07/02/2014 Daily Politics


07/02/2014

Andrew Neil with the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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Afternoon folk, welcome to the Daily Politics. Floodwaters continue to

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rise and so does the anger of people, as houses and fields have

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been under water now for weeks. Are they paying the price for

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Government and agencies too slow to act?

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To clear your -- declare your love for Scotland the Prime Minister

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tells the tens of millions of Brits without a vote in September's

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Independence Referendum. Do the people of England, Wales and

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Northern Ireland share the Prime Minister's passion?

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A senior US diplomat in Ukraine apologises following an apparent

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four letter outburst about the European Union. Just undiplomatic

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language or signs of a deeper rift? And to infinity and beyond. Are the

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billions ploughed into the European Space Agency money well spent?

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So all that in the next hour, with us for the next half hour and firmly

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on planet earth is the journalist and broadcaster Anne McElvoy, fresh

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from her skiing last night. I am happy to be in a warm studio. Your

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legs are intact? Just about. We sent her to hemle help stead, we couldn't

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afford Sochi. The National Union of Teachers have announced a one day

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strike in England and Wales over pay and conditions. It will be held on

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the 26th mar. The other big teacher union the NASUWT is considering

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whether to support the action. We are joined by the General Secretary

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of the NUT Christine Blower. Welcome to the programme. Good afternoon.

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You have been in talks with Michael Gove to try and avoid this strike

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but it is a three year running dispute, is that right? We haven't

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been in talks with Michael gov Gove, we had a meeting with imon October,

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with civil servants or October 14th when we were offered Taub, since

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then there have been no meetings and no talks. We would very much like

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there to be talks, in order to resolve this dispute, because

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clearly it has been going on much too long, and obviously things are

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not good for teacher, so we would like to be involved in the talks at

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the moment there maybe the offer only so talks for the unions but as

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Francis O'Grady said, you, you resolve a dispute with the parties

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to the dispute, so we need talks with Michael Gove, with ourselves

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and the NASUWT. At the moment they are not on offer. It is about

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performance-related pay. Am I not right in thinking that is a mer of

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principle, you are against that? It is not all about that, it is about

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workload and pension, the fact is many aspects of teacher's pay are

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performance-related, but we are opposed to the linking of the new

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appraisal scheme with the fact national pay arrangements have been

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demolished. The fact 74% of teachers say morale has declined suggest they

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are not happy either. So it is important that Michael Gove gets

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round the table with ourself, and talks with us to resolve these

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disputes. Are you in a position to negotiate over performance-related

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pay? We are in a position to negotiation over what pay should

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look like, as I say to you, the fact that teachers already have to pass

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an induction year, in order to stay in the profession, so there is an

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element of performance in there. What we cannot have is teachers' pay

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linked to individual student performance, and the reason reason

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we can't have that is there is no interhagsal evidence suggesting that

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improves things for individual students. So there is no point in

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having that -- international. What does the Education Secretary have to

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do get you to call off the strike, at least temporarily? Well, of

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course we have already called off strike action. When we went into the

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initial phase of talks on October 14 th with civil servant, we didn't go

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on strike, on November 27th. We thought talks were forthcoming. What

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the Secretary of State has to do is engage in serious talks with us

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about pay, pensions and conditions of service, but also, he has to not

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make any damaging changes to teachers' conditions in the

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forthcoming STRV report. We are prepared to stand down strike

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action, but I think the Secretary of State needs to know that teachers'

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morale is poor at the moment and they need to see quite a lot of

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changes. If Mr Gove was here, is this, this strike, what he would

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call the behaviour of the blob? I don't know what he would, there are

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a lot of people included in the blob. Are you in the blob? I think

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you are. Sometimes I am, sometimes I am not. I am actually very pleased

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to be associated with a lot of people who are in the blob, but I

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have to say, it is not the case that in other jurisdictions that

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Education Ministers go round insulting people who are really

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engaged and enthusiastic about education. Professors of education,

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leaders of teachers' unions and so on. Thank you, we will keep an eye

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and see what happens. Now we did obviously have to speak

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to an Education Minister but none was available. They probably got

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lost in the blob. I suspect that Mr Gove, I mean, he thinks, he clearly

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thinks the NUT is part of the problem, not the solution. And isn't

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that interesting -- interested in negotiating. He thinks they are tout

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stop everything he wants to do, as they attempted to stop much of what

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Mr Blair wants to be He think think are the enemy. Also he think, this

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is a difficult question, he doesn't think they really, intend to prevail

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any way, they throw up strikes which are hugely inconvenient for parents,

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they disrupt children's education but they tend not to get what they

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want. I think he thinks they won't this time. All this talk about pay

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and performance pay, British teacher, teachers in England because

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we are in different situations in Scotland and Wales, they are pretty

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well paid, and they have got better paid, rightly, in my view, I should

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say, in the last ten years, and if you look at the OECD, you break down

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the amount of pay for time spent actually teaching in the classroom,

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Britain, England I keep saying Britain, I am into the next debate

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about Scotland already, England scores well, comes in about fourth

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place in the international league tables so it is not as if there is a

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major pay problem, one understands while unions will try to get the

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best deal for their member, but if they link it to resisting bigger

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changes to reforms they won't have a lot of purchase on the Secretary of

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State. Let us see what happens. Now on the

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eve of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the opening ceremony is tonight,

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David Cameron has been at the Olympic Park in London, the scene of

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our wonderful opening Olympics in the summer of 2012. He was making a

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speech designed to encourage those on these islands who are not

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Scottish to let the Scots know they don't want a divorce. The haven't

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use chosen because at the Olympics we all compete as Brits and the

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Prime Minister has been invoking the spirit of Team GB to argue the case

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for the union. This is what he has had to say.

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This is our country, and we built it together. Brick by brick. Scotland,

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England, Wales, Northern Ireland. Brick by brick. This is our home,

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and I could not bear to see it torn apart.

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I love this country. I love the United Kingdom, and all it stands

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for. And I will fight with everything I have to keep us

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together. Passionate defence of the union from

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the Prime Minister. No sooner had he finished than Alex Salmond gave his

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response. This is it. The main thing is this a speech delivered from

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London, telling people in England what to do, but arguing against

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Scottish independence, instead of a debate that the Prime Minister must

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do in Scotland, a debate with me, as First Minister of Scotland about the

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pros an cons of his argument against independence. Well, that was the

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First Minister saying things. We are joined by Rory Stewart. The Prime

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Minister has been criticise for not delivering this speech in Scotland,

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but this was a speech to the non-Scot, so I understand why he did

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this in England. But at some sage he has to go to Scotland. At some

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stage, she the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, he has to get

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involved, if he wants to defend the union, he has to go there, and

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defend it. Yes, the Prime Minister I think will be going to Scotland but

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the main thing is the grass roots emotion of this whole thing. It is

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about showing that the English, the Welsh, the Irish are committed to

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Scotland, love Scotland, care about Scotland. Do they? What is the

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evidence? I am hoping to gather thousands of people linking arms

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along the forkeder. I would like a chain of lights and I would like do

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you join us. Show affection for the union. We cover political

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demonstrations. In what way in your view would the rest of the UK be

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diminished if Scotland left? In almost every way, to lose a third of

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your country. To loose Edinburgh, the Highlands, hundreds of years of

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shared history will make us embarrassed in the face of the

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world. You don't think it matters or you think the rest of the UK might

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be better off if Scotland left? I am sure if the appeal is to economics

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than motion, and it seems the Prime Minister was appealing to emotion,

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Rory is talking about our sense of history, if you are a boring

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economist like me and you want to crunch the number, I am certain it

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would be in England's very narrow self-interest. Where is the evidence

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for that? If you look at transfers from the relatively more affluent

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English to the poorer Scot, the high levels of public spending, the

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Barnett Formula, it is clouded by oil, and the price of oil going up

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and down. It is not slightly clouded by oil revenue, it is almost exactly

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matched by oil revenues. Yes, but the question is when do you measure

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the oil revenues? The oil price goes up so much. Take oil at $100s a

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barrel which is lower than now. You have to decide how much belongs to

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the Scots. Under international law that is clear. It is about 90%. If

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you look at the size of the public sector in England and certainly in

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London and the south, comparing to that in Scotland, it is

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substantially smaller in England, if you look at the... The public sector

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in Scotland is no bigger than in the north-west or the North East It is

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away beyond London and the south-east, so I think the English

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would be Bert off. I am not sure narrow self-interest should be the

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ace of trumps. Scotland could be better off. Being less depeb dent on

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England than it is at the moment. More in control of their... What do

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you say to that? In the end everything comes down to identity

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and confidence. More serious economists than I could be, my sense

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is it very difficult over 100, 200 years to think about what nation go,

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a lot is to do with confidence, your commitment to your country. The US

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doesn't sit round thinking we would be richer if we lost Texas or if a

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few years. Or Alabama I think there is a divergence in political

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culture, south and north of the border. I was looking at the figures

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today, without Scotland the Labour Party would not have one a UK

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general election between 1950 and 1997. They would not have won, they

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would have won in 1997. That is not true. Your figures are wrong. Labour

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won England in 199 -- 1966. I don't think they would have formed a

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majority. They would have done. In 1966 they won England. We would have

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had a Conservative majority Government, the majority of about 19

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or so. How many Tory MPs are there in Scotland? One. It used to be

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half. Things can change. What you have seen is a divergence. Scotland

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wants a centre-left approach, and England generally leans to a centre

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right approach. If you have divery gent view, perhaps splitting... We

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have to let Rory in. One of the great channels is to get out of

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conversation between politicians and with respect economist, it is

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interest you said people linking arms along the border would be a

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political statement, I think it is not really politics, this is the

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whole identity of your nation. One of the things that is making me very

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tructed at the moment, is -- troubled at the moment, is the sense

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no up ins in Britain are prepared to come fourth the UK, in the US if

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Texas wanted to separate I would imagine you would get ten million

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people joining arms to hold the country together. I think there is

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other than the Sunday herald, which has a small circulation there is not

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a single paper coming out for independence in Scotland. They are

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remaining neutral. Even come to a general election, the editorial

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endorsement don't come until a couple of days before. This is the

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whole future of the United Kingdom. It is very strange that, and this is

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clever the Scottish Nationalists have done, made it seen as if it's a

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party political issue. It is the whole of the United Kingdom. The

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most important constitutional question for 400 years. It is

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certainly true that it is more likely to get a Labour Government if

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Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom, I mean there wouldn't have

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been a Labour Government in 64, there would in 66. There probably

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wouldn't have been a majority Labour Government in 2005, either. That bit

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is true, as well. But you know, if you are a Republican sitting in

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Washington, you would say without California and without New York, and

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without new England and without Massachusetts we would have a

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permanent Republican majority, but no American is going to say that.

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The USA is much more dotted around. Some states will always vote

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Democrat. Maybe London and the south-east should go independent. It

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would be the Richard Prince in Europe! -- richest province. They

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could be a rather different build-up. The distinction between

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two different nations, two different nations, is that stark. It used to

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be, certainly foremost the 20th century, the political culture of

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Scotland and England were a light it. They were similar. In 1955, the

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Tories got a majority of the vote in Scotland. It was only 50.1%, but it

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was a majority. It is clear they have been going in separate

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directions in recent decades. Absolutely. That is true, of

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course, of parts of northern England and parts of other cities. We have

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got to accept there are different national cultures. We are not

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denying that. It is what makes the UK great. We have diversity. It also

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would be mistake if people fantasised that Scotland leaving

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would lead to a 1-party government. People hate 1-party governments.

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That would last for a few years. He is just saying it would be less

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likely, a Labour government. The you should not support the constitution

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of your country to favour one party or another. My observation would be

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that typically the English, over recent decades, are voting towards

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the centre right. Typically, the Scots are voting to the centre-left.

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That can cause tensions if one of them enormously outweighs the other.

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When Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, you got a lot of animist

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in Scotland. The potentially build-up English animus if the

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English Labour Party in winning elections. To somebody with her

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Scottish name. I am a Borders girl! Do you think it matters to how

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Scotland will vote if, if as Mr Cameron says, the English say, don't

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go. It depends if you can put that across. It is a sense that this

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really is something we all feel something together about, other than

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nationalists. I noticed the Prime Minister's tone, which was almost a

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Hugh Grant moment, this is a real sign of worry in number ten that

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there is desiccated discussion, led by Alistair Darling, on fiscal pros

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and cons, is not going home and doing the job. He has got the

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difficult task. You can get up and say, as a Southerner and a

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Conservative, please, don't go. People might say, why should I

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listen to you? If you want to hold the UK together, you have to do

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that. I am sceptical about linking arms. That is my idea of hell. The

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borders are beautiful place! Yes, but we barely linked arms with our

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own families. The idea is right, if not the device. The majority of the

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rest of the UK once Scotland to stay. That figure gets higher in the

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North of England. Absolutely. I am on the border. We would be

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heartbroken. These are family, not just neighbours. We would like them

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to remain that. We want to show that we think that by linking arms on the

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19th of July. Fair enough. It was one of those moments when

:19:25.:19:28.

politics was briefly put on hold: the death of the popular Labour MP

:19:29.:19:32.

Paul Goggins at the start of the year. But normal service has been

:19:33.:19:34.

resumed now that there's a by-election underway in his seat of

:19:35.:19:37.

Wythenshawe and Sale East. Adam's been to the enormous housing estate

:19:38.:19:41.

in the South of Manchester to see what's going on.

:19:42.:19:51.

What is within sure famous for? At one point it was the largest housing

:19:52.:19:55.

estate in the whole of Europe. At another, part of it was declared the

:19:56.:19:59.

most deprived council ward in the whole of England and Wales. At yet

:20:00.:20:04.

another, it is a place where pre-prime minister real David

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Cameron had a photo opportunity ruined by a guy doing this.

:20:08.:20:13.

Yes, that's the one. Now for this by-election the media has descended

:20:14.:20:18.

again from all over the place. Is Britain going to get out of the

:20:19.:20:23.

European Union? Any indication that UKIP can do in a Labour area would

:20:24.:20:33.

be very interesting. What are your first impressions of Wythenshawe? It

:20:34.:20:38.

is a beautiful place. Here is the source of the excitement, the UKIP

:20:39.:20:46.

candidate is a local businessman. Last time, the party were beaten

:20:47.:20:50.

into forth by the BNP. Now they are aiming much, much higher. Talk me

:20:51.:20:55.

through the leaflet. We want to point out to voters that the Labour

:20:56.:21:01.

front bench is made up of people who are paper millionaires or actual

:21:02.:21:04.

millionaires. Most of them have never had a real job. They went to

:21:05.:21:08.

use a real job. They went to use it -- University, got a job in the

:21:09.:21:11.

research department of the party, got parachuted into a safe seat and

:21:12.:21:14.

now they are on the front bench trying to claim they represent the

:21:15.:21:20.

working class. Labour's candidate stresses his local roots, too.

:21:21.:21:26.

Manchester City's season ticket is proof. They rest in -- reckon UKIP

:21:27.:21:33.

aren't in the same league. We are talking about the A crisis at the

:21:34.:21:38.

hospital. We are talking about the cost of living. We are talking about

:21:39.:21:45.

the unfair council tax -- cuts. Cuts are on the minds of the month at the

:21:46.:21:53.

toddler group. I'm a local mum. I value these services. I stood there

:21:54.:21:57.

and I protest it and I'm a speech after speech at the council in

:21:58.:22:05.

Manchester against Labour's cuts. Here, the Tory candidate is focusing

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on dog mess and potholes. Your party is in turn down the street and you

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are talking about these things. I believe if you get the small things

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right, you can get the big things right. There is a national

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responsibility as an MP. But I want to be a local champion. I want to

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represent them on the issues they are talking to me about. If I am

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honest, the streets of Wythenshawe are not in the grip of by-election

:22:35.:22:38.

fever, but the result will tell us whether UKIP can take votes from

:22:39.:22:42.

Labour. Until now, they have mainly been holding a gun to the heads of

:22:43.:22:46.

the Tories. Sorry, couldn't resist seeing the picture one wartime.

:22:47.:22:50.

Add us to indulge himself. And a full list of candidates

:22:51.:22:54.

standing in the Wythenshaw Sale East by-election is on your screen

:22:55.:22:55.

now. For analysts, the only thing of

:22:56.:23:13.

interest is who comes second. We'll UKIP beat the Tories into second

:23:14.:23:18.

place? Indeed. It is not just a question of whether they edge one

:23:19.:23:21.

way or another, although that is important. Also commit to the manner

:23:22.:23:27.

in which they do so. Does it look like this is part of an unstoppable

:23:28.:23:34.

UKIP march the type that... And I would say, some Labour politicians

:23:35.:23:39.

have woken up to the fact that UKIP is eating into their territory, too.

:23:40.:23:45.

It doesn't look like being a problem for the Labour successor in

:23:46.:23:50.

Wythenshawe. But it could impact on the next general election. But it

:23:51.:23:55.

could be we have got too excited. The UKIP bubble could burst and we

:23:56.:24:00.

will see them doing OK but it will not be the next big thing. We shall

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see. Let's turn to the flooding because,

:24:10.:24:12.

with more heavy rain overnight, the flood waters have continued to rise.

:24:13.:24:15.

Let's get the latest now from Chris Eakin, who's in the Village of

:24:16.:24:18.

Burrowbridge on the Somerset Levels. What is happening there?

:24:19.:24:24.

Hello. This is one of the approach roads to the village, which is again

:24:25.:24:31.

flooded by water. It has become a veritable island. It was one that

:24:32.:24:35.

was put on for several days, one which became almost the heart of the

:24:36.:24:38.

political battle as to whether enough was being doing -- done on

:24:39.:24:44.

the Somerset Levels. A phenomenal 24/7 operation to build temporary

:24:45.:24:47.

barriers around the village, but some of those were breached in the

:24:48.:24:53.

night. It has cut off all but larger vehicles. Overall, the Somerset

:24:54.:24:58.

Levels are struggling very hard to contain the flood water. Don't be

:24:59.:25:01.

fooled by the respite in the weather. It takes about ten hours

:25:02.:25:06.

from when it rains for the rivers. A very worrying weekend ahead.

:25:07.:25:13.

Chris, we only see the pictures. It never seems to get better for the

:25:14.:25:17.

people there. In all of these flooded areas and we see houses

:25:18.:25:21.

either flooded or surrounded by water, have the people being

:25:22.:25:24.

evacuated? Or are they still having to stay in situ? They are living

:25:25.:25:30.

through this, living, essentially, in the middle of a lake. It is not

:25:31.:25:37.

everybody. Until yesterday, the Environment Agency were saying that

:25:38.:25:44.

around 40 properties had actually been flooded. So, a relatively small

:25:45.:25:47.

number given the many miles of flooding. One of the problems is the

:25:48.:25:54.

threat to people. If you take the village I was talking about, you are

:25:55.:25:58.

right, because two days ago, the police helicopter was up in the air

:25:59.:26:03.

like something from a Hollywood movie, instructing people to leave.

:26:04.:26:07.

Around half of the village, about 300 people, decided to stay. In the

:26:08.:26:14.

early hours of this morning, they went out in a dramatic fashion. Now

:26:15.:26:19.

we estimate about 20 or 30 remain there. It is not just the fact you

:26:20.:26:23.

are flooded. It is the stress of watching the water just get closer

:26:24.:26:26.

and closer to your property and the temporary barriers trying to hold

:26:27.:26:31.

back the force of nature and then eventually succumbing. We have

:26:32.:26:35.

spoken to a lot of people the tree into yesterday, and not just house

:26:36.:26:39.

owners but farmers, too. Over my left shoulder, a farmer was close to

:26:40.:26:43.

tears, saying he would have to give it all up. Do people feel abandoned

:26:44.:26:50.

by central government, by the powers that be down there? You have used

:26:51.:26:54.

the exact words. A lot of people say they feel forgotten. At the moment,

:26:55.:27:01.

we have got Chris Smith, Lord Smith, the Minister and Labour government

:27:02.:27:08.

chair of the Environment Agency. He is at a wetland Centre a few miles

:27:09.:27:13.

away. It is a very controlled environment, this meeting. The can

:27:14.:27:17.

understand why. There is a huge amount of anger in the Somerset

:27:18.:27:22.

Levels. If we have got time, I can show you why. Here are two rivers

:27:23.:27:26.

that keep coming up in the House of Commons. This is the River Tone full

:27:27.:27:30.

stop behind this grass corner is the River parrot. We are at the

:27:31.:27:38.

confluence. The argument is... If you look behind me you can see the

:27:39.:27:44.

flood plain isn't -- is lower than the river. The Environment Agency is

:27:45.:27:47.

not dredging enough, that is the argument. They have at the limit

:27:48.:27:53.

since the mid-90s. You will struggle to find a single person on the

:27:54.:27:57.

Somerset Levels who agrees with that policy. They all say dredging should

:27:58.:28:00.

be carried out. Chris, thank you very much with that. At the end

:28:01.:28:13.

there, he explained what has been the difference between the experts

:28:14.:28:18.

in London and the people who are also expert on the ground. Because

:28:19.:28:26.

this is below the flood plain, it was originally dredged by Dutch

:28:27.:28:28.

engineers all these years ago. They think, as they do in Holland, it has

:28:29.:28:34.

to be costly dredged. But the Environment Agency and others in

:28:35.:28:38.

London say no, no, we are not going to do that. That is the problem. It

:28:39.:28:45.

was interesting to see that Mr Cameron will take all possible steps

:28:46.:28:49.

and nothing should be ruled out. Frankly, I think he would love a

:28:50.:28:53.

reversal of policy by the Environment Agency. Whether that is

:28:54.:28:57.

forthcoming, we don't know. If people really feel they are at the

:28:58.:29:00.

sharp end... It is becoming a national trauma. Mr Cameron doesn't

:29:01.:29:08.

look like he was on it. Tony Lee, he was late. There is sent he is

:29:09.:29:16.

playing catch up. I don't think Christmas will be the most popular

:29:17.:29:19.

man in that part of the world. If you have one of these agencies, it

:29:20.:29:23.

is unlikely you are the only person who has pushed it through. But you

:29:24.:29:27.

are right to put your finger on this point about dredging. In the end,

:29:28.:29:31.

this is something government is going to have to take a view on.

:29:32.:29:35.

Simply saying, well, it is a funny quango who put it in somebody's

:29:36.:29:47.

hands, that won't do. Now, if you're a Liberal Democrat

:29:48.:29:51.

supporter, you're probably a fan of TV shows like this.

:29:52.:30:18.

That was Red Dwarf, how we do know that Liberal Democrats like sci-fi?

:30:19.:30:26.

Well YouGov have done the research, and Freddie Sayers who is part of

:30:27.:30:31.

the YouGov, he joins us now. So there are distinct programmes that

:30:32.:30:35.

Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrats like? There are. We did analysis

:30:36.:30:42.

involving over 70,000 people, comparing their favourite TV

:30:43.:30:45.

programmes with their political affiliation. Let us put the Tory

:30:46.:30:51.

list up. The results, what a surprise Downton Abbey. They are on

:30:52.:30:58.

stereotype there. Spook, that is modern. Hawaii 5-0. Why should

:30:59.:31:04.

Tories like that? That is a good yes. What does that tell us, if you

:31:05.:31:09.

were a Tory strategist, what is the lesson from that? As we will see

:31:10.:31:12.

from the Labour list, the two main parties came up pretty much on

:31:13.:31:18.

stereotype there. I mean... Coronation Street. For Labour.

:31:19.:31:24.

Coronation Street and Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights.

:31:25.:31:29.

Mad men, that is very interesting as a Labour top ten: They have been

:31:30.:31:38.

full of it for years. Frazier. It is more unVarnished vision of Britain:

:31:39.:31:44.

It is kind of slightly more Britain 21st century. There is something

:31:45.:31:50.

kind of acceptia tinted about the Tory top ten list. -- sepia. There

:31:51.:31:57.

we go. This is striking, the others were pretty much as you would

:31:58.:32:01.

expect. But it is hard sometimes to know what a stereo typical Liberal

:32:02.:32:05.

Democrat looks like. It is all over the place. Looking at the top one

:32:06.:32:09.

hundred, there are two strong themes that come through, the first is this

:32:10.:32:17.

bizarre connection to sci-fi. Or perhaps not! Fully 17 of the top 100

:32:18.:32:23.

Liberal Democrat programmes are in some way sci-fi or future risty

:32:24.:32:26.

while only two for the kith, so there is a sense of a kind of

:32:27.:32:34.

alternative future, other worldly. They have got Have I Got News For

:32:35.:32:38.

You. That shows they have a bit of a sense of humour. That is the second

:32:39.:32:43.

important thing about that. They like futurarama. A cartoon. We count

:32:44.:32:50.

that as sci-fi. What do you make of it? It is fascinating. I love the

:32:51.:32:54.

Liberal Democrats are other worldly creatures from the planet X. They

:32:55.:33:00.

have a sense of humour. Mock The Week, The IT Crowd. I wouldn't mind

:33:01.:33:03.

staying in with the Liberal Democrat selection. The Tory one is very

:33:04.:33:07.

backward looking, nothing wrong with a nice night in with Downton and a

:33:08.:33:13.

large glass of something, but it is didn't things to be marvellous, when

:33:14.:33:17.

Duchesses were Duchesses, Labour, the interesting thing you said, they

:33:18.:33:22.

are picking apart at the early 21st century, trying to make sense of it.

:33:23.:33:29.

And for reassurance they want to watch Coronation Street, and... To

:33:30.:33:34.

show their roots. I think that is interesting. There is something

:33:35.:33:39.

about all three parties that is nicely categorised in this. The

:33:40.:33:44.

response we got. We published it a few days ago, the response from

:33:45.:33:48.

Liberal Democrats has not been you are taking the mickey, there has

:33:49.:33:52.

been a enthusiasm, saying yes we do like sci-fi, we are Liberal

:33:53.:33:55.

Democrat, it is a a real better different future we want to believe

:33:56.:34:01.

in, an alternative. Here is the question. Where did the Daily

:34:02.:34:05.

Politics appear? It is not identified with any of the three

:34:06.:34:11.

parties. Don't you think that is a triumph? We would not want to be on

:34:12.:34:17.

any party list. Your recredentials have held up. It will be interesting

:34:18.:34:23.

to see if the party managers get any campaigning line-out of that. That

:34:24.:34:28.

is a fascinating poll. Now, it has just gone 12.30. Coming up our

:34:29.:34:33.

regular look at what is going on in European politics, time to say

:34:34.:34:37.

goodbye to Anne McElvoy. So, for the next half hour, we are

:34:38.:34:42.

going to be focussing on Europe, we will be discussing EU relations with

:34:43.:34:45.

the US UK, whether the eurozone crisis is over, and the role of the

:34:46.:34:50.

European Space Agency. First, here is our guide to the latest from

:34:51.:34:59.

Europe, in just 60 seconds. Italy's President was given a hard

:35:00.:35:04.

time in the European Parliament in Strasbourg by Italian MEPs. Members

:35:05.:35:11.

of the Northern League said where to stick the euro. Handbags of a

:35:12.:35:19.

different sort. In addition to carry on luggage innow includes, a coat,

:35:20.:35:25.

duty free and a handbag. Italy joined Britain in having some truly

:35:26.:35:29.

dreadful weather. The river burst its banks causing

:35:30.:35:36.

flooding in floor rans. Gasps as the Home Affairs commissioner described

:35:37.:35:39.

European Union corruption as breathtaking. She put it at more

:35:40.:35:45.

than 120 billion euros, or the size of the EU's entire annual budget,

:35:46.:35:49.

and as attention turns to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, MEPs have been

:35:50.:35:54.

having a gay old time debating relations with Russia, they want

:35:55.:35:57.

Vladimir Putin to chill out and leave the Ukraine alone.

:35:58.:36:08.

And with us for the next 30 minutes are var are Ludford and David

:36:09.:36:12.

Martin. Let us start by talking about the flooding, because you have

:36:13.:36:18.

for want the European Union to get involved with funds to help, tell me

:36:19.:36:22.

what would you would like them to do There is an EU Solidarity Fund. We

:36:23.:36:31.

have called op the UK Government to make an application for these funds,

:36:32.:36:36.

because you know, what is not to like about getting some EU support

:36:37.:36:42.

for our hard-pressed citizens and taxpayers? I am told that the, you

:36:43.:36:50.

can only get help from this fund if the direct costs exceed three

:36:51.:36:54.

billion euros or 0.6% of our gross national income, and that is, we are

:36:55.:36:59.

not there. That is a national threshold. You can get money

:37:00.:37:04.

regionally, and the, there are hoops to jump through, but the obviously

:37:05.:37:08.

the thresholds are lower for a region. The government has declined

:37:09.:37:13.

to do that, which is disappointing, and I hope that Owen Paterson will

:37:14.:37:17.

change his mind on that, but we are encouraging local councils to apply

:37:18.:37:23.

for another pot of EU money which commissioners confirm they could do,

:37:24.:37:26.

so it seems to us why look a gift horse in the mouth? A lot of people

:37:27.:37:30.

in the Somerset Levels will say that Europe has been part of the problem,

:37:31.:37:33.

why they are in this mess, because a long with the Environment Agency

:37:34.:37:37.

they have been anti-dredging, they have made it more difficult to

:37:38.:37:41.

dredge. European rules have made it more difficult. What do you do with

:37:42.:37:44.

the soil once you dredge it? They would like the money but they are

:37:45.:37:48.

not feeling very warm. Firstly on the money issue, Labour in 2007 got

:37:49.:37:53.

164 million out of the European Union for if floods we had in that

:37:54.:37:58.

year. The reason we are not applying and the Liberals can't escape

:37:59.:38:03.

responsibility for this, Danny Alexander is the Treasury minister

:38:04.:38:06.

and it affects the rebate and we lose a third of that through the

:38:07.:38:11.

rebate, so they are nervous about anything that detract trs the

:38:12.:38:14.

rebate, but in terms of European responsibility, I don't think you

:38:15.:38:17.

can blame Europe for the rain and floods. No, that is an aunt Sally,

:38:18.:38:22.

that is not what I said. Will is a huge argument over dredging policy

:38:23.:38:28.

and the EU has backed the line of the Environment Agency... I don't

:38:29.:38:33.

think it prescribes to national and regional agencies how they might,

:38:34.:38:37.

they don't micro manage in that way. What do you do with the soil? That

:38:38.:38:44.

is a different matter. You have to do an environmental impact study. It

:38:45.:38:49.

is the Environment Agency that decided this study, their view, that

:38:50.:38:52.

dredging shouldn't happen, not the EU. Right. OK. Now, a year since the

:38:53.:39:00.

Secretary of State -- a Secretary of State has apologise apologised after

:39:01.:39:06.

using less than diplomatic language about the role of the EU.

:39:07.:39:16.

Pro EU protestors have been demonstrating, for months after the

:39:17.:39:19.

Ukrainian Government decided odd a deal with Russia, instead of

:39:20.:39:25.

pursuing closer ties with the EU. Catherine Ashton has taken a

:39:26.:39:29.

prominent role in attempting to diffuse the crisis and she met with

:39:30.:39:33.

the Ukrainian President just yesterday. In the telephone

:39:34.:39:36.

conversation between the Americans it seems to have leaked from a

:39:37.:39:40.

Russian source, there is a surprise! The US diplomat appears unimpressed

:39:41.:39:45.

with the EU's efforts So than great, I think to help glue this thing and

:39:46.:39:51.

have the UN help glue it and (BLEEP) the EU. Exactly, I think we have to

:39:52.:39:55.

do something to make it stick together, because you can be sure if

:39:56.:39:59.

it does start to gain altitude, the Russians will be working behind the

:40:00.:40:04.

scenes to try to torpedo it. Now the US has refused to confirm or deny

:40:05.:40:10.

the authenticity of recording but a State Department spokeswoman said "I

:40:11.:40:15.

didn't say it was inauthentic." Victoria Nuland has been in touch

:40:16.:40:21.

with her EU counterparts to apologise for "The reported

:40:22.:40:27.

remarks." So why would you apologise if you haven't done something, what

:40:28.:40:31.

is your reaction? It is unfortunate wording, but obviously the Russians

:40:32.:40:35.

are trying to divide the US and the EU. I think a bit of cursing,

:40:36.:40:42.

sometimes happens between... Diplomacy Particularly in diplomacy,

:40:43.:40:47.

I think what we need to do is to reinforce working together between

:40:48.:40:52.

the EU and the US and to as the European Parliament has called for

:40:53.:40:58.

this week, to offer a financial assistance dependent on political

:40:59.:41:01.

dialogue, constitutional change, prospect of free election, to be

:41:02.:41:05.

prepared to take targeted sanctions against the thugs of the regime and

:41:06.:41:11.

the oligarchs who are supporting them, and to, you know, reinforce

:41:12.:41:16.

the work of the citizens of the Ukraine, it is their choice to make,

:41:17.:41:20.

we don't, we can't determine what they choose, but it does show that

:41:21.:41:24.

the EU and its values of democracy and human rights have pulling power

:41:25.:41:28.

and we should support that. ? We knew the Bush administration didn't

:41:29.:41:35.

take the EU seriously as a diplomatic entity. This suggests

:41:36.:41:39.

that maybe the Obama administration isn't that different. I think what

:41:40.:41:44.

it suggests is while the EU is trying to bring the two sides

:41:45.:41:47.

together the US is playing power politics, what she said was stuff

:41:48.:41:53.

the EU in more graphic ways, but basically she was trying to say we

:41:54.:41:57.

have to get some credit for any solution there, and that is a very

:41:58.:42:02.

narrow minded attitude when we are facing major crisis. And a difficult

:42:03.:42:07.

one too. Do the. U and the US do they have the same goals? The

:42:08.:42:12.

Ukraine? I believe, so fundamentally, there is always, I

:42:13.:42:17.

enmean, you know, no-one is pure in all of this, I suppose we all

:42:18.:42:23.

political forces want to get some credit for, for a accident outcome,

:42:24.:42:26.

but I think, you know, broadly we are on the same page, which is to

:42:27.:42:31.

get peaceful political transition in Ukraine, to allow the Ukrainian

:42:32.:42:36.

people to make their own choices and not be bullied by Russia and a very

:42:37.:42:45.

unpleasant regime, and to, and to prevent violence and you know,

:42:46.:42:50.

prospect of civil strife. I believe we are on the same page, but of

:42:51.:42:54.

course there is a bit of rivalry. I think we are broadly, in terms of

:42:55.:42:57.

sopping the violence, bringing the sides together. I think the US shows

:42:58.:43:03.

an attitude they want to liberate the Ukraine, I don't think that is

:43:04.:43:06.

the European Union role or the US's role. It is not Russia's job to

:43:07.:43:11.

colonise it. Our job is to bring the two sides together. It is ANSA

:43:12.:43:18.

asymmetric dispute. Even the US has only soft power to bring to this

:43:19.:43:22.

whereas you get the impression that it wouldn't be, it is not beyond the

:43:23.:43:27.

bounds of possibility that Mr Putin could use hard power? Yes, died. We

:43:28.:43:33.

had a couple of Ukrainian MPs in the Parliament two weeks' ago and

:43:34.:43:36.

firstly on the hard power against soft power they made the point, you

:43:37.:43:41.

can never guarantee Russian tanks won't roll over the board, they said

:43:42.:43:46.

they came with 16 billion in aid, they said their words was 600

:43:47.:43:50.

thousand, that is a big difference. It is probably more than that. Would

:43:51.:43:57.

you want to get into a bidding war? What the EU can offer, which the US

:43:58.:44:03.

can't is the prospect of trade relationship, and eventually, who

:44:04.:44:07.

know, we should not close the door on membership for Ukraine, that is

:44:08.:44:12.

something which the US can't offer. It is Moscow's worst nightmare. It

:44:13.:44:19.

shouldn't be. We are no doubt it is authentic. Are we agreed on that?

:44:20.:44:26.

Yes Some predicted the the mice, the eurozone is still in one piece

:44:27.:44:31.

though. So have the nay says been proved wrong or are there still

:44:32.:44:36.

dangers ahead. Jo Coburn has been talking to MEPs in Strasbourg.

:44:37.:44:42.

The financial storm that hit Europe in 2008 wreaked havoc in the region.

:44:43.:44:47.

Even the most drastic action couldn't protect economies from the

:44:48.:44:50.

continual batter of a European downturn.

:44:51.:44:54.

A few years on, though, the euro is still here, and talk of a euro

:44:55.:44:59.

crisis has subsided. So are there blue skies ahead? Opinion is

:45:00.:45:04.

divided. The European Commission said last week that there are

:45:05.:45:08.

encouraging signs that the economy is strengthening. Ittests growth in

:45:09.:45:16.

eurozone of 1.1% for 2014, couple I paired toon estimated 0.4%

:45:17.:45:19.

contraction for 2013. But unemployment in the euro area is

:45:20.:45:25.

expected to remain a record 12.2% this year. Globalisation is bringing

:45:26.:45:37.

a lot of opportunities and a lot of problems. If there's a chance, then

:45:38.:45:42.

I think Europe has a lot of power to be a strong contender in the next

:45:43.:45:50.

decades. But for some countries the storm clouds never went away. The

:45:51.:45:54.

four crossed for Greece is still very gloomy. The opposition say the

:45:55.:45:58.

Greek people are running out of patience.

:45:59.:46:05.

I don't see any hope of these politicians. They don't see the

:46:06.:46:16.

future and they don't believe in better days for our country. Key

:46:17.:46:22.

figures in the EU believe the only solution is deep integration of the

:46:23.:46:25.

euro zone to protect it from future turbulence. Common currency creates

:46:26.:46:32.

stability, normally, and the common currency is almost -- also the main

:46:33.:46:42.

engine for growth. I am optimistic about that. It doesn't mean that we

:46:43.:46:48.

have already overcome this crisis. This crisis needs more reforms than

:46:49.:46:55.

we have already done today. The main reforms we need is to establish an

:46:56.:46:59.

economic and fiscal union because you need cooperation if you have a

:47:00.:47:07.

single currency. There are still voices forecasting storms ahead. But

:47:08.:47:13.

the idea of a single currency designed for countries with such

:47:14.:47:15.

economic outlooks is fundamentally flawed. The plaster has been stuck

:47:16.:47:22.

and they are not tackling the underlying problems. Member states

:47:23.:47:28.

are different and they are different in the way they run their economies

:47:29.:47:32.

are different in their cultures, and different in the expectations of

:47:33.:47:36.

people. The European Union has a lot to offer Europeans and member

:47:37.:47:42.

states. But I don't think economic unity is one of those things. Things

:47:43.:47:47.

may be looking brighter, at least on the surface. But the long-range

:47:48.:47:51.

forecast for Europe is still very uncertain. With the region still

:47:52.:47:54.

vulnerable to any changes in the economic weather. Politicians here

:47:55.:48:00.

hope the sun has finally set on the crisis that many thought could end

:48:01.:48:04.

the whole European project. But they have yet to find agreement on the

:48:05.:48:16.

best way to more prosperous times. And joining Sarah and David is

:48:17.:48:20.

Patrick O'Flynn, who is director of communications for UKIP and a

:48:21.:48:22.

candidate in the forthcoming European elections 2012, Nigel

:48:23.:48:25.

Farage. We are entering the endgame of the

:48:26.:48:30.

political project. This is going to come to the dramatic head over the

:48:31.:48:33.

course of the next two years. Turned out to be wrong, didn't he? In time

:48:34.:48:39.

frames, he is wrong, but I am certain he is right about the

:48:40.:48:43.

conclusion. We need some basic economics. If you paid your economy

:48:44.:48:48.

to Germany's, you are in trouble. We learn that with Britain and White

:48:49.:48:53.

Wednesday, when we could do what we've should do, which is to

:48:54.:48:58.

depreciate... Last I looked, the eurozone is still intact.

:48:59.:49:04.

unemployment, living standards are falling, falling, after year,

:49:05.:49:08.

throughout southern Europe. Eventually the people there will

:49:09.:49:10.

decide that is announced assignable way of carrying on. -- and

:49:11.:49:19.

unsustainable way of carrying on. But we have economic stagnation.

:49:20.:49:27.

Now, particularly for the Club Med countries, the real serious problem

:49:28.:49:33.

of deflation. It is absolutely true that we're not out of the woods.

:49:34.:49:40.

Needs to be further reform. We are still stuck in the forest! A lot of

:49:41.:49:47.

of work has been done to get us to this stage. What I find absurd from

:49:48.:49:54.

UKIP is it is so unpatriotic to want the eurozone to implode. We rely on

:49:55.:50:02.

it for economic links and 3 million jobs in the UK. George Osborne once

:50:03.:50:08.

stability in the eurozone because he knows that it is no good to the UK.

:50:09.:50:13.

In fact, UKIP is showing itself to be unpatriotic. That is ludicrous!

:50:14.:50:22.

Let him respond. We would love the countries of Europe to be

:50:23.:50:27.

successful. Do you watch the eurozone to break up? I say it

:50:28.:50:32.

cannot work. If you are not on the same long-term productivity part as

:50:33.:50:36.

Germany, you need to depreciate against its currency or becoming

:50:37.:50:39.

activity gets sucked into Germany. One economist called it a giant

:50:40.:50:44.

vampire squid if that. You are a Labour MEP. The eurozone before

:50:45.:50:51.

summoning of its members, has in mass unemployment, of the kind we

:50:52.:50:56.

have not seen this is the 1930s. Now we have this problem in the southern

:50:57.:51:05.

countries of deflation. Once you get into deflation, the Japanese --

:51:06.:51:14.

prices continue to fall. People think, I won't buy that today,

:51:15.:51:17.

because it will be cheaper tomorrow. But to use a Scottish expression,

:51:18.:51:28.

you never get out of the Hubble. We have muddled through the crisis. The

:51:29.:51:32.

challenge now is to sort out the model. It is economic, not

:51:33.:51:40.

financial. Exactly. The unemployment level is not acceptable. We have

:51:41.:51:43.

called for a youth creation scheme to get the youth working at the

:51:44.:51:49.

European level. We have suggested sharing borrowing costs so that

:51:50.:51:53.

Greece and Italy can borrow better, get the economy moving again. Remove

:51:54.:51:59.

some of the debt by sharing of pulling the cost. Germany is sharing

:52:00.:52:03.

some of the benefits from the Europe with other member states. But you

:52:04.:52:11.

could go back to the same problem of overindebtedness that created the

:52:12.:52:17.

problem. What is needed as well is to tackle uncompetitive markets and

:52:18.:52:20.

to have investment in productivity and Labour market reforms, like in

:52:21.:52:25.

France. Francois Hollande has spoken about it but he is not delivering on

:52:26.:52:32.

it. You pay over 40% of salary to employ somebody in France. That is a

:52:33.:52:37.

huge deterrent. If you leave a generation unemployed, which we are

:52:38.:52:40.

in danger of doing, you store up enormous problems for the whole of

:52:41.:52:46.

the European Union. You are allied with France. The idea that some

:52:47.:52:55.

countries are going to be able to compete in a locked rate with

:52:56.:52:59.

Germany, long-term, is for the birds. It is never going to happen.

:53:00.:53:03.

Germany has the scale, the brands, the infrastructure, the technical

:53:04.:53:07.

education, the industrial relations all on its side. You have been to

:53:08.:53:11.

Greece on holiday. It is siesta country. It is not in the culture.

:53:12.:53:16.

They are not going to be able to do it. The economic activity is going

:53:17.:53:19.

to be sucked away from them for good. Every year, they are going to

:53:20.:53:24.

get smaller and poorer. Is the European government going to put

:53:25.:53:27.

pressure on the central bank to become more activist? There are a

:53:28.:53:32.

lot of calls that it starts to bomb Europe with the money. That they

:53:33.:53:36.

need to put a lot more money into the system. It needs to go around

:53:37.:53:41.

the major European banks and by their loan books and put cash onto

:53:42.:53:45.

the ballot sheets of European banks so they can start to lend again. We

:53:46.:53:56.

discussed this on Thursday. The parliament has argued strongly for

:53:57.:54:00.

it. The British Conservatives voted against it but we argue for more

:54:01.:54:06.

activist ECB. We need quantitative easing. We need shared borrowing

:54:07.:54:13.

costs and lending. That would avoid the indebtedness that you talk

:54:14.:54:16.

about. But only sharing under strict conditions. We have to move on. It

:54:17.:54:25.

is an economic issue, not a financial one.

:54:26.:54:33.

So the continent's still crippled by debt and struggling to emerge from

:54:34.:54:36.

financial crisis, but European countries are still ploughing

:54:37.:54:38.

billions of euros into the European Space Agency. Here's Adam with his

:54:39.:54:46.

latest A-Z of Europe. Europe's Rover calls over the

:54:47.:54:50.

surface of the red planet. Except it is really the Netherlands, where you

:54:51.:54:55.

will find the research and technology centre of a European

:54:56.:54:59.

Space Agency. It is where most of the agency's missions are planned

:55:00.:55:03.

and built. This one takes off in 2018, and will have robotic design

:55:04.:55:09.

by an engineer from Greece. Better not crash. It is costing 1 billion

:55:10.:55:14.

euros. What would you say to your fellow Greeks who are struggling

:55:15.:55:17.

financially to convince them this is worth investing in? This is

:55:18.:55:22.

investing in research and development. It is creating jobs,

:55:23.:55:26.

high-tech jobs for Europe. It crates intellectual capital. -- creates.

:55:27.:55:34.

This is important for progress. Missions are launched in French

:55:35.:55:38.

Guiana in South America. Astronauts get trained in Germany, and a new

:55:39.:55:42.

lab has opened in the UK. Back in Holland, I'd done some fashionable

:55:43.:55:47.

space where to meet one of the senior Brits here. -- I put on.

:55:48.:55:54.

Here, they similar to the conditions up there. One of Mark's pet projects

:55:55.:55:58.

is the resident probe, which later this year will land on a comet.

:55:59.:56:07.

Hopefully. -- the Rosetta probe. I think it is a great example of

:56:08.:56:14.

European cooperation. The badges come off at that point. When we are

:56:15.:56:17.

sitting in a control room waiting for the results from one of our

:56:18.:56:22.

missions, we are all European. It is great. Although, walking around this

:56:23.:56:26.

place, there are no EU flags. That is because the agency is

:56:27.:56:30.

independent. It is funded and run by its 20 member states, which come

:56:31.:56:34.

confusingly, include Canada. In several countries, the fourth

:56:35.:56:41.

largest contributor behind France, Germany and Italy. A few years ago,

:56:42.:56:47.

we upped our contributions, making the UK lots of friends around here.

:56:48.:56:52.

Each memo pays a sort of basic subscription based on their national

:56:53.:56:56.

income, and the more you pay in, the more work gets sent your country's

:56:57.:57:01.

way. Member states, then, pick and choose which missions to invest in.

:57:02.:57:10.

Some countries have specific interest in launchers. They will

:57:11.:57:12.

invest more in launches than other areas. Other countries don't have

:57:13.:57:20.

such an interest. They don't have to put money into that programme.

:57:21.:57:24.

Having said it is not part of the EU, the agency does when Europe's

:57:25.:57:29.

equipment of the GPS system, Galileo, which the EU pays a lot of

:57:30.:57:33.

awful of the Lisbon Treaty also gave Brussels the power to have its own

:57:34.:57:39.

space policy for the first time. And prepare for Britain to go space mad.

:57:40.:57:43.

Next year, Major Tim Peake will become the first British astronaut

:57:44.:57:46.

to head into orbit on the European mission. You have both got 30

:57:47.:57:53.

seconds to give us your impressions. A good thing? It is. It is a great

:57:54.:57:59.

example of European co-operation. You get more bang for your bucks by

:58:00.:58:03.

cooperating. There is going to be a new centre in Oxfordshire. We have

:58:04.:58:07.

got 30,000 people in Britain in pride in space related technology.

:58:08.:58:15.

-- employed. It is good for jobs and good for the future prosperity. That

:58:16.:58:22.

is your 30 seconds. Now yours. I also agree. It is a good thing. This

:58:23.:58:27.

is not about putting a man on the moon. It is about the cutting edge

:58:28.:58:30.

of technology, which is all good for keeping Britain as an advanced

:58:31.:58:34.

industrial economy. And we get some payback for this. It might be

:58:35.:58:41.

disproportionate, in fact. All credit to the Coalition government,

:58:42.:58:45.

if I may say, by putting more money into the European Space Agency. This

:58:46.:58:51.

is not a party political programme That's all for today.

:58:52.:58:54.

! Thanks to my guests, David Martin and Sarah Ludford. Bye bye.

:58:55.:59:03.

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