10/01/2014 Daily Politics


10/01/2014

Andrew Neil looks back at the week's political events with journalists Helen Lewis and David Wooding. They also look at the EU referendum bill being debated in the House of Lords.


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Transcript


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Afternoon, folks, and welcome to The Daily Politics. EU Referendum Bill

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is back. Did you miss it? I did. This time, it is a war of attrition

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in the House of Lords. There they are, settling in on the red benches

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for the debate over the future of Europe and its relationship with the

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British public . David Cameron says the floods were down to climate

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change. His Environment Secretary does not sound quite so sure. We

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will debate the issue. And why is Ayn Rand still so influential on the

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right of politics? And the New Year is going from bad to worse for

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Francois Hollande. Has he decided to embrace austerity, as well as an

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actress, and will it do him any good?

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All of that is coming up in the next hour. With me for the generation, to

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journalists that I said I would never share the studio with again,

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until hell froze over. And I meant it. Unfortunately, the small town of

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Hell in Michigan did freeze over this week. So, here they are again,

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it is David Wooding and Helen Lewis. Happy New Year.

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. Let's start with EU migration. David Cameron began the year talking

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about restricting what he called "mass population movements" around

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the EU. Yesterday, the Vice President of the European

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Commission, Viviane Reding, who has previously called for a United

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States of Europe, said there wasn't an invasion of foreigners stealing

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jobs and draining welfare. She even said the British Government was

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destroying the future of its people. It's not just the Tories thinking

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about making it harder to move around the EU, here's Shadow

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Business Secretary Chuka Umunna speaking last night. I think low

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skill immigration, we believe that there was too much of it from the

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European Union, and I think there is one important thing about the

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European Union. The founders of the European Union had in mind free

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movement of workers, not free movement of job-seekers, and

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undoubtedly, we do have to work with our European partners to deal with

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that. I met with a number of them this week, are very open to that, if

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we constructively engage with them, and say, hey, do what we want, or we

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are going to walk. We asked the Labour spokesperson to come onto the

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show this morning to tell us more about this policy, was it made on

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the hoof, was it a new party policy, what does it mean? We were told, not

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surprisingly, that nobody was available. I suppose there are still

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working out what it means. Alan, are British politicians on the right and

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the left, having never read the Treaty of Rome -- Helen? That was

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the David Dimbleby question, can you rewrite the Treaty of Rome at 11

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o'clock on BBC One? You can't, but it is difficult, because at the

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moment, you can move somewhere and start a business, for example. If

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this was reciprocated, Britain has the fourth largest amounts of

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emigrants in the EU, and they would be affected as much as people coming

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into Britain. I am not sure that he was right that the Treaty of Rome

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was basically mainly arranged for workers to be able to move across

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borders. It is about the movement of people. It is about the movement of

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people and the other interesting thing is that when the treatment was

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signed, there were 28 countries and this has extended. What we voted for

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in the original referendum back in the 1970s was a small handful of

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Western European countries. I think what he is doing, what Chuka Umunna

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is doing, is trying to get Labour more on the side of public opinion

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on this. He's not going as far as David Cameron, by saying we want to

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have some controls, he's showing that Labour is serious about doing

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something about immigration. There were a lot of apologies about the

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transitional controls, about Polish people coming in, and that is

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something you hear a lot. Gordon Brown famously talked about British

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jobs for British workers at one stage, and then Ed Balls has kind of

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implied, in 2010, he was talking about European leaders revisiting

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the freedom of movement directive. Yvette Cooper has raised similar

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concerns, in March of last year. It is a theme that Labour bangles at

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every so often but it is very hard Yes, you are right. Yes, you are

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right, they are just showing a bit of leg. It is difficult ground for

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them. Ed Miliband is always the best looking at the data and public

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attitudes about immigration are essentially out of kilter about what

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is happening, but how do you tell the voters they are wrong? It is

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hard. And David Cameron can always throw back at Labour that they are

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the people who open the floodgates in the first place. You can be in or

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out of the EU, that is straightforward, but if you are in

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it, it involves the movement of people across borders. That is one

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of the basic club rules. Chuka Umunna did make a good point about

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the high and low skills, it is ridiculous that people are working

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copy shop say when they have a Masters degree, that is not good for

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the origin country or here. That is a society. Yes, the way the cookie

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crumbles. The one piece of good news for the Government is may have been

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attacked by the vice president of the European Commission, Viviane

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Reding, and when an unknown official attacks the country, that is when

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they will get some support. All she has done is shown have out of touch

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the European institutions are with public opinion over here. She's

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basically saying it is been stoked by politicians for their own ends,

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but there is no need for them to do that, they should be hiding it under

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the carpet. Labour are not in a good place under immigration and David

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Cameron has a big problem with it, they are not stoking it up, it is

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public opinion. Viviane Reding, if you are watching in Brussels, come

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onto the Daily Politics and have a word about these things. Being a

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European official, you would like to be held accountable. Now, if you

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would like to have a vote on staying in or coming out of the European

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Union in the next couple of years, time is not on your side. The EU

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Referendum Bill is being discussed in the Lords today, although whether

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it will get much further is another matter. It's not a Government bill,

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because the Tories couldn't get the Lib Dems to agree. So they drafted

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the legislation themselves and let the backbencher James Wharton

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introduce it in the Commons. Now it is the turn of Tory Peer Michael

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Dobbs to steering through the House of Lords. The proposed legislation

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requires a referendum to be held in December 2017 at the latest.

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However, like most Private Members Bills, there is the risk of running

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out of time and suspicions that Labour and Lib Dem peers will try

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quietly to kill it off. And if those appears that oppose the plans

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managed to pile on the amendments, it will keep the bill stuck in the

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Lords until the end of February and the bill just dies and the Tories

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will have to start all over again. If they have the stomach for it.

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Joining me now from the House of Lords is Labour Peer Donald

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Anderson. Welcome to the Daily Politics, is the plan to filibuster

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this bill? No, I have had very clear instructions from our chief whip not

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to filibuster, but we have to do what is the traditional role of the

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House of Lords, to give any bill proper scrutiny and clearly, this

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has not been given proper or sufficient scrutiny in the House of

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Commons. It cannot be steam-rollered through the second chamber. Is it

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your view that the House of Lords would like the British people to

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have a vote on European membership? I don't think the Lords would want

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this bill but at some stage, if it be necessary, for example if there

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were some substantial change, and that is already under the referendum

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Act, then there is a very strong case for a referendum, but I see no

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reason at all for saying now and trying to bind the Government which

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will be elected in 2015, there will be a referendum. Because no

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Government can bind its successor. It can only lead and the

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Conservative Party I do think they will not win the election or that

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they have no trust in Mr Cameron to honour his commitments, or both.

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Just as we have been talking about the freedom of movement of people

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across Europe as a foundation stone of the Treaty of Rome, is it's not a

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foundation stone of our Constitution that this Parliament cannot bind

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another parliament --is it not? Absolutely, which is why it is

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absurd. The only motive behind this bill is that the Conservatives have

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looked over their shoulder, seen the threat from UKIP and have moved in

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that direction. They will not win the UKIP voters that way. They will

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be blown up in the flames and consume themselves, because the UKIP

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voters will demand the real thing. Are you out to amend the bill? I

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think it does deserve an amendment, it deserves serious scrutiny. For

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example the map on the question on whether the electrical -- on the

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question of whether the electoral commission, examining questions like

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this, said they were not happy with the question. The electorate needs

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to be looked at, and a whole series of other questions, otherwise it

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will be recklessly pushed through by the Government and that is against

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our Constitution. It purports to be a Private Members Bill but it is

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actually a conservative bill, three line whip, by the Conservative Party

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in the Commons. Is there not something a little bit Gilbert and

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Sullivan about an unelected chamber trying to deny the rest of us an

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election? I am not denying an election. The Government claimed

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that there will not be a referendum in any account until 2017. And that

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will depend on the negotiations. That is a long way down the road.

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Europe may change, our Government may change, and therefore there are

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so many uncertainties. It may well be that there is a case but we don't

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know. The timetable of 2017 is wholly unrealistic. Anyone who knows

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Europe will know that to have full negotiations and a ratification by

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all countries simply cannot be achieved within that period up to

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2017, said the only question possible during that time is do you

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think your Government should continue with negotiations. It is

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absurd. Donald Anderson stick with us. We are joined now by the former

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leader of the House of Lords under the Conservatives, Tom Strathclyde.

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What is this all about in the end, other than a party political move by

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the Tories? Because you cannot bind, as everyone agrees, the next

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Parliament. I think this is a tremendous symbol and a signal to

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the electorate that this Parliament is serious about giving people their

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say about the future of Europe and whether or not we should continue

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down the path of an ever closer union, which we have developed over

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the course of the last 40 years. And the public, I think, are very

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uncertain about our role in Europe. They now have an opportunity, if

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this bill goes through, to prepare themselves for a referendum which

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will take place before the end of 2017, four campaigns to get going

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for and us remaining in the EU -- the campaigns. This gives us plenty

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of time to resolve the difficulties and uncertainties so that we get a

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clear result. But it could be all over by the end of the next

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Parliament? And one of the reasons to get it in statute before the

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General Election is to give the parties that will be standing at the

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election the opportunity to say loud and clear to the people of this

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country whether they intend to continue with this legislation or to

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scrap it if they get elected. You could get the same result by asking

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people if they would support a referendum or not. But over the

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course of the last 20 years, there have been countless examples of

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where politicians have promised a referendum before general elections

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and not delivered them. Most recently, it was Tony Blair who

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promised a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, but when it came about, he

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said it wasn't what he intended it to be and therefore we didn't need a

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referendum. Wasn't it David Cameron that promised us a cast-iron

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guarantee on a referendum? Only if this treaty has not been ratified.

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It was common sense. What you're saying is you need this legislation,

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because basically, we, the voters, do not trust you, that is what

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you're saying. Lets keep the parties honest on this hugely important

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issue -- let's keep. And on this issue, we are reaching beyond

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politicians and politics and appealing directly to the people of

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the country and saying you are directly responsible for making this

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decision and we should not decide, over to you. This is a Private

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Members Bill. Could you use the Parliament Act to get it through? In

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theory. I really hope that does not apply and I made the point early on

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that it is ridiculous for an appointed house to stand not just

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against the will of the regulated House of Commons that has passed the

:14:23.:14:26.

bill, but also on a bill that is over all of our heads and says to

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the people of the country, you must have your say. Of what you say to

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that, Donald Anderson? I think it is absurd. The truth is they would not

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be a referendum in any event until 2017. Lord Strathclyde said it is a

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signal, only of Tory divisions and the Tories retreating before UKIP.

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Two years ago, David Cameron and William Hague ruled out and in-out

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referendum and if we were to vote out, where would we be? We do not

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know if we want a Norwegian president, if we want to somehow

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Seagate new deal with the Commonwealth -- seek out. We would

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be in insurgency, and there would be four years of uncertainty that is

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going to put off foreign investment. We have seen this with Nissan,

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Hitachi, the Japanese Government and CBI all saying that it would be

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contrary to our national interest. They got all of what you say may

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well be true and a strong argument, but that is an argument are having a

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referendum. That is not in arguing for or against. If you believe in

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these arguments, and many people do, then have the referendum and

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argue it out and let people decide. But the timing is absolutely

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crucial. There may or may not be a case for a referendum, there will be

:15:43.:15:47.

several questions, but we will not know about it, certainly Give us

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your best guess, what will happen to this bill in the Lords? I think

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there is a possibility that this will run into the sands, and then it

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will be a matter for the electorate in 2015 to vote or not to vote for a

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party which has a referendum at an appropriate time in its manifesto.

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Would you advise Ed Miliband not to go down this referendum route, not

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to have this in the Labour manifesto? I would say that the

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appropriate stance for the Labour Party in 2015 is to say, look, we

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already have a referendum act, having a referendum if there are

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substantial changes, new powers, to the European Union. That may or may

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not -- there may or may not be a case for an in-out referendum. That

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depends completely on the circumstances at the time. What is

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planned be, Lord Strathclyde? I am not in the government, so I do not

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know what it is, or indeed if there should be one. What we need to do

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now is to make sure that this bill... He has just said that his

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advice to the Labour Party is not to concede the principle of a

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referendum to the people of this country. He is saying to the leader

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of the Labour Party, you must not go down this route. I think that is

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complete madness. It is a clear position. It is a clear position

:17:34.:17:40.

from Donnell, but not from the leadership my feeling has been that

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because Ed Miliband's narrative is such as it is, that he will not go

:17:47.:17:52.

down the referendum route. I am seeing less and less reasons we

:17:53.:17:57.

could have a referendum on anything, whether David Cameron should go to

:17:58.:18:02.

see a hairdresser. But the trouble about this is that it becomes more

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and more clear as this bill goes through its endless, tortuous stages

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that this is a Tory obsession, it is not a national obsession. I did not

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go home at Christmas, with my family clinging to my leg, saying, when,

:18:16.:18:20.

oh, when are we going to have this referendum on Europe? That is the

:18:21.:18:25.

point, that it is not an issue which is gripping the nation, it is

:18:26.:18:28.

gripping a small portion of the Tory party. Well, it is and it isn't,

:18:29.:18:34.

because the issue of in or out may not grip the nation, but it is

:18:35.:18:37.

inextricably linked with the question of immigration.

:18:38.:18:43.

Immigration, welfare, all of those are inextricably linked with Europe.

:18:44.:18:47.

A lot of the problems we have are related to Europe. Labour let the

:18:48.:18:51.

cat out of the bag today when Lord Mandelson said it is a lottery, if

:18:52.:18:54.

we have a referendum, in other words, we do not trust the people. I

:18:55.:18:59.

think what Labour are doing is trying to keep their options open. I

:19:00.:19:03.

do not think they want a referendum, but they are not going to say so

:19:04.:19:09.

just yet. We will leave it there. Thank you for joining us on The

:19:10.:19:11.

Daily Politics. Now, earlier this morning, a police

:19:12.:19:23.

person who falsely claimed to have seen Andrew Mitchell arguing with

:19:24.:19:26.

officers outside Downing Street has pleaded guilty to misconduct in

:19:27.:19:29.

public office. It revolves around what was said at the gates of

:19:30.:19:35.

Downing Street as Mr Mitchell tried to go through on his bike. While we

:19:36.:19:39.

have been on air, he has responded to this development, and told the

:19:40.:19:44.

press Association, I am pleased that justice has been done in the

:19:45.:19:49.

criminal court today. It is very sad and worrying for all of us that a

:19:50.:19:52.

serving police officer should have behaved in this way, and there

:19:53.:19:58.

remains many questions unanswered, in particular, why the PC wrote this

:19:59.:20:03.

e-mail, and who else was involved in this process.

:20:04.:20:07.

We will bring you any further developments on that if they happen

:20:08.:20:13.

while we are on air. When you woke up this morning, did you think, we

:20:14.:20:17.

have got some extreme weather, caused by climate change? Well, this

:20:18.:20:25.

week, David Cameron told MPs he very much suspects the recent floods are

:20:26.:20:29.

linked to climate change. His Environment Secretary has taken

:20:30.:20:33.

something of a different view. In our entirely unscientific

:20:34.:20:36.

contribution to the debate, Adam has taken his balls out for the first

:20:37.:20:40.

time in 2014 to see which way the wind is blowing. It has finally

:20:41.:20:46.

stopped raining, which means we can bring out The Daily Politics mood

:20:47.:20:49.

box to ask the public what they think is to blame for the extreme

:20:50.:20:53.

weather. Is it mostly climate change, or is it just the weather?

:20:54.:20:59.

With the wind, the heavy rain and the flooding, I think it is climate

:21:00.:21:08.

change. It is not something we have had before. A bit of uncertainty,

:21:09.:21:19.

just like in the real world. This is going to affect you in about 20

:21:20.:21:24.

years! Short answer, climate change, it is the melting of the

:21:25.:21:32.

icebergs. We have got about 25 tourists from Arkansas. How cold is

:21:33.:21:37.

it back home? It is very cold. They are all going for just the weather,

:21:38.:21:41.

which I think is the opposite of what President Obama thinks. It is

:21:42.:21:45.

the weather, it cycles in and it cycles out. So, do you think all of

:21:46.:21:50.

the people who voted for just the weather are wrong? Yes. You could

:21:51.:22:00.

plot the weather on your scarf. I know. As the strange weather been

:22:01.:22:07.

affect finger painting and decorating business? Yes, on the

:22:08.:22:14.

outside, it has, yes. -- has it been affecting the painting and

:22:15.:22:18.

decorating business? Thank you very much. There is actually no evidence

:22:19.:22:29.

since 1997 that the planet is warming up. It hasn't been, and I

:22:30.:22:34.

think it is just an opportunity for a lot of people do make a lot of

:22:35.:22:41.

money out of climate change. -- to make. You have been talking about it

:22:42.:22:56.

for about ten minutes. Yes, week believe it could be a meteorite

:22:57.:23:02.

disturbance in outer space. Well, it is true what they say, British

:23:03.:23:06.

people do love talking about the weather and the climate, although

:23:07.:23:12.

after all that, it is kind of 50-50. Certainly no warming here, I am

:23:13.:23:18.

absolutely freezing! They also think Adam is a lizard. The jury is open

:23:19.:23:25.

on that one. I am joined now by the leader of the Green Party, Natalie

:23:26.:23:29.

Bennett, and by the journalist and conservative here Matt Ridley. Is

:23:30.:23:34.

climate change to blame for the stormy weather? Of course, any

:23:35.:23:40.

individual event of weather is just that, weather. But what we are

:23:41.:23:43.

seeing around the world at the moment is an awful lot of what what

:23:44.:23:47.

we might call, in quotation marks, weather. In Australia, we have had

:23:48.:23:53.

thousands of bats falling from the trees, we have had records broken

:23:54.:23:57.

since Christmas. We have got the storms in the US, we have the

:23:58.:24:01.

cyclone in the Philippines. We have a situation where what we can expect

:24:02.:24:05.

is more extreme weather, and more of it. Therefore what we have got fits

:24:06.:24:09.

with that pattern for climate change. So, whatever happens with

:24:10.:24:14.

the weather, if it is really warm, or really cold, or really flooding

:24:15.:24:18.

in Britain, it is all down to global warming? If it is extreme weather,

:24:19.:24:22.

and we are seeing more of it, that is a result of climate change. We

:24:23.:24:26.

have had extreme weather before the idea of global warming. We have

:24:27.:24:31.

indeed, but what we are seeing is more of it. It is really quite

:24:32.:24:34.

simple, in terms of the rain we are seeing at the moment, we all know

:24:35.:24:41.

the basic frigates? -- physics, that if you have higher temperatures, you

:24:42.:24:44.

are going to get more evaporation and therefore more rain. Why did we

:24:45.:24:49.

think we were going to get limited precipitation this winter? Kos our

:24:50.:24:53.

weather predictions are still limited. But the Met Office is all

:24:54.:25:00.

part of the holy Grail, isn't it, they are completely informed by

:25:01.:25:13.

global warming, aren't they? The holy Grail, as you put it, is as

:25:14.:25:19.

backed by 97% of climate scientists, by the IPCC report, the most

:25:20.:25:22.

scrutinised science report in history. Let's just go to that

:25:23.:25:31.

report. It concludes, we have low confidence that flooding events are

:25:32.:25:38.

being caused by global warming. And we can go to the response from Ban

:25:39.:25:43.

Ki-Moon on this. He said, in response to that report, that the

:25:44.:25:53.

heat is on... The IPCC report says they have low confidence that

:25:54.:25:56.

flooding is being caused by climate change. That is the report! What

:25:57.:26:02.

this demonstrates, and I was on one of the last trains to Oxford before

:26:03.:26:06.

the line was stopped by flooding, and lots of people on the train were

:26:07.:26:10.

looking out the window at seems like we have behind us. Quite a lot of

:26:11.:26:14.

people were going, well, that is amazing. And there was fear and

:26:15.:26:24.

surprise. So your answer to the science of the IPCC report is a

:26:25.:26:27.

train journey to Oxford? All of our human life, our ability to feed

:26:28.:26:33.

ourselves, how is ourselves, live safely, is dependent on the climate.

:26:34.:26:41.

When you look around, there is something happening. We may not be

:26:42.:26:45.

able to explain it, but Natalie Bennett is right, everywhere you

:26:46.:26:49.

look, there are extreme weather events taking place. There was a

:26:50.:26:53.

report in the paper this morning that the Thames has reached a record

:26:54.:26:59.

level, since 2003. So, that record is only ten years old. If you look

:27:00.:27:03.

at all of these storms, lots of bad weather, they are all the worst for

:27:04.:27:08.

20 years, 40 years, 100 years. But what was happening then? Was that

:27:09.:27:15.

climate change? Of course not. Australia seems to be hotter than

:27:16.:27:20.

ever. Yes, but categorically, it is impossible to say that this is due

:27:21.:27:27.

to climate change. We had a cold, calm winter last year, we are having

:27:28.:27:31.

a mild, stormy winter this year. It happens. You're going to get these

:27:32.:27:36.

kinds of weather events whether the climate is warming or not. We should

:27:37.:27:43.

not worry so much about the trend. But the IPCC report does say, the

:27:44.:27:48.

frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events overland wheel

:27:49.:27:51.

likely increase on average in the near-term. It also says, confidence

:27:52.:28:01.

in the trends regarding tropical cyclones since 1900 is low. The IPCC

:28:02.:28:08.

say they have got 95% confidence that this climate change is

:28:09.:28:11.

happening. You have got a plane, there is a 95% risk it is going to

:28:12.:28:15.

crash, are you going to get on that plane? I do not think so. So

:28:16.:28:21.

therefore, we have to take action against climate change to secure the

:28:22.:28:23.

future of the planet of the human race. The question is, is action

:28:24.:28:28.

against carbon emissions the most effective way of preventing bad

:28:29.:28:32.

weather? The answer is clearly no. All sorts of other things are

:28:33.:28:36.

affecting plants, like development, house-building, on flood plains.

:28:37.:28:40.

Let's deal with that. That effectively is what David Cameron

:28:41.:28:43.

said. He said, whatever your views, you should be doing as much as

:28:44.:28:48.

possible to mitigate and plan for floods and storms, which is quite

:28:49.:28:51.

right. Is their agreement on that? Entirely. One thing we need to do,

:28:52.:28:58.

and he might agree with me, is that we are not doing nearly enough to

:28:59.:29:01.

conserve energy, too insulated our homes. Doing that would create up to

:29:02.:29:09.

200,000 jobs, drastically cut fuel poverty and cut carbon emissions but

:29:10.:29:15.

we could also not charge people too much for their electricity because

:29:16.:29:19.

of renewables. And of course the fault of the rising prices of bills

:29:20.:29:23.

is because of the rising price of gas, not because of renewables. 95%

:29:24.:29:28.

of the increase is due to gas. Not in the future, it is but I think

:29:29.:29:33.

your probability of dying as a result of extreme weather is down by

:29:34.:29:39.

98% since the 1920s globally. That is not because the weather got less

:29:40.:29:44.

dangerous, that is because we have got better housing, communication

:29:45.:29:46.

and transport, which makes storms more survivable. That is what we

:29:47.:29:53.

should be focusing on. So, for a good example, we should not be

:29:54.:29:58.

cutting the coastguard. Well, the amount of investment that the

:29:59.:30:01.

Government is putting into floods is actually a record. I think there has

:30:02.:30:06.

been a lot of debate about this, but the independent analysts say

:30:07.:30:10.

spending is going down in real terms. That is not my

:30:11.:30:14.

understanding, I understand there is a record amount being spent on flood

:30:15.:30:18.

mitigation. Whatever it is, the Environment Agency in this country

:30:19.:30:22.

actually has a gigantic budget and staff compared to most countries.

:30:23.:30:28.

But not go down the coastguard route, is it your contention that

:30:29.:30:36.

there is not really an increase in extreme weather events, and that

:30:37.:30:40.

global warming has nothing to do with these events to mark -- these

:30:41.:30:53.

events? Natalie is right that you will see more precipitation and

:30:54.:30:56.

there are benefits to that, droughts have shrunk in intensity as well.

:30:57.:31:07.

That is not true. It is. But in terms of her against... They cannot

:31:08.:31:15.

find a trend in 30 years in the frequency of hurricanes, typhoons

:31:16.:31:19.

and tornadoes hit a 30 year low in America. One-year's weather.

:31:20.:31:27.

Absolutely, but we are seeing very low trends in the last 30 or 40

:31:28.:31:32.

years for any of these weather events and the IPCC says that, there

:31:33.:31:38.

is no detectable incidence of global warming on extreme weather and there

:31:39.:31:42.

will not be possibly for the whole of this century, they said that in

:31:43.:31:47.

2011 in a report. I think we can come back to the survey that you

:31:48.:31:53.

started with a note sure -- and I am sure we all understand it is a piece

:31:54.:31:58.

of fun but three quarters of the British public say they believe that

:31:59.:32:01.

human caused climate change is happening now and we need to act. It

:32:02.:32:04.

is the wisdom of crowds and the wisdom of climate scientists. Just

:32:05.:32:15.

on the politics of this, the Tories are now in a strange position. As

:32:16.:32:19.

part of the rebranding of getting away from the cuddly party, the

:32:20.:32:24.

nasty party, to becoming a cuddly party and not a nasty party, Mister

:32:25.:32:27.

Cameron signed the Tories up to the whole global warming agenda, and so

:32:28.:32:33.

he keeps on blaming Ed Miliband for the 2008 climate change act and he

:32:34.:32:38.

voted for every clause in it, so did his party, but he actually leads a

:32:39.:32:42.

party that most of them don't believe in it. I know, those poor

:32:43.:32:49.

huskies. There is an issue here, the three main party leaders all believe

:32:50.:32:53.

the same thing on climate change, but there is a big proportion of the

:32:54.:32:56.

Tory party that is not signed up to that, and a big proportion of the

:32:57.:33:00.

country, so there is a danger of it being a Westminster consensus that

:33:01.:33:03.

does not include the rest of the country. It will be interesting to

:33:04.:33:07.

see what the Tory attitude to this will be, because Labour and the Lib

:33:08.:33:10.

Dems will stick with this, that is part of their approach to life but

:33:11.:33:15.

it will be interesting to see what the Tory manifesto says. The big war

:33:16.:33:20.

is not about climate change itself, it is about energy bells and what

:33:21.:33:26.

the punter is paying to heat their homes -- energy bills. We have what

:33:27.:33:29.

Labour have promised and the action by the Conservatives, that is where

:33:30.:33:33.

they will focus and I think they will cut the green rubbish, if I can

:33:34.:33:37.

use that word... You can use the word rubbish but you cannot use the

:33:38.:33:44.

word that David Cameron said. Why I think some of this green stuff is

:33:45.:33:48.

now being viewed more sceptically, I think it has been over spun by the

:33:49.:33:53.

climate change lobby. We talk about global warming, that word warming

:33:54.:33:56.

has gone because we are now actually freezing, and because it has over

:33:57.:34:00.

spun, more and more people are beginning to viewed sceptically. In

:34:01.:34:03.

the same way that the health lobby tellers to drink fewer units of wine

:34:04.:34:07.

every day and then we are told, actually, you can have a glass. I

:34:08.:34:12.

think the media has a problem with it, it is a huge, complicated issue.

:34:13.:34:18.

It is not just the media, because in 2008, Al Gore, based on climate

:34:19.:34:22.

science, told us the ice would be gone in the Arctic in 2013. Last

:34:23.:34:27.

time I looked, it was higher than it was for six or seven years and

:34:28.:34:31.

certainly hadn't gone. You are absolutely right, there is a

:34:32.:34:35.

consensus among climate scientists that the planet is warming. There is

:34:36.:34:40.

a consensus that man is playing a part in that, but there are huge

:34:41.:34:44.

arguments over what the actual impact would be on temperature,

:34:45.:34:49.

exactly how important man is compared to other issues and what of

:34:50.:34:53.

the policy should be to combat it. On that, there is no settled view.

:34:54.:35:00.

But it is worth thinking back about human history. The human race, we

:35:01.:35:03.

have developed the whole of civilisation through one of the most

:35:04.:35:07.

stable periods of the world's climate that we know about. We are

:35:08.:35:11.

dependent on that, to grow our crops, to house ourselves, to stay

:35:12.:35:16.

safe. We have no option but to live within the climate we have. But the

:35:17.:35:20.

point I was trying to get you to address and we will have to move on

:35:21.:35:24.

is that if you oversell the consequences, if you tell us the

:35:25.:35:28.

Arctic ice will disappear by 2013 and it hasn't, if you send ships out

:35:29.:35:33.

because you think there is no sea ice in the Antarctic and it turns

:35:34.:35:39.

out there is so much you get stuck, if you tell us that the Himalayan

:35:40.:35:42.

glacial as will disappear and they haven't, and even on current trends

:35:43.:35:46.

will not for 200 years... The fundamental case may be right but if

:35:47.:35:52.

you make hyperbolic predictions, you undermined your own case, is the

:35:53.:35:57.

point I am making. The point I would make is the case is there, the

:35:58.:36:01.

evidence is overwhelming and we have to act now. Al Gore and the

:36:02.:36:05.

scientists were wrong? Speaking they got wrong on the details. Hold on,

:36:06.:36:11.

it wasn't the detail but they would be no ice by 2013, it was an

:36:12.:36:16.

apocalyptic prediction. We have record low levels of ice, we are

:36:17.:36:22.

heading towards no ice. It is worth remembering that the Antarctic ice

:36:23.:36:27.

is... It is very good to see you both, thank you. Now, if there is

:36:28.:36:30.

one book every true libertarian likes a cosy up with on a cold

:36:31.:36:34.

January night, it is the novel Atlas Shrugged. You think they should get

:36:35.:36:39.

out a bit more. It was written by writer calmer who claimed to have

:36:40.:36:44.

invented a new code of morality based on reason alone -- it was

:36:45.:36:51.

written by Ayn Rand. Here is Charlie Wolf talking about Ayn Rand.

:36:52.:37:10.

These days, there is a huge market for books about unleashing the power

:37:11.:37:16.

of the self, the potential of the individual, and that is essentially

:37:17.:37:19.

the philosophy of the American author Ayn Rand. I have come to

:37:20.:37:24.

Borough market in London to meet a commentator and broadcaster who says

:37:25.:37:27.

he can explain her philosophy through the medium of letters. --

:37:28.:37:36.

lettuce. So, Charlie, why do you like Ayn Rand and what does she have

:37:37.:37:41.

to do with lettuce? The Fountainhead was a book that changed my life, it

:37:42.:37:45.

was a book I could not put down but as for lettuce, my father was a

:37:46.:37:49.

greengrocer and maybe you have had it happened when a parent says

:37:50.:37:52.

something that seems so innocuous but holds great meaning. He was

:37:53.:37:56.

stacking lettuce one day in a shop and said, do you know why I made a

:37:57.:38:06.

pyramid? Because I can. I am my own boss, nobody tells me how to stack

:38:07.:38:09.

the lettuce. So that simple act of stacking the lettuce was so like Ayn

:38:10.:38:12.

Rand, in that he was the author of his own destiny, no one told him how

:38:13.:38:16.

to. That was a pyramid of lettuce, let's take you to a pyramid of glass

:38:17.:38:22.

and steel, the Shark, which also has a lot to do with Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand

:38:23.:38:28.

was a Russian emigre, fiercely anti-Communist and unconventional in

:38:29.:38:33.

her lives. Even her fans than her tricky but Doctor Elisabeth Fraser

:38:34.:38:35.

of Oxford University say that her books were powerful. -- found her

:38:36.:38:41.

tricky. She is inspirational. Her view of free society has inspired so

:38:42.:38:47.

many people. A very, very controversial but if there were a

:38:48.:38:51.

prize for the author who has got the most people saying, I read this book

:38:52.:38:54.

and it changed my life, she would win it. We are now surrounded by the

:38:55.:39:08.

most incredible view from the restaurant in The Shard in London. I

:39:09.:39:13.

was just wondering, what was Ayn Rand's worldview? Her worldview

:39:14.:39:16.

would be that the people who built this view who built The Shard, and

:39:17.:39:23.

heroic amount of vision and in this building in particular, it is a

:39:24.:39:27.

cathedral. Not to God, she was an atheist, but a cathedral to the

:39:28.:39:31.

powers of mankind. Men were heard gods. She tended to present

:39:32.:39:36.

philosophical ideas as though they were her own invention, and that is

:39:37.:39:41.

strange to serious thinkers and politicians as well -- estranged. It

:39:42.:39:48.

was extraordinary that she refused to cooperate politically. Including

:39:49.:39:52.

with people who really liked her ideas and would have liked her to be

:39:53.:39:57.

a figurehead for a new conservatism in the 20th century. She was very

:39:58.:40:01.

sectarian and capable of being very nasty. However nasty, though, how

:40:02.:40:07.

many other political philosophers have had their books turned into a

:40:08.:40:13.

movie, with its enigmatic catchphrase, who is John Galt? It is

:40:14.:40:26.

us who rule the world. Atlas Shrugged is all about railways,

:40:27.:40:30.

steel and building a bridge, but not like the one we are standing next,

:40:31.:40:37.

which is a ugly and grubby. But people think the philosophy of Ayn

:40:38.:40:40.

Rand is the same, supremely selfish. Is that fair? Not if you

:40:41.:40:45.

define it the way that Ayn Rand did, it is about being true to

:40:46.:40:49.

yourself, taking care of yourself first and foremost. Not living off

:40:50.:40:53.

the state or off others and it is a noble way. If you can do that, think

:40:54.:40:58.

of how the roles of welfare would shrivel up, how society would be

:40:59.:41:01.

better off. It is a far better philosophy than living off the

:41:02.:41:07.

state. It is not just that many would not agree with that but in

:41:08.:41:12.

October 2011, some were prepared to camp out on the streets in front of

:41:13.:41:15.

Saint Pauls Cathedral to demonstrate their opposition to such views. But

:41:16.:41:23.

actually, pain Rand -- Ayn Rand predicted all of that. We went to

:41:24.:41:30.

The Shard, but here is Saint Paul's. She would not have gone in,

:41:31.:41:35.

she was an atheist. There is a cathedral to man, the stock exchange

:41:36.:41:38.

over there, but something here happened recently that you think

:41:39.:41:42.

makes Ayn Rand River that readily to relevant to today. This is where the

:41:43.:41:50.

protest as well and she described in her books this dystopian state, the

:41:51.:41:53.

welfare state, the moochers, the one who want the money for

:41:54.:42:00.

entitlement's sake and leeches, who demanded that on a moral imperative,

:42:01.:42:04.

companies and the churches paid more money, being altruistic with other

:42:05.:42:09.

people's many. This was a dystopian welfare state, collectivism that she

:42:10.:42:13.

hated. But she also did say it is trade, it is, is, it is jobs. That

:42:14.:42:19.

is what lifts people out of poverty, not giving them money. That is why

:42:20.:42:24.

Ayn Rand is relevant to today. Either way, who is John Galt?

:42:25.:42:33.

Charlie Wolf joins us in the studio now. What is the answer to the

:42:34.:42:39.

question? Who is John Galt, that is the question? This is the man who

:42:40.:42:43.

stopped the engine of the world in the book, went on strike and took

:42:44.:42:46.

his capital with him and showed that as much as people make derisory

:42:47.:42:50.

comments about the movers and shakers of the world, Starbucks and

:42:51.:42:54.

Amazons and Bill Gates, these are the guys that, for want of profit,

:42:55.:42:59.

are making the economy move and we need them and they are very

:43:00.:43:03.

beneficial. The whole premise of their book is what if all of these

:43:04.:43:06.

people took their property and their assets and just went on strike,

:43:07.:43:10.

where would the rest of us be? It would be a dystopian state. But what

:43:11.:43:20.

would they do? In the book, they will go to a magic island, it is a

:43:21.:43:23.

bit of a science-fiction novel. It could be VI love white. It could

:43:24.:43:28.

have been. -- it could have been the Isle of Wight. If you are on the

:43:29.:43:35.

right, you look at Ayn Rand's critique of collectivism and Marxism

:43:36.:43:39.

and people on the right thing, she got that absolutely right but when

:43:40.:43:43.

she comes herself to say what kind of society we should have, it seems

:43:44.:43:48.

a bit extreme. Funnily enough, when Atlas Shrugged came out, it was

:43:49.:43:54.

hated on the left and the right. There were articles commissioned

:43:55.:43:59.

against the book, saying she was godless on the right and the left

:44:00.:44:04.

saying she was selfish. So there are extremities but I take it for what

:44:05.:44:10.

it is worth, extremities in objectivism. Extremities in

:44:11.:44:18.

objectivism? I think she was making, in the extreme positions,

:44:19.:44:23.

and ideology. I don't believe in her atheism, her position on abortion...

:44:24.:44:29.

Say she is not an icon of the social conservative right in America? No,

:44:30.:44:34.

she is the libertarian icon. When she was alive, she didn't have much

:44:35.:44:39.

time for libertarianism. Don't ask me why. But she wrote, "trade is the

:44:40.:44:44.

only proper basis of any relationship" . Adam Smith said

:44:45.:44:48.

roughly the same, that it is not from the munificence of the butcher

:44:49.:44:54.

or the bread-maker, he does it because he wants to make a profit,

:44:55.:44:59.

and you get it, but then she adds, including relationships with members

:45:00.:45:01.

of our families! Smith would never have said that. Probably not, but if

:45:02.:45:08.

you look again in Atlas Shrugged, Hank Reardon, his family was

:45:09.:45:12.

mooching off him, but I agree. There is a lot of Ayn Rand that were

:45:13.:45:20.

ironic streams and you take what was important. The important thing for

:45:21.:45:25.

me, as the Fountainhead explained, we have the power within us to

:45:26.:45:31.

accomplish anything. Her heroes were heroes and her villains were

:45:32.:45:33.

villains because they were socialists. How much was she

:45:34.:45:41.

influenced by the fact that her family's pharmacy business was

:45:42.:45:46.

confiscated by the Bolsheviks? Probably a lot. She hated anything

:45:47.:45:51.

to do with the communist state. The only thing she took with her, which

:45:52.:45:55.

again I find hard to understand, from the commonest estate, was her

:45:56.:46:00.

atheism. In a sense, you are almost in the mirror image position of Owen

:46:01.:46:05.

Jones, when we had him on the programme, as he came on, talking

:46:06.:46:10.

about Karl Marx, and of course he was not endorsing Marxism in its

:46:11.:46:15.

entirety, but he said there are things we can learn from him. And

:46:16.:46:20.

you have also taken a rather extreme ideology, the polar opposite to

:46:21.:46:24.

Marxism, and said, I do not buy it all, but there are bits of it... It

:46:25.:46:29.

is interesting you mentioned Owen Jones, because yes, we have gone

:46:30.:46:33.

from left to right. But the problem with Owen Jones legal theory is that

:46:34.:46:41.

it is unequivocally wrong. It does not work. Let me just explain why. A

:46:42.:46:49.

very good experiment happened when the Pilgrims first came to Plymouth.

:46:50.:46:56.

They practised collectivism when they first got there, and they

:46:57.:47:01.

starved after 2.5 years. They have this theory that everybody would

:47:02.:47:03.

take an equal portion. Nobody worked. Finally, after 2.5 years,

:47:04.:47:10.

the governor got rid of it, and said, this theory of the community

:47:11.:47:15.

does not work. And this is what Thatcher said. I understand that,

:47:16.:47:20.

but it comes back to the Rand criticism of collectors is, it is

:47:21.:47:25.

what she would have had in its place which I was asking you about, which

:47:26.:47:30.

seems to me to be just as weak in its way as Marxism out to be. --

:47:31.:47:37.

criticism of collectivism. Is it under your pillow every night?

:47:38.:47:41.

Everything I have learned about Ayn Rand I have found out from a

:47:42.:47:46.

computer game. It is a city built under the sea, which actually

:47:47.:47:53.

finally enough, quite a lot of Silicon Valley enthusiast 's want to

:47:54.:47:57.

actually build. But it is all the winners of society, going and making

:47:58.:48:02.

a society together. But the problem is, there is no family loyalty,

:48:03.:48:07.

there is no altruism, everybody is purely therefore themselves. The

:48:08.:48:13.

problem I have with Rand is the same problem I have with Marxism. They

:48:14.:48:19.

are extremes. From what I know of Rand, she is Margaret Thatcher on

:48:20.:48:23.

speed. She almost makes it cool to be selfish. One of the quotes today

:48:24.:48:27.

was, before you can say I love you, you have to think of I. Then she

:48:28.:48:36.

says, there are three key places in an argument, one is right, what is

:48:37.:48:41.

wrong, and the other is the middle. -- the other is evil. People having

:48:42.:48:47.

22 kids on welfare is selfish, but they rely on the generosity of

:48:48.:48:50.

others, which is somewhere in the middle. You can watch the rest of

:48:51.:48:57.

our series on political thinkers on our website. And thanks to Derek

:48:58.:49:04.

Wilkinson, who has just tweeted to me and given a very useful section

:49:05.:49:11.

on the Treaty of Rome, article three C, which calls for free movement for

:49:12.:49:17.

persons. Not workers, not job-seekers. So, if you are

:49:18.:49:23.

watching, Chuka Umunna, there you go. It is not unusual at this time

:49:24.:49:27.

of year to try to change direction in life, you might give up smoking,

:49:28.:49:32.

go to the gym, find a new job, or promise never to miss The Daily

:49:33.:49:36.

Politics for a year. One person has made it his New Year 's resolution

:49:37.:49:46.

to become more pro-business. The Socialist leader of France has

:49:47.:49:48.

hinted that he might cut labour costs in exchange for firms hiring

:49:49.:49:55.

more workers. Here he is. TRANSLATION: I propose a

:49:56.:49:59.

responsibility packed with business, it is based on a simple principle,

:50:00.:50:04.

lower labour charges and fewer restrictions on their activity, in

:50:05.:50:07.

return for more workers and more dialogue with trade unions. First of

:50:08.:50:12.

all, I want to reduce public spending. We have to make savings

:50:13.:50:17.

wherever possible. I am sure we can do more by spending less. We have to

:50:18.:50:27.

spend less to reduce our deficit, also to eventually lower taxes.

:50:28.:50:32.

That's fiscal reform, which we are committed to. I myself take on the

:50:33.:50:36.

responsible to four following this savings programme for the length of

:50:37.:50:46.

this Parliament. Now, I am joined by Axelle Lemaire, a member of the

:50:47.:50:48.

French parliament, representing northern Europe, and a member of

:50:49.:50:55.

Francois Hollande's socialist party, and a friend of The Daily Politics.

:50:56.:51:01.

We welcome you back. What is it like to be supporting the most unpopular

:51:02.:51:05.

president in the history of the fifth Republic? I suppose I keep

:51:06.:51:09.

thinking, well, if it is that bad, why don't we take risks? Which is

:51:10.:51:14.

what we are doing. It gives us, we have local elections coming, but we

:51:15.:51:22.

still have until 2017... You will be thumped in the local elections.

:51:23.:51:32.

Let's talk about that when it comes because I am not convinced. We are

:51:33.:51:38.

ahead in the mayoral elections, the departments, everywhere in France.

:51:39.:51:46.

You run all the departments. But even if things were going well, you

:51:47.:51:53.

would be losing some. Yes. But over the past 25 years, only Italy has

:51:54.:51:58.

grown slower than France. Your budget deficit is bigger than that

:51:59.:52:01.

of Italy, you have the largest current-account deficit in the

:52:02.:52:06.

Eurozone. Since 1999, GDP per head in Germany has grown 25% more than

:52:07.:52:10.

in France, your unit labour costs are now higher than Germany, and you

:52:11.:52:14.

are on the brink of another recession. Where is the good news?

:52:15.:52:22.

Wow! Like that, it does sound very, very bad. I am surprised you did not

:52:23.:52:28.

mention the United Kingdom, because that is what we are usually compared

:52:29.:52:31.

with, and that is what Mr Cameron compared his country with. But we

:52:32.:52:36.

are still the fifth biggest economy, number two in Europe, behind not the

:52:37.:52:45.

United Kingdom but Germany. We topped number one in the global 500

:52:46.:52:55.

index of innovative companies. We have a low inflation rate, we have

:52:56.:53:00.

reduced the public deficit, and currently we are at 3.8% of GDP in

:53:01.:53:11.

France. I think here it is 6.4%. It is easier for a country which can

:53:12.:53:15.

print its own currency, though. The levels of debt, public and private,

:53:16.:53:21.

because people do not take loans to buy cars, to buy a house. Are we

:53:22.:53:28.

going through what we saw with the last socialist president, President

:53:29.:53:31.

Mitterrand, who came in with a very socialist agenda, and within less

:53:32.:53:35.

than two years, the whole place had gone belly up, it was a disaster,

:53:36.:53:40.

and he rushed for the centre, so is that what M Hollande is now doing,

:53:41.:53:45.

when he is being nice to business and talking about cutting spending?

:53:46.:53:50.

Not at all. The number one priority in his programme, as a candidate,

:53:51.:53:56.

was competitiveness of companies. This is how it is seen abroad, that

:53:57.:54:02.

it is a U-turn, it is a pro-business U-turn, but he has always been

:54:03.:54:07.

pro-business. We passed a deal with companies in March last year, and I

:54:08.:54:12.

voted for it as an MP last year, to help them reduce labour costs for

:54:13.:54:21.

employees when times are hard, a bit like Germany did at the beginning of

:54:22.:54:28.

this century. We are doing many things. Do you think it really was a

:54:29.:54:34.

good way of encouraging foreign direct investment into France, of

:54:35.:54:39.

which France needs a lot, for the unions to kidnap the boss of good

:54:40.:54:43.

year? I do not think so, that gave us extremely bad publicity. That was

:54:44.:54:50.

a decision made by local union leaders, which was immediately

:54:51.:54:54.

condemned by the government, by the minister in charge of that case.

:54:55.:54:59.

They were soon released after that. But no, of course, it gave us bad

:55:00.:55:04.

publicity. But that does not reflect the reality. I understand, but you

:55:05.:55:08.

do not see this as a change of course? I see it as a continuation

:55:09.:55:15.

of what we have been trying to do to promote business and attract foreign

:55:16.:55:18.

investors, and it is working. We are doing clearly better. The level of

:55:19.:55:26.

unemployment is still high, but it has been continually decreasing

:55:27.:55:28.

since we got in power. Unemployment has gone up. Since we arrived in

:55:29.:55:43.

power, little by little, we are decreasing it. You are decreasing

:55:44.:55:51.

the rate of increase. But will it help M Hollande's popularity that he

:55:52.:55:57.

now seems to have indulged in the time-honoured French President's

:55:58.:56:01.

tradition of having a mistress? This sounds very French, doesn't it?

:56:02.:56:07.

Except that this time we know, Mitterrand managed to hide them

:56:08.:56:14.

away. It is difficult to do that with Twitter! We also have a

:56:15.:56:20.

different tradition, which is, we want to respect privacy. I notice

:56:21.:56:28.

that his criticism was not that it is not true, it was, you have

:56:29.:56:36.

invaded my privacy. I remember when Palmerston, at the age of 60 odd,

:56:37.:56:42.

did it in this country, the Tories wanted to cover it up because it

:56:43.:56:48.

would make him more popular. Thanks for joining us. Next, the most

:56:49.:56:57.

efficient round-up of the week's news, in only 62 seconds. Much of

:56:58.:57:02.

southern Britain was underwater, as there was yet more heavy range

:57:03.:57:08.

effort but the Tory MP Penny Morden will be getting even wetter. She is

:57:09.:57:13.

going to star in a TV diving show. Boris Johnson made a splash on the

:57:14.:57:17.

airwaves again, this time knocking Nick Clegg. He has that very

:57:18.:57:24.

important ceremonial function as David Cameron's lapdog come

:57:25.:57:30.

protection device. There was less knock-about in the Commons, as PMQs

:57:31.:57:36.

went all proper, following Ed Miliband's concerns that it was

:57:37.:57:40.

getting too rowdy. One Labour MP called for an end to slogans like

:57:41.:57:45.

these. I would say the big society is an enormous opportunity.

:57:46.:57:50.

Christmas is a distant memory, but some reckon Scrooge is still hanging

:57:51.:57:55.

around, as the Chancellor announced another ?25 billion of cuts, much of

:57:56.:57:59.

it in welfare. 2014 is the year of hard truths.

:58:00.:58:05.

The year of hard truths, who writes that stuff?! Give me a thought, what

:58:06.:58:11.

is going to happen this year that will surprise us? I hope that there

:58:12.:58:16.

will be a lot about young people. We heard about housing benefit getting

:58:17.:58:21.

taken away from the under-25s. I do not see if you are under 30 watts

:58:22.:58:25.

any of the big parties can offer you. The older people tend to own

:58:26.:58:29.

their houses. That is one thing I would like to see more of. For you?

:58:30.:58:36.

Scottish referendum, that is going to be big. European elections in

:58:37.:58:41.

May. But I think the overarching thing will be the decoupling of the

:58:42.:58:45.

coalition. Interesting, you heard it here first! That is it for today. I

:58:46.:58:50.

will be back with The Sunday Politics on BBC One, on Sunday, at

:58:51.:58:53.

11 o'clock. Until then, have a good weekend.

:58:54.:58:58.

Andrew Neil is joined by journalists Helen Lewis and David Wooding to look back over the week's political events. They also look at the EU referendum bill being debated in the House of Lords.


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