07/11/2013 Daily Politics


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Afternoon folks, welcome to The Daily Politics. "Extraordinarily


poor", "alarmingly weak"... A committee of MPs lays into the


management of the Government's flagship welfare reform, Universal


Credit. But who's to blame - ministers or civil servants? Only


15% of us bothered to vote for them - but a year on, have Police


Commissioners made any difference? Where should more NHS money be


All that in the next hour. And with spent?


All that in the next hour. And with us for the duration today, a woman


who once held one of the great offices of state, appointed today to


one of the great offices of television, our Guest of the Day on


The Daily Politics, it's former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. It is good


to see you in the daylight, I normally see you late on on a


Thursday night. Let's start with interest rates - we've just had a


decision from the Bank of England that they are to be held at the


historic low rate of half a percentage point for the 56th


consecutive month. But with the economy now growing and unemployment


falling, how much longer? We're joined now by City analyst David


Buik. joined now by City analyst David


caught between a rock and a hard place. It is only five or six months


ago that he told us that he is forward guidance meant there would


be no change in interest rates until 2016. Unfortunately, he did not know


that the UK economy was about to pick up the cudgel and go for it. We


had it confirmed on Monday by the CBI that growth will probably go to


1.4% this year, 2.4% next year, 2.6% this year afterwards. And now, of


course, with inflation running at 2.7% and wages only at 0.7% on an


annualised basis, something has to give. So, the markets have told him,


thank you very much, Mr Carney, but I'm afraid the Guild market at the


short end, up to two years, indicates that we could have


something of an interest rate hike as early


something of an interest rate hike young people, quite rightly, to fill


their boots, so to suddenly ask them to service their debts at a higher


level, with less disposable income, it is not a quandary I would like to


be in. Indeed, but maybe Mr Carney got misled as to how strong growth


was going to be because he read the Bank of England's forecasts, which


are nearly always wrong on these matters, and particularly on


inflation. Point is, these forecasts of growth, even they might now be an


underestimate . we could be heading for closer to 3% growth next year.


That is a return to normality, so does it not follow that interest


rates therefore have to return to normal? Well, personally, I think


they have two. Also, so long as night follows day,


they have two. Also, so long as cannot have interest rates at .5%,


because you are putting a huge burden on any government, of


whatever political persuasion, to deal with welfare and pensions. And


that has to be addressed. But I think for the next two or three


months, Mark Carney has got to be steadfast, that he wants to talk


about forward guidance. Any kind of threat of any hike in interest rates


over the next couple of months I suspect may be dangerous, but there


is no question, if we are going to improve to the degree which you are


suggesting, and I agree with, interest rates cannot remain at that


level for an indefinite period of time. The Governor of the Bank of


England has been an independent figure since Gordon Brown and Ed


Balls made all of those changes, and he is now in a position where he


could become, in the run-up to the election,


could become, in the run-up to the difficult position for him. It is,


but they think it is absolutely right that he maintains that


independence and makes the judgment on the basis of the forward guidance


that he has set out and the views of the monetary policy committee. But


you are right that this is problematic. Of course, it was Ed


Miliband who said, you can have growth in the economy, but actually


you will still have a cost of living squeeze. Any rise in interest rates


will add to that squeeze on people's mortgage repayments. You may have


growth, but you have also got rising prices, and the cost of my house is


going up. You could also, I suppose, have stronger growth, as David and I


were talking about, between now and the election, but unemployment may


not come below 7%, because in this recession, not nearly as many people


lost their jobs. This recession, not nearly as many people


level of employment that there are many people who would want to work


more hours. That is the first problem. But also, you have to


identify the conflict which comes between what Mark Carney has set out


in the forward guidance, which is the unemployment cut off, for which


she was much praised, incidentally, for saying, let's set this guidance


clearly, and what we have already begun to hear, which is a chorus of


people saying, lower inflationary pressures, at what point are


interest rates going to start rising? Is it possible to have a


smooth, gentle rise in interest rates? So, there is a conflict,


which does put him in a very politicised position, and also plays


into this whole problem of the squeeze on people's pockets. In


America, where all of this originally came from, the US Federal


Now it's time for our quiz. Reserve steps


Now it's time for our quiz. And which of the following


cost-saving suggestions has been proposed to councils by the Tax


Payers' Alliance. Do they want to... A) Ask dustmen to deliver the post


on their rounds? B) Graze sheep in parks to save money on lawn mowers?


C) Use children's sand pits to grit the roads? D) Encourage badgers to


put up municipal goal posts? At the end of the show, Jacqui will give us


the correct answer. Universal Credit was supposed to be


the Government's big plan to restructure our unwieldy benefits


system and save us money. A lot of money. But the Government's flagship


reform is, in fact, guilty of "shocking" failures in management


which have already wasted at least ?140 million. The savaging has come


from Parliament's Public Accounts Committee, which has voiced doubts


about whether Iain Duncan Smith's project can still be


the programme has been described as extraordinarily poor, oversight


alarmingly weak, and ?425 million of expenditure to date likely to be


written off, according to your report, so how did it happen? I


think they have been driven by a political imperative to meet


deadlines, date deadlines, and I think that is a mistake. It is a


very compact programme, one which has cross-party support, so there is


no argument about the policy direction, but it is very


compensated, and they simply should not have been driven by timelines.


Secondly, they thought it was a little IT project, and actually,


this is a big transformation, winning six benefits into one,


trying to change the way in which you work, to make work pay, which


takes a lot of thought. Thirdly, there has been this culture of


optimism in the Department for Work there has been this culture of


it is only testing a single person, without children, dying for only one


of the benefits, job-seekers allowance. -- going for. You are


describing it as a disaster, is it a disaster? I think it is, at the


moment, it is an unmitigated disaster. Is it Solver Jubal? Yes.


If they stop having these would killers time deadlines... Which ones


are you talking about, is it 2017? Yes. It would be much better if they


stopped thinking about, it has got to be in by 2017, and started


thinking, how can we implement this properly? The second thing is, they


have got to face up to the money they have wasted so far. It is not


the ?420 million, but they have spent


the ?420 million, but they have muddle through and pretend that they


can use some of that in the short-term. I would say, let's scrap


a useless IT system we have got and start again. And thirdly, they have


just got to say, this is a big transformation, we are going to


monitor it public, we are going to take responsibility from the top,


and if things start going wrong, we are going to intervene quickly to


put things right. Who is to blame? I think it is from the top down.


Ministers? Top down. I think it is everybody involved, both at the


administration and at the top of the Department for Work and Pensions. I


am not into scapegoating individuals, they have got to think


through what they have got to do. This is an important flagship


programme for the government, and they have got to get it right. There


are reports in the papers claiming that members of your committee were


put under pressure that members of your committee were


is extremely critical of the Department and the government, and


it was unanimously agreed by all the members of my committee.


We asked the Department for Work and Pensions for an interview, but


no-one was available. But we are joined by the former Home Office


Minister Nick Herbert, and Jacqui Smith is still with us. Why can't


they get this right? You have got to sub rate -- to separate the response


of the tea from the operational arrangements. The policy is


agreed... She said that. Yes, and it is agreed cross-party, so there is


not a policy failure, there has clearly been an operational failure.


This is the second major project which has exposed, I think, failings


in relation to which has exposed, I think, failings


this? Actually, we have a sort of system of untouchables who run these


departments, the permanent secretaries, who remain in place


irrespective of these kind of failures. We have seen this in other


departments as well. So you are blaming the civil service, the


permanent secretary, for this? What I am saying is that we have got a


big rubble of accountability here. In the end, ministers are held


accountable for things. In reality, ministers cannot be held responsible


for these operational things when they have got the policy right. What


do you say to that, Jacqui Smith, because this is about delivery isn't


it? Should we be blaming civil servants more squarely?


it? Should we be blaming civil -- welfare reform programme. Nick,


come on, you have been a minister, this is the type of project where


you would expect senior ministers, perhaps weekly, to sit down with the


team and convince me that progress is going right. Either the senior


ministers were not doing that, which is an abdication of responsibility,


or the will was being pulled over their eyes. Either way it's a


ministerial failure. -- bubble was being pulled. -- the wall was being


pulled. Perhaps Margaret Hodge had not appreciated the enormity of the


task if you are merging a separate benefit payment system into one, and


putting a timeline was always going to lead to disaster, says Margaret


Hodge. I disagree with Jacqui Smith's points. But who advises the


civil service? It is open to save that they do not think


civil service? It is open to save is the operational leaders are never


touched when these things go wrong. In the end, that's a failure of


accountability and you will get a repetition of problems. It is a


systemic weakness. I agree civil servants should not be untouched,


but as a minister, surely you don't believe that as an estate you say


this is the policy, deliberate and come back and tell me when you've


done it -- as a minister. The political pressure was enormous.


There was an awful lot at stake here. Do you feel that there was a


feeling, an atmosphere that they have to do this come what may, and


we have to tell the ministers that, if that is what happened. That is


speculation. Back row white but that is the claim. It is always --.


speculation. Back row white but that civil service. That is what


ministers inherit. Let's move on from the blame game. Do you think it


can work? Will it actually work? There is talk of a lot of


nervousness at the top of government that the universal credit will never


get online within a reasonable time frame. There are two questions, can


it work, and the timetable. There is still a cross-party consensus. But


do you think it can work? Yes, I think it can be made to work, but we


have to look without blaming. We have to look at what skills and


capabilities we have in the civil service to deliver major projects.


Do you think it should be made to work? It's a policy that ministers


over years have thought is a good idea. Many have looked at the


difficulties of implementation and the cost and then backed off. That


does not the cost and then backed off. That


piloting deceit if in effect it can work -- to see if it can work. Or is


it too much of a struggle. , let's see.


Now, curb your enthusiasm. It's almost a year since literally


several of you struggled out on a cold Autumn day to elect Police and


Crime Commissioners. It was one of the lowest turnouts in British


electoral history. So, a year on, have the commissioners made such an


impression that you're regretting your decision to sit on your hands,


or has their performance left you feeling totally vindicated? Here's


Jo-Co! That's right, Andrew. Turnout at the Police Commissioner elections


last November was a paltry 15.1%. There are currently 16 Conservative


PCCs, 13 Labour and 12 Independents. Taken together, PCCs are responsible


for ?8 billion of spending on police in England and Wales.


for ?8 billion of spending on police ?70,000 each. And the Chairman of


the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz has expressed concern that


PCCs were able to remove chief constables with little scrutiny, and


has warned against the dangers of "maverick decision making". Well,


earlier this morning, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, gave a


speech on the future of police commissioners. The first test of a


commissioner's visibility and accountability was the elections in


November. Let's be honest, at 15%, the turnout was disappointing. It


still meant that more than 5 million people voted for PCCs, more than 5


million votes than any police authority ever received, but we


should clearly want the turnout to be higher in the future. I think we


have every reason to believe that turnout will be higher. First of


all, the elections will be held in May, not November. They will be held


at the May, not November. They will be held


round, the role of PCCs will be better understood by the public.


Nick Herbert is a former policing Minister, so we're getting twice the


value here. And we're joined from Kent by the county's Independent


Police and Crime Commissioner, Ann Barnes. What has been your biggest


success this year? The biggest success I have had is making the job


my own. And actually commissioning an independent review to look at


crime recording in Kent. It is a matter of trust, and I did ask for


an independent review of that because I needed the people of Kent


and myself to be sure we can trust the crime figures, so that was using


my new powers. How much are we paying you for that? You are paying


the ?85,000. paying you for that? You are paying


to lots of local people and I'm able to react to local problems. It's


still hard to see what we are getting the money. Have you cut


crime in the county? Unfortunately crime in Kent is slightly going up


compared to last year, which is a real disappointment. But the force


has lost a fifth of the workforce and is trying to do the same as it


did last year and the year before but with 20% fewer officers on the


street and in the staff. That is difficult. It will be more


challenging when the budgets are cut even more. Crime is going down


everywhere else, and they have all had a cut in the police force as


well. So if crime is rising in your patch, that would not suggest we are


getting mal -- value for money from your ?85,000 a year. You need to


look at other places. It's going up in other places as well. You have to


remember in other places as well. You have to


will tell you that the force is creaking. And he uses that


expression himself. The thin blue line is a very thin one. They all


say that. Have you found another youth crime commissioners to replace


Paris Brown? I have 15 on the long list and I am short listing


tomorrow. And that is run ?15,000 salary? How big is the budget? The


budget is ?317 million. For your own office and staff? ?1.5 million, the


same as last year. Quite a lot of money. Are you enjoying the job? I


am absolutely loving it. It is challenging, exhilarating and it has


made me realise more than ever that you really have to talk a lot to


local people, because at the end of the day it is what local people want


that matters. Jacqui Smith, former Home Secretary,


that matters. Jacqui Smith, former I did. I accepted the problem of the


old police authority is not being very visible and directly


accountable -- police authorities. I argued at the time that the problem


with trying to put one person with responsibility for a police force


the size of Kent, or even larger than that, was that that person


would not be able to have the impact you would want a directly elected


person to have. To a certain extent, I've been proved right. Why is it


that and Barnes wants a youth commissioner? Why do various other


commissioners tried to appoint in dubious way a range of people to


help them? It's precisely because that one person is not able to


deliver the accountability and scrutiny that they would want to do,


which is why the sort of ideas I tried to developers Home Secretary


may be had an element of accountability, but more than one


person in each force -- accountability, but more than one


them have between them hired almost 450 staff since taking office. A bit


of empire building going on here. A couple of things. There's no reason


why the system would cost more money because the police authorities have


been abolished. The key here is transparency. They have to account


for how much money they will take out of the policing budget for their


own activities. They will be held responsible for that. We did not put


an artificial limit on it. We said that you answer to the local


community for what you are doing. You have to be careful about direct


comparisons. Some of the PCCs have taken on responsibilities that are


things the police force were doing, and one of those will be complaints


going to the PCCs, that wouldn't have gone to the authority because


they were anonymous. Let's deal with the cost issue. That is a very small


part of the overall policing budget and there will be some


could go back over, but they do now. We know 75% of the local population


know about their police and crime commission and by the next election


will be higher. Then that person is held to account for delivering


effective policing in the area and they hold the police force to


account. I think that direct accountability we have seen in


London with the mayor is something people will not want to turn the


clock back on. There seems to be a bit of cronyism going on. At least


ten of the appointments that they make are going to political or


personal contacts. Firstly, one of the things I put through as minister


was that they are not allowed to be political positions. We made them


all so they were not allowed to be. Secondly, the key is transparency.


You say it is on the register and they have to declare the


appointments. It didn't stop them doing it. I


appointments. It didn't stop them Has this person being useful? Have


they done the job of holding the police to account? And then they can


be chucked out. That was not the case with the police authority. Let


me go back to and Barnes -- and Barnes. Have you appointed any


friends, colleagues, cronies? I don't have a deputy or any assistant


at all. So you have not indulged in any cronyism? I appointed to people


to help me with the campaign on a short-term basis but they are not


with me. I needed their skills right at the beginning. Do people in Kent


know who you are? I think they do. I have comments of community


engagement programme. Last month I spoke to about 1500 people at


various events, just even in the street. I go out in my second-hand


camper van in the street every weekend, which is


camper van in the street every police authority I have on average a


handful of correspondence per week. Since I have been a commissioner


I've had 9000 correspondence. That is one good statistic at least. When


the Plebgate issue moved to the West Midlands and blew up about Andrew


Mitchell, your equivalent in the West Midlands seemed to become a


spokesman for the police and to take the side of the police. Who do you


represent? Are you there to represent the people, or are you


speaking up the police? I am there to represent the people of Kent. I


think Plebgate and Hillsborough has planted a seed in the minds of


people that perhaps the police should not be investigating


themselves any more, which is why I did my own independent report at the


beginning. For high-profile difficulties and complaints, I think


beginning. For high-profile learn something from that. Do you


think Labour should keep this going, have another round of elections, see


what happens? I think we should be trying to get more democracy into


the system. So... You see, you want a shortened answer. You have not


answered my question, should Labour keep this going through another


round of elections? In terms of the timing, it is likely that the next


set of elections will happen before a new initiative comes under way,


but my argument is, do not do away with it, find more ways of holding


the police more effectively to account. Do not do away with it,


that is the key. Thank for giving us a double whammy.


But NHS England is considering changing the funding formula, which


could lead to deprived areas losing out to people with large numbers of


elderly people. Mark Denten reports from Sunderland. This is a place


which is used to facing problems like high unemployment and


anti-social behaviour. These have been challenges for years in


Pennywell. If you live in this area, you are more likely to die earlier.


Life expectancy is three years less than the average for women, and five


years less for men. Certainly, there are high levels of cardiovascular


disease, which is heart disease, and respiratory disease, principally


from smoking, but also because of the history of heavy industrial


diseases. There are also concerns around high levels of obesity. Those


are based on poor diet. But despite those problems, could


are based on poor diet. But despite That could leave a hole in the


Health Service funding for the North. Sunderland could lose ?41


million, Newcastle, ?15 million on Cumbria could lose more than ?60


million. Inevitably, commissioning groups will have to look at cutting


some of the provision that they give now. That may well mean some of the


hospital services, or it could be some of the community services, such


as obesity clinics, smoking clinics. That may well have an


impact on people's health. But they see things rather differently 70


miles away. Just over there is the North Yorkshire market town of


Hawes. One in four people in this area are pensioners, so their


doctors have to travel long distances to get to


doctors have to travel long So, the doctors have got a lot of if


they were to put the emphasis on age, and it should benefit the


practice enormously, and help to put us on a secure financial footing.


North Yorkshire is a very popular place for people to grow old. As we


live longer, people who are elderly have more complex health and social


needs, and this has to be reflected in a higher health care budget.


There is still time for town and country to make their case. NHS


England will make a final decision next month. The funding challenge is


to give areas with very different health needs a fair deal. And we are


joined by viewers in Scotland, who have been watching or listening to


First Minister's Questions from Holyrood. With me now is the Labour


MP for Newcastle East, Nick Brown, and the Liberal Democrat


MP for Newcastle East, Nick Brown, poor health outcomes. The


Conservative Party neither proposal is to alter that so that money


shifts from people who are poor and who die young towards communities


where the well, elderly live. What is wrong with looking at age? If you


think about the burden age puts on the NHS, if you have a rural


population, for example, with a large number of elderly people, are


they not going to be the ones putting more pressure on NHS


services? I am not arguing that health care should be taken away


from anyone, I am defending my constituency, and those who, because


of the industrial heritage of the area, have a lower life


expectancies. My constituents would like to live to a healthy old age,


but they don't, they die younger. But there are Conservative MPs


saying, this is not fair, money from the poor, those who have


the least successful health outcomes, and spend it on people who


are relatively better off. What do you say to that? Nick is absolutely


right. We need to take away from the fog of political dispute all of


this. Just as under previous governments, in fact since the


1970s, when methods to independently establish the advisory committee on


resource allocation, for example, which then advises government as to


how the funding formula should be manipulative overtime, the main


thing is to take it out of the hands of politicians, and that is largely


what this government is doing, as the previous government did as well.


But this is a question about need. The NHS funding formula says there


should be equal access and need should also be made equal.


should be equal access and need factor, because we are the poorest


in terms of the wages and the GDP that we receive, and that was used


as a method by which allocation was established which actually put as


very low down the funding league table. Certainly, having a top-heavy


age distribution, if you like, does not help. But it is certainly


something which needs to be kept under review. At the end of the day.


It should be directed towards achieving the best possible health


outcomes across the country as a whole. We are talking about cost


here, Nick Brown, and thereafter I like resources, so if you are


looking at the funding formula, and at how much each area costs the NHS,


your constituency may be poorer than somewhere else, in Cambridgeshire or


Hampshire, for example, but actually, they cost more, so should


the funding not match that, rather than saying it is


expressed in terms of life expectancy, across the piece, my


constituents died three years earlier than Andrew's. That is not


right. Right, but per capita, another MP has said, if you are


going to be ill, better to be ill in Hackney, where they will spend ?100


more per head on you, than to be ill in Herefordshire. If I said to a


citizen in Hackney, where would you rather live, they would move to


Herefordshire, and if you said the same thing the other way round, you


would not get the same response. It is very difficult for MPs living in


these areas which have a very different make-up of constituents,


to see what would be fair? Yes, but I think there is very clear evidence


that what would happen if this formula were to be put into place


would be a shift of resources, as Nick has said, from those people who


have the greatest Nick has said, from those people who


?40 per head. In Hampshire, your healthy life expectancies is 68. You


are going to be gaining money. Of course, older people need health


care, but the first issue is, have you got the health care and the


resources to actually get you to be old in the first place off what do


you say to that? Obviously, you need to distribute the resources very. --


fairy. -- fairly. But the question is, who is making the decision? If


you put it in the hands of politicians, there is always a risk


that there could be tweaks to achieve political advantage. Of


course, people in Nick's constituency should be advancing...


It is taking money from the poor areas, which by and large are


represented by Labour members of Parliament, and shifting it to the


wealthier areas, Parliament, and shifting it to the


hood in reverse. The key issue is that you need to take the ultimate


decision and evaluation out of the hands of politicians, which is where


NHS England, and the advisory committee, has to take an objective


view. Thank you for coming in. There is a rumour doing the rounds at the


moment that Ed Balls and Chuka Umunna went to some fancy do last


night. I was not invited. And apparently, their hosts, business


people, got them a ?800 bottle of wine. Do you believe that, Jacqui


Smith? I was not there! . But could you believe it? So, if you are


watching, U2, let us know, we will put the record straight. We have had


it confirmed by BBC Wales that the Welsh government paid ?48,000 for a


windmill, or a turbine, Welsh government paid ?48,000 for a


bottle of wine. We move on. It has got them thinking! If you are


looking for a school place for your child, it can sometimes feel like


you need to go to school yourself to navigate the application process.


Anyway, a new website launched in the capital this morning aims to


take the mystery out of it all. Giles met the creators of the London


Schools Atlas to find out more. So, what are we looking at, what is this


schools Atlas? It is an online, interact to map of every school in


London, at primary and secondary school level, allowing people to


browse to a particular area of London, and then to use the


drop-down list to select a school. It will show where the children that


go to that school actually live in London. So, you get an impression of


the catchment area. What is London. So, you get an impression of


live. You want the public to be able to use this, so what is the driver,


you want people to to use this, so what is the driver,


choice? Yes, data is power. People need information, objective


information, to reach decisions, and this is exactly what the GLA should


be doing, providing that data, providing those things which will


enable people to make a decision, and Is to certain school. I going to


understand what this is telling me? The challenge at the moment for


parents is that all of this information,


parents is that all of this now. Welcome. Who is this for,


primarily? Parents or government? All sorts of people. Parents but


also people who want to set up free schools. It's for the planners. You


have to think about where schools might be needed. It sounds like it


might be more useful, I might suggest, for government, who have to


look at pressure on places. Parents are normally just looking at the


Ofsted results. They are looking at where they might want to send their


children to school. The idea that parents send them to the local


school in London is not quite true. You can see from the atlas that lots


of parents will look quite widely and look at schools in other


boroughs. Mainly cause of the results. They will look at the


school with the best results. They will say that is where they will try


and get them into. It is useful for them to know how much demand will


grow them to know how much demand will


beyond the boundaries? At secondary school, that is where it happens


most, it is about 20% that go to a school that is not in the borough


they are living in. Quite a high number compared to other parts of


the UK. Is this more about London? Is this tool going to help parents


in London where there is a lot of pressure and they are more mobile in


terms of sending kids because of that better transport? We are the


Greater London authority, which is why it is a London atlas. We have


children coming from outside the city coming into schools as well.


House prices are a huge factor in dictating the education choices in


London. Is it fair that some parents are able and can afford to choose


where to send their kids because they can move to the expensive areas


around the best state schools? The reality is there is all sorts of


choice in the system already. reality is there is all sorts of


forced to spend a fortune on independent school fees or moving


house. And the schools in their area are good. The tool like this is


important. If free schools and academies look at where there is a


need for places and the need for good schools, they are more likely


to set up there. At the moment, the information is too obscure. It's not


available to them to do it and we hope this allows them to do it.


Isn't the reality about who can afford to move around London? If you


want to send your job and to state schools, parents will move to the


areas where there are the best schools, and price out a lot of


families who can't afford to do it? I think this map is a good idea.


Anything that gives parents more information is good. It was


something I did is an education minister and it is a good


initiative. But I agree with you that in an odd


initiative. But I agree with you people to look further afield, but a


Labour politician will say that you should go to the school up the


road? If that is a good school, the standards will it improve. That is


your characterisation of a Labour politician. This Labour politician


thinks parents should have a choice of good schools and acted to ensure


that would happen when I was education minister. If it helps


people to help that -- if it helps people to think about what best


suits their child, that's fine. My problem is that I'm less optimistic


that this will cause a big growth of free schools and academies and solve


the problem of a lack of places. Simply providing information will


not solve the problem. It needs a plan, frankly, and it needs more


action than either the government, and it isn't the


action than either the government, everything either. You do want some


plan of the places. That is the purpose of the tool, to work out


where the gaps are and where schools are needed. PricewaterhouseCoopers


have brought out a clear correlation between house prices and decent


state schools around them. A second way of buying your education,


really. The other way is to just pay fees.


Now, until relatively recently we didn't even know their names. We


certainly didn't know what they looked like. But this afternoon


history will be made when the three heads of the intelligence services


appear in public before a parliamentary committee. There will


be a two-minute delay on the TV feed in case Iain Lobban, the Director of


GCHQ, Andrew Parker, Director General of MI5 or John Sawers, the


Chief of MI6, divulge any national secrets. I can't believe they would


do that. secrets. I can't believe they would


the chief of MI6 looks like because we've seen pictures of him in his


swimming trunks. His wife posted them at the time he was about to be


appointed. It caused a huge row and they had to be taken down in a


hurry. He is quite a familiar figure, John Sawyers, because he was


a Foreign Office man for a long time before we took the job. But coming


out of the shadows, as they are, is a real milestone. This is never


happened before. The free intelligence chiefs, who prefer to


stay in the shadows, will appear not only in public -- free intelligence


chiefs. They also appear on television. They will be talking


about bugging President Obama's phone? Of course not. They will be


talking about current operations. They will be pressed hard by the


committee of MPs, I hope, as do just what is the extent of their


surveillance operations, generically?


surveillance operations, will tell us something we don't


already know? I think it will. -- I think they will. It will be a


fascinating insight into the world of spies. They will talk about how


they recruit. We will hear about the growing threats, cyber terrorism,


the persistent threat to the UK and its interests. That we have heard


before. But we will hear more about the methods and challenges faces --


facing them. These people are generally not terribly exciting.


They are not show men, not like you, the gift of the gab that you have.


Don't expect scintillating television or angry exchanges. But


if the committee do their job, they should get some interesting answers


about Edward Snowden. If you were on the committee, and I wish you were,


because we'd get decent questions, what is the one question above all


because we'd get decent questions, partner in the face at the end of


your career and say you never broke the law? Will you be going along or


will you watch it on the telly? My co-correspondence will be there. He


will be warming the seat, so he will be stuck inside. He will hopefully


ask questions himself. I don't think he will get the opportunity,


actually. I will be reporting live from here. Thank you for joining us,


because I know it is a busy day for you. A good idea? I think it is.


It's an idea we talked about when I was Home Secretary, so it's been a


long time in the making. One of the reasons it's taken quite a long time


to come to fruition is because there is some worry, and it will be


interesting to see if it's justified, that what might happen,


of course, is that although it is in public people are quite restrained


about what they say, and public people are quite restrained


powers? I don't think it is the same as the Congressional court? The


powers are strengthening. They can do more investigations and go into


the agencies. Personally, I think the quality of people on the


committee is actually very high. I know there are some people who say,


look, it's chaired by a former Foreign Secretary, Hazel blears, who


had responsibility for security and the Home Office is on it as well.


Somehow that means they won't ask difficult questions, but it does


mean that they know where to ask the questions and the way in which


thinks function -- thinks function, so it is a big opportunity. We have


learned that the ECB has cut its interest rate, which is a surprise,


from 0.5, and you didn't think it could get any lower? It is now


0.25%. could get any lower? It is now


the head of the ECB. They appear daily in our newspapers


and have lampooned politicians and prime ministers for generations. I'm


talking of political cartoons which can capture in a flash a


politician's character or a key event. In a moment, we'll be talking


to the Jim Benson, the editor of a new book on political cartoons. But


first, let's take a look at the world of politics through the eyes


of some of the countries leading cartoonists.


Tim Benson, is here now. 186 cartoons in the book, thousands to


choose from over a year. Added to the decision? I tried to cover the


whole year -- how did you make the decision? I tried to cover the major


events of the year. Every single cartoonist in this country is


featured in the book, and there is some wonderful material. This is the


first anthology. I think we have one of Boris Johnson. Let's see if we


can see that,. That is a great silhouette. What makes it a great


cartoon? It is fantastically drawn. It portrays not such a conjugated


political issue, but in a simple, visual manner -- conjugated. It is a


visual metaphor. Here we have Boris Johnson


visual metaphor. Here we have Boris isn't it? And it is a play on the


great escape. Steve McQueen style. Andrew Mitchell liked this so much


he bought it from me. The death of Margaret Thatcher created a lot of


cartoons as well. We have one of these to show you. This is from the


Daily Mail. Mac does a visual gag, making a joke from the news, and


this is on the protesters who turned their back on Mrs Thatcher. I see.


Very clever. We have run out of time. What is the title of the book?


The best of Britain's political cartoons, 2013. It looks great. I


will get one. There's


post, sheep grazing? I think it's the sheep. Clever old you excavation


mark we need to go while they are still working. I will be back on BBC


One tonight for this week. With comedian Shazia Mirza, architect


George Clarke, plus Quentin Letts, Michael Portillo, Alan Johnson and


Miranda Green. And I'll be here at noon tomorrow with all the big


political stories of the day. Do join me then. Bye bye.


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