31/01/2014 Daily Politics


31/01/2014

Andrew Neil with the latest political news, interviews and debate from Westminster. With journalists Tim Shipman, Zoe Williams and the latest on the UK-French summit.


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Transcript


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. French President

:00:40.:00:43.

Francois Hollande pops across La Manche to meet David Cameron. Later

:00:44.:00:48.

on, they are off for a pint in a pub. On the agenda, energy, defence.

:00:49.:00:54.

And the future of Britain in the EU. The Prime Minister suffers another

:00:55.:00:56.

large-scale backbench rebellion with 86 Tory MPs voting against

:00:57.:01:02.

government policy. We'll discuss Mr Cameron's party problems. Danny

:01:03.:01:07.

Alexander tries to bowl Ed Balls a googly over his plans to reduce the

:01:08.:01:13.

deficit. Labour say it is just not cricket. In our latest look at

:01:14.:01:18.

influential political thinkers, financial journalist Louise Cooper

:01:19.:01:21.

tells us all you need to know about Friedrich Hayek. This Austrian

:01:22.:01:34.

upstart trick on Keynes. For that committee is incredibly brave. --

:01:35.:01:46.

took on. All that in the next hour. And with us for the duration, Zoe

:01:47.:01:50.

Williams. She writes a column for the Guardian and describes herself

:01:51.:01:53.

as a bon viveur, so she's taking us for lunch after the show. And by Tim

:01:54.:01:57.

Shipman, he writes for the Daily Mail but is soon off to be political

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editor of the Sunday Times. It wouldn't have happened in my day.

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First, today, let's talk about the Immigration Bill. We throw the word

:02:05.:02:08.

farce around fairly liberally here at Westminster. But it certainly

:02:09.:02:10.

applied to events in the Commons yesterday. It all centred around an

:02:11.:02:14.

amendment to the bill by the Tory backbencher, Dominic Raab. He wanted

:02:15.:02:17.

to stop foreign prisoners using the right to family life, enshrined in

:02:18.:02:20.

the Human Rights Act, to stay in Britain. Now here's where it gets

:02:21.:02:25.

complicated. The Government said Dominic Raab's amendment was illegal

:02:26.:02:28.

and unworkable. But ministers said they would rather abstain on the

:02:29.:02:31.

vote rather than risk unecessary confrontation with backbench rebels.

:02:32.:02:37.

In the end, the bill itself passed easily, thanks to Labour and Lib Dem

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votes but 86 Tories rebelled on the Raab amendment. So, is this a case

:02:42.:02:47.

of the Tory backbench tail wagging the dog? Let's have a look at the

:02:48.:02:57.

debate. Is the Government going to vote for it, against it or abstain?

:02:58.:03:03.

I would say that what I am doing is indicating a few comments I have in

:03:04.:03:08.

relation to this. I would like to hear my honourable friend speak on

:03:09.:03:11.

this issue and here indeed whether he does intend to move this

:03:12.:03:17.

amendment. You really do have to study the case law of the

:03:18.:03:21.

immigration Tribunal to appreciate the extent to which these cases walk

:03:22.:03:26.

the moral balance of British justice, endanger the public and,

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frankly, for many people outside of this place, make Newman writes dirty

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words. I recognise the concerns my friends have about inability to the

:03:39.:03:48.

port foreign criminals. How could she tell the Prime Minister, I

:03:49.:03:53.

propose the Government should not support the amendment because it

:03:54.:03:58.

should not be compatible with the easy HR and counter-productive. The

:03:59.:04:01.

Home Secretary, responsible for enforcing law and order in Britain,

:04:02.:04:14.

is sitting there. It is a shambles. Is anyone watching? It is a real

:04:15.:04:23.

shame. It is a shame for me. I always thought Dominick Raab was

:04:24.:04:28.

normal. He is intelligent. He seemed to be quite smart. This seemed to be

:04:29.:04:37.

quite unworkable on any basis. He knew it was not a real issue. He

:04:38.:04:44.

knew it was just a way of getting the Government on the back foot.

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There is a terrible mismanagement. If he is trying to force a wedge

:04:50.:04:55.

between... He is trying to highlight that, it is a long game. It is not

:04:56.:05:01.

just between the high command and the backbenches, it does not look as

:05:02.:05:05.

if the Prime Minister promised to tell the Home Secretary how they

:05:06.:05:10.

would vote or not on this matter. Number ten web easy breathing people

:05:11.:05:17.

like myself that they were going to abstain. -- Number ten was busy

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briefing people. The whole situation, he has avoided a massive

:05:26.:05:30.

confrontation with backbenchers and avoided splitting the party. He has

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shown he is cared about what they were thinking about. The alternative

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was to back an amendment he believed was illegal. That is what they say

:05:44.:05:51.

about Cameron. The way to deal with rebels is either to grout them or

:05:52.:05:56.

give in to them. He freezes them out and then gives into them. There is

:05:57.:06:03.

no question that it raises real problems about his party management

:06:04.:06:07.

skills, which he has had from the start they seem to be accumulating.

:06:08.:06:15.

I come back to the question, does anyone outside 500 yards off here

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care? The one thing we noticed more and more, we get e-mails and

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tweets, the machinations of Westminster are of no interest to

:06:26.:06:29.

the country at all. It is a tragedy that people out there do not care.

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They will have to thought about this. The Tory party is divided and

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things at the centre are vaguely shambolic, which they are. Neither

:06:40.:06:45.

of those things is something that David Cameron wants the public to

:06:46.:06:50.

have in its mind. All you need is a general perception of division and

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then it does matter. The press has no import in telling people how to

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vote, whatever we think we can do. We can make a government pay united

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or divided. That is a huge difference. This government makes

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itself appears so divided. The thing with Cameron, we say this has no

:07:11.:07:16.

connection to normal people but it does. They are trying to bring UKIP

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defectors back into the fold. Anything that sets up a fight

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between the more UKIP against the less UKIP plays to some level to

:07:28.:07:33.

that faction. That is a huge deal. There have been a number of voices

:07:34.:07:38.

saying it is time the backbench Tories stop this death wish, there

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is an election looming. It is time he showed more loyalty and

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discipline. Mr Michael Howard was on the radio earlier this week saying

:07:49.:07:58.

the same thing. Here is a question. Even in the Spectator. You can see,

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as the election approaches, that will have some weight because they

:08:03.:08:07.

want to win, most of them anyway. Doesn't the headless chicken

:08:08.:08:12.

tendency get a new lease of life when the Tories get lumped in the

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European elections? What is interesting about what happened

:08:19.:08:22.

yesterday is that Cameron decided not to pick a fight with the Dominic

:08:23.:08:27.

Raab group of backbenchers. As Tory backbenchers go, he is normal. The

:08:28.:08:32.

other amendment which caused a problem, the Nigel Mills amendment,

:08:33.:08:37.

that was clearly illegal. It was also much more from the wing of the

:08:38.:08:41.

party that wants to have a fight about Europe. Dominic Raab is seen

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as an international lawyer who wants to make a serious point. A lot of us

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think he will end up as A Minister. He says, when you look at the case

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law, everyone looks at the case law. The -- it is not like the ban

:09:05.:09:15.

against torture which has no caveat. He was simply trying to get some

:09:16.:09:19.

guidance to the judges that they have given too much weight to the

:09:20.:09:30.

caveats, sorry, they have not given any weight to the caveat. We can

:09:31.:09:37.

ignore the right to a family life. Their body has to take any notice of

:09:38.:09:42.

that. That is not right. Legally, it would not stand up. He did not pick

:09:43.:09:48.

this fight. He could have picked a fight. You go back to the prisoner

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voting issue, he voted against them. Yesterday he told them he agreed

:09:54.:09:59.

with them and he abstained. Does he come out of this enhanced or

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diminished? I think he is marginally menaced. -- diminished. We were

:10:04.:10:16.

never going to vote for him anyway. He does not care about me. Amongst

:10:17.:10:22.

his peers, he made an argument which they think had merits. He persuaded

:10:23.:10:27.

Downing Street it had merit. The Prime Minister did not come down

:10:28.:10:32.

like a tonne of bricks. Now, it's time for our daily quiz. The

:10:33.:10:36.

question for today is, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has told a

:10:37.:10:40.

magazine she has to shout at her husband, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls,

:10:41.:10:43.

as they get their children ready for school in the morning. But what's

:10:44.:10:47.

the reason? Is it: a) Because he's reading the Treasury red book at the

:10:48.:10:50.

breakfast table, b) Because he's practising his hand-gestures for

:10:51.:10:53.

PMQs in the bathroom mirror, c) Because he's playing the piano, or

:10:54.:10:56.

d) Because he's watching the Sound of Music again? And crying, as he

:10:57.:11:02.

does, because that is what he told us. At the end of the show, Zoe and

:11:03.:11:10.

Tim will give us the correct answer. President Francois Hollande is in

:11:11.:11:12.

the UK working hard with David Cameron on the next phase of the

:11:13.:11:19.

intent called Gal. That is what a lot of us think. Where else would

:11:20.:11:23.

the Prime Minister take such a distinguished head of state than the

:11:24.:11:35.

traditional British boozer? He can look forward to pork scratchings and

:11:36.:11:39.

a pint of pale ale. What will be on the menu when the two men at their

:11:40.:11:45.

head to head? There will be plenty of cooperation plans. Such as

:11:46.:11:51.

dealing with defence, nuclear energy and the space industry. After that,

:11:52.:11:57.

things may get a little frosty. It is well known that Mr Cameron wants

:11:58.:12:01.

to renegotiate the European Union treaty to create a more flexible EU

:12:02.:12:05.

ahead of the promised referendum by the end of 2017. That is assuming he

:12:06.:12:11.

wins the election in 2015. Partly because of his own faith in a

:12:12.:12:15.

referendum in a Eurosceptic France, French officials have warned that

:12:16.:12:18.

President Francois Hollande will say no. His election is in 2017. He may

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have a thing or two to say about the Conservatives mocking his economic

:12:29.:12:33.

policies, especially when comparing them to those of Ed Miliband. Grant

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Schaap said President Francois Hollande has put his countrymen back

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into the dust. I did not know they came from the dust. In the last few

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minutes, the two leaders have been speaking to the media in a joint

:12:49.:12:53.

press conference in the beautiful Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. Our

:12:54.:12:56.

partnership is as close and important as ever. We are two

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leaders determined to keep our citizens safe and to secure a better

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future for them all. That has been the focus of our discussions today.

:13:07.:13:09.

First, on defence and security cooperation, we are both similar

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sized countries with similar Armed Forces and similar ambitions. We

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both see the link between domestic prosperity and being active players

:13:22.:13:26.

on the global stage. With us now as always on these occasions, the

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member of the French parliament representing Northern Europe,

:13:36.:13:45.

including the UK. Welcome back. Will President Francois Hollande where

:13:46.:13:51.

his helmet? I suppose so. In case Mr Cameron wants him with a baseball

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bat! How would you categorise Anglo French relations at the moment? Icy

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it as entente amicale. -- I see it. The reality shows that we do agree

:14:15.:14:24.

on many issues and important and strategic ones. It is close

:14:25.:14:31.

cooperation are probably closer than with any other country in Europe,

:14:32.:14:43.

except for the Germany. In life, you have discussions, splits and

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agreements. ER going to go into space today. Apparently so. -- we

:14:50.:14:58.

are going. Stay quiet, sit and watch the oceans together. Here is the big

:14:59.:15:06.

question... Am I right in thinking that the president has no real

:15:07.:15:15.

interest in a major renegotiation of these issues? I think you are right

:15:16.:15:20.

in thinking that. Not that he agrees on the fact that Europe needs to be

:15:21.:15:25.

reformed but he disagrees on the methods and the means that David

:15:26.:15:31.

Cameron wants to use for that. We have had enough of treaty

:15:32.:15:35.

negotiations. People want to see what Europe brings them. He wants to

:15:36.:15:40.

push an agenda on youth unemployment, on growth and how to

:15:41.:15:44.

create jobs, innovation in Europe. You do not need treaty changes for

:15:45.:15:48.

that. You do not need treaty changes to work closer with countries

:15:49.:15:54.

belonging to the Eurozone. We, in France, think that what David

:15:55.:16:01.

Cameron is asking us is actually down to his own domestic political

:16:02.:16:06.

agenda and that should not take any role at all in the discussions

:16:07.:16:09.

taking place between 28 member states.

:16:10.:16:14.

The last thing the president wants is a referendum on Europe. This is

:16:15.:16:23.

something which is never, ever discussed in French politics. You

:16:24.:16:31.

have had a referendum. The pro-Europeans have lost it. Exactly.

:16:32.:16:37.

At the moment, the economic situation is critical. We are

:16:38.:16:43.

focusing on trying to create jobs. It is not an issue. Believe me, it

:16:44.:16:49.

is not something we ever discussed in Parliament. I understand that. Mr

:16:50.:16:55.

Cameron has got problems with UKIP. The French mainstream parties have

:16:56.:16:59.

problems with the right of the National front, and they are

:17:00.:17:05.

anti-Europe. Do they want to pull out of Europe altogether? Just euro.

:17:06.:17:14.

You have got the hard left as well who are anti-euro. It is hard to see

:17:15.:17:25.

how Francois Hollande... I can't see anywhere the friends can give Mr

:17:26.:17:29.

Cameron even a fraction of what he is looking for. You are right. We

:17:30.:17:35.

don't really know what he is looking for, to be honest. He hasn't put any

:17:36.:17:42.

precise demands on the table. We know the direction he wants to go

:17:43.:17:47.

in. Probably something to do with financial services. He was to be

:17:48.:17:53.

part of the decision process when it comes to City regulations. It is

:17:54.:17:57.

already the case. I am not sure that a stronger euro zone integration

:17:58.:18:04.

will have any impact on the City. The National front, it is rising. We

:18:05.:18:09.

are worried, it is true. It is not so much on an anti-EU agenda. It is

:18:10.:18:15.

a lot about immigration and a lot on social issues. It is probably

:18:16.:18:23.

broader than what UKIP once. This will be covered by the diplomatic

:18:24.:18:27.

niceties. I am told that Francois Hollande doesn't want many questions

:18:28.:18:31.

so it would be a quick press conference. I wonder why! The mood

:18:32.:18:40.

music from the French, to be blunt, Mr Cameron... The whole strategy has

:18:41.:18:47.

almost collapsed before it has left the box. Arguably, he would say he

:18:48.:18:55.

needs to get Angela Merkel onside. She now has the social Democrats to

:18:56.:18:59.

deal with, who have the same view as the French president. That is right.

:19:00.:19:06.

We don't know what David Cameron once, precisely. People in his own

:19:07.:19:11.

party would like to know that. There is no way that Francois Hollande is

:19:12.:19:15.

good to have a referendum before his election. Here, Cameron is wanting

:19:16.:19:21.

to make the argument that Francois Hollande and Ed Miliband are the

:19:22.:19:25.

same disastrous socialist experiment. That is another issue.

:19:26.:19:30.

That is using France in British domestic politics. Where does Mr

:19:31.:19:36.

Cameron go from here? I am baffled by the use of the word strategy. He

:19:37.:19:42.

is wandering from one place to another. On paper, I don't think his

:19:43.:19:49.

renegotiation is to do with financial services. I accept that

:19:50.:19:54.

might be what it looks like. He probably would like to present

:19:55.:19:58.

himself as the person who curtails free movement between different

:19:59.:20:01.

countries, between Labour forces. That seems to be where he is coming

:20:02.:20:07.

from, if only we could make sure that people couldn't move around,

:20:08.:20:13.

the mobile poor is his big problem. I don't see what on earth he could

:20:14.:20:17.

do about that, whether he renegotiate the treaty or not. His

:20:18.:20:20.

main thing is to look like the person who is strong on that. Where

:20:21.:20:30.

do we go from here? The mobility of workers in Europe, the president has

:20:31.:20:33.

really pushed that issue in brush off because he wanted to renegotiate

:20:34.:20:39.

a directive to put more control into companies that do not apply laws and

:20:40.:20:50.

pay salaries of the country of origin, which is called social

:20:51.:20:55.

dumping. It is paying somebody from Poland at the Polish rate here in

:20:56.:21:00.

England. David Cameron opposed that. He didn't want it. He was one of the

:21:01.:21:06.

leaders in that confrontation are posing that. He didn't want any more

:21:07.:21:11.

control. I don't get it. It is paradoxical. As this year goes on in

:21:12.:21:18.

the grand Coalition takes control in Berlin, with major social Democratic

:21:19.:21:25.

influence, will is not become apparent that although there is a

:21:26.:21:30.

general will in Europe to reform - there always is - it will become

:21:31.:21:36.

clear there is no appetite among the leaders of the EU to give Mr Cameron

:21:37.:21:43.

any kind of repatriation. It is looking like that. The other

:21:44.:21:48.

problem, with the German government having changed, ministers here made

:21:49.:21:54.

a big effort to get to see the guys in Germany and now they are dealing

:21:55.:21:58.

with a whole different bunch of people with his priorities. They

:21:59.:22:01.

don't yet understand what the Coalition partners are about on what

:22:02.:22:04.

they are after. They are having to get to know these people ahead of

:22:05.:22:08.

European elections which are going to be disastrous for the Tory party

:22:09.:22:12.

and there will be more pressure on Cameron to do and say more about

:22:13.:22:16.

what he wants back after that. There are not the Allies out there. There

:22:17.:22:21.

are a few. The Germans will say to Britain, we will do what we can for

:22:22.:22:25.

you but don't ask us to choose between you and Europe and don't ask

:22:26.:22:28.

us to choose between you and the French, because you would like the

:22:29.:22:34.

answers. How is the former first lady doing? It is a difficult one to

:22:35.:22:41.

answer. You know that the split has been made official. Since then, the

:22:42.:22:45.

president has been very neutral. I think he wants to protect himself.

:22:46.:22:51.

He wants to protect his family. She has been to neutral. Is she going to

:22:52.:22:58.

turn nasty? We don't to that. Her nickname is the Rottweiler. The

:22:59.:23:04.

French are now keen on supporting her. She had an 89% disapproval

:23:05.:23:09.

rating and now it has changed! TNI on it for us. -- keep an eye on it.

:23:10.:23:17.

I know what you are thinking. What is happening with the EU bill?

:23:18.:23:21.

Haven't heard about it for at least a week. The private members bill,

:23:22.:23:29.

which is trying to put a referendum in 2017 into law, it is back in the

:23:30.:23:34.

law survey, now at committee stage. It is the -- only being supported by

:23:35.:23:45.

the Conservatives. Still paying attention? I hope so. This morning,

:23:46.:23:50.

Michael Dobbs, the author and peer, he is the Bill's sponsor, aerated

:23:51.:23:57.

the operation for holding it up. -- aerated. They take advice from

:23:58.:24:07.

Strasberg and Japan and yet they are failing to convince anybody they are

:24:08.:24:10.

keen to take the advice of the people. If we pursue these

:24:11.:24:15.

amendments, my Lords, we are doing only one thing. We're turning around

:24:16.:24:20.

to the people and saying that their voice, there will come in the

:24:21.:24:27.

instruction, isn't enough. -- there will, then struck.

:24:28.:24:33.

This is why we need a referendum, to cleanse the stables. We have been

:24:34.:24:41.

joined by the Conservative peer, patients Wheatcroft. Is he ever

:24:42.:24:50.

write? Is this bill a dead parrot? It is apparent that may be

:24:51.:24:56.

resurrected. Why? It is a bill that the public want to see made law.

:24:57.:25:02.

What has the public to do with it? The laws will do their best to get

:25:03.:25:08.

it through. There is a lot of opposition, not just from Labour but

:25:09.:25:13.

from our Lib Dem colleagues. It is not dead yet. Is it close to being

:25:14.:25:22.

dead? Is it in intensive care? Yes, but miracles happen. We are not

:25:23.:25:28.

writing off the bill. When was the last miracle? When the lid Dems do

:25:29.:25:32.

as well as they did in the election. -- the Lib Dems. Last Friday, there

:25:33.:25:43.

were lumber of amendments to the bill. Are the acceptable to your

:25:44.:25:47.

fellow Conservative peers? We don't think we need those amendments. The

:25:48.:25:53.

bill as it stands is quite straightforward. If anybody were to

:25:54.:25:57.

ask you, should the UK be a member of the EU? You would understand what

:25:58.:26:03.

the question meant. Is it not all a bit of a waste of about five Fridays

:26:04.:26:09.

in a row? Shouldn't you be out in your country estates enjoying

:26:10.:26:12.

yourselves? We know this is going nowhere. We know now that Francois

:26:13.:26:17.

Hollande is not going to agree to any major treaty change. He may not

:26:18.:26:25.

have a say in it. Probably will. He will be there until 2017. That is a

:26:26.:26:30.

position at the moment. Things change. Now, the French have fixed

:26:31.:26:35.

the terms for their president. He will be there. You'll agree his

:26:36.:26:39.

position looks difficult at the moment, I would suggest. -- his

:26:40.:26:47.

position looks difficult at the moment. It is true that the British

:26:48.:26:53.

people do want a vote in the EU. At the moment they say they would

:26:54.:26:56.

leave. If it would be the same after debate, that is another matter. This

:26:57.:27:01.

parliament can't bind the next parliament. Even if they got the

:27:02.:27:05.

next bill, it doesn't mean there will be a referendum. Are the wheels

:27:06.:27:09.

coming off the whole Camerin strategy on your rug? This is the

:27:10.:27:13.

less do something to get to summer ploy. -- let's do something. By

:27:14.:27:22.

throwing his weight behind it and saying this is a good thing, it

:27:23.:27:27.

means he doesn't have to come up with anything concrete about what he

:27:28.:27:30.

would like to negotiate. He is not going to get away with that after 22

:27:31.:27:42.

May. What about Labour? Will Ed Miliband maintain his anti-reverend

:27:43.:27:47.

opposition? It is maddening. The amount of time we have spent talking

:27:48.:27:50.

about it, we could have held the referendum and put it on YouTube.

:27:51.:27:54.

The only intelligent thing about this is that... The only intelligent

:27:55.:28:01.

thing about suggesting a referendum is that anybody who says no is

:28:02.:28:04.

somebody who doesn't want to know what people think. That is not a

:28:05.:28:10.

good look for anybody. Will Labour maintain its anti-referendum

:28:11.:28:17.

position? I think they will maintain. If your question is,

:28:18.:28:21.

should they? I wonder whether the smart money would be on having

:28:22.:28:25.

courage and saying, we believe fervently in the EU but we are

:28:26.:28:33.

prepared to make our case. Their courageous behaviour was to waive

:28:34.:28:36.

the bill through in the Commons. Neither the Labour Party nor the Lib

:28:37.:28:42.

Dems were able to oppose the bill there. They encouraged their members

:28:43.:28:45.

in the Lords to struck it at every turn. That is not a very courageous

:28:46.:28:51.

approach. Thing is, this is bicameral politics. You get perverse

:28:52.:28:54.

result that nobody wanted because the only way people can

:28:55.:28:58.

realistically postings is through the kind of back doors. The Lib Dems

:28:59.:29:03.

are tabling amendments. They don't want to divide the whip but they

:29:04.:29:10.

want to look at -- like they have made an amendment. The government is

:29:11.:29:13.

pretty much of the view that what is happening in the Lords is not going

:29:14.:29:16.

on against the wishes of Ed Miliband. The camera position is

:29:17.:29:23.

that he hopes, contrary to what we have been saying, that he will get a

:29:24.:29:27.

major repatriation of powers and that he will campaign to keep in

:29:28.:29:33.

Europe on this new basis, which he has renegotiated. Does it not follow

:29:34.:29:39.

that if he fails to get the repatriation come he still has to

:29:40.:29:43.

have the referendum and he has a campaign against staying in the EU?

:29:44.:29:47.

He has left that position open. Most people think he wants to stay in. He

:29:48.:29:52.

has painted itself into a position where he may have to campaign for

:29:53.:29:57.

out. I agree with Zoe about Ed Miliband. It is a test about whether

:29:58.:30:01.

he things you can win the next election. At the moment he thinks he

:30:02.:30:05.

is doing to be the next Prime Minister. The strongest line you

:30:06.:30:12.

will have if this bill falls is that you will campaign, I presume, saying

:30:13.:30:21.

Labour won't give you a referendum. Absolutely and we know the public

:30:22.:30:28.

want a referendum. If the choice was between staying in, largely on the

:30:29.:30:34.

existing status quo terms, or coming out... That won't be the question.

:30:35.:30:44.

But it could be the choice. It won't be because David Cameron will

:30:45.:30:48.

negotiate. What happens if he doesn't get much? I would be in

:30:49.:30:53.

favour of staying in but in a more effective EU. We have already seen

:30:54.:30:57.

they would Cameron get the first cut in the budget. There is scope for

:30:58.:30:59.

change here. Last week, the comedian Rufus Hound

:31:00.:31:11.

caused a bit of a stir when he announced his intention to stand as

:31:12.:31:14.

a candidate in the European elections this May, for the National

:31:15.:31:17.

Health Action Party. Mr Hound accused the Conservative Party of

:31:18.:31:20.

wanting to sell off the health service to party donors. The NHAP

:31:21.:31:23.

campaigns against what it says is the privatisation by stealth of the

:31:24.:31:29.

NHS. The Government is upfront about wanting more private companies to be

:31:30.:31:33.

involved in the NHS but says its reforms are designed to give health

:31:34.:31:35.

professionals more control over budgets and improve services. Here's

:31:36.:31:40.

how David Cameron described the reforms back in June 2011. The

:31:41.:31:49.

fundamentals of our plans, more control to patients, more power to

:31:50.:31:54.

doctors and nurses, less bureaucracy in the NHS, those fundamentals are

:31:55.:31:58.

as strong today as they have ever been. He wanted us to make clear

:31:59.:32:03.

that competition is not therefore its own sake but to make life better

:32:04.:32:10.

for patients. Done! You wanted us to get specialists and nurses, not just

:32:11.:32:16.

GPs to commissioning groups, done! You wanted us to join up the

:32:17.:32:20.

different parts of the NHS, to put integration right at the heart of

:32:21.:32:25.

reforms. Again, done! And we've been joined by Dr Louise Irvine, who is

:32:26.:32:29.

standing in the euro elections in May for the National Health Action

:32:30.:32:32.

Party. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Your campaign group says

:32:33.:32:37.

that the Government is threatening free at the point of use health

:32:38.:32:45.

care. Where? At the moment, we are hearing stories of services that

:32:46.:32:49.

were once available on the NHS being rationed. Today there was an item in

:32:50.:32:56.

the news about that. The health service is always rationed. That is

:32:57.:33:04.

why there are queues. What was previously free and where are they

:33:05.:33:10.

having to pay for them? People cannot get cataract operations. They

:33:11.:33:16.

get one I'd done because that is what they need to see with. Many

:33:17.:33:20.

health groups say people have to wait until they are extremely

:33:21.:33:25.

disabled before they can get a hit or knee replacement. You are saying

:33:26.:33:31.

we are having to pay. Give me an example of where patients are

:33:32.:33:35.

painful care which they have revisited got free. We are

:33:36.:33:42.

predicting the construction of a publicly funded health care service

:33:43.:33:48.

will lead to people having to pay. People are taking our health

:33:49.:33:51.

insurance to cover the possibility they will not be able to get the

:33:52.:33:55.

kind of care they need. This is happening already. The health

:33:56.:34:02.

insurance sector is desperate to get more customers. The way to do that

:34:03.:34:07.

is to start to shrink down what the NHS provides. That is what we are

:34:08.:34:15.

seeing. Private companies are providing health care and procedures

:34:16.:34:19.

free at point of use. The private sector has always been involved in

:34:20.:34:23.

the NHS. The private sector has always been used in a small way in

:34:24.:34:30.

the NHS. Now it has a growing role. The private sector wants to cherry

:34:31.:34:33.

pick the most profitable services and remove them but that will mean

:34:34.:34:39.

they will be removed from NHS hospitals, which would destabilise

:34:40.:34:44.

the financials of NHS hospitals. Also the cost of turning the NHS

:34:45.:34:51.

into a market means at least ?10 billion, ?15 billion a year in

:34:52.:34:56.

transaction costs. The costs of lawyers and accountants managing

:34:57.:35:01.

that market. One study has been done by the Kings fund and it is quite

:35:02.:35:06.

useful. It talks about providing services free at the of use. It says

:35:07.:35:11.

they were no worse than the NHS and, in some cases, superior. We are

:35:12.:35:18.

going to go from a publicly provided system to one which is fragmented.

:35:19.:35:24.

Greater competition will undermine the collaboration and cooperation.

:35:25.:35:27.

David Cameron said it is important to provide good health care. The

:35:28.:35:31.

gains we have made in health care in the last ten years, in cancer care,

:35:32.:35:40.

stroke care and heart care, have all increased no end. The independent

:35:41.:35:49.

sector treatment programme was established. What was wrong with it?

:35:50.:35:56.

Labour, I think, has lost its way. It has some very good policies but

:35:57.:36:01.

it also brought in to much of the private sector. Independent

:36:02.:36:06.

treatment centres where paid more per case. You are a GP, aren't you?

:36:07.:36:16.

We are not a company. We are not driven by shareholders. You are not

:36:17.:36:24.

employed by the NHS. This is a historical situation brought about

:36:25.:36:28.

at the beginning. We are part of the NHS. Why can't we have services

:36:29.:36:34.

provided on the same basis as you? GPs do not disappear when they can

:36:35.:36:38.

no longer make a profit, unlike virgin and care UK or United health.

:36:39.:36:45.

We are there for the long haul. Our patients can well see the difference

:36:46.:36:49.

between a local GP and the big, private, profit driven corporations

:36:50.:36:54.

which are circling the NHS to make profit at the People's illness.

:36:55.:37:00.

There is a huge difference. It is interesting you're going to stand in

:37:01.:37:04.

the European elections. Will it be quite tough, given that your

:37:05.:37:09.

personal to do with the health service? They will all be arguing

:37:10.:37:13.

about repatriation of powers and the euro and UKIP at all the rest of it.

:37:14.:37:19.

How will you get the health service onto the agenda? There is one really

:37:20.:37:24.

important aspect of Europe which people need to be aware of. That is

:37:25.:37:30.

the EU-US trade agreement, which is currently being discussed. If the

:37:31.:37:34.

NHS does not get an exemption from that agreement, it would make all

:37:35.:37:38.

privatisation irreversible because it would be possible for foreign

:37:39.:37:42.

corporations to sue the British Government no matter what decisions

:37:43.:37:45.

they made, even with the democratic mandate. Also Europe does legislate

:37:46.:37:52.

on many other health issues to do with health and public health. I'm

:37:53.:37:58.

struck by the fact we're talking about structures within the NHS

:37:59.:38:02.

rather than front-line patient care. The Government made a big mistake by

:38:03.:38:06.

dimming its top reorganisation in terms of the public. -- doing its

:38:07.:38:16.

top-down reorganisation. Jeremy Hunt has desperately tried to make it

:38:17.:38:19.

about patients again. I am intrigued that someone is coming along and

:38:20.:38:25.

talking about structures again. Can I raise the issue about private

:38:26.:38:29.

companies. Companies are given 1.5 million in donations to the

:38:30.:38:34.

Conservative Party. They have 70% of contracts. Have you got that figure?

:38:35.:38:44.

Have you got the background... ? Lots of things are said by MPs that

:38:45.:38:49.

are not true in Hansard. Have you got the detail of the 1.5 million

:38:50.:39:00.

days I have been trying to get it? I think it was the European register

:39:01.:39:04.

of contracts which were given out. They surveyed it all and added it

:39:05.:39:10.

all up. That sounds true to me. Sounded true and being true are not

:39:11.:39:18.

the same. I want to get the fact. Andy Burnham has made the point to

:39:19.:39:22.

me and I want to get the facts to put the Secretary of State for

:39:23.:39:25.

health when I interview him. That is why I am looking at it. Can I ask

:39:26.:39:34.

you one final question? Your candidate in the European elections

:39:35.:39:38.

said, David Cameron wants your kids to die, do you regret that? I do

:39:39.:39:46.

not. I think David Cameron, as a man, does not want children to die.

:39:47.:39:52.

As a Prime Minister in his political role he is presiding over a system

:39:53.:39:56.

which will lead to deaths. The faculty in public health has said

:39:57.:40:02.

that. He said, David Cameron once your kids to die. Wanting your kids

:40:03.:40:10.

to die, was not a regretful thing to say? Is someone is driving a car

:40:11.:40:15.

recklessly you say, do want to kill someone in this car? He is being

:40:16.:40:19.

reckless. You think the Prime Minister is a killer. I do not think

:40:20.:40:26.

he is a killer. It is a rhetorical statement. It is not about

:40:27.:40:30.

structures, it is about patients. The money that has been taken out

:40:31.:40:36.

into funding this big market has been taken from front-line care. We

:40:37.:40:43.

have lost 6000 nurses, 8000 beds, A departments have been closed,

:40:44.:40:47.

ambulance stations have been closed. It is affecting people 's health.

:40:48.:40:52.

And we did ask for an interview with a health minister but none were

:40:53.:40:55.

available. Over the past few months, we've been taking a look at some of

:40:56.:40:58.

the political thinkers who have influenced British politics. We've

:40:59.:41:01.

discussed Karl Marx, Tom Paine, John Stewart Mill and several others.

:41:02.:41:05.

Today it's the turn of an Austrian economist born in 1899, the choice

:41:06.:41:08.

of financial journalist Louise Cooper.

:41:09.:41:29.

You know, I think it is fair to say that these days, most others have

:41:30.:41:35.

enough trouble managing our own bank accounts let alone an economy. For

:41:36.:41:40.

the people in this building, the Treasury, and those outside who are

:41:41.:41:44.

economists, that is their job. I will meet a financial analyst and

:41:45.:41:48.

blogger who you cannot use that job unless you have studied the work of

:41:49.:41:57.

Frederick Hayek. Louise, nice to meet you. Nice to meet you as well.

:41:58.:42:05.

We are in the Institute of economic affairs. We are sat at his kitchen

:42:06.:42:11.

table, having a cup of tea. It is exciting to be here. I imagine he

:42:12.:42:21.

would not have drank tea. Why do you like him so much? He was an Austrian

:42:22.:42:29.

immigrant and his family suffered deprivation between the wars. He

:42:30.:42:37.

took on Keynes full stop wealth, privilege, education, establishment,

:42:38.:42:44.

Cambridge. This Austrian upstart took on Keynes. For that, he was

:42:45.:42:49.

incredibly brave. When it became apparent the world fell in love with

:42:50.:42:53.

Keynes, he stuck to what he really, really believed in. It was an

:42:54.:42:59.

unpopular message but he kept saying it. For that, you have to admire

:43:00.:43:05.

him. ) he starts his lecturing career and he is of a British

:43:06.:43:13.

economic journey. -- he starts his lecturing career. So, we're in the

:43:14.:43:22.

London School of economic old theatre where Frederich Hayek used

:43:23.:43:27.

to lecture. It is astonishing they gave him a job. His earlier attempts

:43:28.:43:32.

were turgid. Incomprehensible is also a good word. He had a strong

:43:33.:43:38.

Austrian accent, he spoke in long sentences with lots of subclauses

:43:39.:43:44.

and through triangular diagrams that few in the audience understood. I am

:43:45.:43:51.

honoured to stand on this stage but his entry here was not great. Can

:43:52.:43:57.

you explain what he is trying to tell us? He believed firmly in free

:43:58.:44:03.

markets. He thought that economies were highly complex and therefore

:44:04.:44:08.

government interference would always end up badly. In fact, when they did

:44:09.:44:13.

interfere, and the outcome was worse than if they had done nothing at

:44:14.:44:20.

all. Does he have anything at all to do with monetarism? Yellow matter

:44:21.:44:25.

you can affect an economy by changing interest rates. The initial

:44:26.:44:36.

work was done by Frederich Hayek. It was not for another 50 years that

:44:37.:44:38.

someone really adopted him. We have come to what is now Europe

:44:39.:44:50.

house in the heart of Westminster. Back in the days of Margaret

:44:51.:44:54.

Thatcher, this was Conservative Central office. She is crucial to

:44:55.:45:02.

Hayek's story. Absolutely. Hayek was ignored the decade. Everybody went

:45:03.:45:06.

mad for Keynes. Then we had the economic crisis of the 1970s. Keynes

:45:07.:45:12.

was maybe not such a great solution to the world's problems. What

:45:13.:45:16.

Thatcher did was go back to Hayek, and in particular this book.

:45:17.:45:23.

Apparently she came into this building, slammed it down on the

:45:24.:45:26.

table in a very Thatcher way and said, this is what we believe!

:45:27.:45:32.

Fabulous. It is all about rolling back the state, privatising

:45:33.:45:37.

state-run businesses and introducing competition as much as possible.

:45:38.:45:40.

Even Bill Clinton, a Democrat, famously said, this is the end of

:45:41.:45:47.

big government. You don't get much more Hayek than that. So everybody

:45:48.:45:55.

starts to study him. The real question is, is he relevant to

:45:56.:46:00.

today? Doctor Elizabeth Fraser thinks that to answer that you need

:46:01.:46:06.

to look at Hayek's view of politics versus economics. For Hayek,

:46:07.:46:10.

politics is bad. Whether the we think of it as politicians doing

:46:11.:46:16.

their best or as them being snakes, the him, both ways, politics is

:46:17.:46:22.

bound up with coercion and it has always got that element of violence

:46:23.:46:26.

in it. For Hayek, economics is the realm of freedom. Hayek died in

:46:27.:46:34.

1992, never seeing the financial spectacular knock-down of 2008.

:46:35.:46:38.

Having written the book on one economic theory, does he have

:46:39.:46:44.

something to offer today? I have brought us back to the Treasury,

:46:45.:46:47.

because it seems relevant to me that they are trained to lay up the mess

:46:48.:46:53.

if they can. Does Hayek have anything to teach them? Without a

:46:54.:46:57.

shadow of doubt. If you took Hayek to an extreme, most of the

:46:58.:47:00.

government buildings behind us would be ripped down. I am not suggesting

:47:01.:47:06.

that. None of them, none of the big economists, have all the answers.

:47:07.:47:08.

They all have something well done to save. -- to say full stop what's

:47:09.:47:17.

interesting in this case, in Britain we have chosen to cut spending and

:47:18.:47:21.

impose austerity. That is wrote much of principle after Hayek. -- very

:47:22.:47:28.

much. Many of his quotes 80 years ago, such as, if you want to avoid

:47:29.:47:36.

the excesses of the business cycle, banks should keep a close check on

:47:37.:47:40.

their lending. Oh, if only they had here in the UK! We would have saved

:47:41.:47:47.

?80 billion of taxpayers' money. That is the reason you should all

:47:48.:47:49.

vote for Hayek. That has told you! And Louise joins us now. I didn't

:47:50.:48:05.

know he was standing for election. Is he in the European elections?

:48:06.:48:12.

Doubt it. He's dead. I know. Am I right in thinking he was influenced

:48:13.:48:17.

very much by the experience of Nazi Germany and the rise of Stalinist

:48:18.:48:23.

Russia? Yes. He was, as all great men are, flawed. One of the things

:48:24.:48:28.

he predicted was that the prediction of a more welfare state would create

:48:29.:48:32.

dictatorships in Europe. That hasn't happened. His initial coming up

:48:33.:48:37.

against Keynes was quite personal and vitriolic. The liberally sought

:48:38.:48:44.

the job in the University of Arkansas to get the cheap divorce

:48:45.:48:47.

from his first wife. He got things wrong. He must really wanted a

:48:48.:48:53.

divorce if he was prepared to go to Arkansas. What is sad about that is

:48:54.:49:02.

that the man who brought into the NFC didn't talk to him for 20 years

:49:03.:49:06.

because he basically left his first wife and child for a cheap divorce.

:49:07.:49:12.

He was deeply flawed but also to be brave in his view. He was ridiculed,

:49:13.:49:17.

held in contempt, the decades. Everybody went crazy for Keynes and

:49:18.:49:23.

hit back at Hayek. 1979 as seen as the end of the post-war Keynes

:49:24.:49:36.

consensus. Since the crash, it has been tougher for the Hayek

:49:37.:49:51.

followers. Some would say the reason the crash happened was because we

:49:52.:49:55.

didn't go enough Hayekian. There were still some control over

:49:56.:50:01.

interest rates. Extreme Hayekians would say you shouldn't have a Bank

:50:02.:50:11.

of England or federal reserve. Isn't that like iron Rand? -- Ayn Rand? He

:50:12.:50:29.

is not as extreme as some of his supporters. He did believe there is

:50:30.:50:36.

some sort of level. It is the line, it is difficult. Where do you draw

:50:37.:50:39.

the line between complete anarchy of free markets and where do you

:50:40.:50:45.

believe in state planning? It is where you draw the line on that

:50:46.:50:50.

spectrum, whether you are Keynes or Hayek. Nobody quite knows the

:50:51.:50:56.

answer. If you look at the size of government, it has got artificially

:50:57.:51:00.

high after the crash, a cyclical thing. Roughly, it is smaller

:51:01.:51:09.

government at around 40%. France is the exception. It is 57%. Would he

:51:10.:51:14.

have been happy with a government that was about two fifths of the

:51:15.:51:19.

overall economy? I can't believe he would have been. But he did have

:51:20.:51:24.

this concept that he believed that too much government involvement

:51:25.:51:27.

would lead to dictatorships. That hasn't happened in Europe. He was

:51:28.:51:31.

wrong on that. I don't think he believes the level now is right.

:51:32.:51:34.

Some of his thinking was actually flawed. You have got to love a man

:51:35.:51:40.

who comes up with a reason why you shouldn't buy way should be wary of

:51:41.:51:45.

buying a second-hand car from a car salesman. He came up with that

:51:46.:51:50.

original idea. I think we knew that already. He called it... Go on. The

:51:51.:51:54.

economic term is asymmetry of information. Hayek was a

:51:55.:52:01.

micro-economist. He looks at the individual decisions people make.

:52:02.:52:05.

That is what he was into. That is where he got the sense of where the

:52:06.:52:12.

economy was going. He said, when you buy a car, the seller has more

:52:13.:52:15.

information than you do and that is why you should be wary. Asymmetry of

:52:16.:52:19.

information. Before that, everybody thought it was fine. I've dabbled. I

:52:20.:52:33.

think most people have Milly Dowler in his books. We micro most

:52:34.:52:41.

Hayekians are on the side that -- I think most people have dabbled in

:52:42.:52:49.

his books. I think most Hayekians are on that side. He gets a lot of

:52:50.:52:54.

that logic from people who are in favour of propping up the banking

:52:55.:53:01.

system, which is really weird. It is easy to write an academic book

:53:02.:53:04.

saying, you shouldn't save the banks. It could have been anarchy

:53:05.:53:19.

not to. That is politics. The interesting thing is, this guy is

:53:20.:53:25.

still a rock star in the Tory party. Among the new intake... Do you think

:53:26.:53:37.

Mr Cameron has read Hayek? I think it is unlikely. Too busy playing

:53:38.:53:44.

Angry... Birds, with the NSA looking in. Here is that we give 62

:53:45.:53:53.

seconds. If some parts of the country have

:53:54.:53:58.

been under will the weather, other parts have been underwater. The Lib

:53:59.:54:05.

Dems try to exit the eye of the Lord Rennard storm by choosing a new

:54:06.:54:09.

deputy leader. Not one of their seven Baroness is sore the light of

:54:10.:54:15.

day. -- Baroness is. Ed Balls permit Labour would bring back the 50p tax

:54:16.:54:20.

rate. David Cameron said his government were the real Robin

:54:21.:54:25.

Hoods. I want the richest to play more tax. -- pay more tax. Mark

:54:26.:54:33.

Carney tossed his cave into the Scottish independence debate. A

:54:34.:54:39.

durable currency union requires some seeding of national sovereignty. The

:54:40.:54:46.

Immigration Bill was back on the borders. Conservative rebels pushed

:54:47.:54:49.

or even tighter laws to deport foreign criminals. But their

:54:50.:54:52.

amendment was sent back where it came from.

:54:53.:55:02.

Danny Alexander is doing the rounds, saying, oh, Labour, they

:55:03.:55:12.

would borrow much more. That is true. But we don't know by how much

:55:13.:55:23.

they will spend on capital spending. It has just been made up. The

:55:24.:55:28.

interesting thing is the weight Danny Alexander has gone about

:55:29.:55:32.

trying to put a figure on it is by protecting government spending for

:55:33.:55:36.

two more years. The Lib Dems are not signed up to do that, by the way. It

:55:37.:55:40.

is interesting that Danny Alexander is making this case. One part of the

:55:41.:55:45.

Lib Dems want to go with Labour on the economy, and the other doesn't

:55:46.:55:53.

want to do that all -- at all. He has also said he would bring down

:55:54.:55:58.

the national debt. If he is going to balance the current budget, but

:55:59.:56:03.

spend a deficit on the capital, in the national debt will continue to

:56:04.:56:07.

rise. It will continue to rise as it has for the whole of this

:56:08.:56:15.

government. The projections are 0.7%. Nobody can say they were

:56:16.:56:18.

earth-shattering. I am disappointed by how much they are not

:56:19.:56:22.

earth-shattering. Danny Alexander reminds me of somebody who is

:56:23.:56:25.

playing world of war craft and he has found some tiny technical thing

:56:26.:56:28.

and he is really excited about it and he has lost the crowd. It is

:56:29.:56:37.

certainly the Tory narrative that the recovery is underway, growth is

:56:38.:56:43.

back. If you had it back to Labour, they will just spend, spend, spend

:56:44.:56:50.

again. What does the public take away from this? Ed Balls has tried

:56:51.:56:56.

to do two things, to say, I'm going to be responsible on spending and I

:56:57.:57:01.

am going to put the 50p rate back. The public body takes away from this

:57:02.:57:04.

sum doubts over whether Labour will be responsible, which means job done

:57:05.:57:10.

for the Tories and Lib Dems. The interesting thing is the flagship

:57:11.:57:14.

measures they take on whether it is the 50p rate or bedroom tax, those

:57:15.:57:17.

are the smallest amount of money you can conceive of government. 100

:57:18.:57:22.

million quid on one side. They are irrelevant to deficit reduction.

:57:23.:57:26.

They sell themselves on these policies which make no difference to

:57:27.:57:32.

the comic reality of the country. The reason polls are shown as

:57:33.:57:39.

narrowing... Do the Tories expect, not hope, do they expect the polls

:57:40.:57:43.

to narrow as the recovery gathers pace? I think they do. People are

:57:44.:57:54.

realising that the cost of living thing is working for them. It will

:57:55.:57:58.

only work if they all stay skint in the country. A member of Yougov says

:57:59.:58:08.

there is a new incumbency factor for MPs. OK, we shall see.

:58:09.:58:17.

There's just time before we go to find out the answer to our quiz. The

:58:18.:58:20.

question was: Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has told a magazine

:58:21.:58:24.

she has to shout at her husband, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, as they

:58:25.:58:27.

get their children ready for school in the morning. But what's the

:58:28.:58:30.

reason? I think it is playing the piano. It is playing the piano.

:58:31.:58:37.

Interestingly, Yvette is better than Ed on the piano. You heard it here

:58:38.:58:43.

first. That's all for today. Thanks to Tim

:58:44.:58:46.

Shipman, Zoe Williams and all my guests today. I'll be back on BBC

:58:47.:58:50.

One on Sunday from 11 with the Sunday Politics. Do join me then.

:58:51.:58:52.

Bye bye.

:58:53.:58:54.

Andrew Neil with the latest political news, interviews and debate from Westminster. With journalists Tim Shipman, Zoe Williams and the latest on the UK-French summit.


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