03/02/2014 Daily Politics


03/02/2014

Jo Coburn is joined by Alp Mehmet, the former British diplomat, to discuss Michael Gove's education speech as well as all the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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Transcript


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Good afternoon, and welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:40.:00:44.

A coalition rift opens up over the choice of a new quango king or queen

:00:45.:00:49.

to run the schools inspectorate. Was Michael Gove right to ask its

:00:50.:00:51.

Labour-supporting head to leave? The Prime Minister wants a different

:00:52.:00:56.

relationship with Europe. The French aren't keen. But, can the Foreign

:00:57.:01:00.

Secretary persuade the new German government, or anyone else, of the

:01:01.:01:01.

case for reform? It's a top priority for voters, and

:01:02.:01:08.

a big political issue. But what's the truth about immigration, and is

:01:09.:01:10.

it good or bad for us? It's a tough life as a peer of the

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realm. We'll reveal the gastronomic faux pas that have the Lords and

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Ladies all hot under their ermine collars.

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All that in the next hour. With us today is a former diplomat

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who's now on the advisory council of the pressure group Migration Watch.

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Alp Mehmet, welcome to the programme.

:01:42.:01:44.

First, this morning, to the row over who chairs the education watchdog,

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Ofsted. The current chair, Labour-supporting Sally Morgan, has

:01:48.:01:49.

not had her period of office extended, and has accused Number Ten

:01:50.:01:52.

of interfering with the appointment, amidst rumours that she is to be

:01:53.:01:55.

replaced by a Conservative supporter. The Liberal Democrat

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Schools Minister is said to be furious, and has demanded to be

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consulted over her replacement. This is what Education Secretary Michael

:02:13.:02:16.

Gove had to say yesterday. There is a principle across

:02:17.:02:21.

government that there should be no automatic reappointment, and after

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three or four years, whatever the term is, it is appropriate to bring

:02:25.:02:27.

in a fresh pair of eyes. Joining me now the previous chair of

:02:28.:02:35.

Ofsted, Zenna Atkins. Is failing to reappoint Sally Morgan

:02:36.:02:42.

politically motivated? I think Michael Gove it right in

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saying a three-year appointment is not automatically renewed. The proof

:02:48.:02:50.

of the pudding comes in seeing who replaces her and whether they go

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through a fair and transparent appointment process.

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If she is replaced by a Conservative donor, but that change your mind

:02:59.:03:04.

over whether it was political not to reappoint her? If you can

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demonstrate, I don't think it matters whether someone is a Labour

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supporter or Conservative donor. If they have been through a fair and

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open and transparent process of appointment and I genuinely the

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right candidate. There are a lot of people who could serve Ofsted very

:03:21.:03:25.

well. As long as they have a relevant background experience and

:03:26.:03:43.

something to add, that is OK. If it is somebody left-field, simply

:03:44.:03:45.

because they were a Conservative donor, it is not acceptable.

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Isn't it curious that Michael Gove was at great pains at the weekend to

:03:48.:03:50.

say Sally Morgan had done a fantastic job. Superlative, he said.

:03:51.:03:52.

So why let her go? His view is it is useful to have a

:03:53.:03:56.

fresh face at the top. Three years is quite short. Four or five years,

:03:57.:04:01.

usually after that, it is a good idea to bring in someone new. The

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same applies to most boards. But three years is a short period. There

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is a difficulty in saying we extend it for one year. They thought it was

:04:12.:04:16.

time to go out for a new appointment after her first term. You surprised

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by this furore, what is your analysis of that?

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It is unusual when your term of office, because I have held a number

:04:27.:04:30.

of public appointments, it is unusual to complain at the end of

:04:31.:04:33.

your term of office. Most of us accepts there is a need

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for change and move on. There have been rumour mills. Partly, people

:04:40.:04:43.

are worried about political appointments. This is on the tail

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end of quite a few women in public office and seemingly not renewed in

:04:49.:04:52.

their posts. I would really hate to think we are going to take a step

:04:53.:04:57.

backwards into the 1990s when these non-departmental public bodies or

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quangos are run by men. That would be very unhelpful, diversity is

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vital. Does this worry use someone like

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Sally Morgan is not going to be reappointed, another woman, to

:05:13.:05:18.

another high-profile role? If this is going to be the general

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trend, we have started to see this. I am not interested in women on

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boards for the sake of that. We need diversity, different opinions and

:05:30.:05:36.

experiences. All the research shows this. If we are going back to the

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dreaded days I will be personally disappointed. Sir David Bell has

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said Michael Gove should not surround himself with yes-men, a

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criticism that while Sally Morgan may have generally backed him, now

:05:53.:05:56.

he wants someone who will do it more robustly. That is good advice from

:05:57.:06:03.

David Bell. It is not the issue of yes-men.

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Ofsted has a unique role to play in public confidence. Unless Ofsted is

:06:07.:06:12.

seen to be independent... It inspects the government framework.

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It must be seen to be doing that without fear or favour, that is

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essential. Does look like a political decision?

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I am not close enough to Michael Gove to know but I suspect he is

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under enough pressure now to ensure there is a proper appointment

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process. You have said how important it is from a public perception that

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trust isn't undermined. Do you think now that it won't be

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seen as independent as it has in the past?

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No, I don't fear that. There is some work that needs to be done by

:06:48.:06:51.

Michael Gove to demonstrate to the public that the next appointment is

:06:52.:06:56.

fair and transparent. Myself, I went through headhunters, a panel

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interview, and their work to clear candidates. As long as we see a

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process like that, I think the public will be satisfied.

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Disappointment could be taken forward by the office of Public

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appointments which could give it more distance and transparency. What

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is your view of the criticisms levelled at Ofsted in terms of the

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questions they are asking, the way they are carrying out inspections.

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That preceded this row. There is an inevitability, certainly

:07:33.:07:37.

at the time I chaired Ofsted. There were criticisms then, all the way,

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because schools get worried. It is easy to say Ofsted says, therefore

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we can't do this good practice. That is quite common currency. The

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important thing is the inspection frameworks are seen to be fair and

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robust. I see nothing to suggest the frameworks introduced by Michael

:08:02.:08:07.

Wilshaw are anything but that. But it is used by schools as an excuse.

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Does this look political from Michael Gove? Inevitably it will be

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seen as political. The proof of the pudding will be who is selected, how

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they perform afterwards, not just who is selected. Quite often it

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seems to be the right person and we end up with a dead duck. I would

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like to see someone, give them a couple of years. I am a governor of

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a school in Hertfordshire. We got an outstanding report from Ofsted. I

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have no problems. However, it is an area that needs to be thought

:08:49.:08:52.

through carefully. I am sure Michael Gove is doing exactly that. Michael

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Gove still gets to pick a successor. Why not? Secretaries of State have

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been picking people who run... The criticism levelled is that it is

:09:07.:09:13.

politically motivated. When I was working in Whitehall and Labour was

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in office, there wasn't any shortage of political appointees in those

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days. I don't think that is a valid argument. The Lib Dems are furious,

:09:23.:09:27.

David laws is said to be furious. Is this more about coalition politics

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than the independence of Ofsted? David laws would say that, wouldn't

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he? He wants to attract attention. He has a reputation to build

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himself. It is an opportunity for him to say something to catch the

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eye and he has done just that. After a busy weekend of Oxfordshire

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pub lunches with French President Francois Hollande for David Cameron,

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it's the turn of William Hague to play host today, as new German

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Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier is in town. The

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Conservatives are trying to find some kindred spirits on the

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continent, as they press ahead with renegotiating Britain's relationship

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with the EU. It's proving to be a pretty tricky dating show for

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Cameron and co, as they look for a partner in Europe. It didn't get off

:10:07.:10:12.

to the best start, when the Private Members' Bill to legislate for an

:10:13.:10:14.

in-out referendum before 2017 effectively bit the dust in the

:10:15.:10:22.

House of Lords. Meanwhile, David Cameron was trying to win the heart

:10:23.:10:31.

of President Hollande. But he spurned the Prime Minister's

:10:32.:10:34.

advances, saying that EU treaty change was not a priority. The

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been making some encouraging noises

:10:38.:10:40.

for Mr Cameron, suggesting that even this pro-European powerhouse was

:10:41.:10:43.

keen on the idea of reform in certain areas. But Mrs Merkel has

:10:44.:10:49.

just entered her own marriage with new coalition partners, the solidly

:10:50.:10:55.

pro-European Social Democrats. The new Foreign Minister, Frank Walter

:10:56.:10:57.

Steinmeier, is as Social Democrat, and so an unlikely partner for

:10:58.:11:01.

William Hague when they have their own date later today. So, with no

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match-making success for David Cameron and William Hague in Europe,

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will the Tories have any success in renegotiations? Or will any

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referendum in 2017 be a question of "take me out" of the EU on the

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current terms. Joining me now to discuss this is

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German journalist John Jungclaussen. And Conservative MP, and member of

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the Fresh Start group, Tim Loughton. Welcome to you both. How much common

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ground will William Haig find with Steinmeier on the subject of the EU

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reform and treaty change? The interesting question for Steinmeier

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is what it is he should be engaging with. For German politicians and

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much of the continent, what they hear from Britain is a lot of

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hysteria. One of the sound bites which stuck with politicians in

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Berlin was Britain being shackled to the court that is Europe. So there

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is no positive engagement -- to the corpse. Instead of going to Europe

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and saying this is what we put forward, all they have said here is

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they want out. How will you carry on, the government carry on with a

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negotiation, when all they have heard it hysteria, sound bites and

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exit. Hopefully by persuading the general press in Germany that this

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is not our typical attitude. What our group is all about representing

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the majority of Conservative MPs is a positive version of Europe, which

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is sustainable for the whole of Europe. The problem at the moment,

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the EU is not sustainable. Germany knows that, we know that, the rest

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of the nations need to work that out. If we can work out a way

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forward where we can stay in the EU, where the EU can become more

:13:17.:13:22.

sustainable. Why do the Germans only hear the test area -- hysteria? Was

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it a failure of leadership by David Cameron? We are in a difficult

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position. We have a coalition partner not committed to a

:13:39.:13:43.

referendum. In a limbo. We want to speak to politicians from all the

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other EU countries to show we are serious about wanting an EU which

:13:51.:13:55.

the UK can stay in and which is sustainable in the global economy.

:13:56.:14:00.

In the next five years, the GDP of the EU will be 60% A level what it

:14:01.:14:06.

was back in the 1990s. Does the German government accept that, the

:14:07.:14:14.

need for negotiation and reform? I am sure Steinmeier doubts. And the

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SPD? Secretly, certainly. And publicly? We do not know. Steinmeier

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gave an interesting big speech as Foreign Minister on Friday. He

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announced his determination to conduct a more engaging, proactive

:14:35.:14:50.

German foreign policy. But that also indicates there might be greater

:14:51.:14:57.

engagement with Britain. If you talk about the difficulties of the

:14:58.:15:02.

Conservative party in the coalition government to talk about the issues,

:15:03.:15:08.

the whole thing seems to be a nationwide diplomatic failure

:15:09.:15:11.

because, what you hear from the Labour Party is nothing that vacuous

:15:12.:15:18.

sentences about wanting to work within Europe. But they haven't

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committed to a referendum. The public debate not just across Europe

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but in Britain is dominated by this. What should the starting point for

:15:27.:15:45.

William Hague be? ) give me examples of what he should say. Ultimately we

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want the UK to stay in the EU. At the moment it is unsustainable.

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Let's see what the EU should be looking like for the next 20, 30

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years and not be shackled by the concept of ever closer union. That

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is dead and buried. What have you got in common? Angela Merkel says

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she understands the need for reform but no one is interested in treaty

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change. The banking union involves treaty change. Is there a

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willingness to have major treaty change in Germany? No, there is not.

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Germans want banking union. We are not part of that. Two thirds of the

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population will be subject to banking union. That can only happen

:16:42.:16:46.

with treaty change. We need to make sure there is no disconnection

:16:47.:16:50.

between those in the EU and those outside of it. There is a bridge to

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be built. If John is saying the Germans do not want treaty change,

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on some of the issues I have here and the most recent example is

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freedom of movement of people, that is a cornerstone of the EU. Is that

:17:05.:17:17.

up for negotiation? Research has identified things which do not

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involve treaty change. 71% of the GDP of the EU is in services. Any

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3.5% is into EU country trade. That is crazy. We joined the EU for a

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single market. Have you spoken to German MPs about that? There is an

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idea that the single market is something that German politics would

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wholeheartedly embrace. That is why we help this big conference last

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month. Business leaders came to the conference where we were talking

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politics. We were talking about the detail of how we could reform. There

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was consensus across the 28 nations that Europe cannot go on as it is.

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Germany is not signed up to renegotiating desk? No. There is

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every chance of that happening. If we do not get reform of social and

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Labour laws, if we do not get better, robust financial management

:18:31.:18:35.

of economies, Germany will have to bail out the 77% youth unemployment

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rate. It is not sustainable. To be fair to Tim, of course, there is a

:18:45.:18:51.

need for Europe to change. We should not pretend that the idea in Europe

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is prevailing that Europe can continue as it is. There will have

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to be changes. To what extent they can be incremental and on the muddle

:19:01.:19:05.

through basis, or have to be enshrined in a new treaty within the

:19:06.:19:10.

next two years, which is the way Europe has tended to organise itself

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over the last few decades, that is another matter. There is movement.

:19:16.:19:22.

What the Germans do not hear is this concrete engagement. How is this

:19:23.:19:32.

conversation going to go? It will not go very well, will it? What

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everyone seems to have forgotten is the most important factor and that

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is the people. The people in Germany, the Netherlands and

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Austria, even France. Free movement was designed for a very different

:19:46.:19:50.

animal than the one we have got now. You need treaty change. That does

:19:51.:19:56.

not seem to be on the table. It was not completely ruled out by

:19:57.:20:00.

President Francois Hollande last week. In Germany, the Christian

:20:01.:20:06.

Democrats and the CSU, their sister party, are much keener than perhaps

:20:07.:20:12.

the Social Democrats are. I think there will be increasing pressure on

:20:13.:20:16.

the politicians to address this issue. Is it all going to be done

:20:17.:20:23.

and dusted, this renegotiation, by 2017? I doubt it. That is the basis

:20:24.:20:29.

by which David Cameron has said the people of Britain can have a

:20:30.:20:35.

referendum on which to decide the future of Europe on the renegotiated

:20:36.:20:41.

settlement. The fact is, if you look at the time scale, to me, I may be

:20:42.:20:46.

completely wrong, but it does not seem possible to get everything in

:20:47.:20:54.

place. Not by the 17th. Eventually it will happen. You think you could

:20:55.:21:01.

do incremental steps but you could not radically renegotiate things

:21:02.:21:04.

around the movement of people, around policing and crime. These are

:21:05.:21:08.

the areas which need to be looked at. Nothing like the prospect of a

:21:09.:21:15.

referendum focuses the mind 's. We have a Conservative government

:21:16.:21:18.

committed to that referendum and all the other nations of Europe will

:21:19.:21:21.

have to take the British position much more seriously and sit down

:21:22.:21:26.

around the table. There is a clear window between 2015 and 2017. You

:21:27.:21:37.

cannot do this in two years. If there has not been a successful

:21:38.:21:41.

renegotiation on the basis of some of your points, which way will you

:21:42.:21:48.

vote? If we have not achieved what we need to for proper reform of

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Europe, I will vote Labour. It is right that people have that

:21:56.:21:59.

opportunity. That is an honest, straightforward answer to that

:22:00.:22:10.

question. They care not enough to sign up to an idea where Britain has

:22:11.:22:15.

all the rights of EU members without being an actual member. It is not

:22:16.:22:20.

just what we want, it is what Europe needs to be sustainable. Immigration

:22:21.:22:24.

- it's the one of the most important issues for voters along with the

:22:25.:22:26.

economy and, unsurprisingly, politicians take it very seriously

:22:27.:22:31.

indeed. But for something which generates such heat, there's

:22:32.:22:33.

surprisingly little light on the actual facts and figures. It often

:22:34.:22:38.

seems that one person's flood is another's trickle, and both sides of

:22:39.:22:41.

the argument throw stats at each other with gay abandon. So, is it

:22:42.:22:45.

possible to get hard and fast data on the number of people coming into

:22:46.:22:49.

the country and what exactly do we mean by immigration anyway?

:22:50.:22:58.

Immigration, it seems everyone has a view. Do we really know what we are

:22:59.:23:05.

talking about? Is it legal, illegal? Perhaps, more to the point, does

:23:06.:23:09.

anyone honestly know how many migrants are in the country? The

:23:10.:23:15.

only two countries I know of where I reckon they have a pretty good idea

:23:16.:23:18.

of how many migrants go in and come out and stay there illegally, on

:23:19.:23:24.

North Korea and, in the same breath, Australia. In one case there

:23:25.:23:29.

was a particular type of government. In the other case, it is a large

:23:30.:23:34.

island and everyone is clocked in and out. According to the Office for

:23:35.:23:40.

National Statistics comment net migration was 182,000. That is plus

:23:41.:23:45.

or -35,000. The actual number could be anything from 147,000 to 217,000.

:23:46.:23:52.

If the official number crunchers do not know the answer, how can we

:23:53.:23:57.

expect anyone else to? That is based on the passenger survey which, it is

:23:58.:24:02.

claimed for it is not accurate enough. The best way of doing it is

:24:03.:24:10.

a population register. A number of countries have a population

:24:11.:24:15.

register. As soon as you mention the motion of compiling a register of

:24:16.:24:21.

population in the UK, people start thinking about ID cards and

:24:22.:24:26.

invasions of privacy. It becomes politically impossible. It is not

:24:27.:24:29.

just this government that has struggled with the numbers. In

:24:30.:24:35.

2004, Labour claimed there would be 13,000 immigrants from Poland and

:24:36.:24:40.

other European countries. In 2010, net migration peaked at 250,000. Is

:24:41.:24:46.

there a better way of dealing with this? The debate that needs to be

:24:47.:24:53.

handled in a way which gets to the facts. What sort of migration do we

:24:54.:24:57.

want to see? What are the best mechanics we can put in place? Very

:24:58.:25:03.

reportedly, how can we have a system that is good for the country but

:25:04.:25:09.

which people perceive as being fair. There has to be a compromise between

:25:10.:25:14.

the polarised views. The compromise is to look at individual migration

:25:15.:25:20.

streams. That is Labour, asylum, students, family. Look at what we

:25:21.:25:29.

want from each of those migration streams. Where the compromise might

:25:30.:25:37.

be sought. There is nothing new about immigration and nothing new

:25:38.:25:40.

about it being controversial. What is new is how much we do not know

:25:41.:25:48.

about who is coming to the country and why. Joining us now is the

:25:49.:25:56.

Labour MP, Diane Abbott. The Oxford University migration Department has

:25:57.:26:03.

said we cannot make accurate predictions about the number of

:26:04.:26:07.

Bulgarians and Romanians who come to the UK. They know full well that you

:26:08.:26:12.

have to make a judgment. Our judgment has been based on a number

:26:13.:26:18.

of factors. It is not a wild guess. There is no scientific way of

:26:19.:26:22.

establishing what the precise numbers will be. For example, those

:26:23.:26:27.

who have already come over the last five years, comparing income levels

:26:28.:26:34.

between Romania, bog area and the United Kingdom. -- bog area. Have

:26:35.:26:40.

they been like that for the last few years? There have been something

:26:41.:26:46.

like 30,000. That is at a time when there were constraints on those

:26:47.:26:52.

coming here. No one said, we certainly have not said, everyone

:26:53.:26:58.

was waiting on the border to come here on 31st of December. It was not

:26:59.:27:04.

what we were saying. Some of the tabloids may have been saying that.

:27:05.:27:08.

We said, over five years, on average, there would be between

:27:09.:27:15.

30000 and 70,000 a year coming here. A central figure of 50,000. I firmly

:27:16.:27:23.

stick by that. You do not think that will be disproven? Exactly the same

:27:24.:27:29.

thing was said when in 2004 the other Eastern Europeans came in.

:27:30.:27:33.

Everyone said, you are wrong, only a few thousand will come in. Between

:27:34.:27:39.

five and 13,000. In the end, it was a lot more than that. We believe

:27:40.:27:44.

that will happen again this time around. According to a poll

:27:45.:27:49.

conducted by YouGov, the majority think that immigration has been bad

:27:50.:27:54.

for the British economy. Why do they think that? Historically, whenever

:27:55.:28:00.

you have an economic downturn, people are hurting. They look for

:28:01.:28:05.

scapegoats and scapegoats are always immigrants, or others. It is a

:28:06.:28:11.

historical, political phenomenon. The fact is, the same polling

:28:12.:28:18.

company wildly over estimate. The problem with immigration, there are

:28:19.:28:21.

two things which make it to Google to bandy figures. Innovation has

:28:22.:28:31.

always been a euphemism. -- difficult to bandy figures. Some

:28:32.:28:37.

people might be refugees and asylum seekers. My son is a

:28:38.:28:43.

third-generation British national. Do you think people have not become

:28:44.:28:48.

more sophisticated that views on immigration have been influenced by

:28:49.:28:52.

what happened when many Polish people came to this country. If you

:28:53.:28:59.

read about the history of immigration, what they say about

:29:00.:29:04.

Eastern European is what they said about the Irish in the 19th century.

:29:05.:29:12.

The narrative is always the same. I disagree very strongly on that. It

:29:13.:29:18.

is not to do with race. What has changed hugely in my time in this

:29:19.:29:22.

country is that people no longer look at people like Diane and me and

:29:23.:29:27.

say, there is a foreigner. That does not happen any more. You only need

:29:28.:29:32.

to look at football, cricket and any other sporting team to know this is

:29:33.:29:36.

about the volume and the speed with which it is happening. That is not

:29:37.:29:41.

in the interests of anyone, including those already here. Maybe

:29:42.:29:47.

that is true in London. When you are outside of London and he ask someone

:29:48.:29:51.

what they mean by immigrants, they mean Muslims were people who go to a

:29:52.:29:56.

mosque. It is a very emotive subject. Immigration is not now, and

:29:57.:30:02.

whether you are talking about the Jews in the 20th century, it has

:30:03.:30:08.

never been about facts. Why did Labour feel it should apologise? I

:30:09.:30:15.

do not know. We did indeed get that big a wrong on the polls. Wildly

:30:16.:30:27.

wrong. We had no border controls. It was nonsense. Did too many people

:30:28.:30:32.

come over? I have filing cabinets are people under a Labour government

:30:33.:30:36.

who waited years and years to bring husbands, wives and children. It was

:30:37.:30:42.

the Labour administration, I did not approve of it, which took away money

:30:43.:30:46.

from immigrants and gave them vouchers instead. We did not have an

:30:47.:30:52.

open door. The figures about the Polish were wrong but it was not an

:30:53.:30:57.

open door. That is a myth. Finer grid things happened which made it

:30:58.:31:01.

considerably easier for people to come here. -- things did happen. In

:31:02.:31:11.

the first year alone, the public man -- Public Accounts Committee said

:31:12.:31:13.

people who were students actually came here to work.

:31:14.:31:24.

You see things differently. What I seek is the people who didn't get

:31:25.:31:30.

in. Should we be encouraging more immigration?

:31:31.:31:39.

The thing about migration, is not about saying we want more or less.

:31:40.:31:50.

In the EU, we have free movement. Underlying all this is economic

:31:51.:32:00.

trends. James Dyson has launched a scathing attack on immigration

:32:01.:32:04.

policy accusing ministers of turning away bright foreign engineers which

:32:05.:32:13.

the UK desperately needs. This is a nonsense. If you look at the numbers

:32:14.:32:22.

coming here to study at university, they went out last year despite the

:32:23.:32:27.

immigration policies, and the year before they went up. Apart from

:32:28.:32:32.

that, there is an opportunity, Dyson can bring in as many people he likes

:32:33.:32:37.

as long as he pays them enough. We should be training our own people

:32:38.:32:43.

anyway. We can't turn to cheap labour to bring people in. Isn't

:32:44.:32:49.

that the point? It is low-paid people in this country who have

:32:50.:32:56.

suffered more than other parts of the population, because until now

:32:57.:33:01.

they have been undercut. These other people 's labour is bent to be

:33:02.:33:06.

sticking up for. This is the oldest story in the book. The point is...

:33:07.:33:13.

People talk about this as if Eastern Europeans are paying themselves low

:33:14.:33:18.

wages, and employers are innocent bystanders. We need to enforce a

:33:19.:33:25.

minimum wage, reinforce the gang masters legislation, and trade union

:33:26.:33:32.

rights and freedoms. We should not stigmatise migrants. If you want to

:33:33.:33:38.

reduce immigration, you would have to leave the EU. First of all, on

:33:39.:33:43.

that point, I would hate to give the impression I was trying to

:33:44.:33:47.

stigmatise migrants. I don't do that. When we talk about the numbers

:33:48.:33:53.

coming into this country, half a million people a year are coming in.

:33:54.:33:57.

Simply a case of bringing that number down, not stopping it.

:33:58.:34:06.

Time to get our regular Monday update from the Westminster press

:34:07.:34:10.

corps on the big stories of the week. Let's talk to Emily Ashton of

:34:11.:34:16.

the Sun. And Andrew Grice of the Independent.

:34:17.:34:25.

Andrew, coalition tensions seem to have exploded to the surface, the

:34:26.:34:35.

Lib Dems gunning for Michael Gove. Education was an area where the

:34:36.:34:39.

coalition parties cooperated well at the start. In the last few months,

:34:40.:34:44.

we have seen significant differences. The Lib Dems are not

:34:45.:34:49.

happy about unqualified teachers in classrooms and have attacked that.

:34:50.:34:54.

Now, they are livid Michael Gove has not given Sally Morgan a second

:34:55.:35:00.

three-year term. How significant do you see this? In the real world, I

:35:01.:35:04.

don't think people are talking about Baroness Morgan. The Lib Dems are

:35:05.:35:13.

getting cross because they want to differentiate themselves from the

:35:14.:35:16.

Tories in the run-up to the election. David Laws is miffed he

:35:17.:35:21.

wasn't consulted. In reality, what does it matter to real people? When

:35:22.:35:27.

Labour were in power, there were a lot of Labour people at the head of

:35:28.:35:37.

quangos then. The Tory MP selection row now. Meetings are taking place

:35:38.:35:47.

as we speak over Tim Yeo. They want local party members to be

:35:48.:35:54.

accountable, there have been criticisms over the workrate of Tim

:35:55.:36:01.

Yeo. There is a crucial ballot today. Local party members want to

:36:02.:36:06.

make sure they have got an MP totally committed to that area which

:36:07.:36:11.

is a good thing for politics. Is this a sign of The Times, people

:36:12.:36:17.

holding their MPs to account if they don't do their constituency work? It

:36:18.:36:24.

is interesting how Tim Yeo and and Macintosh are both chairs of

:36:25.:36:27.

committees which takes up a lot of time. In the run-up to the election,

:36:28.:36:33.

constituency work becomes more important. Backbenchers will be

:36:34.:36:41.

thinking about this. What about labour reforms? The Labour Party

:36:42.:36:49.

could be poorer as a result of changing its relationship with the

:36:50.:36:54.

unions, is it a price worth paying? I think it is. Some people around

:36:55.:37:00.

Miliband are comparing this to the decision by Tony Blair to scrap

:37:01.:37:09.

clause 4. It is a historic change, union members who want to contribute

:37:10.:37:16.

to funds will have to opt in rather than opting out. That is a

:37:17.:37:20.

significant change. It could be followed in a few years by other

:37:21.:37:25.

changes to the union power base within the Labour Party, their 50%

:37:26.:37:30.

vote at the annual conference, 11 of the 33 seats on the national

:37:31.:37:34.

executive committee. This is the start of a process. This may not be

:37:35.:37:41.

of great interest to the public but could it be, further down the line?

:37:42.:37:50.

It is the effect, will be unions have less influence? We had Len

:37:51.:37:54.

McCluskey saying it was music to his is these reforms were coming in. --

:37:55.:38:06.

to his ears. Labour will get to contemplate this.

:38:07.:38:15.

It sounds to me as if the unions will not lose much influence at

:38:16.:38:20.

all. They will have less influence. The sort of party Ed Miliband is

:38:21.:38:26.

envisaging is one where you have 200,000 members, ordinary members of

:38:27.:38:31.

the party, which already exists. He was to attract 100,000 registered

:38:32.:38:35.

supporters who don't want to be full members but would pay a small sum

:38:36.:38:41.

and take part in local selections. And perhaps 100,000 trade union

:38:42.:38:47.

affiliated members. That would not mean the unions dominating the

:38:48.:38:54.

party, the ordinary members would. They would become a true one member

:38:55.:38:55.

one vote party. Let's return to education because,

:38:56.:39:00.

Michael Gove's been making a speech this morning - he wants the state

:39:01.:39:04.

schools to offer the same quality of education available to private

:39:05.:39:11.

school pupils. More great schools, more great teachers, more pupils

:39:12.:39:16.

achieving great results. The conclusion is English state

:39:17.:39:19.

education is no longer bog-standard, it is getting better and better.

:39:20.:39:25.

When Channel four make documentaries about great competences, academies,

:39:26.:39:30.

in Essex and Yorkshire, when BBC Three makes heroes at tough, young

:39:31.:39:36.

teachers. When even tattler publishes a guide to the best state

:39:37.:39:40.

schools because they are better than independent schools, you know the

:39:41.:39:43.

tectonic plates have started to shift.

:39:44.:39:47.

I've been joined by Labour's Seema Malhotra. Ian Swales for the Liberal

:39:48.:39:51.

Democrats. And the Conservative MP Chris Skidmore who is on the

:39:52.:39:57.

Education Select Committee. Welcome to all of you. We have heard

:39:58.:40:02.

reports, David Laws is so furious with Michael Gove. Why doesn't he

:40:03.:40:05.

say so himself? I think he more or less has said it

:40:06.:40:11.

himself. What we want to see is independent scrutiny of the

:40:12.:40:15.

education system through Ofsted. We don't want someone in there who is

:40:16.:40:21.

in there for political reasons. Why do think that independence will be

:40:22.:40:24.

lost? We don't know. The real test is who

:40:25.:40:28.

Michael Gove will appoint into this role. The suspicion is it will be

:40:29.:40:33.

somebody who is a donor to the Tory party and we feel that make up their

:40:34.:40:39.

independence. You weren't unhappy with a Labour supporting chair?

:40:40.:40:44.

We have to look at the experience of people and Sally Morgan has massive

:40:45.:40:47.

experience and has done a really good job. David Laws is miffed

:40:48.:40:52.

because he wasn't consulted even though here's Schools Minister. Is

:40:53.:40:59.

this a serious coalition bust up? It is a disagreement over this issue.

:41:00.:41:04.

As your reports have said, we are in strong agreement on education with

:41:05.:41:09.

Michael Gove, and support anything he is trying to do. Is there any

:41:10.:41:16.

support for winning votes over this row? I do not think this is

:41:17.:41:21.

particularly party political, we are just trying to do the right thing

:41:22.:41:25.

for education. What is your reaction that the Lib Dems are so angry? It

:41:26.:41:29.

is your reaction that the Lib Dems are so angry? It isn't great if

:41:30.:41:31.

you're coalition partners who have by and large been pretty

:41:32.:41:35.

supportive, now it has all gone in the wind? It is a distraction from

:41:36.:41:41.

the main speech on education today where Michael Gove will set out his

:41:42.:41:46.

clear plans. Lengthening the school day. Increasing standards by making

:41:47.:41:51.

sure what is available to private schools is available to state

:41:52.:41:56.

schools. Sally Morgan has not been sacked, her contract has not been

:41:57.:42:04.

renewed. The Lib Dem donor Paul Marshall will be chairing the

:42:05.:42:08.

selection committee. That will make you happy? Let's see what the result

:42:09.:42:15.

is. We need education screwed -- we need independent scrutiny of

:42:16.:42:21.

education. Your point that you want to offer state school pupils the

:42:22.:42:27.

same as on offer in private schools. An extended school day to allow

:42:28.:42:33.

pupils to attend homework clubs in school. Clear messages when it comes

:42:34.:42:37.

to subject choice, discipline. To ensure that education is the engine

:42:38.:42:43.

of sociability. The too long we have had a clear divide between the state

:42:44.:42:50.

and private sectors. We need to go further to ensure every pupil,

:42:51.:42:55.

particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, get chances in life.

:42:56.:43:01.

How much more is spent in a private school? That gap is closing. When

:43:02.:43:09.

you take a pupil in Tower Hamlets, ?8,900 per pupil per year. In a

:43:10.:43:16.

private school, ?50,000. Let us broadly say double. Why not just put

:43:17.:43:21.

the money death? We have done. The pupil premium has made sure there is

:43:22.:43:27.

directly targeted funds going to the poorest pupils. We have increased

:43:28.:43:33.

the pupil premium up to ?1400 per pupil. So we are moving the money

:43:34.:43:40.

towards greater standards. Education takes up ?70 billion of public

:43:41.:43:46.

money. We are ensuring we have structures and standards in place.

:43:47.:43:51.

If it's not just about the money and you want to emulate private

:43:52.:43:58.

schools, they have twice as much money per head to play with. Not

:43:59.:44:04.

everywhere. When you look in areas like tower hamlets, they have three

:44:05.:44:09.

times money they have in South Gloucestershire. The private schools

:44:10.:44:13.

have twice as much money per pupil to spend than in state schools. You

:44:14.:44:19.

are asking state schools to do an awful lot with less money. That is a

:44:20.:44:24.

false argument. When you look at private schools, selective grammar

:44:25.:44:29.

schools, they have higher standards. They are also offering subject

:44:30.:44:37.

choices. Things that not all schools are offering. Making that are

:44:38.:44:42.

available. Providing support, continuing professional development.

:44:43.:44:44.

Are you signed up to those reforms? What we have seen is politicisation

:44:45.:45:03.

of the chair of Ofsted. Why has it been politicised? There were heads

:45:04.:45:11.

of public bodies who have been Labour. The question of merit has

:45:12.:45:16.

always been there in relation to public appointments. What is behind

:45:17.:45:22.

some of the reforms and why he is said to Baroness Morgan that she was

:45:23.:45:28.

laid and that is the reason she was not reappointed. The reports are

:45:29.:45:36.

that that is what was said. There is something more fundamental about

:45:37.:45:38.

reforms and what you need in order to drive up standards in schools.

:45:39.:45:44.

What we all know and what research has shown is that improving school

:45:45.:45:47.

standards starts with qualified teachers in the classroom. Michael

:45:48.:45:51.

Gove has not yet answered the accusation that not having qualified

:45:52.:45:54.

teachers in the classroom has the potential to reduce this. If you

:45:55.:46:04.

want to tackle behaviour and look at increasing opportunities for wider

:46:05.:46:07.

learning within school, which we all support, if you want to look at

:46:08.:46:13.

increasing outcomes, what you need is a way to improve school standards

:46:14.:46:18.

through quality teaching. We will pick up your point on quality. You

:46:19.:46:25.

are worried about the politicisation of appointments using the chair of

:46:26.:46:29.

Ofsted as an example. Do you accept that when Labour is in power it

:46:30.:46:34.

stuffed Labour supporting people as heads of all sorts of quangos? We

:46:35.:46:38.

have a graft to show you. You can see the red line chewing the time

:46:39.:46:43.

Labour was in office compared with the Lib Dems and the Conservatives.

:46:44.:46:49.

The Graaf speaks for itself. Even now it is only just coming down, and

:46:50.:46:54.

that is three years after the Coalition Government came in in

:46:55.:47:00.

2010. The issue is about merit. Do you access there were a lot more

:47:01.:47:06.

Labour appointments? What we have always believed in what Labour is

:47:07.:47:11.

asking for is increasing diversity and having talent through increasing

:47:12.:47:16.

number of women, ethnic minorities, to get those voices in and enrich

:47:17.:47:21.

the debate which is a challenge. You are in danger of being criticised in

:47:22.:47:25.

getting rid of someone Michael Gove says is marvellous her job and

:47:26.:47:36.

replacing her. Her contract ran out. People watching this will think, we

:47:37.:47:41.

have the left leaning glitterati, Primrose sect, who believe they are

:47:42.:47:47.

born to quango. That is unacceptable. We need to move away

:47:48.:47:55.

from people who think they can waltz into six-figure salaried jobs. What

:47:56.:47:59.

this is about is Michael Gove reducing the voices that may be a

:48:00.:48:03.

challenge to him. It is a real question about whether or not people

:48:04.:48:06.

voices will be heard within the system and he will really be able to

:48:07.:48:13.

listen to what can go wrong. Do you agree in terms of the general

:48:14.:48:19.

reforms? Better discipline and more discipline in schools? Do you

:48:20.:48:25.

support a longer school day? I do. I also agree we want to see qualified

:48:26.:48:29.

teachers in schools. Schools should not be run for profit. Within the

:48:30.:48:34.

coalition, we have been battling to make sure the school system works

:48:35.:48:38.

effectively. I also believe the point about quangos, I would like to

:48:39.:48:45.

see a lot less tribalism all round. There are lots of people out on the

:48:46.:48:50.

street who are not aligned to any political party, who have great

:48:51.:48:58.

merits. The problem about qualified teachers will not go away. The

:48:59.:49:02.

Liberal Democrats and Labour will fight you on this. How do you define

:49:03.:49:09.

a good teacher? Slapping a badge and saying, you have qualified teacher

:49:10.:49:13.

status, does not make you a good teacher. 15,000 people have this

:49:14.:49:18.

status and they are appalling teachers. They need to be removed

:49:19.:49:23.

from the classroom. You have missed the point. Teaching is a far more

:49:24.:49:27.

complex job and being able to deliver. You need to establish

:49:28.:49:31.

better techniques for managing behaviour. How you manage it in a

:49:32.:49:39.

positive way. How you deal with children who could be from all sorts

:49:40.:49:43.

of backgrounds. Children who go to school hungry in the mornings. There

:49:44.:49:55.

are increases in food banks. We have been working with the teaching

:49:56.:49:59.

profession on trying to seek continual development. Every

:50:00.:50:05.

profession is looking at developer and opportunities for their own

:50:06.:50:08.

members. I want to challenge the point from Chris about why it is

:50:09.:50:14.

irrelevant to be talking about food banks. If children are going to

:50:15.:50:21.

school hungry, they tend to be more aggressive, tend to need calming

:50:22.:50:25.

down. What you need to look at holistically is the welfare of

:50:26.:50:31.

children will stop -- the welfare of children. Teachers need to have

:50:32.:50:36.

experience and training to deal with a whole range of issues for

:50:37.:50:43.

children. I agree about the wider issues of children. We have

:50:44.:50:47.

introduced the pupil premium and free school meals for younger

:50:48.:50:51.

children. We know that educational attainment is linked to resources,

:50:52.:50:56.

particularly in deprived areas, and also to being welfare. We totally

:50:57.:51:02.

support that. Is alienating the teaching profession really the way

:51:03.:51:10.

to go? I disagree. As a result of the reforms, changes in PGCE, we are

:51:11.:51:17.

having new, young teachers coming into schools. Four times as many

:51:18.:51:23.

graduates will start than in 2010. We are actually revolutionising and

:51:24.:51:29.

bringing in excellent, young teachers. Tomorrow, Labour 's NEC

:51:30.:51:39.

will meet to approve plans to reform Labour's relationship with the trade

:51:40.:51:42.

unions. A review commissioned by Ed Miliband is proposing abolishing the

:51:43.:51:45.

Electoral College that gives unions a third of the vote in leadership

:51:46.:51:48.

contests and introducing one member, one vote. Union members will be able

:51:49.:51:52.

to decide whether to donate to the party which would give them the

:51:53.:51:55.

right to participate in any leadership ballot. Here's how the

:51:56.:51:59.

General Secretary of the GMB union reacted to the changes on

:52:00.:52:04.

yesterday's Sunday Politics. It is certainly a big, bold move,

:52:05.:52:10.

certainly in terms of the electoral college. That elected him in the

:52:11.:52:15.

first place. Everybody really admits that has needed reforming for some

:52:16.:52:19.

time. And moving to a one member, one vote situation. That seems to me

:52:20.:52:28.

to be a sensible idea. I know some people are upset about it, mostly

:52:29.:52:32.

MPs, who will lose their golden share. It really is nonsense that

:52:33.:52:40.

one MP should have the same voting strength as 1000 party members. Are

:52:41.:52:45.

you upset about it? It seems the real losers are Labour MPs. It is a

:52:46.:52:50.

really exciting change. My vote should be the same as any other

:52:51.:52:55.

members in the party. What this change will do, I believe, will

:52:56.:53:01.

route these reforms, route the party much more in with the British

:53:02.:53:06.

people, in which workers who are members of unions, and who actually

:53:07.:53:09.

have not had an individual relationship with the Labour Party.

:53:10.:53:13.

This is about strengthening and reforming the links between the

:53:14.:53:16.

trade unions and Labour. Someone like me, I think it is right, I

:53:17.:53:20.

should have one vote rather than a vote as a member of Parliament,

:53:21.:53:25.

about the trade union member, a vote of the Fabian Society member and a

:53:26.:53:30.

boat as an individual. But he will have less safe. -- a vote. -- but

:53:31.:53:44.

you will have less say. It is about saying, if you want politics that is

:53:45.:53:49.

engaging so many people quite unique in way in which you are opening the

:53:50.:53:56.

doors and increasing access. I was speaking to a Conservative MP who

:53:57.:54:00.

said that if you can make this work, it will have implications for us

:54:01.:54:06.

all. We will come on to the effects on other parties. Criticism has

:54:07.:54:11.

always been about union influence whether leadership elections or

:54:12.:54:14.

conferences, or whether it is policy platforms. Actually, that will not

:54:15.:54:20.

change. That is why he is looking so relaxed in talking about these

:54:21.:54:23.

changes. His power will not be reduced, it? Unions represent

:54:24.:54:31.

millions of working people. These criticisms have been levelled at

:54:32.:54:38.

Labour, saying they have too much influence. The Labour Party has

:54:39.:54:46.

changed. It has changed over the last 100 years. To say you are

:54:47.:54:50.

allowing collective affiliation of units but changing the way in which

:54:51.:54:54.

individuals can have a greater say has be reformed in line with what we

:54:55.:54:59.

have today. You keep going on about Ed Miliband and the Labour Party

:55:00.:55:02.

being controlled by union barons. You cannot say that any more. Len

:55:03.:55:09.

McCluskey said, this is music to my ears. Ed Miliband will love it as

:55:10.:55:16.

well. He was elected by the unions in the first place. Why not say, for

:55:17.:55:23.

every person who is a member of the Labour Party, they get one vote? Why

:55:24.:55:29.

should unionists get an extra vote for ?3? I am on the policy board and

:55:30.:55:38.

I do not know of any donors who have influence. In comparison to the

:55:39.:55:45.

unions, who really have Labour 's arms twisted behind their back... I

:55:46.:55:54.

get a very good strapline but it is not the reality. Lib Dems looked at

:55:55.:55:59.

this with mild amusement. We have always had one member, one vote for

:56:00.:56:06.

the leader. The devil is in the detail on the union issue. Union

:56:07.:56:12.

leaders are quite relaxed about it. If they organise well, they only

:56:13.:56:16.

have to get one in ten members to affiliate, have a bigger say in who

:56:17.:56:22.

the next leader of the next Labour Party -- of the Labour Party is. On

:56:23.:56:28.

funding, it poses a problem. Whether it is right or not, that is for

:56:29.:56:33.

others to judge. Whether you are routinely Labour Party more firmly

:56:34.:56:35.

in the minds of working people, financially, it is going to cause

:56:36.:56:43.

problems. This is a choice and a risk. The majority of funding

:56:44.:56:47.

already comes from individual members. If you want to do the right

:56:48.:56:51.

thing, sometimes you have to take a small hit. Over a period of time, we

:56:52.:56:56.

will see these changes making the Labour Party a stronger and more

:56:57.:57:01.

sustainable party. It is that there are a more democratic party. Now, it

:57:02.:57:06.

is a hard life in the House of Lords, although they enjoy tax-payer

:57:07.:57:09.

subsided restaurant and bars. It seems dining standards are slipping.

:57:10.:57:12.

A rather mischievous FOI request has revealed peers' complaints about

:57:13.:57:14.

catering in the Upper Chamber. They were seriously unimpressed by the

:57:15.:57:18.

quality of a new coffee machine. As one wrote, you could not have

:57:19.:57:21.

calculated a move more likely to spread ill will. Another complained

:57:22.:57:24.

a 15 minutes wait to be seated lost some of the finesse of the afternoon

:57:25.:57:28.

and, sadly, meant his guests didn't have enough time to eat the

:57:29.:57:31.

beautiful cake selection. But some concerns were more prosaic - and

:57:32.:57:34.

pedantic. A note requested canteen staff to stop asking whether we want

:57:35.:57:38.

butter on jacket potatoes when what they mean is marge. Your response? I

:57:39.:57:47.

think the whole thing should be taken into the private sector. This

:57:48.:57:52.

whole debate around subsidies and is therefore not go away until we

:57:53.:57:56.

remove taxpayer funding for the catering service. The thing is, we

:57:57.:58:01.

have eventually got to come to some further reform. Should they be

:58:02.:58:06.

complaining? It is all about lowering the costs of the way the

:58:07.:58:10.

Houses of Parliament work. As a new MP, I was quite surprised with some

:58:11.:58:15.

of what I saw. I have already been lots of changes. It is a strong

:58:16.:58:26.

argument in the House of Lords. There is a real concern about some

:58:27.:58:30.

of the points that were raised. It does make the House of Lords look

:58:31.:58:33.

quite out of touch, particularly with what the country is going

:58:34.:58:37.

through, in terms of some of those complaints. The staff across the

:58:38.:58:41.

House of Commons and the House of Lords work incredibly hard and a

:58:42.:58:46.

huge amount of pressure. We need to separate some of these issues out

:58:47.:58:48.

and give them credit for what they do. I think the food is very good in

:58:49.:58:53.

the House of Lords. Thank you to all my guests. The one o'clock news is

:58:54.:59:00.

starting over on BBC One now. Bye-bye.

:59:01.:59:04.

Jo Coburn is joined by Alp Mehmet, the former British diplomat, to discuss Michael Gove's education speech as well as all the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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