11/04/2014 Daily Politics


11/04/2014

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Afternoon folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. The former Deputy

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Speaker of the Commons, Nigel Evans, is cleared of all charges of sexual

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assault. So should he have been prosecuted in the first place? Mr

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Evans was cleared by a jury yesterday of nine counts, including

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one of rape. It's yet another high profile case where the prosecution

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case has collapsed. Is the Crown Prosecution Service fit for purpose?

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After the last 11 months nothing will be the same again.

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After the resignation of his Culture Secretary, David Cameron probably

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didn't want this to be the week to launch an election campaign. So will

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it damage the Tories in the upcoming European and Local elections?

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Anti-EU parties are on the rise across Europe. We report from the

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Netherlands on why voters are turning against the European

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project. And, he's a former banker and

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Treasury minister, but does he know anything about the arts? Just how

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cultural do you have to be to be the Culture Secretary? All that in the

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next hour. With us for the first half of the

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programme is the venerable Trevor Kavanagh, who writes for the Sun,

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and the journalist and broadcaster Miranda Green,. -- Green. Welcome to

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you both. The Director of Public Prosecutions has defended the

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decision to prosecute the Conservative MP Nigel Evans over a

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string of sex offence allegations. Mr Evans was cleared on all nine

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counts yesterday - including one of rape - by a jury at Preston Crown

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Court. Numerous MPs have criticised the decision to bring charges in the

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first place, and a former Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken

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MacDonald, says prosecutors risk "losing perspective" by going "on a

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mission" to pursue prominent figures. Well, the current Director

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of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, had this to say this

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morning. Our mission is to prosecute cases fairly, and in accordance with

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the code for crown prosecutors and we do that no matter who the alleged

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defendant is, or who the victim is. We need to make sure that we do keep

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cool heads and look at the evidence objectively, which is what we do. He

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said she shouldn't shy away from taking difficult case, I think that

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is important that we don't take just cases that, where there is a

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certainty of conviction because we would be failing victims and failing

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in our duty to see justice is done. You have to remember there are

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victims who complained to the place which started the investigation. We

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have to be careful about some of the asummerions we make. Often victims

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don't see themselves as victim, and they may not see themselves as

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victims for all sorts of reason, such as the power of the allegeded

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of fender, the fact they are who only people who have shown them

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supposed love or affection, so we have to be careful about those

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assumptions. Joining me Conservative Bob Stewart, a friend of Nigel

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Evans. He testified on his behalf in the trial. Welcome to the daily

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politics, should this case have been brought? No Why? Because the

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evidence clearly wasn't enough for a prosecution. That was relatively

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clear when the witnesses went into the box and said I didn't really

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feel I was a victim. I didn't feel this was right. You know, I have

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known Nigel for a long time, Andrew, 20 years since I was in the army,

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and the one thing about him, he is no bully. He maybe silly at times

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but he is no bully. So why do you think it was brought? I don't know.

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I tell you this, what was, what happened. You have Nigel Evans

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career in bit, his wellbeing destroyed, his position as Deputy

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Speaker gone, and frankly, he told me last night when I spoke to him,

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he is concern head is will have to pay a huge amount of money in fees

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to lawyers, when he has been found not guilty, that is wrong. The

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lawyers always make money. I shouldn't make money out of Nigel.

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He is innocent. He didn't want to go to court and he has had his life

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ruined. It is more than 100,000. How can you compensate a man who has

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lost his career? Can it be put back on the rails again Yes. He has told

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me that he wants to, come back, get reestablished again, prove he is as

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good an MP as has been and stand well in the House. Everyone in the

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House of Commons wants him to come back and be reinstituted as quickly

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as possible. Then he can reestablish himself. He is not a rich man, I

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have been to his house. It is like a miner's cottagement to be asked to

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pay this money. If that is correct it is wrong. We have to sort that.

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Will he run again in the 2015 election? I dam well hope so, I hope

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the people in Ribble Valley feel that way because he has been through

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the mill. I want to talk about this Code of Conduct, let me go to the

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BBC in Salford, Kim Harrison is a lawyer from Slater and Gordon. This

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case should never have been brought, should it? It collapsed. Just to

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clarify, Slater and Gordon acts in civil compensation for abuse victim,

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this is an unusual case, and while we weren't involved in this case and

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I can't comment on the specific circumstances, I do know from

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reading the coverage that a number of the alleged victims have

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themselves expressed surprise about why the case was brought, but I

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think that we need to look at this in perspective. These celebrity

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cases are a small proportion of the number of sexual assault and rape

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and abuse case, which happen each year, and we don't... I understand

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this but this is about a man whose life has been ruined, even though he

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has won. The point I put to you is this should never have been brought?

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As I say, it wasn't, it wasn't anything to do with us, or Slater

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and Gordon. I am not accusing you, I am asking for you opinion. Let me

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put this. Only two of the alleged victims had complained to the

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police. The police then went on a trawl for the other ones, only two

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volunteered. One of the alleged victims said he never wanted a

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prosecution. Another claimed he was traumatised. But stayed friends with

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Nigel Evans, and describes him as an all round good egg. Another admitted

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he embellished his account for dramatic effect. I say to you, this

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case should never have been brought. I think the police and the CPS have

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a really really difficult job in these sorts of cases, and there have

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been convictions in celebrity case, look at the Stuart Haul convictions

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and the role of the CPS and the police isn't to decide whether

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somebody is guilty. That is the role of the jury, that is what the jury

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have done in this case. If anything it shows that the criminal justice

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system in this country is functioning well, if the jury have

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listen toed the evidence, and reached their verdict, but if you

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had a situation where every case that was brought that resulted in

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the conviction, that would surely say something about the criminal

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justice system as well. I can assure you it is not working well for never

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this morning, even though he has won. My point to you, why would the

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Crown Prosecution Service proceed with a case in which the police had

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to trawl for victims in the first place and even when it found them,

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some said they didn't think it should go to court. Why would you do

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that unless you were out for a celebrity scalp? Well I think you

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would have to ask the CPS that. I think the real problem is not false

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claims but low reporting rates for rape and sexual abuse cases, that is

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the real problem, and victims who are scared to come forward because

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they are scared they are not going to be believed. Do you have no

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sympathy for Nigel Evans this morning? Sorry? Do you have no

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sympathy for him? Of course I have great sympathy for Nigel Evans. The

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system you are defending has done this to him We need to look at this

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in the context of the overall scale of this problem, where the vast

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majority of people who are abused are not abused by celebrities or

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people in the public eye, they are abused in their own homes, these are

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the people that are lost and forgotten and the people we need to

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be concentrating on. So why don't the authorities concentrate on them,

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instead of going for celebrity scalps where the case is weak? There

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were clearly issues in this case which prosecutors need to learn from

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and I am sure as we speak, that people are looking at what happened,

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and learning those lessons but you know, my job here isn't to sit up

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here defending whether or not Nigel Evans should be prosecuted, but we

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stand... But you have. No I haven't. I I have said there is a bigger

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problem in society, with low reporting rates of abuse victim,

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because people are scared that they are not going to be believed. What

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we have to be very careful of is because we have had a couple of

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cases where people have been acquitted, that we don't roll back

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all of the good work that has been done over the past couple of years

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with people feeling more confident at coming forward to report abuse,

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and the police and the CPS taking it serious -- seriously, the real issue

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is protecting the victim, the vast majority of victims whose cases

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never come to court. I understand that, nobody could argue with that,

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but that wasn't what I was asking you about. Any way, thank you for

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joining us. This is the legal profession closing ranks. I think

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that the Crown Prosecution Service and indeed the police have questions

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to answer on this and I think you have raised a few this morning

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already. Kim was saying there that this is just a small number of the

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cases that have been raised and brought to court, but in fact they

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represent a vast expenditure of resources and manpower, and as, as

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Mr Evans's lawyer said last night, the CP S through everything at this

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case. -- threw everything at this case. This is indicative of the way

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they are operating. The Elveden case which is in a way similar has more

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police on it than any other previous criminal inquiry in history and that

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includes murder inquiries, now I it seems to me ?100 million being spent

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on one case or in this case 100,000 in one lawyer's case is totally

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disproportionate and it is the question of proportion here that is

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important. It is not whether or not prosecutions should take place, it

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is a question of proportion and degree. Kim was right to argue you

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want people to come forward, and there are people sometimes are

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deterred from coming forward. That is not the issue in this case. It

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seems the issue in this case is that the police and the Crown Prosecution

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Service precede proceeded on what they had from the victims, was

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flimsy. Exactly so and they persuaded people to testify who said

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they did not stheemss as victims, now I think that Kim had interesting

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things to say, because I am very worried that in bringing these cases

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that fail, the CPS is doing victims of very serious sexual assault and

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rapes a disservice, what you are saying today is a massive backlash

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because of this care, and also because of the Coronation Street

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case, which think was a couple of months ago now, and there is already

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a terrible set of rape myths which result in juries acquitting, when

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they should convict. This sort of case will encourage the attitude

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that people are been ex ashusly put on trial. You think the kind of

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cases which Kim was talking about, what has happened to Nigel Evans

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doesn't help that. It doesn't help it a at all. Listening to a talk

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radio discussion last night there were hundreds queueing up to say we

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must have anonymity for rape accused, you know, which is

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something that resurfaces every year, which is terrible was a you

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need victims to come forward you don't need the police and the CPS

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they are victims when they don't feel to be so. Look that the wider

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problem of Westminster culture, so bad, that your parties had to

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release a voluntary Code of Conduct for MP, outlining suitable

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behaviour. What do you think of that? I haven't read it. I will be

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very worried. -- MPs. A voluntary Code of Conduct. I don't see what is

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going to be said in it, but I do know that people should know how to

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behave decently any way. If you have a MP you should know any way. It is

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meant to combat bar, older men, with young researcher, mail and female --

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male and female behaviour. You have had to have a Code of Conduct. You

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can't behave yourselves without a Code of Conduct. You are looking at

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me! When I said you, I meant you collectively. I will try my best to

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behave. In the best... You have seen this behaviour? I don't see it as

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bad as that. No, I mean, frankly I just don't see that. Some people act

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out of line, in any profession. I guess that is true in most places. I

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really don't see that MPs are really, they are not drunk, people

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come up to them. Sometimes they are drunk! If they are others say away

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know, sometimes they don't get... Sometimes they get hit. Yes, so far

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no-one has hit me Andrew. I wouldn't be surprised. They wouldn't try you.

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I am glad to hear that, I really don't see much of it. And frankly, I

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just hope that this will get behind, Nigel Evans will come back, and

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please the public, belief that the vast majority of Members of

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Parliament are trying to do their very best, me, I feel I am back in

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uniform, serving my country and all MPs think that. Now it's time for

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our daily quiz and today it's about the new Culture Secretary Sajid

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Javid. He's only been in the job for a few days but already some critics

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are predictably asking if the former banker is cultured enough for the

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job. Well, we don't know much about his tastes - although he's a regular

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on this show so they must be pretty good, but we do know he's a fan of

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one popular science fiction programme. So what is it? Is it: a)

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Doctor Who, b) Blake's seven, c) Star Trek, or d) red Dwarf? And a

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bit later in the show Miranda and Trevor will give us the correct

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answer. Yesterday the Conservative Party launched it's European

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election campaign and here is the shiny manifesto in all its glory.

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And, if that momentous event passed you by, well, it's no wonder really,

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as most of Westminster was talking about the Nigel Evans case and the

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fallout from the resignation of Maria Miller. Not exactly the ideal

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week to launch an election campaign! Anyway, as well as the European

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elections, there are also local elections taking place on the 22nd

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of May. So what's at stake? In England there'll be elections in 129

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councils, as well as in all 32 London Boroughs, plus contests for

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directly elected mayors in Watford and four London boroughs: Hackney,

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Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets. There are no local elections in

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Wales or Scotland but there will be in Northern Ireland as their 26

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councils begin to merge into 11 super councils. All in all, that's

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around 4,180 seats - just under half of which are in London. But there

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will be UK wide elections for seats in the European Parliament with 73

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seats up for grabs via a closed party list system except in Northern

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Ireland where it's a Single Transferable Vote. STV. It used to

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be a television station in Scotland. The latest TNS European election

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poll shows Labour and UKIP neck and neck with the Conservatives trailing

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third. They'll be hoping to make up some ground over the next few weeks.

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Here's what the Prime Minister had to say at yesterday's launch of the

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Conservative manifesto. We are the only party with a clear plan.

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Renegotiate, get the best deal for Great Britain and put the decision

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to the British people. For the next six weeks, let's head the street and

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at every rally, every meeting, let take out this message. Labour and

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the Liberal Democrats will not give you a say on Europe. UKIP cannot

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Joining us now from Glasgow is Professor John Curtice from

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Strathclyde University who is the man we turn to when elections come

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into view. Change a thing at all. It is only the Conservatives who can

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make real change in Europe and only the Conservatives will give you the

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say in a referendum. That was the Prime Minister. I would suggest you

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that neither the Maria Miller business or the Nigel Evans is Ms

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will have any effect on the elections? I think that is probably

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broadly correct. My only caveat would be that given one of the

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arguments from Nigel Farage is to say there will be a plague on all

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your houses. The publicity had given him ammunition but I do not think it

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would be an important issue. I think what one needs to realise is that

:19:46.:19:51.

these elections, all three Westminster parties will simply be

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looking to see how well UKIP do. The Labour Party will be desperate to

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remain ahead of UKIP in the UK wide vote. Most surveys put them narrowly

:20:03.:20:08.

ahead. The Conservatives will be wanting to minimise the damage from

:20:09.:20:13.

UKIP that there is no doubt, if you look at the surveys, the people who

:20:14.:20:17.

are switching to UKIP are the ones who disproportionately vote for

:20:18.:20:23.

Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats are asking, how far behind will we

:20:24.:20:31.

be in fourth place? The surveys on how you vote in the European

:20:32.:20:33.

elections are very different to the surveys that tell us the sake of the

:20:34.:20:41.

parties. Yes, the truth is that that has been par for the course for

:20:42.:20:47.

elections for some time. Voters are more willing to vote for smaller

:20:48.:20:50.

parties, not just UKIP, but also the Green Party. Partly because they do

:20:51.:20:56.

not think it matters so much but partly because we have a system of

:20:57.:21:00.

proportional representation. UKIP, on average, in the surveys, are

:21:01.:21:08.

running at 28%. In surveys in Westminster, they are running at

:21:09.:21:16.

14%. Undoubtably, people will vote Conservatives in a Westminster

:21:17.:21:18.

election but will about UKIP later on. The other thing that helps UKIP

:21:19.:21:25.

is that UKIP voters tend to be strongly motivated and this will

:21:26.:21:29.

undoubtedly be a low turnout election, and that turns out well

:21:30.:21:35.

for UKIP. In the USA, for a long time, they have had this to men of

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splitting the ticket. You may vote Democrat, or the Mayor, or you could

:21:41.:21:49.

vote Republican. Given that we have the European elections and local

:21:50.:21:52.

elections on the same day, is it likely that people will split the

:21:53.:21:57.

ticket, and vote in a particular way for European elections but vote more

:21:58.:22:03.

like the USA for the local elections? Yes, we anticipate that

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UKIP would do better in the European elections than local elections but

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what happened in the last European elections in 2009, when they were on

:22:14.:22:16.

the same day as County Council elections, the evidence suggested

:22:17.:22:26.

that it does help UKIP to do better in local elections. We should bear

:22:27.:22:30.

in mind that in the local elections last year, UKIP did better than

:22:31.:22:41.

Westminster intentions, 22 in the nationwide poll. We may find UKIP

:22:42.:22:45.

doing well in the local elections, with one caveat. These local

:22:46.:22:52.

elections are primarily in rural rather than urban Britain. London is

:22:53.:22:57.

the focus, and London is more multicultural and diverse, and is

:22:58.:23:04.

less and of UKIP than much of Britain outside of the capital. --

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less and enamel. If UKIP does well. --, does it matter? What is the

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matter? I think they will come first and it is disgraceful that Labour is

:23:19.:23:22.

anywhere near coming second stop I think the live cams will be

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effectively wiped out. I think that has an effect not just on the local

:23:27.:23:31.

elections but on the mood of the public generally. For a while now,

:23:32.:23:38.

people have been prepared to vote quite differently in European

:23:39.:23:42.

elections compared to how they wrote in Westminster elections. I think

:23:43.:23:45.

that changed after the two debates when Nigel Farage emerged as

:23:46.:23:51.

something as a figurehead for his voters. He is now formally

:23:52.:23:57.

entrenched as the voice against the establishment, the metropolitan

:23:58.:24:00.

elite, and I think that will continue over the next few months,

:24:01.:24:04.

up to the next election. He says you would be wiped out? I hope not. I

:24:05.:24:15.

think he has put the cat among the pigeons. They will hope that is not

:24:16.:24:22.

the case but it is true that with the poll rating the way it is and

:24:23.:24:26.

the proportional representation system for the European elections,

:24:27.:24:28.

the Lib Dem 's do not have their usual advantages where the incumbent

:24:29.:24:40.

is well liked. You have this system where according to the proportion of

:24:41.:24:43.

the vote, you only get one or two. It is a dangerous system. People are

:24:44.:24:51.

talking about it and that would be bad, not least because you lose a

:24:52.:24:56.

number of spokespeople. With the Lib Dems, you lose a number of females

:24:57.:25:01.

who are thin on the ground, but I do not agree with Trevor's take that

:25:02.:25:03.

European elections are very important. There is not that much at

:25:04.:25:08.

stake and traditionally they are used for people to make a massive

:25:09.:25:13.

protest against established parties. Look at the Green Party and the

:25:14.:25:21.

success they have. It may have no affect the am I right in thinking

:25:22.:25:25.

that if you look at the longer trend in the state of the parties in the

:25:26.:25:32.

polls over the last year, there has been a gradual but steady narrowing

:25:33.:25:38.

of Labour's lead over the Conservatives? I would put it

:25:39.:25:42.

differently. Labour's vote share fell over the summer of 2013, and

:25:43.:25:50.

despite its campaign on the cost of living, that has failed to restore

:25:51.:25:53.

the Labour Party back to the 40% plus Mark. The Conservatives are

:25:54.:26:01.

still running at the 33% that they have been running for the last three

:26:02.:26:05.

years, and so far, although the voters are somewhat more optimistic

:26:06.:26:11.

about the economy, that is proving to be a difficult recovery as far as

:26:12.:26:14.

the Conservatives are concerned. Even if the Lib Dems do as badly as

:26:15.:26:18.

the opinion polls suggest they will do in the European elections, they

:26:19.:26:24.

should pick up three or four seats. 9% is what the opinion polls are

:26:25.:26:29.

pointing towards. They should still pick up some seeds. Beware of the

:26:30.:26:35.

Liberal Democrats opus billing -- over spilling. We will be aware.

:26:36.:26:43.

Thank you, John. For more on the elections, join me this Sunday for

:26:44.:26:47.

Sunday Politics at 2:30pm, just after the London Marathon. We will

:26:48.:26:53.

host a debate on Europe between the four main parties. Normally at

:26:54.:26:56.

around this time we'd all be speculating about when the Prime

:26:57.:26:59.

Minister is going to announce the date of the next general election.

:27:00.:27:03.

But all that fun's been taken away because it's fixed in law. It'll be

:27:04.:27:10.

on May the 7th next year. But have the great British public already

:27:11.:27:13.

made up their minds about which way to vote? Only one man has the balls

:27:14.:27:20.

to find out. We've got the balls, we've got the

:27:21.:27:25.

box, so let's find out when it comes to the 20 15th general election, our

:27:26.:27:29.

people fixed or floaters who are yet to decide? When will you decide?

:27:30.:27:35.

Possibly not until the final month. It is all play for? Yes, it is. When

:27:36.:27:43.

will you decide, how will you make the decision? Five minutes before on

:27:44.:27:47.

the way to the polling station. Would you like to vote in our

:27:48.:27:51.

survey? Do you follow the political news as it happens? Not as it

:27:52.:28:01.

happens but I feel like I am aware. If you are not going to decide

:28:02.:28:05.

nearer the election, does that mean politics is a bit of a waste of

:28:06.:28:11.

time? No, not at all. I am more interested in local issues. I am

:28:12.:28:17.

fixed. Would it take something major to change your mind? Yes, it

:28:18.:28:24.

worked. Not John Major, but Major Major! Do you know when the next

:28:25.:28:30.

general election is? It is in May 2015. I had not heard about it. So,

:28:31.:28:38.

you are sort of fixed and sort of floaters? Yes, we have to float to

:28:39.:28:49.

make maximum impact. Do you feel the political parties are reaching out

:28:50.:28:54.

to you to win your vote? No. This is a productive way of looking at all

:28:55.:28:59.

of the stop have you ever seen the Daily Politics programme? No, I have

:29:00.:29:05.

not. This week, we had the Maria Miller resignation. Do events like

:29:06.:29:11.

that make difference to you? Yes, they. Will David Cameron be still

:29:12.:29:17.

around is when he is old enough to vote? I doubt it. Do you know who

:29:18.:29:25.

any of those people are? Boris Johnson! Yes! Do you feel the

:29:26.:29:30.

political parties are trying to win you over? Yes, there was a lot of

:29:31.:29:36.

talk but I know where my vote is going. Which political party is

:29:37.:29:44.

winning over owners of small dogs? The Conservative party and maybe the

:29:45.:29:49.

Lib Dems. Guys, do you want to park up and do a survey? I am fixed, but

:29:50.:29:58.

it has been the same for years, I have not really changed my mind and

:29:59.:30:01.

I do not know what would change my mind. I have no idea. What would win

:30:02.:30:10.

you over as my have you decided who to vote for or are you floating?

:30:11.:30:18.

Floater is not a nice term. Of our many people who are undecided which

:30:19.:30:21.

is great because otherwise we may as well pack up and come home and come

:30:22.:30:30.

back next May. Give me your predictions. What will your results

:30:31.:30:35.

be? The Conservatives should win. The

:30:36.:30:39.

voteless recovery, I don't think that is going to continue. We will

:30:40.:30:43.

see the economy beginning to become the big issue, if they play it

:30:44.:30:49.

right, instead of bungling it, I think they could easily win the next

:30:50.:30:56.

election. By win, what to you mean, overall party or majority. It might

:30:57.:31:04.

be a small majority. They would have to increase their share of the vote.

:31:05.:31:07.

Who was the last Prime Minister to do that? Antony Eden? But the thing

:31:08.:31:16.

is... 1955. The The recovery will be deeper and wide wider than before.

:31:17.:31:19.

That is a career answer, what is your answer? I think the

:31:20.:31:24.

Conservatives will win. Because the Labour advantage in the polls at the

:31:25.:31:29.

moment is nothing like as wide as it needs to be. As you get near a

:31:30.:31:34.

general election the opposition party it narrows and narrows because

:31:35.:31:38.

of all the things the incumbent party can say, I think there will be

:31:39.:31:43.

the Conservatives at the largest party, but I think there will be a

:31:44.:31:48.

coalition, the question is is it a coalition between the Tory party and

:31:49.:31:51.

the Liberal Democrats again, or is it a coalition between two sides of

:31:52.:31:56.

the Tory party. Constantly at war as they were towards the ends of John

:31:57.:32:01.

Major's. So when you say win you mean the largest party. If there is

:32:02.:32:06.

a narrow majority you will see a coalition. It will be two sorts of

:32:07.:32:11.

Tories in coalition. Will there be enough Liberal Democrats round to

:32:12.:32:14.

contribute to a coalition? I think there will. The polling is

:32:15.:32:17.

interesting on this, because although the Liberal Democrat

:32:18.:32:20.

overall rating is truly horrendous, you know, being in single figures,

:32:21.:32:26.

in their individual constituencies they are so good at clinging on.

:32:27.:32:31.

Easterly showed that in the by-election. The satisfaction rate

:32:32.:32:40.

for for you to like your MP it is positive. That would mean they are

:32:41.:32:48.

vulnerable where there isn't an incumbent. You would hope there is a

:32:49.:32:52.

legacy, because there are a lot of women standing. We might see some

:32:53.:32:55.

women in the Liberal Democrats. That would be nice. It would be a change.

:32:56.:32:59.

Certainly would. Time to get the answer to our quiz. The question was

:33:00.:33:04.

what science fiction show is new Culture Secretary Sajid Javid a fan

:33:05.:33:11.

of? Doctor Who? Blakes Seven? Star Trek? Or Red Dwarf? What is the

:33:12.:33:19.

correct answer. I would go for Blakes Seven. I think it is Star

:33:20.:33:25.

Trek. Miranda is right. It is Star Trek. Does it matter that we are not

:33:26.:33:30.

able to establish this Culture Secretary has any interest in

:33:31.:33:34.

culture. I don't think he has. There isn't any evidence. We must assume

:33:35.:33:37.

there is precious little. Does it matter? Does the department matter?

:33:38.:33:42.

Do we need a Department of Culture, Media and Sport? I think no. Of

:33:43.:33:46.

course the coalition doesn't low -- allow this to happen. When Maria

:33:47.:33:51.

Miller fell on her sword was that not the time to take down the

:33:52.:33:58.

department? In the long-term it would be nicer to see fewer

:33:59.:34:01.

department, but I think this should stay. How would you mount an

:34:02.:34:06.

Olympics without a DCMS? Creative industries are important for the

:34:07.:34:09.

economy, big export, and how would you mount an Olympics if you didn't

:34:10.:34:14.

have someone like Tessa Jowell... There will be other opportunity,

:34:15.:34:17.

cultural and sporting. We need to leave it there. Coming up in a

:34:18.:34:22.

moment is a regular look at what is going on in European politics. Now

:34:23.:34:27.

it is time to say goodbye to my two guests of the day. So, for the next

:34:28.:34:32.

half hour we will be focussing on Europe. We will discuss the rise of

:34:33.:34:37.

the anti-EU vote, across Europe, and the groupings on the European

:34:38.:34:39.

Parliament. First though, here is our guide to the latest from Europe

:34:40.:34:49.

in 60 seconds. Greece jumped back into the global

:34:50.:34:54.

markets wits first sale of long-term Government bonds since the economy

:34:55.:34:57.

almost collapsed four years ago. The sale was welcome news ahead of a

:34:58.:35:05.

visit from Angela Merkel. Tempers playered in the Ukraine Parliament.

:35:06.:35:10.

Following a heated debate about pro Russian activists using Government

:35:11.:35:12.

buildings in several Ukrainian cities.

:35:13.:35:18.

-- playered. Spanish MPs voted against Catalonia's bid for an

:35:19.:35:20.

Independence Referendum in a decision that is likely to increase

:35:21.:35:24.

the divide between both sides. Listed companies across the EU must

:35:25.:35:30.

get shareholder approval on pay for top executives. Under a draft law.

:35:31.:35:39.

We past the vote... Who says politicians the aren't down with the

:35:40.:35:42.

kids. Members of the European Parliament have been in a rap battle

:35:43.:35:44.

to engage young voters. And with us for the next 30 minutes

:35:45.:35:59.

I have been joined by Martin Callanan, the MEP for the

:36:00.:36:02.

Conservatives and Catherine Stihler MEP for Labour. Let us look at one

:36:03.:36:06.

of the stories in more detail. Greece. It managed to get its bond

:36:07.:36:12.

issue away. It is back in the bond markets. I would suggest this is

:36:13.:36:16.

party -- partly because in the bond market there is a search for

:36:17.:36:19.

a-year-old and Greece is offering more than the Germans or the British

:36:20.:36:24.

or the Americans and the country is still mired in stagnation. I think

:36:25.:36:27.

you are right. Think I that things are difficult in Greece. This is to

:36:28.:36:31.

be becomed but it is a fragile state of affair, we all want to see things

:36:32.:36:37.

recovering in Greece because of the measures imposed on the Greek people

:36:38.:36:40.

and the sacrifices they have made. It is shocking, when you talk to

:36:41.:36:45.

Greek colleagues, it is a really really dire situation. However, this

:36:46.:36:50.

fragile news, is to be welcomed but it is a long way to go. Is there a

:36:51.:36:56.

concern in the European Parliament about what are called the club meed

:36:57.:37:01.

countries in general, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, probably

:37:02.:37:07.

Italy. Slovenia That they are on the verge of apse deflationary trap? We

:37:08.:37:12.

saw that prices in Spain are falling, industrial production,

:37:13.:37:16.

prices at the gate, in Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, falling. I think

:37:17.:37:23.

the iron anyof the euro is that it was supposed to cement solidarity,

:37:24.:37:27.

it is doing the opposite. It is driving northern Europe away from

:37:28.:37:31.

southern Europe. All those countries are diverging, Greece is by no means

:37:32.:37:37.

out of the woods yet. They have completely unsustainable levels of

:37:38.:37:42.

debt and somebody will have to pay that, and I think it is hugely

:37:43.:37:46.

concerning, because there is no obvious solution in sight, because

:37:47.:37:49.

the competitiveness of northern around southern Europe are

:37:50.:37:54.

different. You talked about the sacrifices Greek people have made

:37:55.:37:57.

and they have made more than anyone else in Europe. Yet, as a result

:37:58.:38:03.

this deflationary trend which Magifies the level of their public

:38:04.:38:08.

debt, that is rising, they have raised the tax, they have cut public

:38:09.:38:13.

spend, they have made people unemployed. Their debt has ridden

:38:14.:38:20.

from 130% to 170 per % of GDP. We should acknowledge the fact it has

:38:21.:38:25.

been a right-wing agenda that has been imposed on the Greek people

:38:26.:38:28.

would boy have been different if there had been a different political

:38:29.:38:37.

flavour in power. If you look... I think you have to accept as well,

:38:38.:38:43.

Martin, that the euro is reforming, it is changing, the lessons are

:38:44.:38:47.

being learned. This week we will vote on the banking union and other

:38:48.:38:52.

issues, but I think also you can't escape from the fact that the

:38:53.:38:58.

austere measures imposed on the Greek people have been because of

:38:59.:39:02.

the politics the at play. It hasn't brought the debt down. No, it is

:39:03.:39:10.

going up. Austerity means paying your way, the Labour Party might

:39:11.:39:14.

want to argue you can keep on spending and spending without

:39:15.:39:18.

raising the money. That is no what we are saying. In France they were

:39:19.:39:25.

elected on an end to austerity. Food banks are on the rise in many tri.

:39:26.:39:30.

The European elections are the first than European poll since the

:39:31.:39:34.

European crisis that brought the currency union to the brink of

:39:35.:39:40.

collapse. It has cost many their job. The fall out has led to a

:39:41.:39:43.

growing frustration with the European project. Right wing parties

:39:44.:39:47.

the like the Front Nationale in France and Geert Wilders's Freedom

:39:48.:39:50.

Party in the Netherland are expected to do well, stranding on an anti-EU

:39:51.:39:55.

platform. Here is our Ben Wright reporting.

:39:56.:40:06.

The European dream has gone sour, for some. Belgian dock workers

:40:07.:40:13.

joined other trade unionist at this protest in Brussels last week. Most

:40:14.:40:18.

rallied peacefully for the EU to work better. A few picked a fight

:40:19.:40:21.

with police. The talk here in Brussels is of a European Union in

:40:22.:40:28.

trouble. Austerity, economic crisis and high unemployment in several

:40:29.:40:32.

countries is spawning disillusionment with the whole

:40:33.:40:37.

European project. In northern Europe it is the anti-EU right who are

:40:38.:40:42.

doing well, in southern Europe it was the anti-austerity left who Ron

:40:43.:40:47.

the rise. When MEPs come back after the May elections there will be many

:40:48.:40:50.

who have won their seats because of their opposition to Brussels, even

:40:51.:40:56.

in countries that are pro European. -- who are on the rise. Tolerant,

:40:57.:41:02.

liberal and green, the Netherlands of pop lab cleesh pedals on,s the it

:41:03.:41:07.

was one of the founding countries of what is the European Union. Half an

:41:08.:41:12.

hour from Amsterdam has emerged. At the last European elections the

:41:13.:41:17.

Freedom Party won half the vote in a town of 20,000. That, the party of

:41:18.:41:24.

Geert Wilders. The hard right populist who rails against Muslims

:41:25.:41:29.

and the EU. It won four MEPs and topped the poll in the Netherlands,

:41:30.:41:35.

some will back him again The Freedom Party? Yes, they are popular. It is

:41:36.:41:45.

good. Why? For free country. It is terrible. These people come to

:41:46.:41:50.

Holland to take the job from Dutch Palace res. It is not good. This

:41:51.:41:55.

place isn't buzzing with euro election fever. Several people have

:41:56.:41:59.

spoken to don't know there is a pom and many have no interest at all in

:42:00.:42:04.

voting. Something common across the Continent. What is surprising that

:42:05.:42:08.

this pretty little town with its tourists and tea shops is somewhere

:42:09.:42:12.

where the far right have done well in the past.

:42:13.:42:18.

Look round, you don't see any black people over here. It is... Geert

:42:19.:42:24.

Wilders at a rally last month. When the crowd calls for fewer Moroccans

:42:25.:42:35.

this is what he said. The police received hundreds of complaints he

:42:36.:42:40.

was invite -- inciting racial hatred. This man was a member of the

:42:41.:42:45.

Freedom Party before he was thrown out in 2010. He says this time the

:42:46.:42:49.

party leader has gone too far The way he said about the Moroccan

:42:50.:42:54.

community is racism. He will go to jail. He has to go to jail for it.

:42:55.:43:02.

It is too far. Let me put it in English. Do you want less Welsh

:43:03.:43:07.

people? Do you want less Scottish people. Less people from York? No,

:43:08.:43:13.

it is not possible. In France Jean-Marie Le Pen has tried to

:43:14.:43:18.

rebrand -- Marine Le Pen has tried to rebrand the National Front.

:43:19.:43:22.

Willeders has suggested a pact of far right parties but their support

:43:23.:43:26.

could be fragile. Some of them are more radical right

:43:27.:43:31.

than UKIP. UKIP is not a racist party. Nigel Farage is careful to

:43:32.:43:36.

say that. He is anti-open borders, this is a thing parties in scanned

:43:37.:43:41.

neighia are saying, they are likely to top the polls in Denmark, they

:43:42.:43:47.

say we are not racist, we are anti-European and we want less done

:43:48.:43:52.

in Brussels. UKIP said it would never join the likes of Le Pen and

:43:53.:43:58.

Willeders but here in the Hague the centrist coalition knows they must

:43:59.:44:02.

do more to rebuild trust in Brussels. When you look at the next

:44:03.:44:06.

European Commission, they should have a limited agenda, strengthening

:44:07.:44:14.

the single market. Making trade agreements and really making work,

:44:15.:44:19.

so transferring powers from Brussels to the member state, that is the

:44:20.:44:22.

only way to preserve Europe for the future.

:44:23.:44:26.

The far right in the Netherlands may struggle to beat its success at the

:44:27.:44:31.

last European elections but Geert Wilders could find himself in

:44:32.:44:35.

Brussels joining other MEPs whose hostility to the EU has hit home

:44:36.:44:40.

with voters. Ben right reporting from the

:44:41.:44:43.

Netherlands. Another country where the far right is riding high is

:44:44.:44:52.

France where Marine Le Pen's Front Nationale made significant gains.

:44:53.:45:00.

They took on over there, largely at the ex owned of Francois Hollande's

:45:01.:45:05.

Socialist Party. We are joined by Emmanuel Godin a heck return at

:45:06.:45:14.

Portsmouth university. Would it be fair to say that this phenomenon of

:45:15.:45:19.

going outside the mainstream, the National Front in Europe is the most

:45:20.:45:26.

successful case? Yes, it is one of the most successful parties in

:45:27.:45:29.

Europe and it is doing particularly well at the moment. It has also

:45:30.:45:38.

worked a lot on its own image and strategy and that accounts for its

:45:39.:45:43.

success at the moment. If you look at some of the places it did well,

:45:44.:45:48.

former industrial towns in the north, it did well in Marseille, one

:45:49.:45:53.

of the biggest districts, what is striking is that they are all,

:45:54.:45:57.

historically, the old readouts of the Communist Party. Is it the same

:45:58.:46:04.

people? Yes, that is right. For a long time, a lot of people thought

:46:05.:46:10.

the National Front would do well but what we are witnessing is a

:46:11.:46:15.

substantial shift from traditionalist and socialist voters

:46:16.:46:26.

towards the National Front. When we described the National Front in this

:46:27.:46:29.

country, we call it the far right, but when you look at the economic

:46:30.:46:34.

policies, in this country, they look like the kind of things Tony Benn

:46:35.:46:39.

used to stand for. Protectionism, anti-euro... It is quite clear. The

:46:40.:46:55.

National Front has distanced itself from its old policies and does not

:46:56.:47:01.

adopt a right or left stance at all. The policy put forward by the

:47:02.:47:08.

National Front is more of a left recipe. In the local elections in

:47:09.:47:15.

France, there were thousands of municipalities up for the vote, and

:47:16.:47:20.

the National Front only confronted about 560. This time, in the

:47:21.:47:23.

European elections, they have to fight nationwide. What would be a

:47:24.:47:30.

good vote for them? -- a good result for them? If they get about 20, that

:47:31.:47:38.

would be a good result. Usually, the National Front 's does very well if

:47:39.:47:43.

there is a strong leader. People vote for Marine Le Pen rather than

:47:44.:47:51.

the part V, but -- rather than the party, but it can do well without a

:47:52.:47:57.

recognisable leader. You have places where the candidate was fairly

:47:58.:48:04.

unknown and it shows that people tend to vote more for the National

:48:05.:48:13.

Front than whoever is leading it. Will be centre-right parties come

:48:14.:48:22.

first? Well, this is the big debate. The last result showed that

:48:23.:48:29.

the Conservative party in France might just come first. They are at

:48:30.:48:38.

22%. The Socialist party is at 20%. Let me bring my guest in. One of the

:48:39.:48:45.

consequences of this rise parties outside of the mainstream, mainly on

:48:46.:48:50.

the right, is that your party is likely to come third in the

:48:51.:48:55.

elections. Well, we will have to see in elections and there was a long

:48:56.:48:58.

way to go in the campaign. You are a long way behind in the votes. Yes,

:48:59.:49:05.

if you believe the polls. There will be a low turnout and it is up to us

:49:06.:49:11.

to try and enthuse the rotors to get out and vote. -- voters. You should

:49:12.:49:21.

be romping home in the European elections but, actually, you have a

:49:22.:49:26.

battle on your hands to beat UKIP. We have to go and fight for every

:49:27.:49:33.

single vote. Obviously, in Scotland and other parts England and Wales,

:49:34.:49:41.

where UKIP is threatening, we are trying to make sure we get as many

:49:42.:49:49.

votes against Labour so we can fight against the Nationalists. We think

:49:50.:49:54.

it is about the UK being part of the European Union, not about whether

:49:55.:50:03.

Scotland should be part of the UK! At a time when unemployment in the

:50:04.:50:07.

Eurozone is 12%, and youth unemployment is over 20%, and in

:50:08.:50:13.

some countries it is as high as 60%, Conor Mizar barely growing, welfare

:50:14.:50:22.

is being cut, poverty is growing... -- unemployment is growing. Though

:50:23.:50:30.

our simple answers to questions. They are antiestablishment and there

:50:31.:50:35.

is this perfect storm of coming together. You are the establishment.

:50:36.:50:41.

When it comes to forming political groups, these people cannot work

:50:42.:50:49.

together. My political party has a which covers 28 countries. That may

:50:50.:50:56.

be true but that is not what I asked. Why has the left... We now

:50:57.:51:05.

see what the fallout is from the crisis of capitalism but why has the

:51:06.:51:13.

left not capitalised on that? Why is it the rights or the far right

:51:14.:51:16.

question my I think you are generalising. The BNP are nowhere.

:51:17.:51:32.

Yes, but UKIP. What we see is that a Socialist group could be the largest

:51:33.:51:35.

group in a European Parliament. Why has the left done well? In the

:51:36.:51:42.

European Parliament elections, if we get one more MEP, we then get that

:51:43.:51:47.

chance to form the presidency of the European Commission. The National

:51:48.:51:52.

Front are not a right party. They are highly welfare spending, more

:51:53.:52:01.

socialism, with a nationalist hinge. -- tinge. The French National Front

:52:02.:52:13.

are no more conservative than the Conservative party. Let me go back

:52:14.:52:20.

to my guess. -- guest. I guess it is not surprising when you look at the

:52:21.:52:23.

state of Europe and the lack of opportunity, growth, and jobs for

:52:24.:52:28.

young people, it is not surprising that non-mainstream parties are

:52:29.:52:32.

doing well. Indeed, you may have thought they would do even better, I

:52:33.:52:37.

would suggest. Well, mainstream parties, the main problem they

:52:38.:52:42.

have, they seem to have tried out different solutions which do not

:52:43.:52:47.

appeal with voters. They do not see how that can make a difference to

:52:48.:52:50.

their daily life and that is the great strength for the parties on

:52:51.:52:55.

the left and right. In France, it is not surprising that the left is not

:52:56.:53:03.

doing so well. For maybe 15 years, the Conservative parties and

:53:04.:53:10.

socialist parties in France have put immigration and identity at the

:53:11.:53:12.

centre of their issues and a radicalised these issues, and this

:53:13.:53:17.

explains why it is the right, and not the left. Who is going to be the

:53:18.:53:22.

centre-right candidate in the French European election? Yes. Know, who is

:53:23.:53:32.

going to be? Well, certainly not Sarkozy. Marine Le Pen? Well, we

:53:33.:53:44.

shall wait and see and have you back long before then. Do you know your

:53:45.:53:52.

EPP from your S and D, and your GUE from your EFA? They do! They are

:53:53.:53:56.

paid to. Fear not, here's Adam to explain in his latest A to Z of

:53:57.:54:04.

Europe. Look at all of those MEPs, more than 700 of them. To make

:54:05.:54:11.

things more manageable, the Parliaments operates a pan-European

:54:12.:54:14.

political grouping, and this being the European Parliament, there is

:54:15.:54:17.

some crazy art on display that allows me to explain. Think of the

:54:18.:54:23.

groups as political armies. Each one has to have at least 25 foot

:54:24.:54:27.

soldiers from at least seven member states. You want to join a group you

:54:28.:54:33.

do not know which one is which? Let me explain. There are seven to

:54:34.:54:39.

choose from. On the centre-right, there is the European People's

:54:40.:54:44.

Party, the largest. There is the European Conservatives with 7%.

:54:45.:54:50.

Here, you will find the Tories. The Socialists And Democrat has a

:54:51.:55:00.

quarter of the seats. UKIP's home is the freedom and democracy group.

:55:01.:55:04.

There are two smaller groups of Greens and nationalist. Sometimes,

:55:05.:55:16.

the majority line is one but there are two or three parties who are

:55:17.:55:22.

going to vote with other groups. This is a process of permanent

:55:23.:55:26.

negotiation. Do the political groups get any perks? They do. They get

:55:27.:55:32.

funding to spend on staff, offices and communications. Political perks

:55:33.:55:37.

are in the lead up waste on group size. More members equals more

:55:38.:55:42.

influence. Has anyone set up any new groups recently? A very young

:55:43.:55:48.

looking David Cameron set up the Young Conservatives and reformist

:55:49.:55:53.

after pledging to withdraw his MEPs from the European People's Party.

:55:54.:56:02.

The MEPs who sit alone in The Chamber are known as the

:56:03.:56:05.

non-attached. Some are shunned for holding extreme views and others

:56:06.:56:09.

because they are fiercely independent. This man was in the

:56:10.:56:18.

socialist group. From day one, I was turned into a soldier, and I got a

:56:19.:56:27.

lot of letters from voters, saying, you have written and interesting

:56:28.:56:30.

books as a journalist, I voted for you as an individual. As we know,

:56:31.:56:39.

the troops are preparing for a big skirmish in the European elections

:56:40.:56:43.

which could mean a change in the balance of power.

:56:44.:56:49.

That is Adam who has taken to talking to in a minute objects! --

:56:50.:56:56.

inanimate objects! How important are these groups? They are very

:56:57.:57:01.

important. They determine the power and how we vote on these things.

:57:02.:57:04.

They are very important and influential. Was it a mistake for

:57:05.:57:09.

your party to come out of the mainstream right grouping? No, not

:57:10.:57:15.

at all. We could not agree with the Federalist group. They wanted more

:57:16.:57:21.

control of taxation and we did not agree with that. We thought it was

:57:22.:57:26.

right to set up an alternative group who we did agree with. You are

:57:27.:57:37.

source of aid Lee no mates in Europe, aren't you? No, not at all.

:57:38.:57:46.

-- Giuly no mates. -- Billy no mates. There are not many, the that

:57:47.:57:57.

is a fair point. Is there much difference between the mainstream

:57:58.:58:03.

centre-right group and the socialist group? No. That is not true! There

:58:04.:58:12.

are clear differences in terms of social policy. You can see, in the

:58:13.:58:19.

Parliament, votes can come down to the wire, it is so close. In the new

:58:20.:58:24.

Parliament, the votes will be, again, very close. You are sitting

:58:25.:58:30.

here as the leader, and it looks like you are going to have a tough

:58:31.:58:34.

time in creating a group, which is a good thing. I want to see a strong

:58:35.:58:44.

socialist group. Thank you very much. That's all for today. Thanks

:58:45.:58:48.

to my guests Martin Callanan and Catherine Stihler MEP. We wish you

:58:49.:58:54.

buy buy. -- Bye bye.

:58:55.:59:02.

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