21/11/2013 Daily Politics


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Relationships between George Osborne and the Treasurer were also close.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


was asking was about the pornography on the computer and inappropriate


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


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


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


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


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


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


of bad mistakes, ultimately resulting in bad appointment,


including Reverend Flowers, that resulted in a 1.6 million black


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


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


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


completely lost because of the colourful life of Reverend Flowers.


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


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


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


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


are joined by our political correspondent Vicki Young in


Westminster and Jamie McIvor in Scotland. We have long heard


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


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


nothing new. There are already complaints about how the fauna


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the crux of the debate about Scottish independence. Nationalists


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


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


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


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


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


We are joined by Merrick, chairman of the local government


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


formula this side of the referendum that clearly means the Scottish


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Mayor and Mary from the local government Association. You are


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


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


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


approach to try to engage with people and and indicate the


seriousness of the problem and the financial indications they face.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


linked to our local authority funding. My argument is the


politicians on both sides should be honest about addressing the Barnett


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


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


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


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


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


yesterday at Downing Street promoting the International Festival


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


comparison with Liverpool and other northern cities, there is no


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


photography. You may want to hide behind the sofa.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


explored entering the EEC and another one explored the miners


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


rugby. That is and the all Blacks beat them in


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


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


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


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