21/11/2013 Daily Politics


21/11/2013

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by former city "superwoman" Nicola Horlick. Plus all the big political stories of the day.


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First Minister's questions. That is the cause of questions. Time

:00:00.:00:00.

for me to say goodbye. I will hand over to David.

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mistake for the Conservatives to do this. They are trying to allege

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improper knowledge on our part of some influence in terms of the

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Reverend Flowers. Secondly, by getting into a political dogfight,

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they are going to focus attention of our relationship with the Co-op in

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recent years, terms of encouraging men to take over Lloyds bank. The

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latest revelation about leaning on the European Union. This was started

:00:38.:00:46.

in the last three days by the Prime Minister. I think it has been an

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error of judgement. We are going to welcome you in Scotland. Why did the

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Chancellor have 30 meetings with the co-operative bank, head of the

:01:00.:01:04.

failed bid for a takeover of the Lloyds branches? These stories are

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related. They are both about the co-operative bank. They are not the

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same issue at all. There are questions to be asked. Questions

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about how he could have been licensed to be in this position and

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what they knew about the general health of the bank at a later stage.

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They are not the same thing at all. No, but it should be looked at.

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Relationships between George Osborne and the Treasurer were also close.

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He has been shown to know nothing about the bank. Why did they have

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all those meetings? Why is he so involved in the failed bid for a

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takeover? What is the due diligence? There will be multiple enquiries.

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Lots of things will I said did the Treasury on the Lloyds deal to be

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done or with the Co-op? My view was they wanted it to be done with the

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Co-op. So did Labour. By trying to get into this fight, I thought this

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could be a short-term tactic which backfired very badly. In the end it

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is not -- mudslinging on both sides. Now it is in a very sticky situation

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for both sides. Yes, I think that is true. The Lloyds merger with HBOS

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during the financial crisis and one of the reasons they were able to

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take it over was it was agreed with some branches and there had to be a

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home found for them. What they were trying to do was provide more

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diversity and in the end we ended up with TSB. What do you think of

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Reverend Flowers? The question of how he got to the position of

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chairman of the Co-op tank, how did that happen? I don't know. It is

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bizarre. It is different from a commercial situation. You would

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normally have a head hunter. Because it is the co-operative movement, he

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seems to have come through the trustee route. It seems that he was

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not questioned more. Was questioned but only once. Is it your

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understanding that it was your belief that no one in Labour Party

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headquarters are in the leader's office knew the real reason why no

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one -- that no one knew the real reason why Mr Flowers stepped down

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from Radford city council? If Ed Miliband had known... The point Jo

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was asking was about the pornography on the computer and inappropriate

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e-mails being sent. It is your view that no one in the Labour Party

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headquarters in London or in the leader's office knew why he had

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resigned? That covers a few hundred people. It would only take one to be

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enough. It is difficult for me to speak to all of them but I do not

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think anyone senior in the Labour Party knew about this guy. The thing

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that is getting lost which I think is a shame, the Co-op made a series

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of bad mistakes, ultimately resulting in bad appointment,

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including Reverend Flowers, that resulted in a 1.6 million black

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hole. In the middle of all this mudslinging is whether there is a

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question of a role for something different in banking, whether there

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is a role for me to listen or credit unions. I think it is getting

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completely lost because of the colourful life of Reverend Flowers.

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We will have to leave it there. Councils in England say they are

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losing ?4.1 billion to Scotland and Wales because the formula for

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allocating money across the UK has not been updated since the 1970s. In

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a moment, we will speak to the Local Government Association but first we

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are joined by our political correspondent Vicki Young in

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Westminster and Jamie McIvor in Scotland. We have long heard

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complaints about the so-called Barnett formula. How much money

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would Scotland and Wales lose and how much would England game? It is

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nothing new. There are already complaints about how the fauna

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works. There are new figures today saying that England is out of pocket

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by ?4.1 billion. They say the Barnett formula is a historic relic

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from the 1970s and their main complaint is it is not based on

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need, it is based on population. What they are saying is we need now

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in England, when it comes to adult social care is very great and they

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think it is a matter of when that formula is going to change, not if.

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The LGA themselves are coming up with alternative methods of funding.

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I do not think we should expect any changes ahead of the Scottish

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referendum but they are saying if you're going to look at changing the

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powers of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, that formula has

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to change and England must not lose out any longer. No doubt that the

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action in Scotland will be one that is very critical. The point many

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will make here, about the argument expressed by the local government

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Association, is really that it is comparing apples with pairs when it

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comes to cancel funding. It does not pay for councils in Scotland

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directly. It gives the Scottish Government it's blocked Grant. It

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gives roughly a third of that money to councils. If they wanted, they

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could give councils far more or buy cancels a bag of sweets and give

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them twopence Hateley with a bit left over. This is outdated. It was

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set up in the late 1970s. Surely, it is not applicable now? It has been a

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feature of public life in Scotland since Andrew was an economist. I

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would have been seven at the time of the referendum. It does go back to

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the crux of the debate about Scottish independence. Nationalists

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would argue the formula is outdated and Scotland puts more into the UK

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Treasury than it gets back. That is why they want complete fiscal

:09:17.:09:19.

autonomy for Scotland. Many within the Unionist ham are open to the

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argument of whether or not Scotland deserves a greater degree of fiscal

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autonomy and that the block grant should be cut as a result of that.

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We are joined by Merrick, chairman of the local government

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Association. Welcome. What do you say to our young friends in

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Scotland? You get your money from the London government. Scottish

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local authorities get their money from the Scottish Government. So,

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the amount they get is up to the Scottish Government. The amount you

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get is up to the London government. Why are you comparing it. It is the

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formula with which it is done. We were still in a period when you

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could take ?50 away for your summer holiday. This is 1979. It was

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created to deal with the upcoming 79 referendum, which we know the result

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of that it was a different time, before Scotland had tax-raising

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powers. Now Wales is being offered a referendum for tax-raising powers.

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It was simply block grant between various parts of the UK. It is not

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the formula that determines how much the local councils get in Scotland,

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it is the Scottish Government that determines that. Just as it is the

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London government that determines how much you get. If you want more

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money, surely it is the London government you should be lobbying.

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There was not a Scottish government when the formula was created. The

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formula was running. They must decide how the money is divvied up

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in Scotland. What is wrong with that? The formula was a temporary

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measure. We need a different way of funding public services. Scotland

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will decide. Our point is that England, the cities of England, the

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regions of England, also should be funded in a different way. We're not

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trying to take money from Scotland or Northern Ireland Wales. We are

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trying to say there should be equity. From 1979 until 2010,

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actually most of that time public expenditure was going up into local

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communities. We are in a different world. There is less money for us

:11:40.:11:43.

all. We need equity in the wake it is spent. This is a bizarre time to

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raise this. If Scotland votes for independence, it becomes irrelevant.

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If they get independence, everything is over. If it votes to stay in,

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there will need to be discussion on the terms with which Scotland stays

:12:01.:12:06.

in. It would be relevant to raise this in the formula. We're making a

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long-term case with actually the next government about how funding is

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done. No one will listen to you. They will not listen to you. Someone

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is listening to us. Others are listening in to your programmes and

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other programmes. These are important matters. It is to do with

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the way English regions and cities are funded. It is to be equitable

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with the rest of the union. There has not been much debate about

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Scotland and the referendum happening. I agree with that. I must

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try to put that right at stage. The LGA is not without political

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sophistication. The mainstream party that wants to save the union, and

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that is Labour, Conservative Lib Dems, is going to come up with a

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formula this side of the referendum that clearly means the Scottish

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Government will get less money. Maybe they should. Maybe they should

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not. It not happen. Ella Awe are talking about after the next

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election. If that is the debate... The debate has already shifted by

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the move in Wales. We are saying that parts of England, the cities

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and regions of England, should be treated in the same way. A lot of

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people get this wrong. One of the people who knew Joel Barnett, it is

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not based on need, is it? It is based on the population and

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expenditure pre-1979. That is still being retained all the way through

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till today. I would never turn against the new formula. Every

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councillors facing budget cuts. Liverpool has had to save ?156

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billion next few years. It is said to figure to say. With every model

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is likely to be affected. Everyone should have a try themselves at

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balancing the books. We report on how an app, which lets people have a

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go at setting their own council budgets, is catching on. Elaine is a

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tour guide. Matthew has just opened a salad bar. You know what you have

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two do. Balance the books. They can access every government department

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and make cuts. It shows what the cuts will do. In terms of service is

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lost and the bottom line. I have started by trying to be fair. I have

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put 10% of every service. We are still over budget. Where did you

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make the cuts? The library. Libraries can go? Libraries do not

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cost lives. Why are you shaking your head? I know the impact tourism has

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on the city. I believe in privatisation, if that is a

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possibility. Does it make a big impact on the bottom line? Name. For

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the team, it is a game. For this man, it is a reality. Do you think

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Joan has been soft in any areas? Could he be more tough? I totally

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agree with foul. I have tried really hard to come in on budget. I could

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not do it. It is so difficult. How much does it cost? Probably ?5,000.

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The reality is people of our city actually understand why we are doing

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things and get away from the dependency that the council can do

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things. Everything could disappear altogether. We aren't joined by the

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Mayor and Mary from the local government Association. You are

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directly elected, I think I am right in saying. What have people come up

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with from this app? Other than agreeing with you about how

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difficult the job is. It is a serious app. It is a serious

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approach to try to engage with people and and indicate the

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seriousness of the problem and the financial indications they face.

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Around 4800 people participated in trying to use the simulator. There

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are probably about 1200 people who have managed to see it through to

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the end. A lot of people have given up. It is a serious issue for us to

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try to engage with the public and see if we can talk to them about the

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challenges that we face and work with them to look at what services

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we should provide. We know, with funding cuts, that local

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authorities, certainly Liverpool, will not be able to do things we

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would like to do. Has anything come out of this process that you had not

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thought of? We have not looked in detail at the suggestions. Matthew

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looked at the private sector. We are looking at working with the private

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sector, for instance. One of our golf courses is being subsidised by

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the taxpayers. We have put that into the private sector and we will end

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up saving or making around ?60,000. We are working with the private

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sector, we are going to have to become more of a Commissioner of

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services rather than a provider of services. There will be a situation

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where there will be huge reduction in our library services. That is the

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point about what Merrick was talking about the Barnett formula. It is

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linked to our local authority funding. My argument is the

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politicians on both sides should be honest about addressing the Barnett

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formula and looking at the way is distributed. I also think the UK

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government should look at how the funding that we do have is also

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funded. Liverpool is not a deficit denier. We accept that there has to

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be things changed. What we are saying is why is it for instance

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that Liverpool is worse off than southern cities? I was in London

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yesterday at Downing Street promoting the International Festival

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of business which is taking place in Liverpool. Believe you me, in

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comparison with Liverpool and other northern cities, there is no

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recession in London. Thank you. We should keep in touch with you, this

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is an interesting experiment you are involved in and clearly being forced

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to make these cuts will change the nature of local government in

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Liverpool. We do not get out and about enough soap leaves keep in

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touch. OK, Andrew. I'm supposed to be a cross-party chairman of the

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LGA. How was that working? Not bad. Kensington and Chelsea would come at

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one with Liverpool in this matter? The same pressures are across the

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country. When you are directly elected mayor you speak for yourself

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and not just for the party who got you elected. Thank you.

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Grotesque monsters looking to suck the life out of humanity and insane

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warmongers trying to take over the world. We are not talking about

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Andrew or the House of Commons but that iconic series Doctor Who, which

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is celebrating its 50th anniversary which you might have noticed. This

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is one Downing Street briefing which went wrong. There is flash

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photography. You may want to hide behind the sofa.

:20:37.:20:52.

Very attractive. You can come out now. Joining us from Nottingham is

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another doctor, Doctor Mike mash -- Doctor Matthew Ashton. Matthew

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Ashton, tell us about the political elements of Doctor Who. I think it

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has always been political. Like every good science fiction book of

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film it reflects contemporary issues. Firstly there is a level for

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kids to understand with monsters and adventures but then more jokes and

:21:55.:22:03.

satire for the grown-ups. There were stories about the miners strike,

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feminism and other issues. It has never been party political but it

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has always explored politics. In the 1970s there were two episodes which

:22:22.:22:27.

explored entering the EEC and another one explored the miners

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strike. Recently there have been aliens in Downing Street so there is

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something for political anoraks. I clearly have not watched it closely

:22:38.:22:43.

enough. You mentioned that monster. He does not look scary. This was

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dealing with a small planet being taken into a federation at the time

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of the UK joining the EEC. Do you think there was a parallel? There

:22:54.:22:57.

clearly was. The producers thought they would inject some of this into

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Doctor Who and make it relevant. Matthew, what about the Dalek

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invasion of Earth. That is a familiar shot, not the Daleks but

:23:10.:23:15.

the house of parliament. That was a contemporary science fiction idea

:23:16.:23:21.

about what if the war. Often the Daleks have been used as metaphors

:23:22.:23:29.

for Nazis. They are always talking about ethical purity. What about the

:23:30.:23:41.

Green Death? That was an episode going back a little bit. It is an

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iconic episode, partly because of those maggots which were made out of

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condom is. They were extremely scary. They were not always about

:23:54.:23:57.

environmental issues, it was the time that a corporate company became

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the big baddie. It was about how corporations manipulate communities.

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What do you think it says about society, Doctor Who? I think it

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reflects issues in society. In the 1970s questions were asked in

:24:15.:24:18.

Parliament about whether it was too violent or scary to stop then in the

:24:19.:24:23.

80s Doctor Who did episodes about that, what if people watched violent

:24:24.:24:29.

TV, would it lead to revolution. I have watched it with my children and

:24:30.:24:34.

it is quite dark. Nicola, were you a fan of it? I have not watched it for

:24:35.:24:40.

25 years. When I was younger I did not pick up on the political stuff

:24:41.:24:44.

behind-the-scenes. That is because Matthew said it works both those

:24:45.:24:49.

levels. Do you think it will sustain in the future? It will because it

:24:50.:24:53.

talks about issues which people are interested in. Your favourite Doctor

:24:54.:25:00.

Who? Map Smith, actually. Thank you very much, Matthew Ashton in

:25:01.:25:07.

Nottingham. I saw the first episode of Doctor Who and it didn't have a

:25:08.:25:11.

negative affect on me, didn't have a negative effect on me, didn't have a

:25:12.:25:16.

negative affect my cred before we go, what worthy cuff links that

:25:17.:25:23.

David Cameron wore? They were Kiwi cuff links because he made a bet

:25:24.:25:27.

with the New Zealand Prime Minister and the all Blacks beat them in

:25:28.:25:28.

rugby. That is and the all Blacks beat them in

:25:29.:25:35.

rugby. That is it for today. The BBC News is starting on BBC One. I will

:25:36.:25:40.

be back tonight and we will have Delia Smith on baking, Jon Snow on

:25:41.:25:47.

cycling, Kevin Maguire, and somebody called Portillo. I cannot

:25:48.:25:48.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by former city "superwoman" Nicola Horlick and we'll be covering all the big political stories of the day.


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