04/03/2014 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.


The West resolves to speak with one voice against Russian aggression in


Ukraine. But, are western countries actually divided on the issue?


Tensions remain high in Crimea between Russian and Ukrainian


troops. The US calls it a "brazen act of aggression", and says all


options are on the table. Vladimir Putin says economic


sanctions will backfire on the West. As a leaked British document exposes


reticence about tough action, is the West at a loss about how to deal


with Mr Putin? Labour unveils plans for tackling


our "fragmented health and social care". But is it just another


blueprint for a radical top-down reorganisation of the NHS?


And, you've heard the one about MPs and flipping? No, I'm not talking


about expenses! I'm talking about pancakes! Yes, it's Shrove Tuesday,


and the annual Westminster pancake race. Stay tuned to see who won.


All that in the next hour. With us for the whole programme


today is Margaret Prosser. She was once a president of the TUC,


Treasurer of the Labour Party, and now sits on the Labour benches in


the House of Lords. Welcome to the show.


Let's start with the latest developments in Ukraine. President


Putin has been holding a press conference calling the toppling of


President Yanukovych and anti constitutional coup. He said sending


troops into the rest of the Ukraine was not needed but did not rule it


out. He also warned economic sanctions from the West would


backfire. John Kerry is on his way to Kiev in the Ukraine. He has


reiterated his support for the new government.


The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, who visited Kiev yesterday,


is answering questions in the Commons at the moment. These are


life pictures as we speak. He will give a statement on the Ukraine


issue at 12:30pm, we will bring you some of that later in the show.


The government has reiterated its condemnation of the Russian presence


in Crimea. But it suffered an embarrassing incident yesterday


afternoon, when a senior official was photographed with a briefing


document on show. The document said: "The UK should not support for now


trade sanctions, or close London's financial centre to Russians," And


the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has this to say earlier this


morning. I want to be really clear that


Russia will face a range of diplomatic and political and


economic consequences if it carries on with its current course. We are


absolutely not ruling out now the kind of options we will look at, in


order to make it very clear to President Putin and the Russian


Federation that there will be very real consequences. There was no


predetermined limit on the measures we will look at, entertain, in order


to safeguard the territorial integrity of Ukraine.


Taking a different line from what we saw in the security briefing


yesterday. To give us more detail, we have the


BBC's political correspondent, Norman Smith, joining us from the


Central Lobby of Parliament. When William Hague makes his


statement to the House of Commons, he will be under pressure to come up


with a coherent government response. He may be under pressure but I do


not think we will get much detail. I would characterise the government


position as the Au al 's strategy, you had better not go into Ukraine,


or else. But what actually that is, we do not know. I do not think we


will find out. We have an indication what it is not. It is absolutely not


military action which is off the table. We know from that document


that it is also probably not any meaningful economic sanction or


trade retaliation against Russia. We are not going to close the city to


Russian investors, which leaves you scratching your head, what is it? We


will not find out because, listening to William Hague, he has a wonderful


way of saying a lot without saying much at all beyond vague assertions


there will be costs and consequences. The reality is we are


not being specific because there is an awareness anything specific could


damage our own interests, take a long time to have impact, may not


influence President Putin. Far better to keep it general and vague,


and to hope by some overarching diplomatic blaster, that President


Putin begins to step back and we can begin a process of engaging him in a


diplomatic route. We're joined now by the Conservative


MP John Whittingdale who chairs parliament's All-Party Ukraine


Group. And by Sir Andrew Wood, a former British Ambassador to Moscow.


If President Putin was listening that, he would take great comfort.


Either we don't know what to do, we are undecided, what ever we do won't


make any difference. What we need to do is to send the strongest message


we can to President Putin that what has happened is not acceptable, in


breach of international law, not acceptable in this century for a


foreign power to have armed forces in another country. It is hard to


divine what the response will be, not just from Britain, also Germany


and America. This has two be done through international agreement. It


is hard to define what the practical responses are. This has to be


discussed very quickly. You can not send ministers of the Royal family


to Sochi, but that is not enough. We may need economic sanctions, there


is a range of ways, you can target individuals. That was ruled out in


the security paper. That was a briefing not confirmed. Downing


Street has said it does not represent the view. This is


something they will have to settle quickly. Wealthy Russians are


involved in wealth management in this country, football clubs,


various industries. Are we going to stop them coming to this country to


visit their investment? The property market. There is a very strong


Russian community in written. I would like to see targeted sanctions


against individual members of the government. They are not the ones


who... Some do hold assets in this country. Would that make much of a


difference to President Putin? It might make a difference. A lot of


people do have houses in Knightsbridge who are associated. We


need to look at all the options. That must mean measures which are


going to have a significant impact on the Administration in Russia, to


demonstrate we are not going to indulge in gestures, we take this


seriously. Should that Deputy National Security adviser who


revealed that document, Esat? I do not know who that was. He would have


thought they have learned this lesson. Should he be sacked? It


seems extraordinary that a national security adviser should have such a


lax procedure. Why are spies needed, when they weigh these documents


around in the street? We do know, at the end of the day, it is ministers


who advise, with advice from officials. I hope they look at these


measures seriously. We have to let you go because you are going to see


the Ukrainian ambassador. Thank U. Ambassador, it is clear that when


the coup took place in Kiev, the Russians at the very least were


going to take control of Crimea. Why didn't the West anticipate that?


I am not sure it was, to be honest. From the moment they announced


exercises as not having any links with Ukraine, it was obvious. Crimea


was an obvious target. And an easy one. Can I come back to your earlier


questions. There is a very good reason why a lot of Russians keep


their money in this country and do not invest in Russia. The punishment


for Putin will essentially be that this will do great harm to his


economy. It will certainly make foreign investment more difficult.


It will certainly increase the likelihood that he will be still


more repressive to his own people. It will certainly be read by Russian


potential investors of increasing the risk of arbitrary rule and the


risk to their own investment. They are already in economic trouble and


this will make it worse, perhaps in the longer run, it can make it


better, but I do not think so. They have to go through a period of


painful reform, pretty much what we are prying -- trying to prescribe to


Ukraine. That would be attracted to Putin Russia is itself in a bind.


There is a terrific charge from going in with troops, it is not a


drug which lasts. I understand budget is in a bind


because it needs foreign currency it gets from oil and gas sales to


Europe. It needs more than that. That is 50% of revenue. A big chunk


comes through the Ukraine. Who would blink first, the Europeans need the


gas, Germany, Holland, Poland. You would wonder that the Kremlin will


be tough on this than we would be. The last time they cut off the gas,


it was estimated Gazprom lost about 3 billion. It is a question of


mutual suffering. Gazprom will not like losing that revenue. It has


reserves of over 300 billion. But this is a long-term issue. For


sanctions to have an effect, they need to be on for a long period,


which is why it is not a realistic option. There is no will to do that.


I would be surprised. Looking at the British response, and the Americans


were the rhetoric is tougher. The real response that matters is


Germany. The new social Democratic Minister has indicated he thinks we


should still go to the G eight. He is not even signed up to boycotting


that. He is hostage to the bleep if you're nice to the Russians, he will


learn to be as nice as you are. Which is a fallacy. If we haven't


got the Germans... Unlike the British, the Germans have


substantial foreign -- foreign direct investment. So have we, BP


has a huge investment in Russia. We have got huge services sectors, a


fine tradition of doing Russian trials in this country. I want to


bring Margaret in here. What do you make of it all?


Well, interestingly, watching the demonstrations in the square in


Kiev, clearly, those people were feeling hugely energised by the idea


of change. And then you think to yourself, but you are not the whole


community. Only one part of it. How are they going, as time goes along,


to demonstrate some inclusivity. The country is made up of very different


groups of people. Unless they all feel they have a shout in the future


of the country, they are not going to be happy with one solution, be it


a Russian or European solution. It has to bring in more people, surely?


Crimea is now in Russian hands, be any question mark now has to be


whether he moves in on the eastern Ukraine as well? It is easy to


exaggerate the depth of attachment in eastern Ukraine for Russia.


it is true there are stronger conditions of European traditions,


if you like, in the West, not least because that is the part of Ukraine


that was seized by Stalin. But it is also true that it was as much


recognising that Victor Yanukovych was a thief and a third in the east


as in the West. There is a much better chance at the moment of a


degree of support across the country for the sort of difficult changes


that would need to be done. We should sympathise with the


reluctance to undertake them, we have never wanted to upset things,


it is easy to go on doing the same thing, but the country is broke for


a good reason. We shall see how events unfold. Some shots were fired


this morning, so it is a moving story. A senior Downing Street


adviser has been arrested in connection with allegations about


imagery of child abuse. Number Ten has confirmed that Patrick Rock, who


was the deputy head of policy, was detained at his home last month and


has resigned from his post. Let's get more with our political


correspondent Carole Walker who is outside Downing Street. Bring us up


to date. Patrick Rock is someone who has worked for the Conservative


Party for decades, going back to the era of Margaret Thatcher and John


Major. He knew David Cameron well from their days when they were both


special adviser and the Prime Minister brought him back as deputy


head of the policy unit in 2011, so Patrick Rock was closely involved in


the Fx to draw up rules to block access to child pornography on the


Internet. He was arrested in the early hours in relation to a


potential offence relating to child abuse imagery. Number Ten say they


are cooperating fully with the investigation and they have given


them access to computers and officers and so on. They are saying


as this is an ongoing investigation it would not be appropriate to say


anything further, although they are stressing the Prime Minister views


child abuse images at up rent and anyone who has anything to do with


this should be dealt with properly under the law. But it is worth


remembering that Patrick Rock has not been charged with anything and


we have not been able to contact him to get a response to the


allegations. Now, as you all know it is National Apprenticeship Week. Oh,


you didn't know that? Well, it is. Prime Minister David Cameron is


speaking in Coventry today about apprentices and how they can help


the long-term economic recovery. He will say apprentices form part of


the Government's broader economic plan to create jobs and cut taxes


before the next election. But are apprenticeships really one of the


coalition's success stories? Or could they be doing more to help


people train for future careers? We can speak now to the Skills


Minister, Matthew Hancock. Welcome to the programme. I am sorry we did


not have you on on Sunday, but Ukraine meant we had to cover that


instead. I understand. The Government is emphasising a lot


about its support for apprenticeships and I have heard you


do the same. There are more apprenticeships and their work in


the last years of the last Labour Government, but they fell last year.


Why was that? There has been a sharp rise in the number of


apprenticeships and in the last year those participating were at record


levels, 868,000. We have taken action to make sure every


apprenticeship is high quality. Previously an apprenticeship could


be less than one year long and I do not see that as a proper


apprenticeship. We have insisted everyone has a minimum of one year


and that means we have removed some low quality provision. If you take


those that are longer than one year and that our high quality, then


those numbers are going up. It is not only about the numbers, it is


also about quality. You talk about quality, but a big chunk of the


apprenticeships are in two sectors, health and business Administration.


I would not run those down, but you know as well as I do that this


country's skilled shortage is in the stem skills, science, technology,


engineering and mathematics. Why don't we have more apprenticeships


in these? The number applying for engineering apprenticeships went up


over 20% over the last two years. But one of the things we have done


that has made apprenticeships a big part of the scene these days is made


sure that they reflect the whole economy. As well as the traditional


areas of engineering and manufacturing where we have skills


shortages, and they would be worse without these schemes, we have got


to make sure the apprenticeships can get you to all sorts of the economy.


I was in Saint Thomas 's hospital yesterday with the health care


apprenticeships. Today we are launching a graduate apprenticeship


in nursing to be able to get you to be a fully qualified nurse through


an apprenticeship at graduate level. You can now become a fully qualified


solicitor through an apprenticeship without necessarily having gone to


university and that was not possible before. The economy is broad. This


country is not exactly short of solicitors. But it is short of


engineers and scientists and technologists and surely that is


where any apprenticeship programme should concentrate? It is not


either, aura. We would have a problem if we did not have high


quality training in the health sector. Likewise, the law is


dominated by people who went to university and the best schools and


apprenticeships can open up access. The BBC launched an apprenticeship


programme yesterday, I was there with Tony Hall, launching an


apprenticeship in journalism to broaden access into the BBC's so you


do not have to have gone to the right school to get into the BBC.


These sorts of moves both to get the skills, but also to broaden channels


of entry into the professions are really important. We want to make it


the new norm that when a young person leaves school they can choose


either to go to university or into an apprenticeship and they get


high-quality options for both. Our job is not to push people one way or


the other, but to make sure there are high quality options on both


sides. 45% of apprenticeships start as work over the age of 25 and that


is encouraging in that in one sense older people are getting new skills


to suit new demands. But on the other hand there are about 1 million


young people not in education or employment or training, and we know


there are still far greater demands for apprenticeships among young


people than there are places for young people. Yes, it is important


that it is an all age programme as you say, not least because in this


economy whole industries come and go and we need to make sure people can


retrain. But we have also got to get support at the younger end.


Interestingly, last Thursday statistics came out showing that the


number of 16-18 -year-olds without jobs or training is at the lowest


level since action began. There is action that is starting to be taken


that is showing to be working. It is still too high, but it is coming


down. There is growth in the apprenticeships aged between 19 and


24. I agree that broadly we have got to have an all age programme, but


action to tackle youth unemployment involves apprenticeships and the new


trainee schemes for those who have not got the wherewithal to hold down


a job, but it is also about making it easier for employers to employ


young people and some of the action we are taking is one of the reasons


youth unemployment is finally starting to fall. You have got views


on this given your experience in the TUC and the Labour Party. What would


you say? On the one hand, of course, any attention being paid to


training and upscaling people for work is to be welcomed. I am


confused, as are many people in the country, by the use of the term


apprenticeship. I am glad to hear him say it will be a minimum of 12


months, but that does not make it an apprenticeship. It is a training


programme. The term apprenticeship is a fast one. You think it is too


wide? It is far too wide. The TUC is a big supporter of the


apprenticeship programme and I work very closely with them. What about


the point is the definition is too wide? Moving the minimum up to the


year was the right thing to do and driving up quality overall is really


vital. You can do one apprenticeship at an entry-level and then go on to


do a higher apprenticeship or even now a degree level or Masters level


apprenticeship. The point is to get people into progression so you keep


training all way through and make sure whether or not you go to


university there is training available, that you can keep moving


up the career ladder. If you made one year apprenticeship and then you


did another apprenticeship to get you up to a higher level of


skill... But over all the support for the programme and the increasing


quality in the programme is important. What do you make of the


attempt by conservatives in the Cabinet to try and talk the Liberals


into getting a referendum deal on Europe and recall mechanism into the


Queen's speech? I have not followed it, I have been talking about


apprenticeships all day. But I do support having a referendum on


membership of the EU in 2017. Would you like to see it in the Queen's


speech? I very much would like to see it happen. We had to have it as


a private member 's' bill because the Lib Dems did not want it to


happen. And you are happy with recall of MPs if they are not


behaving? There are good arguments. I used to sit on the standards and


privileges committee in the Commons which currently adjudicates on


whether an MP should be kicked out. The arguments are difficult and


finely balance. So long as you get the right structures in place, I


think it could work, but you have got to get the details right so you


do not get purely vexatious recall elections. IU encouraged this was


discussed and they try to force it through this morning? I will wait to


read the minutes and find that the official version. It is good you


came here and got an early heads up. We thank you for speaking about


apprenticeships. Remember when David Cameron revealed that they would not


do a top-down reorganisation of the NHS? Labour opposed that programme.


But today Andy Burnham reviewed their plans for the NHS. He calls it


whole person care which would create an integrated service with a single


budget for further, mental and social needs. The same budget that


treats us when we were ill would also treat as in old age. Ed


Miliband and Ed Balls why not entirely convinced. Could the public


really stand another major round of NHS reforms? They told Andy Burnham


to go away and get a second opinion. John Alden is a former


senior civil servant at the Department of Health and a doctor


and was appointed to head up a commission into what Ed Miliband


called the biggest challenge in the history of the NHS. The main problem


was Doctor Burnham's suggestion that local councils would be given the


power to decide what to spend in the budget. Today so John has published


his report and set out his vision for whole person care. It has got Ed


Miliband's endorsement, but how close is it to what Andy Burnham


came up with in the first place? What exactly would it mean for the


NHS. Richard Humphreys is an assistant director at the Kings


fund. What do you make of this proposal? This is very significant


report that will influence the shape of labour's final policy ahead of


the next election. It makes a very strong and compelling case for


change. Also the need for a much more integrated model of care in


which different bits of the NHS and the care system work together to


wrap care around the needs of individuals and care closer to home


and more emphasis on prevention. But this is a long-standing policy


ambition. It is easier to talk about it than it is to achieve it. The


report has come up with some very helpful and practical proposals that


will remove some of the obstacles that have prevented this from


happening in the past, but it still leaves and resolve some big issues


about money and funding, which he acknowledges in the report. How much


money would be needed to make this a success? That is very hard to say.


Part of the problem stems from the fact that we have got a health care


system that is free at the point of views and we pay for it out of


social taxation. The social care system is means tested, rationed and


fewer people are using it, yet there are more of us with a mixture of


health and care needs that need both systems to work together. It is very


hard to do that when you have got a very underfunded care system and an


NHS which is starting to creep under financial pressure. Because of that


we have set up an independent commission also to look at these


bigger questions about funding and entitlement, how we pay for the kind


of quantity and quality of care we need in the future and how that is


done. Thank you for joining us.


With us now is Liz Kendall, the Shadow Minister for Care and Older


People. This is another vision for NHS


reform. A lot of people in the NHS might be saying, particularly after


the Tory reforms, leave us alone. The last thing that anybody working


in the health service wants is another reorganisation. It was in


the terms of reference for the review to make sure what he proposed


would not lead to another reorganisation. The proposals he has


come up with can be achieved without the kind of reorganisation which has


thrown the system into chaos. Won't you repeal the 2012 care act?


We want to get rid of the competition part of that act. The


review says, if you want to join up services, provide more care in the


community at home, have an integrated set of services, that


part of legislation is preventing integrated service is happening. Is


it part of the act you would repeal? We want to get rid of part of the


bill stopping the services from working together. The act was a


top-down organisation reform. If you repeal it, you have two replace it


with something. We won't get rid of the clinical commissioning groups or


the health and well-being boards. If you don't mind me saying, your


introduction about why we have done this is completely wrong. The reason


why we asked him to look at this is because, when Andrew Lansley got in,


he spun this on people without properly involving them. We have


worked with people in services, councils, hospitals to get something


that can be implemented practically. Politicians don't know


all the answers. Absolutely! I never worked that out! We have tried to do


something different, to get people working in the services to help make


the changes. Andy Burnham suggested local councils would decide where to


spend the integrated budgets. In this report, it doesn't look like


those budgets will be handed over. Health and well-being boards have an


important role. They can do things like link up with housing and other


issues locally. The review says, if the local health service and council


decide they want one budget, it is up to them. It shouldn't be forced


on them. You will know it was Mr Miliband who blocked the idea of


handing budgets over to local government. I have never heard them


say anything about what Andy has been proposing, they have always...


The funding idea was misguided. Where did you get that from? The


Independent newspaper. Ed Balls and Ed Miliband understand our health


care system needs to change to improve care for people and get


value for money. We have more people living longer with more chronic


conditions. At the moment our system is based on hospitals when we need


more care in the community and at home. This excellent report gives


practical proposals. But local authorities will not get


the money. If a council and NHS locally want to join up, they should


be allowed to do so. That is not what Andy Burnham originally


proposed. He believes councils should have an important and bigger


role. This report has set out how we might do that. The report also says


it will need ?10 billion from existing allocations. No, it


doesn't. It says everything in the report can be achieved within the


existing finances. They want to see a shift in the focus of resources


more into the community. Where does that money come from? You can't


shift funds without someone losing. In the places where it has worked


well, they have not had so many general medical beds in hospitals,


too many older people who could be kept at home. They have shifted that


money into local teams, nurses, physiotherapists, social care


support people, to keep people at home. The money has been shifted


into the community. That is what we want to see in all parts of the


country. ?3.8 billion has already been put in. That is existing


resources. You are talking about shifting existing resources. Out of


a total budget of ?120 billion. This has started a process you want to


reinforce. Actually, we do want to see this but three years have been


spent on reorganisation when they should have been focused on this.


This legislation is preventing joined up working. Where hospitals


want to work closely with community services, they are being prevented


because of this so legislation -- this legislation. Margaret?


Overall, it sounds what -- this is what is needed. People are living


longer, they have multiple issues to be dealt with, some of which are


better dealt with within a medical context, a social context. What I


think is there, is the devil is in the detail. There needs to be a


cultural shift by all of the players, at local level, suddenly


working hand-in-hand with people you did not used to before. Particularly


at political level where members of Parliament, secretaries of state,


they want to hang on to hang onto the glory. That is the story of


British government. We do need that, the cultural point is


important. A big part of the report is we need to look at the way staff


are trained. If we can have some training where GPs, nurses and


social care staff are trained together. Also, we have a proper


focus on people helping people to help themselves. There is a lot more


patience can do. Which hospitals are not geared up to do. Last Monday, I


saw a 74-year-old woman doing her kidney dialysis at home, because she


had specialist training from nurses. Her life had been


transformed. Instead of going to hospital three times a week, she was


at home. She said she did not think she could cope with machines, but


with support, she can. Helping people to live the lives they want


when they get older it is what it is about. Andy Burnham proposed a death


tax on estates, is that ruled out? I think it was a really bad bit of


politics just before the election, trying to get cross-party agreement.


We will have to pay more for our care as we get older. What is the


fairest way? To call something a death tax when actually many people


were losing all of their homes already to pay for care. Has it been


rolled out? We have not proposed it. I promise you, if we come up with


any proposals on funding social care, you will be one of the first


to know. We hold you to that promise.


Regular viewers of this programme will know that Ed Miliband has been


involved in a long struggle to alter the Labour Party's relationship with


the trade unions. Well, the party approved changes to that


relationship in a special conference over the weekend. Senior Labour


figures have hailed it as the culmination of decades of attempted


reform by successive Labour leaders. But, is that really the case? In a


moment, we'll be talking to our guest of the day, Margaret Prosser,


about that. But first, our reporter Alex Forsyth, has been delving into


the archives of Labour's links with the unions.


The clue is in the name, more than 100 years ago, the Labour party


emerged from the need for a political voice for the working


class. Its roots are buried deep in the trade union movement. Labour is


the party of the future. In post-war Britain, while its fortunes waxed


and waned, its union link remained strong. That -- but not entirely


unchallenged. In the 1960s, a plan from the employment Secretary


Barbara Castle to curb union power threatened a major party split. The


trade unions themselves have been clamouring for years for collective


bargaining to be underpinned more and more by the law. In the end,


there was compromise. So came the era of the mighty barons. As ongoing


strikes caused chaos in Britain, the public mood shifted. The trade union


link became a liability. In 1981, a gang of four defected, claiming


Labour had lurched to the left and yielded power to the unions. It was


Margaret Thatcher who dared do what Labour leaders had not, she went


head to head with the unions and eroded their industrial might. It


led to Neil Kinnock and his effort to distance his party from the hard


left. I am telling you, you cannot play politics with people 's jobs


and people 's services. It was John Smith who first broke the power of


the union block vote in 1993. The changes I propose today are vital.


Then came Tony Blair who tore up old Labour's Constitution, ditching


clause four, the commitment to the common ownership of the means of


production. Now, forced to prove his


leadership, Ed Miliband. Last weekend, he won backing for an end


to the automatic affiliation of union members and introduced the one


member, one-vote system, to elect a leaders. The biggest transfer of


power to our members and supporters in the history of the Labour Party.


He has been praised for finishing a job started long ago, but some say


the reforms are not that radical, and could make labour more dependent


on the unions, not least for their money.


Our guest of the day, Margaret Prosser, is a former senior figure


within the old T Union, and was also the Treasurer of the Labour


Party. We used to go to the converse is on the Isle of Man. I spent my


life going to conferences. And we're also joined by the Conservative MP


Priti Patel. Welcome back. Are these changes as significant as being made


out? They are, I think. I have been living this over the months. The


person who put the report together, Lord Collins of Highbury, is my dear


friend Ray Collins who spent time with me in the union. We have been


discussing this for ages. One of the significant things is that, those


members who agreed to be part of the political fundamental, and to be a


supporter, their names will be part of the Labour Party database. The


Labour Party will, for the first time, be able to communicate


directly with those members rather than through the trades you. This is


how the unions had dealt with it. Transparency is very welcome. An


example of union power being reduced within the Labour Party.


Effectively, Ed Miliband has a problem, not just the link but the


natural dependency with the trades unions. There has been plenty of


commentary at the weekend where the union leadership, Len McCluskey,


they are basically saying they are still in charge, in control. They


will be making it a transactional relationship.


That has always been their argument, but it has not always work out that


way. They are saying they are very happy with the reforms. They claim


it gives them more power, more strength and decision making and it


is all about financial leverage when it comes to policy-making that is


critical. I think they are putting a brave face on it. I do not think


they are happy at all. They cannot say, no, we are not in favour of


these changes, because that makes them look and democratic and


dismissive of their membership. They have had to go along with it. I tell


you what the next step will be, and the unions will cloud me for this,


but if you go back to 1980s there were over 50 trade unions affiliated


to the party. By 1990 it was 30 and now it is ten. What does that mean?


That means the nuances of different interests and concerns and


experiences around the trade union movement have been reduced and


reduced and that cannot be healthy. I think what has happened so far


with these latest changes is hugely important, but somehow something has


to be done about the reduced numbers of voices around the table. Labour


is making changes. It is going to depend more on individual membership


and unions signing people up. It may cause them problems with money


because they are not going to get the money handed over every year in


affiliation. There may be more to do, but shouldn't the pressure now


come on the Tories to clean up their act when it comes to party funding?


I do not think that is what this is about. The reality is we are living


in an anti-politics age anyway, the public are quite disenfranchised


with political parties. We are talking about the unions and it is


clear that the Labour leadership have got very strong links with the


Labour unions. But at the same time it is incumbent from all political


parties, and my party is very broad in our membership and we are very


diverse in the way we select our candidates, I was selected to an


open primary vote. But we do not rely on a block for funding. We rely


on a lot of people who donate across the country. It is not a handful of


donors. Rose coloured spectacles you have on I do feel. You may have a


large number of people giving money but they are almost all from the


same class, it is almost all business. Do not pretend that you


have got a wide variety. We do have. Your membership has gone down faster


than any political party. And so it has for all political parties, but


that does not mean we are not getting a new diverse group of


people. I don't know where to start. Let me start this way, how can you


claim to be a broadly based party in terms of social diversity when five


of the six people who are drying up the next manifesto all went to the


same school and it was not comprehensive. The one who did not


go to Eta went to Saint Pauls. That is categorically not true. I am


sitting here today as a member of the manifesto commission. But you


are not part of David's cronies. We are engaging our parliamentarians


and our party at large when it comes to the manifesto and the type of


manifesto. I am scripting some papers, I can tell you that now. You


say you take money from diverse groups and it is true there has been


much criticism of the union dependency of the Labour Party, but


that is a transparent arrangement. We can see that and we can hold them


to account. I have interviewed Len McCluskey, the head of the GMB and


Labour politicians. I have never managed to interview one of the huge


hedge fund owners that your party depends on. They are not transparent


and told themselves to account. They are old transparent and they are all


registered. They do not give themselves up in the wake trade


union leaders do. They have to get on with the business of what they


are doing. A number of them came from health interests and they got


contracts from the health service. That is a massive generalisation. We


have a range of donors. We have a range of donors to our political


party and they are all registered. But they do not hold themselves


accountable like trade union leaders. They do not buy party


policy and they do not buy leadership. That is ridiculous.


Since when did Labour produce the kind of stuff the trade unions are


calling for? Tony Blair ignored the trade unions. To his credit, but


this is Ed Miliband. The reason we are discussing this is because Ed


Miliband recognises the nature of the relationship between the party


and the unions has to move forward. If Ed Miliband does stand up to the


unions, I do not think he will when you have Len McCluskey and the union


leaders. They are all on the record being quoted. That I had the donors


that you have on the record? A lot of what Len McCluskey would like as


party policy is not party policy. If you could get me an interview with


one of your million pound hedge fund donators... I don't even know them.


You do. If it is as transparent as you say it is, you should know them.


This is not the end of the process. It is going to continue. The whole


purpose of the continuation is to make the thing as transparent as


possible and to make people who are part of working in England, part of


working in the UK, they feel they have some mechanism to influence


what is going on in the political field and that is the path. This is


not a good year to say England. I realise that. Earlier we discussed


the situation in Ukraine. The American Secretary of State John


Kerry has arrived in Kiev. In the last few minutes the Foreign


Secretary William Hague has made a statement. Her Majesty's Government


condemns any violation of the sovereignty and territorial


integrity of Ukraine. Under that agreement Russia is entitled to


station troops and naval personnel on its bases in Crimea, but not to


deploy troops outside those bases without the permission of the


Ukrainian Government. Russia's actions are in breach of the


Budapest memorandum signed in 1994 in return for Ukraine giving up its


nuclear weapons. Russia joined the United Kingdom and the United States


in reaffirming their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of


force against the territorial integrity or political independence


of Ukraine and it went on that none of their weapons would ever be used


against Ukraine except in self defence or otherwise in accordance


with the Charter of the United Nations. The Russian Government has


argued there is no legitimate Government in Kiev, that the


incumbent president abandoned his post, and the subsequent decisions


of the Ukrainian parliament have been carried by a large majority,


required under the Constitution, and the suggestion that a president who


has fled his country then has any authority whatsoever to invite the


forces of a neighbouring country into that country is baseless.


Russia has also argued that Russian speaking minorities in Ukraine are


in danger, but no evidence of that threat has been presented.


International diplomatic mechanisms exist to provide assurance on the


situation of minorities, including within the organisation for Security


and co-operation in Europe. These mechanisms are the way to secure


assurances of the protection of the rights of minorities, not the


breaking of international agreements and the use of armed force. The


latest British Government position. As you know it is showed Tuesday


today. I expect you have been making your batter and squeezing your


lemons for hours! MPs have been limbering up and flipping pancakes


in the annual charity pancake race. We sent stars along to see who won.


What a way to lift the winter blues on a Tuesday in Westminster with the


flower of Parliament excitingly waiting. Parliamentarians have


always been accused of crossing the line, but this morning it is the


pancake race, to see who can flip a pancake and run around a park best.


God bless them all. The MPs were very confident. We do not talk about


flipping. The press always turn up to see this, but every year they


also take part, although some were trying to hire replacement runners.


Is Carol there because she is fast? Suddenly it was all toss and go.


There we are, the Lords were victorious. The MPs were trailing


behind and the press were just a bit cold. We are joined now by Tracey


Crouch, a Conservative MP and was part of the MPs pancake race team.


The Lords won? Let's be clear, they cheated. How did they do that? The


Lord at the front of the race had a pancake in his hat. If you dropped a


pancake, you have to pick it up. So he whipped it out of his hat? Has


there been a stewards enquiry? We need a judge led, independent


enquiry. I think we are running out of judges. And the journalists came


third. It was a dreadful performance. The MPs have won the


pancake race two years in a row and we were going for the hat-trick and


we came a very close second, but it has all been done in a good cause.


Tell me the charity. Rehab do a lot of work for people with physical


disabilities and mental disabilities and we talk about these things in


parliament, but they do not get the media coverage they deserve. If we


have to run around, tossing pancakes to raise awareness, then so be it.


Have you thought of doing this? I have been asked many times. I


noticed there were a lot of blokes there. There are a lot of blokes. Do


you get Pete the pancake at the end? I don't think you want to, it has


been dropped so many times. That is it for the day. Thank you to all my


guests. We will be here tomorrow at 11:30am with Prime Minister 's


questions. I hope you can join us at 11:30am. Goodbye.


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