11/11/2013 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.


The dominance of a private-school educated elite in the "upper


echelons" of public life in Britain is "truly shocking", says John


Major. Who could the former Prime Minister be talking about?


Will the Government's "Help to Buy" scheme give young people the leg up


they need? A month on from its launch, the Government hales it a


success - but could it create launch, the Government hales it a


All that in the next hour. With us for the whole programme today is


Professor Michael Clarke of the Royal United Services Institute -


welcome to the programme. First this morning, the Prime


Minister is due to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government


Meeting in Sri Lanka later this week, but he is coming under


pressure to boycott it because of the country's poor human rights


record. Last week the Canadian prime minister pulled out of the biennial


get-together of Commonwealth leaders and at the weekend, the Indian prime


minister followed suit. Yesterday the Foreign Secretary, William


Hague, defended David Cameron's decision to travel to Columbo. If we


were to stay away from this meeting in true Lankan next week, it would


damage the Commonwealth without changing things positively in Sri


Lanka. We need to be Office Minister Kerry MacCarthy. We


asked for a Foreign Office minister to come on the programme but no one


was available. Thank you for joining us. Why shouldn't David Cameron go?


If you look at Sri Lanka's human rights record, particularly to the


closing stages of the war which ended in 2009, it is absolutely


shocking. When it was agreed that the summit would be held in 2013,


that was strictly on the understanding that Sri Lanka would


make real efforts to address their human rights record in the interim


period and they simply haven't done so. In terms of when they have been


challenged on these issues, they have denied that anything has been


going on. You look at the Canadian prime minister, he said he will not


attend, as has the Indian Prime Minister. We are asking David


Cameron to do the same. Do you agree?


danger is what will be an impressing summit in any case, if Cameron goes


and the Indians and Canadians are not there, it will be a running sore


in the am and what for years to come. Not as bad as Rhodesia but may


be heading in that direction. If David Cameron boycott the Heads of


Government Meeting, how will that change human rights intra- Lankan?


-- in Sri Lanka. Our concern is that it will present a face to the world


that everything is right. He said he will be taken to some of the


troubled spots but we know that in the past, Conservative MPs have come


back with glowing accounts but have not been shown the real horrors. The


foreign office will have briefed David Cameron and if he is there, he


can make much stronger representations as the head of


government than by not going. He should have been doing this for the


entire length of 2013. should have been doing this for the


example to the Commonwealth on your human rights record. They have not


done anything and David Cameron has not used the period to put pressure


on them either. He has left it far too late. What do you think on the


issue of influence? Would it be in a better place to make a stand now,


even if it is late in the day, by going, than by sending a junior


minister? Yes, the Sri Lankan government has got to understand


that they beat the Tamil tigers and now they have been suppressing the


Tamil people. They say there have been atrocities on both sides. There


is a very big Tamil minority and that has an impact. Although this


summit is going to be a bit of a mess, it is probably better on


balance to make the points that need to be made now so they can be


followed up later. to be made now so they can be


dog can -- gets forgotten about. Generally the issue has not made a


headline is more than a couple of times and the same fate will happen


again if he does not go. It is important to keep it on the


international agenda and that is where things like the Channel 4


films that was shown last week, it was absolutely shocking in some of


its content, it is important to do that. We need an international


independent enquiry into what has happened in Sri Lanka. They set up


their own internal enquiry which frankly was... Nothing has come of


it, it was a bit of a figleaf. Do you think Sri Lanka should be in the


Commonwealth? It is important that we use Commonwealth membership to


enforce what should be shared values. We would not be calling for


Sri Lanka to leave the Commonwealth, we want them to address human rights


abuses. There are other we want them to address human rights


were committed? It would be a reasonable first step because the


media is awash with stories, some true and some not. It needs to be


pot and some not. It needs to be buttoned out. -- bottomed out. The


government has got to understand that the world will not turn away


from this. Does it think it can get away with it? It does. They are


saying we will suppress this for once and for all, we have beaten the


Tamils and we will deal with the ethnic problem for the pit is also a


problem for southern India. Now it's time for our daily quiz.


They seem to be they seem to be pushy in what I


would call a pseudo- genocidal policy.


The question for today is, what has Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi had to


apologise for? Was it claiming Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi had to


have his duck house re-decorated? At the end of the show Michael will


give us the correct answer. You wait for months, sometimes years


for him to make a public statement - and then two come along in quick


succession. I speak, of course, of the latest missive from former prime


minister, John Major. Last month he had a go at the Government's record


on cost of living. On Friday he addressed a Conservative Party


association in Norfolk. Our correspondent, Gary O'Donohoe,


wasn't there - but he's spoken to people who were - and joins us now.


What did Sir John have to say for himself? Essentially he had a go


about the state of social mobility in the country and he said it was


truly maddening that the country was still run by what he described as


the private school educated elite and the well-heeled middle class.


the private school educated elite you doesn't think it is here. He


also continues some of those themes -- he doesn't think it is here. He


talks about the cripplingly low interest rate that pensioners are


getting. He suggested interest rates ought to be raised so that


pensioners get some returns on their savings. I think he would argue, and


people have been arguing that he has not been silent, he has been saying


these things at various points up and down the country. And perhaps


there is a sense in which he is making these things more public. I


was told that there was not unhappiness on his part, that there


were reporters present on Friday. It does sound a little bit


orchestrated, he is not going to give that sort of speech, laden with


political points, unless it is going to be reported. What do you think he


is up to be reported. What do you think he


fault. The difficulty is that when you start using phrases like private


school educated elite, it sort of feeds into a narrative of criticism


that is already out feeds into a narrative of criticism


of David Cameron and the people surrounding him and his Cabinet. It


is not surprising, I don't think he would find it also -- all that


surprising that it is regarded as a bit of blue on blue criticism as


well. As the election approaches, former prime ministers believe they


have some wisdom to impart. He doesn't forget that he pulled the


iron out of the fire in 1992 and he won a Commons majority against all


the odds in that election. He thinks it is still possible for the Tories


to do that if they stop squabbling. it is still possible for the Tories


privately educated? I couldn't agree more and I gave a speech at one of


the country's leading public schools. It is not just politics, it


is the BBC, it is banking, it is journalism. It is every sphere. What


we are doing is inhibiting us as a country to compete on the global


stage. Because we are drawing our expertise and our talent from a


narrow pool of 7% of the country. What and who is to blame? There is


no one particular person or measure, this is something which has


been happening over a long period of time. I think the removal of grammar


schools by the Labour Party and the destruction of them, almost, and to


a degree, our lack of wanting to readopt the grammar school model. I


came from a readopt the grammar school model. I


conflicting evidence in how much grammar schools helped but the main


-- main point made by John Major is it is their fault. The accept that?


I don't. -- do you accept that? Under Labour, if you take


education, labour narrowed the gap slightly in schools. They should


have done more. It did but its long-term work is hard to shift. It


depends on changes in society, it depends on people coming through


schools, getting into universities and colleges. It all takes time. In


13 years you can put down mercifully that wasn't incremented.


I wish he had. No evidence that it increases social mobility.


Scandinavian countries have come brands of education, they don't


select at 11. They have a very different model over also it is


wrong to use that as an example. Also under Labour, the gap between


the rich and the poor grew massively and that certainly doesn't help


social mobility. If that hadn't have happened, maybe there would have


been more improvement in terms of social mobility. One of John


Major's main points is that it is very difficult for anybody... I


don't even believe Margaret Thatcher would make it to where she did. It


is very difficult for anybody from the background that I came from and


he came from, to look at industries like banking, journalism, the arts,


the BBC, politics, and see a like banking, journalism, the arts,


the people who are in those positions are picking like-minded,


similar people. Undoubtedly, people with wealth and power tend to pass


it on, they pass it onto their children. So, it is incredibly


important to have routes through into the professions, as well as in


wider society, and you do have to break up some of the closed shops.


Can I just say, this is not just any particular party, this is across all


parties. But do you not think John Major was having a go, looking at


George Osborne, David Cameron and to select sent Nick Clegg? I think the


problem at the top of all of the parties is that we do have a small


group of people at the top who are all from a very similar background.


In terms of grammar school education, you think it was this


great key to success for education, you think it was this


ultimately, the structural problem is the global boom of the 1980s and


1990s, and you would think that where a global boom is more


prevalent, that it would create more social mobility, but it tends not


to, because it is the middle-class people who can use market forces


more easily than others. Looking at Scandinavia, is it not the case that


everybody, or a vast majority, go to the same schools, and therefore,


that equalises their opportunities? It is only here in Britain where we


have this flourishing private education, which does not help


narrow the gap? In Scandinavia, you are talking about countries with a


much smaller population, where the government in that country can


identify and meet the needs of that population, because it is wealthier,


in a far more effective way than we can do with 65 million people in the


UK. can do with 65 million people in the


the UK, it is very difficult to go back to the drawing board and turn


it upside down and start again. Is that why we have seen so much focus


on state education from politicians, because they are trying to turn that


7% of the population going to private schools and


disproportionately represented at Russell group universities... ? That


is not the only issue. Vocational education is incredible --


incredibly important, other routes into success are also important. But


selecting at 11 makes it worse, because you are just tracking them


from an early age. The kids with middle-class parents will just have


more tuition when they are at primary school. But you cannot stop


people doing that. You can't, but it is the state's job to make sure that


all children frustrates me that 50% of them come


from the private school set, but as we are the BBC, we want the very


best. Fundamental problem is that we have to raise up state education to


become trouble with that from the private sector. Do you think it is


comparable yet? No, I do not, and I do not understand why not. When you


going to a private school, apart from the structure of the buildings


and the infrastructure, then what is taught is the same curriculum that


we have in our state schools. Now, we have social problems, and in


Germany, people reflect what they are taught more than they reflect


their parenting. In the UK, children reflect their parenting more than


their schooling. I think we need to step up to the plate and make


schooling much more influential on the life of a child and drive up


school standards. I would like to bring up a point which you made


about the BBC, because I get loads have by virtue of their parents and


their background and their connections. Do you think the


Government is actually going to do anything about social mobility? They


can do a certain amount, they can influence it, but ultimately, it


seems to me that social mobility is created by bigger factors, like the


way the economy works. Governments cannot create social mobility. The


Labour Party tried but it did not make much difference. Our armed


forces, particularly those who have been wounded or killed in the


service of their country, are very much in our thoughts today. What was


once a commemoration of people who fought in two world wars has now


become a reflection on the conflicts of a more recent era. But how good


are we at turning our tribute 's into practical support for Britain's


servicemen and women? David Thompson reports.


servicemen and women? David Thompson -- permanently maintained costume at


-- permanently maintained? It is called the military covenant. The


concept goes back to Elizabethan times, but had no basis in law,


until this government introduced the Armed Forces Covenant, which


includes things like reducing council tax for those on active


service, and doubling welfare grants for families. There are now also


community and corporate covenants so that private sector employers can do


their bit as well. But does it go far enough? Very sadly, we still


have people serving in our Armed Forces getting discriminated against


in society. Clearly, that is appalling. We have got to look at


how appalling. We have got to look at


our country. While public support for the Armed Forces may be at an


all-time high now, that might not always be the case. My concern is,


will that supports decline as we see the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and


the media spotlight fading, when actually, the needs of that group of


people, and the support they are going to be calling on from


donations and from organisations like the Royal British Legion, will


begin to Newington be on the increase? But for all of the good


intentions and warm words, is the covenant actually something tangible


to those at the sharp end? If you are a soldier on the front line in


Afghanistan, clearly that is not going to be at the forefront of your


mind. But it does matter to our Armed Forces, that they are being


properly looked after, that the covenant


nation's gratitude to the Armed Forces is not in doubt. But what


really counts is how we show it in the weeks, months and years to come.


Michael Clarke is still with us. As the public's attitude changed


towards the Armed Forces? Yes, I think it has. The public is behind


those on the front line, but I think now they are much more sceptical


about the military establishment as a whole, and politics behind it.


There is a sense in which Iraq and Afghanistan have been regarded as


campaigns which the public do not like very much, but they support the


boys and girls who are having to do it. It is the wooden and batted


effect, troops coming home in coffins, and everybody is very


respectful, but it makes the troops into victims of government policy,


and the troops themselves are not happy about that. They do not want


to be seen as victims. They are instruments


to be seen as victims. They are vast swathes of the population did


not know about or did not care about? Absolutely, and at the


moment, I think it is unprecedented. I have heard it said that the public


have never been more sentimental about our Armed Forces than they are


now. On the other hand, we should not assume that it is some sort of


sporting event. They have got to understand that these are national


interests, for good or bad, which are being pursued. The danger is


that the glamour and the sentiment which goes into thinking about the


Armed Forces takes the public away from what is it that they are


fighting about? Interestingly, there is this difference between the


personal and the political. What about once people have left the


service, or finished their tour of duty, and go back into normal


civilian life or digit is more than people think it should be, more


difficult than most of us realise. lifetime will start to suffer some


sort of battle stress. That will come out in all sorts of different


ways. How does that manifested itself? It might just make somebody


more difficult to live with, might make them more morose, it might give


them other problems. It depends on the individual. Some people give up


their lives, some people give up normal at either the rest of their


lives, with injuries, but everybody gives up a little bit of their


sanity when they are on operation. What about the covenant which was


being spoken about there, coming back and wanting to buy a home, or


just get another job, how hard is that? It varies. The services are


now doing a lot more to ease that transition into civilian life. They


are making a lot more benefits available, and trying to give people


a lot more training. Having served in the forces,


a lot more training. Having served been in garrison in Germany 20 years


ago, say, having served in a war makes that transition more difficult


than most of us might think. Thank you very much. Now, the trial is


continuing of the former News International chief executive


Rebekah Brooks and the Prime Minister's former communications


chief Andy Coulson. Both face charges which they deny arising from


the phone hacking affair. Our correspondent is outside the Old


Bailey. What can you tell us? Day 11 of the proceedings this morning, and


Rebekah Brooks arrived by taxi with her husband Charlie, and Andy


Coulson arrived later, on his own, by foot. Those are three of the


eight defendants on trial. Focus this morning from the prosecution


has very much been on a story which appeared in the News of


has very much been on a story which on the phone of a friend, Sally


Anderson, in the autumn of 2005, in which he related very intimate


details, white emotional. The jury heard him speaking. These messages


were hacked by Glenn Mulcaire, the convicted phone hacker, who was


working for the News of the World, and they will add to found -- they


were later found on tapes in his house. David Blunkett says to Sally


Anderson, a close friend, they are all being absolutely vile. I am


really sorry. Someone is destroying both of our lives at this moment in


time. It is absolutely vile. Whoever it is, I hope they rot in hell. In a


second take, and if there are any children close by, he said, I do not


know who has done this, but they are real bustards, he said in his


distinctive Yorkshire accent. He real bustards, he said in his


some of the notebooks which belonged to Glenn Mulcaire, the phone hacker,


detailing these messages left to Sally Anderson, and in the top


left-hand corner, as he did throughout all of his notebooks, he


left a selection of names referring to the person who tasked him, in


this case, Ian, meaning Ian Edmondson . all the people deny the


charges. The Newspaper editors and


politicians look to be at loggerheads over the regulation of


the press. The Privy Council brought into force a Royal Charter on press


regulation - but so far most national newspapers are refusing to


have anything to do with it. But yesterday on the Sunday Politics


programme, the Deputy Labour Leader, Harriet Harman, suggested that a


deal could yet be done with the new regulator being set up by the


newspaper industry. have turned people's lives upside


down, and the press have said, we will to sort things out and leave it


to us, they have sorted things out and a few years later they have


slipped back. This recognisable check it once every six years and


say, yes, you have got an independent system and it has


remained independent, and therefore that is to guarantee that things


will not slip back. That was deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman.


Joining us now, two of Fleet Street's finest come out of the


rain. Welcome to the programme. What do you make of Harriet Harman's


comments, this softening of the line? It is interesting, the battle


over press regulation that we saw during believe is an enquiry. --


Turin be Leveson enquiry. could run, and they may not try,


after a certain period of time, may not enforce the Royal Charter in its


current state? That is what Harriet Harman seem to be suggestion and she


has opened a can of worms. Hacked Off said it would be and come --


said it would be incompatible. I imagine the remarks would be


welcomed by most of the newspaper groups is a bit of an olive branch,


that the government doesn't want to drive through more changes and


statute -- sorry, that Labour does not want to. And that they will have


a sit down and talk about how this might work in the future. A vicar


camera is at risk of being criticised for not doing what he


promised to do -- David Cameron is criticised for not doing what he


parties and if it falls short, they will not be happy. It will take a


long time to short out under think we are some way from seeing the


final version. What is John Major up to? Talking about


final version. What is John Major up worms, lobbying in grenades and the


more like. Deliberately so? Apparently not, apparently being the


keyword. One of the key points of this speech the private constituency


dinner in Norfolk at the weekend was that we should carry out our battles


behind closed doors within the Conservative Party. We shouldn't


have these sorts of fights in public, as happened when he was


prime minister, there was constant infighting played out on television


and in the newspapers. He is saying it did not work then and it will not


work now. Low and behold his remarks were leaked to the Telegraph and


they are were leaked to the Telegraph and


Number ten? Public -- publicly they will be saying he is allowed to


intervene but what are they really thinking? It is interesting, they


know they have to appeal to the blue-collar, Aspar and working-class


voters, the sort of people who got John Major into Downing Street in


1992 -- aspirational. They will be conscious that there is probably


something in what John Major says and they need to reach out to new


groups of voters. What danger is the NHS crisis? Potentially cute but


however, they are prepared for it. In August -- potentially huge. The


government set out ?250 million to get through the winter because they


were anticipating a huge demand on the NHS. It is not helped that


Labour are pushing the NHS. It is not helped that


the Conservatives. Number ten are aware of it, worried about it but


they are prepared for it. They are hoping that they will be able to get


through the winter without some crisis exploding. Are you surprised


by the level of political involvement in an issue which is


supposed to run itself separate of political involvement? David Cameron


spent so long before the last election trying to neutralise it as


a political issue. To some extent he did. Absolutely but since then it


has been a different story. We have had NHS reforms which has caused a


coalition problem as well as a public one for David Cameron and he


could be in for a long, hard winter if there are A problems. Thank you


very much. It's a month since the Government


rolled out its controversial "Help to Buy" scheme, which guarantees


mortgages of up to 95% of the value of a property for those who can


afford the repayments but can't afford a large deposit. The


afford the repayments but can't Adam Shaw. Welcome to the programme.


How easy is it to find affordable housing in this country? Not very,


is what you will hear from a lot of people. As part of the programme we


asked its asked Mori to conduct a survey of just over 1000 adults,


asking them how much they spend on their housing and 31%, about a


third, said they spent around a third of their disposable income on


mortgage or rent. That is not just a number, it is very significant. If


you talk to organisations like the Joseph Rowntree foundation, they say


at precisely that point, housing becomes unaffordable. If you are


spending that much, you can't afford other basic needs. We speak to


people in the programme, people in employment who run out of food by


the end of the week, because they have no extra spare cash.


the end of the week, because they important to look at prices but also


to look at affordability. If you go out into the country, a lot of


people feel this is just unaffordable. On that issue, that is


why the government has been so proud of what it is calling a success with


Help to Buy, is it helping? This is a big question and not for a humble


reporter to give you the answer. I can give you the evidence so other


people can judge. Since it started, construction starts have gone up 6%.


There is little evidence that I can see it is because of Help to Buy,


but it certainly happened at that time. There are new figures about


the second round of Help to Buy, it shows people are interested now,


even more than in the first round. A lot of people say it could have the


opposite effect. Because if you are encouraging people, enabling people


to take out encouraging people, enabling people


time, you have encouraged the bonds of people to take it -- bunch of


people to take debt that they can afford now but not in the future. If


it is pushing up housing starts and prices, what you might be doing is


moving the affordability of homes, not closer to poorer people but


further away, because you are boosting demand without being able


to get supply up quickly enough. Joining me now are three people who


want to become MPs, God help them. Clarence Mitchell, who will be


fighting the Brighton Pavilion seat for the Conservatives, Rowenna


Davies, who is contesting Southampton Itchen for Labour and


Maajid Nawaz who will be the Lib Dem candidate in Hampstead Kilburn.


Welcome to the programme. Clarence Mitchell, what are the risks of this


fuelling another credit bust? We believe it is all about empowering


hard-working people to get onto believe it is all about empowering


independence and self-reliance and the aspiration in being able to own


their own home. We have heard the figures are working, Help to Buy is


delivering. Some 2000 access and is is in principle, three other than


?65 million in mortgage applications being processed -- 2000 accidents --


acceptances. I applaud the Conservatives for wanting to deal


with the housing crisis in this country. I don't think it is up to


the scale of the problem because of the housing supply shortage that we


have. At the moment, only ten of these deals have gone through. There


is a real problem that it will cause a housing bubble. The bubble was the


cause of a crash in the first place and that is exactly what we want to


avoid. Do and that is exactly what we want to


East when inflation is much higher foot I can't afford a home in London


and I am renting in London. The two problems are that house prices are


too high, and that what happens as a result is that rent prices are too


high. If you help people to buy, you increase the price of houses and


that means that more people cannot buy. We have to increase the supply


of housing. This government has built 190,000 new houses at Danny


Alexander has announced in the next Parliament, 3 billion will be


injected to build new houses. The other is to help people to buy


houses. The boy like me and most of us who can't afford houses in


London. This is the jilted generation -- people like me and


most of us who can't afford. Would you say it is a problem if all you


do is help people to pump up their mortgages, but you don't create


is the exact cause of the crisis. For generations, owning your own


home on a mortgage has been a great British aspiration, it gives people


hope for the future, it gives them an asset which increases in value.


Assets are increases in in the south-east but in some parts the


valuations have crashed. The rising economy, driven by the construction


sector, building new homes, will ultimately lead to a stability in


the market where there is more affordability. The crisis has been


decades in the making, it has not just happened during this


Parliament. One of my best is to get to the bottom of this while making


it affordable for people to buy homes. One of the ways suggested in


preventing a housing boom and bubble is for interest rates to go up


should they go up next year? If you raise them it has a knock-on effect


on people's mortgages and it can slow down


on people's mortgages and it can clearing up the mess of the last 13


years of economic mismanagement. Interest rates are independently set


but they should stay as low as possible for as long as possible, to


enable more people to have more money. Should they stay as low as


possible? The answer is to build more houses. Everyone is agreed but


it is the rate at which they are going to be built. The financial


policy committee is going to monitor this situation. We cannot renew this


policy until they give the green light for it. That is another safety


against the crisis. A quarter of people are trading up, they are not


first-time buyers, should those be the people you are helping, too?


Whelping the majority who it seems first-time buyers,


Whelping the majority who it seems available to people buying homes --


who are buying homes worth ?600,000. I home worth over half a million is


very unlikely to be bought by a hard-working family in this


country. Should it be valued up to ?600,000, it is a substantial amount


of money. In the south-east houses are overinflated in their value and


I think the solution is to drastically increase supply for


housing. Are the right people being help? People will say it is a bribe


to say, we will help you buy your home, vote Conservative or Lib Dem.


This is about helping young individuals who want to have their


own home and they can now make it possible because we can make the


deposit basis affordable. The safeguard is the financial policy


committee which will be monitoring to avoid that type of scenario and


it cannot be renewed until they give the go-ahead.


it cannot be renewed until they give and emergency units. Last week,


senior consultants said A departments were facing what may be


our worst winter yet. How big an issue is the NHS with your


constituents? It is huge. We have got Kilburn High Road which has, I


would say, a disproportionate amount of people who rely on the social


services. We have got a heavy immigrant population there. I have


used those clinics myself, I have depended on them. So they should not


have closed? No, I agree with the chair of the Association, who said,


the problem was, when the primary care trust areas were carved up,


these walk-in clinics were allocated arbitrarily in accordance with those


areas. What should have happened instead was


areas. What should have happened it was a mistake to close them? In


individual cases, I am sure there were good reasons why it happened.


Of course there is a need for people to have good quality A care. We


accept that. But there were some concerns about educational services


in some cases. But essentially, the Conservatives are working with NHS


England to make sure that services are tailored to the needs of the


local community. ?3.8 billion is being put towards a fund to join up


health and care services properly. Walk-in centres may be part of the


answer, that they are not a one size fits all solution. Family GPs and


pharmacists all play their part. Do you accept that Labour must take


response of validity for those GP contracts, which means there


response of validity for those GP contract which they had signed? We


are going to look at those contracts. But with these walk-in


centres being shut, one quarter of those people who would have gone to


those centres are going to end up in A The Conservatives will say that


perhaps there is educational services, but when I am in


Southampton, people say, I try and go to my GP, but I cannot get an


appointment, which is why those walk-in centres are so crucial. That


is why we want to expand the role of GPs, along with pharmacists. I have


tried to phone the GP in the morning, you are given a 15 minute


slot to make an appointment, and obviously, the phone is off the hook


constantly. GPs need to be incentivised to provide online,


telephone and flexible hours and service, but those contracts need to


be service, but those contracts need to


winter coming, but what about the problem at the other end of the


scale, which is that people are not being discharged properly, because


there is nowhere to discharge them to come particularly old people, and


this is clogging up the system in A? All of this needs to be looked


at. I have read the conclusions in this research, and also some of the


GP advice, and on the whole, I think it is sensible. I would encourage


the ministers to take a serious look at that and implement some of the


solutions, because they are quite sensible. Andy Burnham has said that


what we really need is the proper integration of health and social


care, and I think the parties need to get around the table and say, we


need a consensus on joining up the system. I think there is


need a consensus on joining up the indication from Labour not that they


do not like... ? My understanding, from speaking to Andy Burnham, is


that once particular contracts come to an end, they will not be renewed.


It is not like a full-scale dismantling of the system. What do


you say to people when you are speaking to them, why did we have


this top-down reorganisation, we did not vote for it? One of the few


policy areas which was ring fenced in terms of funding was the NHS. The


NHS is safe in Conservative hands. Have you seen the targets, have you


seen the waiting time lists, homely people are waiting in A? Process


and bureaucracy and some of the layers of management need to be


dealt with. We put patient care at the heart of everything we do.


dealt with. We put patient care at solution going forward? That would


be helpful. The problem is the confusion that these reforms have


caused. A lot of these walk-in clinics do not know what is going to


be happened to them. -- happening. Walk-in clinics are an important


area, but they are not a one size fits all solution. There are 650 of


them, and my guests will hope to join this prestigious grouping,


members of Parliament. But their path to power is not always smooth


as shown in Falkirk. So, how do you get selected? The process of


becoming an MP is a long one. Everybody must do battle with others


from their own party to get selected in the first place. In the


Conservatives under Liberal Democrats, you have to go through an


assessment process in order to get onto a centrally


elected by local party members, where the endorsement of a union


could improve your chances of success. But it is no guarantee.


Rowenna Davis, how did you get selected? By working really hard.


The selection process is essentially a two-month public interview. I got


on my bike and cycled around two Labour Party member after Labour


Party member, sat in their homes and listened to their hopes and their


fears, talked about what I believed in and stood for, went back and


wrote handwritten letters to them, hours and hours of campaigning in


the rain, until you build up to this massive hustings, where you have a


huge public debate and an election for the candidate in question. It


was a fantastic day, it is a really good example of old-fashioned


democracy more on that day. We have the highest turnout of any selection


democracy more on that day. We have constituents and to the


association. The associations are hypercritical about the people they


are going to have representing them in Parliament. It is absolutely


proper that you do come through this scrap to get there. I did my


Parliamentary assessment board back in 2009, and here I am, nearly six


years later, having gone through this process, and still standing.


You clearly all want it very badly, which is something, but how much


does it cost? For me, the only thing was the transport, knocking on every


single member's door. My constituency is the narrowest


marginal in the country. I had to knock on every member's door. First


time around, I failed. They selected somebody who then took a job


somewhere else and had to move out of the area, and I went for it


again. of the area, and I went for it


interests. They are not bedazzled by Star TV quality. And that is


something to be proud of. Because you have all got a public profile in


one way or another, so did that help, in some way? It is a help and


a hindrance. Every constituency wants a star, somebody who will


shine out, who will go on The Daily Politics and speak for them.


Indeed. But at the same time it can be a hindrance, because we know


there is a huge amount of suspicion in politics at the moment, and


stereotypes and suspicions about whether you have been centrally


parachuted in. You have to work very hard to say, no, actually, it is


just me and my bike. I would agree with that. Yes, in my case, Brighton


has got a media economy, it is a with that. Yes, in my case, Brighton


you are not in it for yourself. And Labour got into a mess in Falkirk.


Yes, and that proves that machine politics does not work. What works


is going door-to-door and earning the trust people individually. It is


quite interesting how far the Labour Party has gone in the wake of


Falkirk to change the way these processes are run. Introducing an


open primary for London is a massive thing. That is for the mayoralty,


and for some Parliamentary seats as well. What has happened to open


primary is? That was hailed as the great hope of politics and it has


gone. It has not gone, we have had Hampstead and things like that, it


was never going to completely take over. It is ultimately down to the


individual associations to run their contest the way they see fit. And


powers that be, that you get outspoken views wanted yes, the


powers that he can speak for themselves, but some associations


feel it is the right way forward, giving them a wider mandate, but


others are happy to stick to the traditional route, which is an


internal special general meeting, which votes on the candidates. In


terms of the people putting themselves forward, Conservative MP


Douglas Carswell said a tiny clique of people are entering politics, and


the Liberal Democrats are struggling particularly to get that range if


you like of ethnic minority candidates and women, so do you


agree with him? A lot more can be done, but here I am. I hope


hopefully I will be the first parliamentarian to speak fluent


Arabic, a lot is changing. parliamentarian to speak fluent


Politics quiz, and what has he had to apologise for, can you remember?


I cannot remember the exact amount, but well done for getting that


right. Are you worried about the thought of expenses rearing its ugly


head again? When I get a stable, I will worry about it. I think MPs


realise that there was a period when things were done within the rules


but for the wrong reasons, in the sense that they felt they were not


properly compensated. The way to go is what Sarah did, she paid for


everything herself, and hats to her for that. Thank you to all of my


guests today. I will be here again tomorrow. Bye-bye.


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