25/11/2013 Daily Politics


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Afternoon folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. This looks like


another bad day for RBS. A new report suggests the bank shuttered


stores deliberately in order to drive small businesses to the wall


and seize their assets on the cheap. It's very, very, very long.


In fact, the bill paving the way for High Speed Two is the biggest we've


ever seen, and it's published today. But will it ever make law?


Should the arts be singing for their supper? We'll be asking what level


of public funding they deserve. And...


# Take on me. Ed Miliband on brotherly love and


his Desert Island discs. All that in the next hour. And with


us for the first half of the programme today, and adding a touch


of glamour to the show, is the former ballerina, Deborah Bull.


Welcome to the programme. Deborah was also the creative director of


the Royal Opera House. She is currently director of the Cultural


Institute at Kings College London. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Now,


first this morning, let's talk about payday loans because the Government


is to introduce a new law to cap the cost of payday loans. Ministers want


to limit interest rates, which at the moment can exceed 4000%. Labour


pledged to crack down on payday lenders some time ago but the


Chancellor, George Osborne, denies he's stolen the opposition's idea.


We inherited a situation where the payday lending industry was almost


entirely unregulated, leading to outrageous fees and totally


unacceptable practices. We will now cap the cost of credit for the


payday lending industry, because we are on the side of hard-working


people, we want to make sure they are properly protected and we want


the banking system to work for them. Is the Government right to


intervene? There has to be evidence of real


harm for the government to intervene. It does it when there is


real harm, with alcohol and tobacco. Intervening now seems to suggest


they have accepted the evidence that there is real harm, but that means


that the Government needs to look at it more broadly. I am glad they are


looking at terms and conditions, but I think advertising has a role to


play. The Money Advice Service found that over a million people would be


going to payday lenders to fund Christmas. Why do they think there


is the need? Many people just can't get loans from high-street banks,


they are having to pay higher interest to payday lenders. And


others are saying they'll -- they are dodgy but useful. Do they have a


role to play? Of course, but it is ensuring the most vulnerable are not


targeted through inappropriate advertising, prevalence,


availability, through affordability checks which become nothing more


than a wing and a prayer. Lots of these payday lending shops are


prevalent on certain high streets. The more you see them, I suppose the


more people will be tempted to use them. If you combine that with the


power of advertising, which makes us all feel inadequate, that we have to


give more to our children and how the things that somebody else has, I


think it is good they are looking at it and I am in favour. Do you


think... The Government denies they have performed a U-turn, but you


think they are becoming more interested in intervening where they


think markets are failing? There is a question whether governments are


acting for what they believe or because they think it will will map


votes. -- win them votes. I tend to think these are pretty good


statements that I think there is real harm being done by excessive


borrowing, to easy borrowing. If good comes out of it, that is a good


thing. Now it's time for our daily quiz.


The question for today is who chairs the all-parliamentary dance group?


Is it Vince Cable, Theresa May, Sir Gerald Kaufman or Caroline Flint?


There's a challenge for you! At the end of the first half of the show,


Debra will try to give us the correct answer.


George Osborne says he is shocked, Vince Cable is appalled, Labour says


it's deplorable. Those are just some of the phrases used to describe the


latest allegations against the Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS is accused of


deliberately forcing some companies into administration in order to


seize their assets. Those are the allegations contained in a new


report into bank lending out this morning. The report has been


produced by this man, Lawrence Tomlinson, a wealthy entrepreneur


who made his fortune in the care home business. He focuses his


criticism on a division at RBS known as the Global Restructuring Group,


or GRG, which handles loans which are deemed to be risky. Mr Tomlinson


claims that some perfectly good companies have been engineered into


GRG, some of which then collapsed. He states that a perception has


arisen that the intention is to purposefully distress businesses, to


put them in GRG and subsequently take their assets at a discounted


price. Another review from the former Deputy Governor of the Bank


of England, Sir Andrew Large, into the lending practices at RBS is also


being published today. His initial findings earlier this month found


serious allegations of poor treatment by firms in financial


distress. With me now are the Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna and


the Conservative MP, Brooks Newmark, who sits on the Treasury select


committee. Does this surprise you, Brooks Newmark? No. I have talked


about it since I first got on the select committee. All MPs get


constituents who write in and particularly focus on the banks, RBS


in particular. More than almost any other bank it has been driving


perfectly healthy businesses underwater. It is the allegation


that perfectly viable businesses, not ones that were struggling but


ones that were doing all right, were driven out of business? One argument


is perfect with healthy SMEs that suddenly have the goalposts moved,


there loan comes up for renewal and they are told they are no longer


lending to that sector. Once one bank says no, even if you are


healthy, no other bank will touch you with a barge pole. But you


accept that people are attached to their businesses emotionally, as


well as financially, and RBS under the banks were being put under huge


pressure to clean up their balance sheets, get rid of businesses that


could perhaps be viewed as difficult in the future, but not all of them


were viable and perhaps they were just doing what was necessary? All


banks need to clean up unsure of their balance sheets and provide


more liquidity, ie more cash. But they were driving perfectly viable


businesses underwater and not working through their restructuring


group. Businesses teetering on the edge, they drove them under rather


than saving them. You recognise this? We have had an ignoble --


anecdotal evidence to that effect. But the central allegation of the


report is that RBS was systematically and artificially


distressing businesses with the goal of putting them under to seize their


assets and therefore profit from that. That is gravely serious. Vince


Cable is right to refer to the Financial Conduct Authority Amber


Prudential Regulation Authority, that RBS can do two things which I


think will give people confidence. -- and the Prudential Regulation


Authority. The RBS chief executive has two confirmed that the Global


Restructuring Group is not used as a profit centre but used to minimise


losses in respect of potentially distressed businesses. Just


confirming that fact, I think, would start on a road to giving people


confidence that they are not a rigging the system. The second thing


that needs to happen is the core problem that is identified as the


way in which the business's assets are valued. They are saying that the


way they are valued as skewed towards giving them an undervalued


so that the bank, through its West Register property owning arm, can


seize these assets. But the validation should begin and not just


to the bank but the businesses as well, so the valuation has a duty of


care to the businesses, not just the bank. I would like to know what RBS


has two say. We would like to hear from them, they are going to make a


statement. What happened to regulation? It depends which period


you are talking about. Post the crash, as we have seen recently with


the Paul Flowers case, it has been grossly lamentable. We wanted to see


a step change in the I think the point that Chuka Umunna


makes is correct, if they are trying to be a profit centre and prey on


weak businesses to put them under, that is a serious allegation that


must be dealt with. But you are talking about anecdotal evidence.


People will question this entrepreneur in residence, a


businessman who will have sympathy, rightly or wrongly, with the


businesses concerned. Are you absolutely sure that that very


serious allegation will be borne out, if you like? Our business


editor today says the bank is under huge pressure to get rid of the


zombie businesses, failing businesses, pressure from both your


government and your government put RBS under huge pressure. That is why


Vince Cable is right to have reverted to authorities concerned,


you are right to question the facts. I used to practice as a lawyer


myself, I did not do much insolvency, but posted 2008/2009 and


the holy nationalised nature of RBS, its management became more


centralised, there was less local discretion for relationship managers


and within the unit, which may have impacted on how people were treated.


To what extent did the incentive arrangements of those managing that


unit linked to what may have happened? There is another issue.


Potentially, to me, it would seem there are issues of legality,


whether this was lawful, what was going on. Do you accept that the


tripartite regulation under Labour failed? Wii there is generally a


consensus towards a light touch regulation, which obviously failed,


because we would not have had the global financial crash. In terms of


the tripartite system or the Twin Peaks model, I would refer to what


the former head of the FSA said in respect when he gave evidence to the


select committee when I was on it, you could have tweaked the


tripartite model and improved it all you could have had the current Twin


Peaks model, as it is now. But nobody in the overall system was


taking overall control of the financial stability. That system was


set up by Gordon Brown. You were not calling for heavy regulation, no


Conservatives were. There is a difference between heavy regulation


and better regulation. We have called for better regulation, not


necessarily more. The problem with the tripartite system is that


problems fell to even three stalls... When you have three


different regulators, things tend to fall between two. That was the


weakness of Labour's proposal. You are shocked and appalled as


everybody else by what might have happened. Deborah, are you as


shocked and appalled by the report? I think it comes alongside another


report about RBS and SMEs. I think the nation as a whole, the inexpert


nation, is throwing its hand up and saying, what will come to life?


Lawrence Tomlinson is essentially independent. If he had not asked


these questions, would we have known? What else is simmering that


might be uncovered to somebody's passion and investigative skills? I


think he has precipitated a proper process in respect of the


authorities who should look into this. He has done is a service. Why


did it need him to do that? In fairness to the Business Secretary,


he got him to do that. The problem is the regulators don't tend to be


popular with industry practitioners. He is highly sensitive to what is


going on with SMEs and he has ought to light a number of the issues. --


he has brought to light. We have all seen similar anecdotal evidence as


MPs. What should be the sanction? You have talked about it perhaps


being unlawful. There is a question about whether civil liability


attaches to this and whether what we have seen is fraudulent and


criminal. In advance of the findings being delivered as a matter of fact,


it would be unwise of me to start hypothesising about what should


happen. But if the law has been broken in anyway, shape or form,


there should be a severe sanctions indeed. Criminal sanctions? With


something criminal has taken place, that should do it. We need to look


forward about dealing with the problem of putting healthy


businesses under, and how can the restructuring group itself do a


better job so there is a win for the bank and a win for the company


itself, meaning more of a chapter 11 US style restructuring. The process


is very opaque. The transparency... People can't understand what is


happening, partly because... People might want justice. Reign if people


are breaking the law and doing criminal things and engaging in


fraudulent mistake then people would expect to see them banged up. If


that is what has happened. These are friends, families and local


communities which are being impacted by something we are supposed to own


and control and it feels wrong. Clare's Law is being rolled out


across England and Wales. It was named after Clare Wood. She had met


her partner on Facebook and was unaware of her history of violence


against women. Hilary Fisher welcomes the new law but thinks it


should go further. This enables a woman to ask the police if there has


been evidence of a partner being a perpetrator in the past. Police may


find no evidence even though he is a perpetrator. We are asking, if the


woman has made this request and she thinks there is something wrong with


the relationship, the police should flag this up, make sure they


regularly visit but put her in touch with special services or she can get


support and information sheet needs. Norman, does it work? -- she needs.


It has worked. I went down to Wiltshire to see this in action and


to talk to both the police, other agencies and victims who have been


able to use this system, in order to get themselves a new start in life,


away from someone who might have committed domestic violence upon


them. How does it work? If you did meet somebody on Facebook or an


online dating agency, you're not necessarily going to call the police


and say, can you check the records? Can you do that? Are women being


encouraged to do that? Women were contacting the police to say, I have


heard something from a friend of mine about a suspicious activity


which was undertaken. Can you check this person out? That led to a 61%


disclosure rate. That included the fact there was nothing to disclose.


It gave, I hope the women that contacted the police a peace of mind


that they were secure or that they ought to get out. Relationship they


were in. Do you think that was a good thing? There is a difficult


question for the police in how much they reveal about what is


allegations as opposed to convictions. We get into the guilty


before proven and that is very difficult territory. It is an


interesting time we live in where so many of us are building


relationships by digital platforms. We do not have those references we


might have if it is a family friend we meet them through work or they


are at the same college. People are entering relationships with people


with whom they have no connections. We can build profiles for ourselves


on the Internet which are not accurate will stop what has made


this more necessary is that society as a whole is recognising domestic


violence as something which must be dealt with. It has to be taken


seriously. In some cases life loss has occurred. It is a crime


prevention. There is an issue about supporting women in a potentially


violent relationship. It is not always easy. What evidence shows is


that separated women are the most vulnerable. I agree with that point.


We are funding 144 independent domestic violence advisors. When


someone decides to separate with someone with domestic abuse


tendencies, there is a support network in place for them to reform


their lives. We have someone to help them stop absolutely. I entirely


agree that when someone separates, it is a very crucial time. Is in


that whether funding and focus should be? That is the most


difficult period. If some are not resources, people should stay put.


They have nowhere to go - there is no alternative. Some charities say


you would be better off putting money and resources there. This does


not require further resources. It is a matter for the police to make


available information. From a financial point of view, if you stop


one murderer or one serious assaults, it would be beneficial in


financial terms. It is about funding domestic violence advisers with


hotlines and so one. In most cases, abuses will not be known to the


police. They have never been reported in the past. People can be


repeat offenders and not have police records. Police will give


information about convictions. If someone has been found not guilty,


that information ought to be passed on with the proviso they are found


not guilty but that it did happen. We are trying to say, this is


information we had to hand. How is life in the Home Office? Very


interesting. I got a wonderful brief stop it dealt with wonderful people.


It is not about people who had domestic violence or rape but also


appalling exploitation. I am very keen to deal with this. Are you all


getting along? We are getting along fine. HG Wells says the newspaper is


about distinguishing between a bicycle accident and the end of


civilisation. Art for art's sake, money for God's sake. Not just a


'70s pop lyric, more a mantra for Britain's creative sector. But where


should that money come from - especially in a time of austerity?


There is a view that the current model of state funding is bloated,


London-centric and ripe for replacement by kind private backing


seen in places like the United States. Equally strident voices,


however, say public money is what keeps the arts vibrant and


accessible. We sent our David for a stroll along the South Bank to find


out more. Some of Britain 's natural treasures


- cathedrals and high art. To state fund the arts or not? Whether it is


no blood for a tax payer to stump up or for the arts to rely on wealthy


benefactors. -- more noble. This is an experiment and was started after


the war. It was not in the British tradition. Before that, Britain was


the country Shakespeare, Milton and comfortable and all the rest of it.


It was always the view that the state stands back from art.


Shakespeare accepted funding from the Lord Chancellor of his time. It


is only the state, the evidence is there are battled back something


which has not yet existed. The new is where the unknown and


untested... When we did War Horse, it was about people wandering about


with cardboard boxes on their heads. We had no idea it would turn into a


hit. The arts Council in England is facing a 5% cut in funding but is


likely to receive 348 million in tax this year. Some people think it is


time for others to pick up the tab. We are much richer than we have been


before. There are more super wealthy people. The problem is you have arts


funding through the state and it crowds out other alternatives.


Whatever the rights and wrongs, it is agreed that it is probably here


to stay. I see no one who will change how arts is funded. It will


be too bad and unpopular. Even if the results might be better and


create a more robust arts sector. More diverse sources of funding


might create more creative forms of art and we will get art away from


the long arm of the state. Why would you entrench on something which,


from the world 's perspective, we do very well? Why wouldn't you


celebrate that? I think these arguments are known very well. And


we're joined now by the Conservative MP, David Ruffley. We are right in


saying you are part of a group setting out a document that makes a


new case for investment in the arts and culture. Is this about survival?


Over the last decade we have not been sharp enough in articulating,


particularly to a new generation the importance of art investment. It is


about articulating those arguments. Going back to Keynes and looking at


his model, in the 21st century we should not be taking too much


attention as to the reason why he did or did not set up that council.


What about the benefits? Do they not understand and appreciate, as you


see it, the benefits of arts and culture. Where we need to do more


work and get more evidence is around the public benefit which derived


from the arts. In terms of educational attainment, students


from low income families are more likely to get a degree. It produced


cognitive abilities. It drove urban regeneration and had a positive


impact on well-being. There is emerging evidence we need to gather


that evidence and support Maria Miller and colleagues in government


who I believe want to support the arts. Are you convinced about the


benefits? It is not just an economic sector but that is not it. We are


world-class. My concern is we are not looking at more diverse ways of


funding. The taxpayer cannot in these tough times, we cannot rely on


the taxpayer. All parts of government are being cut back. Arts


and business says that only 2% of philanthropic league active


individuals give to the arts. There is not a history. Onto their tax


benefits for people giving so much money to the arts that do not exist


here? I think that is true. I do agree with Deborah that the arts


sector has sharpened its act up and realises how it can monetise with


online streaming of all sorts of ways of getting money from


performances. On its own, that will not do it. We need more individuals


behaving like America. That is relying on people coming forward. We


may see funding cut before that happens. Organisations like the


National Theatre, the Royal Opera House, organisations in London which


can leverage large donations, the public funding has reduced hugely. I


think it is a fifth. As for the Royal Opera House. We are finding


new ways to bring money into the arts. We have two began full of the


American model. What happens with arms length funding, it is difficult


to maintain but it is worth maintaining. You do not have the


repertoire and innovation creativity driven by a select group of


stakeholders. You have the ability to take strategic and longer-term


decisions which are good for the arts. Investment tries the creative


industries. These deliver 6% of GDP. They employ 2 billion people. 26% of


their supply chain comes through the subsidised arts sector. That is a


powerful argument. Up to the crash, ?0.6 billion of


donations went into the arts. I would expect soon for there to be


more donations privately, and then also this philanthropic gain would


rise. Do you want to cut public funding? A key statistic, this year,


?600 million is going into arts counselling gland. That is what it


was in the last year of the Labour government. The lottery is taking up


the slack in departmental funding. There is more lottery money going in


than under the Labour government. Lottery money is not Government


money, it is the people's money. What would you like arts funding to


be? At least four percentage or five per cent, because of the benefits


that it delivers. The arts deliver benefits across government agendas,


from health to... But do they deliver across the board in terms of


different parts of the population? There is a claim that it is London


centric. There is a challenge, without doubt. Artist 's help


collected in London, audiences have developed, traditionally, so you


have any college G. You can look at the BBC moving to Bristol and


Salford. -- so you have an ecology. Investment in the National Theatre


in 's across the country, and globally. Ditto the RSC. Where would


you make a saving? ?600 million goes to Arts Council England next year. I


don't care whether it is taxpayer funded or not, the lottery has shot


up in the last two years. We are giving less to environmental causes


and more to the arts. The government has made that choice. That is what


the lottery was initially intended for. But we should not remove


Government responsibility to fund arts. I don't think the ceiling is


falling in. Before you go, Deborah, the answer to our quiz, who chairs


the all-parliamentary dance group? Is it Vince Cable, Theresa May, Sir


Gerald Kaufman or Caroline Flint? I know Vince Cable loves the car and


-- the tango, Gerald has a strong interest in the arts. I will say


Gerald. Your powers of deduction, that might mean you get to spin


around the dance floor with Sir Gerald Kaufman. Thank you for


joining us. Now, let's look ahead to another


busy week in politics. Tomorrow the focus will be on Holyrood as the SNP


government in Scotland publish their long-awaited White Paper which will


outline the case for independence. On Wednesday morning the BIS select


committee will hear evidence from Vince Cable and Michael Fallon over


the Royal Mail sell off, and later David Cameron and Ed Miliband will


clash over the despatch box in PMQs. And on Thursday the Fresh Start


Group made up of Conservative MPs including Andrea Leadsom and Chris


Heaton-Harris will publish their EU Negotiating Mandate aimed at


assisting David Cameron as he attempts to renegotiate the UK's


relationship with Europe. I'm joined now from a chilly College


Green by Tim Shipman from the Daily Mail and Laura Pitel from The Times.


Welcome to you both. Tim, payday loans cup, whose victory


is it? I think it is Stella Creasy's. There is an interesting


debate going on between Labour and the Tories about who has responded


faster, but in both cases I think you could make an argument that it


is front benches against backbenchers. On the Tory side a


campaigner like Robert Karlsson has been arguing for control over fuel


prices, and Stella Creasy has been arguing to get to grips with the


payday lending industry. It is quite telling that both frontbenchers are


trying to jump on this round-robin, -- bandwagon. On the Labour Party


website, Stella Creasy is listed as this on the business team. That


seems under her abilities. Things might change. Laura, George Osborne


denying claims on the today programme that this was a U-turn. It


is? Yes. Previously it was said there was no need to impose a cap.


What is interesting with George Osborne this morning was his


shifting language about market. He moved slightly into Ed Miliband's


territory, saying he supports the free markets but sometimes you need


to intervene when they go wrong. Tim, are we seeing the Conservative


part of the Government abandoning Conservative laissez faire,


free-market policies? They are intervening on everything. That is


politics, you might say. George Osborne would argue that he is a


free marketeer, but that has to be tempered. Both parties have found


out over the last decade that leaving some of these industries to


their own devices is a recipe for financial disaster and political


ruin. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, Desert Island Discs. A rite


of passage, you might say. What did his choice of music say? It made his


advisers grown. There has been debated in Westminster about whether


his choices were vetted. Some say they were so bad they could not have


possibly had approval, others are saying, you should have seen what he


would have chosen if we had not stepped in! It sounded more


authentic Ed Miliband than a spin doctor's choice, but what did you


think? One groans when you hear the South African national anthem was on


there, one of my colleagues argued that was a right on choice for North


London, picking Jerusalem was his attempt to placate the middle


classes. But to give him credit, he is not afraid to admit he is a


Boston Red Sox van before a foot all fan, same as myself. Take On Me, ,


how could you fault a man who wore white trousers and dance to that? It


did say something about him, indicating what he was doing in the


70s and 80s. Did you learn anything new about him? Not just from the


music but the interview, Desert Island Discs has a knack for making


politicians go soppy and open up. That is the point. It was


interesting to hear him talk candidly about his brother and the


selection contest, there were noticeable size as the conversation


went on. If we were to ask in an interview about those sorts of


topics he would rebuff the question, but he softened up and talked about


that and his family, so we had more insight. Apart from being an


opportune the four PR, because they have all done it, Nick Clegg and


David Cameron, but you are reminded primarily, or at least I was, about


how he went up against his brother -- apart from it being an


opportunity for PR. He would never get through an interview with Kirsty


Young without talking about his brother, the answers were


interesting. Thinking back to David Cameron's Desert Island Discs, that


could almost have been written by one of those red top comp islands of


joke songs. He had Perfect Circle, Tangled Up In Blue. He picked This


Charming Man by the Smiths, which they regarded as outrageous and they


said he was not allowed to listen any more!


And joining us for the rest of the programme is the Conservative MP


Steve Brine, the Labour MP Luciana Berger and the Liberal Democrat MP,


Lorely Burt. Welcome to you all. Now to immigration because reports


suggest that the Prime Minister wants to prevent EU migrants from


claiming benefits until they've lived in the UK for a year. The


Education Secretary Michael Gove says Britain needs to make sure that


immigrants are coming here to work, not to take advantage of a generous


welfare system. Here's what he had to say on The Andrew Marr Show


yesterday. When it comes to new migrants from


accession countries in the EU, we need to look properly at the benefit


system to make sure people are coming here to work and contribute,


not take advantage of what is rightly a generous welfare system.


Steve, do you agree, would it be a good idea to extend the amount of


time before immigrants can claim benefits? Absolutely. Even if it is


in breach of EU law? I discussed this with the Prime Minister


recently. My constituents write to me about this. I was at a street


surgery in a lovely old Georgian market town, hardly a hot bed of


immigration, and it was raced repeatedly as an issue. It is always


the number one issue. But it might be against the law. The Prime


Minister is working with European fellow leaders and he is well placed


to do that, he wants to renegotiate the relationship with the EU. At the


end of the day, the European Union needs to lessen. David Cameron is


deadly serious. -- the European Union needs to listen. Lorely, the


Liberal Democrats will not support this? All governments and Prime


Minister 's are entitled to review and look up the laws relating to


benefits from time to time. No problem. I think some people forget


that if you take EU migrants in this country, they contribute over a


third more to this country than they take out. So we have to have a


balanced view. One might argue that the Lib Dems are not on the right


side of the argument, as far as many voters are concerned, the point that


Steve is making is that people are coming here primarily to claim


benefits. Would it be better to extend the time before immigrants


can claim benefits? People can't just turn up off the ferry and start


claiming benefits. There are several rules that they have to comply with.


Should it be longer than three months? They have to prove a link to


the country. There are a number of other things. They have to


demonstrate that they want to work and they are willing to work.


Again, there has to be some kind of a balance. The bottom-line of it, it


is more beneficial for us to have here. EU people, English people go


over to the EU as well. Where did you stand? Should the Prime Minister


pursue this attempt, whether or not he can, we will find out, but should


he? Crewe the over whelming majority of people who come to this country


do so to contribute and work. It was the shadow home affairs team and


Yvette Cooper that said nine months ago that there are things we could


do specifically on jobseeker's allowance, both domestic clear and


we should be having in Europe. -- both domestic league and we should


be having in Europe. We are not sure of the government position. You


mentioned it was 12 months, reports coming out from Number Ten today six


months. There is a principle here, you are saying you would back the


idea in principle, six months or 12 months. Would you like 12 months? We


would. And the reason... We can understand the reason, but is this


just bluster and politics? From both parties, Labour and the


Conservatives? EU law is EU law, you can't pick and choose. That is why I


think this is a much bigger picture about our relationship as members of


the EU, and without massively diverging we are coming onto that.


The Prime Minister is putting something out there and is


discussing with fellow leaders whether he can do this. We are


trying to make it more difficult and less attract for people who come


here and do not want to work. If they want to work, which many do,


they are welcome, there a Visa process for Bulger Aryans who want


to work. What is your reaction to the report today which says there


has been no restrictions on Bulger Aryans, no application has been


turned down and the Home Office shuffled their feet. Then nobody has


anything to worry about. Each case is considered on its merits. Do you


think we are pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment? It is


important that we acknowledge there are concerns, it is not bigoted to


have a conversation about it. But we need sensible policies, and this in


isolation will not deal with problems of illegal immigration,


issues of low skilled migration, which is probably one of the


greatest challenges. One Mark Harper looked at all the factors bringing


people to this country... Benefits was not a major poll. Know. But one


of the major things... We are not seeing things that would work. We


have seen people exploited living in overcrowded and overpriced


properties. We would like to see a register of landlords. Abbey


National minimum wage, people come to our country and they are not paid


the National minimum wage. Immigration is down by a fifth since


the general election. Net migration is not coming down. Two thirds of


that figure is British people leaving this country who are coming


back. Did you struggle to get to sleep last night? I may have the


solution for you. Newly published today: A 400 page bill with an extra


50,000 page environmental statement. Guaranteed to get your eyelids


drooping before you can say, quasi-judicial process. But the


Government's hybrid bill for Phase One of High Speed Two, that's the


London to Birmingham part of the controversial rail project, may not


give the Government pleasant dreams. Our Adam has been looking into the


technical details of a rather unusual piece of legislation. The


Channel Tunnel needed one in 1986. The last one was London 's Crossrail


in 2005. Now a chest to require is a rare form of legislation, a hybrid


Bill. It affects some private individuals like landowners and


requires a lot of paperwork. The bill is about 400 pages long. The


environmental statement is 150,000 pages. That is two of these. The law


has been changed so it can be published in electronic format and


the public has eight weeks to comment. Excuse me. At some point


will be a second reading debate and vote where the House of Commons


approved the project in principle. That is the moment when opponents


can give it the red light. It heads to the committee room where a panel


of MPs can consider the pleas of people directly affected. It is a


bit like a court. There are QCs present, sometimes in weeks. With


the Crossrail project, this took two and a half years. Some MPs did not


see it as an honour. I have voted against 90 did not see it as an


honour. I have voted against 90 detains detention of terror


suspects. The telling members of the committee have voted against the


Crossrail Bill. We'll so got the opportunity to spend two and a half


years on the committee of this hybrid Bill. It sounds like it is


quite a lot of work. It is. If all of that is inconvenienced by


something like an election, not a problem, MPs can vote to carry it


over to the next session. Will it ever amount to more than those boxes


we saw being pushed across the roads? They are all protesting


outside now. Will it ever get online? I hope so. It is really


important we get on with this and get on with it as soon as we


possibly can. In Japan, they introduced the bullet train in


1964. In 2064, we could still be running on the same row way be


introduced in the Victorian era. We need to think about not just the


immediate future but the long-term future for this country and the


prosperity and jobs in this country and linking up the Midlands with the


South and the North with the Midlands and the South. Nothing will


be more powerful to achieve that prosperity that we all want. We


thought Labour were behind it as well. Will Labour back it? We have a


responsibility to make sure this project is on track and within


budget. There have been concerns. I support this, as does Labour. It is


absolutely crucial. The North/South line leads to jobs and growth. I am


sorry it has taken three and a half years. We are still having many


consultations and the phase two investigation is only just launched.


That pressure and scrutiny has actually made the government work


hard at keeping the cost down, hasn't it? They did do a service in


some ways, didn't they? The government is fading constituents


money, that is what we will do. What about when high-speed two is put


forward? It does not affect me I think we need to do this it is about


capacity. I am interested. People say, do not back it. It is either


that or investment in our part of the world. There is huge investment


going into south-west rail in our part of the world. This is part of


the future. You do not think it will be redundant. There is a huge


capacity crisis at the moment. This is there to meet that. I am a bit


confused as to what Lucianne is saying. Aren't Labour saying two


separate things? Aren't they not backing it because they are worried


about the cost but the Northern councils... They are quite aghast at


those comments. They want it so much. There seems to be some


schizophrenia with both the major parties. The Shadow Chancellor has


ultimate responsibility. When this project was first put forward it was


in the region of 30 billion. It is now 50 billion it is Labour


amendments which will ensure if there is to be a substantial and


disband or overspend, they will have to come to Parliament and present it


and debate on it. What about the 40 or 50 Conservatives who might rebel


it is a hugely controversial project. He has not convinced them,


or anyone. When you get 1000 letters from constituents, that does impact


on constituents. It is damaging to him. He is putting forward a project


about the future and asking Parliament to support him. I think


and hope and believe that is what happened. The majority of parliament


will back him. I suspect the Laban party will back him. -- the Labour


Party. Whoever is in power will need cross-party support. You are


confident it will end up happening. We are supposed to have support by


2017. I hope they do get control of the budget and get this plan back on


track. Members of the media have compared Ed Miliband to Wallace


dashed the cheese loving children's character of Wallace and Gromit


fame. Yesterday, the Labour leader was happy to pile on the cheese. He


appeared on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, with some truly fromage-y


music and provided a bit of an insight into himself. There is some


flash photography in this film. This is a cheesy choice. It is Take On


Me. I cannot understand me without understanding where I come from. My


dad had a particular political outlook, which is not the same as


mine. It is a big part of what inspired me.


My parents loved this country. When the Daily Mail wrote, the man who


hated Britain, the reason I hated that so much is because it is so


much at odds with the way I think about this country.


You said, David is my best friend in the world, I love him dearly. Is he


still your best friend? Yes but it has been incredibly tough. She


offers me protection, a lot of love and affection, whether I'm right or


wrong. The difficulty for many people is the perception that here


is a man heading this party who will put party loyalty before family


loyalty and many people do not find that palatable. Do you get that? I


understand that. I do understand that. It is hard for my family and


hard for David. Very hard. I suppose I felt it was the right thing. Does


it feel that things have healed? Healing.


I read that you did not have the girlfriend all the way through


Oxford. I was pretty square. How very honest of him to admit that.


Does it surprise you that he did not have a girlfriend through Oxford? We


have had reports of many women who were interested in him. He said he


did not have a proper girlfriend. You could be a spin doctor. Any


surprises? You said that was a good choice. Ed Miliband is never going


to be, and probably never was, mystical. I am sure they didn't sit


down in the office and think, what should be put together? They


probably thought, let him be him. I would love to go on it and I would


pick Fleetwood Mac and the Carpenters. You may get that call! I


love the idea of the jumper and trousers. I had black slip on shoes


with white socks. Too much information. Did you listen to it or


have you heard it? I quite liked his song choice, in the main. The South


African national anthem, Jerusalem, just lovely. Can you seeing any of


them for us? Not right now will stop it might be the end of my political


career if I did. Does it surprise you that David and Ed are still in


the healing process? They are both moving in different directions. It


was fairly amazing at the time. People said that was the most steely


thing he had done until recently. Do you think that image will linger?


The backbone? It was a brave thing to do, go against your brother and


beat him for the leader. That is history now. We will not judge him


on his music choices. We had Jerusalem at our wedding. On that


happy and jubilant note, we will end it there. From all of us here,




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