10/06/2014 Daily Politics


10/06/2014

Jo Coburn presents the latest political news and debate from Westminster and is joined by former home secretary Charles Clarke and Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.


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Transcript


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.

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Promote British values in British schools.

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So says Michael Gove after a report by Ofsted found that

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some Muslim governors had created a "culture of fear and intimidation"

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A backlog of half a million at the passport office.

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The improving economy or government cuts?

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We'll be asking if you have a few choice words to say about

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Remind us what your stage name is? I am Alan Howling Laud Hope, official

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leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party!

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And they've been cheering us up at by-elections since I was

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But is the end nigh for the Monster Raving Loonies?

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All that in the next hour, and with us for the whole programme today is

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Charles is a former Home Secretary and a former Education Secretary.

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Now first today, let?s talk about Labour.

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Well, there is clearly a long way to go. All the polls show that the

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league is holding up, but it is small by comparison with previous

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parliaments. For me, the main story is the economy. They have to

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convince people in the country that we will not go back to bad economic

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circumstances of the past and that we have an economic vision for the

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future. Both of those are tasks were out of work needs to be done. Do you

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admit that the Tory argument that Labour worsened the financial mess

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that Britain found itself in is still a cogent one, that Labour has

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not been able to combat the argument, and the economy is

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recovering? It is very cogent. I don't think it is true. Labour has a

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much better tale to tell about the economy than is widely believed. But

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you are correct, the Conservatives have put this story across and it is

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widely believed in the country. Labour have not been able to contest

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it effectively. Is it because it is too difficult to try and go against

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growth returning and unemployment continuing to go down, where as

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Labour have been talking about what they call a cost of living crisis

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instead? I think we need a stronger narrative about what we did right

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and wrong in government. We did many things right and something is

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wrong. We have not been prepared to admit the mistakes we made. We have

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rested a great deal on assuming that the conservative strategy would

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succeed and that plan A would not work. That was unwise, because the

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Conservatives have succeeded in getting the economy onto a more

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positive path, which leaves us little room to be now. The cost of

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living crisis, as Labour call it, is that a powerful enough narrative?

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Have they relied too much on that? It is a real description of the

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situation many people feel. But we need a story that is about more than

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just life as people experience it, but more about how Labour would

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change those conditions. Looking at the European elections, for the

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first time in 30 years, and opposition has failed to win the

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European elections. YouGov said Labour should be terrified. Are you?

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I am myself, because I think Labour is resting a lot on UKIP doing well

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enough to remove a large number of seats from the Tories. And the

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European elections reinforced that view that UKIP could do well, but I

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don't believe it myself. I think they will do well to get one MP,

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probably Nigel Farage. As Labour underestimated UKIP taking votes

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from them? At the end of the day, as the European elections showed, it

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was a startling election night. There was a straight switch from the

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Lib Dems in 2090 UKIP in 2014. That is because the "fed up with all of

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them" vote had switched from the Lib Dems before they were in government

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to UKIP. The way to do with that is not to attack UKIP, but to make sure

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we get our messages across so that Labour have something to offer. Do

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you think Labour has been complacent about its core vote? I think that

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would be an unfair charge. Taking it for granted? There is a 35% strategy

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which says that Labour should focus on its core vote. I have never

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thought that is the right approach. You have to appeal to the whole

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country. I don't think it has taken the vote for granted, but it has not

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worked out how to talk to people in an effective way. What about

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immigration? There is a divide, because I speak to a lot of Labour

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politicians and you get a divide between those who think it was right

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to apologise for, in their words, allowing too many migrants to come

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into Britain during the 2000s, and those who say we should be proud of

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that because it led to a booming economy. Which side are you on?

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Need. -- neither. The key thing is to convince people that we are

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controlling immigration into this country. When I became Home

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Secretary, we made a number of changes and the situation got

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wetter, but people believed it was not under control -- the situation

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got better. Were the numbers too high when you were Home Secretary? I

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have never thought the numbers are the issue. That is why the Tories'

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slogan of trying to reduce immigrants to 100,000 a year is

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mad. It will not succeed. Immigration is a fact of life. It is

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important and we have to control it properly and make sure that

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immigrants are fully part of our society when they are here. This

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numbers game is not the right way to look at it. So John was wrong when

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he said he would like to see fewer EU migrants? I think he has been

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wrong about this consists me. He has overstated the threat. He looks at

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the Poles in his constituency of Southampton, and that is not

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correct. What about Ed Miliband? Is he a man that enough people in the

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country can imagine as prime minister? The polls tell you know. I

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think a lot of this stuff about him being geeky is nonsense. Policy

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since pick-up labels like that and that is the way it goes. At the

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moment, he has to convince people he is the best person to lead the

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country. He does have the capacity to lead the country, but he pulled

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them believe it. Can Labour win an outright majority? It could if it

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gets its position right. I am as a mystic. I think it is difficult for

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us to do that, but it could be done. -- I am pessimistic. Gordon Brown

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has been showing his face a bit more over the campaign in Scotland. And

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he was in Westminster, hosting a journalists' lunch. Do you think his

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reputation has recovered since 2010? What was strong about his remarks

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yesterday was that he was passionate about Scotland being part of the

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UK. My own view is that he was not a successful prime minister or party

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leader, and it will take time for his reputation to change. He advised

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that David Cameron should take part in a TV debate with Alex Salmon. I

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don't have a view on that. I think Alistair Darling is running the

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campaign well. What about Tony Blair? We saw him giving a speech

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the week before last. Does he want another big job? He is in a tragic

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position. I think he does want a big job, but there is no chance of him

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getting it. He finished as prime minister relatively young. He has

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commend as gifts and I remain a supporter of his. He could

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contribute a great deal in the public sphere, and I would urge him

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to do that. Any role you have in mind? Nothing in particular, and

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that is the tragedy. It is ridiculous to think of him as a

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possible president of Europe in these circumstances. He is caught

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between wanting to contribute publicly and having a lot to

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contribute, and when he makes speeches like the one you mentioned,

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there is a lot of resonance for it. A few days afterwards, lots of

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people were talking about how tremendous he was. But he has no

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route back to make that contribution.

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Now, it's at this point in the show that we normally serve

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It's usually just for fun, which is another way

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But today we're offering nothing less than a coveted Daily Politics

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We had too many made at the printer?s, you see.

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To be in with a chance, we want you to come up with

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The prime minister's in Sweden at the moment, discussing who'll be

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the next president of the European Commission, and what better way to

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conduct your top-level meetings than enjoying a quick row on a lake?

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Here's David Cameron with German chancellor Angela Merkel,

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Sweden's PM Frederik Reinfeldt, and the Dutch leader Mark Rutte.

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So we want you to tweet your suggestions using

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the hashtag #bbcdp, or tweet us at daily-politics.

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And at the end of the show, Charles here will choose

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He might even come up with one of his own.

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Now to events in the House of Commons yesterday.

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Michael Gove and Theresa May took centre stage at the despatch box

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after both had appeared to blame each other for not tackling Muslim

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MPs were ready for a bit a of a showdown, the atmosphere was rowdy.

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But the barracking soon died down, and Michael Gove was heard

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in sombre silence as he described what has allegedly been going on

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Yes, we need to get to the bottom of what has happened in the schools in

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Birmingham, but it is thanks to this Education Secretary that the

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Department for Education has, for the first time, a dedicated

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extremism unit to try to stop this sort of thing from happening. At one

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secular primary School, terms such as white prostitute, unsuitable for

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primary children's ears, were used in Friday assembly is almost

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exclusively by Muslim staff. The school organised visits to Saudi

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Arabia, open only to Muslim pupils. And senior leaders told inspectors

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that a madrasah had been established and been paid for from the school's

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budget. Ofsted concluded that school was not adequately ensuring that

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pupils had opportunity to learn about faith in a way that promotes

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tolerance and harmony between different cultures. At one secular

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secondary school, staff told officials that the call to prayer

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was broadcast over the playground using loudspeakers. Officials

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observed lessons had been narrowed to comply with conservative Islamic

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teachings. In biology, students were told that evolution is not what we

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believe. The school invited the preacher to speak, despite the fact

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that he is reported to have said, give victory to Muslims in

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Afghanistan and all the Mujahideen all over the world, who Allah

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prepares for the jihad. Ofsted concluded that governors failed to

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ensure that requirements and other duties were met. The Education

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Secretary ridge speaks of requiring all schools to promote British

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values. All well and good. Amongst the greatest of British values is an

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education system which welcomes and integrates migrant communities and

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build successful citizens in a multicultural society which secures

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safety and standards for all. The Education Secretary is failing to do

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so. Would he agree that a British value is that young girls and women

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should be seen and heard in the classroom, not relegated to the back

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of the room? It is vital that schools should be places where young

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girls find their voices rather than feeling that they are being

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silenced. Our political correspondent Chris

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Mason is outside the House of Commons. Chris, we heard the head of

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a school, who said he warned ministers three years ago that

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Muslim hardliners were trying to take control of some Birmingham

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schools. Was Michael Gove sleep on the job? That is the accusation that

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has been thrown in his direction. Since 2010, when he became Education

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Secretary, what conversations went on around these allegations in

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Birmingham? Yes, there was this conversation between one headteacher

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and an Education Minister, Lord Hill. Did Michael Gove find out

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about that? There are also questions being thrown in his direction around

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the inspection regime. Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of

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schools in England, was on Newsnight last night. He said he was glad the

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Education Secretary had now come round to his way of thinking about

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these so-called no notice inspections, that the inspectors

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would bring up a school and say, you are outside the front gates, let us

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in. I spoke to Ofsted this morning about the chain of events. When Sir

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Michael Wilshaw became chief inspector, he argued for no notice

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inspections. The Education Secretary said he agreed, but then having

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spoken to headteachers, they acknowledged that they would shorten

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the window to ringing up the day before, but would not have no notice

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to ensure that governors and headteachers could be informed and

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be on the premises. The row between the two ministers, Michael Gove and

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Theresa May, has hardly been edifying. The -- what do you think

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of it now? Have relations between them improve? You do not need to be

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a body language expert to look at those events in the Commons

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yesterday and see that Theresa May was not exactly cracking a smile as

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condiments were being paid to her by Michael Gove when he was on his

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feet. Theresa May has clearly been wounded, perhaps for a longer period

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than Michael Gove as a result of what has happened in the last couple

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of days, because in Fiona Cunningham, she has lost someone so

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important to her honour someone who was at her side for so long and is

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no longer there. Yes, Michael Gove had to appear in front of MPs

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yesterday. But then so did Theresa May. The longer term consequences

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are there for Theresa May to shoulder. Both of them will hope and

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I expect they will continue in their post after a Cabinet reshuffle, but

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both are wounded by what has happened in the last week. Both are

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not quite the ministers they were. With us now is Haras Rafiq

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from the anti-extremism think tank Quilliam and Talha Ahmad

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from the Muslim Council of Muslim Council of Britain. Welcome to you

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both. Let us go through the examples that

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have been cited by the findings and by Michael Gove yesterday. Is it

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right in your mind for boys and girls to be segregated in school?

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No. Is it right for a call to prayer to be broadcast by public speaker in

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the playground with Mac if it becomes compulsory as a policy of

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the school I think it is wrong. But if the school wants to accommodate

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prayers and do not make it compulsory for students I think it

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should be left to the judgement of the school administration. If it is

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enforced in any way then that would be wrong. But if the school decided

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in perhaps the school where 98% of pupils were Muslim, you think it

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would be all right to have a call for prayer? I think it is

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ridiculous. These are not faith schools but state funded, taxpayer

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funded schools that we pay for. These are secular schools, not

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Islamic schools. I saw something on television yesterday, boys were

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being interviewed. The first was put out there obviously to give the

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message for the school and another came along and said we are not

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allowed to speak to girls. The other said that is not Islamic. And the

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other said this is not an Islamic school, it is a state school. And

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that is the mistake, whether intentional or not. And there needs

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to be an end to denying extremism, all sorts of things. It is in your

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interest, if you'll allow me to speak, it is in your interests to

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blame us. We do not support extremism. We have always been

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critical of it. A state funded school must not be an Islamic

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school. But if the school decides to cater for the needs of the Muslim

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children without excluding others, it should be left to individual

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schools. How do you not exclude others, even if there was just one

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or 2% of non-Muslim pupils. Could ever be appropriate in a state

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funded school? Call to prayer itself is not an extremist thing to do. I'm

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talking about imposing any kind of Islam that is not an Islamic

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school? The charge is that these schools have been taken over by

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extremists but we have not seen any evidence of that. There is a big

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difference between saying that children will be prepared for jihad

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or just more in line Islamist location of schools. Do you think

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that Michael Gove or the inspectors had an agenda? If it was a witchhunt

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and none of the schools would have been praised as three of them wear.

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I do not see how anyone can deny extremism when Al-Qaeda sympathiser

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was addressing pupils. One other was leading anti-Christian chance in the

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morning. And another referred to fight prostitutes. We do not know if

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the school post that as a matter of policy. If it did happen like that I

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am surprised that no action was taken. What Ofsted said, the

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chairman was invited for his views... He should have been

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properly vetted. And that shows there is a failure of government in

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the school. It does not show that the school was condoning or

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fermenting extremism. Is it right for a special Christmas assembly to

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be cancelled. And for raffles to be banned in one school as not

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Islamic? I do not think that was right. And using the school budget

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to subsidise a school trip to Saudi Arabia that only Muslim pupils could

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join? I think that was a poor decision and not acceptable. Think

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those kind of things could provide a breeding ground for more extreme

:21:19.:21:21.

views or at the very least isolate those pupils from integrating into

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wider British society? I do not think the evidence is there to

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suggest that it could become a breeding ground. But I do think what

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does make a difference in terms of the children becoming better

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integrated is to provide them with better life chances. And some of

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those schools were doing exactly that. They were given the chance to

:21:45.:21:49.

become more active in community life. I believe if children are

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taught to hate and dehumanise the other, lived in isolation and try to

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think of the other as someone not to be liked, it is a short step to

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becoming radicalised. I think the main thing is the culture in the

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school. There has been an Ofsted process which has identified

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Bachrach is. And steps are being taken to sort it out. I think it is

:22:17.:22:21.

unfortunate that Michael Gove has been shrinking the role of the

:22:22.:22:27.

National Curriculum and in particular in this context, he wants

:22:28.:22:30.

to exclude religious education altogether from the National

:22:31.:22:37.

Curriculum. The framework for religious education has been created

:22:38.:22:42.

to make sure that all pupils in all schools are taught about all faiths

:22:43.:22:46.

in an unbiased way. I think that should be done and focused on and it

:22:47.:22:51.

is that Michael Gove has abandoned that. The thing about this

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particular process, there was bad practice in a small number of

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schools which was rooted out and must continue to be. But Ofsted

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actually rated one school as outstanding only in April this year.

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Two months later it is rated as inadequate. How could you get it so

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totally wrong, which ever way you look at it? Either they were not

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outstanding or they are not inadequate now. You are quite

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correct and Ofsted must have an inspection of itself to clarify how

:23:29.:23:32.

that could happen. Normally when there is an inspection you make a

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judgement in year one and it broadly continues over a period of time. I

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think inspection without notice is a good step. But that does not explain

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what you have just raised. I think Ofsted does have a lot of explaining

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to do. Ofsted is an independent regulatory body and people do what a

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lot of trust in them. What is more worrying is that some of the

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criticism they come up with now, that policies were put in place for

:24:05.:24:07.

example and not followed, these are the things that they should have

:24:08.:24:11.

picked up and clearly did not. They also need to look at, if you read

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the report, this calls are still graded as good or outstanding in at

:24:20.:24:25.

least two areas. -- the schools. How then do you decide to put them in

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special measures? In a school where there is quite a strict religious

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ethos, that can lead to strong discipline and good results but it

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does not cover the area of whether or not inappropriate practices are

:24:43.:24:47.

being imposed on a school at a completely different cultural

:24:48.:24:53.

level? Absolutely. Some of the inspectors failed -- found books in

:24:54.:24:58.

the library of a primary school that actually supported stunning and

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blogging. Use of the kind of things that Ofsted perhaps did not look for

:25:05.:25:08.

in the past and are doing now and should be doing. What does it mean

:25:09.:25:15.

to you as a phrase, bringing British values into the school? Liberty,

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democracy, pluralism, respect and tolerance for everyone else and

:25:24.:25:28.

being able to create children who go out and become positive members of

:25:29.:25:33.

society. Of course I agree wholeheartedly but I find it

:25:34.:25:39.

troubling that you identified the Muslim community as a community that

:25:40.:25:43.

has to justify again and again. That is troubling. I use an unhappy about

:25:44.:25:51.

the idea of British values being put into school? What you find

:25:52.:25:56.

troubling? These suggestions are made as if the Muslim community are

:25:57.:26:01.

not being educated or not subscribing to it. If it is about

:26:02.:26:06.

fairness and justice of course they should be educated in that. But

:26:07.:26:12.

Ofsted did find these schools were not providing people with an

:26:13.:26:17.

education to go out into the wider society. It is a difficult question.

:26:18.:26:23.

Because some of these schools were failing not long ago. Someone who

:26:24.:26:28.

leaves with a reasonably good education and perhaps not the best

:26:29.:26:33.

idea of the challenges we face as a society, or they succeed better than

:26:34.:26:42.

someone with no education? After 1945 minutes of people came to this

:26:43.:26:44.

country because the identified so-called goodish values. They

:26:45.:26:49.

wanted to be here on the basis. Including the economic and political

:26:50.:26:54.

freedoms and all the rest of it. We have to some extent codified that

:26:55.:27:03.

with citizen tests, for example. I do not think there is anything

:27:04.:27:07.

exceptional about this at all. It is only if it is taken as very narrow

:27:08.:27:12.

definition of what it would be. But the fundamental values which are in

:27:13.:27:17.

fact strongly opposed by the extremists, but those fundamental

:27:18.:27:21.

values ought to be endemic in every school as part of the culture. That

:27:22.:27:26.

is why I think religious education should be part of the National

:27:27.:27:33.

Curriculum. Do people in Birmingham feel like a community under

:27:34.:27:36.

suspicion as Mac I think they clearly do.

:27:37.:27:41.

Now, do you ever feel like filing your problems away

:27:42.:27:43.

If so, it appears you're not alone, because our guest of

:27:44.:27:48.

the day here has helped write a book about politicians doing just that.

:27:49.:27:51.

What do you do when a problem is too difficult to solve? Put it in the

:27:52.:28:00.

two difficult box, of course. That is where you'll find all kinds of

:28:01.:28:05.

issues that governments struggle with from immigration and banking

:28:06.:28:09.

reform to climate change. And now using a cast of heavy hitters,

:28:10.:28:15.

Charles Clarke has put all those too difficult political problems in one

:28:16.:28:20.

place. His new book. I will delve inside the box to discover some of

:28:21.:28:26.

the unsolvable subjects. First of all social care. Why is Europe

:28:27.:28:33.

policy area are difficult? -- your policy area. I have been wrestling

:28:34.:28:40.

with this for 15 years and no one agrees. These are very difficult

:28:41.:28:46.

economic issues involved and it is very expensive. And there are

:28:47.:28:50.

difficult social issues. We are speaking about people's lives. Is

:28:51.:29:00.

there a solution on the horizon? There is but it has taken some

:29:01.:29:05.

getting too. Next, House of Lords reform. Will House of Lords reform

:29:06.:29:14.

always be in the difficult box? It will be as long as the people who

:29:15.:29:18.

what to see the House of Lords elected refused to hear the other

:29:19.:29:22.

part of the problem which is what happens the House of Commons primacy

:29:23.:29:26.

and how do you have two elected houses? The people that elected the

:29:27.:29:31.

House of Lords would expect them to have some representative function

:29:32.:29:35.

for them. That is the nature of our democracy. And finally drugs. Why is

:29:36.:29:46.

drugs policy such a difficult area for politicians to solve? The

:29:47.:29:53.

politics of drugs policy before have been a nightmare. Society has not

:29:54.:29:58.

encouraged and open and honest debate. Minister -- ministers have

:29:59.:30:05.

fallen over each other to be seen to be tough on drugs. The political

:30:06.:30:10.

parties do not think there are our votes in it. I'm still stuck after

:30:11.:30:18.

looking in this box. I will let these ideas go and hopefully someone

:30:19.:30:30.

will come up with a solution! And we are joined by the Conservative peer

:30:31.:30:34.

and former cabinet minister Gillian Shephard, who questions in the book

:30:35.:30:41.

whether power is really an illusion? We got 29 together. And people had

:30:42.:30:48.

other subjects to discuss. Do you think that with those issues, it is

:30:49.:30:50.

not even worth the government trying to deal with them, if in the end,

:30:51.:30:55.

you could argue that with something like drugs, there has been so little

:30:56.:31:01.

progress? The question is legitimate, but it is the wrong

:31:02.:31:04.

hands. The reason why people tolerate politicians is that they

:31:05.:31:09.

believe Olive ticks will solve the problems they experience in society.

:31:10.:31:12.

-- politics will solve problems in society. If politicians actually

:31:13.:31:17.

believe there is nothing they can do about this, it is not a natural for

:31:18.:31:22.

people to think, why do I believe in politics in the first place? So it

:31:23.:31:27.

is important to try and solve these problems in a democracy. On the

:31:28.:31:34.

issue of democracy, is it just very difficult in a democratic system and

:31:35.:31:38.

now as a coalition to solve the big problems of our time? It is

:31:39.:31:43.

difficult, but it does not mean they cannot be solved. After all, a

:31:44.:31:48.

number of the issues Charles identified were pensions reform,

:31:49.:31:53.

where there have even movements, welfare reform, which is underway,

:31:54.:32:05.

immigration and EU, where we are not getting far with at the moment, but

:32:06.:32:10.

there has been much more attention paid, for example to the issues

:32:11.:32:14.

raised by the large numbers of elderly we have to cope with in our

:32:15.:32:17.

society. And on child poverty, we now have a commission which is

:32:18.:32:24.

making policy suggestions. But it is terrific to difficult in our

:32:25.:32:29.

democratic system, firstly because every government, when elected,

:32:30.:32:32.

knows that it will only have a few years to solve the problem is. And

:32:33.:32:40.

we are not good at passing on solutions from one government of a

:32:41.:32:46.

political party to another. And more overtly, there is a fair amount of

:32:47.:32:51.

pretending. When I wrote my chapter, I was obsessed with wondering if

:32:52.:32:58.

democracy was just too difficult in a world where there are global

:32:59.:33:03.

problems which threaten us all. Are you advocating dictatorship?

:33:04.:33:08.

Certainly not. I did come to an optimistic conclusion. Where there

:33:09.:33:11.

are overwhelming technological changes, as in the fear mentioned by

:33:12.:33:17.

Robert Harris, and where there is 24 is open -- where there is 24/7 media

:33:18.:33:24.

scrutiny, which I did not have to deal with in my day. What do you

:33:25.:33:29.

think the effect of the recession has been? When you talk about the

:33:30.:33:34.

government not having enough time to deal with big issues, is it about

:33:35.:33:47.

focus and priority? Is it when governments really put their minds

:33:48.:33:51.

to solving one or two things, they can do it? Yes, they can, providing

:33:52.:33:52.

they use language to the electorate that is clear enough for the

:33:53.:33:56.

electorate to identify with. If you use a lot of abstract noun about

:33:57.:34:00.

economic problems that people might be experiencing, sometimes they just

:34:01.:34:06.

lose interest. If you clearly identify the problems they are

:34:07.:34:25.

having, people will often espouse a solution. We saw this in Ireland.

:34:26.:34:25.

Ireland had a democratic solution to solution. We saw this in Ireland.

:34:26.:34:26.

its Eurozone crisis, where as in Greece and Italy, they imposed a

:34:27.:34:28.

technocratic solution and made their heads of government technocrats.

:34:29.:34:32.

Ireland chose the democratic route. And for the record, twice, public

:34:33.:34:38.

servants had to absorb a 10% pay decrease. This was done

:34:39.:34:45.

democratically, and hats off to Ireland for finding a democratic

:34:46.:34:54.

solution which people espoused, in distinction with what was going on

:34:55.:35:03.

in Italy and Greece. The other side of that coin is, was it too

:35:04.:35:14.

difficult in the Blair -Brown years, when arguably, there was a lot of

:35:15.:35:15.

money around, to make the difficult decisions? Tony Blair has said in

:35:16.:35:16.

the past that something he regrets is not reforming public services

:35:17.:35:24.

when he could. Is that because until the crisis point, you don't need to?

:35:25.:35:45.

That is partly true. You were right about focus. I argue in this book

:35:46.:35:54.

that you need to have focus, with all the democratic leaders agreeing

:35:55.:36:01.

to sort out a problem together. On immigration, it is striking that

:36:02.:36:06.

countries like Canada and Spain, where they have agreement across the

:36:07.:36:12.

democratic parties, these things are more solved than they are otherwise.

:36:13.:36:23.

At the university of East Anglia, we have a wide range of views being

:36:24.:36:27.

given. Your point about the recession is important because if

:36:28.:36:31.

you don't have recession, there is some money you can use to solve the

:36:32.:36:33.

problems. I think Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's governments missed an

:36:34.:36:35.

opportunity to solve some of these issues. Do you think we will ever

:36:36.:36:40.

have an acceptable drugs policy that actually solves the problem? Is it

:36:41.:36:42.

impossible? Not impossible. It is very difficult, for the reasons set

:36:43.:36:44.

in your interview, but it is impossible -- it is not impossible.

:36:45.:36:47.

Alcohol and tobacco create at least as much damage as cannabis. It is

:36:48.:36:48.

difficult, but feasible. International agreement is needed

:36:49.:36:53.

for some of the big challenges like climate change. Without that, isn't

:36:54.:36:55.

it impossible for one country unilaterally to sort itself out if

:36:56.:36:58.

you have not got a global agreement? Of course it is. But people have

:36:59.:37:04.

said over the centuries that we have had a democratic system in this

:37:05.:37:08.

country, this is too difficult, and in the end, a solution is found. You

:37:09.:37:10.

have to use the machinery you have to hand. There are international

:37:11.:37:12.

bodies that can deal with those things, and you have to be

:37:13.:37:14.

well-organised and focused, and communicate in language that people

:37:15.:37:16.

can grasp. Now, how efficient is the civil

:37:17.:37:18.

service and the government 's not very, according to Francis Maude,

:37:19.:37:21.

the minister in charge of making savings across Whitehall and

:37:22.:37:24.

beyond. So what has he done to sort it out? It may not be glamorous

:37:25.:37:26.

work, but behind the scenes, Francis has been busy cutting back on

:37:27.:37:29.

government costs. Some government apartments were spending seven times

:37:30.:37:38.

more than others on printer cartridges. Not these days. Those

:37:39.:37:52.

savings have gone towards the ?5.4 billion cut to the government's Bill

:37:53.:38:03.

for its goods and services. Paper is being shredded to save money. In the

:38:04.:38:12.

last 12 months, ?200 million was clawed back by improving and

:38:13.:38:19.

increasing the government's digital services. And empty government

:38:20.:38:26.

buildings are being sold off as well. Over the last year, the

:38:27.:38:33.

government said 0.6 billion pounds through selling properties and

:38:34.:38:39.

leaving expensive rental contracts. More controversially, there is the

:38:40.:38:46.

ongoing reduction in civil service and. Another ?4.7 billion was saved

:38:47.:38:51.

last year as more jobs were cut. In total, that is ?14.3 billion saved

:38:52.:38:53.

in 2013/14 through efficiency reforms. Mission complete, or will

:38:54.:39:03.

"No, Sir Humphrey" continue to be Francis Maude's mantra? Well, we can

:39:04.:39:08.

ask him. Cabinet office minister Francis Maude joins us now. How far

:39:09.:39:17.

through are you with your mission? It will never end. It is always

:39:18.:39:23.

going to be a work in progress. All great organisations expect to make

:39:24.:39:27.

efficiency savings every year, because there will always be new

:39:28.:39:30.

technology and new technique. We have conclusively proved that the

:39:31.:39:33.

old fallacy that said you can't do more for less, a fixed amount of

:39:34.:39:37.

money means a fixed quantum of service, that has gone. We can

:39:38.:39:41.

deliver more for less. Except that there have been some high-profile

:39:42.:39:43.

examples where ministers have blamed civil servants, who say their

:39:44.:39:45.

numbers are being cut. The civil servants help the politicians

:39:46.:39:47.

through complicated policy decisions, like in Duncan Smith and

:39:48.:39:51.

universal credit. -- Iain Duncan Smith. Do you admit that that is in

:39:52.:39:55.

part a result of job cuts? Absolutely not. It is a tribute to

:39:56.:39:59.

the resilience of the civil service that despite the cuts in the

:40:00.:40:02.

numbers, and it is the smallest of service now since the Second World

:40:03.:40:06.

War, the numbers are down 16% now, with more cuts to come, the civil

:40:07.:40:11.

service is delivering more. In the case of West Coast Main Line, it was

:40:12.:40:16.

the cabinet secretary who said this was incompetence which would not be

:40:17.:40:21.

tolerated. But my point is, some departments have seen very sick ever

:40:22.:40:24.

could cuts in their numbers, and ministers say things are working

:40:25.:40:29.

better -- significant cuts. Do the Ministry of Defence said that? They

:40:30.:40:32.

have not seen the same scale of reductions. But actually, in too

:40:33.:40:40.

much of the public sector, there are too many people into many layers who

:40:41.:40:43.

have made things work less effectively. So why have there been

:40:44.:40:49.

so many problems with universal credit? Well, they have been well

:40:50.:40:54.

documented. The Public Accounts Committee was all over that. But

:40:55.:40:58.

that runs counter to your argument that if you strip away the layers,

:40:59.:41:02.

these things will work. No, it doesn't. Where are we with universal

:41:03.:41:09.

credit 's it is making progress and Iain Duncan Smith will report on it

:41:10.:41:13.

in due course. And you are confident that those robins have been ironed

:41:14.:41:18.

out and it will work? -- those problems have been ironed out. There

:41:19.:41:25.

is no doubt that it will work. The behavioural changes that it is

:41:26.:41:30.

designed to deliver our proven. It is not the policy I am questioning,

:41:31.:41:34.

but the roll-out. Are you confident when the report comes out that it

:41:35.:41:39.

will be fine? You will need to wait until the report comes out. What we

:41:40.:41:47.

are doing which has never been done before is that we are reporting

:41:48.:41:50.

transparently on project is. Two weeks ago, the major projects

:41:51.:41:55.

authority published its report on the 200 biggest projects, with a

:41:56.:41:57.

lifetime authority published its report on

:41:58.:42:00.

the 200 biggest projects, with cost of ?400 billion, very openly, saying

:42:01.:42:05.

these ones are red, these ones are green. No government has done that

:42:06.:42:15.

before. That drives improvement. You mentioned those departments that

:42:16.:42:19.

have already had a certain amount of cuts made to their public spending.

:42:20.:42:24.

Some of those departments are not happy about the prospect of further

:42:25.:42:28.

cuts full up they genuinely don't think they can take any more cuts.

:42:29.:42:34.

Do you think it is still justifiable to ring fence certain departments

:42:35.:42:38.

while cutting more drastically from others? We expect efficiency savings

:42:39.:42:40.

whether the budget is ringfenced or not. If you have to combine

:42:41.:42:44.

efficiency savings with other public spending cuts, with health,

:42:45.:42:49.

education and international development ringfenced, it is easier

:42:50.:42:54.

for them than for those departments that are not. It is necessary in all

:42:55.:42:59.

places for us to deliver efficiency savings. The size of the education

:43:00.:43:04.

department will be about half what it was, and it is doing more than it

:43:05.:43:13.

did before. You can deliver more for less, and that is what a long-term

:43:14.:43:17.

economy needs. You need a civil service where taxpayers' money

:43:18.:43:23.

delivers the most that it can. There is more that needs to be done. We

:43:24.:43:28.

mentioned printer cartridges, empty buildings and going digital. To some

:43:29.:43:32.

extent, that is the easy stuff. It is going to get much tougher if you

:43:33.:43:36.

say it has to go on, because it will be about people. It has been about

:43:37.:43:40.

people already, and there is more to be done. You will never get to the

:43:41.:43:48.

end of this. Do you applaud Francis Maude for his mission, savings that

:43:49.:43:57.

Labour failed to make 's eye don't accept the point that this is the

:43:58.:44:01.

first time we have had a check list for red lights and green lights. We

:44:02.:44:06.

had that under Labour. You didn't. We did. But I applaud what Sir

:44:07.:44:11.

Francis Maude has been doing. The other element which he mentioned and

:44:12.:44:14.

acknowledged is the role of the Public Accounts Committee. Margaret

:44:15.:44:18.

Hodge gave an excellent lecture and has put an excellent chapter in this

:44:19.:44:24.

book on precisely the issues you identified. That means they have had

:44:25.:44:28.

a more activist role which has supported public opinion to

:44:29.:44:30.

reinforce the demand for extra efficiency. The suggestion that

:44:31.:44:37.

efficiency is a conservative ambition rather than a Labour

:44:38.:44:40.

ambition is nonsense. I agree about the role of the Public Accounts

:44:41.:44:45.

Committee. The National Audit Office shine and important light on what is

:44:46.:44:49.

going on. Sometimes it is a bit sensationalist, and I could wish

:44:50.:44:53.

that they would occasionally praised the things that were tried that did

:44:54.:44:57.

not work, because that is part of noting innovation. -- promoting

:44:58.:45:04.

innovation. Do you both think that Michael Gove and Theresa May's

:45:05.:45:09.

public row was an advert for good government? Well, governments have

:45:10.:45:14.

arguments. There were plenty in the last government and the one before.

:45:15.:45:18.

It is better if they are not conducted in public.

:45:19.:45:24.

Now it appears the Government's "long term economic plan" is having

:45:25.:45:27.

an adverse effect on the passport office, which has

:45:28.:45:29.

blamed a backlog of applications on the improving economy.

:45:30.:45:32.

The head of the passport office is to be questioned by MPs over long

:45:33.:45:36.

Unions leaders say staff are struggling to cope with

:45:37.:45:40.

a backlong of half a million applications and some people's

:45:41.:45:42.

Well we're joined now from College Green by the Chair of the Home

:45:43.:45:48.

How bad is the problem? It is pretty bad. Individual cases, a man stuck

:45:49.:46:07.

in another country waiting for his children's passports because they

:46:08.:46:11.

have an operation. Another man stranded in Singapore. Over 500

:46:12.:46:17.

complaints made by Members of Parliament. And we are very

:46:18.:46:21.

concerned about what appears to be this huge backlog, given that the

:46:22.:46:28.

passport office last year made a surplus of ?73 million. But they're

:46:29.:46:32.

having to borrow people from the passport fraud section. And this is

:46:33.:46:39.

told to us as if it is some kind of revelation, in order to deal with

:46:40.:46:47.

this problem. Who do you blame, then? Well during the seven months,

:46:48.:46:57.

people do tend to want to go on holiday and therefore find out that

:46:58.:47:03.

their passport needs to be renewed. Is it about bad planning? Of course

:47:04.:47:13.

it is. They talk about service standards in the Home Office and say

:47:14.:47:18.

it is not a backlog because it is within service standards. I think

:47:19.:47:22.

the public expect much better. I do not want to blame anyone today. And

:47:23.:47:29.

we have called in the head of the passport office to hear from him

:47:30.:47:33.

what the situation is like. We should not really have this problem

:47:34.:47:38.

in the UK. It should be something that is done very efficiently. It

:47:39.:47:41.

used to be a good service until recently and we need to make sure

:47:42.:47:46.

that we solve the problems. The closing of offices has of course had

:47:47.:47:50.

an impact and the cutting of staff as well. But we need to try to find

:47:51.:47:55.

out how this backlog has been created and how we bring it to a

:47:56.:48:06.

conclusion. Are you confident that passports will be processed in

:48:07.:48:15.

time? I hope it will be done by Tuesday or the head of the passport

:48:16.:48:20.

office will have some very serious questions to answer. He has got

:48:21.:48:31.

about a week to sort this out! The last time we had a problem was in

:48:32.:48:38.

the late 1980s. Then we went through a lot of reforms and it became very

:48:39.:48:42.

efficient. I'm shocked to hear of these delays. It can only be down to

:48:43.:48:50.

bad planning. I doubt that it is down to staff numbers. It must be

:48:51.:48:58.

bad planning. Do you think it is as simple as that, but they have not

:48:59.:49:04.

prepared for the summer months? I do not have any insight information on

:49:05.:49:10.

this but I do not see how it can be anything else.

:49:11.:49:16.

Regular viewers of the Daily Politics will have clocked

:49:17.:49:18.

that a few of Britain's Political Parties have been experiencing

:49:19.:49:21.

But the trials and tribulations of the Monster Raving Loony Party

:49:22.:49:26.

haven't exactly made national headlines.

:49:27.:49:27.

If you think going into politics is just loony then such is life.

:49:28.:49:45.

Screaming Lord Sutch good belt out a children and developed a brilliant

:49:46.:49:49.

if moderately expensive PR vehicle that actually had a point to it. And

:49:50.:49:55.

it made its mark on the political landscape. The mad Hatter look

:49:56.:50:00.

served him well throughout the history of the official Monster

:50:01.:50:05.

Raving Loony Party disguised some fairly cogent policy is that we now

:50:06.:50:13.

take for granted. We are the only honest loonies. That and butter

:50:14.:50:23.

mountains and ski slopes are daft! But pest -- that passports were

:50:24.:50:30.

actually policies of the Monster Raving Loony Party before they

:50:31.:50:39.

actually came into the legislature. Even when being satirised, the

:50:40.:50:45.

official Monster Raving Loony Party is a registered party, it has

:50:46.:50:51.

conferences and policies. It outlived Screaming Lord Sutch. And

:50:52.:50:54.

like all parties it has a problem with money. It used to be backed by

:50:55.:51:00.

William Hill but they backed out and now they are passing round the hat

:51:01.:51:04.

seeking someone else. If leopard-print lunacy is your bag you

:51:05.:51:11.

should be mad for it. And we're joined now by

:51:12.:51:17.

Alan Howling Laud Hope. And on the Green by Graham Sharpe

:51:18.:51:19.

from William Hill, Welcome to the programme. You have

:51:20.:51:30.

lost your sponsorship, how much trouble is the party in? It is not

:51:31.:51:40.

in dire trouble. It is not the end at all. How much longer can you

:51:41.:51:50.

continue without sponsorship? A long time. William Hill used to provide

:51:51.:51:57.

sponsorship, the whole of the 2010 general election. And we had 28

:51:58.:52:05.

candidates. Have you had any sort of like getting a replacement sponsor?

:52:06.:52:13.

There are a couple of items in the fire. Graham Sharpe has not ruled

:52:14.:52:26.

himself out! Why have you withdrawn sponsorship? Well we supported them

:52:27.:52:33.

for a long time to stop things move on so we are looking elsewhere to

:52:34.:52:38.

sponsor. But I suspect Alan may have been elsewhere this morning because

:52:39.:52:42.

a mystery punter came into one of our branches and had ?400,000 on a

:52:43.:52:50.

no vote in the Scottish referendum. Perhaps that was Alan looking to

:52:51.:53:00.

raise the money! Who are you looking to sponsor? I think given that Alan

:53:01.:53:08.

at the moment tends to enjoy the odd pint of beer, as do many of these

:53:09.:53:13.

members, a brewery with BB odds-on favourite. -- would be. Maybe a few

:53:14.:53:27.

high-profile politicians that shall we say our free at the moment. --

:53:28.:53:41.

are free. Alan and his team-mates are not what we might call spring

:53:42.:53:51.

chickens. Do you think you have failed to move with the times? There

:53:52.:54:00.

is a reason that William Hill have made a decision. It was satirical in

:54:01.:54:04.

the 1980s but your something associated with the past? We do need

:54:05.:54:13.

younger people coming in. And as for the brewery, well this is a winning

:54:14.:54:25.

coalition and it will be on sale at the bar in the Houses of Parliament.

:54:26.:54:29.

So you could be right, it could be a brewery with Mac what about the

:54:30.:54:39.

party, is it all satire? You have had policies that have been adopted.

:54:40.:54:46.

Well when I lived in Devon I was mayor of a town. But my favourite

:54:47.:54:59.

candidate name was Tarquin Finnan Tim biscuit barrel. Will you miss

:55:00.:55:08.

the party if it is not able to put up candidates in the future if money

:55:09.:55:14.

does not come in from somewhere? I am torn. My political answer is yes

:55:15.:55:20.

I would but honestly, no, I wouldn't. I suppose I am rather

:55:21.:55:28.

boring. I have been dismissed by you! But I do think politics is a

:55:29.:55:37.

serious business. We are the party that everyone loves. I think William

:55:38.:55:44.

Hill should go and sponsor UKIP, they are at the other drug party. --

:55:45.:55:55.

joke party. Have you completely ruled out sponsoring the Monster

:55:56.:56:03.

Raving Loony Party? I'm beginning to recapture my affection for the

:56:04.:56:08.

party. Alan is coming under pressure and all things considered it is a

:56:09.:56:13.

good thing that they should be someone who does not take the

:56:14.:56:16.

process entirely seriously stop I think attract people who would not

:56:17.:56:22.

otherwise vote. There are no threat to the big parties and is good to

:56:23.:56:26.

see that democracy is alive and well. Are you going to put your

:56:27.:56:36.

money where your mouth is? We will have to see! All this stuff about

:56:37.:56:45.

UKIP and how badly the Conservative and Labour Party did, the leader of

:56:46.:56:51.

the official Monster Raving Loony Party retained his seat in Hampshire

:56:52.:56:59.

where he lives. Thank you very much for that, both of you.

:57:00.:57:04.

There's just time before we go to find out the winner

:57:05.:57:07.

Remember it was all about the Prime Minister's trip to Sweden to

:57:08.:57:11.

discuss, among other things, who should be the next president

:57:12.:57:14.

And to limber up for his meeting, David Cameron went rowing with some

:57:15.:57:19.

So, Charles, the team have been beavering away to

:57:20.:57:23.

How about you get out and push, David? I like this one. When I said

:57:24.:57:44.

we needed to row back on EU benefits tourism... Which one of us has to go

:57:45.:57:58.

down with the ship? I will leave it there. Another one, gravy train

:57:59.:58:07.

traded in for gravy boat. And rearranging the deck chairs on the

:58:08.:58:16.

EU Titanic. The Swedish minister does look relaxed. The others looked

:58:17.:58:21.

slightly uncomfortable! As if one of them could flip overboard. It is the

:58:22.:58:31.

ultimate photocall. My favourite is, do you know which way you are

:58:32.:58:41.

going? No, neither do I. You will have to tell us your favourite after

:58:42.:58:43.

the show has finished. The one o'clock news is

:58:44.:58:48.

starting over on BBC One now. tomorrow with Prime Ministers

:58:49.:58:53.

Questions and all the big

:58:54.:58:59.

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