14/03/2014 Daily Politics


14/03/2014

Andrew Neil is joined by journalist Camilla Cavendish to discuss all the day's political news, including the death of Tony Benn, talks on Ukraine and how to get a job in the EU.


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Afternoon, books, welcome to the Daily Politics. Tony Benn, one of

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the Labour left's most iconic figures, has died at the age of 88,

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he passed away surrounded by his family, to which he was always

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close. Tributes are coming from all sides. Ed Miliband called him a job

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in the powerless, David Cameron says it is a sad day for British

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politics. -- a champion for the powerless.

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The West says the referendum in Crimea is illegal and warns Russia

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of tough sanctions. Following the Edward Snowden revelations, the

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European Parliament agrees sweeping new rules on data protection. A

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triumph for individual freedom or just more red tape? And when it

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comes to getting ahead in politics, does background matter, sex, drugs,

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money, the old school tie? Do voters care way you came from or what you

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got up to in the past? All that in the next hour, and with

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us for the next half-hour is the associate editor and columnist at

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the Sunday Times, Camilla Cavendish, welcome to the Daily Politics. He

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was a Labour Cabinet minister in the 1960s and 1970s, a strong if

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divisive voice of the Labour left, a prolific diarist and in later life a

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political campaign outside Parliament. But that rather

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understates the life that Tony Benn lead. He died this morning at his

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home in West London surrounded by his family. He had been ill for some

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time. His family released a short statement saying, we will miss all

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his love, which has sustained us through our lives. We are comforted

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by the memory of his long, full and inspiring life, and so proud of his

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devotion to helping others as he sought to change the world for the

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better. Political leaders have been paying

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their respects, here is Ed Miliband, who used to work for Tony Benn when

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he was a teenager. It is obviously a sad day. I think Tony Benn will be

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remembered as a champion of the powerless, a conviction politician,

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somebody of deep principle and integrity. You always knew what he

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stood for and who he stood up for, and I think that is why he was at my

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right across the political spectrum. There are people who agreed with him

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and disagreed with him, including in my own party, but people admired the

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sense of conviction and integrity that shone through. The Prime

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Minister has also been commenting, this is what he had to say. One of

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the fundamental principles set out by the Leveson Inquiry are met by

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the Royal Charter, and all have been accepted by the industry over the

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last three months. In a number of areas, the media have accepted

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additional measures that go beyond the recommendations. These include a

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dedicated fund for investigations, making publishers be accountable for

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all material, including photos, and a whistle-blowing hotline. As a

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result of all of this, we have a workable system...

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We apologise for that, that is obviously the wrong clip from the

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Prime Minister, who was full of praise for Tony Benn this morning.

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He said that although he did not agree quite often with what he

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said, he admired him as a tenacious politician, a great writer and

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campaign. What are your thoughts? My generation mostly would have seen

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Tony Benn as the outsider, the national treasure, he made wonderful

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speeches, and he was very authentic, and for a lot of us he

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represented the conviction politician that many others feel

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there is enough of. He was a divisive character for me because he

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was quite important in my childhood. One of my father's veterans was

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Brian McGee, who is a philosopher now, but he switched to the SDP in

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the 1980s and lost his seat in 1983. My first political memory was of him

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losing that seat, and I remember him saying the party has changed, it is

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not me, the party has moved, and I think Benn, you can argue that Roy

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Jenkins led the Labour Party, but Tony Benn was so important in that

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debate, and he had a whole host of ideas which a lot of people in the

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party felt were unacceptable. To look back now and remember his

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arguments about unilateral disarmament, leaving NATO,

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effectively... Withdrawing from the European Union. That is very

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interesting, because he said it was bureaucratic and centralised, which

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was a shrewd point. Of course, what he wanted to put in place in Britain

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was also bureaucratic and centralised, so a slightly ironic

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position for him to take. We will follow up some of these beams. Tony

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Benn first became an MP way back in 1950, a long time ago, and he was

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involved in some of the most bitter Labour Party battles of the late

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20th century during his long career. To some on the left, he was a hero.

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Too much of the mainstream, he was blamed for keeping the party out of

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power for a generation. In later life, he became an over until a

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figure, popular on the lecture circuit and a prolific diarist.

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Political correspondent Iain Watson looks back at his life.

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To give 100% support to those who do not or cannot or will not pay the

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poll tax! For much of his political career, Benn was seen as a left-wing

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firebrand, taking the argument for socialism onto the streets. His

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first victory against the establishment was when, as Anthony

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Wedgwood Benn, he refused to inherit his father's peerage so he could

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remain an MP, a battle fought not on the barricades but in the courts and

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ultimately in the House of Commons. You have defeated the Tory Cabinet,

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the House of Lords... In a minister in Harold Wilson's government, he

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was seen as a moderniser and a technocrat, he helped create the

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Concorde project. Wilson later said that Tony Benn immatured with age.

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Certainly, he was one of the few politicians to become more left wing

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in office. In 1981, after the Labour election defeat, he split the party

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down the middle, challenging Denis Healey to the leadership and losing

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narrowly. His critics say that it helped keep Labour from power for

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almost two decade. He argued for the nationalisation of big banks,

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withdrawal from the EU. The Sir Humphrey Applebys of every country

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of Europe have got together, and if we do this, the Dutch say the

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Belgians will not object over what the Italians said... So the minister

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has got no power anyway! In 2001, he said he was leaving Parliament to

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take politics and was a leading figure in the campaign to stop the

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Iraq War. The popularity of his one-man shows, where people page to

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view his thoughts, confirmed he had completed the journey from dangerous

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radical to national institution. He was a prolific diarist, a chronicler

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of contemporary events. And just last year, he told the BBC he

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remained convinced that politics shouldn't be about shoddy

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compromise. My mother said to me once, she said, all decisions,

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including political decisions, are basically moral. Is it right or

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wrong? Tony Benn often declared that politics should be about policy, not

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personality, but today Westminster has lost one of its most distinctive

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and distinguished figures. Tony Benn, who died this morning at

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the age of 88. Shirley Williams was one of the gang four rebels who went

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off to found the Social Democratic Party in 1981, and from Birmingham

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we are joined by Clare Short. Shirley Williams first, I would

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suggest Tony Benn is one of the reasons you left the Labour Party.

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Yes, that is probably true. I was actually a close friend of his in

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the 1960s, he was the minister, the Postmaster general, and he was

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tremendous and on top of technology, Acorn computers and so on, all of

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this in his period. He really understood it better than anyone

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else in the cabinet. The thing was at that time he was still very

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clearly, essentially, a mainstream Labour Party supporter. He was on

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the centre-left, not on the far left. Not, above all, on the kind of

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anti-leadership left, which he later became. I think that he was hugely

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popular in the constituency with activists, he was always the top of

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the pile, and he was also a brilliant speaker, but one of the

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things people have not said about him which was true was he was a

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tremendously polite and courteous man. He never went into

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personalities. He said politics is about policy, not personalities, and

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he lived by that. Therefore people were surprised that he behaved so

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well. He was not partisan, he was passionately partisan but not sourly

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partisan, a big difference. But I have to say that on several issues,

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Babb is the central one was Europe, we saw the world in a completely

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different way. Clare Short, Mr Benn was enormously popular on the left

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but not popular with all of the left of the Labour Party, was he? No, I

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think, as Shelley says, he was an absolute gentleman, he had a lovely

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marriage and family. He was very charming. -- Shirley. But I think he

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got a high from the populist backing and became an oppositionist. If he

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had behaved in a different way, he would have been a leading figure.

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Someone said he was the Tony Blair of his time in terms of his

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communication skills. He gave an interview not so long ago, a few

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years ago, saying Enoch Powell said that all little careers end in

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failure, mine ended a long time ago. He said, I have made mistakes. He

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could have been a much bigger influence, but he went for the

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populist, ultraleft, popular with some, cutting himself off from the

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mainstream and potential leadership. And I think that was a loss. Was the

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turning point for Mr Benn, Michael Foot had become leader, he took over

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from Jim Callaghan, and he beat Denis Healey, but then Denis Healey

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stood for the deputy leadership, and against, I understand it, a lot of

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advice from the left, Benn stood for that as well, almost won, didn't,

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but then began to flirt with Militant Tendency instead. Is that

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fair? That is what happened. When Michael Foot won, he said, never

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underestimate the passion for unity. The party had divisions and wanted

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to come together, so it elected Michael. Then Tony, making the

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decision in the middle of the night without consulting anyone, decided

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to challenge for the deputy leader and stir up the divisions again. I

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think that is when he departed the mainstream. And he went off on a

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more and more sort of populist with the left grassroots, and at that

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time, of course, various groups were coming into the Labour Party, and I

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think he got a bit captured by the rousing support he got from those

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elements. But that said, he was always a brilliant speaker, such

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clarity in what he said. When people heard him, they would say, I do not

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really agree with him, but isn't he wonderful? And always great company.

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Charming, and when his son Hilary Benn became a junior minister in my

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old department of international development, Tony came to the

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Commons, went into the visitors' gallery, and there were tears of

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pride rolling down his cheeks that his son was there. Did you ever kiss

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and make up? Not really. We never broke off either, Clare's

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description is absolutely right, he responded to this adulation from the

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far left. We did not break up, we simply drifted apart, and on an

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issue of policy, not on personal friendship. Was it Europe more than

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anything else? He wanted a siege economy with huge import controls.

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He wanted to nationalise, I think, at least the top 25 if not top 100

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companies. In 1980, he spoke to the Labour Party conference and said,

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within days of being in power, we should repatriate everything back

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from Brussels. And of course it was against the nuclear deterrent as

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well. But was it Europe that was the big divide? There are different

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views, I shared many of his views about social policy, I believed in a

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more equal society, I favoured comprehends of schools, all that

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kind of thing. The big division was that I saw Europe coming together as

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being the way to end wars in the West, in Western Europe at least.

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And it seemed to me the way the future lay. I think the indication,

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for example, one of the reasons he fought Denis Healey, who was after

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all a damn good Labour man, was that Denis Healey exemplified the power

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of the international markets, the power of the international

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institutions, and Tony, I think, oddly enough would have nothing to

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do with that, he would not even be there to oppose them. He simply

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wished they didn't exist, he looked curiously backwards. Interesting how

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attitudes changed towards him, because we forget that at the time

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he was a hate figure for the Conservatives and he wasn't that

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popular with a lot of his own party as well! Are member he once said,

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when it was put to him that he was a national treasure, he himself said

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yes, now that I am regarded as harmless! Indeed. That is how it

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was. The meetings were packed out. People love to hear him. People who

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did not vote Labour or would not agree with him. They loved him. He

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became a national treasure. Because he was so eloquent and did try to

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raise issues of principle, when people knew he was stimulating their

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thinking and not going to do something crazy that would put the

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economy on the rocks, they would love him. Do we know what turned him

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left? In the 60s, he was moderniser. He was forward-looking.

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He did not seem to have much to do with unions or the Labour left. He

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was always going on about Concorde. He was seen as the future of the

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Labour Party. Yes, he was. He had a growing suspicion of civil servants.

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That mirrors the feeling on the right wing of the Conservative

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Party. Tony disliked them a lot. He thought they were there to betray

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what the ministers wanted to do. The other big factor was both the

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leaders, he preferred Callaghan to Wilson. Both Prime Minister is he

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saw as in the business of selling out. He took on more and more

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powerful position in order to force people not to sell out. That really

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meant he could not believe in the fundamental compromise at the heart

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of democratic government. It is inescapable. Does he belong with the

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figures in British politics who are huge figures, controversial and

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divisive as well? I think of Bevan and is goggle on the left and

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Thatcher and Powell on the right. Do we put Tony Benn into that category?

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What I would like to actually ask both of you is whether you think he

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has made people more cynical about politics. On the one hand, later on,

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he was marvellous. He gave you hope and hope for things to change. On

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the other hand, I cannot help but think he felt all mainstream

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politicians were going to let people down. That ends up making you feel

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cynical. He stood apart from the main run of politicians by being an

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uncompromising idealist. They all sold out one way or another. As he

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went on, a lot of what he advocated was impossible. It was backward

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looking. The world economy was as it was. In that sense, he was the

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beacon of the left but actually it was impractical, what he was

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advocating. In his later years, when he was the old Testament prophet, as

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Michael Foot said, he was more comfortable and people enjoyed that.

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Really he vacated the struggle of practical policy to make the country

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fairer. He went off to an impossible list position which was supported by

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some but did not help. It has been a pleasure to listen to you. Now, what

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makes a suitable or unsuitable politician? Nigel Farage hit the

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front pages this week after allegations about his personal life.

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The lawyers have asked me to say they are unsubstantiated. But does

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anyone really care? Does it matter if the next Tory manifesto is being

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written by a gang of old Etonians? And if, heaven forbid, an MP was

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involved in some scrapes and shenanigans before entering

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parliament, then is that really a problem? So, how much do people care

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about the backgrounds and pasts of these men? In a recent survey, most

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people said that they were annoyed if an MP had never had a real job.

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55% in fact. Bad news for ex-special advisers, local politicians, think

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tankers, or even journalists. Worrying news for David Cameron. A

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lot of people think going to Eton doesn't make a good politician, with

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38% complaining that old Etonians don't understand how real people

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live. But there's good news for any politician with a racy past or a few

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youthful indiscretions to their name. Drug-taking, going bankrupt,

:19:39.:19:43.

or being caught shoplifting. The public don't seem to mind. Time to

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own up perhaps? The daily politics is always

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available. We sent our Adam out to see what people think. Parliment is

:19:59.:20:03.

looking pretty nice in the background. What do the public think

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about what the politicians have in their backgrounds? School is not

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medically important but exposure to life and industry is incredibly

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important. Having a real job? Having a real job brings you life

:20:23.:20:26.

experience you need to make decisions properly. What about the

:20:27.:20:31.

issue that all the pals of David Cameron went to Eton? Does it

:20:32.:20:36.

matter? It is a bloody good job they did. Does it matter what they are

:20:37.:20:46.

doing behind closed doors? If they are hypocrites, yes. Dodgy? I do not

:20:47.:20:51.

think so. Wide and if a politician committed a crime in their use,

:20:52.:20:56.

would that be a deal-breaker? If they did something really bad? No.

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What is really bad? Stole a car, let's say. No. I would need to know

:21:07.:21:15.

more about the circumstances. Doing the right for the community is

:21:16.:21:20.

important. Whatever politician had taken drugs when they were a

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teenager? We all make mistakes. With us now is Peter Kellner from YouGov,

:21:27.:21:30.

who did the survey and the former Conservative MP, Jerry Hayes,

:21:31.:21:32.

himself no stranger to the odd controversy. In fact, he's just

:21:33.:21:36.

written a book about his time in Westminster which purports to be a

:21:37.:21:39.

no holds barred expose of parliamentary scandals.

:21:40.:21:43.

The public do not like a politician who has not got a real job, he went

:21:44.:21:50.

to Eton and had the right connections to get into politics.

:21:51.:21:54.

David Cameron is stuffed, isn't he? You'll agree with these should Ed

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Miliband be more popular. One of the things the moment, you take the

:21:59.:22:03.

three main party leaders and they are all unpopular. I do not remember

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a time in the last 40, 50 years, when all three have been unpopular

:22:10.:22:14.

at the same time. We know why Mr Cameron is not seem to connect. Is

:22:15.:22:19.

it equally because he is posh in Eton and the rest of it? Is it true

:22:20.:22:28.

the North London son of a Marxist professor finds it hard to connect

:22:29.:22:33.

with these people? It is about not having had a real job. If you

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include journalism and think tanks and being a special adviser and all

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of that, none of the three party leaders David Cameron, Nick Clegg,

:22:43.:22:45.

Ed Miliband, none of them in that sense have had real jobs. When you

:22:46.:22:51.

go back to the 20th century and Stanley Baldwin. He did not enter

:22:52.:22:58.

parliament he was 50. At about the age of 60, keep became Prime

:22:59.:23:01.

Minister. That is how they did it then and they do not do it like that

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now. If you look at Mr Clegg and Mr Cameron, they are all keen from the

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same kind of stone in some way. They all went to Oxbridge and came to be

:23:13.:23:16.

special advisers within a mile off where we are now. We talk about

:23:17.:23:24.

authenticity. Bob Crow, Tony Ben and Nigel Farage. Is that what they

:23:25.:23:32.

lack? I do not think David Cameron lacks that he is a really really

:23:33.:23:36.

nice guy. Nick Clegg is nice as well. They are desperately

:23:37.:23:42.

unpopular. All the major parties are bitterly divided. Really, hopelessly

:23:43.:23:47.

divided. Not as divided as in the days of Tony Blair -- Tony Benn. We

:23:48.:24:01.

were talking about the battles with Tony Benn and Denis Healey. Mrs

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Thatcher was divided with the wets and the dries. This did keep them

:24:06.:24:14.

out of power for 18 years. When you had the divisions under Margaret

:24:15.:24:17.

Thatcher, the Tories had, for much of the time, a huge majority and it

:24:18.:24:21.

did not matter very much. The problem now is the collision between

:24:22.:24:24.

the divisions, which are more personal and less political than

:24:25.:24:29.

they used to be. Also with the Parliamentary arithmetic. It is like

:24:30.:24:34.

the Syria vote last August. Had the Conservatives had a majority vote of

:24:35.:24:43.

100, they would have got that three. I was one-year below Mr Cameron. He

:24:44.:24:55.

should not be embarrassed. What did you see about him? It is a question

:24:56.:24:59.

of, what do you mean by real job? Cameron, for six or seven years, was

:25:00.:25:07.

employed in the private sector. Hang on! We need to be a bit careful. One

:25:08.:25:11.

of the things that people worry about, and I worry about, the point

:25:12.:25:15.

you are making is that lots of politicians do not know how to run

:25:16.:25:19.

their departments because they have never run anything. The anything you

:25:20.:25:22.

can say about Cameron is they have had longer and he had some time in

:25:23.:25:25.

the private sector, which is different from a lot of other MPs.

:25:26.:25:29.

It depends what you regard as real job. It is about what kind of

:25:30.:25:37.

private sector jobs really count. He did not have to take tough,

:25:38.:25:43.

managerial decisions. He did not have to face shareholders who were

:25:44.:25:48.

upset. Michael Green is a very difficult man. That is another good

:25:49.:25:54.

point. He was with Lamont went all is another good point. He was with

:25:55.:25:56.

Lamont went all as difficulties occurred. He has been forged and

:25:57.:26:06.

metal out of a crisis. Perhaps all politicians should take comfort from

:26:07.:26:09.

the pole that strongly suggest people really do not care what you

:26:10.:26:13.

get up to, unless you murdered your granny. I was surprised how low the

:26:14.:26:19.

figures were. If you are shoplifting as a teenager... I think the thing

:26:20.:26:26.

that has surprised me most was politicians who pretend they are

:26:27.:26:33.

happily married, and are in fact later come out as gay. I thought

:26:34.:26:39.

people would prevent that -- resent that but they do not. He kept me as

:26:40.:26:52.

a columnist so he has impeccable judgment. What is the biggest

:26:53.:26:58.

revelation? What will shock people is the amount of drink and the

:26:59.:27:01.

amount of bile and there was in the House of Commons. You remember Ron

:27:02.:27:08.

Brown, dear old Ron Brown. He picked up the maze and smashed it on the

:27:09.:27:12.

floor. One of the bigwigs came in in the middle of the day punched him in

:27:13.:27:23.

the stomach, threw him out of the House and he was given a good

:27:24.:27:27.

kicking. Ceaseless mocking of the Lib Dems is a favourite

:27:28.:27:30.

parliamentary pastime and this week has brought fresh material. Lord

:27:31.:27:34.

Biro, a candidate for the Bus Pass Elvis Party received 67 votes in a

:27:35.:27:38.

Nottingham by election, with Lib Dem candidate Tony Marshall coming last

:27:39.:27:39.

with 56. Oh, dear. But is there a bigger

:27:40.:27:52.

problem hidden by this jolly facade? Could this result spell the

:27:53.:27:56.

beginning of the end for the Lib Dems? Before we get to that, let's

:27:57.:27:59.

remind ourselves of some past political upsets.

:28:00.:28:06.

You can get off back to Mexico, knowing your attempt to buy the

:28:07.:28:42.

British legal system has failed. Richard Taylor, whose sole policy

:28:43.:28:44.

was the protection of Kidderminster Hospital.

:28:45.:29:06.

I'm delighted to say Elvis lives! And he joins us from Nottingham.

:29:07.:29:12.

Well, in fact it's Lord Biro, aka David Bishop. You seem to have a lot

:29:13.:29:23.

of names. Wellcome. To what do you attribute your defeat in this

:29:24.:29:34.

remarkable by-election? I think the Lib Dems did not campaign hard

:29:35.:29:38.

enough. That was a big mistake on their part. They would have been

:29:39.:29:45.

better off not standing actually. Given this success you have had,

:29:46.:29:50.

relative success, what are you going to do next? I have sent a message to

:29:51.:29:57.

Mr Putin saying, would he leave Ukraine, the Crimea, and invade

:29:58.:30:02.

Meadow Lane, Nottingham, and take over Notts County the bull crap to

:30:03.:30:09.

save them from relegation? -- Notts County Football Club. How highly

:30:10.:30:20.

which you rate your chances? A lot higher than that. Do you fancy

:30:21.:30:27.

perhaps standing next to Nick Clegg up the road? Someone has already

:30:28.:30:34.

asked me that. Apparently he is not very popular in Sheffield. He may

:30:35.:30:38.

not be the leader in 12 months' time. We have another 12 months to

:30:39.:30:44.

go. Maybe Skegness possibly. I do not know. You have the bug? The

:30:45.:30:51.

political bug. I have had that for a long while since 1997 when I stood

:30:52.:30:56.

against Neil Hamilton. That was when I was Martin Bell in the white suit.

:30:57.:31:01.

I have had it since then. Stay with us. Joining me in the studio to make

:31:02.:31:06.

sense of it all is Stephen Tall, editor of Lib Dem voice.

:31:07.:31:13.

There may be little significance in a local government by-election, but

:31:14.:31:18.

you have lost eight out of your last 15 deposits, 11 seats in Scotland,

:31:19.:31:26.

is this the writing on the wall? I don't think so, I do not think the

:31:27.:31:29.

North Clifton Ward in Nottingham, with old you respect to the

:31:30.:31:33.

inhabitants, is not necessarily pointing to what will happen at the

:31:34.:31:37.

general election. But you are right that being in government ain't the

:31:38.:31:40.

most popular thing to do, better to be in opposition in terms of poll

:31:41.:31:44.

ratings, but the only way you change things is in government. But isn't

:31:45.:31:48.

the risk that you have been in government, you have done the

:31:49.:31:51.

unpopular things, a lot of people did not want you to be in government

:31:52.:31:55.

with the Tories in the first place, and the risk is that if things are

:31:56.:31:59.

starting to come right, for example in the economy, the reduction of the

:32:00.:32:04.

deficit, whatever, the Tories, being political bruises, will take all the

:32:05.:32:07.

credit for this? Are you suggesting they would try to take credit for

:32:08.:32:15.

Lib Dems? They already have on the policy of taking people out of tax.

:32:16.:32:19.

You will have seen the poll in the Evening Standard last night showing

:32:20.:32:22.

that more voters, 45%, give credit to the Lib Dems for that. We will

:32:23.:32:28.

see, I am hoping that was something that was our top priority and has

:32:29.:32:30.

been delivered in government will have some payback for the party, but

:32:31.:32:34.

we will have to wait until May 2015 to find out. If you get a thumping

:32:35.:32:41.

in the European elections, as Elvis was indicating, does that mean the

:32:42.:32:44.

leadership could come under question again? I think it is very unlikely

:32:45.:32:50.

but possible that the Lib Dems could get entirely wiped out at the

:32:51.:32:53.

European elections. You could lose every MEP? It is possible, if it

:32:54.:32:59.

sinks to 6% of the vote, you could see them or lose. I don't think it

:33:00.:33:03.

will happen, but what you see with Nick Clegg trying to take the fight

:33:04.:33:07.

to Nigel Farage is do two things, appealed to the segment of the

:33:08.:33:12.

population that is pro-European and galvanise Lib Dem supporters who

:33:13.:33:14.

might otherwise be a bit worried about what the party has done in

:33:15.:33:19.

coalition. It is about saying, this is a reason to vote for the Lib

:33:20.:33:23.

Dems, shore up the vote that often does not turn up for European

:33:24.:33:28.

elections. How would you assess the Lib Dems' situation at the moment?

:33:29.:33:32.

They did better in Eastleigh than national polls suggested. The UKIP

:33:33.:33:36.

factor is critical, and Clifton North, the Lib Dems would just

:33:37.:33:41.

beaten by Elvis, they were beaten by UKIP, who got 500 votes to the Lib

:33:42.:33:47.

Dems' 50. We are really looking at significant inroads from UKIP, and

:33:48.:33:52.

as you say, I agree that the Lib Dems could really suffer at the

:33:53.:33:55.

European elections. The only thing to hang onto is a pro-European

:33:56.:34:01.

platform, because this would be true across Europe - the anti-European

:34:02.:34:04.

parties are going to succeed, and that leaves your position poor! A

:34:05.:34:09.

final word of advice for the Lib Dems, Elvis? You have got Clegg on

:34:10.:34:14.

your face, that is due to me, sorry about that! We will keep an eye on

:34:15.:34:19.

your political career, Elvis, thank you for joining us. Thank you very

:34:20.:34:24.

much! Coming up in a moment, our regular look at what has been going

:34:25.:34:28.

on in European politics, but now it is time to say goodbye to Camilla

:34:29.:34:32.

Cavendish, thank you for being with us.

:34:33.:34:35.

For the next half hour we will be focusing on Europe, discussing the

:34:36.:34:38.

situation in Ukraine and the new rules on data protection agreed by

:34:39.:34:42.

MEPs in Strasbourg this week. First, a guide to the latest from Europe in

:34:43.:34:51.

just 60 seconds. Aired on the referendum in Crimea,

:34:52.:34:56.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Russia it faces massive

:34:57.:34:58.

damage economically and politically if it didn't ease tensions in

:34:59.:35:04.

Ukraine. -- ahead. Clarity from Labour about Europe, sort of, Ed

:35:05.:35:07.

Miliband promised a referendum on membership but only if the UK was

:35:08.:35:10.

asked to transfer more powers Brussels. American billionaire money

:35:11.:35:19.

guru George Soros, who broke the pound, told the European Union might

:35:20.:35:24.

not survive long lasting stagnation. MEPs voted to introduce a common

:35:25.:35:27.

charger for all mobile phones. And finally, good news for commission

:35:28.:35:34.

Vice President Viviane Reding after a cottage pie she bought on her last

:35:35.:35:39.

trip to the UK was next. I got a lot of offers from people who said, my

:35:40.:35:43.

mother makes the best cottage pie in Great Britain, I will send one to

:35:44.:35:47.

you! People have been very unhappy that the cottage pie was stolen.

:35:48.:35:49.

Lunch, anyone? Who could have thought a cottage pie

:35:50.:36:01.

would have such problems? With us for the next 30 minutes, two MEPs,

:36:02.:36:06.

Syed Kamal, who represents London for the Conservatives, and Graham

:36:07.:36:09.

Watson, who represents the south-west of England and Gibraltar

:36:10.:36:13.

for the Liberal Democrats. Welcome to you both. As you head towards the

:36:14.:36:18.

European elections, not that far away, are you beginning to run down

:36:19.:36:24.

now? Well, you could say we are beginning to step up. We had more

:36:25.:36:29.

votes this week than normally, and next time we meet on the floor of

:36:30.:36:31.

the house in Strasbourg, we will have a lot of votes to get through.

:36:32.:36:36.

There is a lot of legislation to be cleared, we have to clear the decks.

:36:37.:36:41.

When do you go down for the campaign? Campaigning starts after

:36:42.:36:44.

Easter and will be through to the 22nd of May, when we vote. What did

:36:45.:36:49.

you make of some people who have been saying that in the UK the Lib

:36:50.:36:56.

Dems could be wiped out at the European elections? I don't think we

:36:57.:36:59.

will be wiped out at all. Every party is going to suffer from the

:37:00.:37:06.

expected surge in the UKIP vote, probably Labour will sublet less

:37:07.:37:09.

than the Tories and the Lib Dems, but we have to be out of there

:37:10.:37:15.

fighting the case for staying in the European Union and trying to face

:37:16.:37:17.

down the narrow nationalists in UKIP. What would be a good result

:37:18.:37:23.

for the Conservatives? We will be focusing on the agenda for reform,

:37:24.:37:27.

and making sure that people are aware, if you want a referendum on

:37:28.:37:31.

the EU, only one party will give you a choice. But that won't be

:37:32.:37:36.

determined by voting on the European elections. One of the things David

:37:37.:37:40.

Cameron is making quite clear is how important the European elections

:37:41.:37:45.

are, whether people like it or not. The European Parliament has equal

:37:46.:37:48.

power with the 28 governments when it comes to legislation, and that

:37:49.:37:52.

shows how important MEPs are. If you want reform, it is important to get

:37:53.:37:57.

a good set of Conservative MPs. You will probably lose some, won't you?

:37:58.:38:01.

We will see, we will continue pushing the agenda for reform. John

:38:02.:38:07.

Kerry has been meeting with Sergei Lavrov in London in what looks like

:38:08.:38:10.

a final effort to broker a deal on the deepening crisis in Ukraine. The

:38:11.:38:14.

talks, head of a referendum in Crimea on Sunday. -- come ahead.

:38:15.:38:21.

Residents of the region, which is largely ethnic Russian, will decide

:38:22.:38:24.

whether or not to join the Russian Federation. These are not looking

:38:25.:38:29.

too good from the western point of view, here is a gloomy sounding

:38:30.:38:36.

Foreign Secretary. The fact that so far Russia hasn't actually taken any

:38:37.:38:38.

action to de-escalated tensions makes this a formidably difficult

:38:39.:38:44.

task today, and I think that therefore we have to be realistic

:38:45.:38:51.

about that. In the absence of progress today, at the European

:38:52.:38:56.

Union, the United Kingdom, we will move to further measures, as agreed.

:38:57.:39:02.

If this referendum goes ahead and no diplomatic way forward is found. We

:39:03.:39:08.

are joined from Cambridge by Labour MEP Richard Howard, Labour's foreign

:39:09.:39:11.

affairs spokesman in the European Parliament. Hearing calls for

:39:12.:39:20.

sanctions on Russia, but in the world of realpolitik, it seems

:39:21.:39:23.

pretty clear now that Crimea is lost, that Crimea is back part of

:39:24.:39:32.

Russia again. Agreed? We can't agree, because the invasion of

:39:33.:39:35.

Russia was clearly against international law, and if we

:39:36.:39:40.

simply... Invasion of Crimea, you mean. You would call it an invasion?

:39:41.:39:46.

The European Parliament in a resolution I sponsored, proposed

:39:47.:39:51.

called it an invasion. And if we ever decide to come to a deal which

:39:52.:39:58.

recognises the change, it is an invitation not to Vladimir Putin but

:39:59.:40:01.

to others around the world to use military force, so what I feel will

:40:02.:40:05.

happen with Crimea is that it is going to turn into another of the

:40:06.:40:10.

frozen conflicts of the kind we see in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

:40:11.:40:15.

You know, I have stood in Georgia after the Russian invasion looking

:40:16.:40:19.

across the borderline at 3000 Russian troops, so I know what it

:40:20.:40:26.

looks like, and there is a huge fear, and therefore we cannot accept

:40:27.:40:31.

this annexation of Crimea, and of course 8500 troops on the borders

:40:32.:40:36.

with Ukraine and the statement of the Foreign Ministry in Moscow this

:40:37.:40:38.

morning, talking about their rights to defend their Russian compatriots,

:40:39.:40:44.

we must fear that there may be further military action in eastern

:40:45.:40:50.

Ukraine. Let's dated in two stages, assuming that the Crimea boats to

:40:51.:40:57.

join Russia in this blather -- plebiscite, whether or not it is

:40:58.:41:05.

democratic and accurate. -- votes. If that is what happens and the Bush

:41:06.:41:08.

and say they have done it, whether they accept the will of the Crimean

:41:09.:41:16.

people, what should Europe do? -- and Russia says. It is an

:41:17.:41:21.

illegitimate referendum against the Ukrainian constitution where there

:41:22.:41:24.

isn't even an option for there to be the previous position of being part

:41:25.:41:28.

of Ukraine on the ballot paper, and it is being held at the barrel of a

:41:29.:41:34.

gun. I know that, but what does Europe do? Europe has said, if the

:41:35.:41:39.

referendum goes ahead, there must be more consequences. What worries me

:41:40.:41:43.

about that is, when they make those statements, when John Kerry talks

:41:44.:41:47.

about 11th hour talks, we hope that it succeeds, but there is no sign

:41:48.:41:51.

whatsoever on the ground that the referendum will not go ahead. As you

:41:52.:41:56.

say, the result is a foregone conclusion, the Ukrainians and the

:41:57.:42:00.

Tatars in Crimea going to boycott it, so we know the result already.

:42:01.:42:06.

And I am deeply worried that the source of rhetoric we have heard

:42:07.:42:11.

from William Hague, but from other European Foreign Ministers too,

:42:12.:42:14.

talking about consequences, has not yet been followed through by

:42:15.:42:18.

actions. I think on Monday when the foreign ministers meet, there will

:42:19.:42:21.

be a move towards greater sanctions, but when we saw that very

:42:22.:42:26.

unfortunate incident where the private Downing Street brief was

:42:27.:42:29.

photographed and made public, I have been asked in meetings in Brussels,

:42:30.:42:36.

is Cameron more interested in defending Russian banks in London,

:42:37.:42:40.

or will he support asset freezes? I do not believe that is his

:42:41.:42:44.

motivation, we hope it isn't, that that is being asked of us in

:42:45.:42:48.

Brussels. That was embarrassing, but I suggest the bigger issue is

:42:49.:42:51.

whether Angela Merkel is prepared to go along with sanctions against

:42:52.:42:55.

Russia and run the risk of the gas being cut off. In a speech to the

:42:56.:43:01.

Bundestag this week, she was right, but she missed a trick. She should

:43:02.:43:06.

have gone straight to Moscow the moment this happened, in exactly the

:43:07.:43:11.

way that Sarkozy took himself to the Russians went into Georgia. Had she

:43:12.:43:15.

done that and banter this on the table, because Germany is such an

:43:16.:43:18.

important trading partner for Russia, she might have secured

:43:19.:43:23.

something. -- and banged her best. I hope the talks being held in London

:43:24.:43:28.

will come to something, and I hope John Kerry will be able to persuade

:43:29.:43:31.

Sergei Lavrov that Russia should withdraw its troops, but if they

:43:32.:43:35.

don't, we have to put sanctions in place. I will bring in your

:43:36.:43:42.

Conservative MEP, are we ready for this? Are we up for it? If we do

:43:43.:43:46.

bring in some tough sanctions, are we really ready for Russia then

:43:47.:43:52.

saying, right, the gas pipeline is being cut off? Are we ready for the

:43:53.:43:57.

Kremlin, which can be ruthless, to say, OK, that is what you are doing,

:43:58.:44:03.

we are taking over the BP assets in Russia and we will take the VW car

:44:04.:44:07.

plant as well? Are we ready for this? 100 years ago, when troops

:44:08.:44:12.

were moved across the border, it led to the First World War. What we are

:44:13.:44:18.

talking about is not a game of Risk, this is the 21st century. If you

:44:19.:44:21.

move your troops into another country, there will be serious

:44:22.:44:28.

consequences. But are we ready? If we act against Russia with economic

:44:29.:44:36.

sanctions, are we ready for Kremlin retaliatory action on our European

:44:37.:44:40.

economic assets in Russia? That is what I am asking. You have to look

:44:41.:44:44.

at the consequences of what has already been announced. The Russian

:44:45.:44:49.

stock market is falling, today's newspapers show a doubling in the

:44:50.:44:54.

outflow of capital from Russia. What has been announced so far is already

:44:55.:44:59.

starting to hurt, and further sanctions will hurt more. Back to

:45:00.:45:03.

our colleague in Cambridge, we talked about Crimea, but I would

:45:04.:45:07.

suggest it is already lost, it is a done deal, and the big challenge now

:45:08.:45:12.

is with the mobilisation of the Russian army on the Ukraine border,

:45:13.:45:17.

with Russian television now spewing out regular propaganda that there

:45:18.:45:21.

has been a fascist takeover in Ukraine, that Akron provocateurs

:45:22.:45:26.

look as if they have arrived in the east as well to cause trouble, that

:45:27.:45:29.

the big issue is going to be what happens if and when Russia takes

:45:30.:45:35.

East Ukraine as well. Firstly, on Germany, Mrs Merkel has become the

:45:36.:45:41.

bugbear in the media, but she and the others in the European

:45:42.:45:45.

Conservative group, not the one that the British Tories are in, but the

:45:46.:45:49.

influential one, that group has said that they want to move towards

:45:50.:45:53.

Ukraine having a membership of the European Union. We are already

:45:54.:45:57.

talking about the association agreement being signed as soon as

:45:58.:46:02.

the summit in two weeks Carol time, so the idea that Germany is blocking

:46:03.:46:08.

sanctions, I don't agree. There is a huge Cold War frenzy on both sides,

:46:09.:46:13.

colleagues from the Baltic states are really worried that NATO will

:46:14.:46:17.

not stand by its defence commitments to them. On the Russian side, we are

:46:18.:46:23.

talking about this phrase, defend our compatriots, people killed in

:46:24.:46:32.

the demonstrations... I am trying to find out what you are going to do!

:46:33.:46:42.

We had to be sure that when politicians in Europe says serious

:46:43.:46:49.

consequences, they will follow them through. They called the European

:46:50.:46:53.

Union like the wizard of Oz. It pretends it has power but in reality

:46:54.:47:01.

it is weak. I call for, as does Douglas Alexander, for the foreign

:47:02.:47:05.

ministers meeting on Monday to make good those commitments so we can see

:47:06.:47:11.

we action in terms of these bands, asset freezes and other sanctions

:47:12.:47:14.

that really showed Putin that our words mean something in reality. We

:47:15.:47:19.

will leave it there. We have run out of time. How do we

:47:20.:47:29.

protect ourselves online? It's a question that's been troubling MEPs

:47:30.:47:32.

this week as they approved new regulations that would stop

:47:33.:47:34.

companies from sharing your data online without your permission. It

:47:35.:47:37.

all comes after last year's revelations from American

:47:38.:47:39.

whistle-blower Edward Snowden which claimed governments were even using

:47:40.:47:42.

mobile phone games like Angry Birds to spy on us. Now the inventor of

:47:43.:47:46.

the internet Sir Tim Berners-Lee says the UK needs to go even further

:47:47.:47:49.

than European regulations and come up with a new massive bill rights to

:47:50.:47:55.

cover everything we do online. We've just downloaded this report from

:47:56.:47:57.

Alex Forsyth who's been to Strasbourg to investigate.

:47:58.:48:09.

The intranet is embedded in our daily lives. Every minute, billions

:48:10.:48:15.

of bits of data are shared as we shop, talk, deal and play online.

:48:16.:48:21.

Recently there have been a stream of reports about how personal

:48:22.:48:25.

information is used, particularly allegations that some government

:48:26.:48:29.

agencies have been collecting vast quantities of data from e-mails,

:48:30.:48:32.

webcams and even the game to play on our phones. It has all caused some

:48:33.:48:39.

concern. My private life is private. This is the main problem. If

:48:40.:48:44.

everyone has access to my personal information, we have not a lot of

:48:45.:48:54.

information about security. When I use the intranet to talk to friends

:48:55.:48:58.

online, I want to make sure the information I enter here will not

:48:59.:49:02.

end up summer hours without my knowledge. MEPs say they have come

:49:03.:49:07.

up with regulations to protect our privacy. This regulation wants to

:49:08.:49:12.

create more privacy and wants to ensure you have growth on the

:49:13.:49:15.

internets. That is the future. In the future, we will be buying and

:49:16.:49:21.

selling more. We want to do it safely and securely. Firms with need

:49:22.:49:26.

permission to sell or share your data. There will be large fines for

:49:27.:49:31.

anyone who breaks the rules. They would need consent for profiling,

:49:32.:49:34.

that is when a user of online information to build up a picture of

:49:35.:49:38.

your life. Crucially, you would have the right to have all of your

:49:39.:49:41.

personal data in race from the internet if you want it. If you want

:49:42.:49:47.

the digital market and we need a digital market community to put this

:49:48.:49:51.

regulation in place as quickly as possible. It will be good for

:49:52.:49:57.

companies and it will preserve our data protection as a fundamental

:49:58.:50:02.

right. This week, regulators have had backing from the European

:50:03.:50:05.

Parliament. It has taken two years to get to this point. The tower be

:50:06.:50:10.

negotiated with the 28 member states before being recommended. That could

:50:11.:50:20.

cost businesses up to ?320 million a year. We are part of the single

:50:21.:50:27.

market. We should be part of a single set of rules. We're at an

:50:28.:50:32.

early stage. We have agreed to proceed with the regulation but we

:50:33.:50:36.

need to look at the detail and make sure the implications of it are

:50:37.:50:42.

sustainable and proportionate. The proposals have not had an entirely

:50:43.:50:45.

smooth path. The legislation is one of the most amended in the history

:50:46.:50:51.

of Parliament. It has met massive opposition. Most worrying to me is,

:50:52.:51:00.

I have had a letter signed by over 60 universities and medical and

:51:01.:51:04.

health research institutions, which are saying it'll make it harder for

:51:05.:51:07.

them to do their research because they have access to data which is

:51:08.:51:14.

very broad. They often do not know the identities of the individuals.

:51:15.:51:19.

Despite the concerns, this advert from the European commission makes

:51:20.:51:23.

it clear no one wants to feel exposed online. Current data

:51:24.:51:27.

protection law state from 1985 when 1% of us were on the internet. There

:51:28.:51:32.

is broad support for a new regulation for the whole of Europe.

:51:33.:51:35.

Agreement as to how that works will be harder. The European telecoms

:51:36.:51:47.

network is against us. The French consumer groups are worried about

:51:48.:51:51.

it. Digital Europe is worried about it. Does anyone back this? If you

:51:52.:51:58.

talk to some of the people who look forward to new services and exciting

:51:59.:52:03.

services, they say the current data protection laws date before the

:52:04.:52:06.

internet age. They need to be updated. What we have to do is get

:52:07.:52:10.

the right balance between making sure the services can take off

:52:11.:52:14.

innovation but also make sure people are comfortable with the data that

:52:15.:52:18.

is being shared. It is trying to achieve the right balance. We are

:52:19.:52:21.

comfortable with the data that is being shared. It is trying to

:52:22.:52:27.

achieve the right balance. We're not there yet. There are some concerns.

:52:28.:52:29.

Some of the fines proposed are disproportionate and could affect

:52:30.:52:31.

small companies. We have to work to the right balance. The bill has been

:52:32.:52:40.

amended 3999 times. Do you know what you're doing? I am not sure how that

:52:41.:52:50.

figure is. Neither and I -- am I. The word is very vague. In France,

:52:51.:53:02.

they say it is too vague. It says things like legitimate interest. It

:53:03.:53:10.

is too broad. I agree broadly with that. It is difficult to strike the

:53:11.:53:15.

right balance between allowing the right people to innovate and making

:53:16.:53:17.

sure that people 's data is protected. There is no doubt

:53:18.:53:22.

whatsoever that are now people wishing to sell goods or services

:53:23.:53:26.

who are targeting, profiling their customers, on the basis of where

:53:27.:53:30.

those people go, what their spending habits are and so one. That is, to

:53:31.:53:38.

my mind, and unacceptable abuse of individual weight. When consumers

:53:39.:53:42.

put data online or user loyalty card or something, they should be aware

:53:43.:53:46.

how the data is used. Ms consumers know a lot about this, more than

:53:47.:53:55.

politicians. -- most consumers. Companies will have to appoint a

:53:56.:54:00.

data protection officer or officers. I thought you were after less

:54:01.:54:05.

regulation. That is one of the proposals we are concerned about. We

:54:06.:54:10.

are still at a very early stage. We will get over 4000 amendments. It

:54:11.:54:16.

has to be discussed between the 28 member states and the European

:54:17.:54:19.

Parliament. What it shows is that we must be concerned that we do not cut

:54:20.:54:24.

off innovation by overly prescriptive forms like this. ) this

:54:25.:54:32.

would stop us being snooped upon. -- this would stop us being snooped

:54:33.:54:41.

upon. Nick Clegg said he was -- Nick Clegg was right about this. Fancy

:54:42.:54:48.

working for the EU? Well this is your week because one of the regular

:54:49.:54:51.

competitions to become a European civil servant opened for

:54:52.:54:54.

applications. Hopefuls have to go through a famously tough

:54:55.:54:56.

multi-lingual process called the concours. But just how hard is it to

:54:57.:55:01.

become a Eurocrat? Here's Adam with his latest A-Z of Europe, where R is

:55:02.:55:03.

for recruitment. To get here, most officials go

:55:04.:55:21.

through an infamous, multistage, multilingual process. I am going to

:55:22.:55:29.

get a taster of the concours. First of all, who am I up against?

:55:30.:55:36.

Probably be institutions have hired some between 1500 and 2000 people

:55:37.:55:42.

each year. Applicants have been between 60000 and 70,000 a year. It

:55:43.:55:48.

is really competitive. It is slightly less gruelling than it used

:55:49.:55:56.

to be. That always used to be a test of EU knowledge it was much

:55:57.:55:59.

criticised. It is one of the things that in our modernisation of the

:56:00.:56:03.

selection process we abolished. Sometimes those questions were very

:56:04.:56:07.

specialised. They were changed rapidly and you could probably only

:56:08.:56:11.

often prepare for that test. It helped a lot if you are already

:56:12.:56:17.

here. I think I can do with some preparation. There is a whole

:56:18.:56:21.

industry dedicated to that. This book shop in Brussels has a whole

:56:22.:56:26.

section devoted to passing the concours. This women coaches

:56:27.:56:34.

hopefuls for a fee. If I was trying to get through this process, what

:56:35.:56:39.

other main things I should be concentrating on? I would say, I

:56:40.:56:47.

will try, I will rephrase it like... If I want to go through the

:56:48.:56:56.

process... Slightly awkward pep talk over. It is test time. Like

:56:57.:57:04.

everyone, I'm going to do the first part in my mother tongue. Unlike

:57:05.:57:08.

everyone else, I am missing out part two because you have to do it in a

:57:09.:57:14.

second language and my French is a little bit rusty. Me luck! It says I

:57:15.:57:19.

will need to work quickly and accurately. According to a

:57:20.:57:30.

large-scale study... And hour later, and I am done. Well, all I can say

:57:31.:57:37.

is, that was very intense. You are up against the clock. The questions

:57:38.:57:41.

are really tough. You are putting quite a lot of pressure on yourself.

:57:42.:57:46.

I've got the results a few days later, at Schiphol airport in

:57:47.:57:52.

Amsterdam. If I get through, I will have another day of face-to-face

:57:53.:57:55.

exercises and then I will only go into recruitment pool with no

:57:56.:58:01.

guarantee of the job. So... Happy to confirm he did quite well, 28 out of

:58:02.:58:06.

40. Although I think they are just being nice. They go one to say I

:58:07.:58:10.

would not have passed most of the competitions I would have run but

:58:11.:58:14.

maybe I would have passed one of the easy ones. Oh, well! I think we are

:58:15.:58:22.

all happy to have not sat that test. How would you rate the quality of

:58:23.:58:27.

the European civil servants who have dealt with? Roy Jenkins said, he

:58:28.:58:33.

found brilliant people and useless people but not the reassuring

:58:34.:58:37.

mediocrity he knew from Britain 's civil service. The the test needs to

:58:38.:58:45.

be tough. The test needs to be tough because if you pass the test, you

:58:46.:58:49.

are into because she is number in public service. That is all we have

:58:50.:58:56.

time for today. Goodbye.

:58:57.:58:58.

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