10/04/2014 Daily Politics


10/04/2014

The latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew Neil is joined by 'undercover economist' Tim Harford for a look at MPs' expenses and a new play about Margaret Thatcher.


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Transcript


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Maria Miller's gone

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but the stench of yet another expenses scandal still hangs around

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Westminster. But who should govern the lawmakers? He was a thorn in

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Labour's side and a strident critic of Thatcherism, can this man

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galvanise the left in next month's European and local elections? All

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the choice the free market can provide but are human beings a bit

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rubbish at making the right choices? Not only are Cameron and Osborne two

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posh boys who don't know the price of milk but they are two arrogant

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posh boys. But do our political leaders really need to know the

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price of basic foodstuffs? All that in the next hour. And with

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us for the duration today is a man who should be good with numbers -

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the FT's undercover economist and presenter of Radio 4's More or Less,

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Tim Harford. Let's start with house prices. House sales have climbed to

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their highest levels in six years, according to figures from the Royal

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Institution of Chartered Surveyors. It has raised concerns that not

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enough houses are coming on to the market to meet demand from buyers,

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putting an upward pressure on prices. Let's talk to Simon

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Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered

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Surveyors. Is this largely a London and the South problem? Perhaps six

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months ago it was a London and South problem. We are now seeing activity

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picked up across the country. It is partly the signs of a recovery in

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the You, me. -- in the wider economy.

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Supply is not keeping pace. House prices have not returned to the peak

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of 2008? In terms of pricing, London is very special. The recovery began

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earlier and there are other elements to the recovery and demand in London

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as well. In the North, the North West all the North East, and also in

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most of Scotland, maybe excluding Edinburgh, house prices are still a

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long way off the peak in 2008. What we are saying in the report today is

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there are encouraging signs of activity picking up. People who had

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not been able to move in many parts of the country because there had not

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been supply of mortgage finance or the appetite to move, they now have

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that opportunity. We are beginning to see that recovery kick in.

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Outside London and a few centres, prices are still way below where

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they were in 2007/. Let's put the Central London market to one side.

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-- 2007/ /2008. Maybe you could throw in money laundering as well. I

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would not say that although I probably just did! Everywhere else,

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what is pushing up house prices? There is not enough supply. Demand

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is recovering. It is not excessive all fuelled by debt in the way it

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was in the last decade. There is not the supply. You girls is only just

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beginning to recover. Existing home owners are reluctant to trade up in

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a significant way so you are not seeing second-hand stock coming onto

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the market. When I first got onto the property market, like many

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people did in the mid-70s, duty was not much of a consideration. You had

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to pay it but it was not a huge sum of money. Now it is a lot of money.

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Is that it is an incentive? We have been arguing that reform of stamp

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duty is urgently required. It seems bizarre to me we have a system where

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it kicks in in full at certain levels. It is a slap structure, and

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marginal rate structure. That is inconsistent with every other form

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of tax. It is necessary and overdue and would help people at the bottom

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end of the market, the first time buyers, who really are being

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suddenly saddled with very huge tax bills. Thank you very much for

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marking our card on that. We are in a situation where the politicians

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know how to jack up demand but they have yet to show us they know how to

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jack up the supply. You have put your finger on the problem. This is

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what we need, more houses to be built. British houses are small by

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European standards. They are old by European standards. If we built more

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houses, obviously we are building some. If we build more houses, that

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would tend to bring prices down and make them more affordable, which is

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good in all kinds of ways. Housing construction is a great source of

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jobs for skilled and semiskilled workers. I understand the politics

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of it. It is difficult to point to any particular field in the country

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and say, bring in the bulldozers, we are going to build houses. It also

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has economic consequences. If you are living in the north and you own

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your new house and you get offered a job in the south, you'd think, that

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is a good job, more money, or interesting job. You sell your house

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in the north and it would not give you enough money to buy a house in

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the south. No, it would not. Stamp duty makes it expensive to buy and

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sell houses. That is odd. I would see why you would have a tax on

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owning an expensive house... Like a mansion tax? Or the council tax, if

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it was rationally structured. This is a tax on buying and selling. It

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is a disincentive to buy and sell houses and that will slow down

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mobility. It will make people only move when they feel they have to.

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That is not a great idea. The record of the Government on housing is not

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stellar. Even that of the last Labour government was not that

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great. Politicians know they have to provide more homes. They know that.

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They want to do it as well on the left and the right. There seems to

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be so many institutional blocks to doing so, whether it is planning

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laws or the NIMBY -ism or the availability of getting land. It

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would need very bold reformer indeed. You can see the vested

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interests of house-builders. They are not keen to have planning

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reforms because they know how it works. Older voters who we know are

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very powerful as a voting bloc. They tended to own houses and they are

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not keen to have houses built in their back gardens. A lot of vested

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interests who do not want change. A lot of people who see themselves

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getting onto the housing ladder do not fully appreciate what a

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structural problem planning laws are. Thank you for that. Now it is

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time for our daily quiz. The departure of Maria Miller yesterday

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led to something of a reshuffle. Knowing that Tim here lives and

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breathes minor changes to the Government front bench, we thought

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we'd see if he's been paying attention. So which of these

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ministers is the odd one out? Is it... A) Ken Clarke, b) Grant

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Shapps, c) Nicky Morgan, or d) Sajid Javid? At the end of the show, Tim

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will give us the correct answer. You will, when she? I will try. Maria

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Miller's resignation has demonstrated once again that

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allegations of financial impropriety are the hottest of the political hot

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potatoes. MPs now face accusations of being too soft on their own and

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there are calls to change the way politicians are censured. The rules

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governing MPs' business costs and expenses are decided by IPSA, the

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Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, set up in 2009 in the

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wake of the expenses scandal IPSA sets MPs' expenses limits and

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authorises any claims. Complaints are investigated by IPSA's

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Compliance Officer However, because Maria Miller's expense claims

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pre-dated the creation of IPSA, they had to be investigated by the

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Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards They ensure MPs abide by

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the Code of Conduct and recommend action. The Parliamentary

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Commissioner for standards investigated her claims. It is his

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job to look into whether MPs have stuck to the code of conduct and

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recommend action if they have not. It's then up to the Commons

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Standards Committee, made up of MPs and lay members, to decide what

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sanction should be taken. However, not everyone is happy with this.

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Former Parliamentary Commissioner Sir Ian Kennedy said MPs marking

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their own homework always ends in scandal. According to some, the

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solution is a right to recall, taking the decision away from

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Parliament and giving it straight to the people. The fact is the real

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answer to the scandal we had back in 2009/2010 is actually appeared in

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the coalition agreement. I have been championing this for some time. The

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right of voters in a constituency to demand a by-election. The coalition

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accepted this. It was part of their agreement and they have done nothing

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about it. That leaves people with the impression, people say things at

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election time they do not really mean. Who would have thought that?

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Politicians saying things at election time they do not mean. We

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will come back to recall in a minute. Let's talk now to the

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Director of the Hansard Society, Ruth Fox. I am right in thinking now

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that the standards committee of MPs, which came to their final

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judgment, some thought quite a soft one, Maria Miller, that won't going

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forward have a role on MPs expenses, is that right? Ipsa will

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make the decision to an independent compliance officer. They will have

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legal recourse if they want to reclaim money from MPs and add

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interest charges and costs. Ultimately, it can go to the High

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Court if necessary. This committee will still have a say on other

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disciplinary matters will stop to the extent of non-expenses

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discipline, it could be argued that MPs will continue to mark their own

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homework? That is certainly true. As you mentioned in respect of any new

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cases that emerge from MPs related to expenses who were in the last

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parliament which predates the creation of its. It is important to

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remember that people have been saying, MPs marking their own

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homework, the solution is independent regulation. On the

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standards committee there are three independent members of the public.

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That is the first time ever on a Parliamentary committee, who sit

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with members of the House and make judgments on the conduct of MPs and

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the punishments that should be meted out. The Maria Miller case is the

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first big test of that. It is interesting that they appear to have

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reached the same inclusions as the elected members on that committee

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about her case. It would have been devastating for the politicians on

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that committee if the three lay members had done a minority report.

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They do not have a vote but they could, I think, have done a minority

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report saying, we do not agree with the recommendations now would have

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been devastating. They do not have a right to do but they do have an

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ability to register their views. They can produce a minority report

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and have it published. The committee cannot publish its own report until

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those independent members have produced their report and they are

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published together. They may not have a vote but they have immense

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influence. It would be devastating for elected members if the

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independent members publicly disagreed with them. They have yet

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to flex their muscles on this matter. Final question, do you have

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a view on this idea of right to recall? Going back to the comments,

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I think it was Nigel Farage in your clips saying, it was in the

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coalition agreement. This is one of the big problems. They see

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politicians make promises and then not deliver. It feeds the idea that

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no matter what party is in charge, it does not make that much

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difference. Recall is one of those measures that the public recognise

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as a reform which could help in terms of accountability between

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general elections. At the moment they do not feel there is any

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accountability between elections and this is a measure which could assist

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with that. Let's stick with this issue. With us now is the

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Conservative MP, Zac Goldsmith, and the former adviser to Tony Blair,

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John McTernan. Welcome to you both. You and I have talked several times

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on this programme about the right to recall. I know you are in favour of

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it. Why are you against it, John? Yellow mapper I do not think anyone

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is going unpunished in the current system. -- I do not think. I do not

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see what problem is being addressed by the recall. Maria Miller has not

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lost her seat? There has not been an election. Neal Hamilton was

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challenged and knocked off. The system regulates itself. Voters get

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rid of MPs who do not want and the parties get rid of the people they

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do not want in positions. What do you say to that? If there is a

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scandal early in parliament, there is a five-year period where people

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are represented by someone in whom they have no confidence. Three mat

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time, the decisions might be made. -- during that time. In a rock-solid

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Tory seat, nearly way of getting rid of the candidate is by involving

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improper democracy. They need a candidate in whom they have

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confidence. That is not all is possible. I think, and I speak as an

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MP, I know there has been no mechanism at all whereby my

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constituents have been able to hold me to account since I was elected in

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2010. I might get booted out in 2015 that those five years matter. I

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don't think the recall proposition helps. Say you have an MP who

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supports HS2, in a constituency where 10% of the population get

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together and have a by-election attacking them for that, it is a

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license for NIMBYs. It is a licence for the voice of the people. They

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came up with an arcane thing, tempers trigger, which also said you

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got have a recall by the -- recall ballot. 20% trigger is better but if

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I had money behind me I could generate the money and a campaign to

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get 20% of the people, particularly with the government proposition

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where automatically people with postal votes get sent petition form

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to sign on time. It is a very easy system to gain. You elect MPs for

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the term of the parliament, you have good ones and bad ones, I don't

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think interfering solves a problem that is so gigantic you should put

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anarchy at the heart of it. There is no evidence anywhere in the world

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where recall happens and it happens all over the world, of anarchy

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arising. The existence of recall keeps MPs on their toes, they behave

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better. It isn't borne out by experience. Even so we have 650 MPs,

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take which would park, it would be absurd for Richmond Park to be

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represented by somebody in favour of Heathrow expansion, it is the most

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unpopular concept is doing the rounds today in my patch. If I were

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to change my views on Heathrow I suspect people would have the right

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to recall me. I would no longer be representing their views. If you

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believe in democracy you have to believe representatives speak for

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the people who have elected them. HS2 is another example. If it were

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the case that two or three MPs were booted out for supporting the

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project that was unpopular in their constituency it wouldn't have an

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impact on national policy but I maintain and a recall on this, a

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representative being recalled because of unpopular decision.

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Across the United States in the mayoral system in the States, what

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elites do is paralysis, recall is used all the threat of recall create

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administrative or political paralysis. The best example is

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California weather was a recall ballot -- where there was a recall

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ballot. Energy prices had the government in California had got

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into a total mess over energy prices. The people were furious.

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There will books written about Ray Davies and why he was a useless

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governor. Every single governor has faced we call Dash has faced a

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recall attempt. It is very rarely deployed, it is about Loccoz voters

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must have one thing is very badly wrong. The initiation of it is a

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distraction. Come back to the point you have said, if you changed your

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mind on Heathrow, you should be recalled. The discipline is there

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already, you do in your constituents your judgement, you are not a

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delegate. You are meant to go there and be a transmission belt for their

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opinions. You are Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park. If I were to do

:20:13.:20:19.

the dramatic U-turn on Heathrow expansion I would have misled people

:20:20.:20:24.

before the election. Why should Conservative voters in Richmond Park

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and North can still have to vote for a Lib Dem candidate because they

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don't like their Tory candidate, why should they vote for an entire suite

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of policies because they don't like... Where are you on this? It is

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a daft idea. It is the fiction that all voters in a constituency are

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happy with their MP anyway, many people voted for other parties

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become dissatisfied. Even if you have constant because you couldn't

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keep everybody happy. There is accountability, Maria Miller lost a

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well paying job, she had a reputation damaged and she will face

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the electorate next spring. I don't see the problem with British

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politics is it is not short term is enough or populist enough, that is

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what we call would bring. There is a different dynamic when the election

:21:14.:21:17.

brings, people vote for the party because they want their party to

:21:18.:21:20.

form the man pulled up Maria Miller could well hold on to let it come

:21:21.:21:23.

the election not because people are Basingstoke are happy with her, but

:21:24.:21:26.

because enough of them want a Tory government they will vote for the

:21:27.:21:30.

Tory whoever it is. He said the system works, but for a lot of

:21:31.:21:34.

people watching this programme and for a lot of people getting in

:21:35.:21:37.

touch, they don't think it has it all. They think shouldn't pay back

:21:38.:21:40.

the money she was meant to, they think she continues as an MP with a

:21:41.:21:48.

good salary, and she even gets redundancy money from being a

:21:49.:21:55.

Cabinet Minister. In 2001 came within 880 votes being a Labour

:21:56.:21:59.

seat. There is an anti-Tory majority if it wishes to mobilise it. In 2001

:22:00.:22:05.

the Labour Party under Mr Blair had huge appeal to the south. You were

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part of that, that is not quite true today. But your points come to the

:22:09.:22:15.

same thing, the Tory party are proposing a member of the party,

:22:16.:22:20.

Maria Miller in this case, who you think Basingstoke might not want.

:22:21.:22:25.

That is a matter for party reform, for compulsory pre-selections by

:22:26.:22:29.

primary is, every time you put somebody up, it is allowing the

:22:30.:22:33.

public to choose for top if you concern is the party is going to put

:22:34.:22:37.

somebody up, if Maria Miller is toxic to the voters, a candidate

:22:38.:22:45.

would be found who would throw her out, the public would throw her out.

:22:46.:22:49.

My concern is the five years in between elections. I don't think it

:22:50.:22:54.

is possible to exaggerate this disconnect between people and power,

:22:55.:22:58.

I feel this is an MP every single day, when we look at but after this

:22:59.:23:03.

programme, there is an overwhelming hatred geared towards politicians, a

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sense politics has become so remote that people no longer have any

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impact, they cannot hold MPs to account. What recall we do is it

:23:11.:23:17.

would give people a sense of empowerment. Why not have

:23:18.:23:26.

high-frequency general elections? If an MP loses an annual contest voters

:23:27.:23:31.

need to be able to keep them on their toes at this is the only

:23:32.:23:34.

mechanism I can think of that would act public key people on the days

:23:35.:23:37.

between elections from day one until the last day. Challenger again,

:23:38.:23:41.

there is not a single example of a successful recall campaign anywhere

:23:42.:23:48.

in the world, Canada, Croatia, parts of South America, Switzerland, South

:23:49.:23:53.

Korea, there is not one example, any constitutional expert has been able

:23:54.:23:56.

to provide, of an unfair, successful campaign. The fear of the mob is a

:23:57.:24:05.

fear of democracy. I will be vexatious and call this to an end.

:24:06.:24:12.

I will have to give this year 's London Marathon a mess, not least

:24:13.:24:15.

because I have got to be done the Sunday Politics for an hour after it

:24:16.:24:21.

finishes. It is the perfect view of winding down after 26 mile one, so I

:24:22.:24:24.

highly recommend it. We have got a big debate coming the Sunday on the

:24:25.:24:29.

European elections. Some brave MPs are taking part in one of the world

:24:30.:24:35.

's most watched marathons. Alex Forsyth is on College Green with two

:24:36.:24:42.

of them. I would love to be there on Sunday pounding the pavements,

:24:43.:24:45.

taking part in the London Marathon, but unfortunately I am just too

:24:46.:24:49.

busy. A number of MPs are just taking part, we think it is a record

:24:50.:24:54.

number this year, a total of nine have decided to take on the

:24:55.:24:57.

challenge and we have grabbed two of them here with us today, in their

:24:58.:25:03.

full running regalia. Peggy throw much for being with us. I am not a

:25:04.:25:06.

runner, the idea of running 26 miles feels we with horror and dread, what

:25:07.:25:12.

on earth possesses you? It is a long way, I'm doing it to raise money for

:25:13.:25:16.

Cancer research UK, most people 's lives are touched by cancer at some

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point, my certainly has been. Every two minutes summary is diagnosed and

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each week 2800 people 's lives are saved by amazing research. They are

:25:26.:25:30.

a fantastic charity doing amazing work and I am really proud, via my

:25:31.:25:40.

site, 20 raise as much money for stop my father is 70 this year, we

:25:41.:25:44.

are going to run it together. Here's a veteran marathon runner so I am

:25:45.:25:47.

hoping he will drag me round because I haven't done a huge amount of

:25:48.:25:51.

training. I hear you are one of the more MPs. And certainly competitive

:25:52.:25:59.

in terms of how much money I want to raise for Marek Yuri Dash Dash Marie

:26:00.:26:19.

Curie. His arms like you know your timings. -- it sounds like. We have

:26:20.:26:29.

made these classy heads on state and I want you to guess the personal

:26:30.:26:33.

best. You have referenced him, let's start with this one, what is his

:26:34.:26:38.

personal best time, Jim Murphy? It was three point 31. 3.31. On the

:26:39.:26:50.

money, good effort. The infamous Ed Balls running for the third year. Do

:26:51.:26:55.

we know what stunning time he has made. It is over five hours. 5.14.

:26:56.:27:11.

Desk each others? Mine is 3.394. What about down? I bet it is to

:27:12.:27:23.

something. 3.12 is my personal best. Good effort. There is obviously a

:27:24.:27:28.

light-hearted side, but it is serious as well, a lot of people are

:27:29.:27:33.

encouraged, are you encouraged by the number of MPs running? It

:27:34.:27:43.

running for a national and local charity, and in London it is a great

:27:44.:27:49.

thing to do, quite an unhealthy lifestyle, makes sure we get out in

:27:50.:27:53.

the evening or morning to one, brings a bit of discipline back to

:27:54.:27:57.

life. Are you looking forward to it? Nervous? It is a global sporting

:27:58.:28:01.

event, people come from around the world. Great to be a part of it in

:28:02.:28:05.

some small way. Well done to you both, good luck for Sunday. I'm not

:28:06.:28:09.

convinced yet but I will be certainly watching.

:28:10.:28:18.

Two weeks ago we spoke to a representative of Left Unity. We

:28:19.:28:25.

speak to Dave Nellist, the national chair of the trade unionists and

:28:26.:28:30.

socialist coalition, known as task. You may remember him as a form

:28:31.:28:42.

unable MP -- former Labour MP. Labour magpies National Executive

:28:43.:28:44.

has suspended the entire constituency party of garbage is

:28:45.:28:47.

East because it is continuing to support the MP Dave Nellist. He was

:28:48.:28:52.

expelled over a week ago for alleged links with militants. I am not a

:28:53.:28:57.

member of the militants, I am no longer a member of the Labour Party.

:28:58.:29:03.

I am still a socialist. I shall go back to the people who are selected

:29:04.:29:06.

my first, supported me, and ask them. The militant standing

:29:07.:29:12.

candidates against the Labour Party. They have a cheek, anybody, to think

:29:13.:29:17.

they can remain in our party. They have no honour. Get rid of me,

:29:18.:29:25.

tragically they did, does not help Labour's chances in the general

:29:26.:29:32.

election one iota. And here in the studio is Dave Nellist. Is it true

:29:33.:29:41.

that someone had a sense of humour in the whips office and put to him

:29:42.:29:47.

at a young MP called Tony Blair? It was only four weeks before he went

:29:48.:29:51.

off and got an office with Gordon Brown. If you want to hold me

:29:52.:30:02.

responsible for the creation of new Labour, I hold up my hands. We saw

:30:03.:30:12.

that you got expelled from the Labour Party because they thought

:30:13.:30:17.

you were too supportive, to close off militant tendency. In 1990, the

:30:18.:30:25.

poll tax battle were occurring. I was next on the list to go to

:30:26.:30:30.

prison. Neil Kinnock thought he would win votes by expelling hard

:30:31.:30:34.

left wingers who were prepared to go to prison over the poll tax. Two

:30:35.:30:39.

years later, he spent two years attacking the left, and he lost the

:30:40.:30:45.

elections in 1992. The strategy did not work. You have been outside the

:30:46.:30:51.

Labour Party ever since. It is tough being on the left if you are not

:30:52.:30:56.

inside the Labour Party, is it not? Not now. I do not see major

:30:57.:31:01.

differences. You had a guest here a few weeks ago he described the

:31:02.:31:06.

difference between Ed Balls and George Osborne about 3%. That is

:31:07.:31:10.

what most people think about the big parties. There are two divisions in

:31:11.:31:16.

politics, Labour, Liberal Democrat, the Tories, UKIP. There is a Second

:31:17.:31:26.

Division and TUSC, of which I am a member, let's deal with them, it is

:31:27.:31:34.

the sixth largest party in the country. It is the only one with

:31:35.:31:40.

absolute policy against austerity and the effects on local people

:31:41.:31:44.

services. Why does the breakthrough of the left, and I do not mean in

:31:45.:31:49.

the sense of winning a majority, but a breakthrough in making progress,

:31:50.:31:54.

why does it not happen? I am thinking particularly, there was

:31:55.:31:58.

what might be regarded on the left in 2008 is a crisis of capitalism.

:31:59.:32:03.

We are still trying to recover from there. It did not result, not just

:32:04.:32:07.

in this country that actually across the western world, it did not result

:32:08.:32:11.

in a breakthrough for the left. The lack of PR in this country is more

:32:12.:32:21.

difficult. We have left Socialist party members. The other major

:32:22.:32:27.

factor is the biggest trade unions are imprisoned within the Labour

:32:28.:32:34.

Party. The unions were working -- we are working with were smaller,

:32:35.:32:42.

unaffiliated year and -- unions. We had the last general secretary in

:32:43.:32:45.

the current assistant general secretary. We had the smaller,

:32:46.:32:50.

unaffiliated unions. They do not yet have the social weight of the bigger

:32:51.:32:59.

unions. It was not a foregone conclusion mac Unite would always

:33:00.:33:04.

put its money into the Labour Party. It is an argument I have had. I have

:33:05.:33:11.

been a member for 40 years. We have got 120 members standing at

:33:12.:33:15.

candidate in this election. Conveners, shop stewards, active

:33:16.:33:19.

union members. The debate that is going on in the big unions is going

:33:20.:33:24.

in our direction. There is a problem on the left. There are so many

:33:25.:33:29.

different groups. You are a member of the Socialist party of England

:33:30.:33:33.

and Wales. Someone told me that goes by the acronym SPEW. Is that right?

:33:34.:33:46.

Not by its members. I'd have you up also a member of TUSC. You will be a

:33:47.:33:55.

candidate for the no to EU party. You are going to need a big front

:33:56.:33:59.

window to get all these different posters. The Socialist party is not

:34:00.:34:04.

standing in the elections. We are part of the TUSC coalition. We may

:34:05.:34:11.

be small but the RMT has 80,000 members. I repeat, we are a major

:34:12.:34:15.

minor party, we are the Second Division. We are the biggest

:34:16.:34:19.

challenge to the left of Labour for 60 years. No one has had 600

:34:20.:34:24.

candidates for the left of Labour since the early 1950s. What would be

:34:25.:34:30.

a good result? If we meet the day after the local election, when the

:34:31.:34:34.

results have come in, what would you consider to be a good result? It is

:34:35.:34:41.

visibility and viability. This is the second interview I have done in

:34:42.:34:45.

four years. The first one was with you for years ago. Nobody else on

:34:46.:34:49.

BBC TV has looked at the politics outside the big parties, except

:34:50.:35:05.

UKIP. That is one of our big things. There are 160 towns, cities and

:35:06.:35:09.

boroughs in this country with polls on May the 2nd. At least half the

:35:10.:35:17.

country will hear a little bit of an anti-austerities message. If people

:35:18.:35:21.

watching this programme today, they have lost the care of the elderly in

:35:22.:35:25.

their community will stop they are saying, does it matter whether it is

:35:26.:35:31.

Labour, Tory or Liberal Democrats making that decision? Our tests, if

:35:32.:35:36.

you like, between now and May the 22nd, is to increase visibility and

:35:37.:35:42.

give hope to people. What would you regard as a good result the next

:35:43.:35:48.

day? We are defending one or two seats. We're not going to say we

:35:49.:35:53.

will win dozens. Labour itself, in its early years 100 years ago, with

:35:54.:36:01.

the hard march. Even UKIP with its first five Parliamentary elections

:36:02.:36:06.

averaged 1.7% of the Parliamentary vote. It would be easy with a

:36:07.:36:09.

differences them. We are where we are. We have the biggest challenge

:36:10.:36:15.

for the left in 60 years. We will give people hope. Do you think that

:36:16.:36:21.

the left has an opportunity to breakthrough or has that opportunity

:36:22.:36:25.

posted that donate, has it already gone? It appears to have gone. --

:36:26.:36:36.

post 2008. I agree that the first past the post system makes it very

:36:37.:36:41.

difficult for small parties to breakthrough. I was curious, do you

:36:42.:36:45.

think the country would be better governed if we had maybe eight or

:36:46.:36:55.

ten significant small parties, the Green Party and others putting

:36:56.:37:03.

together coalitions? At the moment, there is an overlapping agenda on

:37:04.:37:07.

posterity. The argument is that used to take place within those parties

:37:08.:37:17.

were first marginalised. They are not given the prominence they should

:37:18.:37:22.

be given. If different arguments could come forward, you had a

:37:23.:37:26.

conversation about recall of MPs. They have got that in America. You

:37:27.:37:33.

have to have different parties to make real differences. We do not yet

:37:34.:37:37.

have that in this country. That is why we are standing to create the

:37:38.:37:41.

conditions in which a new Workers' Party can grow. Thank you for being

:37:42.:37:48.

with us. Now we are going to talk about tough choices. You've already

:37:49.:37:52.

made one. You could be watching Bargain Hunt on BBC One, or a repeat

:37:53.:37:56.

of the House of Elliot on ITV3 but you've opted to watch the Daily

:37:57.:37:59.

Politics instead. Politicians like to bandy the word around when it

:38:00.:38:03.

comes to public services but are us human beings actually any good at

:38:04.:38:06.

making decisions? Adam's been to his local Tesco to investigate.

:38:07.:38:09.

Choose chopped tomatoes, choose chilli sauce, choose from a lot of

:38:10.:38:17.

olive oils. To understand why we're actually a bit rubbish at choosing,

:38:18.:38:20.

head for the aisle labelled spreads and preserves. In a famous

:38:21.:38:24.

experiment in California, shoppers were offered a choice of six kinds

:38:25.:38:30.

of jam or 24 kinds of jam. The people offered less choice bought

:38:31.:38:33.

more jam, which gave rise to the conclusion that people get freaked

:38:34.:38:36.

out if they are offered too much choice. Is that why 60% of

:38:37.:38:42.

households have never switched energy companies? As a result, the

:38:43.:38:46.

regulators have cut the number of tariffs dramatically. Is that why we

:38:47.:38:50.

waste an estimated ?5 billion a year by being on the wrong type of mobile

:38:51.:38:58.

contract? What about choice in say the health service? Under the choose

:38:59.:39:01.

and book system, you can pick the hospital where you will be treated

:39:02.:39:04.

as an outpatient. Fellow shopper David Boyle is an expert. He has

:39:05.:39:08.

studied choice in schools, hospitals and social care for the Government.

:39:09.:39:11.

How do the public choose their service? By picking the nearest one.

:39:12.:39:18.

It's important to them that their relative should be able to visit

:39:19.:39:21.

them in hospital regularly, they're not going to be miles and miles

:39:22.:39:24.

away. For schools, for instance, they need to get there in the

:39:25.:39:28.

morning. If they do not have proper transport, the choice is much

:39:29.:39:34.

narrower. He found that a majority of people like the idea of choosing

:39:35.:39:38.

their public service but they seem just as happy if they did not get a

:39:39.:39:42.

choice at all. This Harley Street cardiologist reckons it is because

:39:43.:39:45.

there are some areas of life where we don't want to make our own

:39:46.:39:50.

decisions. When we are ill and vulnerable, it is not the same as

:39:51.:39:55.

choosing a pasta or an olive oil. It is life and death, it is important.

:39:56.:40:00.

People want to be able to put their trust into a health care

:40:01.:40:02.

professional with their interests at heart. I think you need this and

:40:03.:40:09.

here is why. It turns out there are many theories about decision-making

:40:10.:40:12.

as there are pasta sauces on the shelf. We tend to be overly

:40:13.:40:17.

optimistic, we suffer from inertia. We can only process seven pieces of

:40:18.:40:21.

information at once. Far too many theories for me to bother picking

:40:22.:40:31.

which one is the right one. And Tim Harford is still with us. People

:40:32.:40:38.

like by and large supermarket choice. But do they really want

:40:39.:40:45.

choice? Can they make the same kind of choices in the public services?

:40:46.:40:49.

It is worth distinguishing different reasons my Wii like choice. -- why

:40:50.:40:57.

we like choice. I will not make a choice on your behalf because I

:40:58.:41:01.

respect you as an autonomous being. People like to be trusted to make

:41:02.:41:05.

their own choices and asked their views. Different people want

:41:06.:41:10.

different things. I want a different kind of pasta sauce and they might

:41:11.:41:13.

want a different birthing experience. The third reason is,

:41:14.:41:18.

even if you do not really care exactly what you get, you care about

:41:19.:41:22.

quality, offering people a choice might be a good stick to beat Severs

:41:23.:41:25.

revivals with and raise overall standards. I do not care whether I

:41:26.:41:31.

buy milk from Sainsbury's or Tesco but the fact I have a choice

:41:32.:41:35.

hopefully raises quality and raises service and lowers prices. This

:41:36.:41:41.

whole debate about choice is, we are very muddled about what we think it

:41:42.:41:46.

is actually supposed to achieve. My son is two years old. He sees me

:41:47.:41:51.

cooking in the kitchen. He has a little plastic cookery set. He

:41:52.:41:57.

copies me. He said he is making soup or whatever or mashed potato. I feel

:41:58.:42:02.

the choice agenda in public services is like that. You see the market,

:42:03.:42:06.

people see the market and say, people make choices on the market

:42:07.:42:10.

and that works pretty well. Things like choosing a book in the national

:42:11.:42:17.

health -- choose and book in the National Health Service, it does not

:42:18.:42:20.

really have the same content in the market. Hospitals are not going to

:42:21.:42:24.

go bankrupt because no one wants to go there. We're not comfortable with

:42:25.:42:29.

that idea in British services. People often say when it is a public

:42:30.:42:33.

service, I do not want choice, I just want the school at the end of

:42:34.:42:39.

My Road to be a good school. But the problem with saying that is, if the

:42:40.:42:43.

school at the end of the road is the only one you have a choice to go to,

:42:44.:42:51.

that may be the reason why, because it is a monopoly, it may not be a

:42:52.:42:56.

good school. Absolutely. If schools were subject to competitive

:42:57.:42:58.

pressures, schools would go bankrupt and be shut down. No one would want

:42:59.:43:02.

to go there. Other schools would start-up. When you phrase it like

:43:03.:43:08.

that, which is how the private sector in schooling works in this

:43:09.:43:12.

country, people start to feel uncomfortable. Pro-market people

:43:13.:43:15.

like me think that maybe there is a way that might be made to work. Most

:43:16.:43:19.

people do not like the idea and are not comfortable with the idea. Until

:43:20.:43:23.

you have that, the choice is really a bit of a Sherard. Most people do

:43:24.:43:29.

not have a choice of school they are happy with. There are things people

:43:30.:43:35.

who believe in choice to not talk about. It depends, to some extent,

:43:36.:43:41.

on overcapacity in the system. If the system is fully use, there is no

:43:42.:43:46.

choice. We see that in supermarkets with all the food that is thrown

:43:47.:43:50.

away. That is a more difficult thing in the public sector where there are

:43:51.:43:56.

scarce resources. It is unacceptable for a hospital to shut down. That,

:43:57.:44:02.

fundamentally, is what the market mechanism is. If it is no good, it

:44:03.:44:08.

closes. People do not seem comfortable with that. There is a

:44:09.:44:13.

question of information. Do people have information they need? In some

:44:14.:44:17.

cases, yes, people do have a sense of what a good school is and whether

:44:18.:44:22.

it fits their preferences. The cardiologist we heard from has a

:44:23.:44:26.

point. If I am having a heart attack, I want that seem to and I

:44:27.:44:31.

have no strong opinions about cardiologists. The other thing about

:44:32.:44:35.

choice that is not discussed or may be put under the carpet a bit, if

:44:36.:44:41.

choice is the important factor, in most things by definition, the

:44:42.:44:45.

better off you are, the more choices you have. That is the way the world

:44:46.:44:51.

works. We accept that in most cases. We get very queasy when it comes to

:44:52.:44:59.

health care. Or education. If we really saw a serious push for

:45:00.:45:08.

choice, there would be a hospital choice magazine or a trip advisor

:45:09.:45:12.

for schools. I do not think we are bare and I do not think we will get

:45:13.:45:18.

there. It is not with easy to imagine what really privatised,

:45:19.:45:21.

market-driven public services sector would look like.

:45:22.:45:27.

Are you a savvy shopper, it do you know the price of milk or bread?

:45:28.:45:32.

Knowing the price of house-call goods has been seen as a touch of

:45:33.:45:40.

how knowledgeable politicians are. Let's have a look at some senior

:45:41.:45:44.

politician strain to answer how much you would spend on milk or bread in

:45:45.:45:52.

one of their critics. What is the cost of a sliced white loaf? You can

:45:53.:46:04.

get one for a pound. The value of his 47p. I try to get my children to

:46:05.:46:14.

eat the sort of granary. Do you know how much you pay for it? No, because

:46:15.:46:22.

my wife buys most of it. I do check where it comes from. 80p. No, it is

:46:23.:46:37.

40p. One of the big ones. Not only are they too posh boys who don't

:46:38.:46:40.

know the price of milk, they are arrogant posh boys who showed no

:46:41.:46:44.

remorse, contrition, no passion to want to understand the lives of

:46:45.:46:54.

others. We are joined by leading Tories who

:46:55.:46:58.

you just saw. Her first novel is loosely based on her own experiences

:46:59.:47:04.

groaning map in Liverpool -- growing up in Liverpool. What is the price

:47:05.:47:09.

of not? If you go into a named supermarket, Tesco or Asda, you can

:47:10.:47:13.

get a full pint container for 90p. It's not so much the people of

:47:14.:47:18.

politicians know exact what the price of milk is in its own right,

:47:19.:47:23.

is it not a shorthand for people just wondering whether they are in

:47:24.:47:33.

touch or not? Bug is not expensive. The last time I looked was when 19

:47:34.:47:41.

raise this issue, and then I looked at the Marks Spencer is in the

:47:42.:47:45.

local railway station, Tesco, Sainsbury's, it was 49p in all of

:47:46.:47:50.

them. There is no benefit to knowing because the price was the same, I

:47:51.:47:54.

was about right and I am no way qualified to run the country and I

:47:55.:47:57.

should not be let anywhere near the reins of power even though I do know

:47:58.:48:01.

the price of a pint of not and it wasn't very much. That is five

:48:02.:48:05.

minutes work, at the minimum wage for top we are labouring the milk

:48:06.:48:15.

aspect. This point is you often hear politicians say, I set myself, I was

:48:16.:48:19.

brought up by council estate. That doesn't mean anything. Neither just

:48:20.:48:22.

knowing the price of milk. What I have tried to convey is the

:48:23.:48:28.

emotional responses that people feel who grow up in a background which is

:48:29.:48:34.

deprived, which is defined by poverty. And what that makes them

:48:35.:48:39.

into, the kind of people in two, in a political arena you need to

:48:40.:48:45.

understand that. The majority of people actually have a tough life,

:48:46.:48:49.

the majority of people struggle, the majority of people do not go to

:48:50.:48:54.

public schools. Doesn't matter politicians don't know the price of

:48:55.:49:00.

some basic foodstuffs people have to buy? It is probably on a scale of

:49:01.:49:06.

one to 20, number one, in what you have to do to understand the lives

:49:07.:49:10.

of others, to know what goes into a basic family shopping basket, and

:49:11.:49:16.

how much that costs, and what a family 's budget is a step number

:49:17.:49:20.

two. What the percentage of that budget is to go and do the stuff.

:49:21.:49:27.

People do the test, taking people to go and live on a council estate. The

:49:28.:49:31.

one I went to was much better than the one I was brought up on, but

:49:32.:49:34.

they will take them and it is something they give away. That

:49:35.:49:38.

doesn't actually feed into the emotional responses, the hurt and

:49:39.:49:42.

the anger and the upset people feel when they think politicians are out

:49:43.:49:45.

of touch with how they live their daily lives. What you say to the

:49:46.:49:50.

proposition that it is important politicians, particularly those who

:49:51.:49:53.

run the country, that economic policy, determine tax, and the

:49:54.:49:56.

public sector wage levels, they should know what the cost of a

:49:57.:50:01.

basket of basic provisions from the supermarket is. That doesn't mean

:50:02.:50:05.

anything until they know what the average wages. They probably do know

:50:06.:50:11.

that already. My colleague at the BBC, they used to test civil

:50:12.:50:17.

servants on this and they had no idea. Civil servants aren't

:50:18.:50:23.

elected. Elected politicians have an absolute responsibility to know what

:50:24.:50:27.

goes into the average family house in terms of income, the average

:50:28.:50:32.

wages, amateur costs to fill up the car, because until they do that they

:50:33.:50:35.

will not understand how people feel about the policies that they make

:50:36.:50:40.

which affect people 's lives. What is frustrating is it is a very easy

:50:41.:50:43.

criticism to make of a Prime Minister, that he she is out of

:50:44.:50:48.

touch. Because of course all prime ministers by definition lead lives

:50:49.:50:54.

that are very different to ordinary people. I fully agree it would be

:50:55.:50:58.

great if we have our diversity in politics, more diversity of

:50:59.:51:03.

background, it is just a very easy cheap shot to save the current

:51:04.:51:09.

incumbent in the ten Downing St doesn't live a life like ordinary

:51:10.:51:11.

people, because of course they don't. That is not the fundamental

:51:12.:51:17.

qualification to run the country, I know a lot of people have tough

:51:18.:51:21.

lives, they know exactly how much a basket or trolley costs, who I do

:51:22.:51:31.

not want running the country. One thing I would say as a result of my

:51:32.:51:34.

comment is David Cameron proper leaders now know how much the

:51:35.:51:40.

average basket of food costs. Apparently he is good to read my

:51:41.:51:44.

book over the Easter holidays. You stick by that comment Mr Cameron and

:51:45.:51:50.

Mr Osborne too posh boys who don't know the price of milk. I regret the

:51:51.:51:53.

use of the web posh and I don't have any issues with eating or public

:51:54.:51:57.

school, I saw my daughters to public school. I thought the fact they were

:51:58.:52:05.

posh was why they didn't know the price of milk. Did a user would

:52:06.:52:10.

arrogant? I do regret the use of the word posh. Zac Goldsmith is apparent

:52:11.:52:19.

bash fantastic MP, Boris Johnson, excellent MP. They both went to

:52:20.:52:23.

Eton. I have no issues with eating or posh schools. What about

:52:24.:52:28.

arrogant? I have issues with anybody who is arrogant, Andrew. You called

:52:29.:52:34.

them arrogant. I think probably they may have been but I doubt either of

:52:35.:52:43.

them are now. There is one fewer woman in the Cabinet as a result of

:52:44.:52:51.

Maria Miller and Mr Cameron had the opportunity to appoint another woman

:52:52.:52:53.

to replace that he didn't, it is a problem. I think women in the

:52:54.:52:58.

Cabinet and around the table and in politics is an absolute obsession

:52:59.:53:03.

with Westminster journalists and politicians. I doubt anybody, any of

:53:04.:53:08.

my constituents, actually care, or they are interested is the right

:53:09.:53:11.

person is doing the job. However, having said that, we do have a

:53:12.:53:14.

Cabinet and parliament which reflects the country. We are working

:53:15.:53:21.

towards that. What I want is the best people around the Cabinet,

:53:22.:53:23.

particularly at the moment, running the country. That is what I want to

:53:24.:53:28.

see. With only three in the Cabinet we have the best people. Even in

:53:29.:53:34.

Labour's cabinets, the only people who sat around the table were

:53:35.:53:37.

childless or wealthy. And that is another problem. We do have women

:53:38.:53:43.

who come around the table who may not be representative of the women

:53:44.:53:46.

out there because to be an MP in the first place and to be a woman MP and

:53:47.:53:50.

a mother and stay on the Cabinet is a difficult job unless you have a

:53:51.:53:51.

lot of money you don't have children .

:53:52.:53:59.

Now for a culture fix for top handbag is a play described as

:54:00.:54:02.

wickedly funny and transfers to the vaudeville Theatre in London's West

:54:03.:54:06.

End today for top looks at the relationship between Margaret

:54:07.:54:08.

Thatcher and the Queen. Imagining what went on in the meetings behind

:54:09.:54:13.

the palace's closed doors. For actresses play both older and

:54:14.:54:16.

younger versions of the formidable female duo. He was a short clip of

:54:17.:54:21.

the play to whet your appetite. I can remember an odd sense of

:54:22.:54:25.

loneliness when I received the call which summoned me to the palace. The

:54:26.:54:36.

Queen receives the authority to form a government. When one is re-elected

:54:37.:54:38.

one doesn't go, so that first meeting is unique. She was my

:54:39.:54:45.

eighth. Winston, said Anthony, Sir Alec. Dear Harold W. Heath. And Jim

:54:46.:54:52.

Callaghan. He bade me farewell that morning. It is affecting when they

:54:53.:54:57.

go. One doesn't have time to turn around. How goes the last and in

:54:58.:55:02.

comes the next with barely a pause. One has often built up a

:55:03.:55:05.

relationship. We are joined by Stella Gonet. What

:55:06.:55:23.

research did you do to get into the role? Research. It is hardly

:55:24.:55:30.

difficult, there is so much, the rather silly videos, books will stop

:55:31.:55:32.

and other relationship between the two, quite a lot on that? I suppose

:55:33.:55:42.

a lot of this is fun conjecture. It is a comedy. It is really good fun.

:55:43.:55:48.

They didn't get on, though, did they? Who are we to say? She

:55:49.:55:57.

mentioned the Queen very little. That is interesting. It is

:55:58.:56:05.

interesting to put two people together. To be forced to have

:56:06.:56:07.

weekly meetings for that many years, for two people who came from

:56:08.:56:11.

such different backgrounds, different worldviews, different

:56:12.:56:14.

interests, it will be a little awkward. Time magazine said this

:56:15.:56:20.

play would be loved by liberal royalists. What does that mean? I

:56:21.:56:28.

think Moira has got the balance right. It is a play that can be

:56:29.:56:32.

loved by both sides of the House, essentially for top of a slow we

:56:33.:56:35.

want both sides of the House to come along. It has got a lot to appeal to

:56:36.:56:39.

both sides. In playing this part, have you

:56:40.:56:46.

changed your views on Margaret Thatcher, you feel you know her

:56:47.:56:50.

better now, what have you learnt by playing her? Undoubtedly know her

:56:51.:56:59.

better. No more about what made... I feel sorry for her, is what I feel.

:57:00.:57:10.

Ultimately. In the film that came out, she did seem very sad and

:57:11.:57:16.

lonely. We're not talking about Streep's performance. All she had

:57:17.:57:23.

also politics so when that went she had nothing, where is the Queen has

:57:24.:57:27.

many passions, that is what keeps you going. Do you do the famous

:57:28.:57:37.

Sunday Times story? We do, indeed. That was mine. You have something to

:57:38.:57:42.

do with that, didn't you? She told me to a 9-point offer in the poles.

:57:43.:57:50.

-- it took nine points off her in the poles. It is running at

:57:51.:57:57.

affordable theatre, press night tonight, runs until the 3rd of

:57:58.:58:00.

August. Let's hope, if we get the audiences. People seem to be

:58:01.:58:06.

massively enjoying it in the previews. I want to come. Please do.

:58:07.:58:13.

It sounds fantastic. Just time to find the answer to the quiz. Which

:58:14.:58:17.

of these ministers is the odd one out following yesterday 's

:58:18.:58:21.

reshuffle? Ken Clarke Grant Shapps, Nicky Morgan or Sajid Javid? Sajid

:58:22.:58:29.

Javid, he was the first Asian in Cabinet. He's the only one entitled

:58:30.:58:34.

to attend the Cabinet in his own right, the other three getting only

:58:35.:58:39.

because they are invited. Thanks to our guests. I will be back tonight

:58:40.:58:55.

for This Week. And back here at noon as well. Goodbye.

:58:56.:58:57.

Andrew Neil with the latest political news and debate from Westminster. Andrew is joined by 'undercover economist' Tim Harford for a look at MPs' expenses and a new play about Margaret Thatcher.


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