28/02/2014 Daily Politics


28/02/2014

Andrew Neil with the latest political news. He discusses Labour and the unions with shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan, and looks ahead to the European Parliamentary elections.


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Afternoon, folks. Ed Miliband's promised some pretty "seismic

:00:35.:00:47.

changes" to his party. His words, not mine. He hopes a package of

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measures, to be voted on tomorrow, will change Labour's relationship

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with the unions and allow individuals more say in the party

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leadership. We'll be putting them under the spotlight. The crisis in

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Ukraine continues to unravel. The country's interior minister accuses

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Russia of an "armed invasion and occupation" of his country. He says

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Russian troops have taken control of two airports on the Crimean

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peninsula. Russia has denied involvement. The daffodils are out

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and the Spring Conference season is underway. Today it's UKIP's turn to

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steal the limelight. And they rolled out the red carpet for her. German

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Chancellor Angela Merkel even had a cosy cup of tea with the Queen. But

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her message yesterday: EU reform won't be" a piece of cake". All that

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in the next hour. And with us for the next half an hour is former

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Political Editor of the Sunday Times, Isabel Oakeshott. Welcome to

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the Daily Politics. Now first today, the continuing row about whether or

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not Harriet Harman should apologise over the links between a civil

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rights organisation she worked for in the 1970s and a paedophile group.

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Yesterday the former Labour Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, who was

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in charge of the National Council for Civil Liberties, at the time,

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said that she had "got it wrong" and was "naive" about the pro-paedophile

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group. Harriet Harman, has so far "regretted the link". Last night on

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Question Time, the Defence Minister, Anna Sourby was asked whether

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Harriet Harman should have apologised. She had this to say: it

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was handled badly. She should have come out and the story would have

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disappeared and gone away. I am really not interested between the

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fight between Patricia Hewitt and the Daily Mail. She has not done

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herself any favours. It is the Westminster consensus that Harriet

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Harman has got this wrong. Absolutely. I am amazed by how badly

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Harriet Harman has handled this row. Had she apologised

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straightaway, it would have gone away, as the defence minister said.

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There is no political capital to be made by stringing out an apology for

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something most people regard as indefensible. What would she be

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apologising for? She could say it was a mistake to be linked with the

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paedophile organisation. Harriet Harman was just a lawyer at the

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time. I do not think voters going into the fine detail of all of

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this. People are not bothered about the detail. The point is that people

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are not bothered about the fine detail and she should have made a

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simple apology in the way that Patricia Hewitt has done, and

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perhaps she was encouraged by the fight that Ed Miliband had with the

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Daily Mail. She thought she could win it but she will never win it.

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The Daily Mail is toxic for people like Harriet Harman. Do you think

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our judgement was skewed about how to handle this? Absolutely. Had this

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campaign been led by the Guardian, her attitude might have been

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different, but she saw it very politically right from the start and

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that was the wrong approach to take. When Ed Miliband was at the wrong

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end of the Daily Mail, he came out quite well. He had the moral high

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ground and it was a different fight. People felt sorry for Ed Miliband

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and felt that the Daily Mail had behaved inappropriately. When it

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comes to links with paedophile organisations, that is a much more

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difficult thing to get away with. I suppose it does not go away. The

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caravan will move on to whether Patricia Hewitt has made an apology.

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Harriet Harman, why can you not do the same? I do not think Harriet

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Harman will say any more on this. She has put out a detailed regret

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statement and that is as far as it goes. It has become a face saving

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exercise for her. Now it's time for our daily quiz. The question for

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today is: Which one of these is the odd one out? A) Angela Merkel b)

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Michelle Obama c) Larry the cat or d) Nigel Farage. And a bit later in

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the show Isabel will give us the correct answer. Do you know the

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answer? Give me time! You have plenty of time! Ed Miliband wants to

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shake up the Labour Party - promising "seismic changes" that he

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says go further than Tony Blair ever dared - he's even holding a special

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conference this weekend to prove it He wants unions to vote on reforms

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that aim to rebuild Labour as a "mass movement". He wants a change

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in the way the party leader is elected - demolishing the electoral

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college, replacing it with a one member, one vote system. Automatic

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union affiliation fees are also set to bite the dust. Union members will

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have to agree to giving their share of fees to the Party. And they'll

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have to pay ?3 to become an 'affiliated supporter' - changes not

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without financial risk. But could this destabilise the relationship

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with the unions? Last year the GMB union vowed to collapse their

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affiliation funding from ?1.2m to ?150,000. And Unite, Labour's

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biggest affiliated union, meet next week to discuss halving it's annual

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affiliation fees to ?1.5m after leader Len McCluskey described the

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current situation as "untenable". With me now is Sadiq Khan, the

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Shadow Justice Secretary. Welcome. Tomorrow is going to rubber-stamp

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changes that have been agreed. I hope the vote goes through. There is

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a special conference and they will vote yes or no to the proposals. In

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the end, nothing much changes and nothing changes for five years, is

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that not right? No. You mention the huge financial risk. The new members

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of trade unions will make a decision of whether to opt in. Any new member

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joining does this under the new rules. You mentioned that five-year

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period. If you remember the Chris Kelly reports, they recommended a

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system of opting in and thought that five-year period was sensible,

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bearing the difficulties that trade union members had. They said five

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years is the transitional periods recommended. The leader of the GMB

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said the collective role of trade unions in the Labour Party is not up

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for grabs. Is that true? There have been difference of opinions about

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the role that trade unions play. It is about modernising the trade union

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link. John Smith began this process and nobody would argue that John

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Smith's changes or Tony Blair's changes have led to the trade unions

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separating from Labour. We are after a transparent arrangement. I

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appreciate this is a change that has implications for the Labour Party.

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The unions will retain their block vote in the conference, 50% of all

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the boats they can control, they will still be the biggest group on

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the controlling committee, their own political funds will swell, and they

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say that they will hand the money over to you come the election, but

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only if they get the policies they want. Their influence could be

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bigger. At the moment, my vote, as a member of Parliament,

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bigger. At the moment, my vote, as a that they have a lot of money in the

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political funds, more than ever before because they are not giving

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it to you, and they were only handed over if they agree with the

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policies. We want trade union members to become candidates for

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Parliament, so that would be a strengthening of the relationship.

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We want trade union members to come to our local events. I am not

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embarrassed that teachers, care workers and bus drivers have more

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others say in the Labour Partyfuture. When Len McCluskey says

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this could lead to trade unions having a bigger role, that is a good

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thing. In a curious way, because of the changes, they may have more

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control over the purse strings. That is not true, come on, Andrew. We

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will continue to try... How much have you taken... The people in the

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party are ordinary members. The unions hand-out this money every

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year and the affiliation fees come in, you get a chunk of that. That

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won't happen any more and you hold onto that. They will be sitting on a

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pile of cash, just before the election, and they will have no

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leverage on what they want in the manifesto. You are making the

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relationship between Labour Party and trade unions are binary one,

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based on money. We recognise that we have lost money through the

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consequences of what we have done. A lot will give money as individual

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donors. Len McCluskey, on Newsnight this week, said that this would now

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give him more power over what was in the Labour manifesto. He may well

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say that but as a party, we have a long process to draw out policies.

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There will be an open process of making policies. We are very open to

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policy ideas. Of course. We live in the real world and money talks, and

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your party is not flash with cash. We are running up to an election and

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the unions are sitting on ?6 million. You are drawing up your

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manifesto and Len McCluskey says is this policy is not in the manifesto,

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you are not getting the money. That is not how we do business in the

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Labour Party. We want to be more in tune with the British public, have

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policies that are designed to address their concerns, and I think

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it is good that trade unions will have a role in the Labour Party. The

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cleanest form of money in British politics is from hedge funds

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managers, and not from millionaires. You are happy that the unions will

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continue to have a 50% block vote? As an obvious consequence of the

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changes we are making I think there will be an evolutionary process. You

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have got to realise that the process that began under John Smith has been

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evolutionary. It has benefited the party and the trade union movement.

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You are right, of course, about the issue of trade union bosses having

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more discretion over their spending. He did not answer the question about

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how much money is coming into the party from big business. The answer

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is that it is almost none. They have no big business donors. I accept

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your point about cleaner money from smaller donors rather than people,

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as you put it, having dinner in Number Ten. The final word?

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Hard-working trade union members who vote, I am proud of. I'm proud of

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the links with the trade union members. Are you going to the

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conference tomorrow? I am. Are you looking forward to it? I am. It

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should be a good event. Thank you. Always a pleasure. Now the party

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Spring Conference season has sprung. UKIP are in sunny Devon this

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weekend, in Torquay in fact. They will, of course, be hoping to do

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well in this year's European Elections. But what hope, in some of

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the other elections coming up? Adam's been to a different seaside

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town. Folkestone in Kent where the tide turned in UKIP's favour. Here

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are some of the challenges facing the party nationally. First, can

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UKIP win the European elections? Here is how the story goes. Everyone

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was convinced that UKIP would win this summer's election for the

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European Parliament. Then a poll came out suggesting they might only

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come second. The political class drew the conclusion that UKIP what

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run out of momentum. Don't be so hasty says the author of a new book

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about the party. The one thing you have to remember though about UKIP

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is that at previous European elections in 2004 and 2009, they

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surged very late on. People are already writing them off this time

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around. It is too early with UKIP. You have to wait until early to

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mid-May to begin to see whether this party is going to rocket forward

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like they did in 2009. But how about the general election

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in 2015? It will be tough because of the voting system. The party's

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support is spread out rather than concentrated in particular places

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making it hard to turn votes into seats. Unless they hunker down in a

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few places which begs the next question, where will Nigel Farage

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stand in 2015? Well, Folkestone has been suggested, but the UKIP leader

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says he will make the decision in June. He will like it if he comes

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here, there is plenty of lunch time drinking. I think he is a nice guy.

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He is down to earth. He is not stuck up He is a drinking man. A smoking

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man. And he has opinions about the safeguarding of England.

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REPORTER: If he turned up to join you for a pint, you would be happy?

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I would enjoy having a pint with him. Yeah, absolutely. But can UKIP

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broaden their support and reach the parts of the electorate that they

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need to? They are not connecting with women to the same extend they

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are connecting with men. They are not connecting with the Young. Their

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vote is very old. It will be difficult for this revolt to sustain

:17:32.:17:37.

itself over the long-term. There is a the lot of Young people in Britain

:17:38.:17:44.

who have been hit by austerity. UKIP are not connecting with them. There

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is the biggest question of all. By succeeding do UKIP take support from

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the Tories and sink any chance of a referendum on our membership of the

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EU? Joined now from Torquay by UKIP's

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Communities spokesman, Suzanne Evans. Welcome to the Daily

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Politics. What measures have you taken to ensure that the disaster of

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your last autumn conference, which Nigel Farage had to admit Jeffrey

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Bloom destroyed it, doesn't happen again? It won't happen again. It

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wasn't a disaster. There was one incident with Godfrey Bloom. I was

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at conference last year. It was a fantastic event. We showed our

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policies. We showed the depth of the talent we have on board. This

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conference is going to be even better. Actually, it was two

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incidents, Godfrey Bloom declared the UKIP conference to be full of

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sluts and he went on to hit someone over the head with a brochure. You

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are serving up free fruit cake at this conference. Does this make

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sense? It is one fruit cake that's on the desk at reception. It is a

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joke, are Andrew. It is a good joke! We are going to put up on the screen

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the UKIP slogan so we can see it which is, "Love Britain, vote UKIP."

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We have put up on the screen the BNP's slogan, "Love Britain, vote

:19:18.:19:24.

BNP." Is that wise? The BNP does not have a monopoly on any words in the

:19:25.:19:28.

English language and lots of people, lots of organisations use the

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slogan, "Love Britain." It is a great slogan. I love Britain. As one

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of the men said, Nigel Farage and UKIP stand up for this country and

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I'm not ashamed to say I love Britain. I don't care who used the

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term before, there is clear water between us and the BNP and we're

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just standing up for Britain. One of your image problems is that people

:19:53.:19:55.

suspect there are a lot of people on the right of your party who may not

:19:56.:20:01.

be that different from BNP. Does it make tactical sense to choose a

:20:02.:20:06.

poster slogan that minimumics the BNP?

:20:07.:20:10.

Andrew, as I said no political party has the monopoly on the words in the

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English language. The Guardian used the phrase, "Love Britain" When they

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were talking about the Edward Snowden affair. I love Britain. The

:20:24.:20:26.

party loves Britain. It is about standing up for British sovereignty

:20:27.:20:32.

in the face of the onslaught of laws and a take-over by the European

:20:33.:20:37.

Union. Nigel Farage said that UKIP has been guilty of resembling the

:20:38.:20:42.

rugby club on a day out. Is it like a rugby club in Torquay today? Well,

:20:43.:20:49.

I'm not that familiar with rugby clubs on a day out. That's not my

:20:50.:20:54.

impression are, are no. Since I joined UKIP. I have been warmly

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welcomed. I have been not been made uncomfortable because I'm woman.

:21:03.:21:05.

There are a growing number of women in UKIP. You said the that party is

:21:06.:21:10.

finding it hard to connect with women and I don't find that. It is

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my role to stand up for women and show women what UKIP can offer them

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and UKIP offers women the same thing as it offers men. It offers policies

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which resonate. What we care about is how much tax we pay? How safe we

:21:26.:21:31.

are on the streets when we walk home? How many laws we can create in

:21:32.:21:36.

our own country and not having laws and rights taken away by a European

:21:37.:21:41.

stupor state -- superstate. These are things I'm interested in and all

:21:42.:21:45.

things that women are interested. What's your policy on child benefit?

:21:46.:21:53.

As you know, our manifesto is being re-jigged as we speak. Child benefit

:21:54.:21:58.

is a tricky one. We don't want to make a big statement and then find

:21:59.:22:01.

we couldn't afford it. There was criticism after the 2010 manifesto

:22:02.:22:04.

was launched that we couldn't afford the manifesto promises we made. So

:22:05.:22:08.

at the moment we are having them all independently costed by an economic

:22:09.:22:13.

think-tank and... So you haven't got a policy on child benefit? I am sure

:22:14.:22:18.

we will have policy. What would you like it to say? We haven't got a

:22:19.:22:22.

policy we are ready to announce. What would you like? As a woman, and

:22:23.:22:28.

as a mother, I think child benefit is very important and I'm sure...

:22:29.:22:32.

That bit we got. But what's your policy? As I said, Andrew, we have

:22:33.:22:36.

not yet, I haven't got authority at the moment to tell you what our

:22:37.:22:42.

policy might be. It is being costed Ah, Mr Farage hasn't given you that

:22:43.:22:46.

so it is the men holding the authority in your party, is if? --

:22:47.:22:54.

is it? No, I was part of developing the Labour manifesto as woman and

:22:55.:22:57.

there was a few women involved in that. Do you agree that women

:22:58.:23:03.

employees are worth less than men? No. I don't. Neither does Nigel

:23:04.:23:08.

Farage. Well, he doesn't agree with himself? No, he was talking about a

:23:09.:23:13.

specific incident within his own particular realm of experience at a

:23:14.:23:16.

particular point in time in the City some years. I think his quotes were

:23:17.:23:21.

taken out of context. Nobody thinks a woman is worth less than a man. I

:23:22.:23:27.

don't and I don't think you do, Andrew. Can we move on from that

:23:28.:23:32.

because it is irrelevant to our campaign going forward? When will we

:23:33.:23:40.

get the UKIP manifesto for the European elections in May? Well, I

:23:41.:23:45.

think the European election manifesto is clear really. I think

:23:46.:23:49.

there is only one top polls I why, we want out -- policy, we want out

:23:50.:23:59.

of the EU. So all you need is a one line manifesto? No, that's what

:24:00.:24:03.

people are going to vote on, isn't it for the European elections? I

:24:04.:24:07.

would encourage people to do that because the European elections are

:24:08.:24:10.

going to send a strong message to David Cameron, but perhaps that we

:24:11.:24:13.

should have that referendum sooner. They are going to send a strong

:24:14.:24:16.

message to Ed Miliband that maybe he needs to commit to having an EU

:24:17.:24:21.

referendum. I would like to see both of them do that pretty soon and

:24:22.:24:27.

ahead of the 2014 general election. What point would you like to make? I

:24:28.:24:33.

would like to see more of her. Wow, this is a very impressive

:24:34.:24:38.

spokeswoman for UKIP. How refreshing to see them put up a woman? What do

:24:39.:24:44.

you say to that? That's very kind, indeed. Thank you. Are you in danger

:24:45.:24:49.

of mis-managing expectations? Your people are going around saying you

:24:50.:24:54.

expect to come first in the European elections. If you don't, that will

:24:55.:24:59.

seem like a failure? It is a Westminster process thing, but don't

:25:00.:25:03.

you need to get more sophisticated about this? Andrew, I'm amused by

:25:04.:25:07.

the spin that's being put on this. A few weeks ago, we were a fringe part

:25:08.:25:12.

We were somebody not to be taken seriously. We were a protest vote.

:25:13.:25:16.

Now suddenly, if we come only second in the European election we have

:25:17.:25:22.

failed. Come on, you are an experienced journalist, you must be

:25:23.:25:26.

able to see the irony in that? If Nigel Farage fails to do well in the

:25:27.:25:30.

European elections is his position under threat?

:25:31.:25:35.

No, I don't think so. I think if we come second it will be a close

:25:36.:25:38.

second. It is not about the number of MEPs, we get it is about what

:25:39.:25:43.

vote share we get. Everyone here is behind Nigel Farage. He is a

:25:44.:25:46.

fantastic leader. I'm very, very proud to be on his frontbench team

:25:47.:25:51.

and yeah, I think we will do very well in the euro elections. Do you

:25:52.:25:55.

think you will come first? If we come first, that will be fantastic,

:25:56.:25:59.

if we don't, UKIP is on the rise. UKIP is going forwardment we are a

:26:00.:26:02.

major player in British politics. The tide has turned. There is an

:26:03.:26:07.

earthquake and we are here to stay. All right, well you watch that tide

:26:08.:26:10.

behind you there. It is looking threatening there.

:26:11.:26:14.

I was just thinking about that! It is getting darker as we speak. Thank

:26:15.:26:19.

you for joining us. Now the crisis in Ukraine appears to

:26:20.:26:23.

be worsening by the day with Russian troops said to have moved into the

:26:24.:26:26.

Crimea region. One Ukrainian Government Minister has accused

:26:27.:26:28.

Russia of armed invasion. Here's what David Cameron had to say

:26:29.:26:32.

yesterday. Every country should respect the territorial integrity

:26:33.:26:37.

and sovereignty of the Ukraine. Russia made th commitment and it is

:26:38.:26:40.

important that Russia keeps its word. The world will be watching.

:26:41.:26:45.

This is not a zero sum game. If the people of Ukraine want greater ties

:26:46.:26:50.

with Europe, then, of course, we welcome that. But it is not about

:26:51.:26:53.

forcing the Ukrainian people to choose between Russia and Europe. It

:26:54.:26:56.

is in all our interests to have a stable and prosperous Ukraine.

:26:57.:27:14.

We're joineed by Orysia Lutsevych from the international affairs

:27:15.:27:17.

think-tank, Chatham House. What do you believe is the Kremlin's aim

:27:18.:27:20.

here? What will the Kremlin do? I think the master plan is to

:27:21.:27:25.

destabilise Ukraine furthermore. It is to prevent Kiev to consolidate

:27:26.:27:30.

power over the territory of Ukraine and it is to distract attention for

:27:31.:27:35.

dealing with painful economic reforms and consolidating the aid

:27:36.:27:38.

package that should come from the West. Now, we learned yesterday, on

:27:39.:27:43.

Wednesday, Mr Putin saying that he was checking the battle readiness of

:27:44.:27:47.

the troops. Then we were told that fighter jets were on combat

:27:48.:27:52.

readiness. This morning we hear of helicopters in Crimea, of airports

:27:53.:27:59.

being taken over by armed men. Is this sabre-rattling or could it be

:28:00.:28:05.

the prelude to a military intervention? It is a very dangerous

:28:06.:28:10.

situation, I think. A lot of conflict could start by chance, by

:28:11.:28:16.

provocation, the spark could happen in the evidence of having so many

:28:17.:28:22.

troops gathered around and including in Crimea some of the Russian groups

:28:23.:28:27.

could be armed. So in a way, I think the strategy would be to start to

:28:28.:28:35.

present Crimean unrest as a home-grown protest. Russia is not

:28:36.:28:39.

confirming that its troops are taking over the Parliament, but we

:28:40.:28:44.

know that where would they appear overnight? It is an old soviet trick

:28:45.:28:52.

to create a set of events that then justify a military intervention? It

:28:53.:28:58.

is not only soviet. Putin was trying this trick recently Georgia where he

:28:59.:29:05.

was going to protect compatriots and defend the Russia delegation abroad.

:29:06.:29:10.

Should we not regard Mr Putin as having a lot in common with the old

:29:11.:29:16.

sof jets? -- soviets? I think he is a reincarnation of that system. The

:29:17.:29:22.

system in the Ukraine is complicated. There are, there is

:29:23.:29:24.

huge differences between the largely pro-Russian east and the more

:29:25.:29:28.

European facing west and the Crimea is a whole game on its own that used

:29:29.:29:36.

to belong to Russia, there are major Russian ports in Crimea and it only

:29:37.:29:42.

became part of Crimea in 1954. So there is plenty of problems to stir

:29:43.:29:51.

up there, isn't there? We should not forget that there are Crimea n

:29:52.:30:06.

tartares, they came back during the independent time to reclaim the land

:30:07.:30:11.

and we have 15 to 20 population. We don't have a recent population poll

:30:12.:30:16.

to really know how many there are, but this is not just between Ukraine

:30:17.:30:21.

and Russia, there is a population that is pro-Ukrainian in terms of

:30:22.:30:25.

keeping the integration with the mainland of Ukraine.

:30:26.:30:34.

Ukraine is bust, isn't it? The risks are growing every day and that is

:30:35.:30:38.

why I think the West should not wait, like it was waiting to see the

:30:39.:30:44.

situation in Ukraine. They should be on the ground, monitoring it. They

:30:45.:30:49.

should be there to take hold of the situation and ask questions. When

:30:50.:31:00.

Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons, the USA and the UK guaranteed

:31:01.:31:07.

sovereignty to Ukraine. They should be asking why they are in the

:31:08.:31:13.

Crimea. I have just come back from the USA and does not seem to be a

:31:14.:31:18.

lot of interest there. Under EU rules, we are not allowed to give

:31:19.:31:22.

funding to a country unless it has the proper democratic credentials.

:31:23.:31:29.

Clearly, yesterday, we saw the new government voted into Parliament by

:31:30.:31:34.

the majority. This government is in talks with the USA and IMF.

:31:35.:31:39.

Yesterday, it was said that the USA will guarantee part of the loan that

:31:40.:31:46.

the IMF would give. The strategy of Russia is to show that this

:31:47.:31:51.

government cannot make orders in its own House. What should the EU do?

:31:52.:32:02.

There are few things. It should enforce what it is already doing. It

:32:03.:32:13.

should understand that the Ukrainian situation is a European vacuity

:32:14.:32:18.

issue. It is very close to home and a major piece of the border, so they

:32:19.:32:27.

should be together with the USA and discussing the situation. --

:32:28.:32:33.

European security issue. But they only have soft power, Moscow has the

:32:34.:32:40.

hard power. There are military ships in the Black C. They are not going

:32:41.:32:50.

to get involved -- Black said. We have seen people dying for this soft

:32:51.:32:57.

power, waving flags. The worry is that they are standing for something

:32:58.:33:02.

that will let them down. They also understand, throughout the crisis,

:33:03.:33:05.

that they have to rely on themselves. This is a big mental

:33:06.:33:14.

shift. It is a big country, 46 million people. It is not a small

:33:15.:33:20.

European country. I think this is an important lesson that they are

:33:21.:33:27.

acting upon, and taking stock, that is the first lesson. The fact is, we

:33:28.:33:37.

are irrelevant. We are not even the players. You said you were in

:33:38.:33:42.

America and was not much there. I struggled to find interest at

:33:43.:33:47.

Westminster. It was not even brought up at Rye Minister 's questions. It

:33:48.:33:52.

is complicated, there are so many factions involved. -- Prime

:33:53.:33:59.

Minister's Questions. I spoke to some MPs and they said they are

:34:00.:34:02.

absent, we are not really part of this. What are the chances of

:34:03.:34:12.

Ukraine being partitioned? It depends on Vladimir Putin's plan. I

:34:13.:34:27.

think the risks are high. The Ukrainian authorities should work to

:34:28.:34:33.

find a way to localise the movement of troops and trying to negotiate

:34:34.:34:41.

and see who the people are. Exactly. They are saying that they

:34:42.:34:46.

are not entitled to negotiate. Events are unfolding as we speak.

:34:47.:34:50.

Thank you for joining us. Time to get the answer to our quiz. The

:34:51.:34:53.

question was... Which one of these is the odd one out? A) Angela Merkel

:34:54.:34:58.

b) Michelle Obama c) Larry the cat or d) Nigel Farage. So, Isabel,

:34:59.:35:03.

what's the correct answer? Soft furnishings? The answer is Nigel

:35:04.:35:12.

Farage. It is, he is the only one not to have sat on the sofa. Coming

:35:13.:35:19.

up in a moment it's our regular look at what's been going on in European

:35:20.:35:23.

politics. But for now it's time to say goodbye to my guest of the day,

:35:24.:35:27.

Isabel Oakeshott. So for the next half an hour we're going to be

:35:28.:35:30.

focussing on Europe. We'll be discussing, Switzerland,

:35:31.:35:32.

immigration, Angela Merkel and we'll also be taking a look at the runners

:35:33.:35:36.

and riders for one of Europe's top jobs. First though here's our 60

:35:37.:35:39.

second guide to what's been happening in Europe this week. Blink

:35:40.:35:47.

and you may miss it. The Nordic model of prostitution has been

:35:48.:35:51.

attacked by MPs who voted to legalise the selling of sex and

:35:52.:35:56.

criminalise those who are buying it. Smaller German parties including the

:35:57.:35:59.

far right are more likely to gain European Parliament seats after the

:36:00.:36:05.

top court scrapped a rule requiring parties to win at least 3% of the

:36:06.:36:09.

top boat. Tough new smoking rules have been voted through by the

:36:10.:36:13.

European Parliament, including mandatory health warnings covering

:36:14.:36:18.

two thirds of cigarette packs. All new cars will have to be fitted with

:36:19.:36:22.

a life-saving device from 25th team. It automatically dials the emergency

:36:23.:36:27.

services in the event of a crash. MEPs say it will cut response times

:36:28.:36:34.

and save lives. In a high profile visit to London, German Chancellor

:36:35.:36:39.

Angela Merkel said she would work with Britain to reform Europe. She

:36:40.:36:45.

wants to remain a strong boys inside the EU. -- a strong boys. Voice. And

:36:46.:36:59.

with us for the next 30 minutes I've been joined by The Conservative MEP,

:37:00.:37:03.

Timothy Kirkhope and the UKIP MEP, Gerard Batten. Now to Angela Merkel.

:37:04.:37:05.

What did the visit achieve? Auntie Angela Kane to visit young David. He

:37:06.:37:11.

cannot have his train set, he needs a dinky toy. She said there would be

:37:12.:37:19.

no fundamental reform. It was a meeting of the two most important

:37:20.:37:23.

politicians in Europe. Working together, they can get reforms in

:37:24.:37:29.

Europe. She made it clear that she was not up to the fundamental

:37:30.:37:35.

reforms that David may need. She made it clear that if there was a

:37:36.:37:39.

treaty change, it could not be within Mr Cameron's timetable. She

:37:40.:37:45.

did not close any doors, she opened a lot. She was being pragmatic, and

:37:46.:37:52.

so was the Prime Minister. This is a marvellous combination and it is

:37:53.:37:56.

important we work hard at this. There will be no fundamental

:37:57.:38:02.

renegotiation. This project is about creating a United States of Europe.

:38:03.:38:06.

You are in or you are out. The arguments today are the same as 40

:38:07.:38:10.

years ago. If we could have a referendum now, if Mr Cameron went

:38:11.:38:15.

to Parliament and asked for a referendum, that would make him

:38:16.:38:22.

strong for an election. The situation is quite clear. We need

:38:23.:38:27.

reform, we need change, she needs change in Europe, they are very much

:38:28.:38:43.

of the same mind, I think. Hold on, a fundamental reform of the European

:38:44.:38:47.

architecture is what David Cameron once but she says you are in for a

:38:48.:38:55.

disappointment. The negotiations are going on and will continue to go on

:38:56.:39:00.

and we have a fair prospect of success, despite the misery guts

:39:01.:39:05.

approach of this man and his friends. If you are going for a

:39:06.:39:12.

major treaty change, not just repatriating powers from Brussels to

:39:13.:39:18.

Britain, but treaty changes that affect the whole of the continent,

:39:19.:39:22.

they take ages to do, they have to be ratified by every Parliament, and

:39:23.:39:29.

by a referendum, and I would suggest to you that France Warhol and needs

:39:30.:39:35.

a referendum like a hole in the head! E-mail have certain limits on

:39:36.:39:40.

the number of Daisy is going to remain in power. Is in power until

:39:41.:39:49.

2017. The number of days he is going to remain in power. UKIP are never

:39:50.:39:58.

going to be in power and are never going to give the people of this

:39:59.:40:03.

country a referendum. We will and we will give them a referendum as well.

:40:04.:40:08.

Every month we go to straddle the, we get lots of legislation and the

:40:09.:40:14.

Tories and Lib Dems vote for it. I do not know what it is that they

:40:15.:40:20.

want to reform. -- every month we go to Strasbourg. The reason that they

:40:21.:40:29.

will go to Brussels and shown at this rubbish out is because they are

:40:30.:40:34.

being paid an extra ?256 a day to do it. Okay... What percentage of votes

:40:35.:40:43.

in the Parliament do you think you have been out? Me? About 80%. Do you

:40:44.:40:56.

not think it is demeaning that we are cosying up in a sycophantic way

:40:57.:41:05.

to Angela Merkel? Germany is a great success story and she is a great

:41:06.:41:08.

leader but do we have two demean ourselves? Are we doing that? We

:41:09.:41:16.

have two great leaders. We seem desperate to suck up to the Germans.

:41:17.:41:21.

Not at all. We take the Germans seriously. That is different to

:41:22.:41:31.

sucking up. Nigel said, you cannot have change, you need barn. We stand

:41:32.:41:38.

for own country and we want to run our own affairs. If we cannot

:41:39.:41:46.

control immigration... We had a headline in the Son in German! That

:41:47.:41:57.

of the first time. -- The sun. Do you think the Queen and Angela

:41:58.:42:03.

Merkel spoke in German? I would not be surprised. I am sure the Queen

:42:04.:42:07.

would have spoken in German out of courtesy. I think BT would be

:42:08.:42:20.

English! The tea. Certainly English. ! Now figures released yesterday

:42:21.:42:33.

show that there was an increase in net immigration of almost a third,

:42:34.:42:37.

to 212,000, in the 12 months to last September. There was a big rise in

:42:38.:42:40.

the number of people arriving from European Union countries, but a drop

:42:41.:42:44.

in the number from outside Europe. Vince Cable, says it is "absolutely"

:42:45.:42:47.

committed to reducing net migration to tens of thousands by 2015. He was

:42:48.:42:55.

almost rubbing David Cameron's nose in it! Yvette Cooper said the

:42:56.:43:04.

immigration target is in tatters. She is right. No, she is not right

:43:05.:43:09.

at all. This is one set of figures and I was Immigration Minister in

:43:10.:43:13.

the 1990s. This is one set of figures. Looking at the overall

:43:14.:43:21.

position, from the start of the government, we have reduced

:43:22.:43:24.

migration, but more importantly, the nature of migration has changed. It

:43:25.:43:29.

has changed from largely nonproductive to productive

:43:30.:43:38.

migration. Who was nonproductive? 70% of the entrance were coming for

:43:39.:43:44.

education purposes. There were bogus universities or colleges. 30% were

:43:45.:43:52.

coming into normal, productive work. It has completely reversed in the

:43:53.:43:56.

last year. Hold on. Your party promised to get immigration down to

:43:57.:44:02.

the tens of thousands die next year. It has now gone up. It has gone up

:44:03.:44:11.

to 212,000. -- by next year. We are going in the right direction. How,

:44:12.:44:18.

when you have just added 60,000 to the figures? Over the term, we are

:44:19.:44:26.

reducing net migration. We had a set of figures from September last year

:44:27.:44:32.

and the situation, even after September, has changed dramatically

:44:33.:44:37.

as a result of the government clamping down on benefit abuse.

:44:38.:44:44.

Indeed, these figures do not include any Romanians or Bulgarians who have

:44:45.:44:50.

come since the law was relaxed. Indeed, and UKIP made it clear that

:44:51.:44:55.

from January, 27 million plus will be arriving. We employ people on the

:44:56.:45:05.

basis of their commitment to work and their contribution to the

:45:06.:45:09.

economy. It is true. Do you understand... Do you understand why

:45:10.:45:15.

people despair of politicians when your party promises to get

:45:16.:45:20.

immigration down to the tens of thousands and it actually goes up to

:45:21.:45:25.

212,000? You come onto this programme and say it is going in the

:45:26.:45:31.

right direction! Yes, it is going in the write direction. What are you

:45:32.:45:42.

on? Clearly... It was water, wasn't it? It has given me a good laugh if

:45:43.:45:47.

nothing else, Andrew. They can't do it because they are

:45:48.:45:52.

against immigration. Isn't this something Britain should be proud

:45:53.:45:55.

of? That our economy is doing so well that Young Italians, Young

:45:56.:46:01.

French, French Germans, Young Spaniards, Young Poles are coming to

:46:02.:46:06.

this country because there are jobs. Because they are welcome here and

:46:07.:46:10.

they will be a huge asset to our economy? Let's come back to the

:46:11.:46:15.

numbers in a minute. We have got a net 212, 500,000 people coming here.

:46:16.:46:21.

This is the figure between 180 odd and 230 has been going on since

:46:22.:46:26.

Labour were in power. We are adding an extra one million people to the

:46:27.:46:29.

population every four to six years which is a city the size of

:46:30.:46:34.

Birmingham. It is unsustainable. The current Government can't control

:46:35.:46:37.

immigration while it is a member of the European Union. It is as simple

:46:38.:46:41.

as that. They are powerless... What's the answer to your question?

:46:42.:46:45.

UKIP would have a policy of controlled immigration where we

:46:46.:46:48.

allowed people on a work permit basis where they did have the skills

:46:49.:46:53.

that we want to fill vacancies in the job market, real vacancies. We

:46:54.:46:59.

are not just bringing in highly skilled people. We have 1.5 million

:47:00.:47:03.

unemployed, something like a the people you talk about are not all

:47:04.:47:06.

skilled people coming in to work. What a lot of these are doing, they

:47:07.:47:09.

are coming in and driving wages down. Let me finish, please. Driving

:47:10.:47:14.

wages down at the bottom end of the economic scale when they do work and

:47:15.:47:18.

we have got people who come in and don't work. I have had people living

:47:19.:47:21.

in rough in the bushes outside my house during the summer. I went over

:47:22.:47:27.

to spoke to them. We a couple of Poles who I spoke to, we a Russian,

:47:28.:47:33.

it is all out of control. No, it is not out of control and the companies

:47:34.:47:36.

and businesses that are developing and world leaders who like

:47:37.:47:42.

intercorporate transfers as part of the migration figures now, moving

:47:43.:47:45.

important staff around would not agree with you and at the end of the

:47:46.:47:49.

day, don't talk about denying people in this country work nine out of ten

:47:50.:47:54.

of the new jobs that have been created are British citizens. OK. So

:47:55.:47:58.

you get that in prospective, please. Instead of this being a good news

:47:59.:48:03.

story as Vince Cable made clear, it can be presented as because your

:48:04.:48:08.

party takes a hard-line in immigration, you can't present it

:48:09.:48:12.

like that. You can't say this shows the success of the British economy,

:48:13.:48:16.

because it flies in the face of what your policies is meant to be? Our

:48:17.:48:21.

policy is to have the right kind of immigration where the people who

:48:22.:48:24.

come here provide economic benefit to the country and help us develop.

:48:25.:48:27.

That's a sensible approach and the abusers which have gone on under the

:48:28.:48:31.

Labour Government previously are being denied now. So that's very,

:48:32.:48:36.

very important. I am afraid we have run out of time. Endless waves of

:48:37.:48:44.

cheap labour. In Switzerland they like to have referendum about

:48:45.:48:47.

immigration. They have just had one and they are not that keen. Here is

:48:48.:48:49.

Adam with his latest A to Z. Forgive the cliche, but

:48:50.:48:58.

Switzerland's's relationship with Brussels is like a cuckoo clock. In

:48:59.:49:08.

and out. You can travel to France or Germany without one of these. They

:49:09.:49:13.

can export these because they are a part of the single market, but

:49:14.:49:19.

Switzerland isn't in the euro, but these are accepted. The country

:49:20.:49:23.

voted to stay out of the EU in the early 2000s, now Swiss lsh EU

:49:24.:49:28.

relations are governed by 100 agreements, one of which commits

:49:29.:49:31.

Switzerland to send millions of euros in aid payments to EU members

:49:32.:49:37.

in Eastern Europe. In this posh restaurant, political scientist

:49:38.:49:45.

explains what this stand-offish says about the Swiss psyche. The local

:49:46.:49:50.

authorities are very important. Accountants are very important. It

:49:51.:49:55.

is built from the bottom up. We feel and I think it is real, that Europe

:49:56.:50:02.

is a construction of elites and up side down from Brussels. So it is

:50:03.:50:07.

against our, the whole culture of our country.

:50:08.:50:11.

That uneasiness was exposed in the referendum. Swiss voters chose very

:50:12.:50:16.

narrowly to impose quotas on how many people can come into the

:50:17.:50:21.

country from the EU. Although they will have to wait for legislation to

:50:22.:50:25.

fill in the details. When I met Brussels ambassador to Switzerland

:50:26.:50:29.

at the end of last year, his number one priority was selling the

:50:30.:50:34.

benefits of the EU. We think that the agreement that we've had with

:50:35.:50:38.

Switzerland now for well over ten years has been of great benefit to

:50:39.:50:44.

them and to us. And Switzerland is a country that's done very well in the

:50:45.:50:48.

economic downturn and one of the reasons is because it has been able

:50:49.:50:51.

to fill jobs, it has been able to do that because it can call on labour

:50:52.:50:56.

and workers from the European Union. He is being less diplomatic now.

:50:57.:51:01.

Negotiations about education and science have been called off and

:51:02.:51:05.

there is a warning of further consequences. But Euro-sceptics say

:51:06.:51:10.

the referendum ranks along with the scenery and chocolates as one of the

:51:11.:51:20.

Switzerland's attractions. You would be welcome to join us in a Free

:51:21.:51:27.

Trade Agreement. Many would suggest the idea of a more detached

:51:28.:51:33.

Swiss-style arrangement is well, totally cuckoo.

:51:34.:51:39.

Would UKIP like to see Britain have the same arrangement with the

:51:40.:51:45.

European Union as Switzerland? No. Because it is almost just as bad.

:51:46.:51:49.

Switzerland had a referendum in 92 not to join the European Union, but

:51:50.:51:53.

they decided not to join the European Economic Area. They have

:51:54.:52:04.

got this 100 bilateral arrangements. We would be more distant from the EU

:52:05.:52:08.

than Switzerland? My view and I think the party as a whole view, is

:52:09.:52:13.

we leave the European Union. They sell us far more than we sell them.

:52:14.:52:17.

They have trading arrangements where Mexico, Israel and countries around

:52:18.:52:20.

the world. We could have a trading arrangement with them. We could

:52:21.:52:23.

control our borders and control what legislation we want in our country

:52:24.:52:27.

or don't want... I am not clear what our relationship would be with the

:52:28.:52:32.

European Union though? Is the Switzerland model of any interest to

:52:33.:52:37.

you? No. You can have a country like Switzerland which is having to abide

:52:38.:52:45.

by hundreds of, but hasn't any say at the top table. It might be OK for

:52:46.:52:50.

Switzerland, but it is not OK for Britain. The trouble with UKIP is

:52:51.:52:53.

you don't think, you don't think big. You don't think about our

:52:54.:53:01.

country and you are a part of this... You are part of this

:53:02.:53:06.

ideological thrust. You both don't want the Swiss model. The Swiss did

:53:07.:53:13.

a report in 2006 and they worked out that it would cost six times as

:53:14.:53:24.

much. The last figure I saw was 78%. In

:53:25.:53:29.

the European Parliament it is not legislative. A lot of it is own

:53:30.:53:34.

initiative reports which are hot air. There is under three months to

:53:35.:53:41.

go until the European elections, oh, yes they are excited in here.

:53:42.:53:45.

Despite your enthusiasm, I can feel it coming through the camera,

:53:46.:53:47.

turnout in the election is expected to be low indeed. Turnout across the

:53:48.:53:51.

EU has been down in every it European election since they first

:53:52.:53:58.

began way back in 1979. This year, the powers that be have come up with

:53:59.:54:03.

a plan to give you, the voter, more of is a say and who gets the top

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jobs. Chris Morris explains all. The European Parliament is on a

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mission to persuade you, the voter that, it matters. And so does your

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vote. Economic crisis has made the European electorate wearier than

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ever, but the get out of the vote campaign is trying to send a

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message. This election will be differentle. -- will be different.

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The European Parliament. Act. React. Impact. So the main political groups

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here in Strasbourg have come up with a cunning plan. Call it three men in

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a vote. They are putting forward their preferred candidates to be the

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next president of the European Commission. There is the socialist

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candidate the President of this Parliament. There is the MEP and

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former Prime Minister of Belgium, the liberal candidate and the

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probable candidate on the centre-right, another former Prime

:55:06.:55:09.

Minister from Luxembourg. The idea is to per swayed voters that they

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can have a role in picking the next leaders of remote institutions.

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The man leading the socialist group of MEPs is determined that the focus

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on Parliament's enhanced role will not be lost. We should get rid of

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the lack of democracy in the European Union. That the Prime

:55:32.:55:35.

Ministers decide who should run because they will always choose the

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weakest one. More Euro-sceptic groups in Strasbourg aren't putting

:55:43.:55:48.

forward any commission candidates. Many of them smell a federalist

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plot. They are trying to turn the whole of this legislature into a

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Shadow Government able to nominate someone acting as a Prime Minister

:56:03.:56:06.

of Europe. We think it is a nonsense. An election of three

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people who say the sa thing. These guys maybe well-known in this

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building, but the idea of anyone having broad popular appeal in 28

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member states right across Europe, that's a tough ask.

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If any national leaders decide to flex their muscles which they

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probably will, then the chances of any of these guys getting the top

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job will disappear rapidly. Because everyone knows who Europe's big guns

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really are. National leaders still rule the roost and there are plenty

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of conversations going on already about the top EU jobs. The vision of

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Euro-enthusiasts is to make the whole process of choosing the

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commission president more open, more democratic, but it is complex and

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rather than less haggling behind closed doors, there could end up

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being rather more. These three candidates. They are all

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hard-line European federalists. Where is the choice? I don't think

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there is much choice and I don't think the European Parliament should

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get involved. I agree with Martin. You are not bothered? It is about

:57:20.:57:23.

the United States of Europe, they are in favour. Some are so awful and

:57:24.:57:34.

they will bring a lot of votes to us. At least they do turn up

:57:35.:57:41.

occasionally. Either of you are really involved in this process,

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because you have left the main centre-right group and you don't

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care? I don't think it is a European Parliament function. It is a matter

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for the European leaders to decide these matters. Will one of these

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become the next president? I hope not. If you are building a single

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unified political state which is what they are... The Parliament

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should have a say. Somebody should elect the president, not appoint

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them. The Parliament is taking upon itself these powers and it ought to

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be told clearly that it is not a function. Who is going to be the

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next president? I am going for Shortz. Who would you like to see?

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It is a matter for the leadership in our country. They will have to make

:58:31.:58:33.

a decision. There could be good candidates. It is an important job,

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of course, it is, but those candidates there, I don't think many

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of the public are aware who they are, what they are, or really care.

:58:41.:58:45.

All right. We will have to leave it there will. Thank you very much.

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That's it for today. Thanks to my guests, Timothy Kirkhope and Gerard

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Batten, both MEPs. Bye-bye.

:58:53.:58:59.

Andrew Neil with the latest political news, interviews and debate. He discusses Labour and the unions with shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan, and looks ahead to the European Parliamentary elections.


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