01/05/2014 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, welcome to the Daily Politics.


in connection with one of the most notorious IRA murders.


in Antrim over the execution of Jean McConville,


a widowed mother of ten who was dragged from her home in 1972.


Labour bigwigs gather in London's East End for the launch


of their election campaign today, as the party declares war


I'm looking forward to the bank holiday weekend.


But others think we should ditch the so-called workers? day


And with us for the whole programme today is the journalist and author,


He's Margaret Thatcher's official biographer, for which he


Now first today, let?s turn our attention to Northern Ireland


The Sinn Fein leader spent the night being questioned by


police investigating the murder of Jean McConville over 40 years ago.


The widowed mother of ten was abducted and shot dead by the IRA


in 1972 after she was wrongly accused of being an informer.


Last night, Gerry Adams was detained after he voluntarily attended Antrim


We can speak now to our Ireland Correspondent,


Mark, Gerry Adams was arrested yesterday and the terrorism act of


2000. What happens now? Well, the detectives who are investigating the


murder of Jean McConville have 24 hours initially to talk to Mr Adams,


which would take us until eight o'clock tonight. If a superintendent


decides there are sufficient grounds for another 24 hours, that is all


they need, the word of the superintendent, to hold him for 48


hours. After that, if they need a further extension, they would have


to go to a judge to apply for that and they would have to be in


agreement about the number of days or hours he could be held.


Potentially, the terrorism act allows for people to be held up to


28 days, but that is unusual and given the high-profile nature of it


Adams, they would have to have a very serious reason to think they


needed that kind of time. Our people shocked and surprised by the arrest?


I think the surprise is that he is an extremely high-profile figure,


the leader of the second largest party in Northern Ireland and the


party which is making increasing inroads south of the Irish border.


They are involved in a European election and are expected to top the


poll in Northern Ireland and potentially get three MEPs elected


south of the border. So there is the surprise. But anyone who has


followed the story of Jean McColgan knows that detectives have been


examining some tapes recorded by ex-IRA members, some of them dead,


in which they have said they have knowledge of this case. That has led


to the arrest of one veteran Republican who was active in Belfast


around that time. He is has been charged with aiding and abetting in


this murder, and there were reports that Gerry Adams was involved,


reports which he denies. As you say, he has always protested his


innocence over this. Sinn Fein are saying the timing of Gerry Adams'


arrest is politically motivated because of the elections around the


corner. Yes, the political argument is that Sinn Fein are pointing out


that about four weeks ago, after this other Irish republican was


arrested, Gerry Adams offered to talk to the police. They are saying,


why did the police not to take him up on his offer at that stage?


Detectives will no doubt say they needed to take their time to go


through the evidence and decide who they wanted to talk to. But Sinn


Fein said the timing is politically motivated because the election


campaign is at its height and Sinn Fein's opponents are saying Gerry


Adams must not be above the law. The police must do their job. This


argument will play out in public later today, because we have a


meeting of the policing board whether most senior officers in the


PSNI will face questions in public, the politicians. You mentioned these


tapes that were recorded in Boston by an American university with


former paramilitary is. Does the investigation hinge on those tapes?


We don't know for sure whether there is any additional evidential trail


is that the police are following, but we do expect the tapes to


feature strongly. There will be a question mark as to whether they


will eventually be seen as being at miserable in terms of evidence. The


tapes were recorded for an academic project and were not meant to be


released until those who had given interviews did. We did get the


deaths of a couple of people, and those tapes then came into the


public domain. We also have an American but case which ended up


with the PSNI being granted permission to seize other material


from that academic project. It is thought that that is one of the


other reasons why they are questioning either Bell about this.


But we believe Gerry Adams had no part in that project, so we don't


expect there to be any tapes involving him himself. So there will


be a question mark over whether tape-recorded conversations of


anybody talking about Gerry Adams will be considered admissible. A


former IRA commander accused Gerry Adams of Jean McConville's murder


before his death in 2008. Here is a recording of what he said. This


woman was taken away and executed. Jean McConville. There is only one


man who gave the order for that woman to be executed. That man is


now the head of Sinn Fein. Gerry Adams maintained his


innocence. This was him speaking before his arrest last night. I am


going voluntarily to talk to the PSNI, because there has been a


lengthy, malicious campaign against me. I will tell the PSNI that I am


innocent of any part in the abduction and killing of Jean


McConville. In an emotional interview to the Today programme


this morning, Jean McConville's son said he knew who murdered his


mother, but was unwilling to a unveiled that information. Let's


listen to what he had to say. If I told the police anything about it,


me or my family members would get shot by these people. Probably


thinks this has all gone away. It hasn't gone away. People get


targeted all the day. I am not saying by the IRA. But they would


class you as an informant and they would shoot you.


We're joined now from Belfast by Derek Henderson,


who was PA's Ireland Correspondent for over 30 years.


And in the studio, we have Naomi Long from the Alliance Party.


Your reaction firstly to the arrest of Gerry Adams? The important thing


to bear in mind is the feelings of the McConville family. We have to


remember that this is a very difficult day for them and


re-awakens the feelings they have about the disappearance of their


mother 40 years ago. If the police believe they have reason to question


Gerry Adams, it is important that they feel they can do that


regardless of the profile of the person, regardless of the political


position. It is important that we are treated equally under the law.


That is important for people to take away from this. It will clearly draw


attention because of his profile, but that should not preclude the


police following their investigations. Derek Henderson,


what is your reaction to the arrest of Gerry Adams? It does not come as


any great surprise. Those of us who have been following this case for


several years knew there was an inevitability about it. Gerry Adams


has consistently denied any involvement in this case. One man


has been charged with aiding and abetting in the murder of Jean


McColgan. -- Jean McConville. Gerry Adams has known for some time that


the police would eventually come knocking on his door. He agreed


through a solicitor to present himself to the police last night. It


was all well choreographed, well orchestrated by Sinn Fein. I


understand Mr Adams sought some sort of assurances that there would be no


publicity in advance of his arrest and the police did not release his


name, but it did not prevent him giving a pre-recorded interview. And


at the same time, Sinn Fein issued a statement where he categorically


denied any involvement in the murder. Did you know the McConville


family? I met them once or twice over the years. As you can imagine,


they have been living with this for over 40 years. It has had an awful


impact on them, especially when their mother was taken away and


interrogated, had her hands tied behind her back and then was shot in


the back of the head. The family were traumatised. They were split up


and taken into care. were traumatised. They were split up


and taken Are you surprised that now? I was shocked, listening to


Michael McConville said, I saw the faces of the men who took my mother


away, but I will still not say who they were. Well, up to a dozen


people, both men and women were involved in her abduction. It was


the early days of the troubles. It was chaotic on the streets of


Belfast. One can only begin to imagine what it must have been like


that night when this guy arrived at the house and took Jean McConville


away. It was an awful scene. What about now, Naomi Long? There is a


fear that clearly still exists in communities in Northern Ireland. Is


that a truer representation of how people feel in some parts of


Northern Ireland than the impression we get over here? It would be true


to say that there have been huge improvements in Northern Ireland,


that has not diminished the influence of paramilitary 's in


terms of the degree to which they can control and intimidate within


local communities. We saw that fear reflected in what Michael said, that


those who are dissident or have previously threatened his family may


do so again if they feel their current position was under threat


because of any statement he would make. People will be shocked by


that. Do you think that is just how it is? It is not shocking for those


of us who live in Northern Ireland with it daily. I regularly receive


complaints from my constituents about crimes committed by people who


they know, but they are afraid pass that information to the police


because of fear of retribution because those people may have


paramilitary contacts. That is clearly not acceptable. The police


try to provide opportunities for people to give information through


confidential telephone lines. That does not work in a case like this


where the information could clearly only come from the immediate family.


So I can understand how difficult it must be. We also have to be


compassionate. What an awful thing to know, that you hold the


information that could lead to the conviction of those who brutalised


your mother, and yet feel too frightened for your own family to


speak out about it. It is a testament to why we need to deal


with our past in Northern Ireland, because it casts a long shadow over


the present. We will come to that issue over whether they're still


need is to be delving into the past to move ahead, but do you think


justice will be done for the McConville family here? That remains


to be seen. Where the evidential trail leads, we are not clear. We


know it started with the tapes at Boston College. Is that enough to


establish a prima facie case against anybody? I don't know. We will have


to wait and see. As Mark Devenport went about early, Gerry Adams could


be released as early as eight o'clock tonight, or he could be held


for another 24 hours with a superintendent's extension. To go


beyond that, they have to go to the courts to hold him for 28 days. I


doubt that will happen. What about the future? You talked about the


fact that there has to be a raking over of the past to move forward.


How much further has Northern Ireland got to go? It is not about


raking over the past. The problem is that we have a piecemeal approach to


dealing with the past, tit-for-tat. People have no confidence that there


is equality under the law. For a stable future in Northern Ireland,


we need a comprehensive approach to the past. That was what we said


during the talks by Richard Haass earlier in the year. I believe we


cannot have a lasting peace unless it is built on the foundations of


the rule of law and justice. We have to put respect for families and


victims at the heart of what we do if we are to move forward in a way


that has integrity. Are you optimistic 's it is a difficult


point in Northern Ireland's history, but yes, I am optimistic


about the future. We have gone a long way since I was born in 1971. I


was one-year-old when Jean McConville was abducted. You are the


future. Actually, there are people younger than me who I think are the


future, but I am in politics because I believe their future ought to be


better. What about young people in Northern Ireland? Is there a sense


among those younger than you who feel they would just like to move


on, which was why I mentioned the past? Do they think, we need to put


this behind us, or is there still a strong sense of a feeling for


justice amongst the youth? It varies. Around 80% of young people


recently felt they wanted to make a life for themselves outside of


Northern Ireland, but I don't think we can move forward without being


just over the past. This is their present, not their past. We need to


work to heal it. Sinn Fein has said this is politically motivated


because of the elections. What do you say? I don't agree with that.


Sinn Fein knew well live in advance this was going to happen. They knew


eventually Gerry Adams was going to be questioned. This is just part of


the process that is going to go on, and will continue, I would expect,


for several months. Charles Moore, one of the issues is economic


progress in Northern Ireland. Do you think that would be a momentous leap


forward if people felt better off across the board in Northern


Ireland, and then were not encouraged to engage in politically


motivated activities in the way they have been in the past? It always


helps. This does all have to be cleared up. Gerry Adams has been


privileged through this process. In a very bad way. One of the group of


people who were -- resent that are a lot of IRA people who fell out with


him. They think they went through this combat, as they see it, which I


would call murder, and he was with them. Then he comes out the other


side with all of the fruits and all of the benefits. He is an allegedly


respected figure. They do not like that. And they do not feel that is


fair. Ordinary decent people in Northern Ireland do not feel it is


fair because the friends of Jerry are important, that the authorities


do not go after him. We had that with the John Downey question about


the alleged Hyde Park bombing. Was there an amnesty laid out by the


last British government? Interestingly, Gerry Adams has been


hoisted by zone petard now. -- his own petard. He was not on the wanted


list. He did not provide for his own protection. A lot of his gang are


protected. It is interesting to see him caught on this one. Do you think


he has had preferential treatment? Part of the difficulty is that the


police have been trying to find evidence. It is fine to talk about


what everyone knows people have done. Ultimately you have two pass


an evidential threshold. While there may be rumours, they now have an


inquiry lead. They are following that. I don't think anybody,


regardless of their political position, ought to be above the law.


It is an important message at a critical time because of the


exposure of the on the run scheme, that people get that message very


clearly, that nobody should be above the law. It is an important message


to send to dissident republicans, who are currently engaged in


violence, and loyalists who are doing the same thing. Deric


Henderson, there was a discussion at the time we were talking about those


on the run. Was it a price worth paying in order to secure peace, as


some people have characterised it? You have to remember that when the


so called on the runs was an issue, they were not granted amnesty. Their


legal representatives sought assurances if they were wanted for


questioning. This is not an amnesty. Who knows what this might lead to in


the future? People who were granted permission to return to Northern


Ireland, there is nothing to say at this stage they may not face charges


in the future. I do very much. -- thank you very


much. All week, we've been discussing the


upcoming elections later this month. Today it's the turn of the Labour


Party to launch their campaign. In a moment,


we'll be speaking to Sadiq Khan, the shadow justice secretary


but first, here's Giles with news Labour have announced policy details


for private landlords. This morning,


Ed Miliband said housing costs were "one of the biggest causes of the


cost of living crisis", and warned that increasing numbers of people


face "terrible insecurity" at the Here's how he wants to solve


the problem. In a bid to prevent people being


forced out of their homes by huge rent hikes,


landlords will be restricted to one rent review a year and required by


law to keep it below a set level. Details of how that ceiling would be


calculated are yet to be resolved, but it's thought that it could be


based on average rents Ed Miliband also wants to legislate


to ban the charges imposed on tenants when they sign


a rental agreement - these fees average around ?350 per person,


but can go up to as much as ?500. Tenants would get


a three-year deal as long as they paid the rent on time


and were not guilty of anti-social Landlords could only serve them with


two months' notice to leave with "good reason", such as rent arrears,


anti-social behaviour or breaches of The Adam Smith Institute says it is


one of the worst policy decisions We can speak to Sam Bowman,


who's research director there. You have said that only bombing


would be worse than rent control. Why do you say that? I


the socialist Swedish economist. It is one of the few issues that unites


left and right. is one of the few issues that unites


in economics. 95% of is one of the few issues that unites


think rent control is a bad idea. It amazes me that Labour is going


think rent control is a bad idea. It this road. The proposals they are


announcing and as bad as the controls we associate with absolute


destruction of cities. It is more like petty vandalism. There was a


destruction of cities. It is more study in the


destruction of cities. It is more controlled buildings were 7% worse


in terms of the comparable buildings that were not


controlled. Three years later, they comparable buildings that were not


were 13% worse. Rent controls like this have a bad


were 13% worse. Rent controls like quality of property. They do not


help renters either. quality of property. They do not


rent control? It is quality of property. They do not


problem. The only way this can help renters is if


problem. The only way this can help quickly. Landlords will price in the


expected rising rents. Renters do gain if rent increase faster than


people anticipate. They lose if rents fall or do not increase


quickly. It is potluck for renters. It ties renters into a location.


Because landlords have to increase rents significantly, people in


relatively low places, relatively cheaper places, are discouraged and


find it harder to move around. David Blanchflower, the Economist, has


done quite a lot of work on this. People find it harder to move around


25 jobs. I worry that this kind of proposal, even though it sounds


nice, will renters. And it will probably reduce supply and even


increase unemployment. Across the board we have to listen to


economists and look at the evidence. They give very much.


And we're joined from the Labour campaign launch in Redbridge


by Sadiq Khan. Is this another policy announcement by Labour to


intervene in the market where you think it has failed? Is an example


of us understanding the cost of living crisis people are facing and


having the solutions. Nine million people in this country rent from


private landlords. 2 million children live in private


accommodation. One of the big problems I see is that the


uncertainty, instability in relation to how long they have been in this


property. Also, no idea of how to plan because the landlord could


raise the rent overnight. What this is saying is you know in advance


what the rent will be. After six months, you can have up to three


years. You can properly plan. Your children are not plucked out of


their schools. You know what the rent will be over the next period.


There is the opportunity to review it upwards or downwards. It will be


up to a maximum of a ceiling, which means both sides know what the rent


will be. Had either any idea what that CAP should be? We are going to


work with industry to make sure we come up with a ceiling that works


for all parties. We have seen in Ireland where they introduced a


ceiling and long-term tenancy, more properties becoming available. An


increase. What we're going to do is, over the next period, not impose


what the rent should be, work the industry so that the tenant and


landlords in cases can agree the rent. And see the best way of going


forward. How will that change anything that exists at the moment?


Landlords can actually break their tenancy agreement at any point.


Refurbishing the property. If there is a breach of the tenancy


agreement. In other words, at any point, the landlords, under your


supposedly new rent controls, can actually just in the tenancy. There


will be no more security of tenure. No, that's wrong. The current


position is a landlord gives a tenant a tenancy of six months. It


can sometimes be 12 months. During that time, landlords can terminate


the agreement. At the end of that six months or 12 months, if the


landlord wants the tenants to carry on, can increase the rent. What we


are saying is during that three years, a landlord can kick you out


unless you have not paid your rent or there has been anti-social


behaviour. Let's say for example the landlord wants to move back into the


home for his family. Yes, all the exemptions I have just given you.


No. At the moment a landlord can get rid of you with no reason at all.


This is protection for the tenant. They will not be paying this


whopping upfront free -- fee to the letting agents. The most pressing


problem is housing supply and housing stock. How will this


increase housing supply? It will bring it down, want it? Back in


September, October, when Ed Miliband announced our plans to build 200,000


houses a year by the end of the next Labour government, we also said we


would give the power to use it or lose it. To give planning


authorities the opportunity. We are increasing the supply side of


things. 200,000 houses a year and next Labour government. The


important announcement today is addressing the issue of the 9


million people who rent from private landlords, concerned about the


length of their tenure, the amount of rent they pay and being ripped


off by letting agents. Charles Moore, is this a good idea, when


many people feel rents have spiralled out of control and tenants


do not have much power over rogue landlords? No,, the dearth of


supply. You quite rightly raise the fundamental issue behind all of


this. The shortage of housing stock. There were fewer than 150,000 houses


being built a year. Our population is growing in volume terms more than


it has ever grown in the whole of its history. We probably need about


300,000 houses. Labour-saving will address that problem. Yes, but they


are not going to do so radically. Labour seem to be in a better


position to do this than the Tories. They should abolish the green belt.


The green belt is a massive restriction on housing where it is


needed. More land in Surrey is given over to golf courses than houses. I


know the viewers in Surrey will be annoyed with me for saying that. But


it is a very important point. The next generation cannot get on the


housing ladder because of the cost of housing. This policy is damaging


that. They should be addressing the real issue. Lets just find out


briefly how popular this might be. To find out how popular this might


be we can speak now to Gideon Labour is sending a mixed message?


Labour is all ready doing well among renters. I don't think this policy


will harm them. Whether it will change anybody's mind about voting


for them, that is a different matter. There are many other things


people are concerned about. I know that Labour people are worried about


this. Their opponents are banking on that. How much of a problem is Ed


Miliband? It is certainly one of the things for Labour to be worried


about. Ed Miliband's ratings are not as high, for example, as David


Cameron's work or Tony Blair's word before they won elections. -- work.


They are still giving Labour lead in our most recent political monitor


earlier this month. Labour's lead was in line with its average over


the last year of about six points. Not quite as high as they were


getting just after the shambles in 2012. It is still enough to give


them a majority. Let's get reaction from Sadiq Khan. Let's talk about


the elections. Whether or not this policy on rent controls does


anything towards the elections, why is Labour not in the lead according


to the polls? Firstly, we have unveiled a cost of living contracts


which has ten points which will address the cost of living crisis


that people face. This policy announcement is one of the ten. In


relation to the elections of May the 22nd, not only do we have important


European elections, but we have council elections as well. In London


as well as around the country. People should member that distrust


across the board has never been greater. From a position where


Labour Party got the second worst results in history, Ed Miliband has


brought us back into the ballpark. People have asked us questions about


what we would do and we have a healthy lead. Over the next 22 days


in the context of European elections and the council elections, we have


to persuade the British public that we are the one-party that gets the


cost of living crisis, and we are the one party with the solutions.


The general election is for people to ask the question in May 2015, and


my better off than I was in May 2010 and will my children be better off


in the future with the Tory led government? Who has the vision for


our country? Who can address the challenges for today and tomorrow?


You yourself said in terms of the three main parties, you claim you


are the ones dealing with the cost of living crisis, the narrative that


Labour has been promoting. But why are UKIP topping the poll in the


European election? You are the opposition. You say you have a five


point lead ahead of the Tories. Why are you 11 points behind UKIP? We


have to accept that there is an anti-politics feeling. Whenever you


do a public platform on politics programme like Question Time Kaunda


nonpolitician gets the biggest round of applause. As politicians, we are


not appearing to connect the British public. I take on the chin the


criticism of us appearing to be not in touch with the British public. If


you are not one of the mainstream parties and you give the impression


of being anti-politics and not the establishment, the public wants to


punish the mainstream parties by voting for the nonmainstream


political party. I would say, look at UKIP's policies on the NHS or the


national minimum wage or other issues, and ask yourself the


question, before you protest by voting for UKIP, whether you really


want them winning. But was it a good strategy painting some people in


UKIP as a party of racists? Do you agree that that has backfired? When


there has been that scrutiny of UKIP, their poll ratings have gone


up. As far as the comments made by the UKIP Leticia and about --


politician about Lenny Henry, they were racist. We should not hold back


on that. I have never said Nigel Farage or UKIP are racist. Some of


the concerns they are seeking to claim that it for our concerns the


British public have. We have to highlight the consequences of their


policies and remind the British public of what their policies are


and recognise that there was a consequence of voting for a party


like UKIP. Charles Moore, the cost of living narrative has had


resonance. It has struck a chord, which is why Labour are continuing


to promote it and probably will do into the next election, particularly


that phrase, will you be better off in 2015 on election day than in


2010. That is the beginning, but it is not enough. Labour is making a


strategic error, the same error they made in the 1980s, which is simply


to say how awful the other lot are, and identify certain groups that


represent the awfulness, like greedy bankers and landlords. The voter has


to decide, OK, that is bad, but how are you going to be better? Labour


have got what the Blairites called a core vote strategy, which is a


rotten idea. You have to reach out and develop, and Labour has not been


able to discuss its past, and therefore it has not been able to


project its future. Now is Britain


a Christian country or not? Fewer than one in ten


of us go to church, and recent research shows that most


people are largely indifferent to However, David Cameron thinks


Britain is - although his comments have got rather a lot


of people hot under the collar. And we're joined now by


Andrew Copson, Chief Executive I like to keep an eye on what is


going on in Westminster, reading weighty tomes like a prospect


magazine, even this rather nerdy offering from Brussels. Until this


week, I have never read this, the Church Times. It has been in


publication since 1863. There was an article here the other week from the


prime minister which has got people thinking, David Cameron


pontificating about the Church of England, its role in society. If you


sleep in the garage, does that make you a car? Can you be a Christian


without going to church? Does that wedding I went to about six months


ago Count? And it is not just the prime minister who sparked this


discussion. It is difficult to be a Christian today, isn't it? In Syria,


for instance, Iraq, certainly Egypt, but also sometimes here in Hackney.


Why is Islam so much more popular? This BBC sitcom has been exploring


similar ground, but despite their often being more seats in church


than bottoms on them, the CRV is the established Church of England. The


Queen is head of state and supreme Governor of the Church of England.


This is Lambeth palace, the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, at


least when he is not in Canterbury. You get the sense of the glue that


binds the Church of England to Parliament and the state when you


take a look across the River Thames and see a building that is rather


familiar, the palace of Westminster, home to 26 Lord


spiritual, as they are known, bishops who have a seat in the upper


house. The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Legg, an atheist,


house. The Deputy Prime Minister junking the connection between the


church of England and the state. It has happened for the judge of Wales


and the Church of Scotland yonks ago. Not easy, though, says this


cues and politics watcher. The establishment is a particular


example of the classic British fudge. It is where we come from


historically and it goes very deep. We should not underestimate the


constitutional complexity of unpacking it. That building behind


the tree is Westminster Abbey, and the bloke I am talking to standing


between it and Parliament is... Have a guess? I am the link between


Parliament and the Church of England. It is a Crown appointment,


so I am accountable neither to the Archbishop nor to the prime


minister. I am accountable to the Crown. I see the chancellor to ask


for more money for cathedrals and negotiate with ministers over the


details of same-sex marriages are through to the details with


ministers in DEFRA over the defecating habits of mammals. So,


plenty to chew on. We are joined now by Andrew Cobbs


on, the chief executive of the Humanist Association. Andrew, you


wrote the letter responding to David Cameron's comments on Christianity,


saying they would foster alienation. Why? The letter said


that repeated claims that Britain is a Christian country ignored the fact


that we are more complicated in terms of the diversity of beliefs


and compensated in terms of the past as well and the influences that made


us a country we are. Constant refrains about us being a Christian


country would alienate some. I am British and my family have been


British or hundreds of years, but I am not Christian and my are not.


Constant characterisation of our country as Christian something we


feel excluded from. It was the first time I heard David Cameron said it


in such a public way. It would be -- do you agree that Britain Broadley


is a Christian country? He has been saying it more recently in the --


more frequently. It depends what you mean by Christian country. Everyone


who says so probably means something different. It is a description of


fact in terms of the established country, rather than saying


everybody is Christian. The Church of England has an established


church, but the church was disestablished in Ireland and Wales,


so it is not even true in the narrow sense of Britain. It is true in


England, but that is not saying much. If you bring it into politics,


the risk is that you then bring religion into politics. But it is


not bringing it into politics, because it is an important cultural


fact which makes a great difference to our society. In many countries,


it happens in the Muslim world today, religion causes people to


kill one another. In England and Britain to a lesser extent, we have


found a solution to this. We had a settlement, which meant that we


brought peace between the warring sects to a much greater degree than


most countries. This was an important political and cultural


achievement. So far from being divisive, it is actually unifying.


All the other denominations in this country are happy with the setup of


the Church of England, because they see it as essentially good-natured


and peaceful and representing the idea of faith in modern society. I


think the British public respond well to that. Do they, or do they


just thought of accepted in a benign way? There is a principle of the


Netherlands and historical continuity, and it has to do with


the monarchy. It is true to say that the British public is largely


indifferent to the establishment, but they don't like the fruits of


establishment. There is overwhelming public opposition when people are


polled to say they do not want bishops in the House of Lords. They


do not want to screw in a three faith -based admissions into state


schools. They do not want religion coming into politics. So although


people might be indifferent to the establishment, in policy terms, they


are strongly opposed. Would you like to unpick the constitutional link?


Yes. I think it is necessary if we are to move forward. Accepting that


the Church of England as in times been a benign institution that has


solved a lot of problems, now when we look forward, it is unsustainable


to have as a national church and institution with fewer than 20% of


people as its members. In a diverse country, we need a better secular


sector. If you do that, as Shakespeare said, you will tune that


string and there will be a massive battle between unbelievers,


different faiths, Muslims, Christians, fundamentalists and so


on. There would be a fight for control. It seems to me that the big


worry about the established church is, if anything from a Christian


band of you, because it is not very Christian. Whereas for the general


purposes of wider society, it is a clear benefit. Andrew would be one


of the first to suffer if we got rid of things, because then the battle


would really start. I think it would be a good observation to have in a


modern democracy. Just let me intrude. I wonder whether there is a


contagion among strategists to turn to their politicians and say, let's


do the Alastair Campbell thing and just not do God. I don't think


politicians should do God, Bob but they should be the place of religion


in British culture and that is what David Cameron was doing. He was not


saying, I am better than you because I am a Christian. But one of the


recent examples has been the furore over gay marriage. And he was trying


to make up for that because he made such a mess of it. He was trying to


get back in with the voters. Is that how you see it? Only do God when you


need to do God. I think what he said was consistent with what he has said


in the past. He was genuine, but wrong, I think. He was wrong in


calling for religious organisations to play a larger part in public


life. He was wrong in saying Britain is and should be a Christian country


and should promote that fact. It is a difficult time of transition in


this country in religion and belief terms. People are not Christian in


the way they were. We have got other religions. It is not surprising that


people cling to the past, just because people say in public, like


the Muslim Council of Britain saying it is good that we are a Christian


country, it does not mean they think that in private. They may just be


sucking up to power. Do you agree that being Christian does not


necessarily mean going to church? The numbers have been bundling and


there would not be much statistical evidence to back that up. Sure. We


have to think about what happens when all of this decline is. All of


the instincts in the health service and childcare or education that come


from Christianity would be rude, and it is a grim prospect. I am glad


David Cameron is drawing attention to that. I don't think there is any


link between orality and religion in this country. We would be fine.


Does the British economy depend on it or not?


Is it fundamentally flawed, and if it is, what can be done?


In a moment we'll be talking to two economists,


both of whom have written books about that very subject.


Cut the umbilical cord that links the lawmakers and the people and you


destroy the stability of this country. You are asking the British


people now to make a terribly disruptive decision. We have not


successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain


only to see them reimpose at a European level. -- reimposed. I


believe in Europe as a political project. I believe in Europe with a


strong and caring social I mentioned. I would never accept a


Europe that was simply an economic market. A real choice between


leaving or being part of a new settlement in which Britain shakes


and respect the rules of the European market but is protected by


fair safeguards and free of the spurious regulation that damages


Europe's competitiveness. In an uncertain world there is strength in


numbers. That is why we remain in the European Union. Even if the


common market may have given them a good idea 40 years ago,


common market may have given them a good idea 40 years it is hopelessly


out of the bed now. Useful debate, I hope.


Let's talk to Roger Bootle. And I'm joined now by the economist,


Roger Bootle, who has written the book, The Trouble With Europe,


and by Phillipe Legrain, former economic advisor to the President


of the European Commission. Why you think Europe is not working?


I think it went wrong at the beginning. The pursuit of ever


closer union. It is not what the people of this country wanted. It is


not what a lot of people in Europe want. Throughout European history,


our best times have actually been in the nation states of Europe have


competed with one another. I don't think we have it in us to be part of


some unified political or economic entity. I want to see some


overarching European unit that would bring friendliness, secure trade,


perhaps have a foreign or defence aspect, but that does not mean


cobbling together these independent nations. Do you agree with that? Is


it, as we have often heard, the architects at the beginning wanting


something to work a certain way and work out the economic details later?


Think the euro has been a huge success. Spreading peace, stability


and prosperity around the poverty -- continent. At the same time, during


the crisis government-owned institutions have made big mistakes.


We are suffering the consequences. Europe needs to change. Isn't the


economic success of those units more down to the states themselves than


some European conglomerate? May be most people around this table are


free traders. The common market is the freest trade you have in the


world. People invest in this country in order to sell cars to the rest of


Europe. The economic benefits are very clear. If we were out of that


we would not have those benefits? Clearly, if you look at a global


level, the movement towards free trade has stalled. We would be


reduced to negotiating agreements bilaterally and on our Rome we would


have much less clout than together. -- on our own. As part of the EU you


can negotiate as equals. There was a slight shaking your head there! It


was not slight! I do think the EU has contributed a lot. I do not hate


everything to do with the EU. It is interesting though that the respect


in which it has contributed a lot was not envisage that the start, and


nothing to do whatsoever with what they were aiming for. That is as a


receiving house for countries in the Eastern bloc. That is one thing. If


we move to the other questions, we did not need that treatment, by the


way. Moved to the question of prosperity. I will eat don't agree


at all with what Philip has said. European countries has -- have been


getting richer. So is everybody else around the world. The Norwegians,


the Australians, the Indians, the Chinese. Britain joined the European


Union because politicians felt the economy was failing outside the EU.


In any case, I am sure you believe in free trade. If you do, it is


rather perverse to downplay the benefits of the single market just


because it is European. If you do not like Europe, be honest about it


but don't try to justify a political view on economic grounds. The


problem about the EU is that it continues to move, and it has done


from the beginning, in a single direction. It is of ever closer


union. This is unsustainable for the continent. It is very bad for


British independence and freedom. The creation of the euro, which is


by far the strongest version of that -- that idea, has been the most


disastrous. It has created massive unemployment and poverty in southern


Europe, and huge political tension. It is also bringing about exactly


what it was supposed to avoid, the total economic dominance of Europe


by Germany. When you look at that process, why should you have two


accept everything on the menu? Two different types are emerging. The


euro zone and the non-Eurozone. Something should be made out of that


without sleep -- playing a very leading role in the non-Eurozone.


Isn't the problem in saying that we're going to reform it is


something that cannot be pulled off? And then you're left with an


extreme. Out, with with the costs that would bring, or you are in with


hoping that the same people involved before would somehow be able to


bring about reforms? There are reforms that can be done, as long as


they are not special treatment for one country. You can move forward


with the single market in services. You can have decentralisation. Of


course the European Union can change. Have those people who do one


died been ambiguous about what it would cost? There have been umpteen


attempts to look into this. They come up with wildly different


numbers. I myself think it is so uncertain with regard to the


important things, which are not to do with the budget. The really


important thing I think is the extent of further regulation from


Europe. The extent to which the European Union carries on doing what


it has done so far, moving in one direction. So you don't sign up to a


particular set of circumstances, you sign up to it process. What sort of


trade relationships we could negotiate with Europe and the rest


of the world. Which regulations would you first get rid of? When I


hear people say they are suffering, which once? Social and employment


legislation, for a start. It is not true to say that everything that is


a problem in this country stems from the EU. A lot of the regulations are


national regulations. It is a political fantasy to think that


Britain would be a different country had left. The demand for social


employment legislation comes just as much from voters in this country as


it does from the EU. Yes, but you can get rid of the people who impose


it. . Now it's May Day today, which means


people up and down the country will Old customs don't die, they just


fade away. I'm joined now by Oliver New from


left unity, organising a May Day march through central London, and by


Sir Bob Russell, a Liberal Democrat MP. He thinks St George's Day should


be a national holiday. Oliver, people think of May Day and they


think of maypoles and flowers. Have people forgotten the origins? I


don't think people do think about that. May Day is International


workers Day. Happy May Day. Left unity, a brand-new political party,


did not organise the march through London. It is organised every year.


It has been celebrated for 150 years. If you cross the Channel, it


is a public holiday in France. And it is a public holiday in 80


countries, celebrating workers and their contribution. I think it is a


really important day and we should do more to celebrate it. Do you


think people remember it is a Labor Day? I agree with much of what has


been set. It is a European is not a worldwide day of celebration for


workers. In fact, I remember when the May Day bank holiday was brought


in, albeit on a Monday. I want to reassert Englishness with St


George's Day. I think St George's Day should be, if not the day


itself, then certainly been a wrist Monday, should be a bank holiday.


Had there are too many bank holidays within may? Across the year, the


United Kingdom has fewer public holidays than virtually any other


country in Europe. We would be catching up if we had an additional


one friend lent. Does it matter what the origins are? Don't people just


think, I've got a day off work? ! Some people think that. The amount


of stress there is in workplaces at the moment, partly because of the


economic crisis, the amount of stress is enormous. I think next


couple of days would probably be good for productivity as well as for


all of us. Charles, what about a bank holiday and October? With the


workers Day, it seems to be inappropriate. It seems to me we


should all be working! I think bank holidays are out of date. They are


so inflexible. I agree with what Oliver has said about the stresses


of work. This seems to be massive stresses with bank holidays to do


with traffic and so on. It would be better if people had transferable


holidays that they would take. We don't all have to be doing something


of the same time. You are not advocating for fewer holidays? ! It


day when the whole country comes together is a day for celebration.


May Day or St George's Day. Let the English have their own day of


celebration. These chairs, everything here, was made by


workers, not bankers, not politicians. Let's celebrate that on


May Day. That is it. Thank you to all our guests. Buy buy. -- goodbye.


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