21/01/2014 Daily Politics


21/01/2014

Jo Coburn is joined by chair of the Arts Council England, Sir Peter Bazalgette, to discuss the latest political news.


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Transcript


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. The Lib Dem crisis

:00:36.:00:40.

over Lord Rennard continues, with the former party chief exec

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considering going to court to lift his suspension from the Liberal

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Democrats. Former party leader Paddy Ashdown joins me live.

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The Conservatives and Labour square off over changes to welfare, with

:00:52.:00:54.

proposals for new benefit cuts and incentives. We will hear from both

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sides. David Blunkett has a plan to

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reconnect politicians with the public, and it doesn't involve going

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to the jungle or diving in a swimsuit on reality TV. He will join

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me live. Plus, should the rich fork out more

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to fund the arts? All that in the next hour. And with

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us for the whole programme today is Peter Bazalgette, the chairman of

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England's Arts Council and a TV bigwig responsible for programmes

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like Big Brother and Deal Or No Deal. Welcome to the Daily Politics.

:01:30.:01:35.

Let's start with the news that this afternoon, the International

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Monetary Fund is expected to announce that it's increasing its

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growth forecasts for the UK by a significant amount. So the UK

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economy is supposed to be motoring ahead. Can you feel it? I think we

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all feel something happening. One of the newspapers this morning had a

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survey which said that we, the public, think it is business that is

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delivering the growth, not the politicians. We, the voters, think

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business is delivering the growth more. Quite often, politicians say,

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we have created X number of jobs since we came to power. Of course,

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they don't create the jobs, it is businesses that create the jobs. But

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they do create the conditions for success. And do you think that has

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happened over the last few years, that businesses, as a result of

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conditions set by the government, have created jobs? Well,

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productivity is the problem. Employment has been positive in that

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we have not lost nearly as many jobs as we expected. But investment has

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not been so good, particularly from large companies. Investment in

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everything, including the arts, but we will come to that. Do you think

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this supposed feel-good factor is limited to the south-east? No, but

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it is stronger in the south-east. A lot of the country is still

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suffering. If you live in London... I travel around the country all the

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time, and it is very tough in parts of the country, in contrast to

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London, which is booming by comparison. How much do people care

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about growth figures if their wages have fallen behind prices for almost

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a decade? People are worse off, and there is no question that everybody

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is living at a lower level than they were five years ago. So people care

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very much, because they can afford to spend less on their holidays and

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home improvements and things that matter. That might change, but it

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will take time. It will take time for people to feel better. We will

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be told it a lot earlier than we will feel it.

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So the Rennard crisis rumbles on for Nick Clegg's Lib Dems. Yesterday,

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Lord Rennard was suspended from the party on the grounds that his

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failure to apologise to four women who claim he made sexual advances to

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them was bringing the party into disrepute. That was followed by a

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lengthy statement from the former party chief executive, and the

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threat that he might take legal action to regain his place in the

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party. I'm joined to discuss this by Linda Jack, a party member who is

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also chair of the Liberal Left group. She is in Luton. How do you

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feel about your party today? Can you hear me? Let me try again. How do

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you feel about your party today? I feel very sad, because we have been

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deflected from more important issues. For example, yesterday, the

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launch of the closing the gap mental health policy, which reflects

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everything we stand for as Liberal Democrats. And instead, we are

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focusing on something which, although I fiercely think it is

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important, is not the whole story about who we are as a party. But

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when we are talking about the claims that have been made against Chris

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Rennard, some in the party have said it has all been overblown, taste

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warm in a teacup -- a storm in a teacup. One MP likened it to

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Italians pinching women's bottoms, remarks he has since apologised for.

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How serious are these alleged offences? They are very serious. I

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was at the same event as one of the women after it occurred, and she was

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extremely distressed, and rightly so. What Chris Davies said, even

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though he has apologised, betrays an ass dude in some parts of the

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party, not the whole of the party -- it betrays an attitude that this is

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a trivial matter. I worry that Lord Rennard also sees it as a trivial

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matter, urges why he does not think it is worth apologising for. You

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were confided in by one of the women, as you have just said, and

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there is this argument going on that what happened was actually

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relatively minor in the minds of some people. Was it more serious

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than just touching of the leg through clothing, as one described

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it? Any potential abuse of power is serious. It is also about the

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impact. Somebody may not have intended that impact, but the impact

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is what matters. I cannot say how somebody else will react to being

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treated like that, or how I would react. But some people are making a

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judgement that it was just a little bit of touching, as if that did not

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matter. That betrays attitudes I would not expect in a party

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committed to equality like ours. Have you been surprised that those

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attitudes exist more broadly than you thought? I am not surprised that

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they exist. I am surprised at how broadly they exist. I am surprised

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at some of the responses I have had where people did not agree with me

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in terms of not understanding that this is not just about some clumsy

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advances, it is about a potential abuse of power. There is going to be

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another party enquiry, as you know, about whether Lord Rennard has

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brought the party into disrepute. If that clears him, he can come back

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within 14 weeks. What do you think of that? This should have been dealt

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with ages ago. The party has brought itself into disrepute by having

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processes which were not appropriate for the case and were not robust. I

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hope that gets sorted out. We need some sort of conciliation at the

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moment, if possible. It would have been nice if Nick Clegg had spoken

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to Lord Rennard after last Wednesday and tried to come to some sort of

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agreement, because this story is now much bigger than him and his

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accusers. It is affecting the whole party. And knowing Lord Rennard, I

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imagine this is a party he has devoted his life to. He does not

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want to damage it. So if anyone can come up with an idea to smooth

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everything over, that would be better for all concerned, rather

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than it becoming a vendetta, which it feels like at the moment. Is the

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party divided into two camps now? That may be the case in the Lords.

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Within the wider party, it is not 50-50, but there are those arguing

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on behalf of Lord Rennard who don't know what the fuss is about, and

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those who see this as a fundamental issue to do with who we are and what

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we stand for. Chris Rennard has expressed regret in the statement he

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made. Even if he goes further, which he has said he will not do, and says

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Warwick, that will not satisfy at least one of the women who made the

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claims -- if he says sorry. This is the dilemma we have. We may say we

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are satisfied if there is an apology, but at the -- at the end of

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the day, it is down to those women. It is about the process. I have been

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involved in a lot of internal disciplinary procedures as a union

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official. This should have gone to a hearing, and then both sides would

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have been able to confront and cross examine each other. That is what the

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failing has been. And we have been joined by the

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former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown. Welcome to the Daily Politics. You

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heard Linda Jackson Nick Clegg should have sat down with Chris

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Rennard and they should have talked about this and stop it getting to

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the stage. I know Linda and we have often fallen out, but I agree with

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almost every word she said, except that. Nick could not do that. He is

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a leader of the party. There were enquiry is going on. He would have

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been open to criticism if he had intervened in a personal way. Many

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of us have spoken to him on several occasions. He is a close friend, and

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he knows I think he is wrong on this. But Linda's point is the

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central point here. What Nick Clegg has done is stood on a fundamental

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visible at the heart of liberalism. It is about respect for individuals

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and respect forward. He has taken flak for that, but he is right. I

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suspect every party in Westminster suffers from this. Most of them are

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saying, there for the grace of God. But this is the Liberal Democrats.

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Nick Clegg has stood up for a mental principle and he is right to do so.

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Insofar as offence has been given, it would have been easy to find the

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words for an apology, and the absence of that is something we

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should continue to demand. And other Lib Dem Lords are defying the Clegg.

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-- Nick Clegg. They are defying the leadership, who are saying an

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apology is the least that needs to come? I can only give you my view.

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You are fiercely going to make up the division to be the biggest story

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you can. But I don't think it is as bloodthirsty as you suggest. Here is

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the central point. The democracy of our party is something we are very

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proud of. Yes, it makes it difficult to handle some issues. People fall

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out. It is not our finest moment. But when it comes to running the

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country, that very democracy has meant that the party has been united

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in a way that the Tories are not. Because of that democracy, the party

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has walked into the coalition. So you can criticise us about our

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internal structures, but when it comes to the big issues, standing

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together and taking tough decisions to put the country right, our party

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is united because of the democracy it has. But Linda Jack said the

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party has brought itself into disrepute. If this investigation

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clears Chris Rennard, he could be back within 14 weeks without making

:12:31.:12:34.

the apology that Nick Clegg has demanded. And you will have this all

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over again. I don't think that is correct. I am not going to predict

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what happens. The Webster enquiry said two thing is. There was

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credible evidence. Not sufficient for a criminal prosecution, and

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maybe that should be changed, and an apology is appropriate. All of those

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things must be followed through. You can't pick and choose. It stands

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together. The central issue is, is Nick Clegg right to have stood on a

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principle that Linda articulated brilliantly well, which is that

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women now in power demand something different in terms of respect than

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what was acceptable previously? He is dead right. On that basis, should

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the women who have accused Chris Rennard of harassing them take civil

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action, and should the party encourage them to do so? I think

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this talk of civil action is foolish. I don't think it will

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advance us towards where we want to get. Maybe with everybody in their

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trenches, they will want to do that. I don't git will serve the party.

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There is a way around this and we know what it is. The Webster

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omission report is the answer, and it needs to be followed through. It

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is simple to find the words to make this apology. There are people

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advising Chris who do this every day for large sums of money. Not that

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there is money involved here. It goes like this. "I assert my

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innocence. I do not believe I did this. But if inadvertently, I hurt

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others, I regret that." Ming Campbell said something similar

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along those lines. And he did say something like that. At Chris

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Rennard is considering legal action now. What is your message to him if

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he seeks an injunction to halt this enquiry? My message to all in the

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party is, you have done brilliantly in this coalition. You have helped

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this country out of a terrible mess. You have shown courage and unity.

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This is an internal matter. Give it a bit of time, let tempers cool, and

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let's come back to the central principle, the one Nick Clegg has

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defended with great courage. In the Liberal Democrats today, there are

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different standards. We demand respect for individuals and above

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all, respect for women. Test macro, as an observer, what do you take

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from this? -- Peter Bazalgette. There does not seem to be much

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reconciliation in the Lib Dem party at the moment and not a great deal

:15:23.:15:27.

of truth. But we are asserting a new standard of behaviour and respect

:15:28.:15:33.

between the sexes. As we are applying this new standards perhaps

:15:34.:15:38.

to behaviour in the past. I take issue with this and other serious

:15:39.:15:43.

court cases going on at the moment. They are all about saying, we used

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to do this, it is not how we do it now. It is an issue of principle.

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The issue is there has been a change of culture. The old standards are no

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longer in existence. People have to come to terms with that. So you

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would like to see him permanently suspended on that basis? I am

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prepared to let the processes we now have in chain take their natural

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course. But at the heart of democracy lies respect for

:16:20.:16:24.

individuals and if we have stood up for that then I am proud of that. I

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will bet you anything you like every other political party in Westminster

:16:32.:16:35.

is saying today, there but for the grace of God. I am sure that they

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are and they will lie low and give you the full spotlight. Is this

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turning into an old liberals versus the rest argument? I think it is

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much more a generational thing. It used to be tolerated but no longer.

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I think it is far more generally -- generational issue. And we should be

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leading the way on issues like this. If we helped to change the climate

:17:15.:17:18.

in Westminster in favour of respect for women then it may be difficult

:17:19.:17:24.

but I am proud of that. Now it's time for our daily quiz.

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The question for today is who is this being hit over the head with a

:17:30.:17:31.

placard yesterday? At the end of the programme Peter

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will give us the right answer. I am working on it! It is not easy

:17:48.:17:54.

unless you know the story. Now the eagle-eyed among you will

:17:55.:17:58.

notice that there's been a spate of welfare announcements from both the

:17:59.:18:01.

government and the Labour party in the last few weeks. It's hard to

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keep up. But don't worry, it's time for our welfare round-up. Two weeks

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ago George Osborne outlined his spending plans for the first two

:18:12.:18:14.

years of the next Parliament in which the welfare budget - excluding

:18:15.:18:18.

pensions - is set for an extra ?12 billion of cuts.

:18:19.:18:22.

The Chancellor suggested two possible changes to save money. A

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cut to Housing Benefit for under 25s and restricting access to council

:18:29.:18:31.

housing for those earning more than ?65,000 a year. That's if the

:18:32.:18:36.

Conservatives win the election in 2015. Meanwhile Labour's Rachel

:18:37.:18:41.

Reeves yesterday announced plans to increase the rate of job seekers

:18:42.:18:44.

allowance for those who lose their jobs after at least five years in

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employment. They'll get an extra ?20 a week for their first six weeks out

:18:51.:18:55.

of work. But the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary's plan will have

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to be approved by Ed Balls, who says that any changes must be

:19:00.:19:04.

cost-neutral. So who's winning the welfare battle? Joining me now is

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Conservative MP Mary Macleod and Shadow Employment Minister Stephen

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Timms. Should those who pay into the benefits system get more out of it

:19:20.:19:24.

when they fall on tough times? We think that the contributory

:19:25.:19:30.

principle is right. It has been weakened under successive

:19:31.:19:32.

governments and we think it is time to reverse that trend. You say it is

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a trend because experienced workers are to get an extra ?20 per week in

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payments. That is hardly an return to the contributory principle. It is

:19:45.:19:49.

a move back in that direction. It will take time. But at the moment

:19:50.:19:55.

people feel they pay into the system and when they need help is the help

:19:56.:20:00.

there. Would you like to see it go further? Well one thing the

:20:01.:20:05.

government has done that we argued against was that people losing their

:20:06.:20:11.

jobs on health grounds lose their contributory allocation now. We

:20:12.:20:17.

think we would like to increase that period. So I think it is an

:20:18.:20:23.

important first step and most people agree that if you have paid into the

:20:24.:20:27.

system for a significant period then you ought to be able to get more

:20:28.:20:33.

help than available at the moment. Ed Balls says it has to be cost

:20:34.:20:37.

neutral. What was suggested yesterday, at the moment you get

:20:38.:20:43.

contributory jobseeker's allowance after two years of contributions. We

:20:44.:20:52.

would look to extend that period. I think with Rachel Reeves on the

:20:53.:20:58.

front of the pages, it is still the same old Labour. I would like to see

:20:59.:21:05.

Ed Balls coming out and saying it is cost neutral, we do not think it is.

:21:06.:21:12.

You voted against savings on welfare. That is not true. But just

:21:13.:21:20.

to get to the point, we have a long-term economic plan in place and

:21:21.:21:24.

that is about bearing down on the deficit and making sure mortgages

:21:25.:21:30.

stay low. Part of that is putting a cap on housing. Why allow young

:21:31.:21:36.

people under 25 to leave home and take housing benefit? That cannot be

:21:37.:21:43.

fair or right. I would like to think your supporters would come forward

:21:44.:21:46.

with ideas for the next election to say people under 25 should just

:21:47.:21:52.

think about staying at home. Do you support that? I would like to see

:21:53.:21:55.

the detail of what is being proposed. We have agreed with the

:21:56.:22:01.

principle of universal credit which unfortunately is in a mess at the

:22:02.:22:05.

moment. We agreed with the principle of the benefits cap. Some changes

:22:06.:22:09.

did need to be made. But we should have a system where if you pay in,

:22:10.:22:16.

you can be confident of support. And you do not think that there should

:22:17.:22:19.

be a system for when people fall on hard times, when they have

:22:20.:22:23.

contributed, that they should not be demonised as some people have

:22:24.:22:27.

criticised ministers for, for claiming an effort. I do not think

:22:28.:22:34.

we criminalise people. Ian Duncan Smith has done a fantastic job of

:22:35.:22:38.

helping people out of the welfare trap. We are talking about people

:22:39.:22:44.

who have worked with them fall on hard times. I understand that. You

:22:45.:22:48.

have to live within your means. Part of that is that we take difficult

:22:49.:22:52.

decisions and focus the money on those women -- on those in most

:22:53.:23:02.

need. We believe in the principle of capping benefits but not the cap

:23:03.:23:07.

that the Conservatives used. Labour cannot keep saying we support you in

:23:08.:23:13.

these things and then vote against it in Parliament. And actually this

:23:14.:23:16.

is just about electioneering, posturing? The Labour Party feels it

:23:17.:23:22.

is seen as being soft on welfare and now seems to want to make itself

:23:23.:23:27.

tough. Rachel Reeves says Labour will be tougher than the

:23:28.:23:30.

Conservatives on slashing the benefits bill. How will it do that?

:23:31.:23:37.

Well we want to assess people who become unemployed right at the start

:23:38.:23:42.

to see which people have got a sick skills needs and then provide them

:23:43.:23:46.

with basic skills training to address those needs. If they do not

:23:47.:23:50.

take up that training we will have benefit sanctions. It is not just

:23:51.:23:55.

about posturing. We are putting forward a programme which will be

:23:56.:24:01.

developed over the coming months and will be ready for the general

:24:02.:24:04.

election, where all the different parts of what we will propose will

:24:05.:24:10.

come together. We spoke yesterday about education, a programme to take

:24:11.:24:18.

it in forward and get us out of the mess we are in at the minute. This

:24:19.:24:25.

is a battle over who is going to look toughest or fairest, which ever

:24:26.:24:30.

way you look at it, on welfare. The guys have done their research. They

:24:31.:24:34.

know people in work have had tough time and the public questions

:24:35.:24:39.

whether the benefits system is too generous. But I would make a

:24:40.:24:44.

different point, which is that we have all this pressure and talk of

:24:45.:24:51.

the benefits bill. We're not talking about one of the largest elements,

:24:52.:24:55.

the cost of the old age pensions. That is because old people are more

:24:56.:24:59.

likely to vote and so there sacrosanct. When you do that you

:25:00.:25:04.

make the pressure on the rest of the benefits bill very tough. That point

:25:05.:25:10.

would be right if we had not in the last three years taken some tough

:25:11.:25:15.

decisions. Not on pensions. Increasing the number of years that

:25:16.:25:20.

you have to work. That is a big change in culture. Of course the

:25:21.:25:24.

universal benefits will stay, rightly or wrongly. We have said I

:25:25.:25:35.

think it was above inflation, the triple lock. It is being protected.

:25:36.:25:41.

I have nothing against that policy but we must look at benefits in the

:25:42.:25:45.

round. I fear we are putting too much pressure on one area of

:25:46.:25:50.

benefit. We can take a look at the rest of the benefits bill if

:25:51.:25:55.

pensions are put aside. George was born says he wants to cut the bill

:25:56.:26:02.

further by ?12 million beyond 2015. Where would you find those cuts?

:26:03.:26:08.

What he signalled is what he needs to do. He has talked about the under

:26:09.:26:13.

25 is which Labour will not support. I hope they will changed their mind.

:26:14.:26:20.

That is part of it. Looking at housing benefit for people earning

:26:21.:26:28.

?65,000. Where is the rest going to come from? I will not sit here and

:26:29.:26:32.

speculate, I'm not the Chancellor. What I would say is that we have

:26:33.:26:38.

indicated you need to find more savings in the welfare budget. I

:26:39.:26:42.

hope Labour will support us if they are serious about this. I suspect

:26:43.:26:48.

they are not. It is the same old Labour with more taxation. In terms

:26:49.:26:55.

of other things that Labour has been shouting about, like the minimum

:26:56.:27:01.

wage, George Osborne has still underfunded. It is a welcome change

:27:02.:27:06.

of heart. I hope that he sees it through. The key to bringing down

:27:07.:27:11.

the Social Security Bill is to get people back in work. ?15 billion

:27:12.:27:20.

more has been spent on social security because so many people are

:27:21.:27:23.

out of work. So many people who want to work full-time can only find

:27:24.:27:27.

part-time work. That is what we have two address. But the unemployment

:27:28.:27:33.

picture is not as bad as you predict. It is now looking up. We

:27:34.:27:37.

were told after the election that there would be steady growth but it

:27:38.:27:43.

took three years of no growth. Finally there is some growth and the

:27:44.:27:47.

opportunity must be taken to get people back into work. Where would

:27:48.:27:52.

you set the national minimum wage? We would take advice from the low

:27:53.:27:58.

pay commission. Would you like it to be beyond ?7 an hour. I'm happy to

:27:59.:28:05.

wait for advice on that. But we would encourage employers to pay the

:28:06.:28:10.

living wage and there are ways to encourage them to go further. How

:28:11.:28:19.

would businesses feel about that? It would make life more affordable for

:28:20.:28:26.

people working in London. It might cause problems for some businesses

:28:27.:28:33.

employing some of the lower paid workers. But personally, it is not a

:28:34.:28:39.

political point, it is good to hear both parties backing a living wage.

:28:40.:28:46.

I am pleased to hear everyone backing this principle. The

:28:47.:28:51.

important thing is incremental increases to the minimum wage do not

:28:52.:28:56.

hurt businesses, small or large. All the research I have seen indicates

:28:57.:29:00.

that there is not that damage if it is incremental.

:29:01.:29:05.

How we pay for the arts in this country has always been contentious.

:29:06.:29:08.

And never more so than in these austere times, where every penny of

:29:09.:29:11.

public money counts. The government would like to see arts organisations

:29:12.:29:14.

moving closer to the American model, where philanthropy rather than the

:29:15.:29:17.

state funds the lion's share. In 2012, more than $14 billion were

:29:18.:29:21.

donated in the US. In Britain, it was just under ?700 million. But are

:29:22.:29:27.

the two systems comparable? And could what happens in the States

:29:28.:29:41.

work here? David Thompson reports. The take written, one of the great

:29:42.:29:45.

national galleries and free to all comers. Most people agree that the

:29:46.:29:51.

arts are good thing. We are proud of our galleries. We love it when a

:29:52.:29:57.

Brit wins an Oscar. It only gets tricky when it comes to funding it.

:29:58.:30:03.

This government has been urging arts organisations to do more to raise

:30:04.:30:06.

their own revenue. But how much the public prepared to stump up? People

:30:07.:30:13.

to not give that much to the art. Their favourite causes are medical

:30:14.:30:17.

research, international development. The arts has never been a popular

:30:18.:30:25.

fund-raising calls except for major donors who always gave a lot of

:30:26.:30:33.

money to the arts. He here is one of those donors. His home is testament

:30:34.:30:45.

to his wealth. There is nowhere near the same magnitude of fundraising

:30:46.:30:52.

that you find in the United States. In this country, it is moving in

:30:53.:30:55.

that direction, but it is not there yet. Therefore, the government has

:30:56.:31:01.

to give organisations in this country and a four effort of trying

:31:02.:31:09.

to move the needle -- they have to give an A4 effort. But we have a

:31:10.:31:13.

longer to go before we can compare apples with apples between New York

:31:14.:31:17.

and London. But even if ministers can make London more like New York,

:31:18.:31:22.

what about the rest of the country? The government has put a lot of

:31:23.:31:26.

building blocks in place to encourage donors to make

:31:27.:31:29.

contributions to our arts facilities. I suspect it may do more

:31:30.:31:35.

in time. What it hasn't done is thought through how to encourage

:31:36.:31:38.

more giving to the small, regional arts organisation. For donors like

:31:39.:31:46.

John, sustaining Britain's cultural heritage is too important to be left

:31:47.:31:51.

to short-term financial necessity or longer term ideology. This is a

:31:52.:31:57.

serious part of this country's culture. If you are going to change

:31:58.:32:01.

the funding base, you should develop a long-term plan and do it. The

:32:02.:32:07.

reality a 20 or 30 year plan with these institutions to try to say,

:32:08.:32:13.

let's look at this over two decades. In that time, we would like these

:32:14.:32:18.

institutions to be financially independent. Private patronage of

:32:19.:32:22.

the arts is hardly new. The challenge now is to harness the

:32:23.:32:26.

values of the Medicis 28 when she first century renaissance in how we

:32:27.:32:33.

pay for our current -- 21st century renaissance in how we pay for our

:32:34.:32:34.

culture. Why is philanthropy so much bigger

:32:35.:32:39.

in America than here? Actually, Britain is quite a charitable

:32:40.:32:43.

nation. Although not as much money gets given to charity in Britain as

:32:44.:32:48.

America, if you look at the international league table, we are

:32:49.:32:52.

high up there. But to the arts? You have put your finger on it. Less

:32:53.:32:58.

money goes to the arts than probably should do. Probably 1% of charitable

:32:59.:33:05.

giving goes to the arts. We did some research that told us that only 9%

:33:06.:33:10.

of the population knew that arts and cultural organisations were

:33:11.:33:13.

charities. That is a marketing issue for the arts sector. But there are

:33:14.:33:21.

things we can do. The interview who said -- the interviewer who said it

:33:22.:33:24.

was a problem outside London is right. 80% of the philanthropic

:33:25.:33:28.

money raised for organisations goes to London. The Arts Council can only

:33:29.:33:35.

do its bit, but we are doing some things. We are doing a scheme where

:33:36.:33:41.

we have given money to be matched by private donors, which will help

:33:42.:33:46.

raise more than 100 million. We are putting money into training a new

:33:47.:33:50.

generation of fundraisers and improving the fundraising

:33:51.:33:54.

departments. But we need to do more. But why is it more successful in

:33:55.:33:57.

terms of giving to the arts in America than here? Well, as I say,

:33:58.:34:01.

arts and culture here has not presented itself as a charitable

:34:02.:34:08.

object. And it does over there. Also, there are tax breaks. For

:34:09.:34:15.

instance, did you know that if you leave more than 10% of your estate

:34:16.:34:20.

to a charity, you get a 4% reduction in your inheritance tax? No. I do

:34:21.:34:29.

now. Very few people know about it. I have discovered that the Treasury

:34:30.:34:34.

gives us tax breaks, but they never publicise them. Of course. But as

:34:35.:34:43.

you said, we know Britain is a charitable nation. We know that

:34:44.:34:49.

interims of disaster appeals. But we give more to donkey sanctuaries than

:34:50.:34:52.

we do to the opera. Does that upset you? I think people should give

:34:53.:34:58.

their money to whatever cause they want to. If we are going to compare

:34:59.:35:02.

donkey sanctuaries to opera, that is difficult all stop quite a poser for

:35:03.:35:08.

this time of day. But we do need to raise more money for the arts, and

:35:09.:35:13.

we can get a bigger slice of the charitable cake for the arts if the

:35:14.:35:17.

arts present it in the right way. It is difficult outside London, but we

:35:18.:35:22.

are going to have a go. Is it taboo to celebrate people's generosity

:35:23.:35:27.

here? That is another thing. We should do that. We are good at

:35:28.:35:33.

getting arts organisations to put arts Council funded or Heritage

:35:34.:35:37.

Lottery Fund did. Maybe we should write, do John Studzinski funded.

:35:38.:35:44.

So we have discussed who should pay for funding the arts, but what about

:35:45.:35:48.

how that money gets distributed? We have been joined from Birmingham by

:35:49.:35:52.

Dorothy Wilson, chief executive of the Mac Arts Centre. How do you feel

:35:53.:35:58.

about the imbalance? Is it something that has been there since time

:35:59.:36:02.

immemorial? Has it improved over the last few years? It is a big picture,

:36:03.:36:11.

of course. The arts Council has been channelling the department of

:36:12.:36:14.

culture support and local authority support, together with donations

:36:15.:36:19.

from individuals, corporate organisations and foundations. That

:36:20.:36:24.

makes up the whole picture in terms of investment out of London. Each of

:36:25.:36:30.

those are challenged. I agree with Peter that there are signs of some

:36:31.:36:36.

improvement in terms of philanthropic giving that is coming

:36:37.:36:44.

outside London. But it is slow. The point was made by one of your

:36:45.:36:47.

earlier speakers that this has to be a 20 year plan. I agree with that.

:36:48.:36:53.

But how big is the discrepancy between, say, London and York, or

:36:54.:36:58.

Birmingham, in terms of the money they get for their theatres and art

:36:59.:37:04.

galleries? It varies enormously. A recent report illustrated that the

:37:05.:37:13.

amount of government money going into the arts is very much dominated

:37:14.:37:21.

by London. It is therefore easy to say that that should be rebalanced.

:37:22.:37:25.

Everyone would agree that there should be some rebalancing, but

:37:26.:37:29.

London is our capital, and it is also an international centre for the

:37:30.:37:34.

arts. So we would expect that to be carrying the lion 's share. Let's

:37:35.:37:40.

look at the figures. You are aware of the imbalances, Peter, but but

:37:41.:37:47.

you are also presiding over it. Arts Council 2013's spend was ?163

:37:48.:37:52.

million. ?20 per head went to serve the capital, versus ?3 60 outside

:37:53.:37:58.

London. That is a big discrepancy. Dorothy makes a good point. She and

:37:59.:38:03.

I have discussed this in the past during my visits to Birmingham.

:38:04.:38:06.

There is a historical imbalance between London and outside London.

:38:07.:38:09.

The main reason for that is not to do with the arts Council, it is to

:38:10.:38:13.

do with the fact that the government directly funds the National

:38:14.:38:17.

museums, things like the Tate, the British Museum and the National

:38:18.:38:21.

Gallery. 80% of that money goes to London, because that is where most

:38:22.:38:25.

of the national institutions are. By comparison, the arts Council has

:38:26.:38:29.

always been the champion of arts outside London. It has two sources

:38:30.:38:34.

of finance. One of those is lottery money, and the other is money from

:38:35.:38:39.

the taxpayer. 60% of that money goes outside London. It used to be less

:38:40.:38:43.

than that. So the trend is towards outside London. I hope Dorothy and I

:38:44.:38:48.

would agree that we need to keep that trend going, because investment

:38:49.:38:51.

outside London, where the money is really needed, like the fact that a

:38:52.:38:57.

quarter of ?1 million has gone into Birmingham in the last few years,

:38:58.:39:03.

there is a national is usual in the West Midlands, the royal Shakespeare

:39:04.:39:05.

company in Stratford. We have to keep the trend going. Dorothy, what

:39:06.:39:11.

about complaints about community projects, things that are

:39:12.:39:15.

experimental? Those struggled to get funding. How do you boost those? I

:39:16.:39:23.

agree with a lot of what Peter was saying. But we must also remember

:39:24.:39:29.

that whilst most of the major institutions are still based in

:39:30.:39:37.

London and the South, we need to be careful not to focus production only

:39:38.:39:44.

in the capital. What is really important is that we need to be

:39:45.:39:50.

nurturing centres of production and engagement throughout the country.

:39:51.:39:55.

It is tough. I see small green shoots in my own experience, which

:39:56.:40:01.

indicate that some, particularly the London based foundations, are

:40:02.:40:05.

starting to look outside London. That has to be encouraged.

:40:06.:40:13.

Now, do you remember this? If you can't be asked to vote, why should

:40:14.:40:16.

we be asked to listen to your political point of view? You don't

:40:17.:40:19.

have to listen to my point of view but it is not that I am not voting

:40:20.:40:24.

out of apathy. I am not voting out of absolute indifference and

:40:25.:40:26.

weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit of the

:40:27.:40:30.

political class that has been going on for generations and which has now

:40:31.:40:33.

reached fever pitch where we have a disenfranchised, disillusioned,

:40:34.:40:37.

despondent underclass that are not being represented by the political

:40:38.:40:40.

system. So voting for it is tacit complicity with that system.

:40:41.:40:45.

That was the comedian Russell Brand, talking to Jeremy Paxman on

:40:46.:40:51.

Newsnight last autumn. His attack on politics and the political process

:40:52.:40:56.

got some headlines, and prompted politicians to scratch their heads

:40:57.:40:59.

and wonder why the public hate them so much. One senior backbencher has

:41:00.:41:03.

been thinking about this a lot. He joins us now. David lunk it,

:41:04.:41:09.

welcome. -- David Blunkett. Why do you think young people are so

:41:10.:41:15.

disengaged with mainstream politics? There are lots of reasons. Partly,

:41:16.:41:20.

we don't talk the language. We are not as honest as we should be about

:41:21.:41:24.

where power really lies and what influence we have and where we don't

:41:25.:41:27.

have it. But actually, there is a corrosive influence taking place,

:41:28.:41:32.

and Russell Brand is part of that, to pretend that this is something to

:41:33.:41:36.

do with what he described as the political class. Whereas, of course,

:41:37.:41:40.

politics is to do with all of us. It is not a spectator sport. It is

:41:41.:41:43.

about people getting engaged with their own lives and participating,

:41:44.:41:50.

and also voting. This evening, in a speech I am making, I will make the

:41:51.:41:54.

point that the people who need politics the most are the least

:41:55.:41:57.

likely to engage. That has always been the irony. Do you think

:41:58.:42:01.

celebrity culture has damaged politics? I am fully in favour of

:42:02.:42:09.

satire. I am totally against sneering. I am in favour of being

:42:10.:42:15.

sceptical. That is part of a healthy democracy, but not cynical. Too

:42:16.:42:19.

often, we just get straight abuse. They are not very funny either. But

:42:20.:42:27.

they are also helping to disengaged other people. And the people who are

:42:28.:42:31.

in the know, who actually do have a voice and can get on Question Time

:42:32.:42:37.

or get a radio programme on the BBC, they know where the power lies.

:42:38.:42:41.

They have a voice and some influence. To encourage other people

:42:42.:42:46.

to disengage and to do away with their little bit of influence in the

:42:47.:42:50.

world is a disgrace. Let's put that to Peter Bazalgette. You know

:42:51.:42:55.

something about celebrity TV. It is damaging politics and stopping the

:42:56.:42:58.

people who need it from getting it. That is pretty ten pensioners. --

:42:59.:43:06.

tendentious. A few years ago, I cooperated with the Hansard Society

:43:07.:43:10.

to do research into fans of TV shows and their attitude to politics. Why

:43:11.:43:14.

do young people not vote? It is a good question we will be talking

:43:15.:43:19.

about this evening. Young people are after authenticity and decency. One

:43:20.:43:22.

thing I hope you will address this evening, David, is the tenor of the

:43:23.:43:26.

debate between politicians, because it is depressing. If I may say so,

:43:27.:43:33.

in the media, they constantly disagree with each other and people

:43:34.:43:37.

get very tired of that. It seems very inauthentic. We need a more

:43:38.:43:41.

authentic political discourse to engage young voters. David, the

:43:42.:43:47.

anti-politics you dislike so much is proving to be popular for that

:43:48.:43:51.

reason. Well, we are caught. If we are not entertaining, we get

:43:52.:44:01.

ignored. I grant you that. With Prime Minister's Questions, this

:44:02.:44:04.

must be a matter of age. I find Prime Minister's Questions a

:44:05.:44:07.

complete turn-off. I sit there, thinking, who is this reaching?

:44:08.:44:12.

There are plenty of our viewers who like that argy-bargy. So we can't

:44:13.:44:17.

win on that. We have to address where people are at. One of the

:44:18.:44:20.

great thing is nine years ago was something called make poverty

:44:21.:44:24.

history, a major campaign across the developed world. Here in Britain, at

:44:25.:44:29.

the beginning of July 2005, we had over 2 million mainly young people

:44:30.:44:34.

involved, 1.5 million on the streets of Edinburgh, peacefully walking and

:44:35.:44:38.

influencing the G8 summit which took place at Gleneagles that week.

:44:39.:44:43.

Sadly, at the time of the London bombings as well. And they did make

:44:44.:44:48.

a difference. That campaign changed the minds of world leaders in terms

:44:49.:44:54.

of debt relief in Africa and to a degree, on climate change. But there

:44:55.:45:01.

are events where politics has been damaged by politicians themselves. I

:45:02.:45:07.

can quote you Lord Faulkner . In 2012 on the 10th anniversary of the

:45:08.:45:10.

Iraq dossier, he admitted that the war had had a hugely damaging effect

:45:11.:45:13.

on politics and political discourse. Do you accept that things like that

:45:14.:45:19.

have eroded trust and belief in politics? I do accept it has a major

:45:20.:45:29.

influence. We need a sensible dialogue. We need to disagree when

:45:30.:45:34.

we disagree instead of for the sake of it. We have to get across that

:45:35.:45:39.

sometimes in a do not receive you do not get your way. I was the first to

:45:40.:45:45.

say in 2010 that you have to lose elections as well as the women in at

:45:46.:45:57.

democracy. -- as well as when them. I do think that kind of honesty will

:45:58.:46:02.

bring people back. The tragedy from the Hansard report is that many

:46:03.:46:07.

young people say they are determined to vote in 2014. And they have been

:46:08.:46:15.

hit most by austerity. They are in danger of being disenfranchised.

:46:16.:46:21.

Earlier in the programme we said old-age pensioners have been made

:46:22.:46:26.

sacrosanct part of the benefits budget because they vote. Young

:46:27.:46:30.

people are in danger of being disenfranchised. Voter turnout is

:46:31.:46:42.

down. If young people get out and vote they can actually get power

:46:43.:46:47.

back. What about the lack of political ideology, as many people

:46:48.:46:54.

see it. Having a powerful narrative is some past leading politicians

:46:55.:46:58.

had, because that has gone away, that in itself has meant that people

:46:59.:47:04.

are less interested? Well we have 24 hour news streaming, that has made a

:47:05.:47:17.

difference. But we have to engage with people in different ways. On

:47:18.:47:24.

the bigger issue, I think... Occupy, that did engage people. It

:47:25.:47:35.

caught their attention for a moment. And actually mobilise people as

:47:36.:47:39.

consumers. They have had an impact in terms of social media when they

:47:40.:47:43.

have said we do not like what you're doing. I think Ed Miliband touched

:47:44.:47:48.

on this at the weekend, there is more work to do on that. But could

:47:49.:47:56.

we get citizens advice involved in mobilising consumers and giving them

:47:57.:48:01.

a voice? That is an area to explore. Now, have the Conservative Party got

:48:02.:48:04.

a problem retaining their female MPs? Yesterday Jessica Lee became

:48:05.:48:09.

the latest Tory MP to say she was standing down at the next election,

:48:10.:48:13.

citing personal reasons. In the last few months Laura Sandys and Lorraine

:48:14.:48:16.

Fulbrook have also said they are leaving Westminster. The party

:48:17.:48:20.

increased its number of female MPs from 17 to 49 at the last election.

:48:21.:48:26.

But could that situation get worse rather than better in 2015? We've

:48:27.:48:32.

been joined by Andrew Gimson from the Conservative Home website. Why

:48:33.:48:40.

are so many Tory women finding life at Westminster itself on appealing?

:48:41.:48:46.

A great many Tory men find life at Westminster on appealing as well! I

:48:47.:48:51.

think three things are tough for women. One is the continued feeling

:48:52.:48:56.

that the series decisions are taken pretty much entirely by men. This is

:48:57.:49:03.

true also of the Labour Party. And you may be arise with some

:49:04.:49:08.

particular knowledge of some field of policy which are burning to put

:49:09.:49:14.

into effect and no one pays you the slightest attention. Then the hours

:49:15.:49:21.

are so long. It is difficult. Most women who have got to Cabinet level

:49:22.:49:26.

under David Cameron do not have children. Also if you have elderly

:49:27.:49:34.

relatives. And also the vulgar abuse you get from a certain type of

:49:35.:49:39.

horrible boorish man on social media. Has that not always been the

:49:40.:49:51.

choice? The pressures of public office versus the pleasures of the

:49:52.:49:56.

more private one and the strain on family life. That is true. Margaret

:49:57.:50:01.

Thatcher worked phenomenally hard and did not spend all that much time

:50:02.:50:06.

with her twins. The first job she was given was a highly technical job

:50:07.:50:12.

to do with pensions. None of the men thought it was of the slightest

:50:13.:50:16.

importance. It was a horrible job and for a long time she was

:50:17.:50:23.

excluded. But she came through. If David Cameron concerned about this?

:50:24.:50:29.

I think he is. As Leader of the Opposition one of the most

:50:30.:50:31.

conspicuous things he was doing was to get more women as candidates in

:50:32.:50:38.

sexy and he succeeded pretty well. -- in safe seats. There is now a

:50:39.:50:45.

danger that the numbers could actually fall back. The House of

:50:46.:50:52.

Commons authorities and various leading backbenchers have said they

:50:53.:50:55.

have done a lot to change life of Parliament. Is it still as

:50:56.:50:59.

incompatible with family life as it used to be? It is still difficult.

:51:00.:51:05.

The idea that you can pop home and give your child a bath and read to

:51:06.:51:11.

them in the evening is for most MPs entirely impractical. You're pulled

:51:12.:51:17.

in both directions. You are expected to do fantastic amounts of work in

:51:18.:51:23.

the constituency and also a great deal at Westminster. To have time

:51:24.:51:28.

left for family whether you are a man or a woman is very difficult.

:51:29.:51:33.

The more cynical view, after Louise Mensch step down -- stepped down and

:51:34.:51:41.

Nadine Dorries suggested that she had left because she thought she

:51:42.:51:48.

would lose the seat? She left actually because she married the

:51:49.:51:51.

love of her life who lives in New York. When Lorraine Fulbrook, she

:51:52.:52:00.

gave up in September, she did not cut and run like Louise Mensch. She

:52:01.:52:09.

said she had given 12 years of her life to her constituency and that

:52:10.:52:15.

that was enough. Unless you're extraordinarily strong minded it

:52:16.:52:18.

consumes every moment of every day if you're not careful.

:52:19.:52:22.

Does it matter if your local pub shuts its doors for good? This

:52:23.:52:27.

afternoon MPs will debate the issue of pub closures and what can be done

:52:28.:52:31.

to keep them open. One option available to local communities is to

:52:32.:52:34.

make use of a new set of community rights, which came into force over a

:52:35.:52:39.

year ago. We asked the Communities minister Stephen Williams to explain

:52:40.:53:00.

how they work. Here's his soapbox. I have supported Oxford United for

:53:01.:53:07.

more than a decade. It is an important part of my life. You

:53:08.:53:12.

cannot underestimate how popular this club is. The football club is

:53:13.:53:18.

really important to Oxford and Oxfordshire. This is the stadium,

:53:19.:53:28.

home to Oxford United. Back in May last year they succeeded in getting

:53:29.:53:34.

the stadium listed as an asset of community value. Now if the owner

:53:35.:53:40.

ever wants to sell the stadium the club will have six months to put in

:53:41.:53:45.

their own bid in order to buy it, so preserving it for future use. It was

:53:46.:53:51.

the first in the country to get this status and now joins 13 other

:53:52.:53:55.

stadiums. Football clubs are often at the centre of communities,

:53:56.:54:00.

bringing people of all backgrounds together. So we felt it was

:54:01.:54:03.

important for supporters to be able to protect their club. Just down the

:54:04.:54:09.

road we are in great Milton. This is the last remaining pub in the

:54:10.:54:13.

village but sadly the brewery put it up for sale. Through the community

:54:14.:54:18.

shares policy around 300 people came together to form a great Milton

:54:19.:54:24.

community Pub Co. They took it into community ownership last year and

:54:25.:54:31.

raised almost ?280,000 in shares. After our first meeting we had

:54:32.:54:36.

promises of over ?200,000 within a week. That enabled us to buy it and

:54:37.:54:43.

to refurbish it upstairs. It had been neglect did for some years.

:54:44.:54:48.

People volunteered their skills and expertise. We had teams of

:54:49.:54:53.

gardeners. All completely voluntary. It is not just pubs and football

:54:54.:55:00.

clubs. Tame was one of the first places in the country to vote on a

:55:01.:55:04.

neighbourhood plan. Residents planned and drafted where they

:55:05.:55:08.

wanted new homes and a school to be built. They prevented new houses

:55:09.:55:13.

being built as one mass development outside town and instead spread the

:55:14.:55:22.

houses across and around the town. People are at the heart of their

:55:23.:55:25.

community. Without them there is no market, no local pub. Now the

:55:26.:55:31.

government has given people a real chance to shape their own community.

:55:32.:55:36.

They can list assets of community value and develop their own town

:55:37.:55:40.

plan. People are now in charge of shaping how their community will

:55:41.:55:46.

look. That is surely a good thing. And Stephen Williams joins me now.

:55:47.:55:53.

Looked like a lovely pub! How many of these projects have actually

:55:54.:55:59.

caught -- got off the ground? There are hundreds of project

:56:00.0:49:05

Jo Coburn is joined by chair of the Arts Council England, Sir Peter Bazalgette, to discuss the latest political news.


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