29/11/2013 Daily Politics


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After noon. Welcome to the Daily Politics. With the war -- will the


war over energy prices ever end? The Prime Minister wants to reduce green


levies. The government has denied it has asked the big six firms to hold


their prices until 2015. Labour said it will introduce a law to freeze


prices for 20 months if it wins the general election. Mr Cameron said


that is not achievable. Will it be Mission impossible


mission accomplished? We will be asking if our salmon's White Paper


gets your vote. -- Alex Salmond. Time could be costly for the


European Referendum Bill. If it doesn't go through today it may


never make it to the Lords. All unsuspecting politicians, we say


beware the killer question. Which year did Manchester United


leave the football the? Last year. She is in good company, I have no


idea. All that in the next hour. With this


we have freelance journalist, former head of the SNP policy unit, Alex


Bell, and Anne McElvoy from the Economist.


Hands up those who want to stay at home and look after the baby. Very


soon it will be easier for the mother or father to do so because


the government is committed to introducing shared parental leave


for new parents by April 2015. I wonder why then? Maybe the election?


Surely not. The Deputy prime ministers said the new rights would


cater for a growing desire by many men to play a more hands-on role


when it comes to being a father and stop women feeling they have to


choose between having a career or a baby.


If you were to have another child is something you would avail? It


depends what place we are in in terms of our work but I would like


to have, and I am sure all couples would like to have, the freedom to


make their own decision. It is an old-fashioned idea that the state


says the dad will only take two weeks off, it will happen straight


after the baby has arrived and the mother must take the remaining


time. We sweeping away these old-fashioned rules so parents can


make up their own mind. Not often you get an answer that clear-cut! Is


this a good idea? I think it is a good idea. Many more households have


two people who work and yet maternity leave arrangements have


been skewed towards the mother. The way the economy is at the moment,


who knows who will earn more? Who will have to go part-time? Couples


need that flexibility. I do think broadly it is the right way to go.


Do not think it is bizarre that he be doing it now? I would not think


this is the thing to establish my power at the Cabinet table. The


sentiment is our fine. But it is an upper middle-class policy for a


party desperately losing support. I'm surprised you say that. The


demographic is the squeezed middle. It goes further down the income sale


than Alex is suggesting. -- scale. People are quite happy to balance


things in a way that perhaps used to be middle-class. It is now much


broader. When you actually polled voters, the people who will come


back and tell you they want this are probably more likely the upper


middle-class. I accept your arguments but if you are trying to


chase a vote, it seems to be a funny way to go about it. I hope you're


not suggesting that he only did it because Miriam told him! I think if


we listen to two more -- more to Miriam than him on policy, it would


be better. Older women would not want to be their daughters to be as


constrained as they work. You often get that grandmother vote. Big


businesses can probably cope with this. It could be a smaller for -- a


problem for smaller businesses. This is a case where if you are running a


small business, you will be more irked by this. You cannot just


handed over. Andrew, you do Alex's job and he will do yours. You have


to look at businesses, particularly those with fewer employees, and ask


how they are going to cope. A lot of businesses are in that position and


can cope. Now it's time for our daily quiz.


The question for today is: Which of these men has the highest IQ? Boris


Johnson. Nick Clegg. David Cameron. Ed Miliband. At the end of the show


we'll see if anyone has the brains to answer this one. It's the Friday


before the Autumn Statement, so the gloves are off in the battle over


rising energy bills, with the Government and Labour both


attempting to seize the initiative. Remember Labour's party conference


in September when Ed Miliband shocked the pundits, pledging energy


price freezes if Labour are elected? The Tories warned of Marx and market


intervention, but they've had to take action. So instead of forcing a


freeze, apparently they've just asked for one until the election.


Although this morning, the Treasury deny this - they were just asking


energy companies whether bills would come down if green taxes were


scrapped. So what's behind the problem? Labour accuse the energy


companies of profiteering - the average energy bill is around


?1,300. But the Tories blame the previous government's green levies,


which make up 8% of the average bill, and the energy companies


agree. That is about ?112 per year. They point to government


requirements on them to tackle climate change and fuel poverty,


claiming they only make around 5% profit in total - though the profits


for the power they generate sits at a very toasty 20%. The energy


companies say the problem is those pesky wholesale prices. Ofgem


disagrees, claiming wholesale costs have risen by less than 2% in the


last year. This is what David Cameron had to


say to this morning. I have said all along that I want to help households


and families by getting sustainably lower energy prices. The only way


that you can do that is by increasing competition and rolling


back the costs of some levies on people's bills. I said that is what


we are going to do. That is what we are going to do and it is a positive


step forward. That is a world away from making a vague promise about


something you may do in 20 months with no idea of how you do it. That


is a con. We are dealing with real policy that can make a real


difference. That was the Prime Minister in Vilnius. We are joined


by Tom Greatrex, Shadow Energy Minister. And Stephen Fitzpatrick.


Do you have a clear idea yet of what the Government is planning? No. I


think we have just had a another day of confusion from the Government.


They have a record of doing that over the last year or so. If the


Government were to get an agreement to freeze energy prices, and to get


an agreement to cut some of the green levies, that would be quite an


achievement? The energy companies, a day or two after Ed Miliband's


conference at which she talked about the green levies, that is something


they focused the debate on and which the Government sought to respond


to. But does not deal with the fundamental issues about the way the


market works. The reforms which we proposed, and which Ed Miliband and


Caroline Flint are talking about today, is about trying to reset that


market so it is clear and transparent for consumers and for


industry. What should be done? I think it has become quite a


political issue. It has always been a political issue. It is much more


so. We would like to see action this winter. We would like to see a


greater focus on competition that will help some customers, and better


regulation on the big six from Ofgem. It will help those customers


on likely to switch. -- unlikely. Some of the political noises are


helpful. But when we talk about things taking effect in two or three


years, that is not what customers are interested in. You will not get


reform of the marketplace and you will not get better regulation this


side of the winter. There is nothing that would stop real reforms being


implemented or a different mandate from Ofgem being announced in the


Autumn Statement. That would be to intervene, not necessarily set


pricing, but certainly do away with some of the profiteering from the


big six. A lot of the profits are made from a relatively small number


of profits, customers on the oldest tariffs. Ofgem have talked about


simplifying the market. We hear these ideas from the political


parties. It is great that we are talking about. But if the Government


set to Ofgem, we want you to do something about overcharging today,


they could figure it out. It could happen very quickly. You do not


think there is the political will or the expertise? Perhaps less so the


will, maybe more so the expertise. The big energy companies have done a


fantastic job of convincing everybody that it is really


complicated but it is not. I look at my bill and it is pretty


complicated. The market is structured in a way where the big


companies have found a way to make it very complicated, very difficult


for us to understand what is going on. You must really regret that a


Labour created this market? The ability for the big companies to


integrate was lifted by John Major. You continued with it. We have seen


in the last few years the extent to which it has become more of a


problem. There is more and more evidence, and Ofgem have uncovered


some of it, that actually this is not working. I understand it is not


working but would it not give you more credibility if you put your


hand up and said that during the 13 years you have encouraged the


integration market. --? We reduce it from a couple of dozen 26 and we got


it wrong. Now we have seen the error of our ways and we are going to


change it. Have you seen the error of your ways? The evidence has


mounted particularly in the last two or three years. The last election in


2010, if you go back to the Labour manifesto, that made the point about


Ofgem needing more powers. The evidence since then has mounted. The


Government should act. We tried to amend the energy Bill to do these


things. If the Government turn tomorrow and say they are going to


do it, nobody would be more delighted than me. No mea culpa? The


evidence is clear. The situation has happened where we have a market now


that is very difficult for people. Will Labour do anything? We will do


something about the way the eco-scheme works. When this comment


talks about the green levies, 60% of it has been introduced by the


coalition. The eco-scheme has demonstrated it is very if


inefficient. You talk a lot about the need to get the market to


operate better. I understand that. You also talk about the need for a


price freeze to get on top of prices. Under the Labour climate


change act of 2008, energy prices are specifically designed to rise by


40% by 2020. It was your policy to increase energy prices. I'm just


slightly puzzled that now you are not opposition, having set in motion


an event which was a specific purpose of the act, to increase


energy prices by 40%. You are now complaining. The purpose of the act


and the purpose of the action that happened, we had a Conservative


minister said yesterday it was his idea. That makes you all complicit!


New generating capacity is required. You have to think how you best do


that in a way that provides energy security. And you also have two


minimise emissions. You have decisions to be made about how the


infrastructure is renewed. Do you have an oversupply of gas, or a


mixture of renewables and other forms of technology? The coalition


has been in power for more than three and a half years. It has been


clear for some time that the energy market in this country does not


operate like a market should. It may not be a cartel but it is not a


market. A cartel implies illegality and collusion. It is not a free


market. Or even a market. Do you detect any sense that the Government


has addressed this and knows what to do about it? They are listening, I


suppose. It is a start! It is a great start. When I hear about


infrastructure and I hear policies that are being announced like a


price freeze at some point in the future where the price is not set or


defined yet, you don't get certainty for consumers but you create


uncertainty for investors. That is the problem might have got. This


issue has become so political now that it looks like everybody is


trying to reduce a very complex issue into a simple slogan to


increase votes. That may be politics. But energy is very


important. A lot of people struggle to pay their bills. The last thing


anybody want is for the lights to go out. We need to focus on value for


money, transparency, competition, the best way to lower bills in the


long term, but it is going to take a long time. People will die this


winter? This annoys me so much. Ofgem have announced a whole list of


false and problems with the market that reads like... There are ten


pages are problems with the market. Their solution is, energy companies


can have fought tariffs and we will see where we are in 2014. Four


winters. How many people will be affected?


An increasingly large chunk of our electricity bills is not made up of


wholesale generation, profits, green levies, it is made up of the cost of


distribution. Distribution costs are regulated by Ofgem, but they are


becoming a bigger and bigger part and that is because of the climate


change act of 2008, you have put a lot of electricity generation in


areas that are nowhere near the National Grid so we have to build


new grid lines from onshore, offshore, to get there, that is a


big part of the energy price rise. The network costs will go up and


then they will level out. Ofgem, you have seen, last week, have used


their role in terms of directing some of the costs. We moved the


generation, you said. You did. You have got the Dorset array which is a


huge offshore Park which is being done. To connect back to the


National Grid, it will have to go through the new Forest. How much


will that cost? And in Scotland, the Bewdley line that took ten years.


That is a consequence of Labour, Conservative, and Lib Dem policy. It


is a consequence of having your new generation capacity are partly from


Newton -- renewables, and you do that in the best places where you


get the most efficiency. You would be arguing if you put them on sites


where all the most efficiency. You would be arguing if you put them on


sites were all power stations were, why are you building at there? I


would be arguing whatever you do. Your thoughts on energy?


If you look down the table in Europe Britain sits in the middle in terms


of its energy costs but you wouldn't think that to listen to the debate.


Not if you strip out the government taxation and VAT. Our wholesale


prices are among the highest in Europe. Nonetheless, I have lived in


Germany and other countries, they simply accept the green argument at


the moment more than we do did a soon-to-be one of the problems that


has been the policy with both parties, the focus was on Green


parties, if you looked at the Conservatives, they were vying to be


greener with each other. You have a kind of consequence, I know there


are many other things, you have made good points about the way the market


is, it is missed Richard. You wanted to sign up to this, and now you have


the consequences. Whatever we do we have got power stations coming to


the end of their lives, some you can extend for a little bit, which


source of power do you use? Your message is very different to the


green message before the election. I know we will be back to this.


This is why would voters lose faith in politicians, it is not that


complicated, it has been apparent for a long time, fuel poverty


campaigners have been making this transparent, nobody can pretend they


didn't know, they couldn't regulate that system. There are other


examples of a generation of other industries in Britain at the moment


which do that. Nor can anyone pretend this is essentially a


regressive tax on poor people to pay for the lecture is politicians


compose. We will be back on energy prices on


the Autumn Statement live here on BBC Two on Thursday. We start at


10:45am because the Chancellor has bought the Autumn Statement


forward. He has got a lot to talk about. Maybe by Thursday he will


have worked out what he will do. Thank you both of you for coming in.


The debate over Scotland's future, the week when Alex Salmond publishes


white paper on is that -- independence, George Osborne claimed


it would cost the Scots thousands of pounds each, David Cameron was


accused of being a big fairty. Here is a flavour of the debate.


This white paper is the most detailed blueprint that any people


have ever been offered anywhere in the world. As a basis for becoming


an independent country. If the 650 pages we have here, there


is just one page devoted to Scotland's financial position,


economic position, in the future. Within an hour of this publication


Alistair Darling described it as being totally ridiculous, not of any


worth whatsoever, which amazed me because I must congratulate that man


on speed reading, because via my estimation that is 3000 words per


minute. Can the first Minister tell me whether his government, his


ministers or his officials have received any feedback from any other


European Union country about Scotland's membership of the


European Union? Today in Brussels the European commission spokesman


repeated their view that new countries have to apply from


scratch. The treaty provides some clear articles when it comes to the


need for new third country to apply to the European Union if they want


to join. Well he stop being pathetic? I am


enjoying the debate we are having now.


Independence gives us the opportunity to make choices, to


spend less on weapons of mass destruction, and more on educating


our children. I am reassured when I look at the questions and Anne said


that on page 564 we will still be allowed his" add we are going to


have the same time zones. -- allowed to speak English. We are still going


to join the Eurovision Song contest. Joining us now from Glasgow, home of


the Commonwealth games next year, John Curtice, profession of politics


at the University of Strathclyde. Wellcome to the programme. We have


had the white paper for a couple of days. It is not long for a


prospective but give us your thoughts as the dust begins to


settle, when this great debate this. There are two aspects we should look


at, the first is what difference has made to the toing and froing between


the parties, who is arguing about what? Although it has made some


difference, in particular simply by laying out what claimed to be a


detailed perspective, one of the things they are able to do is save


to the no side where is your covenant? What happens to Scotland


if they decide to vote no? The truth is the Conservatives and the Labour


Party are still trying to work out what they might wish to propose in


the way of more devolution for Scotland, and then there is the


question of whether or not they agree. The truth is the party is not


going to get anywhere near to sorting this out until the spring of


next year. That has left a clear hole. The second thing is at least


they have come up with an iconic policy, but simply illustrates why


they think independence would be Scotland economically stronger, the


childcare policy designed to get more women into work and overcome


some of the demographic disadvantages in Scotland would


otherwise suffer. So far as the big debate is concerned, one also


emerges -- what also emerges is the degree to which the SNP's version of


independence is one of continuing collaboration with the rest of the


UK, and is reliant on the goodwill of the European Union. The problem


is indeed Scotland itself might want to continue to use the pound as part


of monetary union, it might still want to be in the same energy


market, it may wish to remain in the European Union, but the trouble is


these and other things are not simply in the SNP's gift and when it


comes to the claim of the no side this still leaves an awful lot of


uncertainty. Difficult for the yes I do back because it is not clear what


is going to happen until negotiations take place. Some


progress but still some clear problems for the yes side even


having made up their vision. A lot of what is in the white paper


is the sort of thing you would really expect in a general election


manifesto, rather than a referendum about the future of a 300-year-old


union which is a geopolitical decision, whereas the white paper


talks about scrapping the bedroom tax, more free childcare, Holyrood


has the power right now to do that, give out free to air if it wants.


Other things about higher minimum wage, better pensions. These are


things that are normally in general election manifestoes. Is that the


strategy the SNP is using to fight this referendum?


There are two aspects, the first reason the SNP are doing it is


they'll wanting to try and illustrate how if Scotland became


independent they believe they could do things that are more appropriate


to Scotland's needs and aspirations and there before -- and therefore


governed the country more effectively. The second thing is the


belief at least, widespread in Scotland, and common inside the SNP,


that actually people 's policy preferences in Scotland, Scotland is


simply more left-wing than England, because she doesn't vote for


Conservative MPs in the way people do south of the border. In truth,


the power of that argument is easily exaggerated. Scotland is a little


more left-wing but not that much. The problems with the Conservative


party is not the people on the right in Scotland, but they will not vote


for the Conservatives. You can find plenty of evidence that people don't


like that -- bedroom tax, difficult to find that attitude persuades


people to vote for independence. These are politicians with a certain


agenda who wish to achieve certain things who are hoping to persuade


the Scottish public to view the debate they would like to view it.


Whether they would succeed is debatable. The crucial issue, the


thing that seems to matter most, is whether or not they and their


country will be economically better off. Although it might be argued the


white paper contains rather optimistic assumptions about


Scotland's public finances, even against the backdrop of those


assumptions, the white paper admits that in the short run at least an


independent Scotland would be running the public sector deficit


and what actually you would struggle to find is very much indeed in the


way of tax cut is, spending increases, and in the short run


would clearly say to people if you vote for independence you will be


better off pretty quickly. But other promises there are in the long run.


Final question, it is clearly it is a left of centre pitch for votes,


more government spending, welfare. You think that fits in with the


prevailing Scottish political culture. Am I right in thinking it


is also particularly pitch for the West of Scotland, the Labour West of


Scotland, where the referendum will be won or lost.


It is certainly true of the three Unionist parties in Scotland, it is


the Labour Party support that is most likely to vote yes, albeit only


10%, 15%. It is also true people who are less well off soon-to-be more


willing to vote for independence and one can vote -- understand why the


strategy is going in this direction. The disadvantage is at the end of


the day is they need to create broad coalition, a broader coalition man


exists at the moment, according to any of the opinion polls, and the


potentials disadvantage is the narrow their appeal. Thank you very


much. Are you happy with how the launch went? It was a fantastically


successful day. Those big events are nightmares for politicians. It is


all very well, these generalised remarks about the document


containing apes, buts and maybes. But nobody has found a substantial


error. That is another triumph. It was meant to enter all of the


questions but it has left a lot of major questions unanswered, or at


least there is an argument. The need for Scotland to reapply for


membership of the European Union, that is definitely an unanswered


question. The White Paper act it was not unanswered. But we know there is


definitely a matter of controversy. And the issue of the currency. If


what remains of the United Kingdom says, we are not doing a currency


union with you, what happens? I do not think there is anything more


doubtful connected to the Scottish Government position on Europe than


you can find in the British government connection to Europe. We


are promised a referendum in 2017. We don't know what the renegotiate


would be. We do not know if David Cameron will honour his word. You


have to accept that some stuff is beyond hard and fast politics. The


White Paper incest and claims that it is not an issue, that Scotland


will just automatically seamlessly remain a member of the European


Union? If on the morning of the 19th there is a Yes vote, there is 18


months until actual independence. I think, and indeed the words we are


fired from Europe suggests that within those 18 months, a transition


would be made. You would have to get the agreement of all 28 members to


do this. Spain is obsessed with Catalunya. I think the Spanish Prime


Minister was referring to a little local problem. When decisions come


to be made in Europe, I think Angela Merkel baby a better source to go


to. May be a better source to go to. It seems to me that you're living in


Clyde Kunkel and if you think you can have independence, keep all the


oil how have submarines out of Scotland... If only that was an


accurate representation of what has been set. If there is a Yes vote on


the 19th of September, if the money markets make -- wake up and our


doubtful about the status of UK debt because they do not know what will


be divided between England and Scotland, the price of UK debt will


increase. That is elementary economics. There is an imperative


for London to settle this problem quite quickly. There is no


suggestion there would not be a trade-off of assets. So if you do


not get the Sterling, you will not take the debt? I don't think we


would ever be in that situation. The people who hold the debt would not


know which debt they are holding. Are you saying that if you don't get


sterling, you will not take your share of the national debt? What I


am saying is there is no chance we will not get sterling. That is


typical of the White Paper. That would be my worry about the


approach. I am concentrated on the fiscal gap. I still find it an


assumption in the treatment of the public finances after independence


in the event of a Yes vote, which does not seem to reflect what other


economists say is a problem. I think what happens is, unless you return


to a kind of economics that I have not heard really since the John


Smith era, where your answer to everything seems to be a gap, he put


more state money into it, some people really believe this will


happen. I think a lot of people will doubt it. Very briefly, Alex? You


are arguing that if you have the pluses and minuses of a full


economic system, you can find the money for better services by having


more advantageous taxes. We are going to leave it there. It can only


get better. Politicians are a necessary evil. Governments are


there to uphold the rights of the people. Sounds like common sense to


me. But, in the 18th Century, those were revolutionary ideas. One man,


Thomas Paine, took those ideas from humble beginnings in the south of


England, across an ocean to the New World and inspired a Revolution. In


the latest in our series on great political thinkers, Giles went to


meet Liberal Democrat MP, Norman Baker, to examine the legacy of Tom


Paine. There cannot be that many political


philosophers that end up with a beer named after them. But they like Tom


Paine here because he lived here in Lewes, alongside New York and Paris.


The local MP likes and not just because he was a resident, but


because its heady mix of reason, rights and justice is very much to


his political taste. Tom Paine was sent to Lewis as a customs and


excise man. It seems apt to meet outside the house he made his own


first six years. I admired Thomas Paine tremendously. He stood for


what he believed in. He would not bend to the prevailing wind. He


stood for rights and justice. Plain argument and common sense. Doctor


Elizabeth Fraser explains what that an -- common-sense actually was. He


was a settlement of the world. An inspirational concept for people who


want to be free of nation states. His theory is a theory of rights.


And the theory of rights he bequeathed to us is basically


another one that we have in our human rights institutions. And in


his book, Agrarian Justice, he described the importance of having


social insurance, pensions for people. The town of Lewis has always


had a character that made it a perfect match with Tom Paine. It has


always been a bolshie place, which I like about it. It is always


challenged the establishment. The king was checked when the first


Parliament was initiated. And with almost local logic, Thomas Paine


thinks politics has a very limited role. For him, politics and


government has one role, to uphold the rights of individuals. It has


got no business anywhere else. Here we are at this fantastic bowling


green which has been here for centuries. Tom Paine would have


bowled from here. He was a member. This very spot? It could be this


very spot. What is Tom Paine telling us in his work? I think he is


telling us that we should base what we do on freethinking, reason, and


respect the individual. Don't be hemmed in by the tramlines of


established orthodoxy. Excellent shot! Does he get into trouble for


saying this? Yes, because most people would bend and go with the


flow. He doesn't. He ended up in a pauper, just six people at his


burial. I think you won that one. I think that is bang on. His ideas


inspired revolution and a constitution in America, and later


in France, where he was so involved he was even elected to the


Assembly. But relentless focus on rights has its drawbacks. By the


Rights of Man he definitely meant the rights of men. And feminist


rights have been a problem theoretically in politics ever


since. There is also just a more general problem with the idea of


rights which is that it treats us as individuals, it can be seen to put


this into competition with one another. It can be seen to lead to a


litigious society. And Thomas Paine is accused of having ignored


community, the relationships between us. But in the town pub where Tom


Paine drank and debated, there is an argument which still resonates


today. It is hugely relevant. He was very modern. He was perhaps an then.


But he did not like governments. He called them a necessary evil at


best, intolerable at worst. He wanted to make sure policy was


framed towards the individual. He was suspicious of unelected bodies.


House of Lords. The monarchy. Here is to Tom Paine. Cheers. We will


talk to Norman Baker in a minute. First we are going to go live to the


Central lobby in the House of Commons, where they have been


debating the European Referendum Bill spearheaded by James Wharton.


He joins us now. There are developments. What is happening? We


have just had a division. We have come to the last group of


amendments, the slowing tactics being used by the Labour Party and


the Liberal Democrats from going through. There will probably be


another couple of divisions, then we move into third Reading. If we get


through third reading, that means it will have passed all of its House of


Commons stages, a significant development. It is something that


when we set out on this path, many commentators said would never


happen. Get the impression that despite the to derail your bill,


from the tone of your voice you sound reasonably optimistic that he


will come out of today the winner? Well, I hope so. We're not there


yet. We are making good progress. We have had day after day after day of


sitting. We have had many days in the committee. My Conservative Party


colleagues have been disciplined and worked very hard to get us to this


stage. I think we can get it through the Commons. That would be very


significant. Many people thought it could not be done. If we can, we are


a significant step closer to letting Britain decide on our future in the


European Union. That is a good thing. It has been quite a hurdle to


get this far. It is not quite over yet. Is it not fair to say that the


hurdle in the House of Lords is higher? It will be difficult when it


gets to the House of Lords. It is a different problem for a different


day. I have been focused on the stages. We have run up against real


determined opposition. I will do everything I can to get this bill


through today. I will do whatever I can to influence the weather House


of Lords acts when it comes to them. Members of the House of Lords will


have to give serious thought to what they are doing before they do


anything to frustrate this. It is a bill which gives people a


referendum. For an unelected house to deny the British people a say on


a bill passed by the House of Commons, would put them in a


difficult position. Thank you. We will follow that. You


need to get back into the chamber. That is the latest on how the


European Referendum Bill is going. It looks like it will go through the


Commons. It faces a tough hurdle in the House of Lords. Let's go back to


Thomas Paine. He has been influential on political thought on


both sides of the Atlantic. Norman Baker joins me from Brighton. I


suppose a lot of what Thomas Paine stood for, which was controversial


at the time, is now just an accepted part of political values, would be


right? Some of it certainly is. He was ahead of his time when it came


to democracy and elected government. He challenged unelected bodies. Who


put you there and how can we get rid of you? That was pretty


revolutionary for the 18th century. We still have unelected bodies in


this country, including the House of Lords. I think you also was prepared


to challenge the mainstream opinion -- he was also prepared to


challenge. That sometimes is necessary. We end up with the


situation sometimes where people go with the flow because they are


frightened to speak out. The consequence of that is that


injustice could be allowed to surface. Tom Paine was very keen on


individual rights, that was his belief, the core of his belief. He


was suspicious of big government, particularly when he got in North


America, because big comment meant the colonial government. There was a


huge argument with the founding fathers as to exactly what powers


the new government should have. They were all suspicious. The world has


become more collectivist since the days of Thomas Paine, including your


own party? We are wary of big government, too. One of the


principles my party espouses is the idea you do not concentrate too much


power in one Particular Place or in the hands of one person. That is why


we like the idea of devolution from the EU to nation states. That is


still government. There is a great belief in the power


of government. There is not a problem, your party activists don't


see they could not be resolved with more government. That's what almost


every motion before your party conference is about.


We are removing power from government in certain circumstances.


The example with not proceeding with ID cards, we have been keen to roll


back so the state does not intervene. He was right to support


the American Revolution, we can agree on that. The French revolution


was necessary, but unfortunately it took a nasty turn. The fact is the


corrupt monarchy, undoubtedly that was something to be challenged.


Are you a supporter of him? The weak point came at the end with the


French Revolution. It is not just something that goes a bit wrong, it


is something where you have a theory of the state which have terrible


injustices that need to be addressed, you go down the route of


reform and consistently push for reform, but you get into trouble and


make those of unpopular doing so or do you assume? You ministry goes in


different ways and in the American Revolution it seems to work out


rather well. I don't think it does the French Revolution and that makes


me was goal. And with the American Revolution, maybe the only example


in the past 300 years of a successful, full-scale revolution. I


am glad we can agree with representation we should also have


taxation. To go back to this discussion, yes it is, but the


reason why people like him as he has a wild West element. He is the lone


hero, the figure who walks through history, happens to be in the right


spot, and does wonderful things which we like to think we would all


do. Where is probably we would be more cowardly.


There is a real problem which is about the relationships which is


what happens afterwards. This lack of awareness in its philosophy of


how communities which is going to be, one of the big themes, we have


lots of rights, we can take them off to Europe, how we get along as


communities is a more complex problem. And he could be the


revolutionary he was because of the printed book, it was widely


accessible, and now I wonder whether we are faced with the technology we


currently have which is taking over, taking the place of


government. At one of the leading inspirations for the American


Revolution wasn't Scotland. Not that you are counting. 44% of the


founding fathers of the American declaration of Independence had


Scottish, or as they call it bolsters scotch backgrounds. --


Ulster Scotch. Helen heard the words at school -- Scottish by Barak


hockey club, can you answer five questions on sport? Who is the


women's Wimbledon tennis championship I know Andy Murray did


for us, that is the most important thing. He will go bigger and bigger.


You are the FA Cup holders at the moment? Manchester United because it


is my favourite club. Who is the England rugby union captain? What


about hockey? Which it did Manchester United leave the football


league. These are hard questions. Last year. 92. Final one, which


Paralympian one most gold medals at London 2012? Dave Weir. It was the


restraining swimmer, she won eight. Poor Helen! I wouldn't have got any


of them either and would have been proud of it. The dusty halls of


Westminster are littered with the bodies of politicians who have


failed those tests on popular culture. Previous sports minister


Richard Caborn also flunked the sports quiz. The PM and the London


Mayor both zeroed tests on the price of milk and bread. Mr Cameron's


excuse was that he had a posh bread-maker! Good answer. And let's


not talk about that Gordon Brown "Arctic Monkey" moment. So does it


matter? Do we really care if our politicians can't tell their Arsenal


from their Elbow? Arsenal, by the way, is an Association Football


Club. Elbow is something you normally hear on Radio 2. The


inquisitor-in-chief on many of these questions is the broadcaster, Nick


Ferrari, from LBC. He joins us now. It may be a kind of Romanesque


sport, but does it really matter? It matters hugely. These people seek to


tell it how to live our lives whether through financial


responsible at sea, where our children should be schooled, whether


they should be in Europe, sends our children is to war, these are the


decisions they take. If they don't know the price of bread or who won


the FA Cup they should be exposed. You need to know who won the FA Cup


for you declare war on Iraq? You need to know you are in touch with


the ordinary policy. If you want to appear to be relevant and when their


votes and not to preach and be granted it would be artful to well


cost. I don't know who won the FA Cup? You are not an elected


politician. You hold them to task, that is your job. I don't have to


vote for you. I vote for a man to lead this country first although I


do! I think if you speak on a sports


brief that is the problem. There are a number of very basic questions, I


remember a Labour culture Minister who couldn't remember the last bit


of culture they had seen. That is a problem because you have gone out


there, just basic preparation. If you get a question, if anyone ask me


about cricket, I would die in a whole but it is very nifty say there


is a basic number of things you should know, Wimbledon, the FA Cup,


and it is part of the discussion, people are having this discussion,


if you put yourself to one side you are out of the picture. All the


politicians I liked were cricket fans. There is something about


following test matches which makes for a good, in touch politician. The


tip for a minister in a situation like that is everybody prefers a


body goes I don't know. I haven't a clue, you tell me.


In the sports issue, sometimes the politicians get hoist by their own


petard because they make, football, they hardly ever talk about


cricket, but the more public school they are, the more they want to talk


about football and they were on the terraces with a pork pie which is


all nonsense. One former prime ministers said he liked watching


about on the terraces before he was even born. If they have the answers


to everything, if all our schools were fantastic, if we had full


deployment, I don't care you don't know the price of milk but it is not


like that so be like one of us. Is it true Nick Clegg, is he your


new best friend? He is my new best broadcasting body. -- friend. I


count you as my print friend. He has never asked to see the questions and


he has literally had people report their membership on air, he takes it


on the chin. He did get the Arsenal back for. I wish I hadn't said that.


Now to our quiz, the question was which of these men has the highest


IQ? Boris Johnson, Nick Clegg, David Cameron, Ed Miliband. Does anybody


know? Johnson. Ed Miliband. Nick Clegg. You are all wrong, or you


could all be right. We don't know. You tricked us! Wanted you make


about Boris Johnson's remarks? I detested them intensely. I don't


care what he has to say about grammar schools, but to start


segmenting the public by IQ, the rock and awful lot of clever fools


at Westminster and elsewhere, it does not set a good turn. Why did he


do it? Because we are all talking about it. He is a cat thrower. You


throw a cat amongst the pigeons, Andrew. I think he wanted to


establish himself as top --. Deeply offensive, a ridiculous character.


He is almost like Berlusconi in his extremes and I find it astonishing


he is taken so seriously. I take on board the point it was clumsy but to


say some people are smart and some people are not, we need to help


those -- help those who are not smart and they will not enjoy the


economic boom. That is not quite what he said. I did read the speech


cleverly, closely, not cleverly! When you are measuring at what other


circumstances. He said it was almost like talking about dogs, treating


humans like a species. I agree it was clumsy. We have got to accept


some people are brighter than others. Was scripted or does he go


off piste? It is very much scripted. You know when he


freelances, you can kind of tell, remain the it was the Thatcher


memorial speech... A critique of equality, if there was a clear


political boat and difference, there is a man saying I don't buy into


equality. He is conservative, doesn't have to. Is he playing for


position in a Tory defeat? That is why a quality is being set up a mate


is not like anybody is delivering a quality anyway. Wouldn't Holly read


be brightened up -- Holyrood. If it had, who is the Scottish Johnson?


Thankfully, so far, he hasn't escaped. Into the public domain. But


if Joyce Johnson wants to be leader of the Tory party can he do it


before the referendum? It would be such a help. You think it would be a


help to your case. Wall the health is the Tories being five points


ahead in September of next year in the national polls. Since I have


been in London for 24 hours, do you think London wants to win the


referendum, I get the impression from Downing Street they are not


entirely convinced? I wouldn't put Alistair Carmichael and Alison


Darling as the head of my campaign -- Alistair Darling. Why choose


those two? We have to do simile in a Scottish


constituency -- someone. That's all for today. Thanks to our guests. The


One O'Clock News is starting over on BBC One now. I'll be back on BBC One


on Sunday with the Sunday Politics. I'll be talking to Yvette Cooper, do


join me then. Bye bye.


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