28/01/2014 Daily Politics


28/01/2014

Jo Coburn is joined by Nadine Dorries to discuss all the political news, including the latest growth figures. Plus, a look at the lengths MPs go to in order to connect with voters.


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Transcript


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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:39.:00:43.

Economic growth returns to the UK, with figures out this morning

:00:44.:00:46.

showing Britain's economy growing at the fastest rate since 2007. But

:00:47.:00:51.

Vince Cable is still gloomy, warning the recovery could be short-lived.

:00:52.:00:57.

The Royal Household is criticised by MPs for not doing enough to save

:00:58.:01:00.

taxpayers' money. The Public Accounts Committee wants Buckingham

:01:01.:01:03.

Palace to be opened to more paying visitors, to fund improvements to

:01:04.:01:07.

the royal estate. How much energy could we produce

:01:08.:01:11.

from renewable sources? The leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett,

:01:12.:01:15.

joins us live. And, what's the best way for MPs to

:01:16.:01:18.

connect with voters? We'll debate whether TV appearances or

:01:19.:01:20.

old-fashioned door-knocking are better for getting in touch with the

:01:21.:01:22.

electorate. All that in the next hour.

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And, with us for the whole programme today is the Conservative

:01:34.:01:35.

backbencher Nadine Dorries. Welcome to the Daily Politics.

:01:36.:01:40.

First, it seems that no-one in the country is safe from a ticking off

:01:41.:01:44.

from the Labour MP Margaret Hodge, not even Her Majesty. The chair of

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the Public Accounts Committee has criticised Buckingham Palace for not

:01:48.:01:50.

managing its finances properly, after overspending the Sovereign

:01:51.:02:06.

Grant by almost ?2.5 million. The balance is at an all-time low of

:02:07.:02:11.

?1 million. At the same time they are spending more than they are

:02:12.:02:15.

getting, the condition of many of the royal buildings means you have

:02:16.:02:20.

got to invest. The boilers in Buckingham Palace are 60 years old

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which means bills are very high. You look at the Victoria and Albert

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mausoleum, we have known for 18 years that structure needs

:02:33.:02:34.

investment yet they have done nothing. The bathrooms in Windsor

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Castle, the rain coming through in the art gallery in Buckingham

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Palace. All of these are serious issues which need to be addressed.

:02:46.:02:50.

We've been joined by Graham Smith from the pressure group Republic,

:02:51.:02:53.

which campaigns for an end to the monarchy. Welcome to the Daily

:02:54.:02:57.

Politics. Spending above their means, not

:02:58.:03:02.

making the necessary savings, it is the Royal Household worth it?

:03:03.:03:08.

I felt embarrassed listening to this list of repairs to Royal buildings

:03:09.:03:12.

that we have not funded as a country. What the Royal family does

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for us is beyond explanation. They bring in investment, tourism, they

:03:19.:03:23.

put this little island of England on the world map. They are something we

:03:24.:03:28.

should be proud of. I love the Royal family. I am embarrassed that a

:03:29.:03:33.

60-year-old boiler exists in Buckingham Palace which has not been

:03:34.:03:38.

repaired and they have huge heating bills.

:03:39.:03:41.

Do they not take responsibility for that themselves?

:03:42.:04:01.

If they decided to undertake that schedule of repairs, people on this

:04:02.:04:03.

programme and the media would be in Opera at the expenditure. We have to

:04:04.:04:06.

take it on the chin. Lots of people in this country think they are worth

:04:07.:04:09.

it and have no objection with the investment we need to put in.

:04:10.:04:11.

We need to separate two issues, the historic Royal buildings which

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belong to the British people, we have a responsibility to maintain

:04:14.:04:16.

them. Clearly the Royal Household isn't up to that job, it is time for

:04:17.:04:18.

the government to take them off their hands. To make them revenue

:04:19.:04:25.

neutral at the Tower of London is so the taxpayer doesn't need to stump

:04:26.:04:31.

up more cash. The other costs. The cost every year of the monarchy is

:04:32.:04:37.

well over ?200 million. You include things like the income from the

:04:38.:04:40.

duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster which belong to the nation but given

:04:41.:04:45.

to the Royal family, security costs, the cost of police forces, taxes

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unpaid. A large amount of money. Equivalent to thousands of nurses or

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doctors. Nadine says they are worth it, because of the attractiveness.

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It is beyond explanation, because it is not true. There is no evidence.

:05:06.:05:11.

If we get rid of the monarchy, is there any evidence tourism would go

:05:12.:05:15.

down? It is not a little family put on the map by the Royal family. This

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is a big, exciting country which we have put on the map ourselves. Where

:05:22.:05:27.

we promote tourism and businesses. This has nothing to do with the

:05:28.:05:31.

people who live in Buckingham Palace. Is your evidence is

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anecdotal? Look at our movie industry alone. The number of

:05:37.:05:43.

visitors to Buckingham Palace, Windsor. They go there because of

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the history associated with them. We have thousands of years of royal

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history that other countries have abandoned. They don't have it. We

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can get rid of the Royal family which is what many families have

:06:00.:06:04.

done. Do they have the amount of tourism and interest? France has a

:06:05.:06:12.

huge tourism industry. Not based around their Royal Family. This

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isn't actually about politics and power, it is an institution part of

:06:18.:06:28.

our political system. Powers are invested in the Royals. These issues

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of power and politics, it makes the tourism argument vacuous. There is

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no evidence we would lose tourism revenue if the Royals did not live

:06:44.:06:47.

in those houses. The history would still be there. The crowds would

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still be there. We're not going to get a Republic

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any time soon. Because the British people don't want it. So you say. If

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we look at the Royal Household, Nadine, you said, to posh boys who

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didn't know the price of milk. Shouldn't they cut their crop -- cut

:07:06.:07:13.

their cloth in the same way others have.

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They have been come every time there has been a report or analysis of

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their budget, they make savings. In terms of their costs, they are going

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up. The cost of keeping the Royal family secure and protected, I have

:07:27.:07:31.

no complaint with that. I am sure there are many millions of British

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people have no complaint. These figures are hugely inflated because

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there are costs for people we do not know of, like Princess Alexandra.

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The PAC has said there had been savings but not enough. The

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Sovereign Grant will always go up because it is paid to property

:08:02.:08:06.

values. If you look at Prince Charles who spent ?30,000 of public

:08:07.:08:09.

money on a four-day private holiday to Scotland, that is the waste, if

:08:10.:08:15.

an MP did that, they would be in jail. Why do we challenge them in

:08:16.:08:19.

the same way? What about opening up Buckingham Palace more, one

:08:20.:08:24.

suggestion. You mentioned the Tower of London which is open most of the

:08:25.:08:29.

year. Couldn't the palace be opened significantly more to raise

:08:30.:08:35.

much-needed funds to repair it? I have no issue with that. That is a

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discussion based around practicalities, security when the

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Royal Family are in residence. Something for those... So you say

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they could generate more money. But I am against again -- this attack

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against the Royal Family. Look at the wedding. Nine years ago, MPs

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said they wanted the palace to be open all year round, and they said

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no. But it is their home. It is ridiculous. It is the headquarters,

:09:12.:09:15.

in the same way as the Vatican is the headquarters of the Pope. Those

:09:16.:09:19.

buildings are open all year round to tourists. We could have millions

:09:20.:09:23.

paying for the upkeep through ticket sales. How much do you think Britain

:09:24.:09:28.

benefited from the Jubilee, the royal wedding? How many people do

:09:29.:09:36.

think indirectly benefited? The CBI said an extra public holiday wipes

:09:37.:09:43.

off billions of pounds from the Jewish economy. So there is no

:09:44.:09:49.

evidence. Tourism figures on an annual basis. I think... Hang on, we

:09:50.:09:52.

have to leave it there. It's time for our daily quiz. The

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question for today is: What has been spotted in the tea room in the House

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of Commons? Was it: A cockroach. A snake.

:10:03.:10:06.

A mouse. A tarantula?

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At the end of the show, Nadine will give us the correct answer.

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The growth figures are out, and are being pored over by politicians and

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economists up and down the country. Napoleon said we were a nation of

:10:22.:10:25.

shopkeepers, so how is UK Ltd doing? David Cameron and George Osborne can

:10:26.:10:30.

point to some pretty good figures. In the last quarter of 2013,

:10:31.:10:34.

Britain's economy grew by 0.7%. That compares with 0.8% from the previous

:10:35.:10:43.

quarter. And it will mean in total the economy grew by 1.9% in 2013,

:10:44.:10:46.

the best annual performance since 2007. However, there's still a lot

:10:47.:10:50.

more work to do for the managers of UK Ltd. The economy is still 1.3%

:10:51.:10:56.

smaller than in the beginning of 2008 when the economic crisis began.

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What's more, some commentators are raising concerns that the recovery

:11:00.:11:07.

is too concentrated in London. A report published yesterday by the

:11:08.:11:10.

Centre For Cities think tank found that 79% of private sector jobs were

:11:11.:11:13.

created in London, nearly ten times more than the next best area. There

:11:14.:11:17.

are also fears it's the wrong kind of growth. Whilst the service sector

:11:18.:11:23.

is doing well, manufacturing is still 8.2% lower than it was before

:11:24.:11:27.

recession hit. Then, there are fears of a housing bubble.

:11:28.:11:34.

Speaking to the BBC last night, the Business Secretary Vince Cable said

:11:35.:11:37.

that, whilst we're on the right track, he does have concerns.

:11:38.:11:43.

It hasn't yet got the shape of recovery that we want. We are

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beginning to see a real revival, and that is really positive, good news.

:11:50.:11:55.

I don't want to minimise that in any way. To be sustainable and last in

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the long term, we need strong, consistent growth of exports, we

:12:00.:12:03.

haven't got that. Businesses investing in large amounts of money

:12:04.:12:08.

in the long term. At the moment, a lot are discouraged by over the

:12:09.:12:15.

European Union and what the Labour Party is saying about stifling

:12:16.:12:18.

energy investment. We need investment confidence. And to stop a

:12:19.:12:23.

repetition of the property boom and bust of the past.

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With us now is the economist and financial journalist Liam Halligan.

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And, joining us from Merseyside is Joe Anderson, the Mayor of

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Liverpool. Nadine, it is the government, within

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government, Vince Cable, already warning despite great figures, we

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could be running into the same problems and conditions that got us

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into this mess. I don't know what it will take to make Vince Cable smile.

:12:50.:12:56.

It is good news, it is growing faster than we thought. Unemployment

:12:57.:13:02.

is down at an all-time low, down to 2.3 million. More people in work

:13:03.:13:07.

today than we have ever had in work in the UK ever. It is a good news

:13:08.:13:13.

story and a developing story. The economy has grown the fastest since

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2007 in terms of GDP. It is part of the developing good news story.

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Are you feeling it in Merseyside? It would be easy for me to dismiss

:13:27.:13:31.

those figures and talk about part-time work, zero hour contracts

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within the city. We are a city that is growing, we

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are doing a great deal to make that happen, creating conditions,

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confidence. My argument is, this is a government that came to power,

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promising it would devolve powers and more resources, and

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decentralised, create localism, and it is not. For me, I want our city

:13:57.:14:03.

to be able to have more of its own resources to spend, in a way that

:14:04.:14:07.

creates the regeneration, infrastructure, the right conditions

:14:08.:14:12.

for growth for businesses to come. I guess, it is both parties, not just

:14:13.:14:17.

the Conservatives who are in control, but labour previously have

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not accepted that cities in themselves have a right to grow and

:14:22.:14:28.

are part equally with the capital. Like a car with a pristine engine

:14:29.:14:33.

but flat tyres. Liverpool can actually play a better role -- role

:14:34.:14:41.

in helping the UK grow. The Chancellor always talks about

:14:42.:14:46.

trickle-down economics. If London is booming in the south-east, it will

:14:47.:14:50.

be a driver for the rest of the country. But there are problems,

:14:51.:14:55.

Vince Cable talks about the economy remaining 1.3% smaller than the

:14:56.:15:00.

prerecession peak in 2008. Various parts of the coming are not faring

:15:01.:15:07.

well. Relying on the service sector, not manufacturing.

:15:08.:15:13.

There's a lot in that. We've had the best performance for six years.

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Let's see it within ourselves to celebrate that. But any objective

:15:20.:15:24.

observer has to say that the eat -- the economic recovery has been

:15:25.:15:28.

rather in balanced. The manufacturing sector remains almost

:15:29.:15:31.

7% lower than it was at its pre-crisis peaked. The construction

:15:32.:15:35.

sector is over 11% below where it was in balanced. The manufacturing

:15:36.:15:37.

sector remains almost 7% lower than it was at its precrisis peak. The

:15:38.:15:39.

construction sector is over 11% below where it was and it precrisis

:15:40.:15:42.

peak. A lot of this growth we are seeing as financial services, which

:15:43.:15:44.

is generally a London centric activity. There are some pretty big

:15:45.:15:48.

blots on the landscape. The latest trade figures have a big loud. They

:15:49.:15:54.

show September to November, our trade deficit widening. It strikes

:15:55.:15:57.

me also that bank lending, and I think this is really where Vince

:15:58.:16:03.

Cable is probing, it has continued to contract. Yes, mortgage lending

:16:04.:16:07.

has been higher, driven by Funding for Lending and so on, but housing

:16:08.:16:17.

demand... Housing supply has been stagnant and even contracting. It is

:16:18.:16:23.

a rather in balanced recovery, despite these good headline numbers.

:16:24.:16:27.

It is imbalanced, there are weaknesses, it's not the economy

:16:28.:16:30.

that the Government promised. What we have is the risk of an

:16:31.:16:34.

overheating housing market concentrated again in London and the

:16:35.:16:38.

south-east, and the risk of it not being sustainable. We promised a

:16:39.:16:43.

rebalanced economy by 2018. We've only been in power for almost four

:16:44.:16:47.

years. That's because George Osborne failed on every single measure that

:16:48.:16:52.

he put in place in his emergency budget in 2010. You may say that the

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things are doing much better now. You are right about the banks and

:16:57.:17:00.

lending. One of the problems is we've seen many more small and

:17:01.:17:03.

medium businesses growing and creating more jobs. If we could get

:17:04.:17:07.

the part blow to those businesses from the banks, one of the problems

:17:08.:17:11.

is the banks are still reticent to lend to business. That's almost like

:17:12.:17:15.

a cork in the bottle that has to go, to get even more growth coming

:17:16.:17:18.

through the other end. It is a good news story, we mustn't talk down.

:17:19.:17:23.

Are better now than they have been for a long time. And they are

:17:24.:17:27.

especially better in Liverpool. Liverpool is the most fantastic city

:17:28.:17:33.

on the planet. But your city is growing, you have a massive Hummer

:17:34.:17:38.

flagship store that has taken on almost 1000 people there. What about

:17:39.:17:46.

making some things we can export? If you visited Liverpool ten years

:17:47.:17:50.

ago, I remember growing up in Liverpool, the difference to what it

:17:51.:17:56.

is today. Your city is rocking. Isn't it all about our resumption of

:17:57.:18:00.

consumer spending? That's all that's happening, and they are adding to

:18:01.:18:04.

their own private debt. Wii absolutely, that's the point. When

:18:05.:18:09.

Nadine talks about promising it in 2018, everyone can see it's a

:18:10.:18:14.

trajectory. Wii it will continue to fail. If you look at Liverpool and

:18:15.:18:19.

the regeneration that has taken place in Liverpool, it's as a result

:18:20.:18:23.

of my investment, as a result of the city's investment. . We have a

:18:24.:18:31.

fantastic dock. We have an arena and Convention Centre. We are borrowing

:18:32.:18:35.

?40 million and investing it in a new exhibition Centre. It is

:18:36.:18:41.

bringing in a 4-star hotel. They are creating 300 jobs. We are doing that

:18:42.:18:45.

in other parts of the city. What my argument is that if government

:18:46.:18:48.

allows cities to do more themselves, I know better than Whitehall

:18:49.:18:55.

ministers what is best for my city and where the growth is. The

:18:56.:18:58.

government thinks that councils like yours need to be cut back, they need

:18:59.:19:01.

to spend less, they need to be able to do these things with less money

:19:02.:19:06.

because there is too much waste. . We are both on the same page in

:19:07.:19:11.

terms of councils and cities becoming more sustainable. I accept

:19:12.:19:17.

that. What my point is if they want that, and I want that, then they've

:19:18.:19:22.

got to allow us to achieve that. The way to do that is by allowing us to

:19:23.:19:26.

spend the money and taxes. The government take probably a 78% of

:19:27.:19:32.

the funding, the taxes, all of the taxes we generate in Liverpool away

:19:33.:19:35.

from us and then deposit back. We want to be able to control a lot

:19:36.:19:39.

more of that, so we can create the economic conditions for growth and

:19:40.:19:42.

getting new businesses into our city. We are doing that, but we can

:19:43.:19:48.

do much, much more. Is it true to say that this recovery, if it

:19:49.:19:52.

continues, is only benefiting one area of the country, and that cities

:19:53.:19:56.

like Liverpool, although they are doing better, are not going to be

:19:57.:20:04.

able to reach their full potential on the basis of the policies that

:20:05.:20:07.

are in place at the moment? I think that is fair. I was up in the

:20:08.:20:10.

north-east at the end of last year and I met some of the most

:20:11.:20:12.

impressive entrepreneurs I've ever met anywhere in the world. And yet

:20:13.:20:16.

it's very difficult for them to raise capital because banks don't

:20:17.:20:20.

want to lend, and a lot of long-term capital in this country is rather

:20:21.:20:24.

unimaginative. Here are some numbers that aren't in the ONS press

:20:25.:20:28.

release, these are from the World Bank database. Gross investment in

:20:29.:20:31.

advanced countries around the world between 2009 to 2000 ten. Spain and

:20:32.:20:41.

France up. Autonomy is we deride, Germany 18%. The UK, 13%. Our

:20:42.:20:47.

investment in this country is at the lowest as it's been as a share of

:20:48.:20:54.

GDP since 1952. Wide? Because the banking sector continues to be

:20:55.:20:58.

broken. RBS have made a provision of biblical proportions last night. I'm

:20:59.:21:02.

sorry, Nadine, it's great to have you on the show, Rocard fuelling the

:21:03.:21:09.

economy, good for you, but I don't think our political leaders are

:21:10.:21:11.

getting in there and getting stuck in and really fixing our banking

:21:12.:21:15.

sector. Its casting an enormous Powell across the British economy

:21:16.:21:19.

and the eurozone economy. Our biggest export destination is the

:21:20.:21:23.

eurozone. It is tremendously difficult to get investment going in

:21:24.:21:26.

the eurozone because they've got these huge banking stress tests

:21:27.:21:29.

coming down the track this coming autumn. Until that happens, and the

:21:30.:21:35.

danger of systemic spasms is over, people won't invest. In the

:21:36.:21:39.

meantime, Labour is gaining credit for cost of living crisis that they

:21:40.:21:43.

are putting to the Government. I don't think they are gaining credit

:21:44.:21:50.

for it. They certainly have taken that agenda forward because the

:21:51.:21:52.

Government has been accused of following it. Any political argument

:21:53.:21:58.

which lands on the kitchen table of any home in Britain has resonance.

:21:59.:22:07.

George Osborne has frozen fuel tax, so by 2015, people will be ?11

:22:08.:22:13.

better off every time they develop their tanks with fuel. That

:22:14.:22:18.

resonance. That is a policy where you can see the cash in your hand

:22:19.:22:22.

that you are saving, from policies that are happening now from a

:22:23.:22:25.

government that promises for the future. But be no real wages have

:22:26.:22:29.

fallen and are continuing to fall, despite these patents that the

:22:30.:22:33.

Government are putting forward, which are all out of borrowed money.

:22:34.:22:37.

They are predicting it will come up in terms of wages versus prices. As

:22:38.:22:42.

long as we can keep the lid on inflation. Inflation is at 2%. You

:22:43.:22:48.

are quite right over the banks. I get it in the neck for highlighting

:22:49.:22:52.

it constantly but I'm not going to stop. We will be talking to Chris

:22:53.:22:58.

Leslie a little later in the programme. Now for today's big

:22:59.:23:05.

political news. Yes, it's the Lib Dem deputy leadership election, with

:23:06.:23:08.

Lib Dem MPs voting for someone to replace Simon Hughes as the party's

:23:09.:23:12.

number two. Vicky Young is outside Parliament and can tell us more. Is

:23:13.:23:19.

everyone on the edge of their seats at Westminster? They are talking of

:23:20.:23:23.

little else. This election going on today, very small but select band of

:23:24.:23:28.

electorate, just the 56 Lib Dem MPs get to vote on all of this. It is

:23:29.:23:34.

single transferable vote, you wouldn't expect any less from the

:23:35.:23:38.

Liberal Democrats. There are some art can bruise, and MP for more than

:23:39.:23:41.

30 years, although he is standing down at the next election. He is

:23:42.:23:46.

also the chair of the International development committee. Gordon

:23:47.:23:49.

Birtwistle, he is the MP for Burnley. But the bookies'

:23:50.:23:57.

favourite, Lori Birt. She is the front runner. The eagle eyed amongst

:23:58.:24:03.

you will notice she is a woman. She has said that the Lib Dems very much

:24:04.:24:08.

need a woman in a top team. Some will say she's perfectly qualified.

:24:09.:24:12.

Her first job was as assistant governor at Holloway prison. She's

:24:13.:24:16.

also got a degree in economics. She's got an award-winning training

:24:17.:24:20.

company and is used to fighting hard against the Tories. The majority in

:24:21.:24:26.

her seat of Solihull is just 175 votes. So she is a tough fighter.

:24:27.:24:32.

The serious point is as deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats,

:24:33.:24:35.

they would have quite a high profile, being in the media a lot

:24:36.:24:39.

more. The Lib Dems very much under the cosh about not having much

:24:40.:24:43.

diversity in their party, certainly not many female MPs, only seven, and

:24:44.:24:47.

none of them really in high profile positions. The result is due at 6pm.

:24:48.:24:54.

They might put a press release out. So you can't even go to the grand

:24:55.:24:58.

unveiling. What is the mood like amongst Lib Dem MPs at the moment,

:24:59.:25:01.

bearing in mind it has been difficult for the party in recent

:25:02.:25:07.

times? They have been criticised for the way they have reacted to those

:25:08.:25:10.

accusations against Chris Rennard and Mike Hancock, both of whom

:25:11.:25:14.

denied the allegations against them. I think it is a bit of a

:25:15.:25:18.

symptom of the party, the way it works. They have this democratic

:25:19.:25:23.

process. Very much that people on councils make their own decisions,

:25:24.:25:27.

and that has made it difficult for Nick Clegg to be seen to get a grip

:25:28.:25:31.

of this. They are facing a very difficult time come the next

:25:32.:25:33.

election. But they very much be all they do have to get more women in

:25:34.:25:38.

winnable seats, if there are many of those left for the Lib Dems.

:25:39.:25:41.

Certainly they feel it would help to have a high profile woman on that

:25:42.:25:44.

leadership team, which they just don't have. It looks very white and

:25:45.:25:50.

very male at the moment. How much of our electricity could come from

:25:51.:25:53.

renewable sources? Today a new offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea

:25:54.:25:56.

will start generating electricity for the first time. When it reaches

:25:57.:26:00.

full-strength, the wind farm, eight miles off the Cumbrian coast, will

:26:01.:26:03.

have more than 100 turbines and generate enough electricity for

:26:04.:26:04.

almost 300,000 homes. Britain currently leads the field in

:26:05.:26:13.

offshore wind. Across the UK there are 3,400 turbines in total at 342

:26:14.:26:20.

different sites. Around 700 of the turbines are offshore, like those

:26:21.:26:25.

which have started today. But wind power is not the only source of

:26:26.:26:29.

renewable energy on the up in the UK, there's solar and tidal energy

:26:30.:26:34.

as well. In fact, renewable energy accounted for 11.3% of UK

:26:35.:26:40.

electricity generation in 2012. And it looks set to get bigger. At the

:26:41.:26:44.

end of last year the Scottish government granted permission for

:26:45.:26:47.

work to begin on the largest tidal energy project in Europe. But the

:26:48.:26:51.

renewable energy companies now want to see the Government commit to

:26:52.:26:54.

long-term offshore targets beyond 2030. This, they claim, will provide

:26:55.:27:01.

real cost savings and allow for more investment in new technologies.

:27:02.:27:07.

We're joined now by the Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett. We seem to

:27:08.:27:15.

be making progress with green energy. Some would say that because

:27:16.:27:19.

we've invested a lot of money in it. What price is it for consumers? We

:27:20.:27:24.

are paying subsidies, companies are paying subsidies and people are

:27:25.:27:28.

having their bills increased as a result. We have to remember that

:27:29.:27:32.

this is a tiny percentage of the increase. The hugely -- leap we've

:27:33.:27:37.

seen over the past decade, that is due to the rising price of gas. That

:27:38.:27:40.

is a reflection of the fact we have to move away from fossil fuels. That

:27:41.:27:53.

is the high cost, risky energy option. The thing about renewables

:27:54.:27:56.

is certainly at the moment, per unit it is higher cost. But what we need

:27:57.:27:59.

is a reliable energy source that we know the cost of. The question is

:28:00.:28:01.

reliability. We are paying an average ?112 a year just for green

:28:02.:28:05.

subsidies. Even if the main bit of the cost comes from rising energy

:28:06.:28:09.

prices, you can understand the bitter taste people are left with

:28:10.:28:13.

when that section of ?112 on average a year is just for green subsidies.

:28:14.:28:19.

Green subsidies, about a third of that is for social subsidies, people

:28:20.:28:22.

who are unable to afford their bills, so that help them. About a

:28:23.:28:38.

further third of that is going into insulating our homes. That is the

:28:39.:28:40.

real area of total Government policy failure, in that we are not moving

:28:41.:28:43.

fast enough. By far the cheapest, as well as the greenest energy, is that

:28:44.:28:46.

which you don't use. The green deal has been a disaster. What we need to

:28:47.:28:49.

do to save people 's money and the long runners make sure they've got

:28:50.:28:51.

energy efficient, affordable to heat homes. And that means well

:28:52.:28:53.

insulated, well-prepared homes. We need a decent standard of homes we

:28:54.:28:56.

haven't got at the moment. People have accused the Government of mixed

:28:57.:29:01.

messages on this. Renewables are now providing 11% of our energy, is that

:29:02.:29:06.

good news? The reason why the Government has pulled back on

:29:07.:29:10.

insulating is because most homes are now insulated. The only ones that

:29:11.:29:14.

aren't other difficult to reach and treat homes. Currently about a third

:29:15.:29:20.

of our homes are in GE, H or F energy bands, which means they are

:29:21.:29:24.

basically impossible to heat. A third of our homes are extremely

:29:25.:29:29.

pour. I just know I had a meeting with the minister responsible for

:29:30.:29:34.

this recently with an installation company in my constituency. My

:29:35.:29:37.

insulation company agreed that most homes now insulated, apart from the

:29:38.:29:47.

difficult to treat and reach. I think, on renewable energy, is the

:29:48.:29:51.

reason we are here is because we have a European target that we have

:29:52.:29:57.

to reach by 2020, of having 20% of our energy derived from renewables.

:29:58.:30:00.

I think in 50 years time, generations in the future will look

:30:01.:30:03.

back at pictures of those wind turbines and laugh. They will wonder

:30:04.:30:06.

what on earth we were doing. We should be investing in nuclear power

:30:07.:30:12.

and fusion power. Unfortunately, all our energy and investment is

:30:13.:30:16.

diverted away from that former power because we have to reach this

:30:17.:30:19.

arbitrary target set by the European Union. Do the government never

:30:20.:30:23.

really believed in those targets, did they never really have a green

:30:24.:30:29.

agenda? All of that boat blew, get green, is all a myth? We have to

:30:30.:30:35.

meet the directive which has been set. I very much think we should be

:30:36.:30:39.

channelling our thoughts, energy and investment towards a far cheaper,

:30:40.:30:44.

far cleaner type of energy, which is far more efficient. Every time you

:30:45.:30:48.

talk about fusion power someone tells you it's only four years away.

:30:49.:30:53.

It's about 20 years away, as it has been for the past three or four

:30:54.:30:58.

decades. The problem with renewables is the reliability.

:30:59.:31:05.

The European point is important. We have the climate change bill which

:31:06.:31:11.

demands we reduce our carbon emissions. The three large parties

:31:12.:31:17.

agreed to that, recognising its importance to tackle climate change.

:31:18.:31:24.

That is set in law by the European Union. This is the law agreed by the

:31:25.:31:29.

British Parliament. Running in parallel with the directive, we

:31:30.:31:36.

can't do anything else. If the EU says this, we have to pass a bill.

:31:37.:31:42.

The physics also says we have to do that. The Green Party does state

:31:43.:31:53.

that, but... There are other options now. Looking at shale gas, the

:31:54.:31:58.

nuclear option. You could plug the gap, without investing more, without

:31:59.:32:03.

asking consumers to pay more on their bills for further investment

:32:04.:32:09.

in offshore, onshore wind and other renewables. In terms of wind, the

:32:10.:32:15.

government has agreed a good strike price. Nuclear, there are issues

:32:16.:32:19.

around safety, no plan for dealing with waste. The people of Cumbria

:32:20.:32:25.

had strong words on that. Germany has turned its back. Indeed, as has

:32:26.:32:33.

Japan. I have just been reading about Chernobyl. I am happy to park

:32:34.:32:44.

all of those arguments and simply come to one point. The last two

:32:45.:32:49.

plants have taken on average 14 years to build and 16 years to bring

:32:50.:32:55.

online. Nuclear is way too slow to fill our energy gap now. It doesn't

:32:56.:33:01.

provide any answers. The government prevaricated over its commitment to

:33:02.:33:05.

nuclear, whether there should be a subsidy. Every government has

:33:06.:33:11.

prevaricated. But they won't be online, on time. By the time the

:33:12.:33:18.

nuclear power stations are finished building, we will need renewables,

:33:19.:33:25.

there will be a gap. The only advantage from wind turbines is a

:33:26.:33:29.

small amount of wind energy. Tidal wave power is doing better, I

:33:30.:33:35.

believe, providing energy. What is the percentage from offshore wind?

:33:36.:33:47.

About 5%. Barrow will provide an extra amount. We have rich offshore

:33:48.:33:54.

resources. Look at Germany, China, the US. Racing ahead. They don't

:33:55.:34:02.

have the wonderful wind resources and tidal resources. We are a tiny

:34:03.:34:08.

island. We do not want our skyline blighted by these turbines? 64% of

:34:09.:34:16.

UK adults according to one research, said they wanted

:34:17.:34:20.

renewables installed between now and 2020, clean alternatives. If you

:34:21.:34:28.

have specified, wind turbine? It depends how the question was asked.

:34:29.:34:34.

I have not heard from anybody who lives within sight of a wind turbine

:34:35.:34:39.

who is happy. Our population is growing. We have enough challenges,

:34:40.:34:49.

we have very little... We do not want this blighted -- blighting our

:34:50.:34:59.

views. There is an answer in terms of why we need to change the way we

:35:00.:35:06.

build our renewable resources. The government has introduced a small

:35:07.:35:09.

but good community energy policy this week. We need to recognise that

:35:10.:35:16.

on the continent, communities compete to get wind farms, because

:35:17.:35:21.

they are community owned and they see the benefit. Where people feel a

:35:22.:35:33.

multinational company is imposed on them, they feel different. We will

:35:34.:35:36.

have to leave it there. What would you do if you lived under

:35:37.:35:46.

a repressive and unjust regime? In his new book, the former Labour

:35:47.:35:49.

Cabinet Minister Peter Hain tells the story of his parents who were

:35:50.:35:53.

forced to leave South Africa in the 1960s for their stand against

:35:54.:35:56.

apartheid. In a moment, we'll be talking to Peter.

:35:57.:36:43.

I'm joined now by Labour MP Peter Hain. Welcome.

:36:44.:36:53.

How did your parents become involved in activism in South Africa? They

:36:54.:36:58.

didn't start off political at all, there was nothing in the

:36:59.:37:03.

background. Not members of parties or involved in local politics.

:37:04.:37:07.

Nothing to suggest they would end up notorious and expelled from their

:37:08.:37:11.

country. It was a sense of fairness, due to their upbringing, they

:37:12.:37:19.

treated their fellow black countrymen and women more generously

:37:20.:37:24.

and equally. What did they do? They began by simply joining the Liberal

:37:25.:37:30.

party of South Africa, one of the anti-apartheid organisations. They

:37:31.:37:34.

then leafleted, wrote letters to the newspapers, joined in meetings and

:37:35.:37:39.

organised. We used to have black friends come through the front door

:37:40.:37:44.

of our house. Which was unusual, I presume. Almost unknown, last -- and

:37:45.:37:52.

then it led to their house being raided, they were arrested and

:37:53.:38:00.

jailed being charged. Then, they were banned. My mother was issued

:38:01.:38:04.

with a banning order which meant she couldn't take part in political

:38:05.:38:09.

activity or even a social gathering. When we had diplomats at parties in

:38:10.:38:13.

our house, I used to have to take them one by one into the kitchen.

:38:14.:38:17.

She could only meet one diplomat at a time. The party was going on next

:38:18.:38:25.

door. But she could only see one person at a time. Amazing they

:38:26.:38:29.

allowed the party to take place. That wasn't illegal. Then, they

:38:30.:38:35.

banned my dad. And he couldn't communicate with another band

:38:36.:38:41.

person. When I asked, what did they do, you said they had a sense of

:38:42.:38:46.

fairness, to treat their black staff fairly. I am sure there were quite a

:38:47.:38:51.

lot of people like that. What drove them then to make more of a stand

:38:52.:38:56.

over the issue of fairness and wanting equal rights for blacks? It

:38:57.:39:01.

is a very good question and I don't entirely answered it in the book.

:39:02.:39:08.

They were one of a tiny group of white South Africans, almost alone

:39:09.:39:11.

among their relatives and friends, with the exception of my mother 's

:39:12.:39:16.

younger sister, Joan. A lot of whites would say, we don't really

:39:17.:39:21.

approve of apartheid but we are benefiting from it. We get on with

:39:22.:39:28.

our lives. They took a stand and it led to progressively more

:39:29.:39:31.

intimidation, threats against them, restrictions, and to ultimately they

:39:32.:39:35.

stopped my father working as an architect, there was no income for

:39:36.:39:41.

us and we had to leave in 1966. What was it likely you? It became part of

:39:42.:39:46.

our lives. We had security police officers raiding in the early hours

:39:47.:39:52.

of the morning. My parents subject to restrictions. Security police

:39:53.:39:54.

cars sitting outside the front gates. It became part of the of

:39:55.:40:01.

life. My brother and my two younger sisters were very supportive of my

:40:02.:40:06.

parents, very proud of them. Obviously, we were different from

:40:07.:40:11.

our friends. You had an understanding at an early stage of

:40:12.:40:16.

your life of apartheid and its wrongs is to knock yes. I was

:40:17.:40:20.

brought up to believe regardless of the colour of your skin, faith

:40:21.:40:24.

politics, you should be treated equally. It was part of our DNA.

:40:25.:40:29.

That was not the case for every one of my friends and virtually all our

:40:30.:40:36.

relatives. Nadine, are you surprised there weren't more white activists

:40:37.:40:41.

in South Africa. The books and films do chronicle the stories of people

:40:42.:40:45.

who did fight against apartheid, but there weren't that many, are you

:40:46.:40:52.

surprised? I lived in Central Africa for a while. It was such an

:40:53.:40:57.

oppressive... Your parents were incredibly brave. It was such an

:40:58.:41:01.

oppressive atmosphere from what I have heard. I remember getting my

:41:02.:41:07.

first flat in London, and the couple are shared with had fled South

:41:08.:41:13.

Africa and were of mixed race. Because it was impossible for them

:41:14.:41:19.

to have been together in that country. Probably the white

:41:20.:41:25.

community that... There was also a culture of, a long-term South

:41:26.:41:30.

African white culture, imbued with apartheid. It was the best standard

:41:31.:41:34.

of living in the world for the white community so why would they want to

:41:35.:41:40.

change it? But there is another point. You take great risks when you

:41:41.:41:44.

do this. The most interesting question about my parents is, why

:41:45.:41:50.

they risked everything? Their lives, they had to flee the country of

:41:51.:41:54.

their birth which they loved, risk the future of their family, their

:41:55.:42:00.

jobs. Very few of us would do that to something we believe in. If you

:42:01.:42:05.

look across the world, whether it is resistance to tyranny anywhere, very

:42:06.:42:10.

few people actually take a stand. Even if the majority are suffering

:42:11.:42:14.

from the very same. I am proud of my parents did so. Hence, I have

:42:15.:42:21.

written the book. An ordinary couple who did extraordinary things. And

:42:22.:42:26.

faced a lifetime of consequences. It was their values and sense of duty,

:42:27.:42:33.

not big politics or ideology. That is the point about it. That makes it

:42:34.:42:35.

a poignant story. Let's go back to our top story

:42:36.:42:44.

today. The latest growth figures out this morning show the UK economy

:42:45.:42:48.

grew in the last three months of 2013. In the last hour, the

:42:49.:42:51.

Chancellor has been taking questions in the House of Commons. He was

:42:52.:42:55.

understandably pleased with the figures.

:42:56.:42:58.

These numbers are a boost for the economic security of hard-working

:42:59.:43:02.

people. Growth is broadly based with manufacturing growing fastest of

:43:03.:43:08.

all. It is more evidence that our long-term economic plan is working.

:43:09.:43:13.

But the job is not done. And it is clear the biggest risk... He has

:43:14.:43:18.

finished already! We've been joined by the Shadow

:43:19.:43:21.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Chris Leslie.

:43:22.:43:31.

So, difficult for Labour, more good news, continual good economic news.

:43:32.:43:37.

It is good we have 0.7%. The same figure, the level of

:43:38.:43:44.

quarterly growth we had back in the second quarter of 2010 after the

:43:45.:43:48.

general election, when the economy was beginning to recover. We know

:43:49.:43:55.

the story, we had three years of stagnation. Let us hope these

:43:56.:43:59.

statistics translate into real, meaningful improvements in living

:44:00.:44:03.

standards the people. Our worry is, though, that so far the people who

:44:04.:44:08.

are benefiting tend to be those who are the wealthier. Most people

:44:09.:44:12.

watching will be waiting and saying, I am not feeling the

:44:13.:44:17.

benefit. Do you think a 50p top rate of tax will help?

:44:18.:44:22.

Yes. The wealthiest in society should pay a fairer share. To look

:44:23.:44:29.

at some of the reactions from the right-wing press, you'd think this

:44:30.:44:33.

was an astonishing change. But what we are talking about is on those

:44:34.:44:37.

pounds that people learn, if they are lucky enough to earn ?150,000

:44:38.:44:43.

the amounts of money above that, instead of 45 pH should be 50p in

:44:44.:44:48.

the pound, I don't think it's an unreasonable thing to ask, to make

:44:49.:44:52.

sure we have the ability to protect some of those services and the most

:44:53.:44:56.

vulnerable in society. But it's not just the right wing press, its

:44:57.:45:01.

business leaders. Some of your own donors said it was extreme socialist

:45:02.:45:06.

nonsense. Across the board in the city, enemy of business, labour is

:45:07.:45:11.

anti-aspiration, punishing people earning lots of money. Is it your

:45:12.:45:14.

intention to alienate the business community? No, it's not. All of the

:45:15.:45:21.

people criticising tend to be beneficiaries of a tax cut if you

:45:22.:45:26.

are on ?1 million income, for example, you get a tax cut of

:45:27.:45:30.

?40,000. It's a very nice thing of you could have a tax cut of

:45:31.:45:34.

?40,000, I just don't think it's fair at the same time you've got the

:45:35.:45:39.

bedroom tax, cuts to tax credit, the rising VAT, where red is lower and

:45:40.:45:45.

middle income people... George Osborne today wouldn't rule out

:45:46.:45:52.

cutting it even further to 40p. Would you like to see it cut to 40p?

:45:53.:45:59.

Can I just address the hypocrisy? I would like to see it cut. Can I just

:46:00.:46:08.

say, all credit to you, is that New Labour is dead. Labour, when they

:46:09.:46:13.

came in and 97, didn't introduce a 50p tax rate. They didn't do it in

:46:14.:46:18.

2001, they didn't do it in 2005. They did it 100 days before the 2010

:46:19.:46:23.

election to appeal to your core vote. It was political and

:46:24.:46:27.

ideological. For you to sit here now and talk about the 50p tax rate and

:46:28.:46:31.

pulling it back, when you only put it in 100 days before the 2010

:46:32.:46:37.

election is so rich. I know that in the partisan world it is tempting

:46:38.:46:41.

for the government to say that it was spending on schools and

:46:42.:46:44.

hospitals that caused the deficit. The banking crisis came along... It

:46:45.:46:52.

caused a deficit which needed to be repaired. It was only right to ask

:46:53.:46:57.

the very wealthiest in society, the richest 1%. You do agree they should

:46:58.:47:03.

be contributing something? You can understand why your constituents

:47:04.:47:07.

don't want you obsessing about cutting their incomes, the richest

:47:08.:47:11.

people 's tax take even more. Why shouldn't people... Why shouldn't

:47:12.:47:19.

people, in this situation, as the recovery is trying to take hold, why

:47:20.:47:23.

shouldn't people earning more than 150,000, less than 1% of the

:47:24.:47:29.

population, pay more in tax? There's no proof that works. There's no

:47:30.:47:32.

evidence that the Treasury receives any more money by doing that. That

:47:33.:47:37.

comes back to the issue that this is bad economics. The ISS, I know you

:47:38.:47:42.

dispute this, the figure that was raised, but the IDF S, very

:47:43.:47:47.

respected Institute, says it only raised something in the region of

:47:48.:47:53.

100 million a year. There's no proof of that. There is proof of 100

:47:54.:47:59.

million at least. The OBR say 3 million. -- 3 billion. The reason I

:48:00.:48:10.

think it was so low, if George Osborne telegraphed to the

:48:11.:48:13.

millionaires a year or maybe more that he was going to cut that

:48:14.:48:16.

operate, what he has said to them is, if you can avoid paying your

:48:17.:48:19.

bonuses till the day the tax cut comes in, you will do very well.

:48:20.:48:24.

What did the statistics show about bonuses? They went up 82% the month

:48:25.:48:31.

after that top rate came from 50p to 45p. There's a lot of staving off.

:48:32.:48:37.

People avoiding that tax rate. Shouldn't be temporary or permanent?

:48:38.:48:41.

We've said it should be for the lifetime of the next Parliament.

:48:42.:48:46.

This government couldn't eradicate the deficit so we will finish the

:48:47.:48:50.

job. There is a debate, in terms of the money raised, whether you would

:48:51.:48:54.

make a big enough dent in the deficit on that alone. Let me come

:48:55.:48:57.

back to the issue, why is Labour wanted to kill off business

:48:58.:49:02.

investment and job creation at a time when growth has just returned?

:49:03.:49:07.

I don't think that raising the top rate of tax the -- about ?150,000 to

:49:08.:49:14.

50p would have that effect on business investment. For restart,

:49:15.:49:18.

we're not seeing business investment exactly flourishing now. The GDP

:49:19.:49:23.

figures show consumer fuel, not export or business investment

:49:24.:49:25.

driven. If you look at the period, the three years when we did have the

:49:26.:49:30.

50p rate in place, actually, the earnings of those above that

:49:31.:49:34.

?150,000 level were up by 10 billion more than the Treasury expected.

:49:35.:49:39.

Actually, there's no proof that it was that deterrent. Its popular.

:49:40.:49:45.

Topline announcement sounds popular. I have to take issue on the fact

:49:46.:49:48.

that you've said we live in different times and it was a result

:49:49.:49:53.

of the banking crisis. You brought it in 100 days before the 2010

:49:54.:49:57.

election. The banking crisis and problems happened a long time before

:49:58.:50:00.

that. What you did was political. I think what you are doing now was

:50:01.:50:03.

political and I think you will pay for it. The attitude now that your

:50:04.:50:07.

party is embracing as one of the days of Kinnock and extreme

:50:08.:50:11.

left-wing politics. I think you will find you are losing the centre

:50:12.:50:15.

ground, you've lost the New Labour project and you will pay for that in

:50:16.:50:21.

the election. I would strongly advise you to do what George Osborne

:50:22.:50:24.

did today. We didn't want to talk about the 50p rate at all, because

:50:25.:50:29.

he knows the public want, guess, deficit reduction, but fair deficit

:50:30.:50:34.

reduction. Can I ask about an adviser to Labour, Mr Arnie Graf?

:50:35.:50:40.

Priti Patel, a Tory backbencher believes he may be working in the UK

:50:41.:50:44.

illegally. What is the status of this man? I'm not party to his

:50:45.:50:50.

immigration status. I only heard the story in passing on the news today.

:50:51.:50:55.

Will you find out? And more than happy to look at it. The party has

:50:56.:50:59.

already put out statements he has made. There's a bit of mischief

:51:00.:51:06.

going on here by Priti Patel. When Conservative MP is start picking on

:51:07.:51:12.

Labour advisers and so full, you can probably sense there's a little bit

:51:13.:51:16.

of bias in what they are suggesting. Is she wrong to write to the UK

:51:17.:51:21.

Border Agency? That's what Conservative MP 's do about Labour.

:51:22.:51:26.

Labour would do -- never do it, would they? According to this, Mr

:51:27.:51:32.

Graf advises the party on campaigning and visits the UK on a

:51:33.:51:37.

business Visa. Party say they reimburse him for lost earnings and

:51:38.:51:40.

expenses. It sounds like they pay him. Is there something that needs

:51:41.:51:46.

to be investigated? So nobody is allowed to talk to anybody from

:51:47.:51:49.

other countries? Lynton Crosby had quite a number of dealings in

:51:50.:51:55.

Australia. Are we not supposed to have those conversations? I don't

:51:56.:52:00.

think this is going to go very far. We've made them eat bugs, we've seen

:52:01.:52:04.

them pretend to be pussycats - it seems as though some MPs will stop

:52:05.:52:07.

at nothing to make the voters like them. Those, like our guest of the

:52:08.:52:11.

day, Nadine Dorries, say they go on shows like I'm A Celebrity because

:52:12.:52:15.

it helps them get their message across to an increasingly apathetic

:52:16.:52:17.

public. Not all of her colleagues agree, to put it mildly, but where

:52:18.:52:22.

they do concur is on the need for a greater connection between

:52:23.:52:24.

politicians and the people. So what works, and what leaves a nasty taste

:52:25.:52:37.

in the mouth? Here's David. If there's one thing politicians

:52:38.:52:41.

really like, it's connecting with the lovely voters. If they could,

:52:42.:52:45.

they'd shake everyone occupied the hand, preferably while kissing your

:52:46.:52:49.

babies at the same time. The problem is they can't, so they are coming up

:52:50.:52:53.

with ever more inventive ways of reaching out and showing they are

:52:54.:53:01.

just like you and me. No politician worth his or his salt is now without

:53:02.:53:05.

a Twitter account, holding forth on everything from the deficit to

:53:06.:53:09.

Strictly Come Dancing. Talking of reality TV shows, here's an early

:53:10.:53:13.

example of the genre, with Michael Portillo trying life as a single mum

:53:14.:53:17.

in the 90s. Since then, do trips to the Big Brother house or the jungle

:53:18.:53:21.

is all part of the plan to get down with voters. Do they work? Those

:53:22.:53:26.

shows are entertainment based around a concept that you humiliate and

:53:27.:53:31.

embarrass people. Politicians face more humour lesion and embarrass

:53:32.:53:34.

anyway, they don't need more of that. What works well is where

:53:35.:53:37.

politicians are talking about themselves as human beings and the

:53:38.:53:40.

issues they are dealing with as politicians. It doesn't work well

:53:41.:53:43.

when they are doing things like having to eat cockroaches live on

:53:44.:53:48.

TV. Could that be more preferable to taking your chances every week on a

:53:49.:53:53.

live phone in with voters? Do you approve of MPs using 10,000 pounds

:53:54.:53:58.

of taxpayers' money for acting lessons? You Low we've seen how it

:53:59.:54:02.

completely dominates the political news agenda for that morning or

:54:03.:54:05.

sometimes all the way through the day. It allows Nick Clegg to set out

:54:06.:54:09.

his position on issues, in a position where he is not completely

:54:10.:54:13.

in control of the agenda because anyone can ring up and ask him any

:54:14.:54:16.

question. But if there's a message she wants to get out, he can get it

:54:17.:54:22.

out. Daewoo out the old school ways of keeping in touch. I like meeting

:54:23.:54:27.

people in the street, knocking on doors. It humanises you and reminds

:54:28.:54:31.

you where you came from and who you are. Holding an advice bureau, being

:54:32.:54:35.

in the constituency is absolutely crucial to keeping your feet on the

:54:36.:54:39.

ground and illustrating to people locally that you still care and are

:54:40.:54:46.

still there. So what's next? Things like virtual town halls, if you run

:54:47.:54:51.

MP in London representing a constituency many hundreds of miles

:54:52.:54:54.

away, you could be in Parliament voting and debating, then in the

:54:55.:54:58.

evening in the virtual town hall you can engage with your constituents,

:54:59.:55:01.

even though they are at the other end of the country. That technology

:55:02.:55:06.

is the future. It looks like MPs will continue to use methods, old,

:55:07.:55:11.

new and, frankly, bizarre, to connect with you lucky voters,

:55:12.:55:17.

whether you like it or not. And we've been joined by Michael White

:55:18.:55:25.

from the Guardian. He's not wearing a tiger onesie, thank goodness! Do

:55:26.:55:31.

you have any regrets about your time on reality TV? Gosh, no. Penny

:55:32.:55:37.

Mordaunt doing splash recently, I don't think she is an MP in a

:55:38.:55:45.

marginal seat. So it is about self-promotion? Yes, and then

:55:46.:55:49.

looking what you does behind. More people know who she is, will be

:55:50.:55:53.

interested and look at what she's doing as an MP. Therefore she is

:55:54.:55:57.

being able to reach out to many voters. Somebody said on the film

:55:58.:56:00.

just now, you've got to go and knock on the doors. We do that anyway, we

:56:01.:56:04.

kissed the babies, we knock on the doors and talk to people, but we can

:56:05.:56:17.

do other things as well. Because it clearly isn't enough on its own. I

:56:18.:56:20.

agree with Nadine Dorries on most of that. It's not for the

:56:21.:56:22.

faint-hearted, reality TV and live phone-ins. Should politicians be

:56:23.:56:24.

doing it? Why not, if you're an extrovert. Michael Portillo,

:56:25.:56:29.

introverted figure. The difference between Gordon Brown and Tony

:56:30.:56:34.

Blair, won an extrovert... If you can carry it off, I didn't see

:56:35.:56:39.

Nadine on I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here... The wonders of

:56:40.:56:51.

YouTube! If you can carry it off and if the voters don't mind, if they

:56:52.:56:55.

think she's doing a good job, they will re-elect her. Did she carry it

:56:56.:57:01.

off? I don't know. The best person to judge that, it's not my kind of

:57:02.:57:05.

show. If she gets re-elected, it's all part of the process, like social

:57:06.:57:10.

media, tweeting, but it's dangerous. If you are not good at it, people

:57:11.:57:15.

won't like it. Being voted off early on... On another programme, voted

:57:16.:57:23.

off air, if you are a politician you will be voted off first. For me,

:57:24.:57:28.

that was taken in to the whole process. Was an Widdicombe voted off

:57:29.:57:35.

first? She stayed on for ages. Would you do another reality TV show? Not

:57:36.:57:44.

while I'm an MP. There are two aspects to this. There is the media

:57:45.:57:49.

and your constituents. All I can say is, if you'd read the media you

:57:50.:57:53.

would have thought my constituents... I don't know the

:57:54.:57:57.

exact figure, but somebody got a nationwide campaign up while I was

:57:58.:58:01.

in the jungle to get me removed as an MP. 65 million people could vote.

:58:02.:58:07.

There are 80,000 people in my constituency. I think they got

:58:08.:58:11.

something like 400 signatures. The people loved it. So you are not

:58:12.:58:15.

against them being on reality TV shows, it's just got to be the right

:58:16.:58:21.

person? It's very risky. It sounds as if she got away with it, but

:58:22.:58:25.

she's not doing it again. There's just time before we go to find out

:58:26.:58:29.

the answer to our quiz. The question was... What has been spotted in the

:58:30.:58:31.

tearoom in the House of Commons? I've seen a mouse on a daily basis.

:58:32.:58:46.

It's so bold, it runs over your feet. You've seen it? I photographed

:58:47.:58:58.

it, I put it on Twitter. I'll be back tomorrow. Goodbye.

:58:59.:59:00.

Jo Coburn is joined by Conservative MP Nadine Dorries to discuss all the political news, including the latest growth figures. Plus, a look at the lengths MPs go to in order to connect with voters, from social media to reality TV.


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