17/12/2013 Daily Politics


17/12/2013

Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With comedian David Schneider and a look at plans for airport expansion.


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Hello and welcome to The Daily Politics. Our top story today - at

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the last election, he opposed airport expansion in the South-East,

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but a government-backed report out today suggests David Cameron will

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eventually support a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick.

:00:47.:00:53.

Fracking for gas could create 30,000 jobs - if the industry is allowed to

:00:54.:00:58.

develop to its full potential. We will debate the controversial new

:00:59.:01:02.

source of energy. Lawrence of Arabia, The Usual

:01:03.:01:05.

Suspects or King Fu Panda - what does a politician's favourite movie

:01:06.:01:15.

say about them? And how much do looks affect

:01:16.:01:24.

political success? Labour might lose out on their majority in the next

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election, simply because a lot of people cannot vote for Ed Miliband,

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because, and I quote, he looks like a human platypus, unquote.

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I am saying nothing. All that in the next hour - and with us for the

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whole programme today is the actor, comedian and writer David Schneider.

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Today's report on airport capacity has narrowed down the options from

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an initial field of 58 to just three, although Sir Howard Davies

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has not ruled out building a brand-new airport in Kent. The

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commission admitted in October that extra runway capacity is needed in

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the south-east, but they have now approved three options for where the

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extra runway could go. Two of the proposals involve expanding Heathrow

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in west London. The first option would be to build a new 3,500-metre

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third runway, constructed to the north-west of the existing airport.

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third runway, constructed to the north-west of the existing The

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second option at Heathrow is a fairly radical proposal to extend

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the airport's existing northern runway to the west to at least 6,000

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metres - this would allow it to be used for both take-offs and

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landings. The third option that has been short listed is a brand new

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runway at Gatwick Airport to the south of London. The Davies

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Commission haven't ruled out building a brand new hub airport in

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the Isle of Grain, which is favoured by London Mayor Boris Johnson. The

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Commission says they will look at it in detail next year before deciding

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whether to rule it in or out. Of course the issue of airport

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expansion has been kicked into the long grass for political reasons,

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and no final decisions will be made until after the next election.

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Speaking on the BBC this morning, Howard Davies said the UK was crying

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out for more airport capacity. We have tried to look at it from a

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passenger perspective, and the fact is that British business people need

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to travel to overseas business markets, people need to visit

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friends and relatives abroad, and people need to go on holiday, and I

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think we need to allow people to do that if they wish, as long as the

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overall environmental obligations can be matched. This is not about

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airports competing with other airports, it is about responding to

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the demands of a growing economy. Howard Davies there. Meanwhile,

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Mayor of London Boris Johnson says he is glad the option of a brand new

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hub airport to the east of the city remains on the table. There is a

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tough decision that has to be taken. I hope that it will be the brave,

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the right decision, for the long-term. This is the greatest city

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on earth, the place everybody wants to come to. I am fed up to the back

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teeth with having to circle over Heathrow. Everybody understands

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that. How do you solve that? You cannot expand Heathrow in my view,

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because you are going to create a monster in West London. We need now

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to go for the right option. With us now is Zac Goldsmith, the

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Conservative MP for Richmond Park, who has campaigned against Heathrow

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expansion. We're also joined by Baroness Valentine, whose London

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First group campaign on behalf of London's business community, and the

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former Transport Minister Simon Burns. Welcome to you all. First of

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all, Zac Goldsmith, at what point will you consider your position as a

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Conservative MP? I said clearly before the election, on the back of

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a promise made by David Cameron directed towards my constituents in

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West London, which was that if my party changes its position on

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Heathrow expansion, I will automatically trigger a by-election.

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Except that it now looks impossible for the Conservatives to go into the

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next election being able to rule out expansion at Heathrow. Is that when

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you say, game is up? I am applying maximum pressure, and I know a lot

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of other backbenchers, even those who support Heathrow expansion, are

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putting pressure on the Government to get off the fence. In fact, the

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only real news today I think is that the pressure on all three leaders to

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get off the fence this side of the election has massively escalated. It

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is no longer tenable to imagine any of them going into the election with

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ambiguity. And on that basis, if the Conservative manifesto does not roll

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out Heathrow expansion, is that the point at which you say... ? Then I

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would have to repeat my pledge, which, after the election, if there

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is a U-turn, then I would trigger a by-election. But the position has

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changed, we now know that Heathrow would be on the table. As you say,

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the interim report has come out with a Heathrow bias anyway. And I think

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from day one, that was always going to be the case. If you listen to Sir

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Howard Davies in any of the interviews he has been doing today,

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he is using the language of the AA, he has adopted their line, hook,

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line and sink, in a very impressive PR operation, and he has managed to

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substitute whatever thoughts he may have had with their own thoughts,

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and completely bought into the Heathrow argument. Would you be

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prepared to stand as an independent? Absolutely, but this is not

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something I have worked out and I hope I will not have to. If my party

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does a U-turn on this issue, I will trigger a by-election. I remain

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clear on that. What happens after that, I hope I do not have to deal

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with that. It is going to be a political nightmare from now until

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the election, with this interim report. You are not going to be able

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to go into the election, as a party, without clearly setting out what

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your favoured option would be? No, I do not think that is the case. We

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made it clear when the commission was set up that here is an

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independent body which is set with the task of, once and for all,

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trying to sort out what is the best option for the expansion of our

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capacity, and something that we can seek to get consensus about amongst

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the political parties. Heathrow is the favoured option here. It is not

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the favoured option, it is one of 3.5 options. It leans very much

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towards Heathrow as an option. That is your interpretation. The fact is,

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there are two options in this short list for Heathrow. There is the

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third option of a second runway at Gatwick, and there is a kind of half

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measure at the moment, and we will have to wait until June next year,

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where the commission is going to look in greater detail at the Isle

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of grain proposal, because that will also be coming into the mix. We do

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not know at the moment, and we will not know, until the final

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recommendations are made in the summer of 2015, exactly what the

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commission believes is the right solution to airport capacity. I

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understand that, but the timing of the report was set by politicians,

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not by Howard Davies. I do not think there is anyone who believed that it

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was anything other than a political decision. It was time to conclude

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after the election, -- it was timed to conclude after the election, so

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that the party leaders would not have to grapple with the issue

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before the election. That is not true, because I was part of the

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reason that was given was because this is a horrendously complex

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issue... That you do not want to make. It is not that at all. It has

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got to be looked at properly and thoroughly. If you put an

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unrealistically short timetable, anyone who did not like whatever the

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final decision was would turn around and say, you cannot deal with such

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complexes issue in such a short period of time. But you would think

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that Heathrow will be on the table, not, as David Cameron has said in

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the past, off the table in 2015 average it will, insofar as it is

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one of the final recommendations on the short list. What do you say

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about the argument of those who say that the case for Heathrow is not

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there? As a business community, I am hugely depressed by this

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conversation. We should have taken a decision maybe 50 years ago. We have

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had lots of plans and thoughts for more than 50 years and we are still

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waiting for political consensus. What we need is political

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consensus, and we are just seeing one bit of the fractious nature of

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this. What would your option B? We want to be able to get to global

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markets as soon as possible. We want people in China to be able to get to

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us. China is building 82 airports. Where are all of those aeroplanes

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from China going to land? We are open-minded about the solution to

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this. We need to be able to get to and from the global economies. I

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sympathise with some of the issues around Heathrow. There are more

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people exposed to noise around Heathrow than anywhere else in

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Europe, and we are advocating a noise ombudsman, because I do think

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there has been a breach of trust in residence and the aviation industry.

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And we need to get better data, and a better trade-off. This is all

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about trade-offs. No solution will make everybody happy. But which will

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be the best for competitiveness? You say this is a PAA case, and it is a

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very plausible case, when you look at the figures, and you look at an

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airport which has to be seen around the world as the place to fly into,

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not just for the UK, but from around the world. There are so many

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arguments. There is a quality of life argument, which we know. It has

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a disproportionate impact. Increasing that impact around

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Heathrow would be intolerable. But there is an economic argument as

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well. My party is a free party, who believes in taxpayers paying for

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this fast thing on one edge of the city, when we have three perfectly

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good airports... Why are you saying taxpayer funded, I would've thought

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estuary airport would be far more taxpayer funded than Heathrow? I

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oppose the expansion of Heathrow very strongly. It is a monopoly. I

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am very much in favour of Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow competing, as

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well as they possibly can, in the interests of the customer. Gatwick

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has become a good airport in the last few years because of

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competition. Absolutely, we have got to make the rail links better to

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both Gatwick and Stansted to allow them to compete, and we have got to

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deregulate them and let them compete with Heathrow. Heathrow is 98% full.

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Other airports are at about 75%. We cannot pretend there is not a

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problem at Heathrow. So we are nearly at full capacity, and this

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decision is going to be delayed. A party which says it is pro growth is

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going to go into the next election saying, we don't know. We're going

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to wait until just after the election, conveniently, so that you

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conduct the issue? That is a simplistic approach. Which bit of it

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was not true? What Davies has said in this interim report is that

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capacity is not critical yet, so we do have some time... How long does

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it take to build a runway or a new airport? I would think from start to

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finish about ten years. That is if you can get consensus amongst all of

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the political parties, as we have got with HS2. We have said that we

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want a thorough and proper investigation of what is a highly

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complexes and difficult issue, and we do not want to curtail the time

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to an unreasonably short time span, so that people would be able to

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accuse us of trying to fix it. How much business have we lost to other

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cities? There are numbers thrown around, and ?14 billion is one of

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them. So, a lot of money. You know if you work in London that people

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are coming in and coming out to do business. It is absolutely vital, as

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one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, to be able to get to

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and from our markets. It is a lot of money that we have lost. You can

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pluck these figures out of midair. There are only two countries in the

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world with more extensive aviation networks, and one of those is the

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United States, the other is China. We are third in the world, despite

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being a very small country. More people fly in and out of London than

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any other city on earth. The idea that we are languishing behind is a

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lot of nonsense. Is a question about where we go in the future, which is

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what this discussion is about, but the idea that we are shrivelling up

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because of this discussion is complete and utter PAA Brother

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Gander. What do you say to that? -- propaganda. Yes, we can muddle along

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with our existing links to the old Commonwealth economies and ignore

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the emerging economies for the next ten years, I think it is pretty

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self-evident! I would agree. We have modelled along for far too long,

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under successive governments. That is why we have set up this

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commission to seek a solution once and for all, to be able to move

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forward in what is in the best interests of aviation, business and

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the local communities. So, whatever he comes up with, after the

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election, you will do it? Provided it is not off the wall, I would

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accept. The estuary airport will be dropped next year, won't it? Do you

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think it is a credible idea? Is it bonkers? It is visionary. I think

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this is another trade-off which the commission needs to think about

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because it costs a lot of money but it is a solution to reducing

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congestion at Heathrow. Which one do you favour? I really do not

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think... For London business, all we care about is that somebody does

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something. We need that global market. I think this commission is

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the best shot we have. It is complicated. There are economic

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arguments and social arguments. To be honest, Simon, you have done your

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U-turn. By not ruling out Heathrow in the commission, rightly or

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wrongly, you have done a U-turn. Why not make the decision ahead of the

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election? Conservative backbenchers would say it is better to take the

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hits now than later on. It seems bizarre to call it a U-turn when you

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set up an independent commission with a full three minutes to look at

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all the options and come up with a final decision. It is not a U-turn

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at all. It is a comprehensive enquiry to get the right decision to

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solve the problem. It is not technically a U-turn but is a big

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step towards a potential U-turn. What would it do to trust? I think

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it would be catastrophic for the Conservative party. David Cameron

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went to every single constituency affected by this expansion. He came

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to Richmond. A U-turn of this magnitude would break the

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relationship between the Prime Minister and West London. People

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would notice and wonder what else would be broken. It should be taken

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with a pinch of salt. The discussion is about the South East and London,

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but what about other airports? What about expanding regional airports?

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Yellow there is expansion at Manchester. Birmingham has ambition

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to expand its airport. It will not address completely the whole issue

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of capacity and demand in the South East, and that is what we cannot

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affect and we need to address. Heathrow is full up and Gatwick is

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nearly full up. Stansted has some slack with capacity. Let's leave it

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there. Thank you. It's often said that "politics is showbiz for ugly

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people". Present company excepted! But in an increasingly televisual

:18:59.:19:01.

age, even politics can be a challenge if you have. How can we

:19:02.:19:04.

put this delicately? An "aesthetically-challenged

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physiognomy". Anyway, our guest today, David Schneider, has railed

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against what he describes as the "scourge of uglyism" in our

:19:10.:19:13.

political system. We gave him a day out at London Zoo to make his point.

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I was shocked to read in an opinion poll that 78% of voters said they

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would be likely to vote Labour if Ed Miliband changed his face. Actually,

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I made that up, but it would not surprise me if the lead shot into

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double figures if he changed his face for someone else is's, properly

:19:50.:20:02.

his brother's. We know looks are important but in a scientific

:20:03.:20:08.

survey, it was revealed that Labour might lose out because many people

:20:09.:20:13.

would not vote for Ed Miliband because, and I quote, he looks like

:20:14.:20:27.

a human platypus. Is it really all about looks now? What do people

:20:28.:20:32.

want? A Labour manifesto that guarantees above inflation taxes or

:20:33.:20:42.

an elimination of the mono brow? Was the struggle to get elected is in

:20:43.:20:49.

the 80s and 90s about moving from elderly leaders struggling to get

:20:50.:20:54.

elected towards someone who was reasonably hot? As an actor, I have

:20:55.:21:00.

profited from being funny looking but as a politician it can be a

:21:01.:21:06.

problem. I am not voting for you! There have been times when I have

:21:07.:21:10.

been frustrated by Ed Miliband. I wanted him to stand up straight and

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look prouder, but I am appalled by people who would never judge a

:21:20.:21:23.

person by the colour of their skin or sexuality, judges someone because

:21:24.:21:29.

he looks like he has his lips pressed up against the window. Let's

:21:30.:21:40.

make sure we judge someone on policies and not look because we

:21:41.:21:44.

might as well replace the leadership debate with a swimsuit competition.

:21:45.:21:54.

I do not want to see politicians in their swimming costumes! Can you

:21:55.:22:01.

tell me about your policies? ! House-building? Will you build more

:22:02.:22:07.

houses? What do you think of the welfare cap? Will there be one? Can

:22:08.:22:12.

you guarantee more police on the streets? I am not sure you are going

:22:13.:22:19.

for the right topics there, David. Sadly, we're still waiting for the

:22:20.:22:22.

penguins to give us a response to David's questions. But David is

:22:23.:22:26.

still with us - and we've been joined by the broadcaster Nick

:22:27.:22:33.

Ferrari. David, well done, you got here in the end. I got here through

:22:34.:22:39.

the traffic! At least you were not trying to fly into one of the

:22:40.:22:43.

airports! What about looks? Is it that much of a worry to you that

:22:44.:22:48.

people are actually being sidelined because they are not good looking

:22:49.:22:53.

enough? I think I was just shocked. People who seem very fashionable and

:22:54.:22:59.

who would never say they are not voting for that person because they

:23:00.:23:06.

are black, they would say of Ed Miliband that, because of this human

:23:07.:23:12.

platypus look, they could not imagine him at Number Ten, and

:23:13.:23:16.

therefore could not vote for him. It did not matter what his policies

:23:17.:23:22.

were. Is that the level of discourse that the television age has brought

:23:23.:23:28.

us do? Are talented politicians being put beyond where they can

:23:29.:23:32.

reach? David is blessed because he has the looks of George Clooney and

:23:33.:23:36.

has had them since the beginning of his career! I disagree with David on

:23:37.:23:43.

a couple of runs. Firstly, we select most things in life by looks.

:23:44.:23:49.

Whether it be a House, a partner of a car. The idea that people have

:23:50.:23:57.

been held back, I do not think that is strictly true. Look at the last

:23:58.:24:02.

couple of politicians who were like. The late Mo Mowlam or Ann

:24:03.:24:08.

Widdecombe. And Widdecombe was loved by the people. I think you know

:24:09.:24:19.

different people from me! And Widdecombe is complicated because

:24:20.:24:25.

there is a patronising, Leicester, kind of looked to have. I think that

:24:26.:24:35.

supports my argument. -- bless her. Look at Angela Merkel! If you have

:24:36.:24:41.

talent it will come out. It is harder to come out. It is

:24:42.:24:45.

interesting that you compare choosing a wife and a card to

:24:46.:24:48.

someone who is running the country. That is exactly my point. We should

:24:49.:24:54.

not be choosing people to run the country in the same way we choose a

:24:55.:24:58.

wife. These people will feature in our lives so much, why can they not

:24:59.:25:07.

be decent to look at? You are saying that in your ideal world, you would

:25:08.:25:11.

have better looking people running the country? Oh, yes, absolutely!

:25:12.:25:22.

Does it matter if they are good-looking? Let's Jesse... Let's

:25:23.:25:31.

make it simple and have a swimsuit competition. We do, to certain

:25:32.:25:38.

extent. There must be brains as well. If they are that good then I

:25:39.:25:44.

would point you again to Angela Merkel. It is about personality, is

:25:45.:25:49.

it not? It is about the whole package. People become more

:25:50.:25:56.

attracted to the leaders by the character they are. Angela Merkel is

:25:57.:26:04.

the mother figure. People trust, she is wrong. She has run with the looks

:26:05.:26:09.

and has understood what the image is, and presented it. You should not

:26:10.:26:20.

judge her on her looks and judge her on her policies. It is a truism that

:26:21.:26:25.

we are judging people in this television age but Ed Miliband is a

:26:26.:26:29.

perfect example. He is handicapped by the fact people do not like what

:26:30.:26:34.

he looks like. Baby they cannot look past it. If you look at the demotic

:26:35.:26:41.

type of politicians like Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, it is

:26:42.:26:50.

true. There was charisma. Charisma is not just about looks. It is

:26:51.:26:55.

important and I am not saying we should have all openly politicians

:26:56.:27:01.

or anything like that! Some would say we already do! I think we need

:27:02.:27:06.

to listen more carefully. Let's do it like The Boys. If you like it,

:27:07.:27:17.

the policies, hit the Red Button. -- The Boys. They laughed at William

:27:18.:27:24.

Hague to some extent. They laughed at Neil Kinnock. Iain Duncan Smith,

:27:25.:27:34.

he was challenged. Is that not unfair? Was it to do with the way

:27:35.:27:42.

they looked? Not just that. You could look at all three of them and

:27:43.:27:45.

said there were glaring problems with their policies. It is not just

:27:46.:27:51.

that they needed a wig! Would Winston Churchill get elected now?

:27:52.:27:57.

Sadly, properly not. He was old, walked with a stick, he had a funny

:27:58.:28:01.

way of talking. He is not very televisual. What about Gordon Brown?

:28:02.:28:10.

He is not ugly but was seen as being quite awkward. That speaks more of

:28:11.:28:18.

charisma. Whatever you say about Tony Blair, there was a charisma. He

:28:19.:28:27.

was fairly comfortable in his own skin which is possibly a product of

:28:28.:28:32.

being good-looking. With Gordon Brown, that was not there. Both of

:28:33.:28:38.

you are quite successful. Is that because of your looks? I am on the

:28:39.:28:44.

radio! Being funny looking has been great for me! I was described once

:28:45.:28:50.

as being grotesque and it was a compliment! I took it as such! I am

:28:51.:28:54.

lucky where I can be in a career where I can make something out of my

:28:55.:29:01.

looks! I hope people hear what I have to say rather than inking I am

:29:02.:29:06.

a funny looking bloke! Thank you very much. Now it's time for our

:29:07.:29:13.

daily quiz. The question for today is... Google has published its

:29:14.:29:16.

annual list of top internet searches for the UK in 2013. So which

:29:17.:29:20.

politician has seen the biggest increase in people looking them up

:29:21.:29:25.

online? Was it a) Theresa May b) Stella Creasy c) Boris Johnson or d)

:29:26.:29:30.

Barack Obama? At the end of the show, David will give us the correct

:29:31.:29:40.

answer. Fracking, a way of extracting shale gas from the

:29:41.:29:43.

ground, is heating up as an issue once again. It did not cool down!

:29:44.:29:48.

The chief executive of Total says he hopes Britain will become a major

:29:49.:29:52.

source of his firm's shale gas production in Europe. We've learnt

:29:53.:29:55.

this morning that David Cameron has written to Brussels to protest

:29:56.:29:58.

against new EU legislation which he fears will delay the development of

:29:59.:30:01.

the industry. And the energy minister Michael Fallon says today

:30:02.:30:04.

that thousands of new jobs could be created if fracking is allowed to

:30:05.:30:15.

reach its full potential. The report shows there is far more potential

:30:16.:30:18.

for shale gas than we originally thought. There could be 30,000 jobs

:30:19.:30:22.

created in this industry. The highest scenario is that there could

:30:23.:30:26.

eat enough shale gas to satisfy three times our gas demand. So, we

:30:27.:30:31.

are sitting on a lot more shale gas than we thought. We do not yet know

:30:32.:30:36.

if we can get it out as easily as they have got it out in the United

:30:37.:30:39.

States, but it has huge potential for our economy. And we've been

:30:40.:30:45.

joined by the Lib Dem MP Tessa Munt and the Conservative Peter Lilley.

:30:46.:30:51.

Welcome to you both. First of all, what is your objection to this,

:30:52.:30:56.

after all, it is going to create thousands of jobs, Tessa Munt? My

:30:57.:31:02.

contention is that this appears to be cutting down on a completely

:31:03.:31:07.

front bases to what was done in America, where methane is clearly

:31:08.:31:14.

the unwanted by-product, methane, butane and propane, the feedstock

:31:15.:31:18.

for the petrochemical industry. You are not against it in principle? I

:31:19.:31:22.

think we have to be very careful. Does that mean you do not want it to

:31:23.:31:27.

happen at all? No, I do not think that is the case. A number of my

:31:28.:31:31.

coalition colleagues are very keen for this to happen, but I sit in a

:31:32.:31:36.

seat in Somerset, which is the Mendip Hills, surrounding it, and it

:31:37.:31:43.

is completely inappropriate. This is the basis of our business, in

:31:44.:31:50.

tourism, and we have little else that is going on. 26,000 jobs in

:31:51.:31:57.

Somerset depend on tourism. To have a landscape which is covered with

:31:58.:32:02.

oil drilling wells, effectively, gas trilling, nobody can say that will

:32:03.:32:07.

enhance the beauty of Somerset. It is not appropriate in the Mendip

:32:08.:32:12.

Hills. Where would you put it? Wherever the shale gas is. Including

:32:13.:32:18.

the Mendip Hills? Including the Mendips, if it is available. Are you

:32:19.:32:26.

against windmills on the Mendips? We have one, which is absolutely fine.

:32:27.:32:32.

These gas rigs can be easily hidden by trees and bushes. I have got a

:32:33.:32:37.

picture somewhere of a wind farm, interspersed with gas wells. They

:32:38.:32:42.

are invisible, compared with the windmills. It is not a serious

:32:43.:32:46.

problem. I agree you should do it seriously, you should be worried

:32:47.:32:51.

about visual appearance, as well as every other aspect, but it is

:32:52.:32:53.

actually marvellous technology. And it could transform, according to

:32:54.:32:59.

people like Peter, the country, in terms of gas. The US has gas imports

:33:00.:33:06.

by 50%, that would be transformational, for your

:33:07.:33:12.

constituents this is being done on a completely different premise. What

:33:13.:33:15.

we are looking at is drilling for methane. In the US, they are using

:33:16.:33:22.

the butane, methane, protein, as part of the feedstock for the

:33:23.:33:25.

petrochemical industry. We only have ten pet or chemical sites as far as

:33:26.:33:30.

I know in the UK, and methane is an unwanted by-product. They flare it

:33:31.:33:34.

off, or now they have found that they can supply that. Our area is

:33:35.:33:39.

very dependent on quality water, and we have to be very careful. Let's

:33:40.:33:46.

talk about the gas itself. Gas is three times as valuable here as it

:33:47.:33:50.

is in the States, because the price is three in the states, they use it

:33:51.:33:54.

primarily for generating electricity, as they have been

:33:55.:34:01.

phasing out coal stations. But methane is an unwanted product. No,

:34:02.:34:07.

it is hugely important. They are not allowed to flare it off, normally.

:34:08.:34:12.

You only do that until you connect up to the mains. The purpose of

:34:13.:34:19.

drilling for gas is defined gas. We are in porting those extra products

:34:20.:34:27.

now into Aberdeen. -- importing. If there is a by-product here, we will

:34:28.:34:30.

be able to produce it legally, as well as methane. Ought about the big

:34:31.:34:34.

concern about water, that when you are fracking, you could affect the

:34:35.:34:40.

water table? They have fractured 2 million wells in North America, not

:34:41.:34:44.

a single person has suffered poisoning from the water supply. We

:34:45.:34:57.

have actually done nearly 200 wells in this country. There was no fuss

:34:58.:35:02.

about it until there was concern among the extreme environmentalists

:35:03.:35:07.

that it might be terribly successful and discover lots of gas, and they

:35:08.:35:10.

do not like fossil fuels, so they have engineered every kind of fear

:35:11.:35:20.

and scaremongering. Are you scared? I am very wary. ABI am an extreme

:35:21.:35:26.

environmentalist, I do not know. I think there are quite a few extreme

:35:27.:35:30.

ones, in that case. Because it is an unknown. How long has fracking been

:35:31.:35:37.

around? Since 1949. In what quantity? Rowing quantity, over the

:35:38.:35:45.

years. I feel there are worries about the water, worries about Earth

:35:46.:35:49.

tremors, we do not really know the effects. That is true, isn't it? It

:35:50.:35:55.

is still a politically unknown quantity. It is very we had in this

:35:56.:36:03.

country a study prepared by the royal society, and it's opening

:36:04.:36:05.

words are, the health, safety and environment or risks associated with

:36:06.:36:12.

hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas can be managed effectively

:36:13.:36:17.

in the UK... Why have France and Bulgaria bandit, then? France,

:36:18.:36:21.

because they have got blocked as of nuclear electricity, and because of

:36:22.:36:27.

the antinuclear vote. Wasn't this government meant to be the greenest

:36:28.:36:34.

government ever? Because I do not know what has happened with all of

:36:35.:36:38.

the green stuff. There are other solutions which have been massively

:36:39.:36:41.

neglected. I do not know how long fracking will keep us going. We need

:36:42.:36:46.

to look at and infrastructure and the plan, renewables which are

:36:47.:36:50.

definitely safe. There is a legitimate argument, which I share,

:36:51.:36:53.

that you should keep all fossil fuels in the ground. If you take

:36:54.:36:58.

that view, fair enough. Those people take that view, they then cannot

:36:59.:37:04.

persuade other people to go along with it, so they invent worries

:37:05.:37:06.

about earthquakes and water pollution. Why is it invented? The

:37:07.:37:13.

earthquakes are a fact. I would accept that it is shown that there

:37:14.:37:18.

are Earth tremors at various times for various reasons, and I

:37:19.:37:23.

completely accept that you might not want to get completely hysterical

:37:24.:37:27.

about earthquakes, but I cannot have faith in the Environment Agency. Its

:37:28.:37:31.

processes at the moment, its practices say that they should call

:37:32.:37:36.

ahead one week in advance, or at least 24 hours, before they

:37:37.:37:43.

inspect. At that point, anyone who is running the company in a way in

:37:44.:37:49.

which we would not want has the opportunity to close everything down

:37:50.:37:52.

and make sure everything is in order by the time the Environment Agency

:37:53.:37:55.

terms up. We need to have a completely different regime to make

:37:56.:38:00.

sure we can test whether these companies are behaving. There have

:38:01.:38:03.

been a number of incidents, you know, where things have been pretty

:38:04.:38:06.

poor on fracking. The other thing is, the fracking process which has

:38:07.:38:10.

been proposed for my area and for some other areas is different from

:38:11.:38:14.

what has been going on in this country for the last 40-50 years,

:38:15.:38:19.

and that modernisation process needs a new at how we do this. Nour party

:38:20.:38:23.

colleague said it would not contaminate water supplies. I am

:38:24.:38:29.

glad Ed Davey has said that, because we are totally dependent on the

:38:30.:38:33.

water in the Somerset levels, which is a patchwork of waterways, and we

:38:34.:38:37.

need to be absolutely certain that if anything is going to happen on

:38:38.:38:41.

the Mendips, and I do not believe it should, but if it should, then we

:38:42.:38:44.

have to make sure we have got completely rigorous testing. Thank

:38:45.:38:45.

you very much. Lemurs, lorises. Gibbons, gorillas.

:38:46.:38:53.

Chimps, capuchins. It's estimated that 3,000 rare primates are being

:38:54.:38:58.

kept as pets in homes across the UK. Now a Conservative MP has called for

:38:59.:39:02.

an end to the sale of primates, condemning it as "outdated and

:39:03.:39:05.

cruel". Mark Pritchard has introduced a ten-minute rule bill to

:39:06.:39:10.

Parliament. He has warned that "time is running out" for the world's apes

:39:11.:39:14.

and monkeys.The bill comes at a time when primates are diminishing in

:39:15.:39:16.

numbers because of climate change, deforestation, and being hunted for

:39:17.:39:22.

bush meat. A study by the International Union for Conservation

:39:23.:39:25.

of Nature has reported that 48% of primate species face extinction if

:39:26.:39:32.

no action is taken by governments. Mark Pritchard believes that the UK

:39:33.:39:36.

can help tackle the problem by reducing the number of primates

:39:37.:39:39.

being caught and sold on for exotic pets. Mark Pritchard joins us now.

:39:40.:39:47.

What are you hoping to achieve? First of all, I am glad that the

:39:48.:39:51.

DEFRA select committee are going to hold an inquiry into the keeping of

:39:52.:39:55.

primates as pets in the UK. Any people that I speak to are shocked

:39:56.:40:01.

to learn that the numbers range from 3000 to 7000. That seems to be an

:40:02.:40:04.

incredible number of people, are you surprised by that? I am surprised,

:40:05.:40:12.

yes. And this has cross-party support. I introduced a bill in the

:40:13.:40:17.

last Parliament, and my colleague from Cornwall introduced a bill last

:40:18.:40:23.

year. I think the law is outdated. Gone are the days where people

:40:24.:40:26.

needed to have a particular animal in their possession to understand

:40:27.:40:30.

nature. We have great BBC programmes, we have online, people

:40:31.:40:35.

travel more. And this is an outdated practice, and I hope what the

:40:36.:40:41.

Government -- and I hope the Government will support this. Do you

:40:42.:40:45.

want to ban the sale of the primates or the ownership, or both of which

:40:46.:40:51.

there are about 32,000 plus primates being sold into the international

:40:52.:40:55.

pet market. These are wild primates, the fathers of the forest. The

:40:56.:41:00.

Government says it supports I/O diversity and the ecosystem, and one

:41:01.:41:05.

way of protecting the forests, just one way, is protecting primates,

:41:06.:41:08.

because when they are taken out of the wild, that actually does not

:41:09.:41:17.

help the ecosystem. I would like to CNN and to the sale of primates, and

:41:18.:41:21.

also the keeping of primates. We would have a sunset clause so that

:41:22.:41:25.

people who currently have them, either they could put them into

:41:26.:41:28.

sanctuaries, or eventually, when the primates dies, that would be the end

:41:29.:41:33.

of them keeping primates. I have to say, primates do live a long time.

:41:34.:41:39.

Many people that take them on, whether they are movie stars or

:41:40.:41:46.

singers, they can live 35-45 years. On 24th of December two years ago,

:41:47.:41:52.

Tarzana's chimpanzee, Cheater, died at the age of 80. Not wanting to be

:41:53.:42:00.

too cynical, but with climate change and deforestation, your ten minute

:42:01.:42:05.

rule bill is hardly going to change the world, is it? Many people accuse

:42:06.:42:11.

the coalition government of not being animal welfare friendly. I

:42:12.:42:15.

disagree with that, but I do think there needs to be more evidence that

:42:16.:42:20.

they are animal welfare friendly. There are ministers who were not

:42:21.:42:25.

ministers in the past who backed my bill in the last element. We have

:42:26.:42:30.

got shadow ministers supporting, we have got ministers openly and

:42:31.:42:35.

secretly supporting a ban. Would it be popular, would it win your vote?

:42:36.:42:40.

I am not saying it is the major issue, people are not going, it is

:42:41.:42:44.

the primates, stupid, but yes, credit to you for doing it just I am

:42:45.:42:49.

not going to try to strike some leftie blows about, why can't you

:42:50.:42:55.

have more care for the poor and the disabled to being these things do

:42:56.:42:58.

matter as well. But whether it is going to be a vote winner or not

:42:59.:43:01.

does not matter. It seems the right thing to do. Exactly, it is not

:43:02.:43:06.

about winning votes, it is about doing the right thing by the planet,

:43:07.:43:13.

by the animal kingdom, by Cindy at beings like ourselves. -- by CIA

:43:14.:43:21.

beings like ourselves. -- sentient beings. Justin Bieber had a monkey,

:43:22.:43:31.

didn't he? In role model terms, young people might think, it is

:43:32.:43:35.

fine. Monkeys, primates, they need to be in their own environment. They

:43:36.:43:42.

often live in groups of up to 50. But many of these pets are kept

:43:43.:43:46.

alone, in solitary conditions, often very small cages. In the wild, you

:43:47.:43:53.

can roam across 130 hectares. Diet, sunlight, a whole range of issues

:43:54.:43:57.

affecting the welfare of primates being kept in this country. That is

:43:58.:44:01.

why we need to end keeping primates as pets.

:44:02.:44:06.

Around one in six Brits is a pensioner. But do politicians pay

:44:07.:44:11.

them enough attention? Our next guest thinks not - and is proposing

:44:12.:44:14.

a new forum to get their views across. Here's Conservative MP Peter

:44:15.:44:24.

Bottomley. As a schoolboy, I listened from the public gallery.

:44:25.:44:30.

Now at 69, I listened in the chamber. Some people might think my

:44:31.:44:36.

generation could be pensioned off. I think the mature, the experienced,

:44:37.:44:41.

should be heard more clearly. The Government would do well to listen.

:44:42.:44:47.

Mr Speaker, at the moment, the tuition fees system benefits either

:44:48.:44:52.

the extremely rich... Youth Parliament has represented

:44:53.:44:54.

youngsters for over ten years. Youngsters between 11 and 18 have a

:44:55.:45:00.

chance to vote. They have shaped public debate about issues of

:45:01.:45:05.

importance to young people. They come here to Parliament each year.

:45:06.:45:08.

Let's create something similar for older members of our society. Some

:45:09.:45:15.

pensioners only see Parliament on a tour. I think their views matter,

:45:16.:45:20.

and the government could hear them more clearly if they were in the

:45:21.:45:23.

chamber, but in their points of view across. The government would gain,

:45:24.:45:31.

the country would gain. A Parliament was launched for pensioners in 2011

:45:32.:45:37.

in Northern Ireland. Mr Speaker, I note the concerns and comments

:45:38.:45:42.

expressed by members of the Parliament for pensioners and I

:45:43.:45:46.

welcome the debate. It is time the government took into account the

:45:47.:45:52.

views of pensioners. We want a Parliament for pensioners. When do

:45:53.:46:03.

we want it? Now. Because you asked nicely, I am sure they will listen

:46:04.:46:07.

to you. Do we really need it? They are very well represented. They are

:46:08.:46:13.

more likely to vote than other sections of the population. As you

:46:14.:46:16.

know, the information suggests they are doing well in terms of their

:46:17.:46:24.

income versus GDP. Members of Parliament must represent all their

:46:25.:46:30.

constituents. You can argue, yes, you are right. What harm will it do

:46:31.:46:39.

if we gave up Parliament for one day of the year? Let's see what impact

:46:40.:46:42.

that will have. They could raise issues that matter such as elderly

:46:43.:46:48.

people who are claiming for their grandchildren. When the family

:46:49.:46:55.

break-up, do the grandparents keep access to their grandchildren? Half

:46:56.:47:01.

of elderly people overseas cannot vote. There are a whole series of

:47:02.:47:08.

issues that could be raised and put on the public agenda by a Parliament

:47:09.:47:15.

for pensioners. Are those issues not being dealt with already? Because

:47:16.:47:22.

pensioners are already active themselves, we hear about these

:47:23.:47:27.

issues quite a lot of the time. It is the other end of the scale, the

:47:28.:47:33.

youth Parliament, the young people who cannot vote, they are the ones

:47:34.:47:36.

who are struggling to get their issues across. Most people of some

:47:37.:47:43.

maturity would be concerned for the young. People of my age are asking

:47:44.:47:49.

how we can bring things into the open and avoid the mistakes we made.

:47:50.:47:57.

How do you avoid a third of teenagers taking up smoking, for

:47:58.:48:04.

example? One concrete example is the exploitation of leaseholders and

:48:05.:48:09.

that was raised. If it was raised in the Parliament for pensioners, the

:48:10.:48:14.

Ministry of Justice would take it up and you would not have elderly

:48:15.:48:19.

people being exploited in the open. Do you think it a good idea? Why

:48:20.:48:29.

would I say no! In the youth Parliament, both sides were

:48:30.:48:33.

applauding the Speaker! It seemed like a strange dream! I have to

:48:34.:48:40.

agree. We are all in this together apart from those who are older than

:48:41.:48:45.

67 or whatever it is. Everything is fine until we talk about making

:48:46.:48:51.

cut. I think pensioners are looked up to because they vote. Sorry,

:48:52.:48:57.

Peter, one last point. You look at the Youth Parliament and it seems

:48:58.:49:02.

that they are still being ignored. The danger is that the Parliament

:49:03.:49:09.

for pensioners would be as ignored. I suspect that if we had a joint

:49:10.:49:16.

session of the youth and pensioners Parliament you would find the same

:49:17.:49:22.

thing. You may get some mature, experienced comedians who come onto

:49:23.:49:29.

give us an entertainment. Would it achieve anything? Would it be a

:49:30.:49:32.

symbolic gesture and a bit of theatre, but that is it? As we give

:49:33.:49:39.

more people the boat, we discover that the pension system is a good

:49:40.:49:45.

idea. As we gave more people the boat we discovered that people like

:49:46.:49:57.

me could go to university. -- vote. Taking one person's experience,

:49:58.:50:02.

having it expressed, I think people will be ignored less often. If you

:50:03.:50:10.

take the people who run voluntary organisations, for them, for their

:50:11.:50:18.

children who may be critically ill, we play our part, not because I want

:50:19.:50:28.

to be regarded as a pensioner! Is it really necessary? Today, with the

:50:29.:50:37.

economic situation, there may not be a great wave of support for it. The

:50:38.:50:41.

Institute for Fiscal Studies has said the gap is even more striking

:50:42.:50:51.

than 20 years ago. The gap is very large. We have got their, not for

:50:52.:51:00.

pensioners, but in a way, they have achieved so much without a

:51:01.:51:04.

Parliament for pensioners. Many have, yes. I know a woman who cared

:51:05.:51:16.

for her dying child and had not had a boiler working for two years. She

:51:17.:51:22.

did not have benefits, and I reckon it is the job for people like me or

:51:23.:51:28.

a Parliament for pensioners to ask how do you fix this? I would say, on

:51:29.:51:33.

average, pensioners are better off than they were. I would say students

:51:34.:51:39.

often spend more money on beer than they spend on food each week! That

:51:40.:51:44.

individual case is obviously important and all politicians should

:51:45.:51:48.

look out for cases like this. I suspect that our focus groups for

:51:49.:52:03.

the parties. In that case, why not get people from charities, people

:52:04.:52:08.

from work, people who are carers? I think they could come along and they

:52:09.:52:13.

would be immensely impressed. How would they be elected? I would have

:52:14.:52:23.

people like you. There may be a retired forecaster! Many, many

:52:24.:52:30.

years' time! Now, the actor Peter O'Toole died at the weekend, and

:52:31.:52:34.

he'll perhaps best be remembered for the part that catapulted him to

:52:35.:52:37.

fame, as the lead in the Oscar-winning epic Lawrence of

:52:38.:52:38.

Arabia. Let's have a look. CHEERING

:52:39.:52:54.

No criminals! No criminals! Peter O'Toole in the 1962 classic

:52:55.:53:12.

Lawrence of Arabia. The Prime Minister was among those paying

:53:13.:53:16.

tribute to the actor at the weekend, and he reminded us that Lawrence of

:53:17.:53:19.

Arabia is his favourite film. It's pretty common now to ask politicians

:53:20.:53:23.

for their favourite movie - but what if anything does it really tell us

:53:24.:53:27.

about them? We're joined now by Dan Hodges from the Telegraph who's been

:53:28.:53:34.

writing about this. What did it tell you? Lawrence of Arabia is David

:53:35.:53:40.

Cameron's favoured. It tells us that political leaders have good taste in

:53:41.:53:43.

films. I thought he would go for a more political choice. I was

:53:44.:53:54.

sceptical. If you look at it, it is a deep, classic film. Certainly.

:53:55.:54:00.

Were you surprised? It takes a few boxes. -- takes a few boxes. It is

:54:01.:54:16.

complex. Everyone liked Lawrence of Arabia, did they not? It was quite

:54:17.:54:23.

controversial when it came out. What about Ed Miliband? We discussed this

:54:24.:54:36.

in the office. 12, Angry Men was his favourite but he has changed it to

:54:37.:54:45.

the Usual Suspects. That is an unusual choice. Those are two great

:54:46.:54:53.

films. I think the thing is that it is hard to get the truth as of

:54:54.:55:05.

leaders. You hear on Desert Island Disks when they are thinking whether

:55:06.:55:16.

they should like Coldplay. I was surprised by Usual Suspects. I can

:55:17.:55:26.

see this image of him sitting there thinking about Ed Balls. Why could

:55:27.:55:36.

he not have the Usual Suspects? Is he not trendy enough to pick a film

:55:37.:55:44.

like that? Ed Balls, not trendy? ! You are not being fair. When I was a

:55:45.:55:57.

child, my favourite film was dumbo, but now it is not! You progress. It

:55:58.:56:04.

does not change your view about the leader, does it? What about Nick

:56:05.:56:19.

Clegg? He went for Kung-Fu Panda. Kung-Fu Panda? ! Do you think he

:56:20.:56:27.

sees himself as a Kung-Fu Panda? He said he is a big fan. He did say he

:56:28.:56:42.

liked The Class. Have you seen it? I have not seen it. You are dammed if

:56:43.:56:49.

you do and dammed if you don't when it comes to these choices. Favourite

:56:50.:56:55.

songs, favourite films. Whatever you say, it is going to be over

:56:56.:56:58.

analysed. When I worked as a researcher, we spent hours thinking

:56:59.:57:03.

about our favourite films and favourite books. I was shocked to

:57:04.:57:11.

learn that Tony Blair's favoured film is Rush Hour starring Jackie

:57:12.:57:17.

Chan. I think that is quite refreshing. We asked Nigel Farage.

:57:18.:57:24.

Have a go at what you think is his favourite film. I would not want to

:57:25.:57:31.

go there! I thought maybe the Great Escape. But it is not. It is The

:57:32.:57:41.

Longest Day. Are you surprised? Do you think he watches it in reverse?

:57:42.:57:46.

It is about with drawing from Europe! You could put that to him,

:57:47.:57:56.

could you not? That doesn't fit Nigel Farage. Favourite film? I like

:57:57.:58:03.

Galaxy Quest. That is my favourite comedy. I also like Downfall. What

:58:04.:58:13.

about you? Casablanca. Casablanca, very good. There's just time before

:58:14.:58:21.

we go to find out the answer to our quiz. The question was... Which

:58:22.:58:25.

politician has seen the biggest increase in the number of people

:58:26.:58:28.

searching for them in 2013, according to Google? Was it a)

:58:29.:58:31.

Theresa May b) Stella Creasy c) Boris Johnson or d) Barack Obama? So

:58:32.:58:40.

David, what's the correct answer? I think it is Stella Creasy because

:58:41.:58:44.

she has become much more prominent. Stella Creasy is not right. A good

:58:45.:58:48.

guess. Boris is the top trending politician. May is at five and

:58:49.:58:51.

Stella at eight. That's all for today. Thanks to David Schneider and

:58:52.:58:55.

all my guests. Andrew and I will be back at 11.30 tomorrow for the last

:58:56.:58:59.

Daily Politics of 2013 and of course we'll have Prime Minister's

:59:00.:59:03.

Questions live from midday. Do join us if you can. Bye bye.

:59:04.:59:05.

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