28/10/2013 Daily Politics


28/10/2013

Jo Coburn is joined by Liz Peace of the British Property Federation. With all the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Afternoon, welcome to the Daily Politics and a windy Westminster,

:00:00.:00:08.

where earlier the storm of St Jude hit the heart of Government. A

:00:09.:00:15.

collapsed crane on the roof of the Cabinet Office caused the Deputy

:00:16.:00:18.

Prime Minister to cancel his monthly press conference. St Jude's the

:00:19.:00:29.

patron saint for lost causes. But don't worry, today's programme

:00:30.:00:30.

isn't. -- isn't one of them. Afternoon, we've made it on air,

:00:31.:01:04.

despite the travel disruption. Many commuters today are facing hellish

:01:05.:01:07.

delays which, coincidently, is what they could be condemned to if the

:01:08.:01:11.

proposed High Speed 2 rail line is not built. That's the finding of a

:01:12.:01:16.

government-commissioned report out this week. MPs are due to vote on

:01:17.:01:23.

the project on Thursday. The trial's begun of former Sun

:01:24.:01:26.

editor Rebekah Brooks and David Cameron's former communications

:01:27.:01:28.

chief, Andy Coulson, over phone hacking charges.

:01:29.:01:41.

I'm a person with crazy hair, quite a good sense of humour, don't know

:01:42.:01:46.

much about politics, I'm ideal. We will ask if anyone cares what this

:01:47.:01:51.

man thinks about politics. And will the advent of Mystic Ed and

:01:52.:01:55.

his Crystal Balls herald the arrival of American-style attack

:01:56.:01:58.

advertising? All that in the next hour. And with

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us for the first half of today's programme is Liz Peace, who's chief

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executive of the British Property Federation. Liz has battled her way

:02:06.:02:08.

through the storm all the way from Hampshire to make it here. We are

:02:09.:02:17.

very grateful. You are welcome. Now, first today, let's talk about the

:02:18.:02:20.

weather, because you're lucky we're on air today if the rest of

:02:21.:02:23.

Westminster is anything to go by. Here's Whitehall just before nine

:02:24.:02:26.

o'clock this morning. Not a mandarin in sight after that collapsed crane

:02:27.:02:30.

on the roof of the Cabinet Office. And it's not just Westminster that's

:02:31.:02:33.

faced stormy conditions. Tragically, two people have died as a result of

:02:34.:02:36.

the bad weather, both killed by falling trees Over a quarter of a

:02:37.:02:40.

million homes are without power, rail services across much of

:02:41.:02:42.

southern Britain have been cancelled, houses have been flooded

:02:43.:02:45.

and the helter-skelter at Clacton Pier in Essex has blown down. Winds

:02:46.:02:51.

of 99 miles per hour were recorded at Needles Old Battery, Isle of

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Wight. Weather forecasters say the storm is almost over in the UK.

:02:55.:02:58.

Earlier the Prime Minister had this to say.

:02:59.:03:05.

Everyone has two act on the basis of the evidence they are given and the

:03:06.:03:10.

information they are given, everyone has two work closely together to

:03:11.:03:14.

deal with the storm. We will be able to look back afterwards and see if

:03:15.:03:17.

people made the right decisions, but what matters now is working together

:03:18.:03:22.

and getting things back to normal. Lives, how did you get here? I

:03:23.:03:29.

normally rely on South West trains, and they were absolutely stuffed

:03:30.:03:35.

this morning. What I did discover, looking at their first rate Twitter

:03:36.:03:38.

feed, there were 29 trees across the network. I woke up thinking, what

:03:39.:03:47.

storm? I was one of the doubters. But I realised that it probably was

:03:48.:03:52.

a storm. I feel sorry for these people trying to run the

:03:53.:03:55.

infrastructure, because they can't afford to take risks. If they ran a

:03:56.:03:59.

train prematurely and something went wrong, they would be purely and, so

:04:00.:04:04.

I don't blame them for playing it safe, so we battled in by car where,

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by and large, the roads were well at a very quiet. And the winds were not

:04:10.:04:17.

too high? -- the roads were relatively quiet. On the roads, lots

:04:18.:04:24.

of loose branches, but I suspect the railways are in cuttings with a lot

:04:25.:04:28.

of overhanging trees, if you get a bit of wind, they come down. Even if

:04:29.:04:34.

you predict the storm, you can't predict where trees are going to

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fall, you can't have somebody standing with a chainsaw along

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hundreds of miles of train truck, so you have to react when it happens.

:04:43.:04:49.

-- hundreds of miles of train track. I listen to interviews yesterday

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with people from energy companies or in the industry, they hoped there

:04:55.:04:56.

would not be widespread loss of power, there are 270,000 homes. You

:04:57.:05:02.

think more should be done to protect power lines? I think it is part of a

:05:03.:05:10.

broader infrastructure debate. A lot of UK infrastructure is extremely

:05:11.:05:14.

creaky. The more modern power supplies are underground cables.

:05:15.:05:19.

Touch wood, that is what we have, and it is fine. It is about how you

:05:20.:05:24.

pay with the replacement of the infrastructure. But on the whole, we

:05:25.:05:28.

don't get extreme weather events that often compared to other places

:05:29.:05:32.

in the world, so how much money are we prepared to spend two in sure

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against a one in 300 days event. -- to spend to ensure against? I have

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heard people moaning about how badly at airports function, and somebody

:05:51.:05:56.

who is American said that Chicago closes down when there is no.

:05:57.:05:59.

On Thursday MPs will vote again on the High Speed Rail Bill. There's

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talk of a significant Conservative rebellion and, whilst Labour say

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they'll support the bill at this stage, they're worried about the

:06:06.:06:08.

escalating costs. So is there an alternative which would be better

:06:09.:06:11.

value for money? In June the Transport Secretary announced that

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the overall cost of HS2 would be higher than previously expected. The

:06:15.:06:19.

estimated maximum price has gone up from ?34.2 billion to ?42.6 billion,

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plus a further ?7.5 billion for new trains. That has led Labour to

:06:23.:06:33.

question its support for the scheme. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls says he

:06:34.:06:37.

is not prepared to write a blank cheque, and David Cameron said at

:06:38.:06:41.

the weekend that it might not go ahead without cross-party support.

:06:42.:06:46.

But now a new report for Network Rail has warned that the

:06:47.:06:49.

alternatives to a new high speed line would have their own problems.

:06:50.:06:53.

Upgrading the East and West Coast lines, along with the Midlands

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mainline, would be expensive and would cause massive disruption There

:06:57.:06:59.

would have to be weekend line closures for approximately 14 years

:07:00.:07:07.

whilst the work was done. Supporters of HS2 say this bolsters the case

:07:08.:07:18.

for the Government plan. We are joined now by Conservative MP

:07:19.:07:25.

Nadhim Zahawi, and hopefully Kelvin Hopkins from Labour. What do you

:07:26.:07:31.

think about these alternatives? If we look at the details, and we will

:07:32.:07:36.

get more this week, the job you would need to do would mean 14 years

:07:37.:07:42.

of weekend closures, journeys to Leeds increasing from two hours to

:07:43.:07:46.

four and a half hours, journeys from Huntington to Peterborough doubling

:07:47.:07:53.

to an hour. Even the alternatives require knocking down some homes.

:07:54.:07:58.

What about the cost? It could be much cheaper. They are talking about

:07:59.:08:04.

?20 billion. The less time West Coast Main Line was patched up cost

:08:05.:08:10.

about ?7 billion, the ?20 billion would probably only by you about a

:08:11.:08:16.

third more capacity. We have gone up to 125 million train journeys in

:08:17.:08:21.

recent years, a significant row. We have to make hard choices. We have

:08:22.:08:25.

to go for more capacity. This is where I find the Labour position be

:08:26.:08:30.

be puzzling, Lord Dyson, who delivered the Olympics, is in

:08:31.:08:35.

charge. -- I find the Labour position really puzzling. He says

:08:36.:08:40.

that, like with the Olympics, what UK firms can do to benefit from this

:08:41.:08:45.

investment, as there is more investment in the rest of the road

:08:46.:08:51.

and transport. The arguments seem to be with the Labour, let's see if we

:08:52.:08:56.

can make political mileage in the short-term. I think that is very

:08:57.:09:02.

unwise. Is it really neutral? It was a government commissioned report by

:09:03.:09:08.

network rail. People will view it as home-grown and scare tactics? Atkins

:09:09.:09:15.

is a serious company with an international reputation, I don't

:09:16.:09:18.

think they would put their name to a study of this kind without doing

:09:19.:09:22.

some of the work properly. All I can say to you is that from previous

:09:23.:09:26.

experience of the West Coast Main Line upgrade, these things cost

:09:27.:09:31.

money and it is massive disruption, 14 years of weekend disruption. If

:09:32.:09:36.

you take one train where you will have to provide a bus service, 500

:09:37.:09:41.

passengers, that is about eight or nine coaches, just imagine what that

:09:42.:09:46.

would do. There is a trade-off here. What do we want, how do we wanted? I

:09:47.:09:52.

think the North/ South high-speed lane is the thing, it will benefit

:09:53.:09:57.

eight of our most important cities. Of course, by definition, when you

:09:58.:10:01.

have a new high-speed rail line, inward investment would follow that

:10:02.:10:06.

transport upgrade and you would get some winners and losers. But the

:10:07.:10:10.

winners in the West Midlands and the North are bigger than down in London

:10:11.:10:14.

and the south-east. The Government will publish the business case

:10:15.:10:21.

tomorrow. Why so late? Why are we hearing all the arguments so late in

:10:22.:10:26.

the day? I think Patrick McLoughlin has tried to do a rigorous job. He

:10:27.:10:32.

was white to say that with these massive ambitious projects you are

:10:33.:10:35.

right to kick the tires. Let's not abuse the way we try to kick the

:10:36.:10:42.

tyres, let's have a debate that is constructive and objective. He has

:10:43.:10:46.

gone out of his way to make sure that the data is robust. Nobody is

:10:47.:10:51.

arguing against the capacity argument, not even Labour. Labour

:10:52.:10:55.

has to decide whether it wants to play politics or behave responsibly

:10:56.:11:02.

with cross-party consensus. Liz Peace, are you a fan of high-speed

:11:03.:11:07.

rail? I am a fan of additional capacity. So far the case has been

:11:08.:11:13.

very badly made. The fact that it is called high-speed, nobody is that

:11:14.:11:16.

fussed about knocking ten or 20 minutes off the time to Birmingham,

:11:17.:11:21.

it is important that we have new infrastructure. We can't go into the

:11:22.:11:24.

next 50 years with the railway lines we have, we need new ones. It makes

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sense to me that if you are building new ones you build them

:11:29.:11:31.

state-of-the-art, not to yesterday 's technology. Looking at the

:11:32.:11:37.

numbers, the incremental cost of moving to a high-speed system as

:11:38.:11:40.

opposed to patching up the old one or building a company can lead new

:11:41.:11:45.

parallel one is only about ten percentage difference. -- or

:11:46.:11:50.

building a completely new parallel one. I think High Speed 2 is the way

:11:51.:11:55.

to go. It is connecting the north and the South. You can come up with

:11:56.:12:00.

the rebranding. Is it worth the money? Yes. Alternatives outlined

:12:01.:12:06.

today like upgrading the other three main lines, would that not be

:12:07.:12:11.

viable? Depends how you assess viability. The idea of disrupting

:12:12.:12:19.

trouble for however long... Over 14 years, it beggars belief. We like to

:12:20.:12:23.

think of ourselves as a leading, modern country with technology, if

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we don't have a rail system, what will the rest of the world think?

:12:32.:12:36.

There is a risk of the project range are old, because within your own

:12:37.:12:41.

party perhaps up to 60 Conservative MPs will not back this. There is not

:12:42.:12:48.

cross-party support for this. The ball is firmly in Labour 's court.

:12:49.:12:53.

It is difficult for many of my colleagues. But they are wrong? They

:12:54.:13:00.

are right to fight for their constituents and to make the

:13:01.:13:03.

arguments to say, have we done enough tunnelling and cutting, have

:13:04.:13:06.

we made sure the compensation is adequate? These are people 's lives

:13:07.:13:11.

and properties, let's make sure that we do it properly. I have no truck

:13:12.:13:17.

with my colleagues standing up and speaking for constituents, I would

:13:18.:13:22.

do exactly the same. But Labour need to make their mind up. Are we going

:13:23.:13:27.

to be ambitious in delivering these big infrastructure projects for the

:13:28.:13:30.

UK, or will we say, we don't need that, we don't need better airport

:13:31.:13:34.

infrastructure, we don't need shale, let's just do non-that and

:13:35.:13:41.

let's be something different? -- let's do non-flat. Unfortunately

:13:42.:13:48.

there are technical problems with the line. Surprise, surprise. We

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could not get a Labour spokesperson. They are there, there are just

:13:55.:13:58.

technical problems. Don't say it is not because they will not come on.

:13:59.:14:02.

If you can't convince your own colleagues and you just want to

:14:03.:14:05.

blame Labour, the argument is not strong enough? The estimates are

:14:06.:14:10.

that between 30 and 60 colleagues will decide to vote against this.

:14:11.:14:15.

There are over 306 in the Conservative Party Conference so the

:14:16.:14:23.

majority think this is right. -- in the Conservative Party, so the

:14:24.:14:27.

majority think this is right. Lord Dyson, who delivered the Olympics,

:14:28.:14:31.

says he can deliver this within the envelope, which means within the

:14:32.:14:36.

budget. He is probably the best man equipped at two deliver such a

:14:37.:14:46.

project after the Olympics. Looking ahead, it will take a long time

:14:47.:14:50.

before it is online, won't this new high-speed rail be redundant? It is

:14:51.:14:55.

very difficult to envisage a country in which we don't want good rail

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travel. But we could have upgraded other connections. Will that line be

:15:02.:15:07.

the priority then? It is not shaving off 20 minutes that is important,

:15:08.:15:13.

the capacity is important. The single line that goes up to

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Manchester is bursting. It frequently gets a problem on it,

:15:17.:15:20.

once you have a problem there are delays. You need the capacity and I

:15:21.:15:23.

don't see how we can have a modern country without a modern railway.

:15:24.:15:28.

Even the Americans are going for high speed. We now have the Labour

:15:29.:15:37.

MP. You may or may not have been able to hear what Nadhim Zahawi was

:15:38.:15:42.

saying, but he says that without cross-party support, HS2 is

:15:43.:15:46.

derailed? Hello? I have lost you, I am afraid. Can usually me now? I can

:15:47.:15:52.

hear you, but you are breaking up. What is Labour going to do? Should

:15:53.:16:00.

Labour support the line? I have come here to support the freight route

:16:01.:16:03.

scheme which will take freight off the main lines and 5 million lorries

:16:04.:16:10.

off the road as well each year. That will free up those lines for more

:16:11.:16:14.

passengers. On the West Coast Main Line, my engineer friends tell me

:16:15.:16:18.

that modernised signalling would allow for more passenger routes

:16:19.:16:21.

through, more passenger frequency, and the other lines are easily

:16:22.:16:26.

modifiable in a relatively short time as well. The report here

:16:27.:16:31.

clearly says that any alternative to HS2 is actually not all it is

:16:32.:16:37.

cracked up to be, you would have to thousands 700 weekend closures

:16:38.:16:40.

lasting 14 years, and there would still be billions in terms of costs

:16:41.:16:44.

of the upgrades. That 2700. That is nonsense, it is just a scare story.

:16:45.:16:50.

The East Coast Main Line could be modernised without interrupting

:16:51.:16:52.

traffic at all. We want to build another viaduct, a flyover at

:16:53.:17:00.

Peterborough, and another at Newark, increasing the line from two up two

:17:01.:17:07.

four tracks between Huntingdon and Peterborough. That is what needs to

:17:08.:17:11.

be done, then we could get 140 mph working for most of the route and do

:17:12.:17:16.

London to Edinburgh in a shorter time than is proposed for HS2. Do

:17:17.:17:20.

you want and are you lobbying Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to withdraw

:17:21.:17:25.

support from this scheme? Well, I am just expressing a view, I am not

:17:26.:17:30.

lobbying them about that. What I am lobbying about is the freight route,

:17:31.:17:33.

which is a dedicated route from the Channel Tunnel to the Glasgow. What

:17:34.:17:39.

is your problem with HS2? I think it is a necessary and extremely

:17:40.:17:43.

expensive, and the money would be much better spent investing in all

:17:44.:17:48.

sorts of other railway projects, including GB Freight, and

:17:49.:17:52.

modernising the East Coast, west coast and Midland mainline is, and

:17:53.:17:54.

indeed promoting another line from Paddington to Birmingham to make

:17:55.:18:00.

extra capacity on that route. So it is just a scare tactic, Nadhim

:18:01.:18:04.

Zahawi, saying we would have to spend equal amounts of money and

:18:05.:18:07.

have all that disruption when you could just upgrade the lines without

:18:08.:18:11.

HS2. Well, Kilburn talks about Huntingdon to Peterborough, and that

:18:12.:18:17.

would double the time to get there in terms of an hour while the

:18:18.:18:21.

upgrades are taking place. According to a serious firm, Atkins, and

:18:22.:18:26.

Network Rail, to get a third of the capacity, which does not address the

:18:27.:18:30.

problem, we have already begun investment. The Manchester to

:18:31.:18:34.

Scotland line is being electrified, we are spending an additional 56

:18:35.:18:39.

billion on top of the 17 billion that will be spent up to 2021 on

:18:40.:18:43.

HS2. That is on other transport upgrades. The idea that you could

:18:44.:18:47.

spend more money differently, I think, is wrong. Labour need to put

:18:48.:18:51.

up a better spokesman and come and explain why they are, you know,

:18:52.:18:55.

effectively casting a shadow over a very important project for business.

:18:56.:18:59.

Hard-working businessmen and women watching a programme of thinking,

:19:00.:19:04.

why Labour doing this? He said he was not lobbying, that is just his

:19:05.:19:08.

view. Thank you very much, Kelvin Hopkins, for getting onto the

:19:09.:19:09.

programme. The trial has begun of Rebekah

:19:10.:19:17.

Brooks and Andy Coulson. Both face charges, which they deny, arising

:19:18.:19:21.

from the phone hacking affair. Our correspondent Robin Brant is outside

:19:22.:19:24.

the Old Bailey, what is happening today, then, Robin? Well, it is

:19:25.:19:30.

technically the beginning of the trial, a trial that, we are told,

:19:31.:19:36.

could last some time. The two people you just mentioned arrived here at

:19:37.:19:39.

the entrance to the Old Bailey about three hours ago, they arrive

:19:40.:19:43.

separately, of course, Rebekah Brooks arriving with her husband,

:19:44.:19:47.

also one of the people facing trial today, and a little later Andy

:19:48.:19:52.

Coulson arrived on foot. They are among the eight people facing trial

:19:53.:19:56.

here. The others are Ian Edmondson, Stuart Kuttner, Clive Goodman,

:19:57.:20:01.

Cheryl Carter and Mark Hanna. They face an array of charges. For

:20:02.:20:05.

Rebekah Brooks, formerly the editor of the News of the World, for three

:20:06.:20:10.

years until 2003, and went on to be in charge of News International, she

:20:11.:20:14.

faces conspiracy to intercept communications, she faces two

:20:15.:20:18.

charges of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office in

:20:19.:20:22.

relation to allegations of corrupt payments to people in public

:20:23.:20:25.

office, and she also faces two charges of conspiracy to pervert the

:20:26.:20:30.

course of justice. That is in relation to allegations of

:20:31.:20:32.

concealing or removing potential evidence. When it comes to Andy

:20:33.:20:36.

Coulson, the man who was also the editor of the News of the World for

:20:37.:20:41.

four years until 2007, and went on to be the Prime Minister's director

:20:42.:20:44.

of communications, both in opposition and in Downing Street, he

:20:45.:20:48.

also faces that overarching charge of conspiracy to intercept

:20:49.:20:53.

communications, and then two separate charges of conspiracy to

:20:54.:20:57.

commit misconduct in a public office. So the trial starts today,

:20:58.:21:01.

technically, although I think what we have today is the selection of

:21:02.:21:05.

the jury from a vast pool of up to about 80 people, and then the

:21:06.:21:09.

proceedings proper, I suppose, as we would refer to it, with opening

:21:10.:21:13.

statements and the prosecution may start tomorrow, but probably more

:21:14.:21:18.

likely Wednesday. Now, it is becoming harder and

:21:19.:21:21.

harder to get on the property ladder in London. In the past year alone,

:21:22.:21:25.

house prices in the capital increased by almost 9%, and many

:21:26.:21:29.

blaming foreign investors for pricing ordinary families out of

:21:30.:21:33.

housing market. Overseas buyers see London real estate as a safe place

:21:34.:21:41.

to invest their cash. So our foreign investors to blame for house price

:21:42.:21:45.

inflation? If so, what should be done about it? Eleanor Garnier has

:21:46.:21:51.

been investigating. This is luxury living, high

:21:52.:21:57.

ceilings, a touch of marble, slumped to perfection. London properties

:21:58.:22:01.

like this are a place for the world's millionaires to move their

:22:02.:22:06.

money and make more, a safe investment in a turbulent economic

:22:07.:22:09.

world, and it is turning property in our capital into a global reserve

:22:10.:22:16.

currency. We have just bought this house onto the market at ?6.75

:22:17.:22:21.

million. We marketed one year ago, we would have been asking closer to

:22:22.:22:25.

6 million, perhaps 6.25 million. The reason is that we have seen prices

:22:26.:22:30.

going up by around 7%. It is a familiar story across the capital.

:22:31.:22:37.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in the

:22:38.:22:41.

year to August, house prices in the capital shot up by 8.7%. One agency

:22:42.:22:47.

is recently reported that asking prices went up by more than 10% in a

:22:48.:22:52.

month. It is fuelling fears of a housing bubble and making London

:22:53.:22:57.

increasingly unaffordable for many. A high level of international

:22:58.:23:02.

interest, some agents report 50% of purchases coming from overseas. With

:23:03.:23:05.

their affordability being greater than the domestic buyer, that is

:23:06.:23:08.

pushing up prices, so the choice for the domestic buyers are to move

:23:09.:23:11.

further out or really stretched their levels of borrowing to the

:23:12.:23:15.

levels that are unsustainable. It is not just the influence of foreign

:23:16.:23:19.

buyers and the influx of immigrants that is sucking up supply. There are

:23:20.:23:24.

many factors - strong cultural desire to own homes rather than

:23:25.:23:29.

rent, more people living alone, and the Help To Buy scheme are all

:23:30.:23:33.

sighted. Close to the capital, in the south-east, the ripple effect is

:23:34.:23:37.

being felt. Elsewhere across England, Wales and Northern Ireland,

:23:38.:23:42.

house prices are rising, albeit far more slowly. In Scotland, they are

:23:43.:23:48.

falling. London's mayor, Boris Johnson, welcomes overseas

:23:49.:23:51.

investment. He believes the solution to high prices and short supply is

:23:52.:23:57.

to build more. But there is pressure on politicians for radical steps to

:23:58.:24:03.

help average income earners. We need restrictions on foreign capital

:24:04.:24:06.

coming in, as they have in Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland,

:24:07.:24:09.

many countries, and we need to make sure that council tax is much more

:24:10.:24:13.

applicable compares to how much house prices actually are, because a

:24:14.:24:17.

mansion in Kensington and Chelsea pays less council tax than an

:24:18.:24:21.

ordinary house in Stoke-on-Trent, that is not acceptable. New homes

:24:22.:24:27.

are still springing up across the capital's skyline. The concern,

:24:28.:24:30.

though, is that they are serving the appetite of rich investors, rather

:24:31.:24:34.

than helping to meet the drastic shortage of affordable housing.

:24:35.:24:40.

And the Shadow Housing Minister, Emma Reynolds, is here, welcome to

:24:41.:24:44.

the programme. Is foreign ownership to blame for the recent house price

:24:45.:24:50.

inflation? It probably is contributing, but actually I do not

:24:51.:24:53.

think in the end it is something that we are going to be able to curb

:24:54.:24:56.

or limit, because the problem is, if you did not have this foreign

:24:57.:25:00.

investment, a lot of the schemes would not get off the ground, so we

:25:01.:25:03.

would be building even less than we do at the moment. I think a lot of

:25:04.:25:07.

the foreign investment is far more of an issue in the very centre of

:25:08.:25:11.

London, and in the goober prime, rather than some of the... Although

:25:12.:25:17.

it is having a ripple effect, pushing prices to the outer boroughs

:25:18.:25:21.

as well. I am not sure we have got fully another evidence of that. The

:25:22.:25:25.

obsession with London is very much in the centre for overseas buyers.

:25:26.:25:30.

There are other things that are driving up house prices elsewhere,

:25:31.:25:34.

you know, lack of supply, the Help To Buy scheme up to a point. I think

:25:35.:25:39.

it is a very complex picture, it is too quick and simple to say, blame

:25:40.:25:43.

the overseas buyers, do something to curb them. Although in that film,

:25:44.:25:48.

one of the contributors said 50% of interest in homes in central London,

:25:49.:25:53.

over the ?2 million mark, came from overseas, so the anecdotal evidence

:25:54.:25:57.

is there. But that is not going to hugely affect the first-time buyer,

:25:58.:26:01.

like my young son, looking for a house. He's not looking for a ?2

:26:02.:26:05.

million flat, he is looking for a much more reasonable level.

:26:06.:26:10.

Interestingly, about 49% of the over ?1 million properties go to overseas

:26:11.:26:16.

buyers, and 28% of them, only 28% are not resident in London. They may

:26:17.:26:20.

be foreign buyers, but they are in London. But you accept the analysis

:26:21.:26:24.

that for ordinary families, it is extremely difficult to buy a home in

:26:25.:26:28.

London. I absolutely accept that, and we have to look at ways of

:26:29.:26:33.

making it easier. Do you want to take action against foreign

:26:34.:26:40.

investors? There is more concerned about foreign investment and

:26:41.:26:42.

ownership, particularly when flats or houses are being built, and in

:26:43.:26:45.

some cases, not all, as Liz has said, being left empty, and there is

:26:46.:26:49.

a chronic shortage of supply in London, but across the country, and

:26:50.:26:53.

that is the really big issue that the Government has failed to tackle.

:26:54.:26:57.

There is a chronic shortage of supply, supply is outstripping

:26:58.:27:00.

demand, and therefore house prices are going up. We understand what the

:27:01.:27:05.

problem is, how many of these properties are being left empty,

:27:06.:27:09.

bought up by foreign investors and left empty? I think Estimates vary,

:27:10.:27:13.

so we need a more accurate assessment of the facts in terms of

:27:14.:27:17.

how many properties are being left empty. You said you could not curb

:27:18.:27:22.

it, but you could if you wanted to, you could introduce taxes or levies

:27:23.:27:27.

of foreign investors - would you like to do that? In terms of the

:27:28.:27:30.

empty properties, which is a problem, but we have to understand

:27:31.:27:34.

the percentage of the problem that is caused by that, but councils

:27:35.:27:37.

already have the power to increase the rate of council taxes on these

:27:38.:27:41.

empty properties, and Camden Council, for example, earlier this

:27:42.:27:45.

year as the Secretary of State whether they could increase that

:27:46.:27:49.

council tax even further for empty properties. Empty properties and

:27:50.:27:52.

some of those are owned by foreign investors, it is a particular

:27:53.:27:57.

problem in some areas in London. Was that a good idea? I agree that we

:27:58.:28:00.

are not clear how many are empty, I suspect it is rather less than

:28:01.:28:04.

people think. We were involved in some work in 2007 by a reputable

:28:05.:28:08.

independent researcher who said that he felt that all this business about

:28:09.:28:12.

lots of FT properties was a bit of a fallacy, something like 5% are

:28:13.:28:17.

empty. Wood July to see boroughs and councils... What I would like to see

:28:18.:28:23.

the changes to the other end of council tax. This is a sensible way

:28:24.:28:27.

of getting the right level of tax levied on the higher, more expensive

:28:28.:28:31.

properties. Is it fair that someone living in Kensington pays more

:28:32.:28:36.

council tax -- less council tax than someone living in Stoke-on-Trent?

:28:37.:28:40.

Should be councils carry out a rebranding exercise? In an ideal

:28:41.:28:46.

world, you would have that exercise, but we are not living in an ideal

:28:47.:28:50.

world, and the problem is that it costs a lot of money to revalue

:28:51.:28:53.

properties, and you would have to do it across the country, and councils

:28:54.:28:58.

are seeing very large cuts to the government grant they get, so it

:28:59.:29:03.

would have to be... Is that going to continue? We have to look at that

:29:04.:29:07.

new to the time of the general election in terms of the budget that

:29:08.:29:10.

we put forward, you know, in terms of what is in the pot, but all I am

:29:11.:29:21.

saying is that it would be great if we could do that, but it is a costly

:29:22.:29:24.

exercise. Is there something we could do like a mansion tax that

:29:25.:29:26.

would not require... That would still require rebranding, wouldn't

:29:27.:29:28.

it? You have got properties that have not been looked at for years.

:29:29.:29:34.

Only at the other end. My constituency is in Wolverhampton,

:29:35.:29:37.

and I would wager there is not a house in Wolverhampton that is over

:29:38.:29:41.

?2 million in terms of its work. Property speculation tax, that is

:29:42.:29:46.

the other thing. My concern with this is that if you take a sort of

:29:47.:29:51.

knee-jerk reaction into some sort of mansion tax, properties regulation

:29:52.:29:54.

tax, something that is aimed at overseas buyers, which would be very

:29:55.:29:57.

difficult... Or even wealthy home-grown, you will actually simply

:29:58.:30:03.

drive away a whole load of the investment. Would that really

:30:04.:30:09.

happen? Absolutely, if we do not have a degree of overseas investment

:30:10.:30:12.

in a lot of these large schemes, they won't even get off the table,

:30:13.:30:15.

because the problem is, when the companies are looking at whether to

:30:16.:30:19.

do them, they have to do an investment appraisal, they have to

:30:20.:30:22.

assess how many they will sell at what price. The fact that they can

:30:23.:30:26.

pre-sell-off plan a percentage of them is what allows them to get the

:30:27.:30:29.

finance and crack on with the scheme. If they can't do that, they

:30:30.:30:39.

won't do it. I'm not convinced. Developers and the like are driven

:30:40.:30:46.

by profit. But the Government has relaxed section 106, which means

:30:47.:30:50.

that councils can no longer demand a high percentage or a substantial

:30:51.:30:57.

amount... Demand is outstripping supply in London, why is it that

:30:58.:31:03.

there are developers sitting on land with planning permission and not

:31:04.:31:07.

building houses? Even Boris Johnson says it is a problem. That is one of

:31:08.:31:12.

the problems we need to look at. I am not convinced that foreign owners

:31:13.:31:18.

need to commence to boost things. The developers sitting on land and

:31:19.:31:22.

not using it, a game, that is something I would like to see

:31:23.:31:26.

evidence of all stop I think you will find there are parts of the

:31:27.:31:29.

house building community that would not be averse to seeing things done

:31:30.:31:34.

to tackle that. But you can't make somebody build if they are going to

:31:35.:31:38.

lose money. They are businesses, they do their investment appraisal

:31:39.:31:41.

and they must be clear that they will be able to sell and make a

:31:42.:31:45.

profit. Nothing wrong with that, if they can't make a profit they will

:31:46.:31:50.

not be in business. Thank you both. Liz Peace, I hope your journey home

:31:51.:31:54.

is not as horrendous as the journey in.

:31:55.:31:56.

So what's the political forecast for the week ahead? Better weather, I

:31:57.:32:02.

help! -- I hope! Well, this afternoon, and by pure coincidence,

:32:03.:32:05.

the transport select committee meet to discuss the UK's resilience to

:32:06.:32:08.

winter weather. All eyes will be on the Energy and Climate Change

:32:09.:32:11.

Committee tomorrow when bosses from the big six energy companies give

:32:12.:32:14.

evidence. On Wednesday, the Privy Council meets to approve a royal

:32:15.:32:17.

charter on press regulation agreed by the main political parties. On

:32:18.:32:20.

Thursday High Speed Two faces a commons vote. And on Friday the

:32:21.:32:24.

firefighters are due to strike in their dispute with the Government

:32:25.:32:26.

over pensions. I'm joined now by James Lyons from

:32:27.:32:29.

the Daily Mirror and Tamara Cohen from the Daily Mail. Welcome, both.

:32:30.:32:38.

James Lyons, energy bills continue to dominate the political agenda as

:32:39.:32:42.

energy companies continue to increase prices. MPs will be willing

:32:43.:32:47.

the energy companies, seen as the ogres in this drama. Will it be a

:32:48.:32:51.

case of them trying to outstrip each other in terms of who can be most

:32:52.:32:56.

tough? They will be turning up the heat on energy bosses, if you

:32:57.:33:01.

forgive the pun. There will be some very interesting statistics

:33:02.:33:04.

discussed which Ofgem has come up with today, which shows that four of

:33:05.:33:08.

the big six have put their prices up by an average of 9.1 present. They

:33:09.:33:12.

blame wholesale energy prices for this. In fact, Ofgem is saying that

:33:13.:33:18.

the price at which they are buying energy before they sell it has only

:33:19.:33:28.

gone up by 1.7 percentage. -- 1.7%. The plan to move part of the green

:33:29.:33:32.

levies from bills onto general taxation, that would be welcomed by

:33:33.:33:36.

the energy companies, no doubt. But the taxpayer will still be paying,

:33:37.:33:42.

whichever way you cut it? David Cameron has said he would roll back

:33:43.:33:46.

the green taxes on energy bills, and the criticism is that the government

:33:47.:33:50.

is saying that they are aggressive and the burden falls equally on

:33:51.:33:54.

everybody, whereas if part of it was brought under general taxation then

:33:55.:33:59.

it would mean that people who earn more would pay more. They say it

:34:00.:34:03.

would be more fair. The difficulty is getting this past the Liberal

:34:04.:34:08.

Democrats. The part of the green taxes that the Government is talking

:34:09.:34:13.

about is ?47 which goes to what is called the energy company

:34:14.:34:16.

obligation, which is too insulated homes which are not very

:34:17.:34:20.

energy-efficient. But there has been criticism that a lot of the money is

:34:21.:34:27.

not going to the fuel poor. There is consensus between Labour and the

:34:28.:34:31.

Liberal Democrat that the whole of the programme needs reviewing,

:34:32.:34:35.

perhaps. Games, what about the coalition? Nick Clegg seemed to

:34:36.:34:40.

suggest he would agree with part of the green levy going onto general

:34:41.:34:43.

taxation, but are there problems further down the line? -- games,

:34:44.:34:51.

what about the coalition? Interestingly, yesterday, Simon

:34:52.:34:58.

Hughes floated the idea of some sort of rebate for poorer households. I

:34:59.:35:04.

don't know whether that is something they can sign George Osborne up to

:35:05.:35:07.

win the autumn statement, that I suspect there will be something like

:35:08.:35:11.

that, something that the Lib Dems can display as a win in terms of

:35:12.:35:18.

backing down. HS2, Tamara Cohen, do you think it will go ahead or be

:35:19.:35:23.

derailed? They are voting on a paving bill -- paving bill, which

:35:24.:35:29.

allocates the money for the project. It is not the major vote when the

:35:30.:35:33.

construction begins. I suspect the Government will win the vote on

:35:34.:35:36.

Thursday, but Labour is tightening the screws in the costs and a

:35:37.:35:41.

timeline of the project, and it looks increasingly like they are

:35:42.:35:45.

looking for an excuse to pull out and have the opportunity to allocate

:35:46.:35:49.

some of that money for other project in the next manifesto, whether that

:35:50.:35:53.

be housing, social care or something else. Labour is seeing this as a

:35:54.:36:00.

political opportunity to cause maximum embarrassment to the

:36:01.:36:05.

Government? I think Tamara is right, I think the bill will go through on

:36:06.:36:09.

Thursday. But you could well see next year and opportune moment,

:36:10.:36:14.

Labour pulling the plug, people talking about maybe during the

:36:15.:36:18.

European elections, which will be tough for all three main parties. It

:36:19.:36:23.

would cause David Cameron a lot of problems if Labour pulled support

:36:24.:36:28.

them. This is a vast sum of money, ?50 billion. If you look at, for

:36:29.:36:34.

example, the social care plans that the Labour Party comes up with, that

:36:35.:36:38.

is ?2 billion a year, so Labour could fund social care for 25 years

:36:39.:36:41.

with this money. And we're joined now by three

:36:42.:36:44.

knights in shining armour who've ridden to our rescue at short notice

:36:45.:36:48.

and through the storm to be our Monday political panel - the

:36:49.:36:51.

Conservative MP Mark Field, Labour's David Lammy and the Liberal Democrat

:36:52.:36:57.

MP Tom Brake. Welcome to you all. Now to welfare, because the national

:36:58.:36:59.

roll-out of the Government's flagship welfare reform, universal

:37:00.:37:07.

credit, reaches London today. It is being introduced in Hammersmith and

:37:08.:37:10.

Fulham and replaces six existing benefits. Universal credit is being

:37:11.:37:12.

phased in more slowly than ministers planned because of IT problems. Are

:37:13.:37:21.

you disappointed? A little, but nobody said it would be easy. We all

:37:22.:37:26.

knew the sort of welfare required... Reforms that would be

:37:27.:37:31.

required, I think the public and the whole political class knew that we

:37:32.:37:35.

could not go on spending that money, so I am happy delaying it. I am

:37:36.:37:41.

happier that it is delayed and we are getting it right rather than

:37:42.:37:45.

rushing into it with all sorts of problems. And you accept that the

:37:46.:37:50.

Shadow Minister Chris Bryant described universal credit as being

:37:51.:37:58.

in total chaos? It is not. We will be getting on later to why people

:37:59.:38:02.

are so detached from the political process, this name-calling is daft.

:38:03.:38:07.

Nobody said it would be easy, we would like to see things move

:38:08.:38:10.

forward more quickly and we would like to see computer systems working

:38:11.:38:15.

entirely smoothly, but a better idea is that we move ahead with what we

:38:16.:38:20.

have done on the pilot project, then we can learn some lessons for

:38:21.:38:23.

rolling this out in the years to come. Mark Field, this was the

:38:24.:38:28.

centrepiece of the welfare programme, and just 1000 people have

:38:29.:38:34.

claimed universal credit so far. For a project that will eventually

:38:35.:38:37.

include 8 million people, it sounds like we are years away? I suspect we

:38:38.:38:42.

are years away from getting it across the country, but filtering

:38:43.:38:46.

down six credits into a universal credit, making it worth your while

:38:47.:38:52.

to work - and the welfare trap is something that we feel very acutely

:38:53.:38:57.

in our constituencies in London - I hope we get it right rather than

:38:58.:39:01.

rushing it with some artificial timetable. But tens of millions have

:39:02.:39:08.

now been wasted, says the National Audit Office. Hundreds of millions

:39:09.:39:11.

are at risk of being written off because they have lost a grip on the

:39:12.:39:15.

whole project. In fairness, the National Audit Office said the money

:39:16.:39:22.

had been spent. A rather larger group of councils will be taking

:39:23.:39:27.

this forward. Hopefully we can learn a lot from the pilot process in

:39:28.:39:32.

Hammersmith and Fulham. Are you worried about what is going on in

:39:33.:39:36.

the department? Are you reassured that they have a grip? The National

:39:37.:39:41.

Audit Office said there was a good news culture, ministers not been

:39:42.:39:45.

told exactly what was going on by civil servants and them not being

:39:46.:39:49.

told about problems. Are you worried? We have some good ministers

:39:50.:39:56.

in that department. Are you being given the full picture? One MP knows

:39:57.:40:01.

a whole deal about pension reform. I hope they are drilling down and

:40:02.:40:05.

asking the difficult questions. Isn't it right to take time? Yeah,

:40:06.:40:10.

that they said it was overambitious and badly managed, they have wasted

:40:11.:40:14.

millions. They should have gone with a phased approach should, benefit by

:40:15.:40:24.

benefit. That is the intention. But six benefits are still being changed

:40:25.:40:27.

with a few hundred thousand people as a pilot, which makes me very

:40:28.:40:30.

with a few hundred thousand people worried, given we have seen the

:40:31.:40:32.

mistakes with the benefit cap and we have seen that in one area only ten

:40:33.:40:37.

percentage people have gone into work. -- only 10% of people. I would

:40:38.:40:44.

be worried about whether ministers have a grip. But you are not against

:40:45.:40:51.

the idea of the universal credit? Nobody is against simplifying the

:40:52.:40:55.

system, but it is how you do it and how fast we might get to it. It

:40:56.:41:00.

seems a long way away at the moment. Do you wanted to speed up or be

:41:01.:41:06.

phased-in? They are changing disability living allowance at the

:41:07.:41:08.

same time, changing the benefits caps. Right across the board, every

:41:09.:41:13.

benefit that the Department is giving out, they are changing and

:41:14.:41:18.

there are huge problems in the system. I would not say they are

:41:19.:41:25.

huge problems. Sorry, Tom. It was always the Government 's intention

:41:26.:41:29.

to roll this out, it is on target to be completed by 2017, a long-time

:41:30.:41:36.

friend to do -- a long time frame to deliver it. If we wanted a big bang

:41:37.:41:43.

approach, as happened with the Child Support Agency, I think people would

:41:44.:41:48.

be tearing their hair out. We are doing a gradual roll-out, we have

:41:49.:41:53.

trialled it in Manchester, we are trialling it in Hammersmith and

:41:54.:41:56.

Fulham. We will be able to learn from those trials. In our

:41:57.:42:00.

constituencies we have all had to deal with the fact that people,

:42:01.:42:04.

until now, were better off on benefits than in work. How much will

:42:05.:42:14.

it cost? You have missed -- messed up disability living allowance.

:42:15.:42:19.

Those in receipt of benefits at the moment have them capped by 1%

:42:20.:42:24.

following George Osborne 's Budget, it is a tough time for people and

:42:25.:42:27.

they want to know what will happen to them, unticketed if they have a

:42:28.:42:32.

disability. It is not good enough to spend millions and then slow down

:42:33.:42:36.

the process, sending confusion into the system. People don't know when

:42:37.:42:40.

they will be the next tranche of people being put onto this benefit.

:42:41.:42:47.

People fear change, as you know. Of course they do, that is exactly why

:42:48.:42:52.

the Government is right to make sure the roll-out happens gradually and

:42:53.:42:57.

is fully tested, so all of those people do not experience disasters

:42:58.:43:00.

with their benefits, that actually things happen in a smooth way so

:43:01.:43:05.

they do not then find there are multiple corrections taking place. I

:43:06.:43:11.

think this is very sensible. The former Prime Minister, John Major,

:43:12.:43:14.

gave a very clear warning as to the group of people he saw as the

:43:15.:43:18.

millions of silent have not locked into lace curtain property, you said

:43:19.:43:23.

the Conservatives were not doing enough. I share his view, I don't

:43:24.:43:30.

like some of the rhetoric, the skivers against rises, it is

:43:31.:43:34.

unhelpful. We have to make this work. -- the skivers against

:43:35.:43:42.

strivers. But one would argue that this announcement today goes along

:43:43.:43:47.

with what John Major has said. We have to be careful about rushing it

:43:48.:43:54.

through. We are 17 or 18 months away from a general election, I don't

:43:55.:43:57.

think we will see any thing radical happening within welfare other than

:43:58.:44:01.

the plans already afoot, and insofar as this will be rolled out in a

:44:02.:44:06.

significant way it will probably be after 2015. It was always going to

:44:07.:44:11.

be difficult, Labour did not exactly have great experience when it came

:44:12.:44:17.

to big IT project? I will not pretend that IT projects are easy,

:44:18.:44:22.

but every single benefit is being changed. It was incredibly

:44:23.:44:25.

overambitious, they brought this on themselves. That out there there are

:44:26.:44:30.

some very vulnerable people reliant on their support and they need the

:44:31.:44:35.

system to work. -- but out there. I wrote about this in my book. Very

:44:36.:44:43.

complicated. They also need a system which enabled them to have their

:44:44.:44:47.

situation reviewed on a regular basis where we did not face a

:44:48.:44:53.

situation, for instance, with regards to DLA, where people had had

:44:54.:44:58.

benefits and reviewed since the 1990s. Let's leave it there.

:44:59.:45:01.

Now he's never voted and apparently he never will. And, for the record,

:45:02.:45:04.

he thinks the political system in the UK is, well, pretty rubbish. Who

:45:05.:45:08.

am I talking about? Russell Brand. He guest edited the New Statesman

:45:09.:45:11.

last week and subsequently gave an interview to BBC Newsnight, which

:45:12.:45:15.

has been a bit of hit worldwide hit with millions watching it on

:45:16.:45:23.

YouTube. Here's a flavour of it. It is not that I am not putting out of

:45:24.:45:28.

apathy, it is out of absolute indifference and weariness and

:45:29.:45:31.

exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit of a political class that

:45:32.:45:34.

has been going on for generations now, and which has reached fever

:45:35.:45:39.

pitch, where we have a disenfranchised, disillusioned,

:45:40.:45:42.

despondent underclass that are not represented by the system, so voting

:45:43.:45:45.

for it is tacit complicity with that system, and that is not something I

:45:46.:45:50.

am up for. Why don't you change it? I am trying to! Why don't you start

:45:51.:46:00.

by voting? I don't think it works, this has created the current

:46:01.:46:02.

paradigm. You have never voted? Do you think that is bad? So before the

:46:03.:46:06.

age of 18... I was busy being a drug addict, because I came from the

:46:07.:46:11.

social conditions that are exacerbated by the system which

:46:12.:46:13.

administrator for large corporations... You are blaming the

:46:14.:46:17.

political class for that you had a drug problem? No, I was part of the

:46:18.:46:23.

social and economic class that is underserved by the current system,

:46:24.:46:25.

and drug addiction is one of the problems it creates, when you have

:46:26.:46:29.

huge underserved impoverished populations, people get drug

:46:30.:46:34.

problems and do not feel like they are engaged with the political

:46:35.:46:37.

system because they see it does not work for them. They see that it

:46:38.:46:40.

makes no difference, that they are not served. Of course it doesn't, if

:46:41.:46:45.

they don't bother to vote. Jeremy, my darling, the apathy comes from

:46:46.:46:48.

the politicians, they are apathetic to our needs.

:46:49.:46:54.

News Statesman deputy editor Helen Lewis is with us, what was it like

:46:55.:46:58.

working with Russell Brand? Everything you would imagine and

:46:59.:47:02.

more! He came into the editorial conference and delivered this sort

:47:03.:47:06.

of flawless monologue that had us all sitting there going, right, that

:47:07.:47:09.

is interesting! The fundamental point he made is that he goes to

:47:10.:47:13.

football matches and sees people on the terraces, they are excited and

:47:14.:47:17.

passionate, he sees people campaign against the closure of an A

:47:18.:47:21.

department or a library, they are passionate. But in national they

:47:22.:47:24.

feel are not involved, they do not have any say in it, and that is the

:47:25.:47:28.

key problem. I believe it to you guys to address that. Why did you

:47:29.:47:33.

ask him? We like finding people of whom the perception is not what they

:47:34.:47:37.

actually are, and slightly changed, and the same thing with happened

:47:38.:47:41.

with Jemima Khan, who had great thoughts about free speech that we

:47:42.:47:45.

wanted to get across, and she changed the reception of herself.

:47:46.:47:49.

Russell Brand had been seen, we last remembered him as this kind of guy

:47:50.:47:54.

who hosted big brother, but he has got some fantastic pieces in there,

:47:55.:47:58.

Rupert Everett writing on gay rights is a revelation, a beautiful piece

:47:59.:48:01.

of writing that I would never have read or we would not have been able

:48:02.:48:06.

to commission otherwise. Tom Brake, man of the people, are you going to

:48:07.:48:10.

read it? This is a copy of the edition, will you read it? Yes, I

:48:11.:48:15.

will, although from the interview I think it is clear that he wants a

:48:16.:48:19.

revolution, but what is not clear is what the Revolution looks like and

:48:20.:48:21.

how it is going to happen and what it would mean in practical terms. I

:48:22.:48:27.

think the issue about making a connection between voters and local

:48:28.:48:31.

issues, maybe A campaigns, and national issues, it can be done. One

:48:32.:48:37.

example - a national issue about improving access to train stations,

:48:38.:48:43.

a couple of days ago I found out that Carshalton was on a list of

:48:44.:48:45.

stations which might receive funding to be fully accessible or start by

:48:46.:48:50.

e-mail, I contacted a certain number of people, and within two days we

:48:51.:48:54.

had over 400 people who have signed up to a campaign to support making

:48:55.:48:58.

that accessible. You can, using technology, make that connection

:48:59.:49:02.

between local and national campaigns. It is about cutting

:49:03.:49:06.

through, isn't it? You think we take Russell Brand too seriously, or

:49:07.:49:10.

politics does, looks at them and thinks, how can he reach the parts

:49:11.:49:15.

that we don't? What is successful is speaking for a bunch of young people

:49:16.:49:18.

who feel very disillusioned with the system. They have not got free

:49:19.:49:22.

education, they are not going to get full employment, many are

:49:23.:49:25.

unemployed, they cannot buy a house, and if they get to work, they will

:49:26.:49:30.

be working well past 70. That is a completely different settlements to

:49:31.:49:34.

the baby boomers and Generation X. They are sitting pretty pretty. That

:49:35.:49:38.

means that David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, they all have

:49:39.:49:43.

to reach out and speak for these people. Not always easy to do, when

:49:44.:49:47.

you have come out of Oxford with your PDA, but come a researcher and

:49:48.:49:52.

inherited a political party. In that sense, Russell Brand is right. Do

:49:53.:49:58.

you agree? Not entirely, we had Occupy London in my constituency two

:49:59.:50:02.

years ago, and it struck a chord beyond just the usual sort of group

:50:03.:50:07.

of perhaps anarchists on the left, increasingly, dare I say it,

:50:08.:50:11.

middle-class Tory voters. How frightening for you! In a way,

:50:12.:50:17.

frightening for the whole political class. The capitalist system seems

:50:18.:50:20.

to be working against them, and David is right that we are of a

:50:21.:50:25.

generation of having a free university education, being able to

:50:26.:50:28.

get on the housing ladder, which is incredibly difficult now. Russell

:50:29.:50:33.

Brand's answer to that is do not vote. That is the problem. All that

:50:34.:50:37.

will mean is that the political class, they will think, we have to

:50:38.:50:41.

put all of our attention into people over the age of 55, and a lot of

:50:42.:50:46.

those people... He says he has been underserved by the political class.

:50:47.:50:51.

Low blow it may well be that David and Mark are doing it as well. I am

:50:52.:50:56.

doing some work with Fight the Ballot, which campaigns to get

:50:57.:50:59.

people registered. Before they even vote, they need to be registered, so

:51:00.:51:03.

make that first step, because if they do not, if they do not get

:51:04.:51:08.

registered and vote in elections, as Mark has said, politicians

:51:09.:51:12.

generally, they know who votes in their constituencies, and they tend

:51:13.:51:14.

to try to establish a relationship with them. If people are not voting,

:51:15.:51:19.

there is a problem. A pessimistic view of life for young people. It

:51:20.:51:24.

may be true, but it seems pessimistic. I would not advocate

:51:25.:51:28.

not voting. We should think about compulsory voting and then at least

:51:29.:51:31.

we could see who destroyed their ballot and was upset with the

:51:32.:51:34.

system. At the moment, the elderly are protected in our system, no-one

:51:35.:51:40.

is attacking their TV licence, their fuel allowance. Young people not

:51:41.:51:44.

voting are left out of the system. That was a mistake by David Cameron,

:51:45.:51:51.

to make that commitment? We moving away from the paradigm of classless

:51:52.:51:57.

politics, we moved into generational groups pitted against each other,

:51:58.:52:01.

and my biggest worry is that the brightest and best young people,

:52:02.:52:04.

young graduates in this country will think, there -- their future is best

:52:05.:52:11.

served elsewhere. There is a workless core across the country,

:52:12.:52:14.

who Russell Brand is also supporting, who was shot out of the

:52:15.:52:17.

Westminster based politics that commits us to sound bites, usually

:52:18.:52:23.

through the news, but does not seem to really speak genuinely about

:52:24.:52:28.

people's problems. Do you agree, broadly, with the discussion that

:52:29.:52:31.

the political class needs to engage with younger people and participate

:52:32.:52:38.

in large numbers with those people? It is a completely vicious cycle.

:52:39.:52:42.

Young people vote less, they are served less, therefore they vote

:52:43.:52:46.

less. Your film about housing at this exactly. The one people that

:52:47.:52:50.

preoccupies people in London under the age of 35 is the rising age of

:52:51.:52:54.

first-time buyers. Help to buy will help a tiny number of people at the

:52:55.:52:57.

expense of others who will see prices escalate further out their

:52:58.:53:01.

reach. But with the exception of Labour and the jobs guarantee, what

:53:02.:53:05.

party has a specific offer for young people? I think something that is

:53:06.:53:09.

very concrete is the fact that we have a record number of

:53:10.:53:12.

apprenticeships, and that is helping a very large number of young people.

:53:13.:53:18.

Oh, God! Spare as! I am sorry that David thinks... That is quite

:53:19.:53:23.

insulting for the young people who are undertaking these

:53:24.:53:26.

apprenticeships. They are getting jobs as a result. What we need to do

:53:27.:53:33.

is make sure that, traditionally, the wood for young people has been

:53:34.:53:37.

about university education, and what is patronising, David, is saying

:53:38.:53:41.

that all apprenticeships are useless. I am not saying that,

:53:42.:53:46.

customer services, six weeks, no quality? We are providing young

:53:47.:53:50.

people with the experience they need to then take up jobs that are there,

:53:51.:53:56.

because their jobs in London. There is this mantra, all political

:53:57.:53:59.

parties, get them into apprenticeships, we need more.

:54:00.:54:02.

Nobody is talking about quality, the length, whether you can get jobs at

:54:03.:54:07.

the end, the fact that there are adults doing these apprenticeships.

:54:08.:54:10.

Speak to young people in their bedrooms not doing apprenticeships.

:54:11.:54:14.

We need quality opportunities, not this Mickey Mouse stuff.

:54:15.:54:20.

We preview did last week, and this week it is out. The Conservative

:54:21.:54:25.

Party's YouTube attack on Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, branding them

:54:26.:54:31.

mystic Ed and his crystal Balls, predicting Britain's economic slump

:54:32.:54:32.

would get worse. And here it is. Well, Halloween is coming soon,

:54:33.:55:11.

isn't it? Is it a work of art? Listen, it is funny, we are all

:55:12.:55:16.

talking about it, and in many ways because we have so little of this at

:55:17.:55:20.

the moment, you know, I think it is making a bit of an impact. The truth

:55:21.:55:26.

is that once everyone has stuff like this on YouTube, it will die loot

:55:27.:55:32.

its impact, but at the moment... How are you measuring the impact that is

:55:33.:55:39.

well above my pay grade! Does it work to Mack I think it is mildly

:55:40.:55:46.

entertaining, and I think it what is does is end use the supporters,

:55:47.:55:51.

Conservative Party supporters, but at the bottom of it there is a

:55:52.:55:58.

serious message, and that is that Ed Miliband and the Labour Party

:55:59.:56:00.

predicted that growth would go down, but it has gone up, that jobs would

:56:01.:56:04.

go down, but they have gone up. There is a serious basis for what is

:56:05.:56:12.

a mildly humorous piece. What is the Labour response? What creative

:56:13.:56:15.

response are you going to have to mystic Ed and his crystal Balls? I

:56:16.:56:21.

think this is shockingly bad! It is puerile, it lacks innovation, it

:56:22.:56:27.

speaks down to people. There are some serious issues out here. The

:56:28.:56:31.

idea that people sat in Conservative Central Office have come up with

:56:32.:56:35.

is... They are taking it too seriously. Try being one of the

:56:36.:56:39.

people in my constituency, this is what you might dream up in a pub.

:56:40.:56:43.

The fact that we are talking about it shows it is successful. Oh, God!

:56:44.:56:50.

In the United States, a lot of this, the attack adverts are de rigueur,

:56:51.:56:56.

and thankfully we don't have that. Will we see more of that? We are not

:56:57.:57:01.

allowed to get in that way. There are very strict financial limits.

:57:02.:57:06.

That was the very purpose of the transparency bill through the House

:57:07.:57:10.

of Commons, that was about stopping super packed style campaigning that

:57:11.:57:14.

they have in the United States, where organisations that are not

:57:15.:57:17.

accountable put a huge amount of money into the political campaigns

:57:18.:57:21.

of one or other of the parties, and thanks to that bill, that will not

:57:22.:57:27.

happen here. It is on YouTube. So what?! Is that the future? There is

:57:28.:57:34.

a lot of rubbish on YouTube! I think that the Conservatives spent money

:57:35.:57:38.

on this, presumably, and they expected it to go viral. It might go

:57:39.:57:42.

viral for the wrong reasons. But really this kind of politics is

:57:43.:57:46.

precisely why Russell Brand has said what he said. Labour would do

:57:47.:57:50.

something similar. We have done things that have been shopping as

:57:51.:57:54.

well, but I don't think we should treat the electorate like this. Does

:57:55.:57:59.

it go down well, all that negative advertising? I don't like that,

:58:00.:58:03.

party should be able to put out a more positive message, but the

:58:04.:58:06.

American evidence suggests that it works, that is the depressing side

:58:07.:58:10.

of it, and I suspect we have not seen the last of it. What will you

:58:11.:58:16.

come up with? As I said, I think it is mildly humorous, and in terms of

:58:17.:58:19.

the political impact, it is extremely limited. It is very rare

:58:20.:58:24.

for a short clip to have an impact. Perhaps the one example might be the

:58:25.:58:30.

Neil Kinnock walking down the beach and being washed away by an incoming

:58:31.:58:34.

wave, that has an impact, but I do not think this will have any

:58:35.:58:38.

impact. Gentlemen, thank you very much for your predictions! Thank you

:58:39.:58:41.

for coming in at the very last minute, that was very good of you

:58:42.:58:45.

and we appreciated. Thank you to my guests for battling in against the

:58:46.:58:49.

storm. The one o'clock news is starting on BBC One. I will be here

:58:50.:58:53.

at noon tomorrow with all the big political stories of the day.

:58:54.:58:54.

Bye-bye.

:58:55.:58:56.

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