27/03/2014 Daily Politics


27/03/2014

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn review Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage's Europe debate with Tim Montgomerie from The Times.


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Good afternoon, welcome to the Daily Politics. Britain's politicians are

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all over the energy market. Ofgem is referring the big six providers of

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our gas and electricity to the competition authorities. They might

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not report for two years. We will speak to the energy minister.

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Who did it for you? We will look at which one sword and which one sank

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in the Daily Politics spin room. Plain cigarette packaging is back in

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the spotlight, an imminent report into how effective the policy could

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be. We will investigate claims from the tobacco industry it could lead

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to more cigarettes being sold on the black market.

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And, are we facing a skills gap between what schools are teaching

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and what the economy needs? Lord Baker thinks so, he will tell us

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why. With us for the duration, the former

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editor of the Conservative home website, now of the times, Tim

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Montgomery. There will be a free vote on fox

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hunting before the next election, subject to having enough time in the

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parliamentary schedule. It is not exactly a packed schedule! The Prime

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Minister's hopes of taxing the rules to allow more dogs to flush out

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foxes have been quashed because he could not get coalition agreement.

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At PMQ 's, Angela Smith asked whether the government was

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considering amending the hunting act.

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As she knows, proposals were made on a cross-party basis to the

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Environment Secretary about an amendment to the hunting act that

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would help upland farmers in particular deal with the problem of

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boxes on their land. That letter is being considered. I regret to say I

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do not think there will be government agreement to go forward.

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14 months to the election, which will be decided on the economy, also

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reform, immigration, quality of schools, what has fox hunting got to

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do with it? And issued you have covered is the decline of Tory

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membership, the lack of activists. What the Conservative party has used

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are people like country sports enthusiasts, they have been flooded

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into an urban as through Ross said. To deliver leaflets that the Tory

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party does not have activists for. Did they bring the foxes with them?

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There are plenty where I am! Absolutely! It is a liberty issue

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for the Conservative party as well, but they need the fox hunting troops

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to park your make up for the lack of grassroots activists. That is the

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practical reason. Does it make good politics? No, because even in rural

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areas, the main concerns are housing and access to broadband. Fox hunting

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is not the biggest issue. If you look at the numbers participating in

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homes across the country, they are at record levels. It is still going

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on. Absolutely. You have sorted that out! It is time for our quiz. The

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BBC School report is running today, schoolchildren are being allowed to

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grill politicians and throw in the odd unexpected question. Tristram

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Hunt has been put in the hot seat, and he was asked what his favourite

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thing was about the Education Secretary Michael Gove. What was his

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answer? That he is sending his daughter to a state secondary

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school... ? His good manners? His enthusiasm for history? Or his

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wife? -- his wife's newspaper columns? We will have the correct

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and sat at the end of the show. Nigel Farage gave a brilliant

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performance according to UKIP, no surprise there!

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Nick Clegg was powerful and authoritative, according to the

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Liberal Democrats! We only deal in unbiased opinions and analysis! What

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about the real world? A poll just after the debate found that Nigel

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Farage one, 50 7% to 36%, though the chucking worm that they'd used did

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not show nearly that much of a gap. Here is a flavour.

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We have a total open door, unconditionally, to 485 million

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people, and they are the roles of the European Union. What you have

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heard is not true. This is a leaflet that his party distributed in the

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recent Eastleigh by-election. It says that 29 million Romanians and

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Bulgarians may come to this country, there are not even 29 million living

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in Rome area and Bulgaria. It is simply not true. You did not answer

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the basic question. I am not claiming 29 million people have the

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right to come to Britain, I am claiming 485 million people have the

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total unconditional right to come to this country if they want to. We

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should not be sacrificing a single job, a single job, just to fulfil

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this dogmatic view that we should turn our backs on the rest of the

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world and on Europe. I remember you and your gang, the big culprits,

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telling us 12 years ago that if we did not join the euros, all

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investment into Britain would cease, the City of London will disappear.

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Thank God we did not listen to you. Otherwise, we would be in one hell

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of a mess. White are countries like Ukraine keen to have another closer

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ties to the EU? The British government iron neared the

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enlargement of the EU so we would have more and rule of law in our

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European McCarthy would. We have given false hopes to the people in

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the west of Ukraine, they were so geed up, they topple their own

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elected leader, that provoked Vladimir Putin, and the EU does have

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blood on its hands in the Ukraine. I want us to be Great Britain, not

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little England. If you feel the same, now is the time to make your

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voice heard. Labour and the Conservatives will do nothing to

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stop us heading towards the exit. I am British, the best people to

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govern Britain are the British people, and by divorcing ourselves

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from this failed project, not only will be free Britain, we will

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provide a good example for much of the rest of Europe.

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I flavour of the debate. I am joined by two communications supremo 's.

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Let's see how good they are! The chief spinner for UKIP, and the

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former chief spinner for the Liberal Democrats. That was round one, round

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two is on the BBC next week. What will you advise your man to do next

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week, what improvements can he make? I am not going to give away

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any state secrets. You have not got any! We will be looking through, we

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will be doing a comprehensive debrief, going through the video

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footage, looking at all of the issues. What was the high point and

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low point? It was high in general, and the polling numbers should it,

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which surprised the metropolitan media bubble. It could not all be a

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high point, because that would not mean anything. What was the high

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point? The best bits that people would have connected to the

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questions on immigration and the effect of the compression of wages,

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youth unemployment, pressure on public services. That was the

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strongest argument? What would you advise your leader to do next week

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to improve his performance? Overall, both of them did quite

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well, speaking to their own markets. Both of them gave strong

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performances. If you were minded to support either of them. What was the

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high point for Nick Clegg was in the dissection of the poll, 50% of

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Labour supporters say that they are minded to support him, and that is

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precisely the thing that he wants, and 27% of conservatives. If I was

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advising both of them, and a few less statistics. You have just given

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statistics! I understand that you have an elite audience here! You are

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not trying to reach beyond... A good recovery! You will see the transfer

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to your bank account! I would reduce some of them, but they fundamental,

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they are part of the argument. If I was an ordinary punter watching,

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that is what I would change. Do you think Nigel Farage would regret

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saying that the EU has blood on its hands? Absolutely not. We were the

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first political party that broke out of the establishment consensus over

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Syria, and opposed military intervention. We were told we were

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being irresponsible. Then, the House of Commons voted the same way. Then,

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the Americans and French fell into line. In this case, field or reason

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outside the way to conduct foreign policy is to speak softly and carry

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a big stick. What the EU has done is shouted its mouth off while carrying

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a matchstick. It has given the western Ukrainian is false hopes of

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a future based on EU funds. That is a respectable line to take, that the

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EU overplayed its hand. But why does that give it blood on its hands?

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People have died, radio men and women, thinking the future was up

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for grabs. The EU for over a decade has been giving this false

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perspective -- prospectus to people in western Ukraine. The EU is the

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root of all evil? What Vladimir Putin has done is wrong, I do not

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blame the people of Ukraine for referring the EU to Vladimir Putin,

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any force, given that choice, would go for those -- for that option. But

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I blame it for giving them false hope and destabilising the country,

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part of the country is annexed and a long Russian shadow over the rest of

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it. I want to bring you back to one statistic, Nigel Farage said about

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75% of laws come from Europe, we cannot find anything to back that

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up, but Nick Clegg said that 7% of UK law is made in Brussels. He

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quoted the House of Commons Library. The finest researchers in this

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country have been to the House of Commons Library. 7% is only one

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figure with regard to statutes. The House of Commons research paper says

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that the figure, depending on which laws you take and the nature of

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them, could be anything between 15 and 50%. Read the small print. The

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evidence that I saw what the House of Commons Library evident. This was

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about laws that went through the House of Commons, as I understand

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it. Acts of Parliament put in place by the UK Parliament with EU

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influence, ten to 14%. What Nigel Farage did not do is sourced to 75%,

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did they make it up in the pub one night? We had a commission coming

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over to London and saying that over 70% of laws come from Brussels. That

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is your own commissioner speaking. Not mine. I do not distinguish the

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Liberal Democrats from the European project. I have my own commissioner

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in my pocket, right now! Don't you think that the Prime Minister should

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have been in this? I do not know, but what is clear is that both

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parties did well in their own terms. We have seen this historic decline,

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90% of the British people voting for the main two parties 40 or 50 years

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ago, now it is 70%. This kind of debate will institutionalise the

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fact that three, four or five parties are in party politics, which

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is a huge problem for Ed Miliband or David Cameron. They would not have

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addressed it by being in the debate, but the split in the electorate is a

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big problem. For parties means it is catching up with Scotland, Wales and

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Northern Ireland, we are a complete United Kingdom. It is a four party

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system in each of the goods that you are in each of the goods that you

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part. Kuwaiti rooting for? -- who were you rooting for? I was

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supporting UKIP, it is where I agree with Tony Blair, -- Tony Benn, we

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should be allowed to change the politicians who make our laws, we

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should not have unaccountable bureaucrats deciding how we govern.

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Preaching to the converted, do you think anybody switched as a result?

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I do not think... It was not preaching to the converted, you know

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where we are in the opinion polls, so if you are saying there is a 36%

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who are minded, and some people in the Labour Party said Nick Clegg

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stood up for staying in Europe, and we will lead him our vote in May,

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that is precisely the kind of thing that brings some joy to some quite

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tough polls. I agree on that, but we took a leadership of that much

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bigger, broader community in Britain that are fundamentally Eurosceptic,

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and Nigel was the champion. Are you enjoying going over to the dark

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side? I'm loving it. Won't this mean having a real job, like a

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journalist. Thank you both. Come back and serious after next week.

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Both Labour and the Conservatives are claiming they are not that

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interested in yesterday's debate that don't believe a word of it.

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While it is the prevailing view that it is the Tories that suffer when

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UKIP do well, there is a theory that Labour could do well -- be harmed

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when you could go on the march. Nigel Farage addressed the issue of

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whether support was coming from when he spoke to Andrew a couple of weeks

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ago. You seem to be in an impossible position, because the better you do

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in the election, the less chance there will be a referendum by 2020.

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No, no, no, look at the numbers. Only a third of the voters we have

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our Conservative. When we have polled voters who, to us, whether

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they are Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and we ask who

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wait -- they would vote for, less than one in five say they would vote

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Conservative. Less than one in five UKIP voters would be tempted to vote

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Conservative under any circumstances. That was Nigel Farage

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talking to Andrew a few weeks ago. He was a bit rattled by that. I was

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poking him with a cattle prod. I am joined by Matthew Goodwin who has

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just written a book with fellow academic Robert Ford which looks at

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the rise of UKIP in British politics and where their current level of

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support comes from. Welcome to the programme. You have a party that

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started off with just 1% of the vote 20 years ago and now are on track

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for victory in this year's European elections. UKIP has come a long way

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from its humble beginnings as an anti-EU pressure group. We analysed

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almost 6000 UKIP voters but we also tracked the party support over the

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last ten years, so were not just looking at the opinion polls this

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year, and what the party will do in 2015, and it shows that this kind of

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revolt has been a long time coming and has been building amongst the

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1970s among particular groups, working class, old, unskilled, low

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educated people people who feel left behind by Britain's economic

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transformation and were the first to be hit by the crisis. Do you dispute

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the claim that the majority of support comes from Tories in ex-oil?

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Right now the support comes from conservatives -- in Excel. But the

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support has been building for some time. In 2010 we found it actually

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came from disillusioned Labour supporters. And where would these

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voters be if UKIP were not in British politics right now? Would

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they be going to the Conservatives? Unlikely. They should, under the

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current reality go towards the Labour Party which is why there are

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big questions for them. You say it's been a long time coming. What are

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the conditions that have brought these people together and led to a

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rise in support, fairly recently for UKIP? A lot of this is about social

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and value divides in Britain. UKIP is a symptom of division within our

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society. It's not so much interesting in terms of Nigel Farage

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on the party, it is telling us something about Britain, and the

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deep division between those who have been left behind and those who have

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the skills and education to adapt and prosper. How worried are you buy

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that analysis? And if you look at the polls today, it is the Tory

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suffering in terms of bleeding support to UKIP. If David Cameron

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could design a puzzling -- opposing leader and Chancellor, he would come

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up with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. I do disagree with Matthew on one

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thing. Conservative Party that wins a majority does need to be winning

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the kind of Labour voters are disgruntled with Ed Miliband. That

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is the kind of person that Norman Tebbit, when he was party chairman

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in the 80s, reached. The Conservative Party was brought.

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Every successful Conservative leader keeps the centre-right coalition

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together and David Cameron has failed to do that during his

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leadership. Is it then a mistake for David Cameron and the Tory

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leadership to present the sort of policies that some Tory backbenchers

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would like to counter what they see as the rise of UKIP?

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Anti-immigration, rhetoric around that, more Eurosceptic things,

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because you could end -- alienate the centre ground which most people

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think you need to win. Absolutely. This is the big challenge for

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Cameron. One of the misunderstandings is will go away if

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you give them a referendum. If you promise a net content migration,

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they will go away. But their polling has been stubbornly resilient to

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those promises and that is because the vote is not about instrumental

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public policy offers. This is about the heart more than the head. It's

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an emotional reaction in the sense that Britain isn't going in the

:20:45.:20:47.

direction that these voters wanted to go. So it has almost been a waste

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pursuing those policies by David Cameron in order to counter a threat

:20:54.:20:56.

when that is not really what UKIP is about. If David Cameron had not

:20:57.:21:03.

given the in or out referendum pledge he would be in a weaker

:21:04.:21:06.

position. But it is a broad phenomenon. We see the tea party in

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the United States, and the rise across Europe of people losing out

:21:10.:21:18.

from the global economy. Michael Heseltine said on this programme

:21:19.:21:21.

that he thought it was a racist party and a protest party. Is that

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completely wrong? It's not simply a political process. It's a knee jerk

:21:28.:21:35.

reaction to the voters there. The feel -- they feel strongly about a

:21:36.:21:38.

specific set of issues. In Westminster we need to get away with

:21:39.:21:41.

the obsession of what UKIP will do in 2015 and ask what the party tells

:21:42.:21:44.

us about the divisions within society. Matthew, thank you very

:21:45.:21:50.

much. If all that whetted your appetite, tune in next Wednesday for

:21:51.:21:54.

the BBC debate with Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, which is on BBC Two at

:21:55.:22:01.

7pm. We will, won't we? We certainly will. Every minute of it. It is an

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issue that has troubled consumers through a number of years, domestic

:22:07.:22:10.

energy prices rising above the rate of inflation and earnings. While

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there were questions over whether the privatised electricity and gas

:22:15.:22:18.

markets have been competitive enough to give come -- customers a fair

:22:19.:22:21.

deal. Now there will be a full-blown competition enquiry and Joe has the

:22:22.:22:26.

details. I do. In the last six years electricity bills have risen by 39%

:22:27.:22:32.

and gas bills by almost two thirds over the same period. Critics argue

:22:33.:22:36.

that with only six companies supplying 95% of need, the market

:22:37.:22:41.

has failed. And that the size of those companies, their foreign

:22:42.:22:47.

ownership, and the fact they both produce energy and supplies makes it

:22:48.:22:50.

impossible to work out whether they are giving us a fair deal or

:22:51.:22:54.

profiteering. It is an issue that Ed Miliband has seized on. Last October

:22:55.:22:58.

the Labour leader said that he would freeze prices for 20 months and

:22:59.:23:04.

replaced the regulator, and break up the gas and electricity companies to

:23:05.:23:12.

make them more transparent. Yesterday SSE said they would freeze

:23:13.:23:16.

prices and split the company into separate generating and retail arms,

:23:17.:23:20.

with the suggestion they were pre-empting the Labour policy. But

:23:21.:23:24.

David Cameron said the SSE decision was down to his cut in the eco-levy.

:23:25.:23:29.

This morning off Jim said there was possible tacit coordination over

:23:30.:23:34.

price hikes and referred the companies to the markets authority

:23:35.:23:38.

which has the power to break them up -- this morning off Jim said --

:23:39.:23:41.

OFGEM said. Don't hold your breath. The enquiry alone is expected to

:23:42.:23:47.

take 18 months. In the last hour, Ed Davey explained why they would be an

:23:48.:23:52.

investigation despite the risk. A market investigation reference is a

:23:53.:23:55.

course of action that should not be lightly undertaken, especially when

:23:56.:24:00.

the energy market is going through radical changes to introduce new,

:24:01.:24:06.

low carbon generation while ensuring security of supply. But tackling

:24:07.:24:10.

these issues through the authorities provides confidence for investors

:24:11.:24:15.

and customers that the process will be evidence -based, fair and just

:24:16.:24:18.

and free from political interference. We can now speak to

:24:19.:24:24.

Richard Lloyd from the consumer organisation Which. You must welcome

:24:25.:24:31.

this. This is the right thing to do. There's been such a cloud of

:24:32.:24:33.

suspicion hanging over the industry, and what we now have is an

:24:34.:24:39.

independent investigation back and get to the bottom of what is going

:24:40.:24:42.

on. But this is a huge moment for the suppliers, in particular the

:24:43.:24:46.

biggest suppliers. We want to see them get on with putting customers

:24:47.:24:49.

at the heart of their business and getting their costs under control,

:24:50.:24:53.

and trading more transparently, whatever happens in the

:24:54.:24:56.

investigation. They should do that rather than threaten to turn the

:24:57.:24:58.

lights out if it doesn't go their way. It is a pivotal moment. It is

:24:59.:25:02.

make or break the big energy suppliers. And it will be, I hope,

:25:03.:25:07.

good for consumers in the longer run. But as you rightly said, don't

:25:08.:25:10.

hold your breath it won't happen overnight. Nothing is going to

:25:11.:25:15.

change for at least two years, so one of the questions is, when you

:25:16.:25:19.

look at other markets, like the supermarket, for instance, there

:25:20.:25:23.

doesn't seem to be a problem with them being more competitive on

:25:24.:25:28.

pricing. Why hasn't it worked for the big six energy companies? Have

:25:29.:25:30.

you failed as a consumer organisation to some extent? One of

:25:31.:25:36.

the interesting things about the OFGEM report today is that they say

:25:37.:25:39.

there is a clear evidence of a lack of competition and it has not worked

:25:40.:25:42.

in the market. We and they have known that for years. They've tried

:25:43.:25:46.

to tackle it through changing the rule book, making the market a bit

:25:47.:25:50.

more simple, getting more liquidity into the wholesale market, but

:25:51.:25:55.

everyone agrees that that hasn't gone far enough and there is still a

:25:56.:25:57.

huge number of consumers sitting on the same expensive tariffs, paying

:25:58.:26:04.

way over the odds, potentially a couple of hundred pounds a year or

:26:05.:26:10.

more, so the suppliers know people don't switch around and it's too

:26:11.:26:13.

confusing and complicated. There is the suspicion of the vertically

:26:14.:26:19.

integrated companies that sell themselves power and sell it on to

:26:20.:26:23.

consumers. And it's right to have a look at those things. But at the

:26:24.:26:27.

same time, OFGEM needs to show it is for tackling those problems in the

:26:28.:26:33.

market at the same time. In effect, we have a parallel process going

:26:34.:26:37.

on. It has to have the consumer welfare as part -- at its heart.

:26:38.:26:43.

Listening to that, the energy minister and the shadow energy

:26:44.:26:49.

minister. Michael Farren, why did it take you so long to work there was

:26:50.:26:53.

something wrong with market? We have been reforming the market ever since

:26:54.:26:58.

we came into office. They used to be 400 different tariffs and we have

:26:59.:27:03.

simplified them, and they will be easier for independent suppliers to

:27:04.:27:09.

compete against the big six. We have reformed the market as we have gone

:27:10.:27:13.

enough -- along. Well, busily not enough. This is great news that the

:27:14.:27:18.

competition authorities have overlooked at the energy market and

:27:19.:27:24.

it will be welcome to the consumers and companies themselves because

:27:25.:27:27.

they will have more certainty. One of the great reforms you talked

:27:28.:27:31.

about was designed to make people -- easier for people to switch. The

:27:32.:27:36.

number of electricity transfers fell by 20% between 2011 and 2013. There

:27:37.:27:43.

was a drop in the switch after the mis-selling allegations, but that is

:27:44.:27:47.

one of the key issues they will investigate. What is the right level

:27:48.:27:51.

of switching? Should switching be higher than it is? Why is it easy to

:27:52.:27:56.

switch your mobile phone provider? Why do people find it easier than

:27:57.:28:00.

switching an energy supplier. That's a key part of the any of the

:28:01.:28:04.

investigation. Is it not convenient for you because it kicks the issue

:28:05.:28:07.

into the long grass into the run-up to the election? It's not the long

:28:08.:28:12.

grass. They are under the floodlights. They will have to

:28:13.:28:15.

answer questions and will be forensically investigated. Allowing

:28:16.:28:21.

people like you to say you cannot comment until the investigation is

:28:22.:28:27.

over. We have time-limited. It can't be longer than 18 months and we will

:28:28.:28:30.

get the answer long before two years. It's important this is taken

:28:31.:28:34.

out of party politics. People make claims, and the Labour Party have

:28:35.:28:36.

been all over the place on whether its right to have vertical

:28:37.:28:39.

integration or whether the profits are too large. Let's have it

:28:40.:28:43.

investigated out of party politics and we get the answer we need. Does

:28:44.:28:48.

the Labour Party welcome this? Yes, but the point Richard Lloyd made,

:28:49.:28:51.

that doesn't mean nothing should happen while this goes on. We have

:28:52.:28:56.

set out a package of reforms that we are consulting on, and we are listed

:28:57.:29:00.

in 2015 we will take those forward. Let me go through with that. If you

:29:01.:29:07.

win next May, the competition commission investigation will be

:29:08.:29:11.

ongoing, but you will proceed with your price freeze in the middle of

:29:12.:29:16.

the investigation? We will proceed with the price freeze and the

:29:17.:29:19.

reforms we set out. That's interesting. I can see why you might

:29:20.:29:22.

want to proceed with the price freeze, but why would you proceed

:29:23.:29:27.

with substantial market reforms until you have read the

:29:28.:29:31.

investigation conclusions and the work of the competition commission?

:29:32.:29:35.

There are two issues. One is about transparency in the market, and one

:29:36.:29:40.

is about the competitive behaviour. Obviously the commission will do

:29:41.:29:43.

their work and if we are in position in government we will reflect on

:29:44.:29:45.

what they come out with at the end, but the other issues we've

:29:46.:29:49.

identified in the Green paper which we are consulting on, are about

:29:50.:29:53.

bringing transparency to the market which is woefully lacking. SSE's

:29:54.:29:56.

decision in relation to their generation and supply business

:29:57.:30:00.

indicate that the issues around trust are not just about being

:30:01.:30:04.

competitive it's also about transparency. You won't know for

:30:05.:30:08.

sure that the market is anti-competitive or if there is

:30:09.:30:11.

tacit price-fixing going on, and you won't know for sure if there is

:30:12.:30:14.

something going wrong between the wholesale and retail markets until

:30:15.:30:18.

you've read the full investigation. Because at the moment, you don't

:30:19.:30:27.

know. But we know there is an element of self supply between the

:30:28.:30:30.

companies, that there have been issues around liquidity, and we are

:30:31.:30:46.

in a situation where small companies... Transparency is key for

:30:47.:30:51.

the small companies. The investigation should be done by

:30:52.:30:56.

independent, academic experts, you cannot say profits and prices are

:30:57.:30:59.

too high and then say there is a lack of transparency and you do not

:31:00.:31:04.

know what they are. Do not misrepresent me, the issues around

:31:05.:31:07.

transparency or around the weight in which the trading functions, in the

:31:08.:31:14.

price that people are paying. Transparency is needed to get trust

:31:15.:31:20.

back, people do not trust their suppliers or the industry. We have

:31:21.:31:28.

major capacity shortages looming, and the government said it is

:31:29.:31:33.

looking for ?100 billion of fresh investment between 2015 and the end

:31:34.:31:38.

of the decade to create new capacity. The big six were already

:31:39.:31:43.

not investing much before you announced this, are you assuming

:31:44.:31:46.

they will not invest anything until this investigation is over? They

:31:47.:31:51.

have known about this, they are continuing to invest. SSA have just

:31:52.:31:58.

pulled out. Centrica pulled out of Hinckley, then EDF replace them. We

:31:59.:32:03.

have had billions invested in renewables, plenty of interest in

:32:04.:32:09.

our market reform, to replace the capacity that is ageing and needs to

:32:10.:32:12.

be replaced. This is not going to delay investment. So why every year

:32:13.:32:19.

have you added less new capacity than capacity to have closed and

:32:20.:32:26.

mothballed? It takes time to build a nuclear power station, we have done

:32:27.:32:31.

that now, the first nuclear power station for 25 years, we have had

:32:32.:32:34.

the two biggest wind farms in the world opened last year, there are

:32:35.:32:40.

formal under construction, a wave of other investment in renewables, and

:32:41.:32:44.

plenty of interest in our contracts which will be advertised in the

:32:45.:32:49.

autumn and in the capacity market, which is our reserve supply. Do you

:32:50.:32:55.

accept you are not replacing capacity as quickly as you are

:32:56.:32:58.

closing old capacity? We need to go faster, old capacity is being taken

:32:59.:33:03.

of the system because the previous government failed to invest, and

:33:04.:33:09.

signed up to commitments. We are running to catch up with a legacy of

:33:10.:33:14.

underinvestment. We are talking about electricity and gas prices, I

:33:15.:33:21.

welcome our viewers from Scotland. How much spare capacity will be have

:33:22.:33:28.

next winter? Sufficient capacity. It gets tighter, I cannot give the

:33:29.:33:37.

exact figure, in the winter of 2015/16 and 2016/17. But that is

:33:38.:33:44.

only if nothing is done. We are considering bringing some mothballed

:33:45.:33:48.

plants back into service. There is only going to be a crisis if nothing

:33:49.:33:54.

is done. That has been rejected, the gas company will not do it. There

:33:55.:34:02.

are many of bald gas plants. The major one that you wanted, S S E

:34:03.:34:11.

said it would not be available. Some are available and some are

:34:12.:34:15.

withdrawn, it is Ofgem's job to make sure there is sufficient capacity

:34:16.:34:19.

will stop we will only have a shortage if nothing is done. What

:34:20.:34:25.

can you do between now and 2016? You can bring unit back on. There are a

:34:26.:34:32.

series of mothballed stations and units that they are looking at. Is

:34:33.:34:37.

it true you have got diesel generator parks over the country,

:34:38.:34:42.

ready to click in? No, we do not need diesel. There are mothballed

:34:43.:34:48.

units of existing stations that can be brought on. Are you telling our

:34:49.:34:54.

viewers that diesel generation is not part of any back-up plan? I do

:34:55.:35:00.

not know the number of diesel units that there are. Over 300. It would

:35:01.:35:08.

be hard to think of anything generating more carbon dioxide. I

:35:09.:35:16.

will look at those for you. But there is sufficient capacity that

:35:17.:35:20.

can be put back onto the system other and Ofgem and the National

:35:21.:35:23.

Grid have been charged with that, making sure that the margin of

:35:24.:35:27.

capacity does not tighten in those winters. If there is a need for big

:35:28.:35:32.

investment, and there will still be, if Labour continues with the

:35:33.:35:39.

price freeze and reform the market even before you have seen the

:35:40.:35:43.

competition report, there is no chance of a single pound of fresh

:35:44.:35:49.

investment from the big six under Labour until that happens. Look at

:35:50.:35:54.

what S S E said yesterday, they are instituted part of the reform

:35:55.:36:00.

package, and they are still investing significant amounts. It

:36:01.:36:06.

works out at 1.5 million pounds a day. It is a significant amount. The

:36:07.:36:14.

investments they have pulled out from, they are not happening, but

:36:15.:36:18.

the people are coming in, and there is a difference between the big

:36:19.:36:27.

six's investment. The investment will not all come from the big six,

:36:28.:36:31.

but it will still come, but only if we have a long-term policy framework

:36:32.:36:37.

for the future. So much more to ask, but we need to move on.

:36:38.:36:42.

Yesterday, there were reports that there may have been a sizeable

:36:43.:36:46.

rebellion of Labour MPs voting against the government's proposed

:36:47.:36:51.

welfare cap. The idea put forward by George Osborne in the budget would

:36:52.:36:55.

in future sea limits set at the beginning of each Parliament. Labour

:36:56.:36:59.

had said they would support the measure, but a number of MPs were

:37:00.:37:05.

unhappy. Only 13 Labour MPs defied their party whip and voted against

:37:06.:37:11.

the measure. This is the key point that I would

:37:12.:37:20.

make to those people opposite, this welfare cap brings responsibility,

:37:21.:37:24.

accountability and fairness. Those who want to unto our welfare reforms

:37:25.:37:28.

will now have to tell us about the other cuts they will make all come

:37:29.:37:32.

clean and admit to the public that what they really want are higher

:37:33.:37:38.

welfare bills. We support capping Social Security spending, a policy

:37:39.:37:43.

the leader of the opposition advocated last year, and with

:37:44.:37:48.

welfare spending now ?13 billion higher than the government planned

:37:49.:37:53.

in its Spending Review, we will make different and fairer choices to get

:37:54.:37:57.

the Social Security Bill under control and tackle the root causes

:37:58.:38:02.

of rising spending. On that basis, we will support this motion this

:38:03.:38:08.

afternoon. I am one of the few people in here who have been a

:38:09.:38:13.

recipient of benefits, there will not be any on that side of the

:38:14.:38:18.

house. I was proud to get a job and that the company got be back to

:38:19.:38:24.

work, and I was not a benefit cheat, as some of these people what have

:38:25.:38:29.

you believe. I will welfare system should be based on the facts, it

:38:30.:38:34.

should be based on need, whatever short-term political advantage

:38:35.:38:37.

people think is gained by voting for the cap, it is outweighed by what is

:38:38.:38:41.

problematic. I will not be voting for this cap in the lobbies tonight.

:38:42.:38:47.

I listened to what the honourable baby -- honourable lady said, at no

:38:48.:38:53.

point she think about the other side of the coin, the people referred to

:38:54.:38:57.

by my honourable friend, the people who have to pay the bills. They have

:38:58.:39:02.

needs and requirements, and many low-paid people have to pay the

:39:03.:39:06.

bills, she never mentioned them. To acquiesce to this nonsense that

:39:07.:39:10.

piles more pain on our poorest pensioners, and low income families,

:39:11.:39:16.

would be a failure of leadership, and a betrayal of the people of

:39:17.:39:19.

Scotland who elected us, and who have the right to deserve better.

:39:20.:39:28.

Joining me now is one of the Labour rebels, Diane Abbott. Why did you

:39:29.:39:33.

vote against it? If we vote for a benefit cap, we are locked in to

:39:34.:39:39.

Tory benefit cuts, and whilst I believe we need to bring down

:39:40.:39:44.

spending on welfare, and we can do it by introducing a national living

:39:45.:39:47.

wage, Patrick cuts would be counter-productive. Ed Balls has

:39:48.:39:52.

said you would have different priorities, you would be able to

:39:53.:39:57.

stick to the spending cap on welfare by cutting different things, the

:39:58.:40:01.

bedroom tax, as Labour would call it. I was in the chamber, George

:40:02.:40:06.

Osborne challenged him on the detail of the benefits cut package. To

:40:07.:40:13.

everything George Osborne said, Ed Balls nodded. You have to believe we

:40:14.:40:19.

are locked into the Tory cuts. If you are not going to agree to any

:40:20.:40:23.

cuts, how are you going to bring the bill down? By putting up the living

:40:24.:40:31.

wage, so we are not spending on tax credits, by building housing so we

:40:32.:40:35.

are not pouring millions into housing benefit. There after short

:40:36.:40:40.

things you can do to bring down welfare over a Parliament. But with

:40:41.:40:45.

an annual cap, you are locked into the cuts. Tim will say it is popular

:40:46.:40:50.

with the public, George Osborne was swaggering around, he is putting the

:40:51.:40:55.

layabouts to the sword. But over a lifetime, he will all be the

:40:56.:41:02.

recipient of some sort of Social Security, whether it is child

:41:03.:41:06.

benefit or the pension. It is whether people will believe you will

:41:07.:41:12.

do anything about it. Tim, what do you say to what Diane has said? The

:41:13.:41:16.

Labour Party does not have credibility, they have opposed the

:41:17.:41:21.

welfare cuts and almost every card that the government has made. The

:41:22.:41:26.

great thing they needed to do was to establish fiscal credibility, that

:41:27.:41:30.

they could be trusted again. Ed Balls has signed up to it. They made

:41:31.:41:35.

an 11th hour effort to show some could ability, but what -- but if

:41:36.:41:43.

they were really bold, they could take on the coalition on protecting

:41:44.:41:46.

older pensioners' benefit. What's you could say is unfair is that

:41:47.:41:52.

working age people are bearing a disproportionate share of the

:41:53.:41:57.

burden. But like the other parties, they are afraid to tackle the issue,

:41:58.:42:02.

because older voters are numerous and vote twice as often as young

:42:03.:42:07.

people. The cap is going to increase, there will be more

:42:08.:42:10.

spending on welfare. George Osborne has said they plan to take a further

:42:11.:42:17.

?12 billion out, so where else would you take it? Things are going to be

:42:18.:42:26.

cut. A lot of effort to get more people into work. We have data

:42:27.:42:30.

showing there are 500,000 fewer households where nobody works will

:42:31.:42:35.

stop in terms of this coalition's achievements, I would put that near

:42:36.:42:38.

the top, work is the root to prosperity. What kind of jobs?

:42:39.:42:46.

Agency work? Low-paid work? It is to be subsidised by tax credit. You are

:42:47.:42:54.

out of date. I live in Hackney! The number of people getting full-time

:42:55.:42:59.

work is growing. A lot of them are not ideal jobs... Less than ideal.

:43:00.:43:06.

The problem is changing. It is better to have people in part-time

:43:07.:43:10.

work than the problems of previous recessions. The jobs miracle is

:43:11.:43:17.

that. I would not call it a miracle. Encouraging people to scapegoat

:43:18.:43:24.

benefit claimants is the nasty party back with a vengeance.

:43:25.:43:30.

You were at Tony Benn's tunable. It was really my thing -- it was really

:43:31.:43:37.

moving, they had Jerusalem, William Blake, his children all gave a

:43:38.:43:45.

testimony, and his brother spoke about him. It was a gathering of the

:43:46.:43:51.

left. A moving occasion. Michael Heseltine was there. Westminster

:43:52.:43:59.

Abbey? Just around the corner. Consider yourself our official

:44:00.:44:03.

correspondence. The issue of plain cigarette

:44:04.:44:06.

packaging caused headaches for the government last year. First it was

:44:07.:44:11.

going to be introduced, then it was not, then an enquiry. The report has

:44:12.:44:16.

come out of the long grass, the coalition will be forced to look at

:44:17.:44:20.

the issue again. Tobacco companies are claiming plain packaging could

:44:21.:44:23.

lead to an increase in black-market cigarettes.

:44:24.:44:33.

We all know smoking is bad for your health, successive governments have

:44:34.:44:40.

tried to stop people sparking up, whether through hefty taxes or the

:44:41.:44:43.

smoking ban. The idea of standardised packs bearing little

:44:44.:44:47.

but a health warning was reignited recently. They are already in place

:44:48.:44:53.

in Australia. The idea is they make cigarettes less appealing,

:44:54.:44:57.

especially to young smokers. These are Australian packs. No matter the

:44:58.:45:02.

brand, they look the same. The industry claimed the lack of

:45:03.:45:06.

markings make it easy to fake them, which could lead to a rise in

:45:07.:45:12.

illegal and counterfeit cigarettes. We start of the top, then works out

:45:13.:45:19.

towards Pimlico. This ex-policeman now works for tobacco giant Philip

:45:20.:45:22.

Morris, and his team travelled the country to assess the illicit travel

:45:23.:45:27.

-- tobacco market, unlike his employer, he says plain packs could

:45:28.:45:31.

make things worse. In counterfeit currency we had to keep ahead of

:45:32.:45:35.

them by putting in normal security measures in. Then overnight, most of

:45:36.:45:39.

the measures would be removed and instead of counterfeiting hundreds

:45:40.:45:44.

of types of brands, they only have to copy one, and the whole market is

:45:45.:45:48.

so not. His team want to remain anonymous because they go into shops

:45:49.:45:51.

to buy illicit tobacco from research and then refer illegal activity to

:45:52.:45:54.

trading standards. They claim it's easy to find. Sometimes they will

:45:55.:46:01.

come out from behind the counter, or they will be in behind packets of

:46:02.:46:05.

cornflakes and things, so these are ?3 50 a packet, and Marlboro

:46:06.:46:12.

cigarette you can get for ?8 a packet, the legitimate price, and we

:46:13.:46:16.

are getting them for around ?5 per packet. There is no dispute the

:46:17.:46:22.

illegal tobacco trade exists, whether counterfeit cigarettes all

:46:23.:46:25.

real brands smuggled in to avoid tax. But HM RC says the market has

:46:26.:46:30.

halved since the year 2000. Many claim there is no evidence that

:46:31.:46:34.

standardised packs were affected, saying it is a myth peddled by the

:46:35.:46:37.

tobacco industry which wants to keep advertising brands. The industry

:46:38.:46:44.

data, until 2011 when plain packaging was discussed, was similar

:46:45.:46:48.

to government data and other independent data. Suddenly the

:46:49.:46:51.

possibility of plain packaging was discussed and industry data shows an

:46:52.:46:56.

increase in illicit tobacco which seems false. The tobacco industry

:46:57.:47:00.

cannot be trusted. The arguments are false and should be seen for what

:47:01.:47:04.

they are, a PR ploy aiming to derail the legislation. We don't yet have

:47:05.:47:09.

standardised packaging so there's no impact invested -- impact data. In

:47:10.:47:15.

Australia, where the plane packets were introduced in 2012, there are

:47:16.:47:19.

different interpretations of data, but Customs said it does not appear

:47:20.:47:24.

to have had a significant impact on illicit tobacco import. In the UK,

:47:25.:47:28.

an independent report is due imminently and will no doubt spark

:47:29.:47:32.

further debate about whether it should be introduced here. Still

:47:33.:47:39.

with me is Diane Abbott, the former shadow public health minister, and

:47:40.:47:42.

joining Mrs Simon Clark, the director of the dash and joining us

:47:43.:47:50.

is Simon Clark. We heard that the tobacco industry can't be trusted

:47:51.:47:53.

with the data and will do anything to advertise, but surely anything

:47:54.:47:56.

lowering the number of deaths from smoking is a good thing. The

:47:57.:47:59.

government talks about evidence -based policy that there's no

:48:00.:48:02.

evidence that the plain packaging would reduce youth smoking rates.

:48:03.:48:06.

I'm 54 and I don't know a single smoker who started smoking as a

:48:07.:48:09.

teenager or later because they were attracted to the packaging. It's

:48:10.:48:14.

nonsense. I have only ever heard to ex-smokers who were attracted by the

:48:15.:48:19.

packaging, and they were politicians who were both Junior health

:48:20.:48:22.

spokesman, which says everything. We can't introduce it if there is no

:48:23.:48:26.

evidence for it and your report shows that illicit trade is a

:48:27.:48:28.

problem and we don't want to do anything that might exacerbate that.

:48:29.:48:33.

Let's ask the politician and former health minister whether you will

:48:34.:48:36.

back up the claims made by Simon that you just put out this policy

:48:37.:48:43.

with no evidence? That's nonsense. There have been major studies done

:48:44.:48:47.

by scientists and doctors about this, and all of the medical

:48:48.:48:50.

organisations support plain packaging. Can you explain what the

:48:51.:49:01.

studies actually are? The doctors want plain packaging because they

:49:02.:49:04.

believe it will help to bear down on levels of smoking. Let's not forget,

:49:05.:49:09.

smoking is not a harmless pastime, it's one of the biggest sources of

:49:10.:49:16.

cancer. To be honest with you, I'd rather believe a doctor than the

:49:17.:49:21.

tobacco industry lobbyist. The point I want to make is that one of the

:49:22.:49:27.

reason why the Tories have been reluctant is Lynton Crosby politics,

:49:28.:49:30.

a penny off the point, and you can have your fags as well. It's

:49:31.:49:36.

appealing to the UKIP voter. Is there evidence, and it's been

:49:37.:49:39.

introduced in Australia, and it's only been a year, and it's not a

:49:40.:49:42.

long enough time to give proper data, but interestingly, there has

:49:43.:49:48.

been a 0.3% increase from 2012 in the amount of tobacco smoke. It's a

:49:49.:49:52.

very small increase in new can't say it is conclusive. So what is the

:49:53.:49:56.

evidence that plain packaging would reduce the number of people who

:49:57.:50:00.

smoke? Doctors are convinced it is an important measure. When we

:50:01.:50:05.

introduced the ban on smoking in pubs and bars and they said that

:50:06.:50:12.

would do -- no one said that would do anything, but levels of childhood

:50:13.:50:16.

asthma drop. We're talking about health charities and doctors and

:50:17.:50:20.

cancer charities and they all say it will reduce the number of young

:50:21.:50:24.

people who start smoking who are attracted to the idea of colourful

:50:25.:50:28.

cigarette packaging. It's just nonsense. Are you saying they are

:50:29.:50:35.

all wrong? I'm saying it's based on conjecture. They ask basic groups,

:50:36.:50:41.

focus groups of 15-year-olds and they showed the plain packaging

:50:42.:50:44.

which is covered in grotesque images and then they showed them the

:50:45.:50:47.

current cigarette packaging and say which do you prefer. It's like

:50:48.:50:50.

showing a child a picture of a Lamborghini and a beaten up for

:50:51.:50:54.

their school, and ask which one you prefer? It's not a real-world

:50:55.:50:58.

situation -- a beaten up Ford Escort. I'm more interested in the

:50:59.:51:04.

electronic cigarette revolution which gets people of smoking. It

:51:05.:51:08.

doesn't have the tar which causes the health problems but still has

:51:09.:51:11.

the nicotine. The European regulation of that industry is the

:51:12.:51:14.

real threat to public health. I think we have to finish it there.

:51:15.:51:17.

I'm sure we will have you back on the programme about the subject. Are

:51:18.:51:22.

we teaching our pupils the right skills for the economy? The former

:51:23.:51:26.

Conservative Education Secretary Lord Baker thinks not. He wants more

:51:27.:51:30.

emphasis on vocational skills and more schools that specialise in

:51:31.:51:33.

so-called stem subjects like science, technology, engineering and

:51:34.:51:38.

maths. Lord Baker chose a group of technical colleges which aims to do

:51:39.:51:41.

that, and we will get his thoughts, but first we can speak to Moira

:51:42.:51:45.

Green, a principle of one such college in Elstree. Welcome to the

:51:46.:51:48.

programme. Tell us what your college specialises in. We specialise in the

:51:49.:51:54.

technical aspects of the entertainment and film industry,

:51:55.:51:59.

things like postproduction, lighting and sound. We make sure that

:52:00.:52:02.

students have a really grounded technical and academic curriculum.

:52:03.:52:07.

What is your offer to the students? I understand it opened last

:52:08.:52:12.

September. What is your offer in terms of guarantees of a job or a

:52:13.:52:16.

university place at the end of it? The aspiration is that all of the

:52:17.:52:20.

students will seek a route through to employment, and that might

:52:21.:52:25.

involve university, it might evolve up an apprenticeship -- involve an

:52:26.:52:30.

apprenticeship, and it will definitely involve work experience

:52:31.:52:36.

with partners. You have links setup that you can offer, proper work

:52:37.:52:40.

experience for the pupils. Of course. We are working with our

:52:41.:52:45.

employer partners. We have recently worked with the Big Brother

:52:46.:52:49.

producers. Our students spent three days being the crew for the next set

:52:50.:52:54.

of contestants and will work with the design team on the design of the

:52:55.:53:01.

next house. We are also working with the MOBOs and our students are

:53:02.:53:07.

lighting, doing the sound, and then web packaging the contents for the

:53:08.:53:10.

website in conjunction with their design and editorial team. This is

:53:11.:53:17.

for 14 to 18-year-olds? Yes, and it's already happening. We've been

:53:18.:53:21.

open seven months and we have real links with partners providing

:53:22.:53:23.

incredible opportunities the young people. Moira Green, thank you very

:53:24.:53:29.

much. The man behind the movement joins us now, Kenneth Baker. Welcome

:53:30.:53:32.

back. Interesting listening to the headmistress there. How many UTC

:53:33.:53:40.

colleges are there? We have 17 open and 12 more will open this year and

:53:41.:53:42.

we will have another 12 more approved. It's not just a few cases.

:53:43.:53:49.

Are you getting to a critical mass? Yes, I think it's now unstoppable.

:53:50.:53:54.

That is wonderful. She will guarantee that her youngsters will

:53:55.:53:58.

get a job, an apprenticeship or go on to college and do A-levels or go

:53:59.:54:02.

to university. Very few schools can say that. And they are doing it

:54:03.:54:06.

because those companies can come and teach at the UTC. They talk to the

:54:07.:54:10.

students every day. Those students will have experience of doing things

:54:11.:54:16.

with there. These colleges are very typical. Where does the funding come

:54:17.:54:21.

from? From Michael Gove. It comes from you. The state. They are

:54:22.:54:27.

taxpayer funded. We are allowed to spend up to ?10 million on the

:54:28.:54:31.

building and equipment and no more, and then they'll run like academies.

:54:32.:54:37.

I tell you why I want them, because there is a massive shortage of

:54:38.:54:40.

technicians. You were talking about Jackson electricity earlier and that

:54:41.:54:44.

industry is 23% short at the moment of technicians -- gas and

:54:45.:54:49.

electricity. Manufacturing is 30% short. We are not producing. We need

:54:50.:54:56.

the technicians in our universities and schools. You want a new breed of

:54:57.:55:02.

career colleges? How would that differ from a UTC? Career colleges

:55:03.:55:08.

are like catering or hospitality or tourism, creative arts. One will

:55:09.:55:14.

open up an old in Lancashire, linking graphic art with computing.

:55:15.:55:20.

-- open in Oldham. Another one might open in Liverpool. It's the same

:55:21.:55:25.

sort of thing. They are from 8:30am until 5pm every day. Shorter

:55:26.:55:30.

holidays. They wanted and they are very popular. Her school is heavily

:55:31.:55:36.

subscribed. The government has boast about the increase in

:55:37.:55:37.

apprenticeships, but when you look at the figures, quite a lot of

:55:38.:55:42.

apprenticeships are in business studies or health management. They

:55:43.:55:47.

might be needed, but they are not what you would traditionally think

:55:48.:55:50.

of as an apprenticeships. You would think about science, technology,

:55:51.:55:53.

engineering, mathematics and we don't seem to have another

:55:54.:55:57.

apprentices. You are very well briefed. There are 49,000

:55:58.:56:03.

apprentices in managerial studies. That was never an apprentice in the

:56:04.:56:10.

Park -- in the past. That is rebranding somebody doing studies. I

:56:11.:56:13.

met two people sweeping the corridor, and they said they were

:56:14.:56:18.

apprentices. We want more of these colleges. We are going to get more

:56:19.:56:22.

of them, and the thing I'm most proud about, Andrew, is that the

:56:23.:56:27.

target for all of them is when you have a lever at 16 or 18 and nobody

:56:28.:56:35.

gets a jobseeker's allowance. We have targets and we have met them. I

:56:36.:56:39.

think this is a fantastic achievement. Do you think the

:56:40.:56:43.

government should get behind it more? Absolutely. If we're going to

:56:44.:56:48.

compete with emerging economies, I think it's fantastic. Some viewers

:56:49.:56:51.

think politicians are just in it for power and glory, and I don't know

:56:52.:56:58.

how old you are. Don't answer! I am about to become 80. Michael

:56:59.:57:05.

Heseltine is still touring the country with the cities programme.

:57:06.:57:11.

There are generations of politics -- politicians dedicated to serving the

:57:12.:57:16.

country. You once described Michael Gove is very dedicated. Was that

:57:17.:57:20.

good or bad? He's a bit too interested in the academic side. He

:57:21.:57:24.

could do with more interesting in your side? Well, I am spending his

:57:25.:57:29.

money, but wisely. We want a bigger network, and which saw David Cameron

:57:30.:57:34.

saying he wants one of these in every age can the country. We will

:57:35.:57:37.

keep an eye on it. A very interesting development. Sticking

:57:38.:57:41.

with Michael Gove and education, because there's just time to find

:57:42.:57:46.

out the answer to our daily quiz. Can you remember, what is the Shadow

:57:47.:57:49.

Education Secretary say was his favourite thing about Michael Gove?

:57:50.:57:54.

Was it that he's sending his daughter to a state secondary, his

:57:55.:57:58.

good manners, his enthusiasm for history, or his wife's newspaper

:57:59.:58:04.

columns? He does have good manners but I would say it's sending his

:58:05.:58:07.

daughter to a state school. Is that right

:58:08.:58:12.

no. Michael and I share an enthusiasm history. Is based on a

:58:13.:58:19.

deep and sustained reading rather than Michael's more superficial

:58:20.:58:24.

understanding of the past. How very touching. What a backhanded

:58:25.:58:33.

condiment. I think we are done for the day -- backhanded compliment.

:58:34.:58:37.

The one o'clock News is starting on BBC One right now. I will be back on

:58:38.:58:42.

BBC One with David Starkey, Warwick Davis and Laura Greensburg, Alan

:58:43.:58:47.

Johnson and Michael Portillo, and I will be here tomorrow to continue my

:58:48.:58:55.

TV apprenticeship. It's going very well! Goodbye.

:58:56.:58:57.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn review Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage's Europe debate with Tim Montgomerie from The Times.


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