03/06/2014 Daily Politics


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 03/06/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Scrap Help To Buy, increase council tax, spend more money.


The EU tells Britain how it should be running its economy -


David Cameron needs allies like Angela Merkel in Europe.


Should he do deals with her political rivals in Brussels?


Fees have gone up - now so have complaints from students.


Is ?9,000 a year for the privilege of studying


Vince Cable's friend's been plotting against Nick Clegg.


Today Vince and Nick are going to the pub - will there be a political


And with us for the whole programme today is John


Micklethwait, the editor-in-chief of the Economist magazine.


Let's start with the economy, because the latest figures from the


Nationwide suggest that house prices have risen by 11% over the last year


Well, it's definitely heated up extremely in London. It's boiling in


London. The problem is, the rest of the country is not moving as fast


and the Government do want to keep some element of life in the rest of


it and particularly Mark Carney - you talk to him and he is stuck in


this very difficult balancing act. At the moment I think he's probably


still pretty firmly behind the idea that the economy needs more growth


so he's unlikely to come in very hard in the short term. There is the


question you have raised interest rates because people are sitting on


large and high amounts of mortgage debt. The balancing act is going to


reach a tipping point. When do you think that will be? I think probably


sometime next year. That would feel about right. The problem is what you


do to be strained London in the meantime. A sort of things people


are talking about - and these are horrible words like Matt Crow


credentials. These are where you don't change the interest rates but


you change the amount that banks are allowed to lend, so you say 60%,


rather than 70 or 80 present. It's that sort of thing where I can


imagine Mark Carney coming in first. We're already hearing today from


people at Nationwide saying that activity, in terms of mortgage


applications being accepted, is starting to cool. So is it true to


say that some of the policies being put in place, some of the tightening


in terms of lending, is having an effect? Mortgages are all about


sentiment. So you, by merely debating it, are helping change it a


bit because people are hearing about higher interest rates possibly being


on the way and that makes a difference to how much you think


you'll end up paying and how much we're going to end up going in terms


of the housing market. But if you speak to somebody in the Midlands or


Liverpool or Manchester or Yorkshire, they will say they're


nowhere near the point of recovery, looking at the pre-crash levels. Is


it fair to do anything that might hold back some sort of recovery in


house prices in those parts of England? I was in the Midlands last


weekend and it isn't the same there. In the centre of London, it's going


well but the difficulty is trying to do both at the same time. Imagine


trying to do something like trying to limit the amount of money


available in the south-east while also playing about with mortgage


rules for foreigners and finally, of course, there is the fact that even


London, people are beginning to say "this is a lot of money to pay for


not much space". Do you think that is starting to bottom out now? Do


you think even foreign investors, who are accused of buying up real


estate, to use that American phrase, expensive postcodes and leaving them


empty, decide they won't pay more. I think there is an element of that


and the whole thing is cyclical. If I am a rich foreigner, I'd buy


property in London in part because I think other rich foreigners will do.


property in London in part because I If you are Chinese or somebody from


you are buying this is as a nest you are buying this is as a nest


egg. You like London because it is a liquid asset. You can sell it, you


think, liquid asset. You can sell it, you


want to come in... If you look at the prices


want to come in... If you look at against, say, Burlington - and there


are all sorts of reasons to against, say, Burlington - and there


foreigners you could meet against, say, Burlington - and there


interesting. That debate will rumble on.


or D - our guest of the day John Micklethwait?


They're anti-euro, want a leaner Brussels


had seven MEPs elected last week and want to sit with


David Cameron's Conservatives in the European Parliament.


Trouble is that David Cameron needs to keep


German Chancellor Angela Merkel on side if he's going achieve anything


in his renegotiation - and this new German Eurosceptic party is Angela


Merkel's sworn political enemy. that we want to put reforms on the


EU. We want to strengthen that we want to put reforms on the


European real estate policy and to bring it to one point, we are


heading for a European Union as a federation of


heading for a European Union as a sovereign democracies, and we oppose


strongly the idea of having a federal state, a European Union as a


federal state. I think this is the main point we're making and this is


our main political goal. This is what the Alternative for and this


will be our responsibility, to stress this issue. So perfect


partners for the British Conservative party? I guess so, yes.


We are highly compatible with the British Conservatives, as they want


to put reforms on the European Union also, and I would call ourselves the


natural allies of the Tory party and for the ECR group, who is


representing these ideas of re-formation of the EU within the


parliament. But do you accept you are the sworn enemy of the


Chancellor Angela Merkel? Well, I think at the moment, we're


opposing, on one very central point, and this is what we want to have a


deep reform of, the European Union and the European institutions. We


don't want to have the European Union as a federal state and this is


what is pushed forward from Angela Merkel and from all the other German


parties, also, so this means that we have got a very important point but


we are opposing each other, that's true. John Micklethwait, this would


be ideal, wouldn't it, for the Conservative party, to be in the


same group? It would be wonderful except that everyone in Europe knows


the single person who decides everything in Europe, or has the


greatest negative power, is Angela Merkel. I think she has greater


power than any person has had in Europe for a very long time and it


would mildly annoy her - to put it mildly - if... Do you think, then,


that David Cameron won't entertain the idea of getting in bed with the


Alternative for Germany party? I think he will entertain the idea


because, as we heard, there is such a huge array of similar objectives.


That could almost have been a Conservative speaking, which is a


terrible thing to say about anyone, but that would have sounded very


similar. There is this basic barrier that if he wants anything to happen


in Europe, he's got to deal with Angela Merkel. Right, and that's the


realistic part of this whole political discussion. As far as


David Cameron and the Conservative party is concerned, Beatrix, Angela


Merkel is far more important than you. Well, if you look to the


European Parliament and you want to strengthen a constructive way of


reforms, even within the parliament, we need a strong group who support


this idea, so that means we need a strong... It would be good to have a


strong ECR and I think we would be good best to do so and I think,


finally, it's going to be the members of the European Parliament


who are voting us into the group and then it would be far more likely


that we have a constructive discussion going on about the


re-formation of the system and I think it would be a good sign to the


people also that the European Parliament is taking a responsible


position within this discussion. I think it would be a brilliant idea


to have German members express these points from the floor of Brussels


and Strasbourg. What do you think about David Cameron's plan for the


in-out referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU? We are


also very much supporting the idea of the self-determination of the


people so I think it's always a good idea to ask the people themselves


what they want. Even in Germany, we want to have these questions put to


the people because the parliament is not able, from our constitution, to


decide about giving up our sovereignty to whomever, or to the


European Union or other institutions. This is not what the


parliament has been voted for. They are not allowed to pass away our


sovereignty so it's always a very good point to ask the people to


participate in the political process. You've been described as a


German Eurosceptic party. What do you think of UKIP? Well, I think in


general, the ideas they are having are in the same direction. They want


to get out of the EU banned from the German taxpayers' point of view,


that isn't good for us, but I think it is good to ask the people and


this is what UKIP is heading for also, have a referendum on this


idea. If Britain leave the European Union, that would be sad. That would


not be our wish. But if the people decide likewise, that's the way it


is. It will step in democracy and that's always good. Jacob Rees-Mogg,


the Conservative MP, has battled through the traffic and made it in


the end. We've just been hearing from the Alternative for Germany


party, One Direction setting out, really, a Conservative agenda in


terms of reform in Europe. Are you going to join forces? I think there


is a difference between what goes on in the European Parliament and what


goes on inside it. In the European Parliament, the Conservatives cannot


be within the European people's party, and outright Federalist party


which believes the EU is a fantastic success. That is Angela Merkel's CDU


party. The Alternative fur Deutschland is a much more


attractive partner for the Conservatives in the context of the


European Parliament and it is therefore sensible for David Cameron


to maintain very friendly relations with Angela Merkel, which is crucial


to his getting his weight in the EU, to the extent that Britain ever gets


her way, but it's also sensible in the context of the alliances you


need within the European Parliament, for the Conservative group to align


with them because it is as close to us as you get in German politics to


our view of Europe. But you can't afford to alienate Angela Merkel in


any way. By making friends with this lady in Berlin, the Alternative fur


Deutschland party, you are going to do exactly that. I don't think


that's right. I don't pick we have any perpetual allies. We have the


British interest, which we must work towards. Angela Merkel was very


upset when we left her party but is now David Cameron's best friend in


Europe. Is she his best friend in Europe? She has a much higher


respect for him than she did then. The thing that is definitely true is


that she would be equally cross - I think more so, particularly when she


is trying to deliver a lot of things for Britain - if they did join that


group. Mrs Merkel supported Mr Sarkozy for the presidency of


France, then she didn't, now she has to get on with Francois Hollande.


That's how international politics works. That is a job of


international leaders to get on with each other to achieve their own


national interests. He has to achieve a lot in his big those years


because your Parliamentary colleagues are putting a lot of


pressure on him to come back with something tangible head of the 2015


election. He needs Angela Merkel to deliver that. The strongest point to


get a good renegotiation is to say that if we don't go all we want, we


will leave. That is our absolute winner negotiating card, not be here


today, gone tomorrow support of Mrs Merkel. Angela Merkel has said she


backs him for the Commission President. We know what both


Beatrix's party and the Conservatives think about him. They


don't want him. The whole thing is a farce. You have him who does not


want this job and Mrs Merkel does not want him for the job. There is


an element whereby the Germans are hoping that some kind of blocking


coalition sort of emerges and I would, in the end, if you asked me


at the weekend, I would have bet that someone who was at least more


friendly to the British point of view might end up as the Commission


President. Alright. Before we let you go. Who do you want to see as


Commission President? I think we have got new member states from


Central and Eastern Europe. They have many talents to implement the


new spirit of Europe. OK. It is pretty clear we will not support


Juncker. Maybe we will come up with a President from Eastern Europe.


Richard Zilic would be a new face. Juncker is a representation of the


old Europe. Alright. He would be a new face. We should think about


something like that. OK. Thank you. Now, you'd be forgiven for thinking


wranglings over who will be its next President may have stopped the


European Commission from getting on with their day-to-day work, but have


no fear - they've found the time to offer Britain some economic


pointers. Every year the Commission offers


member states advice on how to ensure long-term growth - and


they've got some tips for David Cameron


and George Osborne. The European Union's executive


body has called on the UK to They say the UK should raise taxes


on higher value properties and build more houses to "alleviate


distortions in the housing market". And they recommend adjusting


the Help to Buy scheme and revaluing council tax bands - which


would put bills up for some people. Commission President Jose Manuel


Barroso said he recognised the advice might be


"politically unpopular" but member states "must play their part


in seeing these reforms through". The Treasury say they will listen


to the Commission with interest. But,


others have been less diplomatic. Conservative MP Dominic Raab said


the Chancellor should treat the Commission's advice as "


spam when it arrives in his inbox". So, is the Commission right to offer


Britain advice on the economy? We can speak now to


our political correspondent, Is this usually the way with the


Commission to offer this sort of advice to nation states? It is. It


is an annual process. It does coincide David Cameron lashing out


at what he called "bossy Brussels". This morning it has been framed in


some papers as an unwanted intrusion. This is an annual


process. It is non-binding guidance and they are far less interested in


what is going on in Britain than they are in other countries. France,


a huge concern here in Europe. Its sluggish growth, high unemployment


and the Commission says it needs dramatic structural economic reform


urgently. Italy needs to embark on an accelerated programme of


privatisation, so big stuff is being delivered to those capitals. In


terms of Britain, the Commission shares the concerns of the Governor


of the Bank of England and lots of politicians that it is getting very


hot in London and the South East. It does recommend things like a


restriction to the second phase of Help to Buy, more houses needs to be


built. It gets into the contentious area of council tax banding, which


has not been looked at since 1991. Alright. Thank you. Do you welcome


the advice, Jacob Rees-Mogg? I think the response is it will heal thy


self. It doesn't seem to be very intelligent of the European


Commission... We had the great advantage that we had a loose


monetary policy in return. Fiscal tightness and monetary tightness has


been a disaster for the eurozone. They should have been more humble in


their approach. They should not start telling HMG what they need to


start to do. Are you saying our economy is fixed and we can be smug


about it? It is a good deal better than what is going on in continental


Europe. We have our own currency and that has allowed us to have a


suitable monetary policy to go hand in hand with the fiscal tightness


that we had. And that has left us in a much stronger position than


France, or Italy, or Spain, or Greece. Monetary policy in the


European Union is still set for Germany. Is it bad advice that they


are giving you to stop the housing market, which John said is


overheating in London, that could lead to the sort of conditions that


resulted in the recession that started in 2008? Is that such bad


advice? It is two bits of advice. One is to raise taxes, which is


rotten advice. Increasing taxes on capital assets is bad advice because


there is no liquidity to pay the tax. The other bit is motherhood and


apple pie. Wouldn't it be nice to have an extremely stable housing


market? Of course it would. If you stabilise the housing market by


increasing interest rates, what affect do you have on businesses and


on marginal mortgage borrowers? It is no good saying it would be nice


if you did easy things. But the specific advice on raising taxation


is bad advice. Is Jacob Rees-Mogg being oversensitive? A little. The


fact is - it is a difficult thing for the Tories with the European


Commission. If you look at what most of us - we also oppose being part of


the euro. We want a much bigger single market. The only people who


are likely to get that delivered is the Commission. We are stuck in this


position that we - there is some stuff which the Commission is doing.


All the advice they are giving now - I agree, they haven't always given


perfect advice. But most of the advice they are giving is on the


good side. Right. Let's say you are being a bit oversensitive. If you


listen to the Governor of the Bank of England, he's broadly said many


of the same things that have come from the Commission. Is it your


problem with Europe and its institutions saying these things


rather than what they are saying? You have to be careful about the


message and the effect the message has. We have to report back in a


year's time. The European Commission will visit the UK three times to see


whether we are following their recommendations or not. So, it is


right to be a bit sensitive that this is an ability of the Commission


to interfere in something that is central to national sovereignty and


where their advice has not worked in other countries. It is only advice.


It is only advice. It is not the same as - in fact, Osborne has said


- I don't think there is a lot George Osborne would disagree with.


What you really want is within the eurozone, you want them to have a


much stronger role. Alright. That would be a better Europe. Briefly?


Euro needs to revert to national currencies. Would you put the advice


in "spam"? That is a brilliant recommendation. Thank you.


Now, last week Vince Cable's friend, Lord Oakeshott, was at the centre


of a botched plot to remove Nick Clegg as Lib Dem leader.


This morning Nick Clegg was trying to show there were no hard feelings


Is this all kiss and make up? Jo, I'm not to be found at pubs at


midday on Tuesday! I'm here because of those Liberal Democrats who


staged this pub press event for us to see how well Vince Cable and Nick


Clegg are now getting on. They tried to resolve their differences over


this pint of London Pride! The two of them sat down inside the pub, sat


rather sheepishly together like a couple on a first date and tried to


make small-talk while we were peering in the window to see what


was going on. Notionally, they were here to flag up a new scheme for a


Code of Conduct for publicans who get into difficulties with their


breweries. This was like ye olde Tony Blair and Gordon Brown


ice-cream moment, a press stunt to flag up how well they were getting


on. Along they came, they sat down, Nick Clegg bought Vince Cable a


London Pride. He had a pint of Archers Mild. I'm told Vince Cable


did finish his pint and Nick Clegg didn't finish his. They sat in there


for 45 minutes wondering how they were going to get out without having


to confront the press scrum. The traffic was so bad they had a Walk


of Shame of 50 yards before they could get into a car. Out they came


with their Special Branch, surrounded by cameras, we were


bombarding them with questions about were they best pals, when was the


last time they went to a pub - they said nothing. They looked a bit


embarrassed, smiled, got into the car and headed off. I'm surprised


they didn't say anything(!) At least they didn't spill your pint! Are you


convinced that there is a proper rapprochement? Well, I would think


Nick Clegg will be just looking over his shoulder at Vince Cable for a


long time to come. Although we have had the protestations of them


believing Vince Cable, that he had nothing to do with it. There has to


be a suspicion. Paddy Ashdown, the man who threatened to cut off Lord


Oakeshott's delicate parts, when he was interviewed at the weekend he


warned about how you have to be careful who your Yargos are. I like


that characterisation. Despite the disastrous election results for the


Liberal Democrats, will the party stick with Nick Clegg? Well, we are


told that there is a growing number of local parties who are preparing


to hold emergency meetings to consider the future of Nick Clegg.


When you talk to those around Nick Clegg they say that is just because


the Liberal Democrats like to discuss everything. When you talk to


more critical elements, they say that is because there is a


groundswell of deep unease about where Nick Clegg is leading his


party and a growing fear that they are heading to the buffers at


high-speed at the next election. What we don't know is whether there


will be enough parties to reach a fairly high threshold - you have to


get 75 local parties demanding an emergency conference to trigger that


whole leadership contest. It is a high bar that has to be reached. So


far, there have only been a few dozen parties coming up with the


idea of holding an emergency meeting. Thank you.


Are established Western economies being overtaken by the fast-growing


emerging economic powerhouses in Asia and elsewhere in the world?


Our Guest of the Day - John Micklethwait -


has just written a book asking just that question - and whether we need


to rethink the nature of the Western nation state to compete.


One of the countries cited by John as a competitive threat is China.


Let's speak to the BBC's China editor, Carrie Gracie,


Welcome to the programme. The growth of the Chinese economy has slowed a


bit. Are there concerns about the way the economy is growing? There


are. China has an asset bubble. It is worried about how to deal with


that. It is trying to bring growth in this year at 7.5%. That is a


growth rate that many would envy. That still represents a difficult


compromise between keeping growth meaningful and not having too many


people out of work which presents of course a political threat. If they


get too many people on the breadline. Economically, they have


their response to the global financial crisis, was to put in a


big stimulus. They have, as a result of that, got a problem with the


property bubble. They have got lots of non-performing investment. They


have got lots of ghost cities. Oversized savings ratio and a


problem with consumption and they are trying to rebalance that. As the


President himself says, economic reform is entering a deep water


terrain and the difficulty is tackling vested interests in the


state-owned enterprises. democracy can sometimes be an


impediment to growth, is that why, in your view, China has been able to


grow so successfully despite the concerns you set out there? That is


a very large question and there are many different answers to it. I


would say that the current situation in China, the politics of China,


where we are just about to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen


Square democracy protests and the crackdown on those protests, and


since then China has had a politics where it may not speak its name. You


have politics where the Chinese government says it wants the rule of


law but is locking up lawyers. You can't have a functioning 21st


economy without effective law but increasingly, the problem is that


the party is controlling the economy and the law itself. It is conflicted


and paradoxical state on that and a number of other issues. It says it


wants to deal with corruption but locks of those who try to campaign


on par-4 whistle-blowers. The question of what kind of politics


can't be answered simply. Joining John now is the Economist Will


Hutton. Welcome to the programme. In your view, what is the reason for


the West's decline? Should we try to mimic what is going on in China?


Certainly not, in the sense of ruling pushing democracy. What the


book is about is not really the economy but about government. Our


argument is that if you went back to 1600, you would have bet on China


being the future. They have the most advanced government in the world


with 3000 civil servants in the city. That was given anywhere in


Europe. Ever since then, the West has had a series of revolutions in


government, to do with security and liberalism and the welfare state,


and each time we jump forward. What is interesting about what is


happening in China now is that having caught up economically, they


are now trying to look for ways to catch up politically and make their


government work better. Some of that is authoritarian but looking at


places like Sweden, not a particularly authoritarian Place,


London, not particularly authoritarian, and Singapore,


looking for new ways to try to catch up because their view is that they


used to be the best at government, we got much better and now they are


in a contest. From our point of view, the danger is not that China


is particularly great but much more that we're the equivalent of the


Cyclopedia Britannica, sitting there worrying about other reference


books, and what is going to eat our lunch is Wikipedia. You mentioned


how bad the Chinese authoritarian thing is but would you rather be a


poor person in China or in India? Will Hutton, which would you rather


have been? I want to talk about bloated government. That is what


many Conservatives and I think you also point to as holding that


growth. It is an extraordinary prison to look at both now and in


the last 250 years. -- prism. If I had to explain why things have gone


up in the West, I would not let the government. I would argue that the


reason is that we had the European argument and we had things that


would best marshal the fruits of technology. I don't think the reason


why we're in trouble at the minute is because of bloated government. I


think it's because we miss organise institutions of capitalism. I think


corporations without owners who have become pay owners for top executives


who don't invest in R and innovation, not thinking about what


the structures are that support innovation and investment, turning a


blind eye to any quality and the dealer Tories affect that has on


growth, have been what we should be worrying about. Bloated government


is not brilliant and obviously, as he says in his book with his


colleague, responsive government is better than the alternative to put


that top of your list is a category error. You've made a category


error. It isn't about bloated government. I would argue that it


sits at the bottom at the moment. You look at the European elections


we just had and what is going to happen in America in the midterms,


people are streaming to the polls and they have two feelings. One is


that they're furious with their governments but the other is that


they expect nothing to change and the lesson of our book is to look at


history and government can change fairly dramatically when it wants


to. That is something it can do again. One of the reasons why people


don't believe it's worthwhile voting is because they don't think there is


going to be change. The reason they don't think there is going to be


changes because the discourse is entirely about if vision is,


privatisation, deregulation, good housekeeping, austerity, not about


fairness etc. I think democracy has been denuded because the only


paradigms in which the argument takes place is the one you occupy


and the one you occupied for my money is making a category error. I


think the idea that fairness is not part of the political debate is


rubbish. You look at the race in America between Obama and Romney and


fairness was possibly the biggest single issue. It's just coming back.


It's a sensation because it is so unusual. There are many more books


about fairness and inequality. You are the last-gasp of the old. In


terms of admiring other economies, you can't deny the growth rate in a


country like China. Under Chairman Mao, the growth rate from 1949 to


1976 in China was 4.6%. It's very hard in China to get the growth rate


much under 5%. I don't take the view of looking open-mouthed at China. I


think the fact that it isn't a rule of Law Society... There are things


like patents and property rights, being able to do banking where you


can get your money back, the scope of corruption... I agree with all


that. You cannot see it through just the prism of the growth


that. You cannot see it through just Singapore is more democratic.


that. You cannot see it through just in Singapore, you


litigiousness. China's problem is inequality.


litigiousness. China's problem is wealth of the top 50 people in the


national People's Congress is $50 billion. They are trying to compete


at government and from their point of view, this was the thing they


think they were really good at. The thing about places


think they were really good at. The that they've managed to combine all


those things while having much better services. The


those things while having much to ask is, you look at Singapore and


those things while having much there is some stuff about Asian


values but fundamentally, it does deliver twice as good schools,


values but fundamentally, it does as good hospitals, twice as good


welfare for half the money. Last point.


responsive government. I championed this throughout my


re-engineering that one would have re-engineering that one would have


to do, I'm completely with you. But I won't do it because I want


government to do stuff, not just with schools. I want the government


to engage with the underlying structures of our companies, our


to engage with the underlying financial system, the


to engage with the underlying innovate, not just the problems of


the public realm. I think the way to revived tomography is that way.


If you are a student watching this in England or Wales,


you may want to ask yourself, are you getting value for money for


Because it seems an increasing number of you feel you aren't.


The BBC has compiled responses from 120 universities across the UK


and has found that more than 20,000 students complained about


And the total number of academic appeals and complaints


rose 10% in the two years following the rise in fees, despite the


So are the universities getting worse or have the students simply


had enough of poor standards now they are paying for it?


He runs the higher education consumer website Student Hut.


Damn, were you surprised by the numbers? I was a little bit


surprised and shocked, yes. -- Dan, were you surprised. The fact that


students now pay ?9,000 year means they are going to be in increasing


levels of debt which they will be paying off over years. I can see why


people are taking that decision seriously and expecting more from


their education. In some ways, that is hardly a surprise. They are going


to want value for money but they clearly don't think they are getting


it. That's right. We did a survey of our users and we got over 3400


responses and we were quite surprised by some of the findings,


in terms of the top complaints of the students. We found that nearly


20% of students actually had the complaint that teaching standards


were poor at a university. This is a big investment of money and time and


that clearly isn't good enough and needs to be improved, in my


opinion. Other complaints we had were that 29% of students surveys


felt they needed more contact hours and 30% of students felt there


wasn't enough emphasis on gaining real world experience. Obviously


they're looking ahead to the jobs market when they leave university


with their degrees. Is this a case, do you think, standards getting


worse or just because students are now paying those fees, they feel


they have a right to complain? I think people are taking the decision


more seriously than ever before and rightly so. I advise prospective


students and parents to take that decision more seriously. First of


all, should I go to university? How will it benefit me? It isn't for


everybody. People need to take the decision of the course they choose


very seriously, rather than just floating into university. There are


a number of ways of looking into the cause you can choose. Universities


provide information on a number of -- the number of contact hours and


how you will be assessed but another great factor is the fat that


students can see what previous students have said in comments


online. Thank you very much. The universities minister David Willetts


joins us now. Were you shocked and surprised by


the numbers of students complaining, with 20% of the


students in the survey we talked about complaining that teaching was


when they are playing up to ?9,000 a year. They are not paying up front.


But students are more and more demanding and quite rightly so. The


fact is, in the old system, universities were competing


intensely on research quality and not paying attention to the quality


of the teaching experience for students. They have to raise their


game and now students can say that with ?9,000 of resource behind them,


what are they getting? But isn't that the problem? The market isn't


working, is it, because if everybody, or certainly a large


percentage of good universities are charging top dollar, ?9,000 a year,


as you say funded by the taxpayer at the moment, and some of them are


offering below par teaching, there is nowhere else to go, is there?


When we look at the trends, what is happening - slowly, but happening -


is that the amount of hours of teaching is going up. You've got


evidence to show that, have you? The number of classes in small groups is


going up and universities are saying there is a massive cultural change


going on and they are now focusing on the quality of teaching


experience. But there are large numbers of students who have not


historically have the quality of teaching they are inclined to expect


but I think students are now far more demanding than ever before and


quite rightly so. But at the moment, sitting here now, would you say that


all those universities charging ?9,000 a year are value for money? I


think going to university is, for many people, a fantastic experience


and very worthwhile but I do think universities need to raise their


game and improve the quality of the teaching experience. But is it right


that the taxpayer is having to foot this bill, certainly temporarily, if


they're not now offering value for money because you are one in 150


people sitting in a big lecture hall with a teacher that isn't making the


mark. You aren't sitting in a one in three tutorial. What happens, and


when I talk to the student unions, this is what they talk about now, is


that they say, there is this resource going in and how many hours


of teaching are we getting? My view is that the argument about the level


of these is one of the things that empowers students and enables them


to expect more. Increasingly, as our requirements on universities to


produce information on all these crucial benchmarks but Boorman is


becomes available on websites and all kinds of advertising the


websites like the one you've been talking to, students will be able to


choose the university that offers them the best quality teaching


experience. Students can compete and grow if they have more students who


want to go to them. I come back to the market. They can't charge more


at the moment and the others are still charging the top whack. It is


part of a great sorting out. It is going back to the argument with Will


Hutton and me and my book. You look at America, exactly the same thing


is happening. Students are complaining and saying, "We are not


getting value for money." That's correct. People need to really


carefully look at exactly how good their universities are. The other


thing is, in the end, it looks evermore likely that bad


universities will be replaced by things on the internet and the


really valuable bit of the universities, the tuition bit, will


go towards individuals. Are tuition fees working? They are generally


working. They are giving people some idea of a value attached to this. It


is wrong fundamentally, if you don't go to university, you are more


likely to end up poorer. It is bad that people, from that end, end up


subsidising people like all us three who went to university. John is


right. If graduates end up in well-paid jobs, they should pay


back. The competition between universities is not simply on the


level of fees. A student who said, "I'm going to..." That is what they


are looking at. There is a big difference to putting the money on


the table before you start and paying it back. Competition is


between the universities as to which university the student chooses and


the way we are changing the system - it is in the spirit of John's


excellent book - it is to put more pressure... I can see all this came


about! Now, we have got, now that they can choose, universities are


competing on quality. As the students don't pay the money


upfront, students that say, "I'm going to save money and go to


university." That isn't how the system works. They can say, "We want


a high quality experience." And the next generation students will be


able to choose the universities that offer them best quality. If you get


so many complaints, if there are so many students unhappy, will you put


pressure on those institutions who come up with the most criticised by


students for not high enough standards? There is an independent


body. They ultimately receive the complaints. They publish the


information about the breakdown of complaints, the type of complaints.


There is no sanction? They can. Behind this, there is the power of


law. Ultimately, the fees are a contract to deliver a service, so


the OIA has real clout and if a university lets a student down by


poor quality teaching, the OIA can ask the university to change its


practices. You heard it here. John has an interesting job proposition


for you. I spent the weekend with a wide variety of Europeans and


British Tories and when asked who should be the next British


Commissioner for Europe, there was support for you. Something to think


about when you leave the studio. Thank you very much for joining us.


Has the death of the dead tree press been exaggerated?


With the arrival of free news on the internet, why would you pay


Well, some of us still are as Adam's been finding out.


On the outside, a normal newsagent. Inside, one of the biggest


selections of papers and magazines you will find. More than 3,000 of


them. So, a good place to ponder the issues facing print which all seem


to involve the internet. Lately, the big news has been about this big


paper, The Venerable New York Times. According to an internal document,


it doesn't look so venerable on the web. The report found that only 30%


of online users ever read the home page, while the newsroom was


obsessed with what was on page one of the newspaper. Incompatible. They


also found that sometimes people read New York Times content more


when it was on other people's websites. An article about the death


of Nelson Mandela which appeared on the Huffington Post. Then there's


staff. The report was filled with killer quotes from journalists who


left the paper and digital journalists who turned down job at


the paper because they thought it was a bit rubbish. Here, newspapers


are still working out how to prosper online and off. The Times has an


absolute paywal - you pay to read everything on line. No one is sure


what will work best. A scary time to launch a new title, eh? Not for this


woman. It is so posh it makes Horse and Hound look like Heat magazine.


Social media is important. The online version of Town and Country


is important. We do have a website, a digital version. We have a Twitter


account. All of that is important. It is part of a conversation, it is


not the only bit of the conversation. There is something


authentic and you can hold this. It means something. It is not


disposable. The team also produces Harpers bazaar. Maybe things aren't


so bleak after all. There is a place for excellence, there is a place for


quality. And the market appears to be bearing that out. I think it all


adds up to if your newspaper or magazine is good, you might be OK in


the modern world. But it's a bewildering time to be a journalist.


Anyway, I'm off to read about the inner life of Lazy Rose! -- Lady


Rose! John, the Economist is one of the few news publications where your


circulation has gone up, how have you managed that? We have tried to


find people who will pay for it. You heard that there. The debate - he is


right - this is the biggest debate, you look at the New York Times memo,


it made substantial doubts about whether the New York Times bundle,


which is what they try and pay for, can keep going. So many people go to


websites and it applies to us as well, they come through social


feeds, so they don't go to your home page, they don't go to our channel


pages, they come through Facebook, through Twitter. Yes. What is


interesting is the lady at the end, with the glossy Town and Country,


there are some bits of the advertising market which are still


holding up. No one model is right, is it? It is fair to say that people


predicted the end of daily newspapers - and their circulation


has gone down in some cases. The Economist is different. It is not a


daily. And we are talking from quite a small base to start with. So, you


could say you only had up to go? No, you could say that our base is


larger than all the quality newspapers in Britain put together.


Worldwide. Well, compared - worldwide, we do have a bigger


circulation, 1.6 million is not a small number. The reason though is


that most people are pushing towards roughly the same area. The web


arrived, everyone went free and a lot of us realised that was a


mistake and particularly with the arrival of apps, of iPads, the


Kindles, a tablet, so many people are reading what we have on either


phones, or tablets, and that is the new problem. That is particularly


what's happening hitting magazines, particularly what is happening with


newspapers. The main time when people are reading the New York


Times was on a smartphone. You need to come up with new products to


adjust to that. This, at least, what is happening, the good news - and


the New York Times is an example of this so far - is that people have


found a way to make people pay for things on those gadgets in a way


they haven't on the web. Right. The web, people still want things for


free. When you get an app, you tend to be much happier about paying.


Let's leave it there. Now, MPs and Lords are preparing to


battle it out tonight in a tug-of-war and, no, that's not


a metaphor. They'll be raising money for


charity, and Giles is on the Green It has to be said, there are a


number of events that the Lords and MPs tussle over. There's the dog


competition, there is also the pancake race, which the Lords won.


The tug-of-war is a feature. I hate myself for taking part in several of


them. Usually, I ended up damaged! I'm not going to take part this year


because I have put my back out. I am here with - we have the Lords - the


anchorman, Lord Kennedy, you are very much part of the team. How many


times? Four times now. You are the anchorman for the men's MPs? Not


wearing the T-shirt at the moment. Couldn't get it in the suitcase! The


ladies' tug-of-war team, they do put in all the effort. They have not


been that successful? No, I understand the McMillan Ladies have


been practising for weeks and my team have done no preparation at


all. I suspect this is probably why our track record... All trains lead


to Newark! This is probably why we don't have a glorious record. It is


not a glorious record. A little bit of technique. This is the grudge


match. It really is. Who is going to win this year? It was 1-1 at one


stage last year. The Commons always beats the Lords in the end. It was


2-1 last year. We won the rowing this year. We are going for the


tug-of-war. I think you need to pull it out and show us. It is not just


about pulling. There is technique. Let's have a pre-grudge match here.


Go for it! They are supposed to get as low to the ground as possible.


That is very cruel. Not showing a great deal of technique, but they do


this every year raising a lot of money, which is why you are happy to


do this. The effort is all in his face! We shall try and show that for


you this year. It's the Queen's Speech tomorrow. We will try and get


you some pictures and show you them on Thursday. I bet you are sad you


are missing out. I am. Never mind. There saulz next year. -- there is


always next year. There's just time before we go to


find out the answer to our quiz. The question was


which person is the odd one out? a) George Osborne, b) Ed Balls, c)


Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, I think it is Ed Balls, for which I


have to thank the Guardian. We all went to the Bilderberg Conference in


Copenhagen. He didn't have a ticket and was unable to get in.


The answer is that they all went to the secretive Bilderberg Conference


last weekend, but Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was the only one to be


refused entry because he'd forgotten his pass.


Here he is having his "senior moment".


But, clearly, the security didn't know who our very own


Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was - despite a passport being offered.


And as with us all, Ed, if you don't have the right ID


He did manage to get in later, I am told.


What was it like? It is interesting. Journalists ask me why do you go to


these off-the-record things. It is a chance to talk to politicians, to


business people. You go there and you don't talk about it! Beyond


that, I can't say much. They debate things in the same way as any


conference. What about the mix of people? The mix of people is from


Europe and from America. So it tends to be people from - there's a degree


of business people and politicians. You had both. It is a place - they


probably won't like me for saying this, it is a place where you can


see George Osborne and Ed Balls having a drink quite normally. That


is not a bad thing. There is a revelation! They are normal!


Thangss. -- thanks. Thanks to our guests - especially


John for being our Guest of the Day. The One O'Clock News is


starting over on BBC One now.


Download Subtitles