28/03/2014 Daily Politics


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 28/03/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Is the spare room tax working? Ever heard of Left Unity? They want to


unite the left and do what UKIP has done for British politics. And these


days you are more likely to find journalists and politicians sipping


mineral water than Muscadet. We ask whatever happened to the boozy


Westminster lunch? All that in the next hour and with us are two of


Westminster's most thirsty journalists. Tom Shipman is about to


move to the Sunday Times. His diary will be even more chock-a-block with


expensive lunches. Helen Lewis has to keep coming on because the New


Statesman's expenses are so stingy so she comes into the BBC to heat up


her seat in the microwave. First, the Conservative part of the


Government treaty must protect the interests of non-Eurozone member


states. That is one of Mr Cameron's key demands as he tries to


renegotiate our relationship with the EU head office planned


referendum in 2017. In Europe Germany is the powerful friend


everybody wants on their side. He has got the Germans on his site a


little bit? It is a good point for them. It is one of the most boring


pieces or prose I have ever read. But it is in the Financial Times?


But it does not get anywhere near far enough what the Tory


backbenchers want. It is a nice concession, but it is nowhere near


to appeasing the centre ground. Wolfgang Schauble has been speaking


elsewhere saying that treaty change will come back onto the agenda and


that is a way for the Tories to get through to say, we are not on our


own, if there is to be treaty change, we want it to suit us.


Loo-mac and when Angela Merkel came over here a few weeks ago, the


Tories hoped she would talk about treaty change because that gives


David Cameron his opening. It is interesting Wolfgang Schauble has


gone a bit further and you have linked the need to protect


non-Eurozone countries with a treaty. They have now been brought


together. There is a huge flaw in this.


Francois Hollande once treaty change. He has lost badly to the


National Front and that the mainstream parties of the right in


the local elections. Second round on Sunday. Last time it split the


Socialist party down the middle, the election on the Lisbon Treaty. He


will not want treaty change. The Financial Times made it clear. It is


in everyone's interests to keep kicking treaty change down the road.


I think that is a very fair point. Otherwise, our relations with


Germany would not be very good. We dissed Francois Hollande pretty


badly when he came over here and he got a rubbish pub lunch. He has been


pretty rude to us. What is wrong with a pub lunch? Nothing wrong with


it. We are going to need the Eastern Europeans to agree to treaty change


as well. David Davies said earlier this week in a public meeting I was


chairing that he thought David Cameron would get almost nothing by


way of repatriation of powers. But he would still go for a referendum


and he would still argue to stay in and that he would lose the


referendum and we would come out. I think it is a possibility. A lot of


people did not think David Cameron would use the veto and he did. It is


possible to see him going and are not getting what he wants. I think


most people at the top of the Conservative Party do not expect


that to happen. It is happening too early. The back pensions will say,


thank you -- the back benches. Some are insatiable. 70 of the 100 who


signed the letter the other day, Michael Gove surprise the nation


earlier this week by outing himself as a rather unlikely fan of rap


music. Yesterday a group of schoolchildren at a BBC event


helpfully asked him about his favourite rapper. Who did he pick us


up was it LL Cool J? Biggie? Chuck D? Wham? At the end of the show, Tim


and Helen will give us a correct answer. Have you got any idea? Very


confident. Who do you trust most to run the economy. It is a crucial


issue at any election and probably in this one even more so when the


country is beginning to recover from what was a very long and very deep


recession. The daily politics has been working with a polling firm on


a new kind of survey that looks at motors in terms of their values as


well as things like what they earn and where they live under the usual


social class indicators. We will give you the results in a moment.


First, Adam will explain how it works.


The polling firm has divided the country into six types of political


personality. Voters in Worcester found out what category they are in


bike using an online quiz. There is optimistic contentment. People doing


OK. Then there is comfortable style Joe, those who are unhappy with


Britain. -- comfortable nostalgia. Another group feel less secure, hard


pressed anxiety. I am hard pressed. Long-term despair, those who are


really struggling. What about the cosmopolitan critics? Idealists.


Quite often working in the media. One group of voters we have not come


across, the people who show calm persistence, they hope things get


better but do not expect them to. They are coping rather than


comfortable. Presumably they are all out of work. How the party's


messages go down with these groups is really important because the


pollsters recognises, nations of these political tribes that decide


elections app the pollsters reckon it is combinations.


Let us look at some of the main findings of the survey. It has come


in hot off the press in the last hour. The respondents were asked who


they trust most to run the economy. 58 cents said they trusted the


Conservatives the most -- 58%. Next respondents were asked to pick the


three words or phrases that best describe each party leader. David


Cameron, out of touch, arrogant and does not listen. Labour leader Ed


Miliband, the top picks were out of his depth, weak and out of touch.


Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg does not fare any better. The words that best


describe him, week, out of his depth and out of touch. The words or


phrases that described UKIP leader Nigel Farage was stand up for


Britain, weird, arrogant. We are joined by Laurence Stellings


from the firm. First, let us put aside the polling on the economy. It


is a kind of sign of a political class on the left and right that is


not connecting with the people. It is exactly what you would expect to


see. David Cameron, posh and out of touch. My favourite finding has got


to be Nigel Farage. You have to be weird to stand up for Britain. The


out of touch one is a huge problem. There is such a feeling on the left


and right that politicians do not live like normal people. It is


indicative that none of the leaders has any great appeal for what we


used to call me aspiring working classes and the ambitious


lower-middle-class is. The people who determine election results in


this country. Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair got them by the shed


load. From this poll, you can see none of the main three party leaders


have much appeal. Staggering. The top performer is Ed Miliband on


shares my values. It is a triumph that Ed Miliband is considered less


weird than Nigel Farage. The best performer of principled is Cameron.


Nigel Farage's selling point I thought was one of the lads. Have a


pint of beer, like ordinary people. What the political class will not


do. Iowa's thought it was a very clever trick he played. His


background is very privileged -- I always thought. He is not living in


the way most people live. He managed to project an authentic character.


What happened was the veered slightly into the slightly sweaty


sector in the debate. He pulled it back well. Equally well, Nick Clegg


also veered into slightly patronising at the start and pulled


himself back. There will be a real test of the Nigel Farage persona


over the next couple of months. Is this evidence of the political class


on the left and right that is increasingly out of touch with


voters? There is a general sense that it is a difficult time for the


country and none of the parties have offered solutions that people would


hope for. Having a coalition takes one of the parties out. One less


choice if you want to oppose the government. Although Nigel Farage is


described as weird, standing up for Britain is not a bad plus to have if


you are a politician. Not at all. But it goes hand-in-hand with weird.


20 years of his life IT again something that for many voters is a


very minor issue -- fighting against something. It makes him slightly


weird. Are these public impressions, do you think they are


now embedded, there is nothing they can do this side of the election to


change them? Could they change perception? There is still time.


Some are embedded. David Cameron has long been seen as slightly smug, out


of touch. He is also seen as competent and a good leader. There


is a year until the election. In the last few weeks since the budget, the


headline voting has closed a little. You saw Adam talk about the system


you use of the segmentation of society of voters into various


categories. What does it tell us? We macro it gives more detail -- it


gives more detail. On the economy, among the calm persistence group,


they are slightly more positive towards the Conservatives than


Labour. On one of the major issues, among swing voters, the


Conservatives have a slight lead. It is a pretty long-term trend. The


Conservatives over the last several years have had a lead over Labour


when it comes to macroeconomic issues. If 58 trust Cameron and


Osborne against 42, you have taken out the don't knows as to not we


macro you force people to make a decision -- you force people to make


a decision. 58% trust Mr Cameron and Osborne on the economy versus 42%


for the Labour Party. That is the finding they will take most comfort


from. They want to frame the election about the economy. Two


thirds of Lib Dem voters also think the Conservatives are better. In the


swing areas where if let Clegg will suffer, where will the votes go? It


looks like it will benefit... If you are a loyal live them, you are going


to say that with the coalition. A lot of them will still be calling


themselves Lib Dem voters and they will feel that the Lib Dems made a


sacrifice for the benefit of the economy. The leftish voters will


have already gone and they will be on the Labour side. I guess it is


going to be quite hard. If the recovery is gathering pace as it


seems to between now and the election campaign, changing


perceptions on the economy will be tough for Labour. Yes. Labour have a


lead when it comes to the cost of living crisis. They need to


translate that to the macro economy. For the Conservatives and


Lib Dems, they have brought recovery to the country and people feeling


that, but will you reward them with your vote? Are enough people feeling


the recovery? Outside of London, there is still a sense that the


recovery is in the south-east. That is the thing to watch this year.


Now, call it what you want, the spare room subsidy, the bedroom tax,


it is one of the coalition's highest profile welfare reforms even if it


is relatively small beer financially. It is designed to make


sure the state is not subsidising people to have homes bigger than


they need and it has been up and running for nearly a year. The BBC


has carried out research among councils and housing associations


across Great Britain to see how it is working and our social affairs


correspondent Michael Buchanan can tell us more. One of the main aims


of the policy was to free up social housing, to get single occupancy and


get these houses into the market so bigger families could take them.


What does the survey say? It is proving a lot more difficult than


the Government hoped. We got data from 80% of councils in Scotland,


England and Wales that have housing stock. That showed us that 6% of


tenants who have been affected by this benefit cut have moved in the


past year. What that means is there are still a lot of people who would


like to downsize. We spoke to a lot of them who cannot find the


properties. In other cases it means people who are living in overcrowded


accommodation have been unable to find those bigger properties they


thought they would be able to move into. It is interesting how it has


changed around the country. We spoke to a woman in Hull who downsized


from a three-bedroom flat to a one-bedroom flat. That would open up


a three bedroomed house for a family to move into and the housing


association could not let it out. There was no demand for larger


properties. Controversy down in Wiltshire, a rural part of the


country, they have got lots of people who are under occupying their


properties, but the council say they are not going to build one-bedroom


properties. They want to build communities. The other purpose of


the reform was to cut the welfare bill. What is the evidence of that?


Because most people are staying and paying towards their own rent and


because the number of people who are moving into different sized


accommodation is quite small, it looks as though the Government is


probably, according to the experts, probably on track to get close to


the savings they predicted they would make, ?490 million over the


course of a year. But what is happening in some cases is what was


an essential cost is becoming a local Government housing association


cost. We found 28% of people affected by this benefit cut have


fallen into arrears for the first time. People who were debt free when


the policy came in. The Government will say they have given ?180


million in emergency funding to councils to help the most vulnerable


tenants. But we also discovered millions of pounds of that money is


going to be handed back to the Treasury because the councils have


not spent it. Thank you for marking our card on that BBC survey.


Listening to that was the Shadow Employment Minister Stephen Timms


and from our studio in Tunbridge Wells is the Conservative MP Charlie


Elphicke. Charlie Elphicke, let me come to you first. One of the


reasons for implementing the policy was to free up the housing stock.


From our survey only 6% have relocated. It is not a huge number.


50,000 people have moved, so it shows things are moving in the right


direction. But the other issue is people can get into work and there


are no swap websites which are coming into force. But if it is


putting people into rent arrears, and if most people are staying put,


if it is hard to see what the saving is, one wonders what all the fuss


was about and why you bothered. There are substantial help funds


available to help people who have difficulties, especially people with


disability challenges. There are 300,000 people in overcrowding who


need a large home and it is important we look after them and we


look after taxpayers who spend a lot of money paying taxes, working


hard, and they cannot afford a spare room. Why should they effectively


subsidised bedrooms for people who are not in work. What do you say to


Norman Tebbit, not known for being a soft touch when it comes to welfare,


when he says I worry about what Labour calls the bedroom tax. So


often a spare room is a vital part of the looking after of an elderly


person, it enables relatives to come and carers to be there. What do you


say to that? We have made provision for that. For people with disability


issues there is a fund available. You could argue that since this


policy has only been on the go for one year, already 6% of people have


downsized, it is beginning to work. Loo-mac I do not think it is


working. It is an unfair policy. 94% have not moved. But it is year one.


We do not know where those 6% have gone too. Some of them will have


gone into rented accommodation where the rent is higher and that will be


paid by housing benefit. It is possible this policy will end up


costing more overall than it has saved. What do you say to that? He


makes a good point, Labour made a plea to change this accommodation.


But it is hard to understand how they draw a distinction. 31,000


people moving is quite a lot and quite a disruption for those who


moved. And we do not know what has happened to the 30,000 properties


and how many of them are empty? In South Liverpool they have had a 63%


increase in the number of vacant three-bedroom properties. Do we have


any evidence that these homes being vacated, because of downsizing, have


we got any evidence larger families are moving into occupied these


homes? I do not know the detail of that, but it is important in a


matter of fairness that we make the welfare savings that need to be made


because the Labour Party spent so much money and this will save ?1


billion by the time of the next election, ?1 billion more for


doctors and nurses. It is unfair to penalised people if there is nowhere


smaller for them to move to. That is the problem with many places. That


is why the number that has moved its so small. The Government has


suddenly decided where they live is inappropriate for them. And Tory


controlled Welch says they are not going to build one-bedroom houses


because they think people do not want them. There is an issue about


getting the right homes in the right places and there is an issue with


overcrowding and they need larger accommodation and there are over 1


million spare bedrooms up and down the land. Labour says if it wins


this it is going to reverse this, but it also voted for the welfare


cap. We are talking about half ?1 billion. Have you worked out how you


would kill this but still stay within the welfare cap? Yes, we


have. It may well be this policy will cost more than it saves. I


understand that. But how would you pay for the half billion saving? We


would abolish the tax break for hedge funds is, the funding for the


shares for rights scheme and we would plug a loophole that allows


employers to classify construction workers as self employed. That would


pay for abolishing the bedroom tax. It should be abolished now and if it


is not, the next Labour Government would abolish it. And that would


keep you in the cap? Yes, it would. Are you sure? I think we could make


the changes we have described. But some of these managers have already


moved to Switzerland. We would need to follow what happens and make


changes as things develop. You would just abolish it out right? Yes, we


would. There is a case in applying attacks like this where there is


somewhere smaller for an individual to move to. If there is not anywhere


smaller, it is unfair to clobber them with a tax. Has this been worth


the candle? Labour are making it up as they go along, naming this and


that as public saving. They had a bank bonus tax they spent about ten


times. Every time the Labour Party challenges us, it is more spending,


more debt. How have the policy played out? It has been a disaster.


Iain Duncan Smith had a great pitch. Universal welfare credit has been in


trouble. All the other parties say they will try and fix it and make it


work. With this they did not explain the problem. And unless you explain


the problem to voters, it is not popular. They have got a problem


with councils who would prefer to have this as a festering sore rather


than cough up the money to help the people who need it. I cannot


disagree with that or Norman Tebbit! I could not believe families with


disabled people were not exempt from this. People who could not sleep in


the same bed because somebody needed to be turned and needed a special


mattress. Somebody with a child who needed oxygen canisters, all of


those people felt under it. It has galvanised labour activists and SNP


activists in Scotland. Let's leave it there. Who do you support if you


disagree with the free market economy? How do you cast your vote


if you think the main parties are all a bit too mainstream? It was an


issue that the veteran left-wing film director Ken Loach addressed on


Question Time in February last year. There are a lot of people in this


country who share a lot of thoughts. They hate the break-up of the


National Health Service, they hate the privatisations and the


outsourcing and the labour agencies and the low wages. They hate the


mass unemployment and there is not a broad movement, a broad party they


can vote for. People spend a lot of time saying, who are we going to


hold our nose and vote for? We need a broad movement on the left. UKIP


has done it for the right. I disagree with almost everything UKIP


stands for. But we need a broad movement of the left. And that


appearance on the BBC by Ken Loach inspired left-wing activists to come


together to try to form a new outfit, Left Unity. Here in the


studio is the writer Salman Shaheen who is a member of Left Unity's


national coordinating group. Welcome. Who is backing Left Unity


apart from Ken Loach? Quite a number of the existing fire left groups are


involved, but also a lot of disaffected Labour members are


coming over to Left Unity. We have had one member every ten minutes


joining up today. What is a lot? We have 1600 members. We founded our


party on November the 30th last year. It is a couple of months in.


To the left of the Labour Party you have already got the socialist


platform, the Communist platform, the Socialist resistance. The


Communist Party of Great Britain which is not to be confused with the


other ones that run the morning Star, or not to be confused with the


Communist Party of Britain. You have got the workers Power, the Alliance


for liberty, which is also known as the Socialist organiser. Have I


missed anyone out? They have all signed up to support Left Unity.


Will they be at your conference? We will find out. But you must know.


Left Unity is an individual member -based organisation. Some will have


signed up, some will have not. It depends on whether policy wrangling


details appeal to people like that. I appreciate the point of trying to


get unity to the left of the Labour Party, but isn't the likelihood that


you will add Left Unity to that list of other left-wing groups I have


just read out? It is like life of Brian! That is a commonly used


phrase. I have hung my head in the past over the inability of the left


to get on. That we have a serious problem with austerity which is


damaging the lives of the most vulnerable people in this country


and Labour is not providing an effective opposition to that. Having


followed some of these groups, your chances of unity based on recent


history is close to zero. You have got to try, even if it is like


banging your head against the wall. It is too important not to. It is


important for democracy as well. If Labour is in the middle ground with


the Tories and Lib Dems, there is no left-wing voice. The conference is


in Manchester tomorrow. It was the last event you had was described as


a bit of a shambles, quote. That was by one of your leading members on


your own website. There were a lot of people there, 500 people, a lot


of views coming together. Or not coming together. They did come


together because we agreed a founding statement. We are trying to


do something which has not been done on the left before. A bottom-up


grassroots democratic organisation. If democracy is messy, it has got to


be done. You have not decided on a policy over whether Britain should


be in the EU. It will be decided. You have 66 pages of motions in six


hours. That is right. I have not even read them all myself. It will


be a tough day. We have another conference coming up in June to


handle the rest of our policy. It is a very long process. The Labour


Party took a very long time to form and learn and get to where it is


today. We need to be very careful that all people's views are


represented and that it is not a top-down bureaucratic state up. --


stitch up. One of the motions but is to disband in the British Army and


arm the people -- bottom-up. I will be voting against that and I do not


suspect it will pass. April have the right to bear arms and defend


themselves. -- people have the right. I disagree with the motion.


Do you think it will get through? No. The majority of Left Unity


members are disaffected ex-Labour Party members who are in favour of a


broad church left-wing party. Does it mean you do not regard yourself


as quite as left as the Communist Party of Great Britain? I do not


consider myself quite as left. Their members are members -- of left


unity. All political parties have... Would you like them to leave


these groups and come and join you? They are members of their groups.


They are also members of Left Unity. It does not mean you have to leave


your existing party. You are all welcome and the church. I get the


feeling you are on the moderate wing. I am. The UKIP manifesto has


restoring the Circle line to be a circle. It is not by any means...


This is simply a motion, not their policy. It is funny when we make the


comparison with UKIP because what they have done is that they might


deliver the next election for the Labour Party. Is your aspiration to


run candidates against Labour Party candidates or do you want to see


yourself more as a pressure group? It is both. We have not decided when


we will stand in elections but we are intending to stand. We will


inevitably be running against an Labour Cabinet. -- candidates. The


13 Labour MPs who voted against the welfare cap, I think they did a


fantastic job and they should be applauded for doing what they were


elected to do. You are not putting up candidates in the European


elections question mark we have only just started. The Green Party had


their candidates in place two years before the elections. Have you


invited Diane Abbott? No, we have not. She was one of the 13. She is


in labour and we are a party outside of labour. Why don't you join the


Labour Party and try to get it to move to what you would like it to


be? Wouldn't that be more effective? Some people take that view. The late


great Tony Benn took that view. I have a lot of time for such


opinions. But it seems to me that they are shouting into the wind. The


Labour Party have been dominated by a very centre-right almost agenda


for a very long time. It has signed up to Conservative spending plans


and if people support Labour, if they vote Labour, what they will get


is a government that is not so radically different from the Tories.


Voters need a choice. Some of the other groups might be wanting to


make what you do a thankless task. They can be tribal. I hope we can


get along together in a spirit of unity. Sounds like we will end up


with disunity tomorrow. Two things are interesting. If we get a couple


of more hung parliaments, we will see more of this thing, frat drink


from the main political parties. -- fracturing. We have a full party


system in England now. Not just in Scotland, Wales and Northern


Ireland. There is now someone making a case against austerity. The


difference between Labour and the Tories, there has been a conspiracy


between George Osborne and Ed Balls. They are arguing about a very


small amount of money. Green Party supporters say, why don't we get the


exposure UKIP got? They have got an MP. They are not seen as being


someone who is taking votes from Labour like UKIP. If there is a kind


of left of Labour Party that is deemed to be taking away from


Labour, that will make it more interesting to the media. What is


the biggest thing you hope to achieve tomorrow? I want us to begin


our road to the manifesto and agree very strong clear anti-austerity


policies and defending the NHS and repealing the bedroom tax and


renationalising the railways and the energy companies to make a better


society for consumers and workers. Not that different from what the


left of the Labour Party would like. But the left of the Labour Party do


not run the Labour Party. Thank you. Now, Nigel Farage is rarely off your


screens at the moment. And here he is again, talking to me on the


Sunday Politics a few weeks ago. I asked him about allegations, denied


by him, that he used public money to employ both his wife and his former


mistress. Let us get a sense... I am very


upset with the BBC coverage of this. The Ten O'Clock News ran this as a


story without explaining the allegation was made using


parliamentary privilege by someone on bail facing serious fraud


charges. Nikki Sinclaire. The BBC did not explain that.


The MEP who made those claims, Nikki Sinclaire, is here now. Welcome to


the Daily Politics. We have just seen the interview with Nigel


Farage. What are you objecting to in the interview? He is supposed to be


standing up for British values, innocent until proven guilty. I


totally refute these allegations against me. It has been two years


since these allegations were made. I have not been interviewed by the


police for more than 18 months. I think he was trying to attack in


order to defend himself. You are still on bail for fraud?


Unfortunately so. It had they brought charges early on, the trial


would have been over and done with. Have you approached the police?


Absolutely. They say, this is what we are doing. It is an anomaly in


our system. Until you are in the situation, you do not realise. It is


about expenses claims. It can't be that complicated. This refers to a


time as a UKIP MEP. There was an important in my office. We cannot


discuss the ins and outs of it. It only to them. They have had all of


the paperwork. They should have charged me. I would have been to


court, found not guilty. I do not believe they have enough to charge


me. That is why they have not come forward yet? They have had two


years. We could have had the trial. Have you got a bit of a vendetta


against Mr Farage? No. I fell out with his linking to Holocaust


deniers which was not what UKIP was supposed to be about. I was in UKIP


from the start. Let us be clear. The BBC does not make this point to


Nigel Farage. He has been an MEP for 15 years and there have been 19


other UKIP MEPs and he has fallen out with 11. The 12 MEPs he took to


Brussels, he has fallen out with six. Surely it cannot be all of us?


I made the point he had the habit of falling out with some. More than


half of his parliamentary party. These are your figures. They are on


public record. What do you say to the charge that you abused voluntary


privilege -- parliamentary privilege quest at he has used the same


privilege so it is hypocritical. He has twice used the defence to make


accusations against people. You have started a new party. We Demand A New


Party. Centres Baize We, The Public. It Is A Regional Thing. Let Us Be


Clear. You Have Asked Me What The Difference Is Between Us And Ukip.


What Has Ukip Done? The Biggest Thing That Forced The Debate In This


Country Was The Referendum That Brought Cameron. Centres Case Macro


We Forced The Debate And Was Nigel Farage One Of Those 100,000


Signatures? He refused to do so. He has five years ago claimed so much


in expenses. What have they done with all of this money, ?45 million


since 1999? What you are illustrating is something on the


right that we were talking about. I am not right wing. You end up


dividing and dividing. You want the same thing as UKIP when it comes to


a referendum and you want to vote no to get out of Europe. That is the


fundamental thing. I want the people to have a choice. It is the same as


UKIP and you are dividing by standing yourself and you say you


will put up other candidates but you will not tell me the number, by


doing that, you are dividing the vote in the same way as all of the


left-wing splinter groups. We left our regional political parties. I


was a member of one of the main three political parties. We left on


principle. UKIP have blown its principles. It has linked itself


with extremists, people with criminal convictions, Holocaust


deniers, violence against immigrants, that is the people it is


linked with in the European Parliament. It has abused its


principles. No one can tell me what UKIP has tangibly done. I can point


in five years to something I have done to move the debate along. If


you lose in the European elections, is that your political career over?


There is more to life than politics, but I do not think so. I have been


in politics since the age of ten. What will you do if you lose? I will


keep campaigning because I believe in what I am campaigning for. Just


as an individual, standing up for what I believe in. My constituents


know me. I am likely to go back on the charges. I am the only MEP who


has audited accounts which shows I have put in ?100,000 of my post-tax


salary back into my work. No other MEP in this country can show that.


What do you make of this? UKIP is a party where I very rarely see a


female face. The candidate in Eastleigh was female. That is true.


But there is a week of looking as -- but there are a lot of blokes. What


female friendly policies does UKIP have? You will not find a senior


woman in UKIP that has been there more than five years. I have only


had two female MEPs and they have lost both of us. I have been a


victim of violence from Nigel Farage. Assault in the European


Parliament. This is the type of attitude. When I was on the national


executive, we had meetings in gentleman's clubs. It is certainly


the case Nigel Farage runs a tight fiefdom. It is only recently he has


brought innate human could -- he has brought innate immune occasions


director. We had Kilroy silk, other high-profile people. All of them


have fallen out with him. Four of the previous six leaders, he has


fallen out with. You seem more exercised about this than any other


issue. You claimed you were a victim of violence. Of assault. His violent


temper. His violent temper. Not physical assault? Verbal assault?


No, physical assault. It is witness. He did not hit you quest at that is


battery. Assault is one someone threatens you. To get revenge,


having listened to you, I think most viewers would conclude that your


main purpose in life is to get revenge. Absolutely not. My main


achievement is forcing David Cameron to the dispatch box to talk about a


referendum. UKIP did not fight that campaign. My main purpose in life is


to get a referendum on our man ship of the era of -- the European Union.


Who were you rooting for in the Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg debate?


For us. I think that will come as a surprise to him. There was a time


when Westminster and the long boozy lunch went together like steak and a


bottle of Margaux, or a cheese roll and a glass of warm Liebfraumilch if


you come round here on the Friday lunchtime. But these days


journalists are a much more abstemious bunch. Have a look at


this. In the age of the Internet where


everybody is on a deadline or on Twitter, you cannot disappear for


three hours in the afternoon. Old MPs would moan about the lack of


dining clubs, but now there are more women here and we are getting more


sober and more sensible. There was a legendary journalist who was famous


for returning to the office after a lunch for a different suit. On the


way home he stopped to relieve himself and he fell in the Thames.


So Winston Churchill was a notorious drinker and John Smith, the leader


of Labour, and even Roy Jenkins, were known to like a glass or two


while they were working. The boozer is the way of loosening their


tongues and you get more out of them. They are more likely to let


their guard slip. That does not happen quite as often. When one is


on the top of their game they do not allow their tongue to soften up with


drink. The first drink I had was with Nigel Farage a few years ago


with a couple of bloody Mary 's, some white wine and a bottle of


red. By that point I was ready for a sleep. Nigel was fine and I


staggered of home and he went and did a pre-record for Newsnight. That


was the blogger Harry Cole ending that clip and he wrote about the


death of the booze fuelled lunch for this week's Spectator Life. And he


drew extensively for the piece on the knowledge of none other than Tim


Shipman. You are quoted saying, when I arrived in Westminster in 2001, it


was not unusual to sink half a bottle over lunch every day. Three


bottles was far from unusual. What is the consumption rate these days?


It is lot less than that. It is boring in Westminster. I had a lunch


yesterday and not a drop past our lips. I blame the new intake. Most


of them are more interested in penning policy papers. The new


intake of politicians? Yes. I feel I got in 30 years too late. They would


do a 32 page paper and you would sub two pages in the afternoon and that


would be a good day's work. You only smoked two cigarettes when


considering the headline. All that has now gone. It is blog something


immediately, tweet something immediately. You have to be ready to


go to the TV studios. The pace has increased so much. It is true. The


days when you wrote one article a week or do two stories a week, those


days have gone. You are expected to appear on 24 hour news, to tweet, to


do other things. It is a round-the-clock job. There are great


exceptions. There was a penal member of the Labour Party who sank an


entire bottle of lunch on her own and probably went of to Sky


Television and did a good interview. I sat down with a member of the


Shadow Cabinet and they had got to lunch before me and a double gin was


already on the globe. There are people still upholding some of these


traditions. It sounds a bit less fun. If you ask now people who work


in journalism if they would give up coffee or booze, they find that


tough because we rely so much on caffeine to get us through the day.


And John Bercow has not been that interested in drinking. He is


discouraging it. But on his watch we have had punch-ups in the bars and


we found one MP had his collar felt. Some of the MPs are doing their


best. But the people you want to take to lunch have a more serious


view of these things. Some journalists say they write better. I


do not. I have one drink and I go to sleep. If you move to a Sunday


paper, you could indulge a bit more, off the relentless treadmill of the


day. Some people find the class concentrates the mind.


Labour and the Liberal Democrats say they are happy for a televised


debates to go ahead in the same format as agreed before the last


election, we have just found out. The Liberal Democrats have rejected


any debate that only include David Cameron and Ed Miliband. I assume


there would be a legal challenge from the Lib Dems if that happened.


The Conservatives say the Prime Minister wants to debate, but they


are not clear how they should proceed. It is breaking news. Tim


and Helen have enjoyed so many long lunches they can barely recall the


news of the week. Here is a round-up of the week in 60 seconds.


Nick versus Nigel was the top of Westminster. No hokey Cokie, but a


lot of in and out. Nigel Farage celebrated by, yes? I am not off to


church. SSE reignited the energy price row. Why it was a price freeze


wrong six months ago, but it is right today? We have reduced the


cost of energy charges. As things got heated, John Bercow restored


order with a lightning aurora. Order! It will take more than that


to calm angry teachers who went out on strike over pay and pensions. One


day later, a different feel on the streets as friends and folk gathered


to say farewell to Tony Benn. I hope that has refreshed your memories.


What is the Conservative position on televised debates? Internally they


would only like to have a debate with Ed Miliband. They thought it


was not a good thing last time because Nick Clegg muddied the


waters and he got exposure. They repeatedly say they want debates.


That is official, but behind the scenes it is not clear. In the last


few weeks Labour spokesmen are saying, we signed up as the same as


last time, but they are also prepared to say the important thing


is we get David Cameron signed up and we have a debate between the two


potential prime ministers. They are not ruling out Nick Clegg, but the


fact they have inched towards the conservative position is


interesting. The Conservatives think before the election campaign has


started, it would be possible to do David Cameron and Ed Miliband. If


they did it in February and March it would be possible to do that and


maybe have one debate and not have any debate during the campaign.


There was talk among the Conservatives about having the


debates, but we think the debates hijacked the campaign, so let's have


the debates before the official campaign begins. That may be a hard


one to run. It might be. But they want to have the idea that David


Cameron is the first alternative, but it turned out that Nick Clegg


was the fresher alternative. You can see from the point of view of Ed


Miliband why he wants that. You get a good pull-back when you are


standing toe to toe with the Prime Minister and they want that image in


people's minds. If it is held outside the official election


period, by that I mean David Cameron versus Ed Miliband, the chances of a


legal challenge may be more difficult to win. That is the


conservative position, they think they will get away with it. They


think that maybe better than exposing him to the danger of an


insurgent Ed Miliband. What is in it for David Cameron? Who is he going


to convince? It is a whole lot of stuff for him to lose as incumbent.


He took control of the campaign in the last time. There was a two-day


build-up and then there was the day and there was two days of post-match


analysis. This week will not have helped that. They will have watched


the debate with interest and the political media obsession, and the


frenzy on Twitter. It has consumed the entire week and that reinforces


what they thought last time. They would have liked the post-budget


headlines to run for longer and that has got changed. The debate between


Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg overtook the headlines. Yes, when instead


they could have had headlines about labour being in trouble after the


budget. Yesterday Michael Gove was taking part in the BBC School news


report. He was asked about his favourite rap. Which one did you


pick? He said he liked Chuck D. Then he picked the Wham Rap. That his


previous interview said he followed another one. You recently said you


quite like rap music, so I was wondering, could you give us a taste


of your favourite rap. I have got so many, the original was the Wham Rap.


Hey everybody take a look at me, I've got street credibility. I may


not have a job, but I have a good time. With the boys that I meet down


on the line. It is interesting he liked rap based on welfare benefits!


The Wham Rap came out in 1982, talking about the virtues of


unemployment. Here is what it should sound like.


Hey, everybody, take a look at me, I've got street credibility. I may


not have a job, but I have a good time. With the boys that I meet down


on the line. Not quite as good as the real thing,


but he tried. He could sell himself up with a leather jacket and a


quiff. That is what you call hinterland! We will be back on BBC


One on Sunday with the Daily Politics and I will be interviewing


Ed Davey. Goodbye.


Download Subtitles