30/01/2014 Daily Politics


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 30/01/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



catch up with the weather. the Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily


Politics. MPs are debating the Immigration Bill, but for many


Conservative MPs it's just not tough enough. Will the Government's


concessions be enough to head off the rebels, and why are so many


Tories unhappy with their own party's policies on migration. Is it


OK to light up with the kids in the back seat? The days of smoking


behind the wheel of the family car could be numbered after a surprise


victory in the House of Lords. Will MPs back the ban? Labour is calling


on the Government to apologise over the miners' strike. Is there a case


to answer, and is it wise to relive the political battles of the past?


And, is David Cameron Scottish? Is Vince Cable a doctor? And is Theresa


May turning into a supermodel? We'll look at the things people really


want to know about their politicians.


All that in the next hour, and with us for the whole programme today is


Kier Starmer, he's a defence barrister specialising in human


rights and was Director of Public Prosecutions until last year. And if


you have any thoughts or comments on anything we're discussing then you


can send them to us or tweet your comments.


Let's start with news that the military is being sent into the


flood-hit county of Somerset. Military planners have met council


officials to see what support is needed, and the Environment


Secretary, Owen Paterson, has said amphibious vehicles could be


deployed within 24 hours to help flood victims.


Met Office statistics show that the southeast and central southern


England has already suffered its wettest January since records began


in 1910. Some villages have been cut off for almost a month. More rain is


thought to be on the way. The pictures are unbelievable, looking


up parts of the country that are cut off, you have to get votes to reach


people or for people to get to school. Is it the governments fault


that in an area which very susceptible to flooding, is it their


fault that not more has been done? Anything I say Mass be taken with a


pinch of salt. It is the wettest January for over 100 years. I cannot


help thinking some of this could have been done a little earlier. I


feel very sorry for people who have been cut off. Critics have said, had


this been in Notting Hill and that area had been made and Ireland, do


you think because there is so much focus on London, perhaps the


military would have been brought in quicker? There does appear to be


more focus on London but I do not know the background. We did know the


weather was coming. I am not sure anything more could have been done


quicker. Now it's time for our daily quiz. In an interview with Steve


Wright on Radio 2 the Prime Minister was asked which reality TV show he


would rather go on. So which of the reality shows did he pick? Was it...


A) Strictly Come Dancing, b) The Great British Bake Off, c) I'm A


Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, or d) Splash? At the end of the show, Keir


will give us the correct answer. You have plenty of time to think about


it. Now, last year, three men were caught taking tomatoes, mushrooms,


cheese and cakes from the dustbins behind a branch of the supermarket


Iceland. Sounds like they were planning on an omelette and pudding


for dinner. But they were arrested as they left with the food, and


charged under the 1824 Vagrancy Act. The Crown Prosecution Service said


there was significant public interest in prosecuting the men, but


yesterday after a public outcry on the internet decided to drop the


case. Well, our guest of the day was head of the CPS. We're also joined


by the lawyer representing one of the men known on social media as the


Iceland three, Mike Schwarz. Welcome to the programme. Was it really


worth trying to bring a case against these men? It seems to be sensible


to drop the case. The important thing to appreciate is there are


hundreds of thousands of decisions that the CPS has two make every


year. Sometimes they get it wrong. It looks to me this is one that


should not really have been brought. The good thing is, they've reviewed


it and dropped it. I think that is a good way to operate. Any


organisation will make mistakes. The real test is, do you put right a


wrong decision? You are obviously pleased about that decision. They


said they were going to prosecute under the Vagrancy Act. I suppose it


is a crime. Their defence was they were not acting dishonestly. The


suggestion was they were going to steal food. They said this was food


that had been thrown away, that was going to waste. It had been frozen


and was thawing out. They needed it to feed themselves so they were not


acting dishonestly. On the question of the process, yes, it is right for


the CPS to review the case. We asked them to review it. There were


significant public interest. It was only in the last 24 hours that the


case was dropped, simply because of the media and public outcry about


the case. Not because of their own internal processes and review, as


you were suggesting. Is it now being left to the public to be judge and


jury in deciding whether certain things are prosecuted? I do not know


the precise details. Cases ought to be under continual review. Sometimes


they are reviewed because the lawyer spots something that means the case


should not go ahead and sometimes it is because somebody has made a


representation. It is kept under review. The important thing is, is


it an organisation that, when it recognises a case should be brought,


stops that case and reviews it? It does not get everything right all


the time but it is a big thing when an organisation says, actually, this


case on balance should not have been brought and we will drop the case.


It was a nice glass for the CPS and for Iceland. There was a public vote


to get these defendants out of court. The PR machines within


Iceland, and one has to say within the CPS as well, got moving once


they saw a report in the Guardian and accelerated media and twitter


campaign against this. As a result, it appears the chief executive of


Iceland got on the phone literature literally or figuratively and said,


dropped the case because it is doing us tremendous damage. The CPS had a


statement on file. Nothing in terms of evidence changed. It rather


exposes the CPS? I do not know the precise details of what has gone on.


I will speak generally. However a case is brought up for review, it is


a good thing if it is reviewed and dropped when it should be dropped.


Usually, when that happens, you can say it should happen more quickly.


It was not as a result of the review, only as pressure from


outside. Very often it is due to pressure from outside. People can


ask for a case to be reviewed. That is not unusual and it is sensible.


We learned this week that for the first time since before the crash,


according to one poll, immigration is the number one issue for the


public ahead of the economy. And it is certainly top of the agenda at


Westminster today, as the Immigration Bill is back in the


Commons. The main thrust of the bill, which has widespread support,


will make it easier to deport foreign criminals, introduce new


checks on immigrants' legal status, and take steps to cut back on what's


known as benefits tourism. But the Government's facing a possibly


rebellion as many Tory MPs push for a ban on foreign criminals using


European human rights law to avoid deportation. Let's go over to our


political correspondent, Norman Smith. Where does the Government


stand with its bill? Mr Cameron is facing another major showdown with


backbenchers over our old friend, Europe. You might think, what on


earth does this have to do with the immigration bill? A couple of


critical amendments have been tabled. One would restrict the


rights of foreign prisoners to use European human rights legislation to


avoid being deported. Another imposes restrictions on Romanians


and Bulgarians coming to the UK. What I find extraordinary is that


this morning we had the former Tory leader going on the wireless


saying, we have to stop these rebellions. It is damaging the party


and it is damaging unity. We had one leading rebels saying, I am not


going to be joining the rebels. We need to get out of this habit. We


are too close to a general election. Despite that, we seem on


course to two very sizeable and significant revolts over Europe this


afternoon. A number of rebels are blaming the Government for trying to


use parliamentary shenanigans and tactics to try to talk out


amendments that many Tory MPs would like to have tabled. There is no


doubt government did try parliamentary gamesmanship to find


various means of ensuring these votes could be avoided. the speaker


decided to select these amendments. More than 100 MPs have signed up to


them. He took the view that it was unacceptable, not to allow that sort


of issue, with that sort of importance and that sort of backing,


to be voted upon. Big rebellions by Tory MPs but not enough to defeat


the bill, or... ? We are in a moving situation. I think you will find


strenuous efforts are under way to try to find a compromise deal, in


particular with this motion restricting the right of foreign


prisoners to use human rights legislation. It was interesting that


Mr Cameron had an interview with colleagues on local radio this


morning which was suddenly cancelled. One can only suspect he


has found more pressing business he needs to attend to. They will be


working very hard to find a compromise deal to avoid these


revolts. Thank you very much. As you have heard, MPs are debating this in


the House of commons. Here is Theresa May speaking a few moments


ago. This immigration bill is an important bill. It has widespread


support outside of this house. It is a bill which will ensure we have


greater ability, as a government, to make it harder for people to live


here in the United Kingdom illegally and make it easier for asked to


remove people who are here illegally, and will also streamline


the process we have four appeals. The Home Secretary, Theresa May. And


I'm joined now by the Conservative MP, John Baron, the former Home


Office minister and Labour MP Meg Hillier, and by UKIP's head of


policy Tim Akers. Welcome to all of you. On the amendment from Nigel


Mills to reinstate the restrictions to Romanians and Bulgarians to 2019,


I understand, it is not going to go through because many people claim it


is just illegal. The Government says it is illegal. It is unrealistic and


designed to embarrass the Government. It is designed to get a


message across. This is not a party political issue. It has been raised


for a couple of years. The Government decided to move the


debate and vote to after Christmas. That is why it is retrospectively


illegal. That is what Parliament is about. The theory of vote would not


have stopped missiles going in but it is about sending a message that


needs to be understood at the centre. I am not prepared for the


bill to fall. I am supporting the bill at third reading. It does move


us in the right direction. With all due respects, immigration under


Labour was a shambles. The front bench has apologised. It is our duty


to try to approve legislation where we can. Is the amendment actually


legal? The Government says it is not because of the laws we are signed up


to with the European Union? Pretty much everybody sees that and except


that. -- accents that. It is accepted it would not be lawful but


the purpose is to send a message. There seems to be a consensus that


this would not be lawful. Why are you tabling an amendment which is


not lawful and could not become law? You are using Parliament and the


House of Commons for your own political purposes. That is to send


a message that you should be doing outside of the jurisdiction of


legislation. The reason is, at the end of the day, Parliament is also


about debating issues. Having the opportunity to discuss an issue


which, broadly speaking, we have been denied the opportunity properly


for a number of years. We have been raising this on the floor of the


House and have been wanting a full debate about it. We wanted full


discussion about the merits and so forth. It is about sending a


message. Let's try to improve things going forward in the way we


communicate and address this fundamental issue. Had we addressed


it a couple of years ago, it might have been easier to address many of


the issues with in it. You are blaming the Government. I am blaming


them because we should have... It is not just us on the Conservative


benches, opposition is from the Labour benches as well. This is dog


whistle politics and a dog whistle bill. A speech is made one day then


let's make life tricky for immigrants and the next day a lot of


those things are put in. I was on the committee and some of these


amendments are needed because it is so badly put together. I am


supporting the amendment. As a former Home Office minister I saw


some of the challenges there. This is not something which can become


law. It is tactics. But it is about sending out a message that actually,


we are in parliament to legislate and if we want to change the law,


there are better vehicles to do that. To do that at the last minute


just goes to show... But you are in favour of toughening up this


immigration Bill? You said you are a symmetry on the Dominic Raab


amendment which says it is illegal to deport a foreigner if they face


torture or death. I do support that. As a Home Office minister I dealt


with cases where people had terrible things done to them by somebody who


was not British and we could not deport them. It was a real


challenge. If I may say, you could argue that that amendment would be


illegal as well. It might get tested in the courts. The Dominic Raab


amendment throws up other issues. Fundamental human rights are


enshrined in human rights act and to exclude a certain category of


individuals from human rights is a slippery slope. You next are you


going to exclude from which fundamental right? There are real


issues. The second matter of principle is we have a judiciary in


this country which is widely respected and this is about


shackling them and stopping them to justice in the case which is in


front of them. I think that is a very odd way to proceed. How is it


shackling them? A foreigner convicted of a serious crime,


claiming he or she has a right to a family life, do you accept that has


been abused in the past as a way of staying in the UK? That claim can be


made, and it is for the judge to take into account whether it is


right or wrong, that is why we have courts. The mere fact that you make


the claim does not mean you stay. The judge looks at the individual


case. By and large, measures which stop judges doing justice in


individual cases are wrong in principle. Should there be a


judicial review? We should be able to have our Parliament decide on our


human rights. All this talk, you would never guess there is an


election coming up and UKIP are looking good for the European


elections and suddenly the Immigration Bill comes. The talk


about blocking Romanians and Bulgarians, the government had years


to sort this and they are trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube.


People will look at that as blatant electioneering. Changing this


relationship with the European Convention of human rights is


non-negotiable under the Lisbon Treaty. It is a take it or leave it


then. Or this tinkering does not mean a thing. There are measures


which will be put in place. Plans to strip terror suspects of UK


citizenship, making sure landlords and banks check people's status.


They should settle the issue of the UK Borders. They should back the


amendment to have the referendum sooner rather than later. May I


suggest there are concrete measures and teeth in this bill to toughen up


on immigration. May I come back to the point about human rights. At the


end of the day, we have got have a better balance in this country


between the right to family life and parliament's ability to give


guidelines to what is acceptable from the public's interest. That is


what that amendment is about. 90% of successful appeals against


deportation come through this. There are elements of the bill, approach


to landlords and things which are dog whistle things. You do not


support those things? Said -- stripping terror suspects of UK


citizenship? It is not practical. Are you running scared of UKIP? The


government has put this up as a sop to MPs. I can assure you I do not


run scared of UKIP. When you are restricting the number of grounds


appeals from 17 to four, that is a significant improvement with regards


to allowing criminals, basically, to stay in this country. These are


concrete measures in this bill to toughen up immigration, to get tough


with foreign criminals and that should be welcomed by all parties.


It should not be subject to party politics. And you agree. I would be


delighted if John Baron agrees with UKIP on this and the offer is always


there to join us. If UKIP had any MPs, which it does not, and in some


ways it is outside this arena because this debate is going on


inside the House of Commons, that is the biggest problem for UKIP, you


are not part of all this. We are running the agenda. We pushed David


Cameron to make the Europe speech and we went up in the polls. You


pushed him to make the immigration speech and we went up in the polls.


Don't flatter yourself. Tories are divided over this. If you want a


united approach to the EU, it is UKIP. Can I suggest that is not


true. We are now more united as a party than we have ever been. We


have a referendum which we are all signed up to. We are trying to put


legislation through Parliament, we cannot help it if Labour and the


Liberals are voting down the referendum, but these are


conservative measures which will be taking to the next election. Why are


you doing this? 15 months from the next election and your party,


according to Michael Howard, hardly a Europhile in that sense, who is


saying stop it, don't do this. You are pulling the party apart, it


looks divided. What do you say to him? We are here as MPs, I will be


supporting the Immigration Bill but there is nothing to stop me trying


to improve it. They think you are doing it just do improve your own


narrative. It is up to other people to a tribute motives. What we have


to do is try and improve legislation as it goes through. There are things


not being discussed here at all, the impact on public health, it will


encourage racism, some of my constituents are British citizens


and have every right to rent a house but will face problems as a result


of this Bill. There is a lot really wrong with it. So Labour will not


supported? We will not be voting for it at the third reading. Are you


opposing it? It is above my pay grade. I am going to abstain myself.


You are sitting on a fence. There are some elements which are hateful


for my constituents but there are other elements which will make a


change if they do go through. Let me come back to a point made on human


rights, do you accept that claim that judges have overstepped the


mark in the way they do interpret these cases that are not in the


public interest? No, I do not accept that. You have to balance the rights


of a criminal to be deported against those they have offended against,


and people feel strongly about it and I completely understand that but


my view is that balance should be carried out independently by a


judge. What I think is a retrograde step is to exclude even


consideration of this issue for certain groups of individuals. That


is a slippery slope. Who next is to be excluded from even having their


rights taken into consideration? It is a slippery slope. Who would be


next? It does include a right of appeal, the right to call for a


judicial review, particular around the needs of children. Have


fundamental rights and to say for some people, you do not have them.


If you have been sentenced for more than a year, you will be deported.


You are not entitled to live here, you will be deported unless there


are serious grounds to believe you will be tortured or murdered. I


think that is perfectly reasonable. We have seen too many cases where


the right to family life has assumed to great and importance, compared to


the right public interest. It is about a fundamental right, it either


applies to everybody or you are picking off groups of individuals


which will ring warning bells to people. When a criminal commits a


crime, there is a paste to -- a price to pay to society overall and


one of those is to say, we should reassess the right to family life


versus the public interest with regard to protecting the public


generally. No matter what anybody says, Parliament has a duty to make


sure we get that balance right on the half of the law-abiding


majority. Thank you to my guests. After a surprise government defeat


in the House of Lords yesterday, a ban on smoking in cars with children


on board has moved a step closer. Campaigners have welcomed the


result. They say the move would protect children exposed to


second-hand smoking. The band is not directly oppose smoking in cars with


children in them, but it backs the proposal. This morning, the deputy


minister Nick Clegg, who is known to be a smoker, had this to say on Elbe


BC radio. I do not personally think it will work to pass a law. Of


course, it is a stupid thing to do to smoke in a car with kids in the


back, in the same way you should not give your child a can of Coke before


they go to bed or only feed them crisps breakfast, lunch and supper.


I am like anybody else, I have got small children, I'm dismayed that


anyone might do that, especially in an enclosed space like that. The


question is, is right to always have a law to fix something you do not


like. I know the temptation is to always say, there is a problem,


where is the law? I'm quite an old-fashioned liberal and I do not


think you should legislate unless will make a difference. An


interesting debate. Nick Clegg was speaking this morning. Giles is in


central lobby to find out what MPs think. This amendment is about the


principle, and not banning it. But nonetheless there is a lot of


support for this. It has with me Luciano Burge. Why should the state


get involved? This is a serious issue. We know every week half a


million children are subjected to toxic levels of smoke because they


are in a where an adult is smoking. We never every year 300,000 children


have to go to the doctor because of illnesses they are suffering because


of passive smoke. That is why we have been discussing it. If that is


the case, why not ban smoking? This is an isolated place. Why not in the


home? Can the state do this sort of thing. There are lots of things we


regulate in a car already, the fact you have to wear a seat belt, the


fact you cannot talk on a mobile phone and you have to have specific


child seats. We are not seeking to criminalise smokers. If an adult


wants to smoke, that is their right but we are concerned about


protecting children and that is why we think the debate is so important.


Is your objecting to this on the libertarian side that the state has


no business telling people what to do on the practical side, how do you


enforce it? It is both. It is not practical to enforce it. The police


are already stretched. They should not be prioritising stopping cars


where someone may be smoking and trying to work out whether the child


is under 18 or over 18, is the person is opposed to try and prove


that the age is someone over 18. How will we check this? A burglar is


going to be walking down the street and impeded because the police will


be rounding up people smoking in cars. You know the children will


kick off and tell the parents, we are talking about toddlers and young


kids here. Is there a balance to be struck between the rights of people


to choose to do something and the rights of the state to look after


children who cannot voice that complaint? You are saying it is


topless and small children, I do not think that is what the Labour Party


is proposing, they are saying people under 18 -- toddlers and small


children. This is a private space. Luciano cannot complain that it is


terrible to smoke in a car in front of young children but in a caravan


it is fine, a similarly imposed space. This is the march of the


nanny state, the patronising nanny state where we know best and other


MPs have come into Parliament to try and ban everything they do not like.


Do you want to ban everything? Of course not. We are talking about


concentrated levels of smoke in a car. In terms of how you might


enforce it, we want to learn from the experience of other countries


where they already have this legislation. Certain states of


America, Canada, Australia and South Africa. Never where it has worked


well and whether you go down the criminal or civil route. We would


like people to back the principal, is what you are saying, but you have


not worked out how you will do that. The last Labour government


commissioned research into this area. It is only a shame the current


government cancelled it when it came into office in 2010. We need to have


that work done. The issue is that we are keen to protect children who do


not have a voice and do not choose which vehicle they travel in. Do not


think that what will happen in the end is that people will not do it


anyway? Parents are much better in bringing up their children than the


state. I trust parents to make the right decisions. The challenge, as I


said at the start of half a million children every week are still


subjected to this. Education is really important. Legislation can


help. With car seats, when the wearing a safety belt came in, we


saw a change. MPs from all over the House supported. 22 members of


coalition MPs supported it in 2011. We will have to see what happens. If


I ever dared to smoke in my car, my children would go crazy, so that


will not happen. It is a free votes they are not so tied to party


loyalties. -- a free vote, so they are not tied. And we've been joined


by viewers in Scotland, who have been watching First Minister's


Questions from Holyrood. Recently released official papers show that


Margaret Thatcher 's garment had a secret plan to close 75 pits. --


government. Here is what David Cameron said yesterday. We have a


system called releasing paperwork from ten, 20, 30 years ago and we


should stick to that. If anyone needs to make an apology for the


role in the miners' strike, it should be Arthur Scargill. If anyone


else wants to ask about their roles, it is the role of the leader of the


low the party. They never condemned the fact they want to hold a ballot.


-- the Labour Party. I am joined by the Labour MP calling for an apology


and by the Conservative MP, Andrew Russell Nelson. It is about newly


released information from the Cabinet papers. We have asked for an


apology but it does not look like we will get one. We have called for


transparency. In the Cabinet papers, it did show that the Government at


the time is pressurising the police. We have asked for full transparency.


In relation to what happened, We are asking very specific questions. We


needed the backbenchers to give something to cheer about. I


understand in the heat of the moment why David Cameron was particularly


boorish but I think it was relevant to the questions that we were


calling for. It was not relevant to the miners strike. It is really


important to understand this. The Cabinet papers highlighted some very


specific issues around policing and whether the public were lied to. We


are saying, let's have transparency and reconciliation. You are the


government of the day, publish the materials. The idea that Mrs


Thatcher's government was anti the mining communities is wrong. You


have indicated that. There were 80% less of them at the end. We were


going through a change in nationalised industries and all


these things were happening at the time. We all know what took place


but to try and make out somehow how government was trying to undermine


the mining communities was not correct. Scargill was using those


people sadly for his own political ends and had he got away with it he


could have brought down a critically elected government and undermine did


our Chrissy and Mrs Thatcher was right to stand up to it. We will


come back to the Battle of that Jan Scargill. On the issue of the


papers, did the Conservative government lie about what they were


doing? Why did they keep it secret? Why did they keep it secret which


led to decades of deprivation and social collapse. I do not think


anyone was lying. We are talking about 30 years ago and neither of us


was a member of Parliament. Many options would have been bound to be


considered. Quite where it ended, who could have told at that


particular point. Clearly, they were looking at different options and the


papers have revealed that. There was economic change, it was part of a


plan to close are uneconomic pits. There is always the secrecy with


Cabinet papers, what is the point of trying to break over this now?


Andrew is arguing with himself. He is saying this is economic, it is


deindustrialisation. It was. They did say that at the time and the


Cabinet papers said that was not their position. It was about


politics. They felt that the mining communities were a threat to the


government. Norman Tebbit yesterday likened the mining strike to the


Falklands War. That is a stark indication of the mentality of the


government at the time. These are people who were hard-working, tax


paying, law-abiding people, they were defending their jobs and their


industry and at the end of it there was a secret plan and 80% of miners


lost their jobs under Thatcher. The industry was totally decimated.


Should Arthur Scargill apologise for what he did and the way he led the


miners strike. Should Arthur Scargill apologise as well? Arthur


Scargill speaks for himself. I am a member of Parliament. I am


scrutinising government papers and I am asking the government to be


accountable for those. Does it change your view, you have heard now


what the debate is about, has it changed your mind about the miners'


strike and the aftermath? I think the the transparency is a powerful


one. The police and confidence in the government will only be there if


we know what went on. This has to be eight powerful plea. Let's see the


full details and then we can have an informed bait about what happened.


Are you not kicking yourself in the foot here? Whatever the expression


is. Even Neil clinic has said I was undermined by the action that Arthur


Scargill was taking -- even Neil Kinnock has said that. There was


something which was more damaging to labour than it ever was the


Conservatives'. I am not speaking for Arthur Scargill. What I'm saying


is those of us who were there who saw what happened during the strike


have lived with a sense of injustice ever since, about the policing and


what happened to them. I think government has an opportunity, to


have full transparency and reconciliation and then we can move


on. But as important to those communities today in 2014. Should


David Cameron apologise? Absolutely not. We had to defeat Arthur


Scargill. We were not attacking communities. We were going through


economic change and it was inevitable. It is a great pity that


the Labour Party are saying that actually Arthur Scargill was in the


wrong. It is being reported that Labour's national executive will


scrap the parties are electoral college that elected Ed Miliband,


will that happen next week? You will have to wait until the changes are


announced. I support big changes in the Labour Party. I am not going to


go through the detail of those changes? They will be agreed through


the national executive. What you are going to see next week, I am very


confident about it, are big changes in the relationship between Labour


and the trade unions, about Ed Miliband modernising his party and


saying, we have a unique relationship with millions of


people. The Tories are bankrolled by a few millionaires at the top, we


want to strengthen our relationship with working people. I wanted you to


answer the question, not have a quick political debate. Our guest of


the day has been hired by the Labour Party to review how the criminal


justice system treats witnesses and victims of crime.


It has come after a high-profile case where a witness took her own


life after giving evidence. We will talk about what can be done to make


the court process more palatable. But what is it really like in the


witness box? Frances Andrade took her own life


last year a week after she had given evidence about a former music


teacher who had abused her. We have spoken to a woman who knows exactly


what it is like. Last summer, she gave evidence in the trial of a man


accused of sexually assaulting her. He was acquitted. We are not


revealing her right entity. She is particularly scathing about the


judge. The way he treated me was as if he was trying to prove myself. He


was not sensitive about the subject matter and had a poor understanding


of sexual violence. I was made to feel like I was a little girl and I


was wasting his time. Just as bad was the bureaucracy of the court


process which made the experience even worse. I had random phone calls


from people in the police centre have to speak to me. It was people I


have never spoken to before and they said just two days before the trial


but there was a great possibility that the date for the trial would be


moving. When you have been waiting eight months that is a really,


really big thing. The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has


listened. He has published a new version of the victims' code.


Victims can read out statements about how they have been affected in


court. In some cases, evidence can be pre-recorded. And then there are


people like Linda from the charity victim support. She prepares


witnesses of all ages for being cross-examined. They will put it to


you it did not happen at all. An adult can understand all of that.


They have been in that situation and will answer with their own sarcasm


perhaps. A child has no idea what any of that means. They will have no


tools to counteract that. Witnesses are allowed to have someone like


Linda in court. For many victims, it is the nature of the system that is


a problem. I felt I was a small part of the thing. They would not have


had a case had I not gone through the whole process. We asked the


Ministry of Justice about this. A new victims code gives victims the


option to read out their personal statement and tell the court how


crime has affected them. Barbara is here to discuss this. The code of


conduct for barristers has been replaced and we have just talked


about the new victims code. Do we need anything else? We do. I am in


favour of the work that has already been done but we cannot escape the


conclusion that most vulnerable victims do not have the confidence


to even come forward to report what has happened to them because they


fear the process. When they do come forward, most of them say they will


not do it again. I am a big fan of a criminal justice system. I do think


that in relation to victims, we cannot go on any more simply saying,


that is the way it is, bad luck. We need to take it much more


seriously. That is a shocking indictment on the criminal justice


system. Some victims have such a terrible experience at some said


they would not do it again. Anyone who present in a criminal trial must


be treated fairly and appropriately. What does appropriate


mean? Anyone who makes an allegation about a criminal offence is not a


victim until it has been proved and someone has been convicted. We are


in danger of confusing the situation where someone is being asked to give


evidence and is there as a witness and the position of someone who is


able to be vindicated in court because the jury has accepted the


story and may become the victim. There is a huge amount of support to


to a European directive. Victims have a charter of entitlements to


support them. Do you back that? This is what has been demanded and it has


been implemented. It is important to look at the system in its proper


context. We have statutes and legislation setting out what the


defence can do. We have never had a victims law in this country. That is


quite remarkable given the central importance of evicting, something


that clearly set out in law that entitlements and makes them


enforceable. What sort of Lord you want? They have a right to anonymity


in certain types of crime and European Union directive, which sets


out their entitlements. They have a Human Rights Act which allows them


to participate effectively in these proceedings. They are entitled to


special measures when they are vulnerable. I do not understand what


more it is they need that they do not have already. Victims say they


do not have the confidence to come forward. They said they would not do


it again. If you ask most people who have been through the process


whether they have been treated fairly, almost all of them would say


no. We cannot ignore that. Something has to change. If victims feel they


are the ones that have done wrong, I accept your point but until the case


has been proven one way or the other... If you are made to feel


about the guilty party yourself, it surely the onus is in the wrong


place? It is a two-way street. If you are making a very serious


accusation, that person will want to defend themselves. These accusations


can be unpleasant. They can be about child abuse or rape, which can be


devastating. Very difficult if you are a child or a vulnerable woman.


That person will want to defend themselves. These accusations can be


unpleasant. They can be about child abuse or rape, which can be


devastating. Very difficult if you are a child or a vulnerable woman.


There are honourable men as well the defence has a right to protest the


account. Part of the problem with believing the victim, people go


around saying you will be believed, but sometimes people are given an


unrealistic expectation that because they are told they will be --


believed, they will not be challenged. Sometimes, some people


come into court in cases where they are very upset and angry at the


thought of what has happened and they asked right and of the thought


of seeing this person in court. -- they are frightened. I have given


evidence myself and it is stressful. I can understand them


feeling they are not being treated there but it can be a mistake in


perception. Rights of defence are extremely important. Any case has to


be properly tested. I do not think we can go on with the arrangements


as they are. It is not just what happens in court. It is the way


people are brought in to make a complaint in the first place. It is


how they are dealt with and the support they have around them. We


need to achieve something we have never been able to achieve before


and that is getting better recognition and support for victims


without taking away the important rights of the defence. That makes it


difficult. I accept that. It requires us to step back and look at


the entire set of arrangements from start to finish. That is what we are


going through as part of the review I am carrying out for the Labour


Party. We are on that journey and I want to include as many people as


possible in the process. The victims commissioner said lasted that


victims do not always want an offender tried and convicted.


Someone the violence and behaviour against them stopped. It is


interesting. How far do you go with the public interests in prosecuting?


Does the expectation of you winning -- is the expectation of you winning


not that high? Sometimes it is appropriate to continue with a case,


even if the victim does not want to support it any more, visit may be a


pattern of behaviour, it may be ongoing offending. These decisions


are best made in individual cases. I am talking about something much more


fundamental. We have only really been talking about victims rights in


the last 15 years or so. I support all the good work that has been


done. I support the code and we need to go further. The barristers code


says you must not, humiliate or annoy it witness. Barristers do,


don't they? If your defendant Clyde is saying to you, I have never seen


this person before, the allegation is made up, they are lying. People


think of something says something which is untrue that the other


person is intentionally lying. The barrister has to make a judgment.


The judge is there to make sure the barrister does not behave improperly


or offensively and can intervene. At the end of the day, if someone is


saying that did not happen, I was not there, it was not me, that has


to be put to the other side. Sometimes people do live. You are


carrying out this review for the Labour Party. There has been


speculation you could stand to be a Labour MP in 2015. Will you? I gave


up the post three months ago. I am considering a number of options.


We will watch this space. We have all done it, gone to a


search engine to answer a simple question like, how many Tories are


rebelling over the Immigration Bill? Or is Father Christmas real? I have


not done that one lately. As if by magic, the search engine knows what


you are going to say before you type it. It even works with politicians.


Here is Giles with more. There are certain gizmos which help you out.


Like Google. It has its controversies but it has an


interesting function, auto complete. A number of people have pointed this


out. If you put in a question like is David Cameron... It will make


some suggestions based on the searches which have already gone on


under that question. It gives you the answer, is David Cameron


Scottish, a Thatcherite, a Christian or dead? In the best tradition of


cookery programmes, here are some I made earlier.


I have to say, apart from being a bit of a giggle, this tells us


absolutely nothing, except that people are obsessed with


politicians' marriage status. Let's try this, is Giles still not... Oh,


good lord, I will leave it there. That will just entice everybody to


have a look. That was just him having a search for his own name. I


should say, other search engines are available. With me in the studio is


Jim Waterson from Buzzfeed UK. Do you do this a lot? A lot of people


are assessed with whether Ed Miliband is made of magnets. I do


not know where this is from. We have put it to Labour, they have


concerned he is not but said he attracts voters! I wonder how long


it took them to think of that. Is it just the most popular search engines


which come up. It is a mixture of that. I think there are also a few


pranksters who are having fun who are putting lines in code, somewhere


hidden on websites, Google is picking up on it and that is doing a


feedback loop. For a while, there was something which said is Ed


Miliband a suit filled with meringues? I do not think that is


actually anything. Have you ever done, is Keir Starmer... ? No! Will


you do it now? I do not know. What about Buzzfeed. That is going to do


politics? People want to look at fun list and they also want to read


about politics and they are not separate. Our audience is anyone


interested in politics. Mainly they are young people 18 to 35 at the


moment but we get traffic all over the place. How will you do it


differently? We have got a lot of things we are working on. The not


strung by the old newspaper formats, we do not need to waffle


on. That is just as well because we have run out of time. Just time to


do the answer to our quiz. Which reality TV show would David Cameron


rather be on? I am going to go for Splash. You are wrong. It is The


Great British Bake Off. Far safer, he does not have to get into a


swimming costume. Thank you to all our guests. Goodbye.


Download Subtitles