03/04/2014 Daily Politics


03/04/2014

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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. More personal, more

:00:37.:00:42.

passionate, more insulting. Round two of Clegg v Farage over Britain's

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membership of the European Union wasn't exactly a pretty affair. But

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the polls put Mr Farage further ahead than they did first time

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round. The coalition's in a spin over wind

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farms. The Tories have turned against them. The Lib Dems still

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love them. It's tough out there providing

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public services. We'll be analysing one council's "graph of doom".

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And this programme is brought to you by the CIA. We'll be dissecting some

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good old-fashioned conspiracy theories.

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The signal has just clicked in! All that in the next hour. And with

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us for the duration, journalist David Aaronovitch. Welcome to the

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programme. Now first today, let's kick off with

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the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, who has been ticked off over her

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expenses. Our political correspondent Carole Walker has

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more. She has been cleared of the central

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charge of billing her expenses, but she has been strongly criticised?

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That's right, and she is about to make an unprecedented apology by a

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serving Cabinet Minister over her expenses. This was a lengthy and

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complicated investigation into claims totalling around ?90,000 over

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four years for their house in south London, which she designated as her

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second home, even though that was where she lived with her parents and

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her husband. What the committee was looking at is whether it was right

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to call it her second home, whether her parents benefited from taxpayers

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money, whether she claims the right amount, and so on. What the

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committee found was that they cleared her of benefiting her

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parents from the claims that she had made. They did say that she had over

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claimed for her mortgage repayments. They have ordered her to reap a

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?5,800 -- to repay ?5,800. But the most serious charge was that she

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failed to respond adequately to the various questions put to her over

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the course of the investigation, and it is for this that she is about to

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apologise to the House of Commons. Obviously a huge relief for her, and

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for David Cameron in the Government. That's right. He has said he has

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great support for Maria Miller. She has agreed to repay the money and

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apologise to the House, and we should leave it at that, he says. So

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it is clear that he believes he can hang on to her. I think the Prime

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Minister would have been very reluctant to lose one of the few

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women in his Cabinet, and so she will carry on in that role. But

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there is no doubt that this does leave something of a black mark on

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her reputation, and it will be something of a difficult and

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embarrassing moment for her to have to apologise to the Commons in the

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next hour. Carole Walker, thank you. David, are

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you surprised? I think people have had enough of this. The report seems

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to exaggerate her from the charges. So we are talking about her attitude

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towards the committee and so on. And I don't know whether this is the

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public perception, possibly the public doesn't have a perception

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about it. But to me, the committee is the sign of everything that has

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gone wrong with this situation. I don't even treat my children like

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this, forcing them to account for every tiny little thing. It is so

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long past time that we just created a situation where we give MPs and

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lump sum, they don't have to account for it, this is the account we think

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-- the amount we think is right for doing the job, spend it how you

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like. And some say that is the way forward, but if you think about the

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furore over the expenses scandal, and fair treatment of people, they

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say, who didn't commit any more of an offence than Maria Miller, why is

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there not more of a fuss? You think because we got so cross with people

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in the past, we should keep on being that cross? There are a whole series

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of discrepancies with people who have been treated much worse than

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other people during the hold parliamentary scandal. Nobody cares.

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The public do. Nobody cares about the people who are being affected by

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this. Now it's time for our Daily Quiz.

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The question for today is: What has David Cameron been complaining about

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the price of? Is it: a) A white sliced loaf of bread. B) A first

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class stamp. C) An England football team shirt. Or d) An Ed Miliband

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souvenir mug? At the end of the show, David will give us the correct

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answer. Even I know the answer to that! Don't give it away.

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Now, the idea of an in/out debate on Europe was Nick Clegg's. He threw

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down the gauntlet to the the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage. Nigel Farage,

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no wilting wallflower, rose to the challenge. But after two debates and

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with Mr Farage declared, by the pollsters at least, as victor, one

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wonders if Mr Clegg might be regretting his decision. Let's take

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a look back at last night's contest. It is 40 years since the BBC debated

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this great question. The one thing that has remained the same as David

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Dimbleby. We want to trade with Europe, get on well with our

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next-door neighbours, but we don't want to be part of a political

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union. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you do what

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Nigel Farage recommends, and you isolate Britain, sort of Billy no

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mates Britain, a Billy no jobs Britain... The principle that drives

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my entire political career is that I think the best people to govern

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Britain are the British people themselves. Let's be in independent

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United Kingdom, and I want the rest of Europe to free themselves from

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the European Union, too. 200 people dying in Syria, being mown down,

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killed, every single day, and Nigel Farage says he admires, he admires

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the way that Vladimir Putin has played, as if it is a game... The

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difficulty is we can't plan anything, because we don't know how

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many are going to come. We have a chronic problem in schools, we need

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to make a quarter of a million new primary school places immediately,

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and housing, goodness me. We need to build a house every seven minutes

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just to cope with immigration into this country. So whichever way you

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look at it, we have huge problems with a population over which we have

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no control at all. It is simply not true to say that anyone can come

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here. People can only come here from the European Union and stay here if

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they want to support themselves and want to work. It is good for the

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rich, because it is cheaper nannies, chauffeurs, gardeners. But it is bad

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news for ordinary people in Britain. We need to have control

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over the number of people who come here and the quality of people who

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come here. I don't want to discriminate against India and New

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Zealand because we have an open door to Bulgaria and Romania. When the

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rules change, a new treaty, powers that belong to you are being given

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up, it shouldn't be for the government to decide, it should be

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for you to decide. Let's free ourselves up and given examples of

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the of Europe. I know that people are behind this, and I would urge

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people, come and join the people's army. Let's topple the establishment

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who have led us to this mess. And there are those of us who believe

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and love modern Britain as it is today. Compassionate, diverse,

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outward facing. We have challenges and complexities, but by working

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with other countries, you deal with those challenges and make Britain

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richer, stronger and safer. So, that gives you a flavour of last

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night's debate. And here's what David Cameron had to

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say on BBC Breakfast this morning when he was asked who he'd been

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rooting for last night. The problem with the debate is that

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the people taking part have quite extreme views. Nick thinks there is

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nothing wrong with Europe and we shouldn't have a referendum, and

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Nigel thinks that there is nothing right with Europe and we should

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leave. They are both wrong. We should get tough with Europe,

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negotiate a better deal, and then give people a choice and a

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referendum. And that is what I will do if I am Prime Minister after the

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next election. That is what people want, a proper choice on changing

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Europe, and that is what these European elections should be about,

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too. We're joined now by the former

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Liberal Democrat director of communications, Olly Grender, UKIP's

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director of communications, Patrick O'Flynn, and the political editor of

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the Sun, Tom Newton Dunn. We will see what things are like! Whose

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bright idea was it to give you get a foreign policy which involves

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respecting Mr Putin for what he has done in Syria and Crimea? Our

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foreign policy, as I told you last week when you predicted we would

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have to back down, seems to have been extremely well received by many

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people in Britain. It is not a matter of backing Mr Putin. But you

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respect what he does. What we haven't said is that we admire him

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as a human being or someone who runs a country which flout human rights.

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But what we are focusing on is that it is outcomes that matter, not

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sanctimonious student policies. The road ahead is paved with good

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intentions, and we feel that the political class in this country, it

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is an exercise in vanity. They like to look at themselves in the mirror

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in the morning and think, I am on the side of the good guys. But if

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you look at the outcomes in Syria and Libya and now in Ukraine, they

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are terrible. And was it not quite clever of UKIP to get into position

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where, in last night's debate against the Lib hems, they were busy

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as posturing, the anti-war party. I think there is a Tony Blair legacy

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on the Iraq war that is very difficult. If you were against it,

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and you still didn't get credit. And Mr Clegg was having to defend

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intervention in parts of the world. What did you think to that? I think

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is right to defend intervention in parts of the world. I think it was

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extraordinary. I think the foreign affairs stuff will come back again

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and again and again. It was an extraordinary moment. The stuff

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about having played Syria right, that was brilliant and will come

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back to haunt him. But given that you are positioning ourselves as the

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anti-war party, it was difficult to let UKIP paint you into a different

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box. We are anti-illegal wars, and if Putin did anything with regard to

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the UN, something legally could be done. Hopefully, about these

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hundreds of children and women persecuted every day in Syria. Even

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the Lib Dems, powerful as they are... Maybe Nigel Farage could have

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a word with him. What did you make of that part of the debate? Nick

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Clegg... Let's look at what has changed in four years. Nick Clegg in

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2010 was the outsider, the fresh face. He had an extraordinary poll

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rating. He turned the general election on its head. He is now the

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insider. It didn't turn out that way on the day. It all went down to

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nothing at the election. What happened last night was Nick Clegg,

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four years on, has the scars of government all over his back. He has

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had to take decisions, locking salt into policies, he is now the

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ultimate insider, and so is Nigel Farage. -- locking himself into

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policies. Political brilliance from Nigel Farage, talking about the

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people's army, and he probably put ten point poll rating. Imagine Tony

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Benn having come out with the same phrase, I don't know whether it

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would have had quite the same resonance. Does this have perches on

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the politics of this moment? If you look at the economic situation in

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the last five or six years, what Nigel Farage has shown clearly is

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that he stands for a significant portion of the population who

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doesn't like Britain as it is, doesn't like the world as it is, and

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wants to cut itself off. It is isolationist in foreign policy, and

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I don't think for a second that he likes Vladimir Putin, but what he is

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saying is I don't want to have much to do with the world, I wanted to go

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away, I want to get out of the EE you. -- EU. I think Alex Salmond

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thinks the same about Scotland. And on immigration, there hasn't been

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the predicted influx of body -- people from Bulgaria and Romania. We

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haven't had any figures apart from one that covered the year up to

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November 2013. If I can just bring you to the person with the best

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projections, time and time again, it is Andrew Green at Mine -- Migration

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Watch. It has always been the case that the whole EU immigration issue

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has been wider than Bulgaria and Romania. We have what are called

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eurozone refugees, people locked into Mediterranean economies that

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are going down the pan. We are going to inherit the best and the

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brightest? It would be nice to have some volume control, but last night,

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with respect, we have neither. A native American poster that Mr Clegg

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unveiled from UKIP, do you think it work? Yes, it makes a point. It

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makes a compelling point. There is a scare tactic which is deployed by

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Nigel Farage with regard to economic migrants seek and immigration. I

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thought it worked. Did it work in terms of the kind of fears and

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concerns and thought people about immigration? That continues to be a

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debate that needs to be held on as rational a level as possible. If you

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look at the line that UKIP took, in terms of positioning it is clever.

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They came out as the anti-war and the anti-politics party, which plays

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well in this country, and then he cast immigration almost in terms of

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class. It is fine if you can afford servants or chauffeurs, but not if

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you are low paid and having to compete with people coming in. That

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is an anti-establishment position. He went further than that, and went

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into racial terms and topped about creating an underclass and that set

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alarm bells ringing. Ten seconds. I am not saying whether you agree or

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disagree, but what he did was very clever. Nick Clegg's personal rating

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went up four breast-fed for people who watched the debate. But Nigel

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Farage's went up by 12%. He speaks the people's language and it works.

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The antiestablishment training ground of the city and stockbroking.

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He taps into that. He is not an MP, so he is not tainted. People do not

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trust his judgement, and that will be held over him, but it is very

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difficult to interrogate these things. I spent a lot of time

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writing that the evidence does not stack up behind the notion that

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ordinary Britons have not benefited from immigration, they have and the

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evidence is there. But when somebody says the elite have walked away with

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all the benefits and we have suffered together, people like that.

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Very quickly, why did Mr Farage do even better in the second one? I

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think he had the stronger arguments. I must go back to the race thing. He

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made one mention of the white, working-class in an hour and he made

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mention of African Caribbean young men in London. The difficulties of

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white, working-class kid is well established in literature. Why did

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he do better? I think he was more relaxed and more confident in his

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arguments. I thought Nick Clegg was worse because he was rattled. Why

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did he do better? This is an argument that has only had one side

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to it for the last two decade and finally somebody is standing up with

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the pro-European argument. You cannot argue the more you hear, the

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more we come round. He lost by more. If we had a sustained period of

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anti-European commentary, I think things would improve. Why did he do

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better this time? Because Nick Clegg was disingenuous and he tried to be

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Nigel Farage and Nigel Farage tried to be Mr Clegg. They swapped roles.

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There we go, on that line. Stay where you are. The Westminster

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village set up camp in New Broadcasting House last night. Chris

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Mason was brave enough to enter the spin room. Not a place for the

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faint-hearted. Here is his report. All right, so it looks like a

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roomful of people doing an accountancy exam and someone has

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left the TV on. Welcome to the spin room, reporters and spin doctors in

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a conference room over the road from the debate, watching it on the box

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like people at home. But the minute it finished, this room was the

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centre of things. Let's see what various journalists are making of

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it. I can just see Kevin Maguire from the Daily Mirror. Let's see if

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we can grab a quick word. Could you have a quick word with the Daily

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Politics? Always. What do you make of it? Last week Nigel Farage was a

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bit all over the place. He looked calmer. Nick Clegg came out like a

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terrier and started out well, but it did not last and Nigel Farage

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knocked him out of the park. Nick Clegg came out very fast and he was

:21:08.:21:13.

painting Nigel Farage is a bit of a crank and that was effective. He

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tired at the end and Nigel Farage began to find his rhythm, but

:21:20.:21:23.

tonight I found it was won by Nick Clegg. Some were left smiling by

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Nick Clegg's reference to a cricket England could be proud of. My

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favourite cricketer is WB grace, because I had the idea of all the

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Eurocrats watching this debate as thing, who is she? But this room was

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something of a bearpit. We will not tolerate this rude interruption. I

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just had my interview nicked by Norman Smith on the news channel.

:21:58.:22:02.

Typical. These audience members reflected the opinion polls,

:22:03.:22:07.

claiming it was a UKIP victory. I think Nick started off strong, but

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undoubtedly it was a Nigel Farage victory. Did Nigel Farage win? He

:22:13.:22:18.

did, he knew what he was talking about and he knew what he was

:22:19.:22:24.

wanting to get out of it. We might have expected Ukraine to come up in

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the conversation, but perhaps not Derby County Council and Orpington.

:22:30.:22:34.

They got a mention. Now the room has seemed to stop spinning and the

:22:35.:22:37.

deadlines are approaching for the journalists. But the big question is

:22:38.:22:43.

will we get the same thing again in a couple of months? That is during

:22:44.:22:50.

the general election campaign. Chris Mason braving it inside. What

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was the atmosphere like? It was slightly flat, I will not lie to

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you. Last week was quite interesting. They had to drink,

:23:01.:23:09.

which always gets the adrenaline going. How to get the debate

:23:10.:23:16.

swinging. It was the second time around and both these debates have

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not changed anything at all. It is man bites dog, dog bites man, they

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confirmed the stereotypes. Nigel Farage is on a roll and Nick Clegg

:23:27.:23:32.

is not going to do very well. We see the spin doctors standing around,

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what did you say to the journalists immediately afterwards? That he is

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right to hold this debate and he is right to stand up for his beliefs. A

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lot of people question is he true to his beliefs and no one can question

:23:48.:23:53.

that he believes in a positive, pro-European message. What was

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telling in the polling yesterday was that again a large swathe of Labour

:23:59.:24:05.

supporters are finally opening their ears to Nick Clegg, which I thought

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would always be a struggle. More people to UKIP, to be honest. 51%.

:24:13.:24:19.

More Labour voters went to UKIP, sorry. I thought it was a shift. For

:24:20.:24:30.

you, then, what was the main thrust of your strategy after the debate? I

:24:31.:24:36.

instinctively knew that he had won by more than last week and if I can

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mention Kate Burley, she was interviewing me live, implying we

:24:44.:24:46.

were on the back foot in foreign policy and we would struggle and I

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said, we had won by more and the poll came through and indeed we had.

:24:51.:24:55.

It was important for Nigel to emotionally connect with the

:24:56.:24:59.

audience and I thought he did that several times really well,

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particularly in the final closing minutes. What did you do between

:25:03.:25:08.

last week and last night to improve the performance. I suspect on both

:25:09.:25:14.

sides there was a secondary round of anything coming out of the last

:25:15.:25:18.

debate, what will the other guy do? The fact that Nigel had one last

:25:19.:25:23.

week, Nick Clegg could argue it was a points victory, but it was a

:25:24.:25:28.

victory nonetheless. That was important to us, to try and deliver

:25:29.:25:33.

a knockout win. We were very focused and feeling quite bullish. One of

:25:34.:25:39.

the criticisms was that people felt that Nick Clegg, who believes what

:25:40.:25:44.

he thinks about, he does not have to have scripted lines, but last night

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it was too scripted and he did not do it in a natural enough weight to

:25:49.:25:54.

be convincing. Would you accept that? If anyone is scrutinised on

:25:55.:25:58.

telly they will know it is not a natural environment. I thought a few

:25:59.:26:05.

of the jugs personally did not work. Anti-tried to get to them a bit

:26:06.:26:10.

more. What about the difference between what the Westminster bubble

:26:11.:26:15.

things and as things and outside in the real world? Thanks to LBC we

:26:16.:26:23.

were all pretty tanked up by the end of it and we had had lots of booze.

:26:24.:26:29.

We knew what was going to happen, but everyone was calling it for Nick

:26:30.:26:35.

Clegg. We listen to the debates, people who know the arguments and

:26:36.:26:40.

heart as you are being paid to, listen to the words being said. The

:26:41.:26:45.

TV viewers feel the words coming out and they look at the guys and they

:26:46.:26:49.

react to the person rather than the policy. But you think there is a

:26:50.:26:54.

difference in how big can be interpreted? Interestingly I do not

:26:55.:27:00.

think the bubble was necessarily with Nick Clegg, I think the bubble

:27:01.:27:06.

found him disingenuous. That was not him last night. If the polls were

:27:07.:27:10.

indicating it was a clear Nigel Farage win, you were mentioning that

:27:11.:27:19.

he had not lost? If we were doing the usual run-up to the European

:27:20.:27:23.

elections it would be business as usual and not much discussion and

:27:24.:27:29.

not much of a look in for the Lib Dems and UKIP. The fact there has

:27:30.:27:35.

been a strong, public debate, with quite large viewing figures last

:27:36.:27:42.

week and this week... 1.7 million. Whatever you say, yesterday I was

:27:43.:27:47.

part of a 10% team and today I am part of a 31% team. That is

:27:48.:27:52.

progress. What about the guys who work there? I joined the 58.3

:27:53.:27:59.

million who were not watching the debate. That is not to denigrate it,

:28:00.:28:04.

I think it is a good thing to do. Firstly, I think it is important to

:28:05.:28:09.

have this discussion precisely because of the reasons Nick Clegg

:28:10.:28:14.

thinks we should. The big parties go for the 60-40 split. They try and

:28:15.:28:22.

palliate the 60% and the 40% never get heard. I watched the billy no

:28:23.:28:30.

mates jokes go down and Alan Johnson can get away with them, but he

:28:31.:28:35.

cannot. And then looking at the polling reflection this mooring it

:28:36.:28:41.

was an interesting indication of where the arguments will have to be

:28:42.:28:44.

made and which ones will have to be taken more seriously. What about

:28:45.:28:49.

David Cameron's view that these were the two extreme views? They were not

:28:50.:28:57.

there. They do not have to take part in the bear garden public debate,

:28:58.:29:02.

but it is not good for the public. They do not have answers, neither of

:29:03.:29:08.

them have answers on this. Is there anyone who believes David Cameron

:29:09.:29:11.

will successfully negotiate a change that will satisfy even his own

:29:12.:29:17.

party? This will come up in the prime ministerial debates and

:29:18.:29:20.

everyone thinks they will come up in some form. How will the impact on

:29:21.:29:29.

those debates? Both David Cameron and Ed Miliband will think we have

:29:30.:29:32.

to have them, but not anywhere near us. We can all make silly bets, but

:29:33.:29:40.

I think it will be Cameron and Milliband and they will knockout

:29:41.:29:45.

Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg. How can you justify that? You can think of a

:29:46.:29:52.

million ways. But what this debate is told as... And very relieved

:29:53.:30:01.

Thomas in these negotiations. No one knows what the outcome is going to

:30:02.:30:06.

be and that is too much of a mess for Cameron and Ed Miliband. David

:30:07.:30:14.

Cameron did say he wanted these debates ahead of the campaign. He

:30:15.:30:18.

wasn't willing to come and debate. When Nigel said yes, it was on the

:30:19.:30:27.

proviso that David Cameron and Ed Miliband were invited along, but

:30:28.:30:33.

they both said no. We wanted them to come, because we had some good

:30:34.:30:37.

arguments about blue-collar wages and pressures on social housing that

:30:38.:30:39.

would have shown up their weaknesses, plenty of arguments for

:30:40.:30:47.

both of them. Time for a new strategy for Nick Clegg? He was

:30:48.:30:52.

always going to be against the tide of a large amount of opinion, but

:30:53.:30:57.

the fact that he stood up for what he believes in makes me proud today.

:30:58.:31:04.

Thank you to all of you. Now here's something that's going to

:31:05.:31:08.

surprise you. There's a disagreement rumbling in the coalition. I know, I

:31:09.:31:11.

know, who would have thought it? This time it's over wind farms. Most

:31:12.:31:15.

Lib Dems still love them, but quite a few Conservatives have fallen out

:31:16.:31:27.

of love with them. Here's JoCo with the details.

:31:28.:31:29.

Wind farms are becoming quite a battle ground within the coalition.

:31:30.:31:32.

Yesterday Lib Dem sources told the BBC that David Cameron's hopes to

:31:33.:31:36.

restrict the number of onshore wind farms have been blocked by Nick

:31:37.:31:39.

Clegg, who sees them as a vital source to help the UK hit its target

:31:40.:31:43.

of 15% of the county's energy coming from renewable sources by 2020.

:31:44.:31:46.

There are currently over 4,000 wind turbines onshore and over 1,000

:31:47.:31:52.

offshore. Together these provide enough energy to power the

:31:53.:31:55.

equivalent of just over six million homes. However, it's not cheap.

:31:56.:32:02.

Energy producers are paid a guaranteed amount above the market

:32:03.:32:05.

price for their electricity as a way of encouraging firms to invest.

:32:06.:32:09.

Called a strike price, for onshore wind farms the figure is ?95 per

:32:10.:32:12.

megawatt hour, and for offshore it's ?155 per megawatt hour. Compare that

:32:13.:32:19.

to the ?50 per megawatt hour for wholesale electricity and you get

:32:20.:32:24.

the idea. What's more, the building of new onshore wind farms is

:32:25.:32:27.

controversial, with many complaining the turbines ruin the countryside

:32:28.:32:30.

and can cause health problems for people living nearby.

:32:31.:32:37.

And we're joined now by the Conservative MP, Peter Bone. We did

:32:38.:32:44.

try to get a Liberal Democrats come and talk about this as well, but

:32:45.:32:47.

none of them wanted to talk this morning. What have you got against

:32:48.:32:53.

them? If you were trying to watch your programme in some areas this

:32:54.:33:00.

morning, you wouldn't be able to, because the wind farms affect the

:33:01.:33:06.

television signal. ?8.7 million last month we paid to turn the wind farms

:33:07.:33:10.

off because it is too windy. It is just subsidy for subsidy's fake.

:33:11.:33:16.

What do you think? It is complete nonsense. We had overcapacity in the

:33:17.:33:22.

grid, and that is when you decide to turn it off. Because it is too

:33:23.:33:31.

windy. Because every body is producing too much electricity, so

:33:32.:33:33.

that is the cheapest point at which to turn it off. But if you are

:33:34.:33:38.

looking in the long term, which is a greater desire for renewables, and

:33:39.:33:42.

defender thing, this business with Russia has told us that we don't

:33:43.:33:46.

want to be alive as we have been on the importation of fuel and so on,

:33:47.:33:51.

let alone discussions about climate change, then we need to have

:33:52.:33:56.

renewables, and we have them. Some of the arguments against onshore

:33:57.:34:00.

wind farms are preposterous to say the least. The television signal

:34:01.:34:08.

argument is one of them. You tell that to the people affected? ! But

:34:09.:34:16.

they will also have cheap sources of renewable energy in the long term.

:34:17.:34:23.

It is not cheap! Cheaper compared to what we will be paying. Why don't we

:34:24.:34:30.

go for fracking? If you look at the USA, they didn't sign up to Kyoto,

:34:31.:34:35.

but they met the targets by going to fracking. So now people are coming

:34:36.:34:40.

back because energy prices are falling in the States. Here, we are

:34:41.:34:45.

putting prices up the people, driving people into fuel poverty and

:34:46.:34:48.

sending industry offshore. It is madness. I am in favour of fracking

:34:49.:34:59.

too, as it happens. But your equivalent is saying that we don't

:35:00.:35:02.

want it in our area, we don't like it. You are just displacing the name

:35:03.:35:18.

nimbyism from one place to another. What you can't get away from is that

:35:19.:35:21.

wind farms cost the taxpayer billions of pounds. We already have

:35:22.:35:25.

enough to commit to the energy target. We don't need a single

:35:26.:35:33.

turbine more. You should turn your back if another wind farm comes up.

:35:34.:35:40.

We have selected the Conservative candidate to fight the Corby general

:35:41.:35:45.

election who is the director of together against wind. It is in

:35:46.:35:55.

important issue in my area. I love that there is an organisation called

:35:56.:36:06.

Together Against Wind! People are concerned. Take it seriously. You

:36:07.:36:10.

say we have enough wind farms to hit the target, but at the moment, wind

:36:11.:36:17.

generates an average 9% of our electricity. Sometimes it is more,

:36:18.:36:22.

sometimes less. Our target for 2020 is 30%. On the wind farm side of it,

:36:23.:36:30.

with all of the planning applications approved, we have

:36:31.:36:33.

reached the target. I am personally not a great fan of these wind farm

:36:34.:36:38.

targets. What I want to see is, as you mentioned earlier, energy

:36:39.:36:41.

security. And wind farms cannot please energy security, because of

:36:42.:36:45.

the wind doesn't blow, you have no energy. You need sensible

:36:46.:36:50.

alternatives like nuclear power and fracking. Nuclear is at least as

:36:51.:36:55.

expensive as onshore wind. Indeed, it is more, because as Jo showed, we

:36:56.:37:05.

have just done a strike deal and ?92 50 per megawatt hour for nuclear. It

:37:06.:37:15.

gives you energy security, that is what I was talking about. It is

:37:16.:37:20.

cheaper than offshore wind. We should be making sure we have energy

:37:21.:37:24.

security. We had a debate earlier today in the Commons. David

:37:25.:37:35.

Aaronovitch, when these prices were agreed, the offshore price was by

:37:36.:37:39.

far the most extensive. It was done at a time when the Westminster

:37:40.:37:47.

consensus was that fossil fuels would continue to rise in price, so

:37:48.:37:52.

that by 2020, this wind wouldn't seem so expensive, because fossil

:37:53.:37:56.

fuels and got up to that price as well. Since then, most of the

:37:57.:38:00.

evidence suggests, that probably isn't true any more. Although it

:38:01.:38:10.

could. It always seems to me to be prudent to invest in renewables,

:38:11.:38:12.

precisely because they were renewable, and precisely because...

:38:13.:38:20.

And the wind usually does blow somewhere in the United Kingdom. I

:38:21.:38:24.

am in favour of fracking as well, but it does have carbon emissions. I

:38:25.:38:29.

am also in favour of nuclear power being part of the mix. We are

:38:30.:38:35.

probably agreeing that there should be a moratorium on future wind farm.

:38:36.:38:41.

I don't think we should agree on any such thing. You are just paying

:38:42.:38:48.

subsidies for people. And it is affecting our long-term plan. We

:38:49.:38:52.

have run out of time, I'm afraid. No doubt we will come back to it. Peter

:38:53.:38:56.

bone, thank you very much. You're watching the Daily Politics,

:38:57.:38:59.

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

:39:00.:39:02.

First Minister's Questions from Holyrood. Wind power has been very

:39:03.:39:05.

big north of the border, too. Now, we all know local councils have

:39:06.:39:09.

been feeling the pinch. But let me introduce you to Barnet's "graph of

:39:10.:39:14.

doom". Be warned - it doesn't make pretty reading, and there's even a

:39:15.:39:19.

video. It is a projection, not a

:39:20.:39:23.

prediction. The instance, the council will be failing to run seven

:39:24.:39:27.

statutory services in 2025 if this came true. But as a projection, or

:39:28.:39:32.

we receive national coverage, and it is a clear expression of the

:39:33.:39:38.

financial challenge facing the government, and it became known as

:39:39.:39:43.

the Barnet graph of doom. The gap between the services and the Budget

:39:44.:39:47.

is the money left over to provide services such as libraries, rubbish

:39:48.:39:50.

collections, recycling, road maintenance, street cleaning.

:39:51.:39:54.

And I'm joined now by Barnet's deputy leader, Dan Thomas, and from

:39:55.:39:58.

the LSE by Professor Tony Travers, who knows everything there is to

:39:59.:40:03.

know about local government. We always Bill you that we! Time will

:40:04.:40:12.

judge if you are correct. You said by the end of the decade, you would

:40:13.:40:16.

only be able to fund children's services and adult social care for

:40:17.:40:21.

the power things changed? They have. The population was due to expand,

:40:22.:40:26.

but also, the council tax base will go up. But also, as a council, we

:40:27.:40:31.

are making major headway in savings. At the end of this year, we will

:40:32.:40:38.

have saved ?70 million, added time when satisfaction with the council

:40:39.:40:41.

has gone up 20%, so those are the sorts of things changing for the

:40:42.:40:45.

better. So the projection is not as bad as you first thought? It is

:40:46.:40:50.

going to be difficult. You heard in the presentation, the graph of doom,

:40:51.:40:55.

but they asked -- there are still pressures. Do you think that by

:40:56.:41:02.

2022, the vast majority of your funding will have to be spent on

:41:03.:41:06.

social care and children services? If we don't change what we do. We

:41:07.:41:11.

need to work more with the resident bloomer and the community, which is

:41:12.:41:13.

why we are carrying out this consultation. We are asking

:41:14.:41:18.

residents what their priorities are, what they want to keep. And we have

:41:19.:41:23.

a second stage and are going where we are saying, those are your

:41:24.:41:25.

priorities of how can we deliver them? But in a commissioning way, so

:41:26.:41:29.

that the council won't be able to deliver things directly. We will

:41:30.:41:33.

have to work with allsorts of groups throughout the borough to keep

:41:34.:41:38.

services going. Is this scaremongering by an authority that

:41:39.:41:41.

has basically said, we need more money if you want is to actually

:41:42.:41:44.

provide service outside those two important areas? Not this particular

:41:45.:41:50.

graph of doom, because ministers will interpret this as a graph of

:41:51.:41:57.

delayed doom, so they will think that they can squeeze them a bit

:41:58.:42:01.

more and the doom will be in the future. If they want to make major

:42:02.:42:11.

reductions in public spending, but they can still protect schools and

:42:12.:42:15.

the health service. If you protect big items and try to level off the

:42:16.:42:20.

total, local government gets cut. Except councils have proved across

:42:21.:42:23.

the country that they can make savings and they have made savings,

:42:24.:42:27.

and even Dan Thomas has said that there has been good news. So your

:42:28.:42:33.

delayed doom may just forever be delayed. That is what the Treasury

:42:34.:42:40.

will read into this. They will think, if we squeeze local

:42:41.:42:43.

government, it can deliver cuts. You wouldn't dare to do that to the NHS,

:42:44.:42:46.

because heaven knows what will happen. So they will read this as an

:42:47.:42:52.

incentive not to reward local government but to put them under

:42:53.:42:56.

greater pressure in the future. Is your authority unique? I think it is

:42:57.:43:01.

in the way that we have met the challenge. Is it unique in terms of

:43:02.:43:04.

the burden you are having to deal with in terms of an ageing

:43:05.:43:08.

population, for example, and social care? I would say that ours is one

:43:09.:43:13.

of the lowest funded councils in London, and with the reduction in

:43:14.:43:19.

our Budget... A lot of councils will say either that they don't get as

:43:20.:43:24.

much money as other boroughs, or that they have more problems. It is

:43:25.:43:28.

quite difficult to know that in the whole scheme of things, who really

:43:29.:43:38.

is suffering. When you live in a centralised system such as ours when

:43:39.:43:41.

the government allocates the spending power, everyone will feel

:43:42.:43:44.

hard done by because the government allocates it to them, so they will

:43:45.:43:50.

also there are hard done by. I think Barnet deserves much credit for

:43:51.:43:53.

articulating the issue in this clear way. But you still have to come back

:43:54.:43:58.

to the fact that it is councils more than any other part of the public

:43:59.:44:02.

sector that are being put under pressure. What you think central

:44:03.:44:08.

government should do? Rather than just talk about what they should do,

:44:09.:44:11.

one of the things the graph tells you is that there are very

:44:12.:44:14.

significant long-term shift in this country, and the question you have

:44:15.:44:17.

to ask yourself is whether you think in the run-up to the 2015 elections

:44:18.:44:21.

what you have heard so far from any of the parties actually addresses

:44:22.:44:24.

them, because I can't think that they do. Even in terms of the NHS,

:44:25.:44:33.

we have two major statements out of the NHS, the new head of the NHS

:44:34.:44:37.

saying, in effect, we haven't got anything like enough money for the

:44:38.:44:43.

health care we think we are going to need ten or 15 years ahead. So you

:44:44.:44:47.

have Lord Warner suggested copayment is one of the ways, but we will have

:44:48.:44:52.

to grasp nettles like that. If you shove a load of stuff onto councils,

:44:53.:44:56.

you will then reap the whirlwind when it comes to what happens in

:44:57.:45:02.

accident and emergency or in parts of the health service, and parts of

:45:03.:45:06.

the education service the Government says it is trying to grapple with

:45:07.:45:09.

the problems of long-term care and how we are going to deal with an

:45:10.:45:14.

ageing population. But if they do, as David Aaronovitch predicts, keep

:45:15.:45:17.

pushing it on to local councils, when you think the penny will drop?

:45:18.:45:26.

I am not sure they were ever quite get to that point. There is a

:45:27.:45:31.

tipping point, somewhere between what the councils are spending now

:45:32.:45:35.

and the rope. To pick up David's issue, he is absolutely right that

:45:36.:45:40.

what we have got is all the parties unwilling or unable to put up the

:45:41.:45:45.

level of taxes in total. They stay at the same level year in, year out,

:45:46.:45:50.

but they want to promise higher spending. They cannot bring

:45:51.:45:53.

themselves to tackle that inconsistency. What about the

:45:54.:45:59.

division between health care and social care? Will that change? We

:46:00.:46:05.

will have to have more integration and collaboration with other public

:46:06.:46:11.

service bodies. We need to temper up with other councils. We have done

:46:12.:46:19.

that successfully and the big prizes are with the big services and social

:46:20.:46:23.

care and with the police and the NHS and the DWP. But politically it is

:46:24.:46:30.

not palatable which is why the Government will not talk about the

:46:31.:46:35.

issues you have outlined. That is true and the question is at which

:46:36.:46:39.

point does it become inevitable where we have to get people to pay

:46:40.:46:48.

an allowance to their GP? I heard somebody say, we do not have a

:46:49.:46:55.

funding problem, we can just do this and that. I sympathised with that,

:46:56.:47:01.

but that is not the answer. Interesting, thank you very much.

:47:02.:47:04.

David Aaronovitch is on the programme. He has written a book

:47:05.:47:07.

about conspiracy theories you know. He is more of a denier than a

:47:08.:47:11.

believer, but it always makes good telly. Take a look at this. The

:47:12.:47:19.

problem is with conspiracy theory like best... I am here to warn

:47:20.:47:26.

people, you keep telling me to shut up. This is not a game. You have an

:47:27.:47:32.

arrest for public safety, life in prison. You are the worst person...

:47:33.:47:43.

No, it is off with their heads! You are watching the Sunday Politics, we

:47:44.:47:46.

have an idiot on the programme today. You cannot stop the Republic!

:47:47.:47:59.

It is like that every morning. It makes pretty good television and you

:48:00.:48:03.

Tube liked it and so did the BBC online service. And here are David

:48:04.:48:07.

's top five conspiracy theories. Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The

:48:08.:48:12.

assassination of JFK. Princess Diana's death. 9/11. And finally,

:48:13.:48:27.

the secret bloodline of Christ. Joining us now from Bristol 's Tony

:48:28.:48:31.

Gosling who investigates conspiracy theories. What attracts people to

:48:32.:48:38.

conspiracy theories? Because they make order of aiders ordered world.

:48:39.:48:46.

They suggest a world that is as chaotic as it is, somebody is behind

:48:47.:48:53.

it all. Take the case of the disappeared Malaysian plane. That is

:48:54.:48:57.

scary, but if you could bring yourself to believe somebody had

:48:58.:49:00.

planned to do it and there are people who believe it, then you take

:49:01.:49:04.

some of the frightening elements away. Tony Gosling, what do you

:49:05.:49:12.

regard as the current, most important thing you think some would

:49:13.:49:18.

regard as a conspiracy theory? That is easy. The Malaysian airline. If

:49:19.:49:23.

you were to talk to families of the relatives of people on edge, a lot

:49:24.:49:27.

of them are starting to say, we have not been told the truth. What is

:49:28.:49:34.

your theory? There are a fact that we know and we know news management

:49:35.:49:38.

has been going on on a big way in the story. First of all, when

:49:39.:49:44.

Rolls-Royce announced the plane looked like it had been travelling

:49:45.:49:47.

for five hours there was an avalanche of stories saying no, by

:49:48.:49:52.

people who could not have known. They even got Rolls-Royce to retract

:49:53.:49:57.

that story. There are also sightings in the Maldives. People could not

:49:58.:50:02.

have known if people in the Maldives had seen the aircraft or not. I

:50:03.:50:09.

understand all that. What I am trying to get is do you have a

:50:10.:50:15.

theory as to what happened to that plane? It is impossible to tell. A

:50:16.:50:21.

cover-up certainly of some sort is going on. Planes do not fly for five

:50:22.:50:27.

hours and crash into the sea. Ask any pilot. If it is in trouble, it

:50:28.:50:32.

will bitch or a land on the ground. It is the wife of Philip Wood, , the

:50:33.:50:40.

guy from IBM, she says it feels like Howard Government is lying to her.

:50:41.:50:46.

The banking conspiracy, the massive fraud going on in the city. I guess

:50:47.:50:52.

because of all the uncertainty and the fact the plane has not been

:50:53.:50:56.

located it is an ideal subject for conspiracy theories. It absolutely

:50:57.:51:01.

is and Tony has outlined the classic build-up of the notion of what is

:51:02.:51:07.

odd or strange or anomalous about it, quite apart from the

:51:08.:51:12.

disappearance, and then in comes somebody's wife, what her

:51:13.:51:17.

qualifications are, we do not know, to say something about it. There

:51:18.:51:21.

will be websites which will build upon this. Gradually a theory will

:51:22.:51:28.

emerge from it. And it comes from the same impossibility about not

:51:29.:51:37.

knowing, which is appalling. Can you give an example of a conspiracy

:51:38.:51:41.

theory which in the fullness of time proved to be true beyond doubt? The

:51:42.:51:48.

JFK assassination, which David deals with in his book. I have not seen

:51:49.:51:52.

the book, but there is a similar book which David may know that deals

:51:53.:51:58.

very well with it. Lyndon Johnson was clearly meeting with the boss of

:51:59.:52:05.

the FBI in the days running up to the assassination. There is somebody

:52:06.:52:13.

who has confessed to having worked with the Mafia. With JFK he had come

:52:14.:52:17.

to power with the help of the Chicago Mafia and he got his brother

:52:18.:52:21.

after he was elected to start clamping down on the Mafia in

:52:22.:52:28.

Chicago. I understand the motive, but it does not prove the conspiracy

:52:29.:52:34.

theory. One of the things about theories like this is they are

:52:35.:52:38.

completely hydra headed. As soon as you think you have dealt with one

:52:39.:52:42.

set of facts, somebody will raise another. There are a few that you do

:52:43.:52:48.

not hear and you date you know the literature pretty well. There is not

:52:49.:52:52.

a great deal of mystery about the murder of JFK and there is no

:52:53.:52:57.

mystery about who killed him. But the psychic impact of the death of a

:52:58.:53:01.

president in that way gave rise to the need for it to be something

:53:02.:53:07.

other than this single, disoriented side, Lee Harvey Oswald. The

:53:08.:53:13.

industry that has grown up around it is absolutely massive. Tony is

:53:14.:53:16.

completely sincere in believing these things. You any example of a

:53:17.:53:23.

conspiracy theory which was ridiculed at the time, but turned

:53:24.:53:28.

out to either be true or there seemed to be something in it? There

:53:29.:53:33.

are all times of cover-ups which people say are true. The most

:53:34.:53:40.

heinous was it was thought the Conservative Government of 1956 had

:53:41.:53:43.

made a secret agreement with the Israeli Government to launch the

:53:44.:53:46.

attack which led to us entering into Suez. That was true. That was true,

:53:47.:53:55.

and it was denied in the House of Commons. I know you are interested

:53:56.:54:00.

in this, but do you meet people who think that the world is run by

:54:01.:54:15.

losers? No, David has mixed in real conspiracy in with some completely

:54:16.:54:19.

bogus stuff like the moon landings. We know Hillsborough was a cover-up.

:54:20.:54:24.

We heard the other day statements had been altered by the police to

:54:25.:54:28.

protect their friends. That is a conspiracy. I would hope some of

:54:29.:54:32.

those people who did that will go to jail in the fullness of time. We

:54:33.:54:38.

have got the builder burg conferences. The next one will be in

:54:39.:54:44.

Denmark at the end of May. I hope the BBC will cover it. This is

:54:45.:54:50.

NATO's political lobbying arm which is not being looked at by our press

:54:51.:54:54.

in this country and they are extremely powerful, set up by a

:54:55.:55:00.

former SS officer. I hope we do cover it in Denmark. Last time it

:55:01.:55:06.

was in Watford. Denmark will be much more fun. The land of Corgan, it is

:55:07.:55:15.

much better. What is not a conspiracy is finding out the answer

:55:16.:55:20.

to the daily quiz. The question was what has David Cameron been

:55:21.:55:25.

complaining about the price of? A white sliced loaf of bread? A

:55:26.:55:30.

first-class stamp? An England football team shirt? Or a souvenir

:55:31.:55:36.

mug of Ed Miliband. David, what is the answer? It is the football

:55:37.:55:44.

shirt. Well done, you say that with a sad look. I do. They are charging

:55:45.:55:51.

?90 for a replica England shirt. I looked up some of the average prices

:55:52.:55:56.

this morning, not because I knew it would come up, but because I was

:55:57.:56:00.

interested in the subject and roughly clubs sell their replica

:56:01.:56:04.

shirts for ?50. This is very close to being double. Let me introduce a

:56:05.:56:12.

guest who disagrees. Mark Littlewood does not think it is a rip-off. Why

:56:13.:56:19.

not? It is a prestigious, very heavily branded piece of kit. I do

:56:20.:56:25.

not want to sound sexist, but I am amazed what women spend on clothes.

:56:26.:56:30.

Way beyond ?90 because it is a brand in fashion. I know David Cameron

:56:31.:56:38.

suggested he could cap the price, but it strikes me we have got to

:56:39.:56:43.

bear in mind the FA is going to reinvest quite a bit of this money.

:56:44.:56:48.

Do you want the shirts to be ?10 so loads of people can wear them in the

:56:49.:56:56.

pub? Or do you want it to be ?90 and ?80 is invested by the FA in the

:56:57.:57:00.

grassroots game or improving the training of referees? Maybe I do not

:57:01.:57:08.

know how to work these things out, but I would have thought you would

:57:09.:57:14.

sell fewer at ?90. Markets do not tell you everything. They do not

:57:15.:57:19.

tell you about the kid in Sunderland or Kettering who might conceivably

:57:20.:57:25.

have got one of these shirts at ?45, but will not get one at 90p.

:57:26.:57:30.

They may invest the rest, but we are being asked to invest emotionally in

:57:31.:57:37.

the progress of a football team. It is not exactly the same as any other

:57:38.:57:41.

transaction, it has an additional element to it. You can invest in the

:57:42.:57:47.

England football team without investing in a replica shirt. It

:57:48.:57:52.

will not be affordable for a lot of people. They have to price it to

:57:53.:58:01.

maximise their return. They want to bring in the maximum amount of money

:58:02.:58:07.

to reinvest in football. There is a reputational question here as well.

:58:08.:58:10.

Not everything is in the pricing, a lot of it is in people's reactions.

:58:11.:58:15.

Should David Cameron have interfered? Yes,. The joke is they

:58:16.:58:26.

will get knocked out in the first round and you will not have paid

:58:27.:58:34.

enough to cover it. That is all for today. Thanks to our guests. The one

:58:35.:58:39.

o'clock News is starting over on BBC One and I will be on BBC One tonight

:58:40.:58:43.

with Rachel Johnson, Angela Rippon, Quentin Letts, Miranda Green, Diane

:58:44.:58:46.

Abbott and Michael Portillo on This Week from 11:35pm. I will be here at

:58:47.:58:52.

noon tomorrow with all the big political stories of the day.

:58:53.:58:53.

Bye-bye.

:58:54.:58:57.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by journalist David Aaronovitch to assess all the latest political news, including a look back at the European debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage.


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