12/12/2013 Daily Politics


12/12/2013

Andrew Neil is joined by Melanie Phillips to discuss the day's political news. Including new recommendations for pay rises for MPs and the parliamentary beard of the year.


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Transcript


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

:00:38.:00:42.

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

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Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has confirmed that it

:00:47.:00:52.

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

:00:53.:00:58.

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

:00:59.:01:00.

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

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

:01:05.:01:07.

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

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

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

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Westminster sources that hacks talk journalese, something they

:01:20.:01:31.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:01:56.:01:58.

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

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

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

:02:14.:02:19.

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

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

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

:02:29.:02:37.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:03:06.:03:12.

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

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

:03:17.:03:23.

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

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

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examples of people with very unpromising backgrounds whose lives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Exactly. Now, yesterday a little gremlin

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sabotaged our guess the year competition, and our tape machine

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refused to play. It was probably overwhelmed by our Christmas

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

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

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Secretary. And the editor has put her cross in

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

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

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

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

:05:59.:06:00.

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

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

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above the Strand came the first voice of the British broadcasting

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Company. Into Number Ten went to Conservative

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cabinet. flowers.

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# Still, it holds a goodly share of bliss.

:07:05.:07:10.

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

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Huddersfield beat Preston North End. Good music.

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

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

:07:37.:07:42.

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

:07:43.:07:53.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Controversial? Not half. So why does the Independent Parliamentary

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

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

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

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

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they get less than head teachers, police chief superintendents and

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

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They are also paid less than legislators in other countries

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

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

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

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

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

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squeezing MP Rumack generous pensions and various other perks. It

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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about, cutting back on other benefits and revising pension

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:17:15.:17:18.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:17:41.:17:44.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the comparison thing, where they tried to benchmark themselves with

:18:59.:19:02.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:20:02.:20:07.

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

:20:08.:20:10.

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

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

:20:17.:20:20.

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

:20:21.:20:28.

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

:20:29.:20:36.

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

:20:37.:20:47.

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

:20:48.:20:52.

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

:20:53.:20:56.

intelligence and flair and creativity and wisdom. I will let

:20:57.:21:04.

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

:21:05.:21:09.

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

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

:21:25.:21:39.

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

:21:40.:21:42.

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

:21:43.:21:46.

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

:21:47.:21:49.

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

:21:50.:21:52.

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

:21:53.:21:56.

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

:21:57.:21:59.

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

:22:00.:22:03.

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

:22:04.:22:05.

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

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

:22:13.:22:15.

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

:22:16.:22:20.

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

:22:21.:22:24.

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

:22:25.:22:29.

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

:22:30.:22:34.

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

:22:35.:22:39.

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

:22:40.:22:43.

House of Commons to bring greater political focus into supporting

:22:44.:22:48.

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

:22:49.:22:51.

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

:22:52.:22:55.

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

:22:56.:22:59.

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

:23:00.:23:04.

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

:23:05.:23:11.

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

:23:12.:23:16.

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

:23:17.:23:20.

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

:23:21.:23:25.

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

:23:26.:23:30.

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

:23:31.:23:33.

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

:23:34.:23:37.

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

:23:38.:23:44.

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

:23:45.:23:47.

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

:23:48.:23:51.

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

:23:52.:23:56.

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

:23:57.:24:01.

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

:24:02.:24:05.

between themselves and their babies. Young people want to learn

:24:06.:24:11.

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

:24:12.:24:17.

worth registration, child benefit forms and welcoming ceremonies to

:24:18.:24:22.

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

:24:23.:24:28.

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

:24:29.:24:33.

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

:24:34.:24:41.

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

:24:42.:24:44.

constituency. And Frank Field joins me now.

:24:45.:24:50.

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

:24:51.:24:55.

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

:24:56.:25:02.

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

:25:03.:25:05.

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

:25:06.:25:13.

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

:25:14.:25:23.

monkeys have shown that good nurturing mothers switch off the

:25:24.:25:29.

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

:25:30.:25:33.

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

:25:34.:25:39.

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

:25:40.:25:44.

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

:25:45.:25:51.

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

:25:52.:25:58.

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

:25:59.:26:03.

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

:26:04.:26:05.

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

:26:06.:26:13.

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

:26:14.:26:16.

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

:26:17.:26:21.

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

:26:22.:26:28.

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

:26:29.:26:32.

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

:26:33.:26:38.

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

:26:39.:26:43.

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

:26:44.:26:48.

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

:26:49.:26:51.

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

:26:52.:26:55.

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

:26:56.:27:00.

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

:27:01.:27:06.

difference between struggling into the job market. But these big

:27:07.:27:13.

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

:27:14.:27:19.

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

:27:20.:27:23.

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

:27:24.:27:28.

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

:27:29.:27:33.

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

:27:34.:27:38.

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

:27:39.:27:45.

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

:27:46.:27:49.

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

:27:50.:27:53.

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

:27:54.:27:58.

terrible difficulties child may present with when he she goes to

:27:59.:28:01.

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

:28:02.:28:09.

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

:28:10.:28:12.

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

:28:13.:28:16.

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

:28:17.:28:20.

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

:28:21.:28:25.

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

:28:26.:28:30.

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

:28:31.:28:38.

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

:28:39.:28:43.

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

:28:44.:28:48.

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

:28:49.:28:50.

committed father is virtually unknown, and all of the research

:28:51.:28:54.

overwhelmingly shows that even though lone parents do a heroic

:28:55.:29:02.

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

:29:03.:29:08.

child not having a father, fatherless , being fatherless brings

:29:09.:29:24.

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

:29:25.:29:29.

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

:29:30.:29:35.

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

:29:36.:29:41.

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

:29:42.:29:48.

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

:29:49.:29:55.

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

:29:56.:30:02.

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

:30:03.:30:05.

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

:30:06.:30:12.

that may well provide a better environment than a workless

:30:13.:30:17.

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

:30:18.:30:26.

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

:30:27.:30:36.

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

:30:37.:30:43.

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

:30:44.:30:46.

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

:30:47.:30:54.

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

:30:55.:31:02.

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

:31:03.:31:06.

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

:31:07.:31:11.

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

:31:12.:31:19.

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

:31:20.:31:24.

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

:31:25.:31:27.

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

:31:28.:31:31.

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

:31:32.:31:35.

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

:31:36.:31:39.

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

:31:40.:31:44.

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

:31:45.:31:47.

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

:31:48.:31:52.

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

:31:53.:31:56.

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

:31:57.:32:01.

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

:32:02.:32:06.

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

:32:07.:32:10.

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

:32:11.:32:15.

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

:32:16.:32:18.

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

:32:19.:32:25.

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

:32:26.:32:27.

into international agreements. If they do not abide by their

:32:28.:32:31.

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

:32:32.:32:36.

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

:32:37.:32:43.

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

:32:44.:32:46.

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

:32:47.:32:51.

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

:32:52.:32:56.

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

:32:57.:33:01.

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

:33:02.:33:05.

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

:33:06.:33:10.

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

:33:11.:33:13.

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

:33:14.:33:18.

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

:33:19.:33:24.

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

:33:25.:33:27.

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

:33:28.:33:34.

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

:33:35.:33:40.

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

:33:41.:33:46.

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

:33:47.:33:49.

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

:33:50.:33:53.

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

:33:54.:33:58.

cosmetic improvement, a slight increase in the amount of time

:33:59.:34:02.

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

:34:03.:34:08.

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

:34:09.:34:12.

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

:34:13.:34:17.

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

:34:18.:34:22.

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

:34:23.:34:27.

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

:34:28.:34:30.

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

:34:31.:34:35.

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

:34:36.:34:41.

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

:34:42.:34:45.

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

:34:46.:34:56.

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

:34:57.:35:03.

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

:35:04.:35:09.

nuclear policy for peaceful purposes. And this agreement has

:35:10.:35:18.

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

:35:19.:35:22.

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

:35:23.:35:26.

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

:35:27.:35:30.

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

:35:31.:35:34.

the alternatives to an agreement they are pretty horrific. For

:35:35.:35:40.

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

:35:41.:35:44.

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

:35:45.:35:52.

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

:35:53.:35:56.

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

:35:57.:35:59.

perverse inversion of reality. The really horrific respect for the

:36:00.:36:03.

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

:36:04.:36:07.

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

:36:08.:36:11.

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

:36:12.:36:14.

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

:36:15.:36:20.

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

:36:21.:36:23.

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

:36:24.:36:30.

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

:36:31.:36:36.

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

:36:37.:36:44.

sanctions. One of the difficulties that the Obama Administration will

:36:45.:36:47.

have is that this carefully constructed agreement could be

:36:48.:36:56.

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

:36:57.:37:00.

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

:37:01.:37:06.

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

:37:07.:37:09.

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

:37:10.:37:14.

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

:37:15.:37:21.

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

:37:22.:37:24.

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

:37:25.:37:30.

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

:37:31.:37:36.

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

:37:37.:37:41.

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

:37:42.:37:47.

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

:37:48.:37:51.

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

:37:52.:37:55.

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

:37:56.:38:03.

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

:38:04.:38:06.

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

:38:07.:38:13.

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

:38:14.:38:17.

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

:38:18.:38:23.

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

:38:24.:38:36.

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

:38:37.:38:44.

And we are two Glasgow graduates, praising St Andrews.

:38:45.:38:50.

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

:38:51.:38:54.

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

:38:55.:38:58.

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

:38:59.:39:04.

supermarkets and pubs often being bought and turned into supermarkets.

:39:05.:39:07.

Reporter, Bhavani Vadde. Reporter, Bhavani Vadde.

:39:08.:39:18.

# Closing time. It is a great British institution,

:39:19.:39:22.

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

:39:23.:39:27.

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

:39:28.:39:32.

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

:39:33.:39:36.

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

:39:37.:39:42.

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

:39:43.:39:47.

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

:39:48.:39:52.

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

:39:53.:39:57.

weapon communities have to stop developers buying a pub and

:39:58.:40:01.

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

:40:02.:40:05.

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

:40:06.:40:09.

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

:40:10.:40:14.

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

:40:15.:40:19.

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

:40:20.:40:25.

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

:40:26.:40:32.

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

:40:33.:40:35.

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

:40:36.:40:42.

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

:40:43.:40:46.

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

:40:47.:40:51.

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

:40:52.:40:56.

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

:40:57.:41:00.

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

:41:01.:41:04.

into a supermarket or a betting shop. Campaigners want the

:41:05.:41:09.

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

:41:10.:41:13.

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

:41:14.:41:20.

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

:41:21.:41:24.

require planning permission and community consultation. We are

:41:25.:41:27.

asking councils to put together a proposal to central government to

:41:28.:41:32.

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

:41:33.:41:37.

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

:41:38.:41:45.

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

:41:46.:41:49.

But another industry audience does not believe changing planning rules

:41:50.:41:54.

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

:41:55.:42:00.

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

:42:01.:42:05.

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

:42:06.:42:10.

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

:42:11.:42:18.

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

:42:19.:42:22.

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

:42:23.:42:26.

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

:42:27.:42:30.

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

:42:31.:42:36.

protection. We are doing now by Mark Littlewood

:42:37.:42:43.

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

:42:44.:42:47.

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

:42:48.:42:53.

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

:42:54.:43:00.

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

:43:01.:43:05.

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

:43:06.:43:09.

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

:43:10.:43:15.

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

:43:16.:43:21.

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

:43:22.:43:28.

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

:43:29.:43:32.

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

:43:33.:43:40.

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

:43:41.:43:46.

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

:43:47.:43:53.

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

:43:54.:43:58.

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

:43:59.:44:02.

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

:44:03.:44:08.

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

:44:09.:44:13.

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

:44:14.:44:18.

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

:44:19.:44:22.

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

:44:23.:44:26.

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

:44:27.:44:35.

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

:44:36.:44:42.

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

:44:43.:44:48.

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

:44:49.:44:55.

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

:44:56.:45:00.

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

:45:01.:45:04.

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

:45:05.:45:11.

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

:45:12.:45:17.

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

:45:18.:45:21.

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

:45:22.:45:34.

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

:45:35.:45:45.

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

:45:46.:45:53.

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

:45:54.:46:00.

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

:46:01.:46:03.

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

:46:04.:46:14.

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

:46:15.:46:19.

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

:46:20.:46:26.

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

:46:27.:46:32.

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

:46:33.:46:35.

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

:46:36.:46:39.

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

:46:40.:46:45.

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

:46:46.:46:51.

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

:46:52.:46:59.

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

:47:00.:47:04.

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

:47:05.:47:07.

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

:47:08.:47:18.

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

:47:19.:47:21.

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

:47:22.:47:25.

community resource thing comes from, but too often community

:47:26.:47:29.

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

:47:30.:47:33.

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

:47:34.:47:41.

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

:47:42.:47:45.

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

:47:46.:47:53.

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

:47:54.:48:06.

less supervised and social if pubs break down. Certain brilliant

:48:07.:48:12.

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

:48:13.:48:18.

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

:48:19.:48:21.

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

:48:22.:48:24.

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

:48:25.:48:29.

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

:48:30.:48:32.

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

:48:33.:48:36.

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

:48:37.:48:42.

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

:48:43.:48:49.

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

:48:50.:48:55.

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

:48:56.:49:04.

three gentlemen with me who are ideally Hersey hirsuted to discuss

:49:05.:49:20.

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

:49:21.:49:25.

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

:49:26.:49:30.

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

:49:31.:49:37.

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

:49:38.:49:40.

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

:49:41.:49:47.

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

:49:48.:49:51.

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

:49:52.:50:01.

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

:50:02.:50:10.

is evidence that there are more beards around during times of

:50:11.:50:15.

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

:50:16.:50:21.

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

:50:22.:50:24.

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

:50:25.:50:30.

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

:50:31.:50:35.

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

:50:36.:50:41.

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

:50:42.:50:45.

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

:50:46.:50:50.

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

:50:51.:50:53.

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

:50:54.:50:57.

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

:50:58.:51:07.

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

:51:08.:51:13.

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

:51:14.:51:17.

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

:51:18.:51:20.

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

:51:21.:51:23.

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

:51:24.:51:26.

the cliches. Beleaguered hacks of the Westminster village fear they

:51:27.:51:29.

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

:51:30.:51:33.

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

:51:34.:51:36.

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

:51:37.:51:39.

silly words to baffle the public. Surely not!

:51:40.:51:57.

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

:51:58.:52:03.

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

:52:04.:52:05.

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

:52:06.:52:09.

is likely to be a firing squad and burial.

:52:10.:52:17.

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

:52:18.:52:32.

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

:52:33.:52:38.

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

:52:39.:52:48.

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

:52:49.:52:53.

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

:52:54.:52:57.

compliment. But now they might know the truth.

:52:58.:53:02.

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

:53:03.:53:10.

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

:53:11.:53:15.

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

:53:16.:53:19.

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

:53:20.:53:29.

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

:53:30.:53:34.

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

:53:35.:53:39.

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

:53:40.:53:48.

Crunch talks, calculation is, appalling cliches.

:53:49.:53:55.

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

:53:56.:54:01.

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

:54:02.:54:08.

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

:54:09.:54:10.

making all the other political parties think hard.

:54:11.:54:17.

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

:54:18.:54:25.

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

:54:26.:54:27.

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

:54:28.:54:33.

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

:54:34.:54:38.

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

:54:39.:54:42.

often like them because they are short, especially in print

:54:43.:54:50.

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

:54:51.:54:58.

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

:54:59.:55:02.

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

:55:03.:55:08.

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

:55:09.:55:18.

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

:55:19.:55:24.

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

:55:25.:55:28.

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

:55:29.:55:40.

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

:55:41.:55:44.

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

:55:45.:55:50.

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

:55:51.:55:55.

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

:55:56.:56:06.

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

:56:07.:56:12.

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

:56:13.:56:16.

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

:56:17.:56:21.

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

:56:22.:56:28.

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

:56:29.:56:33.

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

:56:34.:56:38.

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

:56:39.:56:46.

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

:56:47.:56:51.

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

:56:52.:56:55.

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

:56:56.:57:01.

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

:57:02.:57:05.

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

:57:06.:57:10.

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

:57:11.:57:19.

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

:57:20.:57:26.

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

:57:27.:57:29.

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

:57:30.:57:33.

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

:57:34.:57:41.

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

:57:42.:57:44.

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

:57:45.:57:53.

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

:57:54.:57:56.

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

:57:57.:58:05.

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

:58:06.:58:09.

stocking filler for my stocking here.

:58:10.:58:12.

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

:58:13.:58:16.

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

:58:17.:58:20.

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

:58:21.:58:23.

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

:58:24.:58:30.

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

:58:31.:58:43.

Frank Jones of Kendal, he has one. That's all for today. Thanks to our

:58:44.:58:48.

guests. The One O'Clock News is starting over on BBC One now. I'll

:58:49.:58:52.

be back tonight on This Week at 11.35. The most trending programme

:58:53.:58:59.

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

:59:00.:59:01.

Andrew Neil is joined by journalist and broadcaster Melanie Phillips to discuss the day's political news. Including new recommendations for pay rises for MPs and speaking to entrants in the parliamentary beard of the year.


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