05/06/2014 Daily Politics


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It's the morning after the Queen's Speech.


So we know how Parliament's going to be spending the next year.


But does it add up to a bumper political agenda


Or was it all just a bit of a rag bag of legislative odds and sods?


There were new laws on pensions, childcare, slavery and plastic bags.


We'll be talking to the minister responsible for taking


Ministers have been out and about trying to damp down the row


between Michael Gove and Theresa May over how to tackle extremism.


As rows go, it was a biggie, but where does it leave the Governemnt's


We all remember those long hot days back in 2010


when two parties decided how to get along together in coaltion.


If it happens again after next year's election,


And we'll be hearing from Tim Booth, lead singer of the band James,


on why it is time to free our bodies from the ties of religion.


All that in the next hour, and with us for the duration, Peter Hennessy.


He's says he likes gossip and French wine.


Well Peter, on this show we rarely have any of those things.


The polls are open in the Newark by-election triggered


by the resignation of the former Tory MP Patrick Mercer following


We can't talk about the vote today for fear of influencing your vote -


as if we would - but fear not, I'll be back this evening


when the polls close for a marathon of by-election coverage


So yesterday, Her Majesty bought her brand new golden coach


down the road to Westminster for the annual state opening of Parliament.


She was there to read out the Government's planned


parliamentary business for the year up to the election, and


the coalition said it proved they were still "fizzing" with ideas.


Was this really any different to any other Queen's Speech? No, it wasn't.


These words can take on a resonance of their own. I remember when we


worked together, it was always inconvenient if you had worked out


the story in your head and it did not quite fit the events as they


transpired! Because what we have swerve very good at was instantly


minting new cliches. I think it is quite wrong to call it a zombie


parliament. I think the Modern Slavery Bill is very important, and


the pensions stuff is of great significance and promise. Zombie it


was not, but the fag end government is always like that. The nerve ends


are getting more and more excited about the prospect. The tribes are


starting to align for the next election. The emotional geography of


the last year of a parliament is always interesting. And there is


always the lens of the upcoming election? That's right. There is


always something which could happen which could change the political


weather, some international event, for example. And there is one big


thing which was not mentioned in the Queen's Speech, because you cannot


legislate for it, which is a possible independent Scotland. In


September, if Scotland decides to separate, the preoccupation of


Whitehall will be hell on earth to make it operable. All hands will be


to that pump, and our nation will change, the configurations of the


nation, but also the emotional make-up of the nation. You cannot


legislate for that. And for reasons I have never understood, the Cabinet


decided there should be no contingency planning for Scottish


separation. So that will all have to start on the 19th of September, from


scratch! So we know that the Queen had


a brand-new coach - central-heated, I hear - she's slowly catching up


with the modern motor car. But what exactly was that "fizz"


in Her Majesty's Most Gracious Yesterday was


the coalition's last Queen's Speech before the general election next


year, and there were 11 new bills. They included a Private Pensions


Bill which introduces new "defined ambition" collective pension


schemes, allowing people to pay into A Childcare Payments Bill, which


introduces a new tax-free childcare subsidy worth up to ?2,000 a year


per child, from the autumn of 2015. There was a Modern Slavery Bill that


will punish those convicted of the most serious offences with


life sentences - others will be subject to restrictions


on their movements and activities. The courts will also be able to


order offenders to compensate A Social Action, Responsibility


and Heroism Bill, which helps people who are sued after intervening


in emergencies or acting to protect And there's a Recall of MPs Bill -


voters will be able to trigger a by-election where an MP has


committed serious wrongdoing, but There are also six bills that are


being carried over from the 2013-14 parliamentary session -


including the controversial High Speed Rail Bill, which has led


to suggestions that some Let's speak now to Thomas Docherty,


who's Shadow Deputy Leader So, hardly says on the parliament?


Where the Government has set out steps, such as the Newark, such as


the Modern Slavery Bill, we will obviously work with them, but this


is also a missed opportunity. There is nothing at all about the National


Health Service, nothing about helping hard-pressed families with


the cost of energy. There was nothing at all about immigration. It


is a real missed opportunity. This is a government which has both run


out of steam as well as ideas in many of these important areas. Let's


look at immigration - would you like to see fewer immigrants to Britain


from the European Union? Obviously, we had a really important speech


from Ed Miliband last week where he set out in some detail the Labour


Party's approach. We think immigration is a good thing for our


country, but it has to be managed properly. So do you want fewer


immigrants? There is a dividing line, isn't there, in labour? Tony


Blair said anti-immigration language is very dangerous, people should not


be blaming immigrants if they are struggling to get a job. And then we


had another senior Labour figure, John Denham, saying that Labour


should be honest about what they are trying to do, which is to cut the


number of EU migrants - who is right? Obviously it is Ed who is


white. He was not in that choice! He is the only party leader who


actually seems to listen to the concerns raised by our constituents.


But he also has the courage to say, we think immigration is a good


thing. We think people want to come here to study and work, and to help


the economy, and that is a good thing. What we need is a managed


immigration policy. After four years, this government has failed to


hit its own targets on immigration. So you do not think there should be


a target, and you think the freedom of movement of people within the EU


should continue unabated? We are clear that we want to work with the


Government to have a sensible policy. What is that policy? Having


false targets, and Theresa May set a bizarre target for the number of


migrants, which was spectacularly missed. Look, the key thing is, it


is not about coming up with artificial targets... But people


would like to know, would Labour like to see fewer people coming from


the EU to work here? Is that why you are clamping down on dodgy agencies,


enforcing the minimum wage, all of these things, it is all about trying


to deter people coming here to work from the EU, is that the case? It is


not about determined people, it is about stopping unscrupulous


employers from taking advantage of people. That is what Ed set out in


Thurrock last week, it was a really gutsy speech. He is the only party


leader who has said anything on immigration. Ian Austin, one of your


Parliamentary colleagues, yesterday asked David Cameron why there was no


bail for an in-out referendum in this Parliament - do you think there


should be? We have brought in a very important referendum which is coming


up in September. That is our priority. We want to keep the UK


together. So, no chance of Ed Miliband offering an in-out


referendum on the EU going into the election? I am not going to start


making policy announcements ten months away from an election. That


is for Ed Miliband. Let's look at the NHS - would you like to see


Labour promise a bigger health budget? Andy Burnham has said


clearly that we want to make sure... Would you like to see more


money spent on the NHS? It is not about restructuring, it is about


getting value for the money that we spend. But do you think more should


be spent on the NHS, because of all the talk that there is going to be


this massive black hole in funding, should Labour promise to spend more


on the NHS? I think it is an important issue for every voter, and


you're right, Labour has got a very good track record on the NHS. A


recent poll found that only 29% of people agreed that Labour was the


most trusted party to run the Health Service, is that why you are


planning to say, leading up to the election, Labour will spend more, it


will be intense in taxes to pay for the NHS? Again, I am not going to


start making policy announcements on The Daily Politics. What is true is


that more people trust Labour with the Health Service more than they


trust the coalition parties, and rightly so. That is why Andy Burnham


has announced that we are going to be rolling back some of the


privatisation that we have seen introduced by Andrew Lansley and his


colleagues over the years. One final go - can you rule out an increase in


national insurance contribution to pay for increased spending on the


NHS? It has been widely reported. One of your colleagues, Frank Field,


says he thinks voters will go for that, is it going to happen? What we


have heard this morning is various backbench colleagues, the person who


will make these announcements is Ed Miliband, he is the leader. He will


set out exactly where we stand as we get closer to the election.


With us now is the man responsible for the Government's legislative


programme, Andrew Lansley, the Leader of the House of Commons.


Let's look at a couple of things in this Queen's Speech. What is


Conservative about a 5p tax on carrier bags? We are a government


and the party which is committed to improving our environment. Being


Conservative is doing things which are practical. I think we have


acknowledged, I know how it works in Wales, people take it seriously,


they have changed their behaviour. Sometimes you need a nudge, this is


going to be a pretty hefty nudge towards a much more environmentally


friendly solution. People will be making a contribution to charity,


some ?20 million per year, we estimate. Another tax on ordinary


people? Insofar as they do not reuse their carrier bags. I quite like


nudges, if people do not want to pay, then they can easily avoid


paying for the carrier bags. And the ones that people use time and time


again are actually hotbeds of various viruses, have you taken that


into account? My friends at DEFRA are responsible for that. It is a


policy which has been adopted in Wales and Northern Ireland... That


does not make it right. If there are any issues like that, it is a matter


for DEFRA. The point you make would be true anyway. But you will be


forcing them to do it. Anyway, the Lib Dems told you to do it, didn't


they? No, it was a coalition policy. It was not in the coalition


agreement? No, but we have worked together. In the last session of the


Parliament, you are more likely to see as completing the coalition


programme, but also dealing with other issues are things like the


Serious Crime Bill, which are not necessarily... Let's look at one of


the other measures, the ability to recall your MP if they have been


behaving particularly badly, putting a mechanism in place, though not as


strong as some would have liked. Which MPs in this Parliament do you


think would have been subject to recall? It depends on the house. We


structure the provision. We are clear that one of the triggers would


be any custodial sentence, so Denis MacShane, who was tried and


convicted there was a custodial sentence, he would have been subject


to disqualification and recall as a consequence of that. In fact, it


would have been recall rather than disqualification because it was not


beyond 12 months. The second part of that serious wrongdoing where the


house has decided that somebody should be subject to recall, the


criteria that are going to be a matter for continuing discussion. We


brought forward a draft bill and are sticking to a basic structure, but


to precisely identify that is yet to come. And there have been issues


about whether it should be an MP suspended from the service of the


House of Commons were given period of time. That is something are


discussing. In a proper recall system it would not be up to you, it


would be up to the electors in the constituents. It is a recall system.


You could still block it if you wanted to. It's a matter of whether


the House of Commons has concluded there is serious wrongdoing that has


taken place. There is a different proposal for a recall system which


is, as you might say, call it pure rather than proper. The pure system


would be a large number of constituents petitioning for an MP


to be recall. There are two arguments against it. The recall is


the general election. When you have judgements on an MP, our view is


that our judgements, the decisions we take, the popularity of those,


those are subject to recall, as it were, and re-evaluation at the time


of the general election. What happens if the MP goes badly wrong


in the first year? What if he does exactly the opposite of everything


he said and is caught by all sorts of things? If you leave it to the


election, you are still stuck with him or her for five years. There are


two things. One is doing things that your constituents might not approve


of, which is a political judgement. MPs are sent to the House of Commons


to exercise their judgement, not necessarily to do the things agreed


with by the majority of their constituents on each item as you go


along. Evidence in previous parliaments, like the rock wall --


the Iraq war. But if serious wrongdoing takes place in the first


year, that is what it is about. What wrongdoing has happened in this


parliament that would be subject to this recall Bale? I mentioned Dennis


McShane. Maria Miller? It depends on the nature of the criteria. She was


not subject, from the standards committee, to the recommendation


that she be suspended. Patrick Mercer? He was subject to the


recommendation, so the distinction might emerge there. He resigned


anyway, so it might not have come to that. Recall is a powerful weapon,


and people know that if they commit serious wrongdoing, they cannot just


simply ignore that and take a suspension and simply carry on


regardless. In this important argument between Theresa May and


Michael Gove, the extremism, whose side are you on? I'm not a member of


some of the extremism task force. But we know what the divisions are.


They are working together to get this right. We all know what we are


setting out to do, which is to have a strategy of counterterrorism which


is about protecting ourselves against terrorism and preventing it


and preventing the longer term. -- preventing it in the longer term.


They have had a robust debate, but I don't think it's right to


characterise them as being on the one hand of dealing with long-term


issues that lead to the circumstances for terrorism to


emerge and just dealing with terrorism. That is not how any of us


can deal with this. We are working together to make sure that we


prevent the circumstances and the incidence of terrorism. If you are


working together why did the Home Office released the text of a letter


attacking the education Department at two a.m.? Frankly, I don't know.


It doesn't suggest harmony to me. Does it do you? What it suggests is


there is a thing going on where people are trying to explain their


respective positions. At two in the morning? The government should be


conveying what actually happened yesterday. Michael Gove said that we


should ignore it, and they then both explained how they were working


together. After the Prime Minister bang their heads together. They put


that out together. I couldn't see any bruises yesterday. I saw Theresa


yesterday and I didn't see any bruises. I was talking about Michael


Gove. Well, I didn't see him yesterday. There's a big job in the


European commission coming up. Who do you think would be a suitable


candidate? I think the Prime Minister will say who he thinks


should be that person. Of course. It is his power to appoint. But who do


you think would be a suitable candidate? I think the Prime


Minister will make judgement and we will leave it to him. Commissioner


Lansley sort of rolls off the tongue. Not my tongue. It rolled off


mine. Let the Prime Minister make the decision will all be better. But


if asked, would serve? My approaches -- but if he asked, would you


serve? My approaches, if he asked I would be available. Has he asked


you? It is the Prime Minister's job to make these decisions, not mine.


You are Europhile, Eurosceptical something in between? I think my


record would show that I have taken positions against the entry to the


euro. I ran the 1999 William Hague campaign. I have been very much


against, as the Prime Minister is, the idea of a closer union and


constant integration. I do support the Prime Minister very much on the


proposal that we should renegotiate and have a referendum, with the


objective of securing the renegotiation that allows us


confidently to secure a yes vote to remain inside the European Union. So


the Prime Minister would be getting some good party line there? Well,


whoever he sends, we want them to reflect the interests of this


country. But if you become a Commissioner, you're not allowed to


do that. You have to sign an agreement that you represent Europe.


Happily. In the next period, as you saw from what Angela Merkel will


say, the interest of the European Union is best served by Britain


continuing in the EU. Anything else would be bad for Britain and Europe.


We have a coincidence of interest between British national interest to


secure reforming Europe and our continued membership on that basis


-- reform in Europe. OK. Make sure you come and give us your first


interview as Commissioner. Thank you very much. We would go to keep you,


but we have to let you go. You can stay if you like. I've got five


minutes, I think. Marvellous. I do like politicians who make a firm


decision. By tradition,


two backbenchers propose and second a "loyal address",


which is a thank-you motion to One is usually


a promising MP early in their political career, while the other is


a longstanding parliamentarian. Yesterday, it was the turn


of Conservative Penny Mordaunt The coalition's last stand. My


government's legislated programme will continue to deliver on its


long-term plan to build a stronger economy and a fairer society. I am


proud today that we have a Parliamentary first, an all woman


double act to propose and second the loyal address and I'm delighted to


serve as the warm up act for the honourable member for mid Dorset and


Poole. The Right Honourable member for Gainsborough is concerned about


the consequence of the coalition running its full course. He might


see this as the Thelma and Louise of the Parliamentary session. Driving


at top speed to the Grand Canyon of electoral defeat. Let me reassure


him that this will not be the case, because unlike 1966 Thunderbird,


this coalition is right-hand drive. If she's looking for a new


challenge, she should try wrestling a bacon sandwich live on national


television. The coalition has been a difficult period for me politically,


but I'm pleased to have the opportunity today to comment on just


a few of the many policies of which I am generally very, very proud. And


reflect on the economic recovery which was made possible by the


formation of the coalition. Mr Speaker, I am honoured to commend


the gracious speech to the house today. This Queen 's speech sets out


the next steps in seeing out this vital plan to secure our future, but


it will take the rest of this Parliament and the next two finish


the task of turning our country round. That is the normally --


enormity of the challenge but is matched by the strength of the


commitment to sort it out by us. And it broke joins us now. Did you enjoy


the experience? -- Annette Brooke. I don't thing I can say I was enjoying


it because there is a lot of noise not picked up on the microphones.


There weren't many Liberal Democrats there in relation to the others in


the House of Commons, so I was determined to do that speech when I


was asked to do it. I had been described as quietly determined, and


I hope that came over in my approach. Let's talk about the


content of the speech and the legislative programme. You know that


Labour called it a zombie Parliament. Should have their been


builds on the NHS, housing and immigration? -- bills. I think there


is quite a lot of content in the Queens speech. We should count the


number of them. Would you have liked to see one on the NHS or housing? I


don't want to see any structural change in the NHS at the moment. I


think National health staff would have been aghast if there was


anything major. There is so much bedding down to happen. This has


been a reforming government though. Quite surprisingly with a coalition


that you might think is not going to be moving forward at the same pace.


You said it was a difficult period, politically, the idea of coalition.


So you've changed your mind? I said it was a difficult period for


somebody on the left wing of the Liberal Democrats, because you have


to make compromises and it doesn't come easily to people. I think it


was really important yesterday that I identified that it was difficult,


but look what has come out of it, things I am proud of. Plastic bags?


Was that a Liberal Democrat policy imposed on the Conservatives? It is


easy to belittle that. Every time I put into the Private members Bill


and you think it's like winning the lottery, and there was one year I


thought I might do that. Was it your idea though, imposed on the


Conservatives? I certainly think it would come from the Liberal


Democrats. It's been a conferences for some time and it's important in


its own right, but I don't think we should overlook the overall


significance of other green measures -- at conferences. Zero carbon


homes, that's really important. I think the Liberal Democrat impact in


keeping this towards the green issues and tackling climate change


has been really important. I do not think a Conservative government


would has stuck as hard as we have managed to even know, again, things


have had to be moderated to get an agreement. What is your response to


that? Have you been a block on these measures? We set out at the outset


of the coalition to be the greenest government ever and I think it's


happening. We are leading in Europe in Europe and the reduction of


carbon emissions will stop 34% down on the 1990 level. A lot has


happened with it. It doesn't help the coalition to say this is our


bit, this is your bid. -- your bit. But both sides would like to prove


which were their policies. Looking at the recall Bill, do you agree


with Zac Goldsmith what is being proposed so far is con? I think it's


important we hacks a proposal on the table. I thought that was going to


be lost -- had a proposal. It was in the manifesto and in the coalition


agreement. Something on the table has to be better than nothing.


There's lots of chance for debate in committee, and we would be open to


look at suggestions. I think Zac Goldsmith has to convince his own


party about this. It's interesting this bill, but it is has taken quite


a significance when you thought it wouldn't have been that important


within the legislative programme. We are all still jangling with the


reaction to the expenses scandal. I know it's five years ago, but it was


a sea change. It reinforced those who took a dim view of the political


class and it made those who were neutral or did not care outrage. We


are still in the shadow of that. That's why it's a lightning


conductor question and part of putting that right in the public's


mind. Are they ducking it? If MPs can effectively block it, if it


isn't the will of the constituents, isn't that a bit of a sham?


it. Otherwise you can get great spasms of outrage in the newspapers.


I know it is 10% of the electorate to have two sign up for it, and that


is a big enough hurdle. But you do need some kind of calibration. I am


sufficiently trusting of the Parliamentary system cover such that


if there is a committee of MPs, that adds to the sense of proportionality


and justice, because you do not want witchhunts. Even though the expenses


scandal was an outrage and people are still enraged by it. Are you


pleased you welcomed the talks, informal as they may be, between the


Lib Dems and Labour? I think it is important to have cross-party talks


right across the board, all the way through. It makes for better


government. That is how it should be. I do not want any fixes over


dinner parties and the like, but talking is good. What about party


morale, very briefly, after the wipe-out in the European elections


and poor performance in the locals? We obviously had dreadful results,


we have lost some excellent MEPs and councillors of long-standing, and I


would say I am pretty gutted about that. I think we have had very


positive talks, I certainly went straight back on the doorstep and


was out canvassing every day last week, which was perhaps quite a


brave thing to do. I learned that people were still with us locally,


but they have questions as to the next vote. And we have to get our


message out, and we do have to review our messaging, that I am


quite sure of. We are going to have to leave it there. Thank you very


much. We are used to arguments between the Lib Dems and


Conservative members of the government, but today, David Cameron


is dealing with a spat which has broken out between two of his most


important Cabinet members. He has demanded a full account about what


has happened in the argument between Theresa May and Michael Gove, who


have been arguing over what to do about the problem of alleged Islamic


extremism in schools. It has been rumbling on this morning. Michael


Gove had this to say as he left for work... Good morning, how are you? I


think Teresa May is doing a fantastic job. It is lovely to see


you all, and I hope that you will all enjoy the rest of today, there


is a lot going on. We take a very firm line. Well, Labour asked for a


government response, and the Leader of the House of Commons, who has


just left us, Andrew Lansley, he had this to say... I think the time for


a statement is when Ofsted have produced their report, that would be


appropriate. As far as colleagues working together on the extremism


task force, absolutely, they are working together, they are doing so


energetically, and with an objective not only of taking these issues


extremely seriously, but taking measures which are going to be


effective. The extremism task force has already given rise to a range of


measures that we have been taking. We are joined now by former chairman


of the British Joint Intelligence Committee Pauline Neville Jones.


Welcome back to the programme. What do you make of the state of the


Government's counter extremism policy? It has important continuing


elements in it, and serious work is being done on the front of not just


preventing activity which results in violence, but also in the area of


preventing the growth of extremist ideologies. I am not totally full of


praise for this, but where I think the policy is lacking is in the


develop and they really integration strategy. We have got to get beyond


the argument about, is something extremist? Into the whole area of,


what constitutes a really good, functioning Britain, and how you


bring communities together. It is there that I think the emphasis


needs to go. There is excellent work being done. And it government does


have to take a lead and put some funding in, but it has to reside in


the communities. We hear about extremist Muslim activity, and it is


hard to know what has been going on in Birmingham, but where are the


moderate Muslims who actually need to lead in a different direction?


There is excellent work going on in a number of places, and I can give


you examples, particularly in London, of programmes which bring


youngsters together from all communities and take them through


these issues in a very, very explicit way. And it produces


remarkable results - remarkable results. A lot more money needs to


go into that kind of thing. We would just like to welcome viewers from


Scotland, who have been watching First Minister's Questions in


Holyrood. Here, we are discussing the Government's anti-extremism


agenda. Is it not surprising that things were allowed to get as far as


they got in these schools in Birmingham? No, I agree, it is


worrying. One does have to recognise, this is not just central


government, a lot of this is local government. It is not always easy to


get in from central government into the operation. Where the scores are


academies, does that not really put the onus on central government? I


think, no, something has been missing. One of the questions I


asked is, what is the remit of Ofsted, and does it include in its


remit, when it is marking schools and giving them a grading, does it


include the kind of preoccupation which we are now suddenly faced with


- are these children being led and taught in a way which helps them


integrate? I am not at all saying that young girls should not where


they hid jab. Although I would say that it used to be only after


puberty that this was actually a Muslim practice. But what I do not


want to see happen, I have to say, is girls wearing it as a matter of


uniform. They should not be obliged them they should be allowed to


choose. And you do see in the pictures absolutely uniform wearing


of it, so, is that a good idea? I do not think so. It does not fit with a


modern Britain. There is a clear difference of emphasis between


Theresa May and Michael Gove on this, isn't there? It is very hard


to be sure of anything until the 21 Ofsted reports are out, but I think


I am closer to Teresa May, because I have always thought that in an open


society, you have to be clear where the lines are between people's


beliefs and those beliefs spilling over into intentions to do criminal


things, harm other people. At the same time, the Prevent bit of the


strategy, pursue, protect and prevent - is always the hardest,


because the hearts and minds are the most difficult thing. In an open


society, you want to trust people to do decent things, without having


endless audit and inspection. It is worrying that anxiety like this


means that the state inevitably will be tipped it, if not required in


some circumstances, to intrude in what should be local matters. There


is a wider debate about faith schools. We found a very good


settlement for that in the last century, to give early in the 1944


education act. But the question of the Islamic element in faith schools


has reopened the question big time, and it is extremely difficult to


know where the lines are drawn, without looking as if you are


letting the state intrude in areas where people feel maybe it should


not. But when it comes to schools, do we not always have to be on the


lookout to make sure that what the pupils are getting is education and


not instruction, because the two things are the three different?


Absolutely. -- are very different. And how you design things is very


important, how much you do in school and how much you do outside of


school, for example. I want to see a lot more activity outside school,


but which forms the context in which children are going to school. That


is the context in which we are falling down. And we do need to


mobilise the moderates. It is important that those who think


Wright also help do right. If the polls are anything to go by,


everything is still on the table for next year's general election. We


could even end up with another coalition. But second time around,


how different will the whole affair be? Eleanor Garnier has been having


a look. In amongst a rolling scrum of cameras, reporters and news


onlookers, there were twists and turns and drama. Before David


Cameron eventually got the blessing of the Queen, and the key to number


10 Downing Street, plenty of deals have been done. I aim to form a


proper and full coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal


Democrats. This is going to be hard and difficult work. Coalition will


throw up all sorts of challenges, but I believe together, we can


provide that strong and stable government which our country needs.


In fact, it had taken five days of haggling in May 2010 before the


Tories and Lib Dems got together to create the first coalition


government in the UK for more than 60 years. With less than a year


until the next general election, we are all wondering what a new


coalition might look like. All the polls show the prospect of another


one is pretty high. Last time it was such a surprise, the first time


since the war, nobody knew what to do, the civil servants, the


politicians. This time I think everybody will be much more savvy.


Parties will be much more clear about their red lines, what cannot


negotiate a. But I think the leaders will have to be more open to putting


to their parties the idea of going into coalition, which could come to


get everything. Last time the Lib Dems did that, but the Tories


didn't. The politicians might be calling the shots, but it is the


thousands of civil servants here in Whitehall and across the country who


keep the cogs of government turning. So, second time around, what kind of


trouble could a coalition create for our civil servants? It seems a newly


formed coalition is relatively easy for Whitehall mandarins to cope


with. Trouble starts much further down the line. In the early years of


Parliament it tends to be quite self reinforcing. So I think the


challenges are that are far more in the run-up to an election.


Coalitions have a tendency to fall apart, as you come close to general


elections. The civil servants, for its own good, we want to try and


make sure it keeps a distance from that kind of party politics. It is


important that there are clear rules of the game, as to how the civil


service can be used by each party. So, just how wide could the cracks


in this relationship grow before the next election? There is no doubt


divorce is an option, but come next May, this couple could be


celebrating a five year political marriage by renewing their vows.


Remember that, Peter Hennessy, the rose garden? I thought it was


faintly toe curling at the time and I have not changed my mind. If there


is another coalition, as the polls suggested there might be, will it be


easier this time around? Yes, because we had a lot of adjusting to


do. We had not had a coalition since the great World War II coalition.


And the circumstances were different. We had to do what the


Brits are good at, making it up as we go along. The planning in the


Cabinet Office was well done, the permanent secretaries got ready


piece of paper, for those of us who had to impersonate the Queen in the


television studios. So, those of us who were impersonating the Queen,


several of us had been involved in helping the Cabinet Office trawl up


what became that bit of the Cabinet manual on Hung Parliament 's. so we


had a bit of paper, which said what because Egyptian was, and it has


been refined since, on the basis of experience. But now everybody is


more attuned to it, the markets are more attuned to it. Unless there is


a huge financial crisis. I would not be surprised if it is at least a


week. The parties may well start laying out where their red lines


are. You would have a kind of 2-term manifesto? Yes, that is what we


would do if we were full-blooded. -- 2- tone manifesto. I do not think


they will discuss much with parties ahead of time, but David Cameron has


indicated that he will give his party say this time. He did not do


so last time, although the Lib Dems did. So he will have to consult more


people. All our nerve ends were used to rapid and civilised evictions,


the removal van at the back of another 10 Downing Street. But as


reflected in the latest version of the Cabinet manual, it is reflected


that the Prime Minister will wait until it is obvious who the Queen


will say, so there is no question of her being drawn into it. But it is


only an expectation, it remains to be seen whether this will turn into


a convention. And it still relies on the good chap theory of government,


so that everybody behaves in the right way, and makes sure that the


Queen has no whiff of politicisation about her. What about the civil


servants, will they be pulling the strings, bringing the parties


together, to try and get in quickly once a coalition has been


established? The civil service was prepared to provide the secretariat,


but this set of note you are taking, would they be under Freedom of


information on the cabinet secretary said he did not know. Very


interesting. That is why the civil service did not take the minute. The


civil service has published something I was writing a couple of


years ago, the sequence of events, and who saw what, and it was very


interesting. The Private Secretary took an office in the cabinet and he


went into twice to see Gordon Brown to tell him what the constitutional


position was. Some of Gordon's advisers said it wasn't going to


work, so just leave. He behaved with great dignity and only came out to


resign when there were still 20 minutes left to run between the


Conservative and Liberal Democrat negotiations. A fine run thing, but


he behaved with great dignity. Always the fear is that somebody who


is exhausted says something unfortunate and it all goes sour and


false accusations are made. The Queen does on that, does she? Only


got a year to think about it -- does not want that.


Is organised religion a force for good, a source of morality?


Or are its rules and regulations, particularly on sexuality


and the human body, the cause of conflict and a source of prejudice?


Tim Booth is the lead singer of the band, James.


Much of his work reflects questions around religion


The dominant religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism believe


that man must transcend his sexual nature. That our sinful bodies need


controlling, preferably by the church. I believe that these


ancient, patriarchal beliefs still have a far too strong and subtle


control over our society. The enforced suppression of our


sexuality is poisonous, natural and damages our mental and physical


well-being. How many well-intentioned priests are


attempting to stem their natural desires by being unnaturally


celibate? Then became paedophiles? Adultery and homosexuality are still


punished by stoning in parts of the world. Circumcision is routinely


performed on newborns without thought of psychological


consequences. In the time of AIDS, it is a sin to use a condom. In most


countries we cannot obtain assisted suicide even when in unbearable


pain. Whilst the murder of young girls is called honour killing.


Women are labelled whores for the merest expression of their


sexuality. It is estimated that 120 million girls have had their


clitoris is removed. If boys were being castrated like this, wouldn't


we have stopped it by now? Religion still tries to dictate what we can


and cannot do with our bodies and shames us, or much worse, for


disobedience. Darwin caused a storm by saying we are descended from


apes. This doesn't go far enough. We are apes. Apes in denial, with some


pretentious aspirations. We have some basic, beautiful, natural needs


that we are often fearful to express. Finger-pointing shame is


toxic. It's time for we individuals to choose what we do with our own


bodies. The bodies that we have been given in this lifetime, and to hear


-- heal the wounds that have been created by thousands of years of


violence, exile and shame. We're joined now by Tim Booth,


and by the Reverend Sally Hitchiner, she's


the chaplain at Brunel University. Welcome to both of you. Tim, tell us


a bit about your upbringing. You came from a fairly religious home.


Yes, church every week, at boarding school, church every day. This was


Protestantism, and the kind of pride that in our lineage was John


Wesley. So you have been steeped in religion. I have been stewed in it.


Has that put you off? Is that what led you to believe that religion has


done more harm than good? I don't think I say religion has done more


harm than good, it's not a statement I would use. I would say that the


ethics of Christ are quite brilliant. Forgiveness, helping the


disadvantaged, but the church that got built upon it by men, the


patriarch of became corrupt very quickly and resulted in huge amounts


of control and violence. The historical aspect of the church, it


is appalling. It is appalling. It's got better as Christianity has lots


of -- lost its power. I would say that has been a benefit to


Christianity and society. I wouldn't see it as a negative, that waning.


But there has been too much oppression and too much oppression


on women. Do you agree with that? That sexuality has been oppressed by


the church and it is written with guilt and shame? That has been a


question in the church, there is no denying it, especially of women and


other vulnerable groups through history. This is not a problem of


religion, it's a problem of humanity in general. If we look at any


government or system power throughout history there have always


been abuses. If we think about the 20th century, it's generally the


atheists who have been the strongest abusers of others, the great regimes


of the 20th century. The really important thing for me is not what


has happened so far, but what we do now. How can we a difference now?


The fact there are 280 churches that run night shelters, and groups that


provide food banks motivated from their religion. Only yesterday


Manchester Cathedral appointed a trans-lesbian activist as a canon in


their Cathedral. I think there is so much good happening, and I think


it's a one-sided approach to have a report like that that only


highlights the negative aspects that religion is bringing and does not


highlight the human problem behind it. But you do accept that the


problems raised by Tim exist when talking about issues of people 's


personal behaviour? Whether it is about sexual issues, abortion, AIDS,


these are big moral issues, and Tim, in your mind, I presume, you


think the church has tried to dictate how people should behave,


and if they behave differently, they are wrong. In the time of age you


cannot buy a condom in Ireland. Assisted suicide, people who are


needing it, in a great deal of pain, but a whole stigma around


suicide exists which is kind of a religious echo through the culture.


I'm more concerned about the subtle echoes rather than the actual more


obvious ones. Obviously Sally comes from a more liberal aspect of the


church that I applaud. I'm a big fan of Desmond Tutu and his speeches on


forgiveness, so I'm not against aspects of the church at all, I'm


against the intolerant imposition. As a Catholic, what do you say? I


grew up where everything was an occasion of sin. I sometimes wonder


how I managed to breed, but I'm glad I did. I'm a fellow traveller with


the Anglicans, I love the Anglican Church. But the me, I understand why


you have done this -- but for me. I have some feeling for you. For me,


the liberating bit of the faith is the beatitude, the best copy ever


written. As an injunction on how to live life, it transcends everything.


But that is the core of the faith for me and I'm in no way diminishing


your feelings which you have been very candid in expressing. But the


Christian morality that comes through the beatitude is, I think,


extraordinary. It is as vivid now as when Jesus uttered it. So, for me, I


have some sympathy, but that's the sticking point. A fairly


hard-hitting film and you said some poignant things but we can't discuss


any more as we run out of time. Thank you ever so much. Some


important news coming out of Frankfurt and the European Central


bank. It's cut the main interest rate to 0.15%. You might think you


can't get lower than that, well, you can. It has cut another rate called


the discount rate which banks get by lodging money with the ECB to -0.1%.


This is unprecedented in European monetary policy and it means if you


are a financial institution, you lodge money with the ECB, you will


have to pay the ECB for the right to lodge money there. And the bank is


trying to confront what it now has been forced to realise is the


biggest problem facing the Eurozone, which is the deflationary


trap the most economies are in with prices collapsing. It's trying to


stoke up monetary policy to get the banks to lend again and to get a bit


more inflation into the system will stop there will be a lot more of


that on the one o'clock news. Forget the Oscars,


forget the BAFTAS. Last night saw The Parliamentary


Internet, Communications and As you can imagine it was


a star-studded event and tickets were harder to come by than a signed


copy of Peter's latest book. The "Local Yokel" Award for the MP


who has mentioned their constituency the most on Twitter went to Labour


Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy. She's tweeted 43,400 times in total


and she's mentioned her constituency I hope the people


of Walthamstow are grateful. Perhaps not surprisingly


James Wharton, the Tory MP who tried to take the EU


Referendum Bill through Parliament, He's gone from very few to


nearly 5,000 followers. You might think the Green Party's


one MP might have talked most about green issues on Twitter, but no,


it was Greg Barker the minister for climate change who pipped the Green


MP Caroline Lucas to the post. Greg Barker's tweeted 186 times


on green matters this year. And the "Most Mentions"


Award was won by the Scottish He was mentioned 2,300


times last year in tweets. I'm sure some were even


complimentary. We have 45 seconds, coming from the glitzy, all-night


party, Pete Wishart, why did you win? I just want to thank my mother,


all of those who supported me, my goldfish, and particularly my


Twitter followers. More MPs are involved in this and I think it is


great to recognise this and celebrate the fact we are now there.


Do you enjoy it? Aren't you worried you might put your foot in it? There


is always that danger and it has happened to several of us along the


years, but it's a great way to communicate. You can get a story out


to thousands very quickly. Like your own press wire service. Well,


congratulations. Sorry it has been so short, blame the European Central


bank. I will do. Always. The one o'clock news is starting on BBC One


now. I'll be on BBC One tonight with the


longest-ever This Week, it's our version of the Longest Day, starting


with Hank Marvin, Kate Williams, Michael Portillo, Diane Abbott,


Andrew Rawnsley and Miranda Green, before a change of guests


and we settle down and wait And I'll be back here again


at noon tomorrow when we'll work out


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