13/03/2014 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. The economy might be


growing but there's no early cheer for public sector workers. Only a 1%


rise for most. That's about half the rate of inflation. David Cameron


says it's a fair deal. Some unions are already gunning for industrial


action. I have taken over the Daily Politics big board today and will


explain how the Liberal Democrats are trying to make taxes fairer. Is


this now the World's most famous dynasty? Is it the most talented?


We'll be talking to the Godfather. And want to know what MPs get up to


after dark? Adam's been to the Parliamentary Variety Show. Which


party do you think is more showbiz, more entertaining? I think they both


have a long way to go to reach a popular audience.


The mind boggles. All that in the next hour. With us for the whole


programme today is the former Conservative MEP, Stanley Johnson.


Welcome to the programme. Stanley also used to work for the World Bank


and the EU Commission. He's the father, I'm sure you know, of Boris


Johnson, the Mayor of London. He also used to be Chairman of the


Gorilla Organisation and is a keen environmentalist. And he also writes


books. He says about 24 of them. Anyway, colourful life. Anyway,


welcome to the programme. Now first today let's turn our attention to


Europe, because let's face it it's never out of the news these days.


Patrick O'Flynn from UKIP is also here. Welcome to the programme,


Patrick. Stanley Johnson, do we now know where we are in terms of what's


on offer from the parties? If the Tories win, there will be an in out


referendum, if Labour wins, there won't be apart from in exceptional


unlikely circumstances. That is a very fair, I think, explanation. The


Tories are committed to an in out referendum. I don't regard that with


any alarm at all and I am a committed European. I worked in the


commission. I have been a member of the European Parliament. I was a


member in the first election of 1979, when the Conservative Party


was gung ho for Europe and we had 61 Conservative MEPs. It's good for


David Cameron. It's high time we had an in out referendum. We have been


40 years waiting for it and, as far as I am concerned, we will win it to


stay in Europe. UKIP's Fox will be shot. The voters have a clear


choice. With the Tory offer, I think is used to say, terms and conditions


apply. The cast-iron guarantee of a referendum on Lisbon Treaty was


broken and voters are crossed Europe are used, if they get the wrong


result, two referendums and having to vote all over again. Are you


saying David Cameron, if he is Prime Minister again, it's not going to


happen? I don't trust him to keep the promise, let me make that


absolutely clear, but I can tell you I remember when I was a journalist


looking down at Prime Minister 's questions, and Eurosceptic


Conservative MPs asking him for an in out referendum, and him saying


it's not in the national interest. It was UKIP thumbscrews on David


Cameron which changed his mind and we are about but the thumbscrews on


Ed Miliband as well. I do think you can credit UKIP for the referendum.


You have to go back to Jimmy Goldsmith, frankly. He played an


enormous role. Keeping is out for the you talk about terms and


conditions applying. The Prime Minister said he will have


discussions with Europe, but go back to 1975 when Wilson had a


referendum. That change the perspective on the Labour Party


totally. The Labour Party came on board and the referendum was won by


a 2-1 vote. We can do that again. I'm not at all worried about these


negotiations Cameron has to have. Do you think they add up to a row of


beans? Do you think anything will be achieved or it's a bit of succour to


the Eurosceptics? Of course it is. Going back to 1975, Wilson went in,


the renegotiated, came back with a couple of things. Can anybody


remember what they wear? No, the fundamental issue was, was bred and


then a member of the European Union? The fundamental issue in 2017 is


going to be, will Britain stay in? By the way, there is an error in


people 's understanding. You don't have to have IGC negotiation before


you have the referendum. We never had that. You think there shouldn't


be that much reform? No, you don't have to pin down the camera on offer


in terms of something... That might be just as well because it clearly


doesn't want to be pinned down at all. You don't believe there's


anything in this renegotiation. Are you worried by businesses who've


come out quite strongly over the past few months saying the


referendum is causing uncertainty and they are worried it's also


preventing investment? Peter Mandelson and Roland Rudd have their


powers in the massive multinational corporations. They wanted Britain to


join the euro, and benefit from the endless stream of cheap labour,


despite often not paying much tax into the system themselves, and the


public are being fleeced. We cannot control our borders inside the


European Union. And that's why the UKIP message is spreading way


outside the Tory shires to the blue-collar workers and would-be


workers. It may be interesting to see what happens after the European


elections because, in terms of the consumer and the voter being


fleeced, we never get the concrete figures on what they are being


fleeced by in terms of money by the European Union. What do you say when


UKIP say it costs us billions of pounds to sign up to a unnecessary


regulation in Europe? I don't buy that argue didn't at all. I remember


a time when the British rebate was a really big issue and Mrs Thatcher


got the rebate and it is still in place. Yes, we... Nearly half of it


given away. We get huge amount back. Lord Ashcroft has done significant


polling saying the issue of Europe is just not that big a deal, which,


for you, is obviously clearly very disappointing. People are interested


in the economy. Good the Lord Ashcroft. Key member of the


Conservative Party. Since the last election, we have more than doubled


our membership, quadrupled our poll rating, and eightfold increase in


real elections, so something we are offering the British public is


clearly chiming and our membership figure is at an all-time record,


34,300. One thing you can't do is deliver on a referendum. That


presupposes the result of the next election and I'm telling you,


fundamental changes are happening. The Tories will deliver on it for


the Labour might. UKIP can't for them I think we can force Ed


Miliband to changes mind. That would be interesting to see. Stories that


Nigel Farage Barca boss private life have been all over the papers. How


damaging is that, to your campaign -- Nigel Farage's private life? Not


a lot, people are responding to our messages, principally, you can't


control your borders inside the European Union. Why are we giving


?55 million every single day to the European Union? How are you


responding to those stories? We are making the big issues available to


the British public. Large part of the establishment don't want that to


happen. Nigel Farage and Annabel Fuller had said these stories, made


by an embittered former MEP, whenever I see Nicky Sinclair's name


mentioned, I keep them peeled. We didn't Metallica news on the BBC


last night. I want to know why it was on the BBC Ten O'Clock News? I


don't think there would have them at any other political leader. That


would be arguable for them how are you going to persuade Ed Miliband?


We are going to put the UKIP thumbscrews on him, just like we did


to David Cameron, by taking loads and loads of people he has taken for


granted as Labour voters from him and loads of people he has taken for


granted as Labour voters from feminist party at the European


elections on May 22. Let's leave it there. Watch out, Ed Miliband! Now


it's time for our daily quiz. Regular viewers of the Daily


Politics will know we've taken a keen, some might say excessive,


interest in the rodent infestation over the road in the Palace of


Westminster. I mean, real rodents, of course. Some MPs thought the


answer was to get a cat. And we even had one of the contenders for the


job here in the studio. She was called Phoebe. But this morning we


learned that the House of Commons Commission, the committee that runs


the place, has banned Pheobe or any other cat from becoming mouser in


residence. But what's the reason? Stanley Johnson, I hope you are


listening. Is it: A) MPs were worried the cat would steal their


thunder? B) Speaker Bercow is allergic to cats? C) The cat might


get too fat on all the leftover food? Or D) The cat might scratch


the Queen's throne in the House of Lords At the end of the show Stanley


will give us the correct answer. Now according to the head of the British


Army, a moral disarmament in the West has resulted in a reluctance


for us to engage in conflicts. Speaking to the Foreign Affairs


think tank, Chatham House General Sir Peter Wall says that reluctance


will be exploited by Britain's enemies. So what is Britain's role


in the world and does our rhetoric outstrip our capability? Let's


listen to the Labour MP, John Woodcock, at yesterday's Prime


Ministers Questions. This week marks three years since the bloodshed


began in Syria. More than two-and-a-half million people have


fled the country and the dead can no longer even be counted. We must all


bear responsibility for our shameful failure to intervene. But they are


supposed to be the ones... They are the supposed be the ones running the


country. So what renewed effort will his Government make to end the


slaughter before all hope fails? Mr Speaker, he knows my own views. I


felt there was a case for intervention at the time when we


voted on this. And, of course, his party voted against it but if he now


wants to speak with his own party leadership upon that matter, he is


more than welcome to do so. I agree with him. The humanitarian


catastrophe there is of an unimaginable scale. We must do


everything we can to help. That is why I think I'm right in saying our


humanitarian effort there is now the largest this country has ever


delivered. And why also, the Home Secretary and others in Government


are administering, in conjunction with the United Nations, a new


programme where we allow the most destitute and desperate refugees


some refuge in this country, as well. Nick Clegg from the Deputy


Prime Minister 's questions yesterday. With us now is John


Woodcock. I was slightly surprised to hear raise the issue in the House


of Commons yesterday. What prompted you to do it? We are now entering


the fourth year of what is being a horrific conflict. We are in a


situation where Syria has faded from the musicals there was a flash point


at the vote, but the killing is going on daily, and I was privileged


to be part of a Parliamentary briefing where British Syrians came


in and talked about the horror in that country and I do think it


shames all of us that this has gone on for so long with such a level of


killing and we have not been prepared to do sufficient to shift


the balance. My surprises because Labour is very much blamed by the


Government, your leader's tactics as they were described, by Nick Clegg


David Cameron at the time, for blocking the motion that could pave


the way military action by Britain. Well, I don't think Parliament and


the Parliamentary process came out of that very well. Ed Miliband was


wrong, do you think? I did not oppose the Government motion. Like


most of the members of my party. But, actually, the person who I'm


most angry with is the British prime and is the British primers to David


Cameron because when you're in a position of leadership like that,


you have a responsibility to Marshall this through Parliament.


I'm afraid it was a cataclysmic failure of his process and


leadership which left us in a situation where we were not able to


leave the option even on the table, which Ed Miliband and the Labour


Party wanted. I have got to say, I truly disagree. I disagree because,


as a result of your party's decision, we actually got a very


good result. And a very good result was we were not forced to


intervene. We were not forced to line up behind the Americans and, as


a result of Cameron not getting that vote in the House of Commons, Barack


Obama felt he did not have to go to Congress and we did not have a


conflict... Was that the wrong decision? I think it was the right


decision. This was an achievement Cameron got by accident. He came in


from Cornwall, failed to get the vote, and now he has the luck to


have not got it. We can get embroiled in a discussion about the


intricacies of Parliamentary tactics, but I don't think anyone


can describe what is happening as a good result. It is appalling. You


are asking for intervention for that why can't intervene, in your mind


question there are far too many interventions without the cover of


international law. Afghanistan, Iraqi, Kosovo. You wouldn't have


liked the Government to have gone into Kosovo? No, under NATO mandate.


I believe in classic international law which says you go with votes of


the Security Council, you get your vote, and you move on that. They


would never have got away with it in Russia. That's life, you don't get


it. So what are you hoping for now, boots on the ground in Syria? There


was no question of that, and that was one of the failings that the


Government and the military were not able to give enough of a sense that


this was, partly, it ought to have been and could still be about taking


proper steps in the face of a leader using chemical weapons, for which


there was compelling evidence. But the other big failing that we have


allowed to happen is President Assad has been able to successfully


portray this, but Ray the opposition forces as even worse than what was


coming. -- portray. There are extremists, but they are not all the


same, and there are moderate forces who we should have been and could


still be supporting. Does it contribute to the idea that we are


weaker as a foreign policy powers that the quote from General Sir


Peter Wall, chief of the general staff, that there is a moral


disarmament, war weary Britain puts us at risk to our enemies? I would


rather hear him talk about the need for international backing when we


have intervention. It is absolutely fundamental, and it is really


worrying, the way the world and Britain has moved away from that. I


blame Tony Blair quite a lot for that, the speech he made in Chicago


and so on. On the chemicals point, let's face it, Vladimir Putin has


played a blinder. He has played a blinder. He put the chemicals offer


on the table in the press conference in Moscow, we picked it up, and it


has saved, I think, another conflict. There is a suggestion that


there is only 5% of the chemical weapons in Syria that have been


destroyed as a result of this. The idea that we have got rid of the


problem is bonkers. Well, let's look at how much weight we do have on the


international arena, with Ukraine, for example. Is William Hague doing


a good enough job in terms of appearing tough to stop that


escalating further? It is not going to be a boot on the ground


situation. Go back to 1994, we had the Budapest agreement, Britain and


the United States guaranteed, in some sense, Ukraine after it handed


back its nuclear weapons to Russia, so we have a real interest in


Ukraine. Realistically, you cannot have a war situation. I go slightly


back to the point I just made - it is all very well saying what Putin


is doing is illegal, it probably is, but many of the things we did


were totally illegal in international law. David Cameron is


in Israel, do think there has been enough coverage of that in terms of


quite a big set piece event, addressing the message to a standing


ovation? Lots of missiles! That short of overshadowed the news


agenda. We not interested enough in what Britain is doing on the foreign


stage because we do not count? I do not think it is because we do not


count. I can understand why, after a decade of war in Afghanistan,


without troops in the line of fire and many, many casualties, the


shadow of Iraq hangs over the political process here in


Westminster and the wider country. People are tired of what they see as


intervention, but we have so much to lose as a country if the lasting


effect of that is to diminish our influence. Briefly. Quick as a flash


on this one, I have just been to Colombia, I happened to have dinner


with William Hague in the embassy, he talked about what he was


interested in, he was getting on to Brazil. There is a wider dimensions,


there is a Latin American dimensions, and I would say William


Hague has been a brilliant Foreign Secretary. Thank you very much, John


Woodcock. The Daily Politics is a traditional programme, we cannot


afford not to be, so tight is the budget, and in the spirit of


tradition, we are bringing back something we have not seen for


donkeys years, the celebrity big board! I am delighted, because it


gives me a break! In a moment we will be hearing from the president


of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, but first a spot of


nostalgia. The crisis in some secondary schools


is obvious to anyone who looks. Just take a few facts. The Government is


continually missing its own targets. Only half of young people achieve a


five good GCSEs. The Government target is for 16 sent pupils to


achieve five good GCSEs by 2008. -- 60%.


If you want to offer every child the potential to fulfil, you have to


start early, so our aim is simple, to give a helping hand to parents


and create a society where every young person, no matter what their


background, get a decent start in life.


How we provide education and opportunity for children with


learning difficulties and disabilities is a vitally important.


These children include some of the most vulnerable in the country.


Their families often struggle to bring them up and get what they


need. Well, that takes you back! That


kick-started a certain Prime Minister's rapid rise through the


ranks. David Cameron, Ed Davey, Ruth Kelly performing their education big


boards, and now Tim Farron has this message on tax ahead of the Budget.


Back in 2010, one of Nick Clegg's key election promises was to raise


the income tax threshold to ?10,000 per year, a tax cut of ?700 for 25


million people. At the time, David Cameron said the idea was


unaffordable, but from next month it becomes a reality. In fact, the


Conservatives liked the policy so much, they like to pretend it was


their idea in the first place. The Liberal Democrats have fought hard


for this and taken 2.7 million of the lowest paid workers out of


income tax altogether. 25 million people have received a cut. And


there is more to come. Ahead of the Budget next week, the Lib Dems want


to go even further and turn this ?700 into ?800, a worker's bonus,


meaning you would only start paying tax over ?10,500 per year.


Meanwhile, the Tories came into government arguing for a tax cut for


married couples and a reduction in inheritance tax for millionaires.


Labour is still a blank sheet of paper. Let's not forget, in


government they scrap the 10p rate. Ultimately, the Liberal Democrats


want to see no-one paying income tax on the first 12 -- ?12,500. Someone


currently earning minimum wage would not pay any income tax at all. How


was that, Jo? Very good, you will put me out of a


job! Tim Farron, come and sit down with the rest of us, we are also


joined by Pat McFadden of the Treasury Select Committee. Just to


say, the Tories and Labour will be delivering their big boards next


week. I do not know if it is you, it may fall to some other lucky person!


It is your idea, is it, raising the threshold? Your idea entirely, the


Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives 42 and nail? It is true! I remember


the debates before the last election when Nick Clegg proclaimed the


policy, David Cameron said, do not be silly, you cannot afford it. Lord


Ashcroft spend his money on polling rather than supporting the Tory


party, and he has discovered it is a popular policy, so the Conservatives


tried to claim it. We have to accept that is how it is in coalition, we


are pleased we managed to get this through. You can probably claim it


was your policy bearing in mind those debates, but once in


coalition, did they fight you choose and nail not to have it as a policy?


Yes, during the Budget that was known by a phrase, the


omnishambles, the subtext was a scrap over the Tories wanting to cut


the top rate of income tax to 40p, and the Lib Dems wanting to up the


threshold. And we fought very hard for that to the extent that Osborne


demanded that reduction of the top rate. It serves you well to claim


you have to fight for it, it has been denied by Iain Duncan Smith and


Matt Hancock yesterday. You can just show the video of David Cameron


saying, we are not doing it, it is a daft idea. I think it is help for


the low paid, but you have to consider more than one tax rate. The


IFS, when they add all the tax and benefit changes together, have said


families are ?900 was off. You cannot take one tax and say that is


the only thing that affects incomes. When I looked at the figures in the


presentation about ?700 better off, ?800, as anyone on a minimum wage if


they feel ?800 better off. It is polling very well according to Tim


Farron. They will not because of the combined effect of the tax and


benefit changes, and the big priority for the government, Tim


mentioned a bust up over the top rate, but it was reduced, a ?3


billion tax cut for people earning over ?150,000 per year. I know there


is a disagreement over how much tax that will make. We have said,


looking back on our experience in government, we would reintroduce the


10p rate. We think it is a good way to help the low paid, and what we


would want to be judged on us all the tax and benefit changes put


together, not just taking one tax change and not taking into account


everything else that has been done on VAT, tax rate and all the rest of


it. I would like to kick in, far be it from me to question the coalition


partners are anything like that, but there is another aspect of this,


which is you do not want to finance everything through hitting the


middle classes more. I think what we are seeing now gets a bit technical,


fiscal drag, and actually, if you don't lower the limit at which you


kick in with the 40% tax rate, more and more people are going to be


hitting it. Let's talk about that, why isn't that being looked at?


There is a big call from a number of MPs, more people are being dragged


into that 40% bracket. That is going to make them worse off. Including


the Tube train drivers, Bob Crow, should they be paying that? Any


government is going to have difficult choices in this. To help


one group, it is more difficult to help another. This fiscal drag is


happening, the not particularly wealthy are being dragged into it,


but if you are going to prioritise a tax cut for somebody, it cannot be


everybody, it is about choices. So you would see more people included


in that 40% bracket? I am not saying that, but the more you pile on to a


tax cut in one area, the more difficult it is to give one


elsewhere. In a weight we are quibbling about a mouse, because if


you look at the report from the Institute of economic affairs, there


is no way at all that you can fund the current anticipated pensions out


of current earnings, so you have huge things ever view and the


government has to do have major spending commitments. -- ahead of


you. The cost of raising the allowance was said to cost ?3.2


billion, very expensive. But it has been very impactful in terms of an


uplift in the economy, because if you give people more money in their


pockets, they tend to spend it. That is why consumer spending has


increased? It is part of the reason, and the reality is we have to get


the balance right. We were right not to do what Ed Balls told us to do


and ignore the deficit. We would have been wrong to do what George


Osborne wanted to do, cut more money out than was necessary. We were


right to put money into the pockets of people on low and middle


incomes. What about the mansion tax? You are both in favour, so if it


came to another coalition with the Conservatives, would it rule you


out? Would you insist on it or would it be debatable? One of the things


we learned from the last coalition agreement... You do not get what you


want! You have to go into the coalition knowing what you want,


knowing that if you get 100% of your manifesto through and you have only


got a quarter of the money, that would be unfair. The mansion tax,


the Tories do not like the idea. I think you have got to rebrand it.


There is a case for having another look at the banding... You would


have to do that in order to introduce a mansion tax. You might


have do. Is it a local governments tax or a national tax? It is


probably not right that a house costing ?84 million should be paying


the same tax as a house costing ?800,000. That doesn't seem to be


right to me. That does not mean I am in favour of a mansion tax, it would


not out hundreds or thousands of property owners in London who have a


property, saved up to bite, could not conceivably pay that tax. We are


going to turn to public sector pay will stop oh, right! Public sector


staff will get a below inflation pay rise, the Government says it is to


keep more people employed, but Unison say they are appalled at the


decision. Here is David Cameron. For NHS staff are worth the 1% pay rise


and everybody will get at least 1%. Either through the rays or through


the progression payments that they otherwise receive. Let's look at the


big picture here. It is right to make difficult decisions about


public sector pay. It's good that it's increasing and not frozen but


it's right to take these difficult decisions because it means we can


keep more people employed. More people in work and we can make sure


we spend money on vital treatments, on hospitals and on delivering


services which is what patients so desperately want. It apply to


continue with public sector pay restraint? It is. The question of


whether it is fair or not, it deserves more than 1%, ensure they


do, and it can come at a time like this, can we afford it? I thought


things were looking up? We are told endlessly by your colleagues and the


Conservatives the economy is going to start to recover for the why


can't everybody else have a pay rise? It would be stupid to be


complacent about that. In inflation and unemployment is coming down.


Great signs but we still owe ?1 trillion. We are not out of the


woods at all. So the public sector will suffer? We can't end up in a


situation where there will be run on markets, a lack of confidence, 7%


interest rates. When a slightly higher pay rise result in that?


Public expenditure and that's the case. You agreed with freezing


public sector pay and were continuing with it. You are signed


up to this policy. I think, if you got a choice between jobs or pay


rises, jobs is the way to go. We're in the position of continued


restraint because the Government has found much more difficult than they


predicted to get the deficit down. It has lasted a lot longer through


this Parliament, still higher than they predicted, and they've also


spent billions on an NHS reorganisation that no one wanted,


so if I wasn't NHS worker right now, I would look at the money spent


on the reorganisation, and then look at the signals being sent to me on


my pay packet. We are predicted to be the fastest-growing economy in


the West this year, so what you mean the policy resulted in conditions


like this question in 2010, borrowing was predicted to be much


lower than is now. We had three years of no growth. I welcome the


growth but it's delayed, and no reason to pop out the champagne


corks. Do NHS staff not deserve more than 1% pay rise? I think we have to


hold back on spending in the NHS. I'm not talking the party line here


but I personally do not believe it should be ring fenced. I don't


believe you can do that. I don't begin make sense to say, now we're


going to continue with a cast-iron ring fence of the NHS. Looking back


over the last five years, one of the big mistakes, I think, is, when it


came to the negotiations of public sector, over the increase in


retirement age, we backed off. That was a huge mistake. It is the cost


of these pensions which is going to really cripple us. The message to


the unions who will be balloting their staff? And workers about this


pay rise? What do you say to them as they go for industrial action? I


hope it doesn't result in industrial action but I do understand why


workers are angry after year India's pay restraint. In the NHS, seeing


money going on the reorganisation nobody wanted. I hope the unions


understand that, too, and they understand the reason we are going


through this because the previous Government did this. Thank you very


much for that. Now forget the Gandhis, the Grimaldis, the Hanovers


and the Sauds. Today it's all about the Johnson Dynasty. So who exactly


is Stanley Johnson, and why does he have so many famous children? Is it


in the genes? What did he give them for breakfast? Here's our David on


the House of Johnson. THEME FROM DYNASTY.


This is the story of a family. A dynasty at the heart of the


political establishment driven by power, ambition and big, big hair.


They are the Johnsons. There's dad, Stanley. He is a former MEP, who


worked for the World Bank, and stood for Parliament unsuccessfully as a


Tory candidate. I think the whole thing is a racket. Sister Rachel is


a former editor of the Lady magazine, a columnist and never


short of an opinion or three. David Cameron even though he is taller,


looks at Boris as if he is still head boy. Leo shuns the limelight.


He's the one in orange but he, too, is a high-flyer, an expert in


sustainability. And then, of course, there's the other one. Former Tory


MP, Mayor of London, star of quizzes, and possibly future


Conservative leader or even perhaps Prime Minister. The normal laws of


political gravity don't apply for him, but just what is it about the


Johnson family? I think they are very exceptional. Astonishingly


competitive, nomadic. Hardy. Determined to tell every possible


joke on every possible occasion. I can't think of anyone quite like


them. Now, there is another brother and he is on Boris's turf. Joe


Johnson is the Conservative MP for Orpington, head of David Cameron's


number ten policy unit and perhaps something of a dark horse.


Joe is a brilliant man. He's played it completely differently to Boris.


He has never given an interview to a national newspaper despite having


worked as a journalist himself so he's an insider, hoping to work out


what is going to be in the Tory manifesto. There is Boris performing


to audiences of millions. And delighting people by going on


programmes like Have I Got News For You. So completely different


tactics, but they are both very, very serious, seriously competitive


figures, who want to get to the top. But it would appear, in a family


like the Johnsons, there can only be one leader. One who appointed


himself that at a very early age. They are very loyal to each other


and I think they do care about each other but I think, of course, there


is sibling rivalry. Boris is winning. Boris wants to go on


winning. He announced at a very early age he intended to be world


king, and so far, he has stayed ahead. Who knows what I had for the


Johnson clan? World King might seem a little ambitious, even for someone


as confident as Boris. With this family, you just never know. Stanley


Johnson cringing during that. You're watching the Daily Politics and


we've been joined by viewers in Scotland who have been watching


First Minister's Questions from Holyrood. Why are you such a


successful high achieving family? I want to make a point for the record


here and that is there is also Leo Johnson, a seriously high achiever


with PwC, Price Waterhouse. There is Julia Johnson, a fabulous singer and


teacher of Latin, Max Johnson, who works the Goldman Sachs in Hong


Kong. What is your secret? When people say I am Boris's dad, I have


to say I'm lots of people's dad and I'm proud of them all. As for the


secret, there is no secret at all. My view was, send the ball off to


good schools, and let the good schools to the hard grind. So you


handle it over to somebody else. What about the description of how


competitive, all the siblings are. Does that help produce high


achievers? It's rubbish. Total rubbish. OK, they might say who can


get the biggest fish cake when fishcakes come through the hatch?


There was a moment when the was a competition and that was who could


eat the mince pie quickest? It was a Christmas mince pie. Boris grabbed


it and ate it and he burned his throat. Did he learn a moral for


life as a result of that? Mince pies, if they are too hard, I think


there's a wider lesson there if you have mince pies. What about the


nomadic side? My life has been constantly on the move. The World


Bank, United Nations, the EU, for the last 15 years, I had been


travelling around the world. Two weeks ago, I was in Colombia. I had


a nice meeting with William Hague and that keeps me going. I write


books mainly about what the world needs to do about the environment.


Nomadic is fine for the I get back to life time to time, especially by


masks the car on the Daily Politics show. Now let's talk a little bit


about Boris. You love your children equally, but when it comes to


Boris, how likely do think he will be at number ten? You have slightly


sprung this one on me, I have to say. My line is very clear. Michael


Cockerill, he recorded me saying that, where there ever to be a


leadership contest in the Conservative Party, then I think it


would be a fair reflection of the current situation if Boris at least


good be one of the candidates. That is what I think. What about changing


the rules? I don't think you have to change the rules for them as I


recall it, for example, in 1960, 63, Alex Douglas whom were certainly not


a member of the House of Commons, yeti was able to stand in a contest


for them are not an expert on the rules. OK, we don't do smoke-filled


rooms any longer but I can't believe there might not be a way of ensuring


that if Boris is not an MP, was still the Mayor of London,


nevertheless they could be a formula which says elected Mayers or elected


personages are also entitled to put their names forward. What about Joe?


Go for it. Here's the 2010 vintage. I read its a very fine vintage. A


fine claret or a fine wine. Yes, it's not for me. I look with joy and


gladness at all of this. Thank you. I'm sorry if we sprung out on you.


Now, to cull badgers or not to cull badgers. MPs are debating two


controversial pilot schemes today, critics say they're ineffective and


inhumane. Well, our Adam's been talking to two MPs who have rather


strong views. So DEFRA has been trialling the idea


of a badger cull into areas in England. In Gloucestershire and


Somerset. The results of an independent assessment of that have


been leaked and it suggests that didn't go that well. It's now going


to the subject of a Parliamentary debate. A motion laid by the Green


MP Caroline Lucas who joins us alongside the Tory MP Simon Hart who


used to run the Countryside Alliance. Caroline, why do we need


yet another Parliamentary debate about the issue of badgers? I think


really the debate because it's absolutely crucial that the


Government is held to account on the results of the pilots which have


taken place so far. And it doesn't push ahead with yet more culls


without looking at the evidence. The evidence has already been leaked by


the independent panel, demonstrates that, even by the government's own


estimates, it's been a spectacular failure. It is meant to cull 70%


within six weeks and even extending both periods meant that those


targets were not met and it was opposed the measure effectiveness


and humaneness. On both counts, the evidence from them shows it was not


met, so given the evidence, if God be the case of the Government looks


to alternative measures. A combination of badger vaccinations,


restricting cattle movements, I/O Security, testing. That is how to


protect cattle and badgers. The report was leaked. It's not the real


deal yet. Are you jumping the gun? We can see those periods were


extended and we know that those targets were not met. And we also


know that culling can only reduce the incidence by 12%-16%. That is


what the randomised cull showed. Even if all of the other things were


equal, you would only reduce the incidence by 12%-16%. There are much


more effective ways of doing it. Simon, we don't have the full


picture although Caroline has given a lot of statistics which paint a


damning picture about this idea of culling. Some of what Caroline says


is right. We don't know the context of the report by the gall of those


measures, of course, it's a package of things needed to eradicate it. No


one will say culling will do it on its own but everyone to reduced by


just a few percentage points, then culling will have its part. Of


course, we will learn lessons. It wasn't perfect for the nobody is


claiming that. There were lots of reasons for that. We are pointing in


the right direction and it's important we look of a welfare


issues for badgers and cattle. There's a economic impact here, too.


And, of course, taxpayers fork note 100 million pound a year for this.


We have to do eradicate it. They are managing that in Ireland because


they have a properly sustained inhumane and cull. How does is


actually affect farmers? You can lose 20%, half of your dairy herd


overnight if you test positive. I've seen it with my own eyes. It's


heartbreaking sight when you're cattle you have bred with love are


literally taken away for slaughter. Some have to be slaughtered on the


yard because they are pregnant. It damages your whole milk production,


you can't sell your milk, get rid of your cattle. It's a devastating


thing. It's been going on 30 years and we are still no further forward


and we have to bring this to a close sensibly. Work together and not use


this as a tribal warfare between us. Is this tribal warfare ever going to


come to an end? I think it's not looking at the evidence. My heart


goes out to those farmers and my concern is making sure we have a


good policy. To protect farmers and cattle and the badgers for them the


evidence is, the culling does not work so let's look at alternatives.


Thank you for joining us. Lots of very passionate argument that we're


going to hear this afternoon in House of Commons as MPs discuss what


to do about badgers and bovine TB. I am in a dilemma here, I am a great


fan of Caroline Lucas, it is superb we have got a green MP, apropos the


issue itself, I have a farm on Exmoor. We have had a cull, not in


the last run, about ten years ago. I think a lot of what Simon said was


right, but the real issue is the suffering of the badgers. A diseased


badgers suffers terribly. We need to make a huge effort on the vaccine,


that is honestly a desperate, desperate, urgent need. I will make


one point if I may, a more or less funny point. This morning as I


picked up the Guardian, which I do read from time to time, David


McIntosh, a marksman, in a court in Gloucestershire, he was asked to pay


a ?91 fine. Why? Because he drove a van full of dead badgers into a bus


stop. Why was it full of dead badgers? Because the police radio


got under his accelerator pedal. Why did he have a police radio? That is


a mystery! Were the police in contact with him? In treating! -- in


treating! From next month, Powys county


council takes over from the Office of estate agents, so if you have a


problem like this, you know who to go to.


It is a perfect place to escape the modern world, a deserted coastline


with the vast skies, dotted with tiny period cottages. You might be


tempted by this former fisherman's house. After all, the estate agent


called it an opportunity not to be missed. But if this is your dream


home, well, meet your future neighbour, the Dungeness nuclear


power station. But these estate agent's details make no mention at


all of the power station, and all the photographs of the cottage have


all been taken from the one place where it cannot be seen looming in


the background. Neither estate agent selling the property would comments


today. I bet they wouldn't! We are joined


by the chair of the national trading standards board and James full sight


of the Spectator. So the job of regulating estate agents will fall


to local authorities, why? The Government has changed the consumer


landscape, a this was a function which it previously administered,


and it had to go somewhere. We operate through local authority


trading standards departments. We went through a tendering process,


Powys was the successful bidder. Buying a house or flat is probably


the biggest purchase most people make in our lives, and added to that


estate agents are not a profession with an unblemished reputation. You


want the most rigorous and strongest protections. Also, it is very hard


to see how Powys county council can be aware of particular problems that


might be affecting the market in Bristol or London, and so I


think... So you are calling for a more decentralised set up? Either


that or a national setup. IU downgrading the role? It sounds like


an esoteric decision to put a national thing in Powys but why not


somewhere else? All we are doing is following through the estate agency


act, the estate agents act, which is 35 years old. Estate agencies were


very different then. The power it gives is to ban somebody from acting


as an estate agent. It does not say, we are stamping them with our


approval. This is a function that can be carried out more or less


anywhere. Will it give the consumer the same protection? It is the same


function, my concern is that the estate agents act of 1979 is 35


years old, and I do not know how many properties you have purchased


in the last 35 years, but you will have noticed how the markets has


changed dramatically. We have now got estate agents to act both for


the seller and for the purchaser, a built in conflict of interest. This


ought to be regulated but we have not got the framework. I would feel


the same if they had ascended to Bedfordshire or Buckinghamshire. I


think Lord Harris is right is that you need proactive regulation in


that you need people to be acting against estate agents that are known


to be involved in sharp practice. You want somebody saying, we will


address that problem. I do not see how, in Powys, with the best will in


the world, they can be aware of problems across the nation. These


cases where somebody is struck off, they are generated locally. The


local trading standards department with local knowledge will pick this


up and refer it up. Usually, these are people with a track record of


bad behaviour. This is not a case of the last quango in Powys... Well


done, you got the line out! I have met the staff will be taking on the


function, they are dedicated, determined, and they want to deliver


the best they can. They are doing it on a shoestring budget. It seems to


me that considering the size of the market, to spend only ?170,000 on


regulating every estate agent does not seem a proportionate response.


If anyone has a problem, write to you two about it! Thank you very


much. We are told, although it might just


be a vicious rumours spread by Westminster gossipmongers, but it


was a bad night for London's West End. Les Miserables, The Mousetrap


and The 39 Steps were performing to empty houses because talented MPs


were performing at the annual big cabaret bash for Macmillan Cancer


Support, and Adam had tickets to the hottest show in town.


The nights that politics goes a bit spangly. I wonder how many seconds


it will be before someone says... Politics is show business for ugly


people. It is a good cause, a bit of fun, all politicians are show-offs.


Who is the most talented member of the Cabinet? That is a loaded


question! The Prime Minister! Have you ever seen him do singing or tap


dancing? Not singing or tap dancing, that wasn't the question you asked!


I answered in my best diplomatic style. What public figure would


humiliate themselves for free? This is all in the name of a good cause,


in this case Macmillan Cancer. Some people have paid five grand for a


table here. Things got off to a jazzy start with


Lib Dem MP John Hemming on piano, alongside the very tall Jesse


Norman, performing a ditty composed by Lord Glassman, putting the blues


into blue Labour. The truth of the matter is that, actually, these days


are thrilled to find politicians do other things than just pontificate


about things they do not know much about. Politicians playing jazz is


an insult to jazz. Lord Lothian looked like he should be in a Greek


to burn until it turned out he is actually amazing, performing along


with his daughter! -- Taverna. Do you have any groupies? Not that I


know! Lord Dobbs showed us what it would be like if Noel Coward did the


international news. # How long can we wait until


Brussels puts a cap on it? Then it was the House of Commons


band who reckon they have raised about ?1 million for charity since


forming a decade ago. # So Sally can wait...


While Baroness Knights did a brilliant impression of my Gran


after a few sherries. When you and I were young...


Handling them, the man management is always a problem, people being ill,


people dropping numbers, changing numbers, even on the night. I am not


singing that now! So they are slightly devious. I thought I would


sing something else! And some recently reshuffled ministers trying


to sing through the pain. # Today is the day the Government


likes to shuffle... Normally I would sum up with


something sarcastic but heart-warming, but how can I compete


with any of this talented bunch?! You cannot compete, certainly not


with that last bit, and Goldilocks, dare I say it, is with us now,


although not in costume! A shame! I was actually dead to sort of Sid


there demurely in Prime Minister's Questions with that we're gone, but


I don't think I will. I do not think they would let you in! I should


introduce you as Michael Fabricant! It was a great night, and importance


night, we raised about ?100,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, and it is


a marvellous charity. Do you wish you were there? I wish I was! I went


up to Lichfield talking about HS2, not now! We have not got enough


time! What would your turn the, if you were doing a turn? I would like


to seeing Hey Jude, but I have never got to the end. -- sing. We might be


able to arrange that! What was the highlight for you? This might be a


downer, but it was a young man who got up and said, my wife, when she


was pregnant, got cancer. Whoever thinks of a pregnant young woman


getting cancer? And we learned, we all know that Macmillan do a great


job for people with cancer, but they actually look after the families


when there has been a bereavement, and I didn't know that. I thought


that was very valuable. It was not a highlight in the sense of enjoyment,


but that was the overriding thing. And entertainment highlight was, I


think, Lord Colwyn with his jazz bands doing traditional jazz, which


I love, Jesse Norman was absolutely superb on the trumpet. Were you


surprised about the talents of? I thought Jesse Norman was going to


sing, I had no idea. Lots of MPs blow their trumpets! Some are better


at it than others, so make more noise. Someone said to me, if you do


not blow your own trumpet, someone else will use it as a spittoon. Who


would you like to see on stage next year? Someone whose talents I know


nothing about, like Jesse Norman. It is amazing that these things come


out of the woodwork, presumably a lot of MPs and Lords are either


musical or talented actors and actresses. You say would work, I


think that is very unkind! Apropos the question of the mouse... We will


come to the mouse in a moment! Do you know what is going on?! He has


just reminded me! Thank you very much for taking part. Before we go,


as Stanley has reminded me, the quiz, MPs have been told they cannot


have a cat in the Commons to deal with the mouse problem, it is the


best way, but why not? Because it would steal their thunder, the


speaker is allergic, it might get too fat, or it might scratch the


throne? Do you want to ask Michael? You are the guest. It is the throne,


I am 100% sure, possible damage to the Heritage. You are 100% wrong, it


is the leftover food! You don't get a prize, I am afraid. That is all


for today, thank you for being our guest. Andrew is back after Question


Time. Bye-bye!


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