12/12/2013 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. Most MPs claim they


really do not want it, not one little bit. But this morning, the


Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has confirmed that it


wants to give MPs an 11% pay rise. Other public sector workers are


getting a 1% rise. The increase would take their annual salary to


?74,000. Flirting with the enemy, or not? The


new Iranian envoy to Britain is over for tea and cake with the Foreign


Secretary. It's the great British beard-off. We


will be talking to some of the runners and riders in the


parliamentary beard of the year. And the BBC has learned from


Westminster sources that hacks talk journalese, something they


vigorously deny. Dear, oh dear, crunch talks, calculated snub is. I


would never talk like this in these appalling cliches. Not on this


show, no talk of bonking boffins. I like the phrase, though.


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


the journalist, Melanie Phillips. Welcome to the Daily Politics. First


this morning, let's talk about something clever for a change, like


genetics, because following Boris Johnson's recent comments on IQ, new


research claims that DNA is twice as likely as your school or environment


in determining educational success. Do you buy this? Not really. This


has been around for a while, this research on the inn heritability of


intelligence, that IQ can be transmitted to your genes. It is


based on studies of twins. London University College were doing it.


Yes, and I have some scepticism. The scientific literature seems to be


disputed. There is a lot of feeling that these twin studies going back


over time are based on slightly dodgy premises. To me, the whole


notion of intelligence is a slippery concept. We know that it changes


over time, that children are more receptive to having their IQ


improved and adults. This makes it difficult to measure. So studies


which claim to measure it and studies which vary in the estimate


from 50% to 70% of IQ supposed to be good down to your genes, I don't


really buy it. I think nature and nurture go together. It is bound to


be some kind of combination. The question is what the proportion is.


I feel that when it comes to education, there are countless


examples of people with very unpromising backgrounds whose lives


have been immeasurably transformed for the better by a good education.


And conversely, bad education leaves people mired in disadvantage. The


danger of this sort of thing is that it leads people to conclude, that it


doesn't matter what we do, if these people are going to be stupid, they


will be stupid. And it gets them out of jail for saying no matter what


your background, you should get a good education. All this genetic


stuff on IQ plays to the idea of what is called determinism, the idea


that we are the helpless and passive victims of circumstances, whether it


is genes or poverty. It is the idea that we are powerless. This is like


a fashion which comes and goes. Personally, I think it is dangerous.


I think we are able to rise out of disadvantage. Our environment and


how we control our environment is terribly important, and the idea


that we are just the victims of our genes, it is the idea that we are


just a bag of bones and cells and neurons firing, and there is nothing


else inside us. It is a good recipe for keeping people in their place.


Exactly. Now, yesterday a little gremlin


sabotaged our guess the year competition, and our tape machine


refused to play. It was probably overwhelmed by our Christmas


giveaway, this one-off card of the Daily Politics team, signed by me


and Jo, the Defence Secretary and the shadow Work and Pensions


Secretary. And the editor has put her cross in


it. Rachel Reeves signed it. You won't find one of these on the high


street, for good reason! Anyway, if you are mad enough to want this and


one of these, we have fixed the tape machine, so feast your eyes on this.


We got the screwdriver out and the oil went into the machine. We gave


her a kick with a tire iron. It has been decided to permit the


establishment of a number of broadcasting stations. So, from high


above the Strand came the first voice of the British broadcasting


Company. Into Number Ten went to Conservative


cabinet. flowers.


# Still, it holds a goodly share of bliss.


The cup final was held at Stamford which the last time. And there,


Huddersfield beat Preston North End. Good music.


To be in with a chance of winning a Daily Politics mug and that


wonderful card, send your answer to our special quiz e-mail address.


Melanie has already tried to half inch it! You can see the full terms


and conditions if you are a complete geek and third on the death the year


website. -- the guess the year website. It keeps people in jobs.


And viewers who entered via our website yesterday, don't panic, your


name will go forward! If you believe that, you will believe anything.


The independent body which sets MPs' salaries has put in a late bid to be


the least popular organisation of 2030. -- 2013. It confirmed today


that it inks members of Parliament should receive an 11% pay rise.


Controversial? Not half. So why does the Independent Parliamentary


Standards Authority, known as IPSA, think they should get the extra


cash? Well, at the moment, if you are an average backbencher with no


extra jobs, you get ?66,400 a year. IPSA, set up after the expenses


scandal, compared MPs' wages to other professions and found that


they get less than head teachers, police chief superintendents and


senior civil servants, so they are below other big public sector jobs.


They are also paid less than legislators in other countries


including Japan, Australia, the US and Germany. But they are paid more


than members of Parliament in vans and Spain. But then Spain has 60%


use an opponent. So exercise that after two years of careful thought,


it has decided that they should rise to ?74,000 in 2015. Conveniently,


after the election. IPSA says it will offset the cost of the rise by


squeezing MP Rumack generous pensions and various other perks. It


says it will not cost any more in the round and warns that if it is


not allowed to act, there could be a repeat of the expenses scandal, more


duck houses going up all over the country. The plan risks going down


like a bucket of cold sick with the public. David Cameron, who helped


set IPSA up, has threatened to scrap the body if it goes ahead with the


rise. Here are Ed Miliband and David Cameron at PMQs yesterday. Does the


prime minister agree that given the crisis families are facing in their


living standards, MPs should not be awarded a pay rise many times above


inflation in 2015? The idea of an 11% pay rise in one year at a time


of pay restraint is unacceptable. A complete, it is a need to think


again. Unless they do, I don't think anyone will want to rule anything


out. No one wants to go back to MPs voting on their own pay, but we need


an outcome that can build public confidence. You may have noticed


that MPs were unusually quiet during that exchange. The man who runs IPSA


is called Ian Kennedy. He gets a fair whack for doing his job. He did


not want to speak to us, but he did give an interview to another part of


the BBC. What we have announced is a package of reforms long overdue.


Part of those reforms has to do with reducing pensions which were


overgenerous by cutting back on old and did eyes, cutting down on


expenses -- cutting back on old goodbyes. The other side is that we


have got to catch up after it boring recommendations for decades as to


what MPs should be paid. We have arrived at a figure of ?74,000 after


the most authoritative study ever carried out. And that is what we are


going to implement. With us now, Joe Twyman, director of the little


research at YouGov, which has carried out some polling for IPSA.


The Labour MP John Mann. We did phone up a host of MPs who we hoped


might stand up in support of a pay rise, but alas, no one said yes. But


we have got Bono. Joe Twyman, -- we have got you to. Job one, did MPs


want a pay rise? Only 2% of the MPs we spoke to thought they were due a


pay rise. The majority thought a pay rise was suitable. They thought an


average of ?85,000 would be the most suitable salary. But they would not


say that in public. Well, they have not said that yet. What about the


public? Do they have a view as to what a proper MP's salary should be?


That is an interesting question, because we also ask that, and we


found out in comparison to 80,000, the public thought 40,000 was a more


reasonable amount. But was the average from them, and that is where


the trouble arises, because you have two very different views. IPSA's


position is closer to the MPs. When you set out what they are talking


about, cutting back on other benefits and revising pension


contributions, the majority of people agree with that. When you ask


them, should a ?10,000 pay rise take place, 85% of people say no matter


and it is very difficult to get as many people as that to agree. John


Mann, which figure are you closer to? It depends who you ask. If you


go on the streets of my constituency and quoted the figures, many would


say of their own MP, he does a very good job, but no, he should not be


paid more. My view is that we voted through the pay restraint on the


public sector. We need to impose that on ourselves. Is it all to do


with timing? This is at a time when the rest of the public sector is


being forced to tighten its belt. This is just a bad time to think


about an MPs' pay rise. Some would say there would never be a good time


. But it is the height of madness to do a job evaluation scheme when


there is a public sector pay freeze. You would not do it anywhere else.


The concept is fundamentally wrong. Of course you have got to have a


living. And it needs to be sufficient for people to manage, and


perhaps a bit more than manage, in order to ensure that people stay and


do not get caught off the moment they are there. But it is not a job,


it is a vocation. We are elected to do it, and therefore, job evaluation


is a contradiction in terms. Your job evaluation comes from the ballot


box. MPs love to compare with journalists and head teachers and


people who they perceive as being better paid. They don't like to


compare with cleaners, for example. And yet it seems that that is an


equally valid comparison. But that would lead you to begin division


that MPs should be on the average wage. The conclusion is that it is


not a job. There needs to be enough to do it. There are hidden costs,


and the public will not be aware of them, but we are not impoverished. I


am one of the average MPs you mentioned. I get the actual amount


and nothing more, and I survived perfectly well. We actually asked


about a whole host of different jobs, and whether people thought


they were overpaid or underpaid, and very few came higher but fared worse


than MPs. Bankers, television presenters, they were that those who


were felt to be more overpaid. What is your take? Parliament says we


cannot possibly determine our pay, but it is perverse that when IPSA


turns round and says that there is something that the MPs don't like,


the MPs say, we can't have that. So where is its independence? And they


have only just done it. IPSA is new. But the problem with pushing through


a pay rise at this time, I agree with John Mann. The fundamental


problem is that MPs regard what they do was a job. I absolutely agree


that it is a vocation. A lot of the problems in politics because it has


become a job, and MPs have become cannon fodder for the Whips because


they depend so much for the entire livelihood and Korea on this job


being member of armament. It is all very well to say that it is not a


job, but it doesn't stop many of your colleagues taking other jobs.


No, but the key to me on that is transparency. If people are spending


their time not doing the job, they should be voted out. But what is


critical is transparency. If someone wants to come and be a presenter


alongside you, I don't care about that. But what I do care about is


that people can see what is happening and how they are getting


paid. They can make a judgement for better or worse. You have been


prepared to come on and give a point of view. We were saying that MPs


don't want to speak about this in public. So far, nine or ten MPs have


signed a statement saying that they think the pay rise should be 1%. I


think they are keeping quiet and hoping they will get the pay rise. I


can assure you I am in a minority. You don't have to assure me. I have


seen the figures! What I note is quite a lot of people seem to fail


to see that I am there as they walk past. There is a silence. It must be


something I did in the past. It is hard to see a way out of this. There


was a time when MPs set their own pay. Then they did this thing called


the comparison thing, where they tried to benchmark themselves with


senior grades in the civil service. Now they have outsourced it all the


IPSA. Nothing seems to work. It is a matter of perception. Look at the


context, it is in the aftermath of the expenses scandal, when trust in


politicians is low and falling, and the guy from IPSA himself said that


if we don't do this, we might have another expenses scandal. He is


saying, you can't trust them enough to be fair dealing on this. If you


don't give me enough money, I will cheat. We often argue that we need


to get more good people in the parliament, the best and the


brightest should be going in. And to do that, don't you have to pay a bit


more? The salary hasn't gone up relatively over the last 20 years.


Whether the quality has improved in a similar way is debatable. It


really is a myth that there are all these people out there who would be


better than, say, the industrial workers we don't get, the cleaners


we don't get, the nurses that we don't get, and many more. That is


what Parliament is lacking. There are not a shortage of professional


wealthy people in Parliament, in fact exactly the opposite. There are


more of them than they used to be. When you look back into the past,


when it was much more of the tradition of a gentleman or lady


doing it as a second job, it was better quality. It wasn't


scrutinised like it is now. They seem to be people of rather more


intelligence and flair and creativity and wisdom. I will let


that hang in the wind and see what people think, because I am not


convinced. I have seen Andrew Bonar Law's Cabinet. Anyway, . Now


yesterday a little gremlin sabotaged our guess the year competition, and


our tape machine refused to play. How to reduce child poverty? It's an


issue that MPs have been wrestling with for decades,and yet one in six


children in the UK still live in very poor households, according to


the latest Government figures. In fact, experts predict the target to


end child poverty by 2020 is likely to be missed unless more is done to


address inequality. The Labour MP Frank Field has long been a


campaigner on the issue, and he argues the first three years of a


child's life are the most important. Here's his soapbox.


I was appointed by the current government to lead a review into


child poverty and life chances. Poor areas in Birkenhead are like poor


areas anywhere else in the country. Around half the children grow up in


poverty, and almost one in ten are born with a low birth weight. One in


five young people from the poorest areas of Birkenhead are found not to


be in employment or in training or education. Once you lock those


figures together, you see the real link between poverty and stunted


life chances. I am striving with colleagues from all sides of the


House of Commons to bring greater political focus into supporting


families. The first 1000 days of a child's life are the most


important, and what we now need is a commitment from all three party


leaders that they will act on this knowledge in the next Parliament.


The home start centre here in my constituency does just this. It


gives support to people, and aids parents to give their children the


best start in life. Good to see you. Evidence shows that the earliest


emotional experiences of a baby from at least one of their parents will


have a major impact on the development of that child's brain,


and subsequently its life chances. Parents coming here really value the


support on offer. If you are isolated at home, you can feel that


things are getting on top of you, but if you get out and about with


others sharing similar experiences, it is a way to help yourself and


your child. You meet other parents, children that have also been in


special care for various reasons, and that is a great community


support for you, to know that you are not the only one. Services like


this are brilliant, and of course we need to do more. We want to ensure


that all vulnerable families have the most help in promoting that link


between themselves and their babies. Young people want to learn


how to be good parents. Likewise, sure start centres should offer


worth registration, child benefit forms and welcoming ceremonies to


ensure that all families engage with sure start. If we can secure a


commitment to this vision, we will ensure that no child falls behind.


But to prevent poor children now from becoming poor adults in the


future, we need to start acting now. That was Frank Field in his


constituency. And Frank Field joins me now.


You heard Melanie Oudin I talking at the start of the show on this nature


and nurture thing, about whether intelligence is genetic. What is


your take? I thought you both struck the right balance. There is the


question of nature and nurture, but nurture can affect nature. The big


findings today, we know that 42% is not decided by genetics. Tests on


monkeys have shown that good nurturing mothers switch off the


effects of bad genetics, and then nurturing switches off the effect --


switches on the effect of good genetics. So how you nurture your


child has a really good effect on how you get on in life, on things


like violence, aggression, lack of social skills, and so on. So it is


not predetermined? Let me come on now to the subject of your film. Can


I begin with a basic question, and I have been told in the social


sciences, that if you want to get rid of something, you have to


measure it first. How should we measure child poverty? Income is the


traditional way. I did the report in the film for the Prime Minister to


say, if we're going to get out of this debate which hasn't got us


very, 30 years, we need to try to measure life opportunities, and that


certainly by the age of three, one begins to see these divisions which


appear to be based on class, which are reinforced at five, and however


good schools are, they don't close those gaps. Children's abilities go


up, but they don't narrow. So it would suggest that all this emphasis


by politicians that if we beat up the schools enough, we will get at


the end of this process young people who will be able and ready for


work, who have the skills for work, that is misconceived. Because the


damage is done before? Before they even enter school. It can make the


difference between struggling into the job market. But these big


changes have almost been set in concrete already. But what one can't


do, the big boys as they like to think of themselves in politics,


they need to address their minds, why is it, and in 1870 we had


compulsory schooling, why do these age-old divisions remain? What we


were seeing in that film was just how effective it can be in


supporting mothers, and letting them know, often when they have not had a


good up being themselves, what the key things are that they should be


doing the feed that brain. Do you agree with that, that the early


years are crucial? I think they are crucial. Notwithstanding the


terrible difficulties child may present with when he she goes to


school, a good school can make a considerable difference, but they


are battling against great odds. Frank alludes to the definition of


poverty being much more than financial. I have always longed for


that, that there is emotional poverty, psychological poverty. But


the crucial thing in this whole debate which goes back 20 or 30


years is that the most important thing that Skype is a child's life


chances is family disintegration # That destroys a child's life


chances. It is the mother bringing up a child alone in a broken


family, and she very often has been brought up herself by a mother


alone. So you have several generations where the idea of a


committed father is virtually unknown, and all of the research


overwhelmingly shows that even though lone parents do a heroic


job, and very often can succeed in mitigating the worst effects of a


child not having a father, fatherless , being fatherless brings


a great economic disadvantage. It can bring an inability to function


as a human being. I agree with a lot of that, but if you just look at the


crude poverty figures, if you don't want your child to be poor, it is


crucial to have two wage earners. That doesn't guarantee that you


won't be poor, but we now have an economy that you need two earners.


And this has a huge spin off for the well-being of most children who


don't have two parents. There are now 2.4 children in working


households who live in poverty. So even if the parents are working, and


that may well provide a better environment than a workless


household, it doesn't get these 2.4 million out of poverty. One of the


problems we have had is that we have subsidised low wages. That now comes


to 20,000 million pounds. If some of that effort had gone into getting a


labour force which could in a fit from real wages, it would be


different. It is not adequate. This will go on for ever... Benefits


themselves, crucial as they maybe, other long-term solution to these


massive structural problems. We saw with that homes. Roddick in


Birkenhead that there are a lot of willing takers who want to do well


by their children. It is ignoring that wish that is so terrible. Thank


you. We will come back to this in the new year.


It has been two years since Iranian diplomats were expelled from the UK


after the British embassy in Tehran was launched during anti-sanction


protests. But following last month's agreement with Iran, their


envoy is making his first visit to London today, to drop in on Mr


Hague, the Foreign Secretary, at the Foreign Office, for a cup of tea or


a biscuit. Here is the Foreign Secretary, talking about the


importance of the thaw in relations when that Iranian-West deal was


announced. The fact that we have achieved, for the first time in


nearly a decade, an agreement that rolls back Iran's nuclear programme


should give us heart that this work can be done and that a comprehensive


agreement can be obtained. On an issue of such complexity, and given


the fact that to make any diplomatic agreement worthwhile to both sides,


it must involve compromises. Such an agreement is bound to have critics


and opponents, but we are right to test Iran's readiness to act in good


faith, to work with the rest of the international community and enter


into international agreements. If they do not abide by their


commitments, they will bear a heavy responsibility. If we did not take


the opportunity to attempt such an agreement, we would be guilty of a


grave error. We are joined now by the former Liberal Democrat leader


Ming Campbell, who specialises in foreign affairs. You are in favour


of the talks, as I understand it. We have six months to come to an


agreement. How hope for are you? Well, we have to see if the


sentiment is supported by action. The fact that there is an agreement


at all is enormously significant. When you have Paddy Ashdown and


William Hague and John Kerry all on the side of it, this is something


worthwhile. You need the point in your introduction little while ago.


There are still the outstanding issue of the storming of the British


embassy, and the diplomatic exchange which is taking place is not a full


return to diplomatic relations. It is an exchange of Sharjah affaire --


charged affair, who are below ambassadors. You think we are being


played? Absolutely. I can't believe the extent to which written, America


and the EU are being played for suckers, and not for the first time.


The Iranians are rightly crowing about this, because the terms of


engagement have now been changed by this deal, in exchange for the most


cosmetic improvement, a slight increase in the amount of time


before Iran can break out its nuclear capability. Iran has got


what it wanted, which is the tacit agreement that it will continue to


produce uranium indefinitely. We used to have a situation where the


world agreed that the bottom line from the world, because Iran is such


a threat, number one rogue state, the idea that it could become a


nuclear state was so unthinkable for world security that the aim of the


world was to make it impossible or to to enrich uranium, and now they


can. Let me welcome viewers from Scotland who were watching First


Minister 's questions from Holyrood. We are discussing the prospect of a


deal with Iran over its nuclear ambitions with money Phillips --


Melanie Phillips. Some of you may recognise her. Well, Iran is a


signatory of the nonproliferation treaty. It is entitled to develop a


nuclear policy for peaceful purposes. And this agreement has


provided that there will be a reduction. Of course it is not


perfect. Are we right to be sceptical? Of course. William Hague


has gone out of his way to say that. But we have got a moment at which


people sat around a table and reached an agreement. If you look at


the alternatives to an agreement they are pretty horrific. For


example, like the possibility of nuclear action either by Israel on


its own, or by Israel with support from the United States. If you think


of the impact that could have on the fragility of the situation, you have


to go as far as you can before that remains the only option. That is a


perverse inversion of reality. The really horrific respect for the


world is Iran getting the bomb, firstly because of what it might do


with it and secondly because of the effect on the arms race in the


Middle East. But we have now got ourselves in a situation in which


bombing Iran is worse than Iran getting the bomb . But I don't agree


with Ming Campbell that that is the only alternative. The alternative,


which was one we painfully arrived at, what sanctions, which were


beginning to bite. But we have given away the sanctions. They are still


in place. No, the Americans are increasingly agreeing to give up on


sanctions. One of the difficulties that the Obama Administration will


have is that this carefully constructed agreement could be


undermined if Congress declines. The Middle East is always an issue in


the United States. How it seems that the argument will be resolved one


way or the other in six months' time. The danger for the West is


that under the existing arrangement, after six months, we have to come to


a comprehensive arrangement in which the sanctions go, but there will be


test and inspections to check that it can only enrich uranium for


peaceful purposes. The danger will be that Tehran will see, let's have


another interim agreement. Surely that is the test? But you would not


want to create a cliff edge on a matter as significant as this.


Stopping the clock is not unknown in these matters. The OECD stopped the


clock so that a deadline never expired. But if Iran does not come


to an agreement after stopping the clock, wouldn't Melanie Phillips is


in thinking they never meant to have one? B I don't think you can make


that judgement. This is a country which does not have a vertical


system of government, it has a horizontal system in which there are


many centres of power. Hassan Rouhani is different from those who


have gone before. The question is, can we test the sincerity of what is


being said with actions? We will see in six months' time what happens.


Merry Christmas. Sing to you. -- same to you.


And we are two Glasgow graduates, praising St Andrews.


They are worth more than ?19 billion to the economy and 950,000 jobs


depend on them, but last year, 1100 pubs closed across the country. The


industry's decline is being blamed on people buying cheap Argyle in


supermarkets and pubs often being bought and turned into supermarkets.


Reporter, Bhavani Vadde. Reporter, Bhavani Vadde.


# Closing time. It is a great British institution,


and the heart of many a community, but the pub is under threat on many


fronts. Whether that is from cheap alcohol sold at supermarkets or from


being turned into a supermarket, which is an increasing problem.


Locals at the Royal Oak intemperate wells are fighting to keep their pub


the way it is. There are many reasons why this should remain a


pub. E-fit was to be turned into a supermarket, it would destroy the


area. It is not just a building, it is a home away from home. The best


weapon communities have to stop developers buying a pub and


converting it is by listing it as an asset of community value, something


they have achieved here. That means local people have the power to


postpone the sale for six months to give them enough time to raise the


funds to buy the pub for themselves. That in itself is of putting for


developers. It means they can't just come in, grab a piece of body and


take it away. They would have to contest with us. We get first


choice, if you like. We have seen it in quite a few pubs in Tunbridge


Wells where Tesco or someone has taken over, and good community pubs


all over the country are going that way. The government says it is doing


all it can to safeguard community pubs from closure. Nearly 200 pubs


have now been listed as assets of community value. But some fear that


this detection does not go far enough. If developers did buy a pub


like this, they would not need planning permission to convert it


into a supermarket or a betting shop. Campaigners want the


government to plug that loophole. We believe that pubs, because of the


unique but should be shown they bring to society and the economy,


should be in a category so that any change in use of a pub should


require planning permission and community consultation. We are


asking councils to put together a proposal to central government to


achieve that. The pub and brewing industry lay a significant role in


the UK's economy. It brings in ?19.4 billion, 950,000 dished jobs depend


on the sector. But 1125 pubs closed down across the country last year.


But another industry audience does not believe changing planning rules


will help save pubs, and points to other solutions. Beer duty went up


42% in four years. We have just had a 2% cut . We need more. If you go


to a supermarket tonight, you can buy a meal to dine at home . You


don't pay VAT on that, but you do in the pub. We have a campaign about


this rates. Local businesses have a right to be offered additional help.


The Royal Oak is one example of how a valuable resource to the community


may have been lost if left to market forces, so shouldn't we be calling


time on the lack of detection for our neighbourhood pubs? -- lack of


protection. We are doing now by Mark Littlewood


from the Institute of Economic Affairs and Tim Martin, the founder


of Wetherspoon. You are businessman, therefore. Shouldn't these matters


be determined by market forces? To a point, yes. It is trying to shut the


stable door. The question is, what is the underlying economic reason


that is causing the problem in the first place? It was touched upon by


the spokesperson for the pub industry. It is the fact that


supermarkets pay no VAT on food sales, and pubs pay 20%. That is the


kiss of death for pubs. But restaurants pay 20%. And it is the


kiss of death for many restaurants. In less well off areas of the


country, you will find very few restaurants, coffee shops at Tetra.


-- et. No sane person would give supermarkets a VAT advantage over an


institution such as a pub today. So your case is that the playing field


is not level? It is very un-level, especially on VAT rates. It is a


good point, there is not a level playing field. The problem is not


market forces, it is government forces, the amount of tax taken.


Whether it is VAT, I think we got 1p off a pint of beer from George


Osborne in the last Budget. Trivial difference when you see how much tax


has gone up. Over the last three years, you have seen the average


profit a pub makes drop by about 12%, but you have seen the average


tax take up a pub has to hand it to the government go up by nearly 20%.


And that is because? VAT, business rates. Excise duty. David Cameron


says it is not a tax, it is a late-night levy, and so on. Pubs


have been milked for things like binge drinking issues, for ten or 20


years. Binge drinking is an issue, so the easy way is to tax a pub out


of existence, but it does not solve it. We are agreed that the


government is not going to introduce 20% VAT on food in supermarkets.


Unless it wants to commit mass suicide. But I would also suggest


that the alternative, which is to cut VAT in pubs, that would be a


hard sell as well because you would have to do it in restaurants as


well. You will have to do it in restaurants as well. A supermarket,


per pint of beer, gives half as much tax as a pub, but one tenth of the


jobs. We pay 43% of our sales, ?600,000 per pub per year in tax, we


are a tax generated machine. The Chancellor should give you a night


would! Immediately after the programme. I will put a word in for


you. Do you have a view? I have make views -- mixed views. I never going


to pubs, I see them as places where people do a lot of drinking and


throw up outside. I'm sure that is a terrible slur on your trade. She


lives in a rough part of London! But if an institution plays a valuable


part in the life of the nation and is a community resource, I have


never been a believer in market forces. We should preserve these


things. There is to me the difference between a picturesque pub


such as we saw in your clip where people are playing snooker and


having a bit to eat and the heavy drinking ones, spit and sawdust, and


people getting off their faces. And it troubles me that it is part of


British culture, we are drinking culture. People drink to get drunk.


The question is, is the public has a valuable community resource which


needs to be preserved or a bit of a blight? I can see where the


community resource thing comes from, but too often community


resources used to describe something that people are quite fond of but


not willing to spend enough money in the render viable. A final word for


you, Tim. The underlying emotions about the issue are is that the


reason that pubs are taxed so heavily, and everyone agrees that


pubs and customers which misbehave should be dealt with. It will be


less supervised and social if pubs break down. Certain brilliant


companies will always do well. But not whether Spain! Just joking!


Now, regular viewers of this programme might think we're a little


obsessed about facial hair. And you're right! We enjoy shaving off


MPs' moustaches, and have an in-house barber on our books. Your


licence fee can't be better spent than that. And frankly, viewers,


we're proud of it. However, we fess up to neglecting the mighty beard.


But fear not, you lovers of the mutton chop, the goatee and the


stashburn, Giles is on hand. I am indeed, and just to empathise,


I haven't shaved, just for you this morning. But not since Jeremy Paxman


sported his face fungus has the beard got so much attention. I have


three gentlemen with me who are ideally Hersey hirsuted to discuss


this. How long have you had a beard? Since I was old enough to


grow on. So what is it about the beard? The leader of the beard


liberation front quoted me as saying, I wear my beard is my


opposition to new Labour. But that doesn't really work when John


himself wears a beard. There are contradictions within the movement.


Those who are eagle eyed will spot that you are all Labour politicians.


The Tories don't really support beards. Mrs Thatcher said that only


men with weak chins sport beards. She was wrong about 70 things. There


is evidence that there are more beards around during times of


recession. And are you always winning? The voting is still going


on. It is still open to the public to decide who is to be the


Parliamentary beard wearer of the year. Do you think yours is better


than his? When you asked me earlier whether I had ever thought of taking


it off, we would have to change all the posters. The voters recognise


that, in this constituency, with a substantial seat population, and I


have never found a beard to be an electoral problem. I am the only


member of the short list who is in the House of Lords, so there is an


air of continuity being offered to this important competition. I am


pleased to say that none of you have ever suffered what is known in the


trade as pognophobia, a hatred of beards. These guys love them.


Thanks, Giles! That's your lot. Time for us to go. But wait! Breaking


news. Hold the front page immediately, because a furious row


has broken out over the use of journalese. It's spinning out of


control and could hemorrhage the heart of Government. We are good on


the cliches. Beleaguered hacks of the Westminster village fear they


could be shamed into a climb-down following a chorus of criticism that


appears to be spinning out of control. In the smoke-filled rooms


of the Red Lion pub, a cosy consensus has emerged that hacks use


silly words to baffle the public. Surely not!


The public sector's answer to achieve. Like their Russian


namesake, nominally in charge of things they don't really control


such as drugs or anti-social behaviour. And there ultimate fate


is likely to be a firing squad and burial.


Senior backbenchers, backbenchers who returned our call. We can also


use rising star. Some of them are not terribly senior.


Eccentric is defined here as mad. I find myself using this word all the


time. For obvious reasons. And I often get MPs coming up to me and


saying, what did you mean? I tell them I consider it to be the highest


compliment. But now they might know the truth.


My least favourite bit of journalese is when you hear that it is the


timing of the statement that makes it so significant. What that means


is there is nothing particularly significant about it at all, but I


am so desperate to get in the paper or on the air that I will ham it up.


It has emerged that... What that really means is, I read it in the


papers but I don't want to tell you. The BBC has learned that... It


sounds so academic, Sosa read all, so not like the other networks.


Crunch talks, calculation is, appalling cliches.


This is a giant riles brew blown of the political establishment, and yet


tonight we stand on the brink. Do you agree with the Chancellor that


the glass is half full? They have rocked Westminster and are


making all the other political parties think hard.


He is never going to come onto PMQs again! I can't believe we stitched


him up like that. And the author of "Romps, Tots and Boffins: the


Strange Language of News", Robert Hutton, is here. Is it simply


repetition that creates journalese? Phrase goes into the language and we


milk it for all it is worth? I think we find things that we like, and we


often like them because they are short, especially in print


journalism. Or they are PC. We saw this with omnishambles last year. It


was a word at all, and then the Daily Mail started using it all the


time, and suddenly it took off. We all loved it. It is a great word.


But it has kind of faded now. Other things, . Is there a difference


between journalese and cliche? Journalese is a subset of cliche.


This all came about because we were sitting on a trip trying to come up


with a list of words that you only see in newspapers, and boffin was


the word that came to mind, people used to use it but now you only see


it in newspapers to define someone a bit clever. These would creep in and


then we hang on to them. Is it true that were we say, the BBC has


learned... It means we have but watching Sky? Somebody from Sky took


me aside when I made reference to sky sources and said, it doesn't


mean us, it means Twitter. It means we have checked out the story on the


front page of The Times, and you can run with it. So somebody puts it


into one of their reports, and then all of the other correspondents say,


the BBC has learned. The only defence of journalese is that people


understand what you talking about, it fades. A lot of it goes, and new


journalese comes in. It is ever-changing. Part of it in a


feeble attempt to excuse my trade, part of it is because of the need


for brevity, especially in headlines. You have so few words to


play with. Particularly in tabloid headlines, and you need small words.


Politicians in vent the cliche into the sound bite in order that they


can have their perfect cliche in an interview. I love Robert's


definition here of a wide-ranging speech, a leadership aide. The


reason may earlier this year made a wide-ranging speech. And she put


down a marker! My favourite hate thing which I hope I haven't been


guilty of myself, is when journalists don't know what they are


talking about, they will end their report by saying, time alone will


tell. There is a certain amount of journalese, and I am a working


journalist and I use these phrases, I found myself using rebuff this


week. Sometimes you use it because you try to smooth over the fact that


you don't know everything about the story, so you are trying to create a


clear sounding pitch. Upset at the polls. We called this one wrong. A


stocking filler for my stocking here.


Now, there's just time to put you out of your misery and give you the


answer to Guess The Year. The clue was the first ever radio broadcast


by the BBC and the general election won by Andrew Bonar Law's


Conservatives. I was giving new clues as well. Yes, it was 1922! I


remember it well. Melanie, hit that big red button there.


Frank Jones of Kendal, he has one. 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 tonight on This Week at 11.35. The most trending programme


on British television! We will have Kate Nash. Goodbye.


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