to less than 100,000. We are more than


halfway towards that goal. That is why constituents want to see it and


I want to get the numbers down. Some benefit from immigration, they might


get cheaper plumbers or cleaners. But most of my constituents are


competing with this immigrant labour and they wanted reduced. You want to


get the numbers down, even if there was a queue of people wanting to


come to this country that were well-educated educated, wealthy,


clearly going to be net contributors to the country, even if that was


true, and I am not saying it is, but if it was you would still want the


numbers to fall? There are schemes to allow people, and there are often


quite small numbers in that category, to come. I welcome that.


If you are a company and you want to bring somebody from overseas for


your company here, you are allowed to do that pretty flexibly as long


as they earn at least ?40,000 per year. I think that is flexible and a


good imitation brought in. There is a loophole, where you are allowed to


come in, largely with Indian IT companies, as long as you are here


for less than six months. There is a succession of these people. They


compete with domestic IT companies, who cannot compete with those labour


rates, given their skills, they undercut them and there is downwards


pressure on many IT people in my constituency who would like those


jobs. It's making life tougher, it is cutting the wages of those of us


that are already here. What would you say to that? We are getting


muddled between cause and effect. I speak to employers every week. They


are very clear, there would rather employ British citizens, who wore


that are brought up here, because it is easier in terms of bureaucracy.


What they say is that we have a really big skills problem in this


country. Just last week, the OECD had England 24th out of 25 on the


table. The choice is not between a British work and an immigrant, it is


between delivering business or not. To bolster our recovery and move


forwards, we need the employment. What would you say to that? Again,


take an example, look at the horticulture industry. We have been


bringing people from Romania and Bulgaria who are unfortunately able


to come entirely legally from January. I think the government has


made the right decision, rather than looking to the Ukraine and bringing


in more people, to end that seasonal scheme and say to the farmers


involved that they have to pay people more domestically to persuade


people to do that work. Yes, the price of strawberries may be higher.


But it means that people, domestically, get the chance of


deployment. People have not done this domestic for generations. This


is not a new thing. We always had migrant for seasonal farm work. If


people are paid enough or doing something, you tend to find that


people come forward. A Conservative Government wants to mandate the


level of wages paid? They want to stop immigrant labour undercutting


the domestic market. But they won't come for less than the minimum wage,


that is illegal. But that law is not always enforced as much as we like.


How many businesses has the government prosecuted for not paying


the minimum wage? Only a small number, I'm afraid. I'm worried


about the exemptions, people coming from EU countries, working for a


period and it is not clear they are receiving that. That is not fair to


my constituents. We should concentrate on skills and upping the


domestic labour force to make sure there is a fair chance to get those


jobs. There was a feeling under the last Labour Government, it might


have been right or wrong, but it was widespread, that immigration was out


of control. That numbers had become too big. It was impossible to absorb


and there was a huge illegal side as well. On top of the genuine asylum


seekers, on which we have a moral obligation to take, a lot of people


were calling themselves asylum seekers and they were not. It was


inevitable there would be a backlash? There is an issue about


the pace and management of change, which is different to the issue of


principle about immigration or not. The distribution of migrants in


small communities, the pressure on local public services, that is a


real is you. I think when it comes to illegal migration, more could be


done earlier, and I think one of the things that is broadly welcomed and


that the public welcome, actually, is to tackle illegal immigration


helps detoxify the debate around legal migration. But it is important


to say that, of the illegal migrants came Labour's term, from the access


and countries, they have contributed more in taxes than they have used in


public services, they have helped us drive forward growth, and our debt


today would be worse if they had not come. Is that true? I do not really


think it is, to the extent that people are coming in who are young


and who did not initially have that age limit. There may be more


pressures on schools from that group of people. As immigrants age, the


costs will get greater, but they have felt down wages in my


constituency, where otherwise there would be an opportunity to take


those jobs. For someone with an economic background, that sounds


logical - if you increase supply, the price will fall. The problem is


when you look for the hard economic analysis of this, to get the


evidence, it is quite hard to find the evidence that it is actually


happened. Do you have studies that can show this? I cannot find them. I


think since 2005, it is clear that we have seen a greater divergences


in incomes. At the lower end, the less skilled end, the end that is


competing with the people who came in under Labour, that is where wages


have been held down, and immigration is certainly a factor in that, and


my constituents would like to see less immigration and less pressure


on public services, but also they have the opportunity to get jobs.


But here is the rub. There are over 1 million people excluded from this


country, but they are in this country, and they are what some


people refer to as an underclass. They lack the skills and education


to participate, and employers and government have found it easier to


bring in young, motivated, educated people from abroad to take up the


jobs, rather than do all the heavy lifting required to get these people


out of an underclass situation into the labour force, productive members


of the community. Maybe what the position be on migrating that 1


million people to where they should be. Bare not mutually exclusive. In


the short to medium term, we need to keep businesses operating, so people


are needed. Is that the case when we have 2.5 million unemployed? That


does not preclude action on skills. Employers say to me that when they


advertise, big, small, medium, they go to colleges and schools, but when


they need a lot of labour, it is difficult to get them in, and what


action needs to be taken, that is... That is because it is easier to go


to the Walsall labour market, people who are well educated, ready to come


here, will quickly learn English, than to go into the worst part of


our cities and rescue these people and give them the training and


education necessary. That is much tougher, that is why you have even


had one supermarket in Liverpool, surrounded by unemployment, going to


Warsaw to get people, rather than trying to upgrade the people that


live within a mile of the store. I think the flurry over summer with


Next was quite instructive, because those companies are working with


local schools and colleges, and they are trying to fill the jobs that we,


but if the choice is between delivering the business or not, they


have got to get people who are going to work. That does not preclude


government taking much stronger action and making a public policy


choice that more must be spent, more focus and priority given to


training. Let me bring in our journalists. I would say that there


is a sort of falls to bait on this, because actually, you know, the EEC


put out figures this week saying that in terms of benefits and


unemployment benefits, actually, migrants from the EU, it was less


than 3%, it was 38,000, less than 38,000. I think what has happened in


the public space is that we are having this debate that demonises


migrants, instead of having a debate about what the benefits and cons,


and I think we need to strip away the politics of it, and actually


talk about the economics of it, because you know, you are talking


about this idea that you stop migration and stop seasonal labour,


but then if everyone puts up the price of carrots, strawberries,


potatoes, then you are going to have a government in a cost of living


crisis, pushing consumers Bill bills when they go to the supermarket. My


constituents want to see immigration reduced, and if that means you pay a


few more pence for your strawberries, my constituents get a


better chance to access jobs, I think that is positive. It is not


the unemployment benefit, it is often in work benefits, and as far


as people from Romania or Bulgaria are concerned, we give generous in


work benefits to families with children, and tens of thousands of


people are sending back their child benefit to children resident in


Poland. I want to put a stop to that. It is very difficult for the


parties to deal with this subject, because there is a strand of opinion


which believes that the matter what the mainstream parties say, they


believe they have been lied to over the last 20 or 30 years about


immigration. It is difficult for the mainstream parties to reach those


people. UKIP are reaching them. I will be fascinated to see which of


the mainstream parties is first to reach out to immigrants. I mean, we


are talking about future immigration here, but we have gone through an


enormous process of demographic and social change, and senior


politicians in either of the main parties, how much time they spend


studying who immigrants are, who have been here, staying here, making


a contribution, what do they want, what other instincts? A large number


of them might actually have Conservative instincts, they are


people who work out. We need to move on. Very briefly, are you confident


you will hit this target of getting that immigration under 100000 by


2015? We are on track, it is difficult... I am worried about


Bulgaria and Romania, I went out there, I think we want to discourage


it as much as we can. By telling them how horrible it is here. We


just have to hit that target, we said we would could immigration to


tens of thousands to restore trust in politics, and we need to do


everything we can to hit that. Now, the Government's controversial


plans to replace 20,000 regular soldiers with 30,000 reservists has


suffered a setback in the Commons. MPs voted in favour of a backbench


motion urging ministers to delay the army shake-up until it has been


shown that the plan is financially viable. A leaked MOD report has said


that the army faces increased risk to its structure and operational


capability and is recruiting just have the number of reservists it


needs. This is a flavour of the debate.


We have great difficulty, those of us that served and have seen our


comrades in action, we have great difficulty in accepting change. I


don't like it. I will fight tooth and nail to keep the Royal Regiment


of Fusiliers and the other battalions. But sometimes we are


going to have to accept that we can't. That is why people like me,


and other honourable members, honourable and gallant members on


all sides of the house, are fighting so hard for their local battalions


and regiments. I actually think that the whole plan about the Army


Reserve is a good plan. I know a great many serving reservists in my


constituency who are both excited and infused about their role in a


fully manned, 30,000 strong force which will ensure that they and


other people in the future can really make their contribution to


the British Army. The 2nd Battalion and the 1st Battalion, Royal


Regiment of Fusiliers are very close to my heart, my dad having been a


member of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers during and before the


Second World War. And I am just wondering what the ministry and what


the ministers want out of our defence forces, because one of the


battalions to be axed, the 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of


Fusiliers, are known as daring in all, and wherever the Fusiliers have


deployed, they have proved capable of meeting the challenge with


courage, determination and the will to win. That is on the army website.


It is true, there have been some issues in the process. It is too


bureaucratic, as some of my honourable friend have pointed out.


However, we are working with our recruiting partner and senior army


leadership to actively address these issues, and I believe we can work


through them, simplify the system and meet the objective. One is not


saying, scrap the reservists plans. In many respects, one wants them to


work. What one is saying is that there comes a point in any project


where, if you have to keep throwing extra cost into a plan, because it


is failing, because recruitment targets cannot be met, because costs


are rising, because TA numbers are at a low ebb and there is


disorganisation, when you throw more and more money into such a project,


there comes a point when you have got to say, is this project is


creating false economies? And therefore costing the taxpayer dear?


Well, one asked the Ministry of Defence for an interview but one was


told no-one was available! We can talk to Bob Stewart, a former army


colonel, commander of the UN forces in Bosnia, he has changed his tie


since yesterday, you have got more than one! For a surprise, the plan


to hire a lot more surprises is not -- more reservists is not working.


They are getting less than half the reservists they thought. We were


guaranteed, Andrew, in 2011 by the then Defence Secretary in the House


of Commons that regular battalions, regular units would not go until the


viability and the cost effectiveness of the reserve plan was shown to be


working. Neither of those things seem to be on target at the moment.


But in the public domain, there is endless talk about military cuts,


cuts to the army, the army being cut to its lowest numbers since the


volume, sending out an image that this is a declining part of our


society, so why would you be surprised that people do not want to


join what is seen to be in decline to me I am not surprised, I am not


surprised at all. I did not mean you personally, I meant the government.


Well, the government may be a little surprised. We are going to get rid


of four infantry battalions by the end of 2015. On the wildest, most


generous estimate, these 30,000 reservists will not be available


until 2018. That is a three-year gap, and all were asking us to say,


look, the problem is this, we will keep these battalions until the plan


proves to be worthwhile and cost-effective, and cost-effective


as well, because it will work if you just keep checking money at it. If


you keep throwing money at it, it will eventually work, but what about


the cost effectiveness of its? Why do we have these people when it is


cheaper to have regulars? But this is a government which is going to


reside over a ten-year gap in the navy having no aircraft carriers,


and it will have one with no planes. Why would you expect the army to


have a gap between losing its regiments and getting the reservists


in? This is par for the course, this is how defence policy is run these


days. I am not quite as cynical as you, I think we will have aeroplanes


on those aircraft carriers, they are working on it now. I agree, we will


have a problem paying for them. We will have a problem manning it, we


will have a problem, but we need those aircraft carriers. But we also


need our infantry battalions to stay at least until the viability of the


reserve plan is proven. What would you like the government to do? Stop


those four battalions being scrapped by the end of next year, the cars


that is one way of doing it. Just put them on hold, we are not saying


it will not work, maybe it will, I hope it does in a way, but I do not


want to see regular troops go, leaving us with a big capability gap


between 2015 and 2018, when we have got enough problems in defence. We


have not even got maritime air cover out to the area we are meant to


cover in the North Atlantic, which is 1400 nautical miles. We can go


out to 240 miles, we have to ask the French, the Portuguese and Spanish


for aircraft. We scrapped the nimrods. I understand the logic for


that, there is a big problem in defence, and on the other hand you


would ask me, I will not put words in your mouth, which Buddhist killer


hospitals would you like to start building? Which schools would you


stop? It is an opportunity cost, but I am saying that it is not that


much, too expensive to keep these battalions on until the plan is


proven, which we were promised in the House of Commons by the then


Defence Secretary, Liam Fox. If they hadn't spent ?4 million on nimrods


that went straight to the knackers yards, they wouldn't have that


problem. I agree. My brother is on my back practically every week about


this fact. Accountant Hammond, also the Secretary of State for defence,


is he listening to you? Of course. I am not trying to criticise Philip


Hammond. He's not doing what you want him to do. I'm criticising the


policy. He's got a problem. He inherited that plan. I don't agree


with elements of it, but I understand the logic of why it has


to happen. I would like us to buy something to replace the maritime


patrol aircraft. I would actually like some more guarantees that we


are going to be able to man and fly things off the aircraft carriers.


Iain? I think he would be unwise to be blase about it. He's been blase


since 2010 about scaling back Britain's defence capability. I


think there is a large number of Tories that are very resentful about


this and deeply worried. Actually, if you look at the numbers, take a


huge group of Tory rebels to vote with Labour, if this would in some


way, at some point in the next few months, be brought to the house then


I think David Cameron, who has a history of miscalculating and not


spotting potential rebellions, I think it is potentially significant.


I agree with that. But I think part of the problem with this programme


has been trying to get business to release people. You say this


programme, you don't mean the Daily Politics? You mean the programme to


allow employers to release people for enough time to get their


reserves? Exactly. I think they could maybe get a spike in people if


they could go back to the business groups and see if they can off in


fairness to the Minister of defence, they are putting huge effort into


that particular one. The vote yesterday, you were not


forced to be there. 92, including labour and a lot of Tories, voted


for the motion. Non-went against it. 92-0. It is a big feeling that


we should do something about this. I think there is also a bigger issue


in the defence budget. The kind of target is moving. Philip Hammond


talked a lot about cyber security and making defence for cyber


attacks. I think a lot more will have to be deployed to these kind of


invisible programmes that we don't see in terms of Italians and


soldiers. But Abe acre chunk of the budget in the next 20 years is going


to move. -- battalions. A pleasure as always. You could


always put someone from the Daily Politics into the reserve is is.


Somebody from this programme could become a reservist. That could be


positive. Have you seen our team? I've seen a couple. We are talking


about the defence of the nation, I don't think you should be so


cavalier. Well, maybe you could give some money to defence. Equalities


Minister Jo Swinson is seven months pregnant, but at to stand through


proceedings. Many people were outraged and the incident is


becoming known as seatgate. She arrives slightly late and had to


stand at the back of the chamber. If you look closely, the bottom


left-hand corner of the screen, in these pictures. She is in the pink


dress. You might think, why do we not zoom in and show you? Well, we


are not allowed to zoom in, because we cannot tamper in any way with


parliamentary footage. I promise you, she is there, standing. Later,


she moves to stand on the steps. It is a moving story. That is where she


remained for the rest of the session. Why it has become such a


big story, why is that? I have been seven months pregnant twice, let me


tell you, you want to sit down. I looked down and thought, is anybody


going to give Jo a seat? I had the same thought. She tweeted me this


morning and said she was happy to stand. I saw that. But I think the


reason that it has kind of... Sort of blown up like this, it is another


example of this slight element within politics, where women get a


slight short shrift in the chamber. To me, it strikes of... I don't


think everybody was collectively trying to be rude to her, but it is


a lack of consideration or lack of awareness. I have a point on the


tube, I always make a point to look around for a pregnant woman. But it


is not a male-female thing, whether you are a man or woman, healthy and


Rosalie Young, if you see a pregnant woman, a woman should give up her


seat as much as a man? -- relatively young. Absolutely. I think women,


once they have been pregnant, they are slightly more aware of it. But


for Jo, it is bad enough being seven months pregnant and being on show


all of the time, and then to have to be constantly in the news about


being pregnant, it must be awful for her. I'm not surprised she wanted to


kill the story. Many Tories were standing. Is the Tory party so


bereft of gentlemen that not one could say hey, Jo, have a seat? I'm


not sure that the Tory leadership is particularly down on women or does


not notice them in the chamber. I think a lot of Tory MPs would tell


you, when it comes to rudeness and ignoring people, the Tory leadership


is an equal opportunities organisation. Rude to everyone? I


remember when Cheryl Devon stood up to talk. She had a leopard-print


shirt on. The backbenchers made growling noises. And then another


MP, where they were having a conversation about whether her top


was too low. Calm down, dear. There is implicit sexism in the chamber


all the time. I'm not saying this is a sexist moment, but there is an


issue. This was a basic failure of manners. She had to let it known


that, just because she is seven months pregnant, she has not lost


the ability to stand on her feet and that is quite sexist.


That is not the case, but whether you are a man or a woman, it is


polite to offer her a seat. We had a debate about this at work today. I


found when I was pregnant that I did not want to ask people to get up for


me. It's embarrassing. Of course, she is not going to, even though she


could. Very well. It will be the debate all weekend. It is day two of


the Scottish National party conference in Perth. They will hear


from Alex Salmond. It is his last address to this particular national


conference before next year's referendum on independence in


September. This morning, Scotland Finance Minister John Swinney has


been outlining his vision for the Scottish economy in an independent


country. When people come to consider the independence question,


they will understandably want to know about the prospects for the


economy. We need to spell out the facts for the people. For the last


five years, Scotland has had to face the challenges brought about by


economic mismanagement of successive Westminster governments. Even before


the financial crash, the UK has the third-largest structural budget


deficit in the developed world. After five years of austerity, with


another five years to come, the UK has not paid down the deficit and


household incomes have fallen. The UK deficit is now ?121 billion. As


part of the UK, every person in Scotland is paying the bill, paying


the price for Westminster's mismanagement. When our opposition


say that Scotland cannot afford to be independent because we might have


to pay off some debts, let's remember who built up the debt.


Let's remember how much of our oil wealth they squandered, running up


that debt. Let's remember how much they are borrowing to pay off their


debt. Let's remember that, if Scotland votes no, we will be


saddled with UK debt, UK debt they have run out for many, many years to


come. So, the Scots may know how to


celebrate their Scottish identity, but what about the English? New


polling out today from a think tank called British Future shows that


only 40% of the snow that St George's Day is the 23rd of April.


71% can name the date of the US Independence Day. That is despite


the fact that 40% of people living in England feel more English and


British. 61% want to see the flag of St George flown more widely across


England. We asked some English people and one South African.


Do you consider yourself to be British? Yes. What about English?


Both. I think we should celebrate St George's Day as a public holiday. Do


you think we celebrate being English? No, and when we do, we do


the wrong thing, by going to the pub. Do you celebrate St George's


Day? I go to the pub. Do you celebrate being English? St George's


Day? Yes. Do you know when it is? I don't. We come together for sporting


events, when needed. When do you consider yourself to be British? Not


at all. I am proudly South African. But I do love London. It's a nice


place. I used to work in the building industry, everybody


celebrated St Patrick's Day. Irish people have a good knees up. People


probably see the British, St George, the Cross flag, as something


which is a bit scary. A bit English. Do you know when St George's Day is?


No. Do you know when US Independence Day is? 4th of July. Obviously


well-educated. We are joined now by Matthew Rhodes from British Future.


Isn't part of the issue, the United Kingdom, in terms of size, is


unbalanced. England is so much bigger than the other constituent


parts, even bigger than all of them put together. So, when the English


say they are English, they really mean they are British?


Historically, I think Englishness and Britishness have been confused.


When the Scots say they are Scottish, they say they are Scottish


and British? I think they have been fused together for a long time. We


are quite good in England as seeing England as being connected with


sport. I was at the match the other week and you felt Englishness there,


you felt proud to be endless. But I think we have been a 90 minute


nation when it has come to Englishness. There has been a


change, there is more Englishness in the stadium. If you look at England


winning the World Cup in 1966, if you look around there and it is a


sea of union flags. A sea of the British flag. You go now, and it is


the St George 's Cross? That is right, the big change was Euro 96.


The St George's Park was reclaimed as a benign and patriotic, open and


inclusive symbol. I think it is interesting, what we found was that


English should be celebrated more through St George's Day, being


emphasised more, and the fact that if it was a bank holiday and would


help. They just want another bank holiday! I think the politicians


often found it difficult to talk about this. Ed Miliband had a crack


last year and then went strangely quiet. That is why we want a


festival of Englishness, not a conference or seminar. Lots of


culture, lots of politics, musicians, authors, playwrights, a


sports panel. It is really something to celebrate, to talk about


celebrating being English rather than analysing it. Isn't it


inevitable that the Scots, the Welsh, the Northern Irish, they will


fight to preserve their identity. The English do not have to do that,


they are 85% of Britain? Yes, and also, I quite liked the fact that we


English people do not actually feel the need to celebrate being English.


They welcome all of these people from all over the world into their


country and they are relaxed about it. The problem with the whole Saint


Georges flag is, historically, it has been a really negative symbol. I


do agree that it is maybe good to reclaim that. But I'm very happy for


Englishness to stay in the stadium. And just be British? Absolutely, it


doesn't even occur to me, being English. As always, the Scots are to


blame. Over the past 30 years at Billy Bragg or so, the Scots have


thought of themselves as more Scottish. They don't sing the


British national anthem, they sing the Scottish album. You would never


see a union flag at a Scottish international match. You only see


the St Andrews like. As the Scots have made them feel more Scottish


and perhaps less British, we will find out by how much in a years


time, naturally, the initial going to say, all right, I think we should


be a bit more English? The Scots have been banging on about national


identity for 40 years now. I was there any Euro 96, as a Scotland


fan, when Gascoigne scored that regrettably brilliant goal. I was


struck that day by seeing, the first time I have seen at Wembley, that


many crosses of St George. At the time, I thought, this is bound to


end up having a political manifestation of some sort. And it


hasn't. I think the reason for that is, actually, you have to understand


house attic Scottish society has been an Welsh society. England, in


the last 20 or 30 years, has gone through a social demographic


revolution. We were talking about immigration and it is really


transforming England in ways we were only just beginning to understand.


Scotland has stayed homogenous. Very few immigrants. Culturally, it is


inward looking. Many of my countrymen would deny that. But


England, I think the question of what is Englishness is still


evolving at high speed and is very unclear. If the English want to feel


more English, and I think they do for the reasons we have given,


nothing wrong with that, it does make Britishness more of the


umbrella concept, because you do not hear immigrants calling themselves


English - they call themselves British, they are immigrants to


Britain, because they themselves regard Britain as the catchall. That


is right, I think that has historically been the case, and


Britishness has been a very civic identity because it has always been


multinational. But I think there is a rise of English self


identification amongst ethnic minority groups... Really? Yes, I


think in the polling we have done, about seven out of ten would in some


ways described English to themselves, not as a primary


identity, but it is there in the background. Interesting, a


generational change. And there is life left in Team GB, Mo Farah and


Chris Hoy on the same team. We had better leave it there, enjoy your


festival. 50 years ago today the country was taken by surprise when


Harold Macmillan resigned due to ill-health. The bigger shock was


still to come when the Queen invited a Conservative peer, the 14th Earl


of home, a Scottish aristocrats to form a government and become prime


Minster. This is the days when the Prime Minister is a merged from a


magic circle of grandees, there were no elections for leader. Sir Alec


Douglas-Home, as you became once you announced his peerage, and he had


won a by-election to become an MP, went on to serve for just under one


year before Labour's Harold Wilson won the 1964 election, but won by


only four seats, he just squeeze in. Douglas-Home was not cut out for the


television age, indeed he seemed to belong to another age altogether, as


Britain entered the swinging 60s. But he had his as Myra is, here is a


Barbara Cartland, a Conservative activist. -- admirers. I rather


flatter myself that I am rather clever, because when it came up, I


said he was the only possible man. He had worked with my brother on the


Imperial league, and I'd always had tremendous admiration for him.


Secondly, he is one of the few people was old enough to Prime


Minister who can still talk to you, and I do not mean beatniks, but the


ordinary people, understanding, trying to understand politics. What


people will do is talk in very grand words, you know, European unity, it


means absolutely nothing to the ordinary housewife who wants to know


what people are to go party is going to do for her. As you already know,


I have been appointed Prime Minister by the Queen, and there are one or


two things I would like to say to you at once. First, that my task is


to serve the whole nation. Secondly, no-one need expect any stunts from


me, merely playing straight talking. That was Alec


Douglas-Home, his first television address from Downing Street. We are


joined by the deputy editor of the Sunday Telegraph at the time,


Peregrine Worsthorne, back in the BBC studios, exactly 50 years ago to


the day he took part in a live Panorama programme on what was then


the Tory leadership crisis. Welcome back to the studio. You have been


out and -- in and out since, so let me ask you, when the Tory leadership


battle began, it was clear that Harold Macmillan was stepping down,


Alec Douglas-Home was not regarded as being on the list at the


beginning, was he? No, no, he was a surprise. And I suppose we ought to


have guessed, because he had had quite a successful party conference


speech. Yes, the famous Blackpool party conference. The famous


Blackpool conference just two days before he got the job. I remember


Rab Butler looking very disconcerted, he was expecting to


succeed himself, and it did cross my mind then, although it was difficult


to believe that Alec Douglas-Home wanted to be Prime Minister and was


going to try to have a go. But before that, as you rightly say, he


had not been on the list at all. Is it right to say... Rab Butler was


seen as the frontrunner, the apparent for a long time to Mr


Macmillan. Is it right to say that, actually, Mr MacMillan did not want


him and that was the opening for Alec Douglas-Home? I think one of


the mysteries of British politics at that time was the degree to which


Conservative Members of Parliament distrusted Rab Butler. It was partly


because he had not served in the war, which was still a major


Conservative class, there were certainly more Conservative MPs who


supported Macmillan, and most of the front bench have suffered bad wounds


in the First World War. Rab Butler had sat at home, and I think it was


judged then that he was not a man of courage, decisiveness, and you would


probably not make a good Prime Minister. I never thought he was


held with that degree of passion. I think that remains and an unsaid


question, and it cannot simply have been because he was not in the First


World War. In any case, he did arise deep scepticism about his qualities.


We are talking 1963, heading up to 1964, Britain is becoming a very


different country, the 60s are beginning to come apace, all the


changes that would imply, and here the Conservatives pick the 14th Earl


of Home, who seems out of kilter with the times. The Tories will have


been in power for 13 years by the time 19 624 comes around, Labour has


chosen the grammar school boy, the Economist with a first from Oxford


in Mr Wilson. And yet the Tories lose by only four seats, it is a


remarkable result. That was the wisdom of the British people, to


elect people from the class that were trained to be politicians from


the word go. It was still a possibility, it isn't now, but you


and I crossed swords on whether it should be. We have indeed, I have


still got the scars! So I just think it is surprisingly Labour did not


win by a lot more. Yes. I think Alec Douglas-Home must take a lot of


credit. You knew him. Yes, journalists talk about knowing


politicians, it is a very false claim, really, you know them for a


particular reason, a limited reason, so I did not really know him in a


proper way. Let me bring Iain in, Alec Douglas-Home emerged from this


bizarre, almost like choosing a Pope, it was, because at least there


is a vote among the Cardinals. Iain Macleod, in a famous article in the


Spectator, described it as a magic circle of Tory grandees, nearly all


of whom had gone to Eton and were related. It brought the end of this


way of choosing a Tory leader, the next leader was elected. Guess, he


was elected from a very different background, then Thatcher followed.


I am reminded, though, that there are themes that run through this


that still concern you in Conservative politics. Very often,


when the Conservative Party is choosing a leader, it chooses a


leader to stop somebody else. So they chose Alec Douglas-Home to stop


Rab Butler, Heseltine has to be stopped, Clark, who was the natural


Conservative leader, revive their fortunes never got to do it because


the party wanted to stop him. I am too young to remember! Final word


from you. If Macmillan at... I think Macmillan's government was very much


of the old guard, and people like the newcomers, who were not part of


that world, like Iain Macleod, to put up with Macmillan, if one of


them had got chosen, I think that the system of giving the upper-class


sort of priority as an advantage, because they had it in their bones


to govern, which I think the present political setup greatly lacks.


Politicians are not drawing on that. Cameron was not born to it?


Cameron, I think, is a sort of exception. Cameron has to pretend


not to be part of that world. He used to be, but he has to pretend


not to be from the upper-class, if you like, but in the old days not to


belong to that was a disadvantage. In any case, these are deep waters.


And remember, Mr Wilson won by four seats, but the following day China


detonated the bomb, and many people thought that if it had happened on


election day, Alec Douglas-Home may well have won. Fascinating. If you


want to see more about him becoming Prime Minister, BBC Parliament is


running a special programme from eight o'clock tomorrow evening.


These programmes are always great fun to watch. Back to this week and


the rest of the political news in just 60 seconds.


The Chancellor has been to China, where his big takeaway was


investment in British nuclear power. Look who he bumped into, Boris,


quoting literature. Who was Harry Potter's first girlfriend? What?


That is right! A Chinese overseas student! Also travelling, Hillary


Clinton was in London. She got the welcome given to many


out-of-towners, a parking ticket. Maybe the US will be able to pay it


after Congress finally voted to raise the country's debt ceiling,


ending the government shutdown. Lasting much longer, plebgate, the


police watchdog issued a report that was highly critical of some of the


officers involved. Finally, a boardroom over the badger cull, a


pilot programme in Gloucestershire admits its target for the number of


critters killed by half, at least it is another excuse to play that clip


of the environment Secretary. The badgers have moved the goalposts!


Those cunning badgers, always moving the goalposts. Just time to find out


the answer to the quiz, four pictures of the real Eric Pickles,


what is going on in all the others? Elizabeth, you said you knew. I said


Iain new! It is definitely on the beach. What is the right answer? The


rest of them are cardboard cutouts, he has travelled the world with a


student, a cardboard cutout. Eric Pickles, the real man, not the


cardboard cutout, he will be my guest on Sunday politics this


weekend. I hope you can join me on BBC One, Sunday morning. That is it


for today, thank you to my guests, the one o'clock news is starting on


BBC One. Join us next week, bye-bye!


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