24/02/2014 Daily Politics


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Afternoon folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. You wait ages for a


meeting of government ministers in Aberdeen, and then two come along at


once. Yes, the UK cabinet is out in force in the North East of Scotland


today, and they're gathering just down the road from Alex Salmond and


his cabinet. The prime minister's been visiting an oil rig in his


latest attack on the campaign for Scottish independence. He says only


the UK can deliver the best returns on Scotland's oil and gas reserves.


The British Government says it's ready with the chequebook to help


support a new government. Russia's furious at the loss of an ally, so


what's next for the people of Ukraine?


Angela Merkel's coming to London this week. According to officials


we're going to roll out the "reddest of red carpets" for the German


Chancellor. But will tea with the queen help persuade her to help us


renegotiate Britain's membership of the EU?


They say clothes make the man, and the woman too. But do our leaders


need to look good to get us to listen?


All that in the next hour. And with us today is the man once described


as the world's most newsworthy hairdresser. He's trimmed the locks


of plenty of famous people, including Margaret Thatcher. He's


recently appeared on the reality skiing show, The Jump. And as he's


got to wait another four years until he can try out for the next Winter


Olympics, he's found time to join us on the Daily Politics. Welcome to


the show. But first, those of you watching in Aberdeen who've been


crying out of a meeting of government ministers on your


doorstep, don't worry, your luck is in. Yes, David Cameron has taken his


cabinet to the Granite City, just five miles away from where Alex


Salmond is meeting with his ministers. And they'll all be


avoiding each other as they head out for a series of visits in the local


area. The prime minister's opened up a new front in the campaign against


Scottish independence, claiming only the UK can deliver the best returns


from Scotland's oil and gas reserves. Hear is the Scottish


secretary Alistair Carmichael. Every economy has to have a range of


sources that contribute to it. North Sea oil is an important one but it


is a volatile commodity. The price peaks and troughs. As part of the UK


we can share the challenges that these peaks and troughs present. And


as a consequence you can see a much smoother path. And you have a great


deal more stability. That is the view of the UK government. But


supporters of Scottish independence did not agree. Here is the first


Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond. You just have to look to Norway to


see a country that is smaller than Scotland but has handled its oil and


gas resources much better. Not just the benefit for companies and the


workforce but for the benefit of the Norwegian people who have built up


an oil fund. Over the last 40 years Scotland could have done something


similar. But we still have another 40 or 50 years to get that second


chance. Joining me now from Aberdeen is our Chief Political


Correspondent, Norman Smith. Those meetings going on this afternoon. It


sounds as if it has stepped up a gear. I do not know if you like


cricket but it seems that this is body-line politics. It is about


bowling very hard and fast, straight at Alex Salmond. Bouncer number one


came a few weeks ago when George Osborne said an independent Scotland


would not be allowed to keep the pound. Number two came with those


questions about whether an independent Scotland could remain in


the European union. Bouncer three comes with David Cameron today


saying what would happen to North Sea oil if you went it alone? He


said it would be less profitable with fewer people employed in it. He


says the UK government can provide tax support to enable companies to


invest and the financial wherewithal to withstand changes in oil prices.


In other words North Sea oil would do better staying in the UK. And


that says to a second argument that the UK government seems to be


developing, arguing about the purse strings rather than the


heartstrings. To say to Scottish voters, think about this. You may be


significantly worse off. They seem to calculate that in that the people


who really have to be won over, they're not going to be won over by


the emotive arguments. What may swing them is the pound in your


pocket. And that is what the UK government are concentrating on. So


they are cutting rough a little bit. What about the reaction from the


SNP? In a way it plays to the advantage of Alex Salmond. This is


the first visit from the UK Cabinet north of the border since Lloyd


George in 1921. So it is rare. But it plays to Alex Salmond 's


narrative. Here comes UK Cabinet to tell us how we should run our oil.


It also seems to play to his demand for a debate. He can say hang on,


David Cameron is just five miles down the road, why cant we just get


together and have this debate. There is a danger with all these big UK


government initiatives, whether from George Osborne or David Cameron,


there is a danger of them backfiring. This is a debate which


may be people in Scotland resent. English -based politicians coming


north to tell them how they ought to run things. So in a way it is at


gamble. But I said Dean Cameron feel that by raising bees have


questions, -- raising these tough questions, it is now up to Alex


Salmond now to make a move. Nicky Clarke, you think Scotland should


stay part of the UK. Do you think that the change from heartstrings to


press strings will play better with the Scottish electorate? I think a


lot of Scottish people do not necessarily understand the economics


of the whole thing. I think once there is some reality there, and


certainly the pound possibly not being there, George Osborne is


certainly playing heavy now. I think that will get a number of people to


rethink. It is closed at the moment and there is not long. The recent


opinion polls have actually narrowed slightly perhaps because of that


announcement from George Osborne about the pound. What do you think


of the campaign so far? I think it needs to step up a gear. David


Cameron is starting to do that now. I do not think it is a bad thing him


going up there. A coincidence, of course! But I think he will be able


to put forward a number of things that people will have to think twice


about. Gone will be the days of worrying about the romanticised


version of things. Now it's time for our daily quiz, and there's a new


health fad sweeping the political world. It's not pilates, or just


steering clear of the chips in the Commons dining room. No, the latest


thing is a fasting diet championed by celebrities such as Beyonce, it's


called the 5:2 diet. So which of these political big beasts is not


trying to become a slightly smaller beast? A, Alex Salmond? B, George


Osborne? C, Danny Alexander? Or D, Ed Balls? At the end of the show


we'll give the correct answer. It's been another turbulent weekend


in the history of Ukraine - and that's putting it mildly. This


morning we've learned that an arrest warrant has gone out for ousted


President Viktor Yanukovych, after MPs voted for his removal on


Saturday following months of protests. But how did a nation less


than 25 years old get to this point? Ukraine declared independence from


the USSR in 1991, making it the largest country with its boundaries


entirely within the European continent. The struggles of modern


Ukraine first grabbed international attention almost a decade ago, when


the Orange Revolution launched pro-Western candidate Victor


Yushchenko to the Presidency. Yushchenko began the tug of war


between the EU and Russia, as he tried to steer Ukraine towards a


European future, before Moscow tugged back dramatically in 2010


when pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych became President. Then at


the end of last year President Yanukovych's cabinet announced that


it is abandoning an agreement that would strengthen trade ties with the


EU, and will instead seek closer co-operation with Russia. From that


point thousands of people began taking to the streets in protests


which escalated to the point last week where at least 77 people were


killed in violent clashes in the capital Kiev. Over the weekend,


Viktor Yanukovych reportedly fled the capital and MPs voted to remove


him from power and called elections for May. An arrest warrant's been


issued for the former president, and a new unity government could be


formed by tomorrow. We can speak now to Olexiy Solohubenko who's an


expert on the region. What do you think is going to happen to


Ukraine? It is a difficult question at the moment. It is the period of


first steps, very urgent steps to stabilise the situation now and have


a government in place. And after that they would need to get the


money. I think the economic problem for Ukraine is absolutely massive.


While there is a political dialogue with the European union, Catherine


Ashton is coming today to the Ukraine and there are negotiations


with different ambassadors will stop I think the urgent question is how


the country will be kept on an even keel when there is political turmoil


coupled with economic turmoil. So the idea of the cheque-book in


opened is critical? I think the finance ministry published the


figure today that it needs 35 million US dollars just to keep the


country going for a year. The IMF may be involved there were


previously discussions with the European union. But the Russians


have promised 9 billion pounds. They now seem to have stopped that until


further notice. There was also a statement from one of the officials


of the Russian federation relating to increase tariffs on Ukrainian


goods. So pressure is coming from outside and internally the economy


has been terribly mismanaged. It had zero growth. So the economic problem


coupled with the political problem and tension in areas like the Crimea


will be big challenges for the new government. The question is does


anyone know the exact whereabouts of the ousted president? The short


answer will be no but probably he is somewhere in the Crimea. There are


not many places for him to hide in the Ukraine any more. Most of his


allies have now abandoned him. The leader of his action in Parliament


basically yesterday blamed the corrupt family for deceiving the


party and deceiving millions of honest supporters of his party of


regions. All of the governors who wear his keen supporters have either


resigned or pledged allegiance to the new authority. The Crimea I


think is the only area where there is still support for him. And


perhaps he could use the Black Sea route if he really wants to escape.


With us now is Chair of the All Party Group on Ukraine, John


Whittingdale, and expert on Russia and former Europe Minister, Chris


Bryant. Welcome to you both. What does Russia do now? I fear that


Russia will want to use heavy boot or aggressive economic tactics


against the Ukraine. What we need is the European union working


hand-in-hand with the Russians to make sure the physical integrity of


Ukraine is maintained. And that minority groups are protected.


Effectively that there is some kind of Marshall plan in place to secure


the economic future of the country. When Poland joined the European


Union, Poland and Ukraine had the same GDP. Now Poland has double that


of Ukraine. It is about the economics. So you really do feel


there could actually be Russia marching into the Ukraine? I'm not


predicting that but I do get nervous. Deviously Russia has used


in its backyard, who is in Georgia. David Cameron while he was leading


the opposition wisely went off to Georgia and said they would stand


side-by-side with them. That has unfortunately not happened in recent


years. I am worried that the European Union rarely gets its act


together dealing with Russia. Do you agree that the European union has to


step in not just with money but also with some political clout as Mac or


they could be a risk of you came disintegrating. -- the Ukraine. I


agree with Chris. The Russians are an inextricable part of the solution


as well. Yanukovich withdrew from an agreement because of the economy.


Vladimir Putin offered him cheap loans to pay off the debt and cheap


gas. Those two things are now been withdrawn. So the economy is in a


dire straits. To get out of that state will require cooperation right


across the board. Will that realistically happen in time? We


have seen the shocking pictures from Independence Square of the scores of


people who have been killed. But that is going to continue and is


likely to get worse in some sort of power vacuum, even though there is


somebody supposedly in charge. Is there a realistic chance that this


will hold together until May? You are right that the protests will


continue because almost everything they wanted has been delivered. They


have essentially won in large part, but the problem is that the people


in that square do not trust any of the existing politicians. Anyone who


has been tainted over the last 20 years in Ukraine is now not trusted.


It is Yulia Tymoshenko the answer here, crisp right? That is a


question for the people of Ukraine. To some, she is a divisive figure.


It is interesting that the interim president is one of her allies. He


was the speaker of parliament previously. It may be the kind of


moment when a lot of people need to stand to one side so that a uniting


figure can take the helm. But it is a decision for the people of


Ukraine. 46% of people speak Ukrainian in Ukraine, but 33% are


very determined Russian speakers, and they have a strong cultural


alliance to Russia. That has to be guaranteed as well. But if we are


talking about economics, is there a feeling in your mind, John, that


this could turn out well? If Ukraine does manage to ally itself to the EU


in a more formal way, even with a significant number of people who


feel more allied to Russia, it could be positive. That is what we must


work towards. If we can reach the point where Ukraine resumes its


discussions with the European Union about becoming closer and signing


association agreements, whilst at the same time working out a new


relationship with Russia, that is the best outcome. But getting from


here to there will be very hard. Everybody has got to stop thinking


about it in terms of backyard politics. It is not about Russia or


the EU, it is about Ukraine. That is the best way of protecting all


interests. The role of Cathy Ashton in this is important. I know some


people get sceptical, but if you look at what she has done in the


former Yugoslavia in relation to Kosovo and in Croatia, she has


played a key role because she can bring together a wider set of people


than any one from the individual countries. The other person who


could play an important role is President Putin. If he decides to


adopt the kind of approach he did in Syria, where he tries to find a way


forward which the international community can agree on, it would be


a triumph. On the other hand, if he reacts by saying, I am going to do


tend Russian speakers and terror of the financial agreements, it will be


worse. If that's not more likely? I am no expert on Vladimir Putin, but


despite what he has attempted to do with Syria, cynics might say, he


thinks he's losing a power base in Ukraine. He will do anything to stop


that happening. Is he going to sit back and let that happen? It may


affect his own backyard. That is the fear. And in relation to Syria, I am


deeply sceptical about his motives. He has still got troops in Georgia.


I would say a lot of the deals he has done with other countries


bordering Russia to do with oil and gas have been profoundly corrupt.


And he has thousands of troops in Ukraine as well. Is Vladimir Putin a


character people can do business with? It is worrying, because he's


worried about his power base. Implications are far-reaching. I


don't stick your lily think you have a division in Ukraine which is


pro-EU and Russia. -- pro-Russia. I do not think Yulia Tymoshenko is the


person for it. She does not really have the kind of support from all


over. She is tainted from the past. The one person who is not associated


with the past is Vitali Klitschko. He is getting support because he is


a newcomer into politics . And he has this international status. The


classic misjudgement that Putin has made repeatedly in Ukraine is either


violently and aggressively opposing people and therefore the support


behind them, or doing the opposite and poisoning. Has William Hague


done enough? The challenge for the West is what happens now. We sat and


watched people dying with a feeling of impotence. We could not intervene


militarily. Now we can help, so the challenge for the next few weeks


will be to provide the support Ukraine needs. This is where I


disagree, because I think that since 2010, Britain has been rather craven


towards Russia. We have just pursued financial and economic interests. If


you don't stand up to Putin, if your MPs still sit in the same group as


Putin's MPs in the Council of Europe as the Conservatives do at the


moment, it is a problem for our relationship for Russia -- with


Russia. Well, Putin will be part of the solution whether we like it or


not, so we have to talk to him. Does a sharp suit and a winning


smile account for more than your view on the welfare state or what to


do about the budget deficit? Logicians like to think it is their


idea is that win over the voters, but that that is not the case. So


does style really matter more than substance? We sent David out for a


make over. They say that clothes make the man


and presumably the woman, but is that true of politicians? Are we


more interested in their policies or how they parked their hair? I don't


know, but there is someone here who has strong views on the matter. We


are human beings. Our brain has evolved for us to judge someone in


part on how they look. We can't not judge them by the way they look. The


best thing a politician can do is to think about what he stands for and


to make sure his image aligns well with that. Then you get the words


and pictures going together. If they are very separate, research has


shown that we believe what we see more than what we hear. But can


someone like Jennifer really make much difference? We could not find a


real politician to pay -- play with because they are also -- too busy


washing their hair, so he will have to make do with me instead. Let's


get you dressed. It did not begin well. There were a few false starts.


But finally, a winner. Now you look like someone with something to say.


It is a great suit, but why is this more likely to get me elected? You


look authoritative. You have gravitas and you look interesting,


and you look like a man of the current world. Our politics is being


played out on screen and in the press. Before, you looked like you


had been rummaging in the back of the Westminster wardrobe. I spent


ages choosing that suit! It did not show, sorry! You may be wondering


whether there is any actual proof that image is important. Here is the


political science. People often do vote on policy and other factors,


but we do want someone who will effectively be attractive, who will


have a value we can associate with and therefore, we feel we have some


sense of cause to follow. And if it is a straight choice between style


or substance? The difficulty is, do we vote for them because of their


style, or do we think about whether they have the appropriate leadership


qualities outside of being able to manufacture image? Should you vote


for someone because you think they are good at their job, or is it the


appearance of the England at your job? Most of us would go down the


latter line. So, politicians, next time you are slaving away over that


policy paper, remember this. Voters go crazy for a sharp dressed man.


Joining me now is Dr Caitlin Milazzo, political lecture at Muslim


university, Obama, entrepreneur and star of the TV show Made In Chelsea.


He is also the founder of a website which rates MPs according to how


sexy they are. And of course, Nicky Clarke is with us. You did a study


into the attractiveness of MPs, what did you find? We found that before


the 2010 British general election, candidates perceived to be more


attractive by our students tended to be election winners. They got 2%


more votes than their less attractive counterparts. Does that


surprise you, Nicky? It doesn't. It is a shame that it has become that,


but it is about people being better looking, taller, sharper. But


something would worry me about somebody that was taking slightly


too much care of themselves and worrying too much about how they


present themselves and not having the substance I would want to see in


a politician. But do you think the message matters less if it is coming


from a more attractive person? I would hope not! I think one should


be well groomed. I certainly don't want to go back to the days of


Michael Foot in a donkey jacket. But people need to get it into


proportion. It is about politics. We have seen in life that people who


have those advantages, I am sure Mr JFK was one of the examples of the


clean cut looking American. And when up against the likes of Nixon, it


did not work. But was it also because he was less likeable? In the


end, is being attractive being dressed in a sharp suit and having a


good haircut, having great make-up if you are a woman, you look the


part? But if you open your mouth and what comes out is not intelligent,


doesn't it all gets cancelled out? Well, in the case of SexyMP.co.uk,


there is not much relevance to this debate, because it is about


incumbent MPs. But the problem is that people who are uninformed make


more judgement on people's appearance. If they are informed and


they engage with the message of each politician, that is what is


important. Unfortunately, most people are not informed, so they


make judgements and vote because of how someone looks. But they used to


save politics is showbiz for ugly people. Do you think that has


changed? Has politics become something that attractive people or


people who make themselves attractive can be successful at?


There is evidence to show that more attractive people in business are


generally more successful. People treat them better and put more trust


in them. In politics, the best evidence I found was a study by UCLA


about Congress law candidates. They looked at about 1000 candidates and


found there was nothing indicating that looks had an effect on them


winning elections. But they did find that good-looking people tended to


stand for congressional constituencies where they were more


likely to win. And is it different in America than Britain? Actually,


you would expect that in the US, attractiveness would matter more,


because that is our culture. But all the studies of the US find that it


is not attractiveness that matters, it is perceptions of confidence. Do


you perceive someone to be a capable leader? That is why we were amazed


when refined out that it was not surly confidence in ASEAN


elections, it was more attractiveness but was driving


things -- in British elections. If people come to you and say, I want


to project this sort of image, can you do that? You certainly can. The


business I am in is all about the image somebody wants to project.


Whether that happens to be a famous actor or a politician, I have been


fortunate over the last 40 years to do all of those. It is important


that people want to be seen as they see themselves. There is certainly a


power, whether it is a well groomed outfit or hair or make-up that is


important. No matter what you do, it is important. George Osborne changed


his hair. He has brushed it forward more. Does that change the way we


view him? You have to remember that people are people. We have seen Ed


Balls running and being in touch with his fitness levels. We have


seen people on the 5:2 diet, George included. That is more about them


being able to do the job than wanting to be seen to be fit to do


the job. I don't think that is necessarily a massive image crisis,


it is more about the fact that his hairline was receding. We talked


about David Cameron letting himself go grey. Does that matter? Does


gravitas come with maturity and age? That is the strain of the job!


Youth and age is another component of this. Would you feel more


supportive of our younger politician? I would support a


politician I was in agreement with. No matter what they looked like? I


am not that shallow! Every now and again there is always someone who


throws it to the wind. Youth is fine in terms of the energy brings but


every now and again you get someone like Vince Cable who is clearly


trying to prime himself as the next leader. I do not think there will be


any sudden make over with him! I would not vote for someone if they


were model, in spite of their views. I like people who have actually


lived in the real world. The Labour MP Sadiq Khan has


attacked the Conservatives today. Nothing unusual about that. But he's


questioned the party's record when it comes to engaging with ethnic


minorities, and says Tory attempts to reach out to black and Asian


voters should be viewed with suspicion. Writing in the Mirror


this morning he says, "Having grown up as an Asian boy in Thatcher's


Britain, I'm suspicious of the Tories on race. They ignored Stephen


Lawrence's family after his murder and they were never on my side when


I suffered racism. Britain will know when the Tory party has finally


changed on race and ethnicity - after all, seeing is believing." The


Tories say they have changed. Sadiq Khan joins us now, and the


Conservative MP Paul Uppal joins us from Birmingham. Is the Conservative


party a racist party in your mind? I do not think the party is racist.


Nikki and I last met in the green room of Newsnight. The member of


Parliament we appeared with is no longer in her job. David Cameron


promised more women, more ethnic minorities. And he has gone


backwards. And asking Lynton Crosby the man who ran the campaign for


Boris Johnson and did not want to focus on Muslim voters, I think that


is a step backwards. I would hope there would be an arms race to try


to win every one does not vote and not simply cater for some. You said


that the Conservative party has not changed since the 1980s. What is the


evidence for that? Mrs Lawrence said her experience as a black woman was


similar to date to that of the 1980s. Young black men are still


being stopped and searched now. There is an argument about changing


those laws. Unemployment is going up for black and ethnic minority


people. Last year the Conservative lead government had advertisements


saying, go home, a run -- around the most mixed parts of London. The


Labour Party has fallen over itself to apologise for what it is called


an open-door immigration policy. They apologised for the pressure put


on working class communities. So in a sense the Labour Party has been


playing the same game as the Conservative party. We held a public


enquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence within one month of being


let did. We brought about changes... Doreen Lawrence says very


little has changed. Paul Apple, do you recognise that characterisation


of the Conservative party and of Britain as a whole? Well I grew up


in the 1970s and faced racism almost on a daily basis. I actually


represent Enoch Powell's old seat. So the critique that the party has


not changed I think is far-fetched. What has changed is the approach of


both parties engaging with communities. I am the only seek


member in the House of parliament. -- Seikh. I have used the values to


enhance educational opportunities for everyone. Just a few years ago


we had three boys in the state system get the highest marks. We now


have educational opportunities for all communities. To look at the


evidence, even people in your own party think that the Conservatives


have a problem. One candidate for Dudley said the general perception


was that the party remained a racist party. Ethnic minority voters make


up almost one tenth of the electorate but just 16% of them


voted Conservative in the last election. What has changed? What has


changed in my experience, we have interaction with younger voters in


particular. We do have some baggage from the past about this. But what


is a real differentiation between us and Labour, Labour still see the


black and ethnic minority vote as a block vote. What he now found --


what you now found is people are asking who can provide education and


employment opportunities? The Labour Party has taken the ethnic minority


vote for granted and is now beginning to pay the price? People


are now beginning to be a little more discriminatory when they look


at the parties. They're not just giving their vote to the Labour


Party. In the past we have taken it for granted. I want an arms race. I


want every single vote to be courted. Every vote the urn. The six


people drafted in the Conservative manifesto are all male and pale. In


London more than 70% of our candidates in target seats are


women. So you're saying it is about the way the party looks and about


the Cabinet? Is that not a problem for the Conservatives and the


Liberal Democrats that there is not enough representation? We have


increased the number of MPs, sixfold from the intake period. It was from


a very low bar. I am involved with the policy board and helping to form


Conservative party policy. People in glass houses should not throw


boulders. The reality is that this article has appeared because they


have always taken the black and ethnic minority vote for granted. Do


you think the Conservative party should do more to attract ethnic


minority voters? I would love to think the Conservative party of


today is not that that you grew up with in the 1980s. David Cameron


would love to have a more diverse looking cabinet. Wide doesn't he?


Things are changing. But just not fast enough perhaps. We had the same


issue with the black and Muslim community as with women, there are


not enough women either. Do we want positive discrimination? I'm not so


sure that we do. On Thursday 13 February during a


discussion about Gordon Brown and his life outside of Parliament, a


guest on the show made remarks about the use of the money raised from


those engagements. Gordon Brown's office has asked us to make it


clear, and we are happy to do so, that he receives no personal gain


from any of his speeches or his writings and the money goes to


charity and to charitable and public service work carried out by himself


and his wife. MPs are back from a week-long


parliamentary recess. So what have they got to look forward to now


they're back at Westminster? As we've been discussing, the UK


cabinet's gone to Aberdeen today in the government's latest offensive


against Scottish independence. By Wednesday they'll be back for PMQs.


Will it be a session of "yobbery and public school twittishness" - in the


words of the Speaker - or will it be an altogether more sedate affair? On


Thursday, the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and the


Education Minister David Laws will unveil a new strategy to tackle


child poverty. Also, on Thursday, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel


visits the UK. She's expected to address both houses of Parliament.


No doubt, discussion on reforming the UK's relationship with the EU


will be on the agenda. On Friday, both UKIP and the Green party begin


their spring conferences. And on Saturday, the Labour party will hold


a special conference to decide whether to approve reforms over the


party's links with trade unions. Joining me now are Pippa Crerer from


the Evening Standard and James Lyons from the Daily Mirror. Welcome to


you both. The UK Cabinet meeting up in Aberdeen alongside Alex Salmond


and the Scottish government. How is that going to play out? It is the


clash of the cabinets and oil is the issue of the day. Do not forget the


slogan it is Scotland's oil helps the SNP to their largest Westminster


victory years ago. It is an important issue. And it is the


latest in a long line of issues brought up by the UK government to


hector the Scottish people. That is what the SNP want Scottish voters to


think. This is just the latest in a long line. There is Jeb --


definitely a ground swell of opinion towards independence. And there is a


closing of opinion and moved towards people being open to the idea. The


SNP have called that bullying, you think it will backfire? The danger


is that David Cameron takes the Cabinet up to Scotland and there is


a huge win for the independence campaign. Because the Conservatives


are still toxic brand. Some pro-Unionist believe that the fate


of the UK is in the hands of Nigel Farage of all people. If UKIP do not


do too well this year, that could hand to give to the SNP. The most


convincing argument in many parts of Scotland and Glasgow in particular


that the SNP are using that you will get rid of the Tories for ever if


you vote for independence. Angela Merkel comes to town later this


week. Is that significant? Hugely. The red carpet has been rolled out


for her. A state visit in all but name. Contrast that to the visit of


Francois Hollande. She is the single most important figure when it comes


to David Cameron's hopes of renegotiating the European Treaty.


He will invest a lot into making sure it is a good visit and she has


some ideas to give him on any compromises to be made. I think it


is unlikely that he will get the wish list that he wants. But he


wants to keep her onside. How much support to think he will get? In


terms of cosmetic changes may be. Certainly support for general


reform. What about the big stuff is Mac things that would require treaty


change? After all the disobliging remarks that David Cameron's


colleagues have made about France in the recent past I'm not surprised


that there are not supported by Francois Hollande. Downing Street


are talking up the chances of her helping them out. But even if they


do believe that and are not just trying to delay the inevitable


disappointment, the danger is that David Cameron has this read the


situation. He has a high opinion of his own powers of persuasion. We saw


what happened with President Putin, when Cameron returned from Sochi. He


said he had made huge progress and then the Russian leader humiliated


him at the G8. The Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom, Hazel Blears and


Lorely Burt joint as now. -- join us now. What do you want to hear from


Angela Merkel? David Cameron's agenda is clear, and Angela Merkel


has been clear that she once Britain to remain part of the EU. So I am


sure they will make progress towards that. William Hague said yesterday


that Angela Merkel's visit was just be starting point. David Cameron


gave his Europe speech over a year ago. What has happened in between? A


lot of discussion has happened behind the scenes. But have any of


the demands from your group been met? There is real progress. You


can't set a timetable and start negotiating something before you


even see whether the 2015 general election is won by the Conservatives


and whether David Cameron gets the opportunity to hold his EU


referendum. So there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes and


there is a lot of support across the EU. So you accept that none of the


serious negotiations will take place until after 2015? No, there was a


lot of negotiating behind the scenes. But it is all talk. Nothing


has been agreed. If you look at some of your demands for opt outs from


intolerable labour and social market legislation, boycotting defence


initiatives, are these things going to be done in two years before the


referendum in 2017? David Cameron has pledged to a fundamental


reform, and he is clear that that is to the advantage of the EU. It is


not about cherry picking for the UK. So what he negotiates with his


EU partners will be for him to decide and it will be dependent on


the outcome of the election in 2015. Hazel Blears, Number Ten is right.


Angela Merkel doesn't want the UK to leave the EU. So in that sense, they


are playing to an audience with open ears. Well, Angela Merkel is


incredibly important to David Cameron in all of this. If he does


not get her onside, he is in trouble. He has got her onside. We


shall see. But David Cameron is under huge pressure from UKIP. If


you look at some of the recent by-elections and council elections,


you can see the Tories haemorrhaging votes to UKIP. So this is David


Cameron's attempt to stave that off. In many ways, I wish him well, cos I


do think the view of the public is that they want to see Europe


reformed and they would like a say. So why won't labour give people a


say? In my view, it is essential that the people of this country do


have a say. So Ed Miliband should do that before the next election? It is


about reform of the system. The EU was about economics and jobs. Now we


are getting decisions about the deportation of foreign criminals. I


think the public want that to be changed. When are we going to see


that debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage? Soon, I hope. A lot


rides on it. We have our credentials. We owe -- we are the


only party of in the EU. We believe there are about 3 million jobs at


stake, and we are not afraid to put our head above the parapet. I wish


you would speak to young Edward, Hazel, and get him to come on board


as well. But you are not promising a referendum. We are promising an


in-out referendum, should there be any treaty change. But everybody has


agreed to that. You say you are the only party for in, so why not


campaign for in in an in-out referendum? We will campaign for in,


should a referendum arise. We will see how things pan out. We will see


what happens after the 2015 elections. That will be an


interesting time for the future of Britain and Europe. You say the


Liberal Democrats are the only party for in. David Cameron has been clear


that he wants to see a reformed EU. Having spent a lot of time in


Strasbourg recently, the rest of Europe still thinks it is a way for


Britain to leave the EU. They see it as a tactic for pushing at the door


to exit. That is not my understanding. It might not be your


understanding, but that is the danger. You have got UKIP reading


down your neck on this. It is not the case. This is a positive


campaign. So nothing to do with UKIP or the people who do just want to


leave? David Cameron is trying to lead the country into a position


where the EU is globally competitive. With one hand behind


his back. What are you basing the evidence on that actually, the rest


of Europe does see it as a quick exit out of the EU? I have not got


the perspective of the whole of Europe, but I see what is happening


in Britain. In the Conservative Party, there are some pro-European,


good Conservatives, but they are hopelessly split and they are


fearful of UKIP. It just isn't the case. There are few in the


Conservative Party would like to see Britain leave. Most are behind David


Cameron's view that the EU needs to be more globally competitive and


more democratically accountable. PMQs has been a little rowdy of


late, so much so that last week, the speaker said the "twittishness"


needed to end. Labour leader Ed Miliband said he has agreed to


that. Here is an example of how difficult it can get. Anne-Marie


Morris. This government has a great record on educational reform.


Will the prime minister confirm he will support a further round this


autumn so that businesses and universities... We got the gist of


that. Very good to see the honourable lady on such feisty form.


Well, she would have to be to be heard. She had already broken her


arm. That is amusing, but is it acceptable? Absolutely not. When you


stand to ask the prime minister question, there is a microphone. She


did not need to shout. We had a laugh about that. But there is a


serious point here. I think agreement has broken out between us


here, because we all find it distasteful. We would all like to


see more of a sensible approach. People ask the Prime Minister's


Questions because they are interested in knowing the answer.


But does it actually put people off? In your postbag, Hazel, do you get


letters saying, can you please do something about the noise and the


general, but if they drop PMQs? I get more letters about housing,


education and social services. But I do get comments. Sometimes when I go


to schools, young people say, what happens on a Wednesday afternoon? It


looks like bad behaviour. If they behaved like that at school, they


would get sent out. But having said that, I liked our Parliament for the


two for a debate that we get. When you go to the European Parliament


and people just read speeches, it is so boring. There needs to be a


better balance between being boring and being boorish. How do you do it?


It seemed that we all reported on the idea that after Christmas, Ed


Miliband had agreed to try and turn it down a bit. And it seems


impossible to do. Can you achieve it without it becoming boring? I think


you need an agreement between everybody that when there is a


question, you get an answer. If people tried to answer the questions


more, that might calm it down. What about the Punch and Judy, and ending


it? Like the other ladies, I find it distasteful. I was recently at a


human day with a group of year 12 and 13s, all of whom said the only


time I see the chamber of the House of Commons is during PMQs, and they


all thought it was just funny. It is not good for serious politics. Most


of the time in the chamber, it is intelligent and courteous debate.


But this is the showcase. David Cameron said he would end Punch and


Judy. Is it that they don't want to, or is it that they can't find a way


of doing it? I think it is the most tense period of the week, where the


leaders of both parties are being held to account. So tempers and


tensions are high. It is partly down to yourselves as well. Because the


press judge you on that half hour on a Wednesday, are you up, are you


down, other threats to your leadership, are you going to be


deposed next month? It is all on that moment, and it becomes like a


theatre. The atmosphere is so intense, so maybe journalists need


to be part of this as well. No, let's leave it to the politicians!


But does it put off women? That has always been the claim, that it puts


off women, voters, viewers and MPs themselves. Is that true? To a


degree. I remember standing to ask the prime minister a question and,


forgive me, Hazel, but if the opposition sense that you are going


to say something that is in anyway derogatory to them or critical, you


get a wall of noise hitting you. That is very intimidating. Is that


the reason you are standing down? Have you had enough of the toing and


froing of it all? No, I have in here nearly 20 years. As a minister, I


have stood in that chamber. I was at one of the last all-night sittings


at four o'clock in the morning on very controversial legislation when


one or two members had perhaps had one or two drinks. I have been


there, done that, got the T-shirt. Not at all. I just feel that at this


point, it is time for the next generation in my seat to come along.


I genuinely want to choose bend more time with my family. And I am


looking for new challenges. We have all been in local politics for


years, and I don't want to become part of an institution. What is your


proudest achievement? Introducing neighbourhood policing, and changing


the whole way we do policing in this country. The Liberal Democrats and


the Conservatives and people around the world now think that


neighbourhood policing is the best thing for our country. Biggest


regret? You always think there is more you could have done. But I am


not a person for regrets. My biggest regret would be leaving the people


of Salford. I would still live there, but they will have a new


voice and I hope they get a strong champion. Just briefly go back to


atmosphere of how we do politics, do you think the speaker is the problem


or part of the solution? I actually think he is rather a good speaker.


He defends the backbenches very well in terms of their right to speak. He


keeps us all to order. This is my first time, but I understand he gets


through the questions so that he gives loads of people the chance to


have their say. He is unpopular with a few of your colleagues. I don't


like him insulting colleagues. He is as bad as anyone when it comes to


personal insults. Sometimes it is hurtful. Just time before we go to


find out the answer to our quiz. Question was, which politician is


not on the 5:2 diet? Is it Alex Salmond, George Osborne, the


Alexander or Ed Balls? They are all men! And who is not on it? I have


worked for Danny, and I don't think he is on it. You are right! Danny


Alexander is not on the 5:2 diet. I am! That is all for today. Thanks to


our guests. The one O'Clock News is starting on BBC One now. I will be


here at noon tomorrow with all the big political stories of the day.


Thanks. Bye-bye.


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