With Andrew Neil. Former defence minister Nick Harvey discusses the new Royal Navy aircraft carrier and comedian Francesca Martinez talks about the People's Assembly.
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Morning, folks, and welcome to the Daily Politics.
The Prime Minister's former Director of Communications has been sentenced
to 18 months in prison for phone hacking. We'll bring you the latest
reaction. A bottle of single malt whisky is
about to be smashed against the hull of the Navy?s biggest ever warship.
But is ?60 billion of aircraft carrier money well spent?
"Stand Up Against Austerity." Can comedy win the argument over cuts?
Comedian Francesca Martinez makes the case for taking the brakes off
spending. And Hardeep Singh Kohli tells us why
peace loving father-of-a-nation Mahatma Gandhi should be an
inspiration for politicians around the world.
I can only imagine if we had people with that for the loss of the --
philosophy around in Palestine and Israel, there might be peace.
All that and more coming up in the next hour of the very finest public
service broadcasting. So the Prime Minister's former
Director of Communications is on his way to prison. Andy Coulson has been
sentenced to 18 months behind bars, having been found guilty of phone
hacking last week. He was sentenced this morning, along with four
co-defendants. Let's talk to our correspondent Robin Brant, who is at
Did the judge say why he did not get the maximum sentence of two years?
What he did was explain how he came to reaches decision. Andy Coulson
has to take the major blame for hacking at the News of the World,
said the judge, the cos it increased enormously during the period he was
editor. -- because. He said he did not start it but he knew about it
and he encouraged it as he felt as editor, it gave the paper a
competitive edge. The cut -- before he passed sentence, the judge said
the maximum he could give us two years and he said he was aiming
close comments at those who may feel outrage she could not give more and
those who may feel this is an attack on the press by the courts -- he
could not. There was a focus on the most emotive case, the hacking of
the phone of Milly Dowler in April 2002, the missing teenager. The News
of the World targeted her phone and they accessed her voice mails but
the judge said it was unforgivable that when they got the information,
they did not tell the police for a 24 hour period. This was not about
helping the police but about trying to sell newspapers. That is a
glimpse into some of the reasons why the judge reached this decision.
It is not over for him. He is being tried again another charges the jury
could not come to a decision about, when will that start?
We do not know. Possibly early next year. He is likely to be released
from prison in April next year. Entitled to that, once he has served
half his sentence, so he could be out in the middle of the general
election campaign. Pictures of him from prison might not be what David
Cameron wants to see. Both him and Clive Goodman will be retried over
allegations of corrupt payments to police over internal phone
directories. Police investigation is going to claims about more phone
hacking, Sunday Mirror hacking as well, claims of computer hacking.
The prospect of further legal action against Andy Coulson. He is inside
being dealt with by the present service and Andy Coulson will leave
this building in a prison van. But it is far from over in terms of time
in court and further allegations he will face.
We have had a reaction from the Prime Minister. He is in Scotland
for the floating of this new aircraft carrier.
It says it is right to justice is done and nobody is above the law, as
I have always said. I guess he does not want to say any
more than that. He will probably be in jail when the retrials begin. If
he is sentenced on these retrials and found guilty, will the speak
additional sentences or will they serve concurrently? -- will these
be. The best I can do is explain what
the sentence is for somebody convicted of misconduct in a public
office. There has been a lot of sensitivity around this and
subsequent trials. David Cameron got into a lot of trouble with the judge
in the aftermath of the conviction of Andy Coulson last week. If you
offer on to guilty, technically you face life in jail because it is
known as, more offence. It is serious, police officers and other
public officials have gone for six months, some less and others more.
The issue is if he is found guilty, it will be the role he played as
editor. A senior role, and that may be reflected. We are a long way from
that and we do not know when this trial will take place. I was not in
court at the time but a colleague was and Andy Coulson was asked to
stand alongside the other four and I am told he was stored upright, there
was a glance at a public gallery, but no visible reaction of the van
that. That sounds like the expressionless face he had when
convicted in this court over a week ago. -- reaction other than that.
Barely any other expression on his face.
I sentence you to staying on that street for the rest of this year!
Not guilty. You are, you have been sentenced!
Now, it's as long as the Houses of Parliament. At 65,000 tonnes, it?s
Britain's biggest ever warship. In the next hour, the Queen will smash
a bottle of the finest single malt whisky against her hull. Well, only
the best will do. The Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship the
Prince of Wales have already cost more than ?6 billion.
Greg Miskiwi it is not a launch, they do not launch these ships, they
float them -- it is not a launch. There is still a lot of of fitting
out to be done. That is it, HMS Queen Elizabeth. That is what you
get for about ?3 billion before counting the planes and the
equipment. And it will need many sailors, more than we currently
have. Robert Fox knows a lot about these things, what do you make about
this? I know the outrage, currently ?6.2
billion for the two ships and counting. But the Navy say ?6.2
billion for a ship expected to be lasting 50 years. And it looks quite
good at the price. The carrier concept I have sympathy with, the
conception they came up with, it is a dog's breakfast from inception to
the naming. About 15 years. It does raise some very serious questions.
Did it really have to be this big? Did it really have to be this shape
and require so much in terms of escort and ancillaries that she
rightly referred to. I think the general agreement on both sides of
the House is now we have the things, we had better use them. And there is
a use. And we are joined now by former
Defence Minister Nick Harvey. When I see the American equivalent,
they are surrounded by other American naval ships. To form US
battle fleets. Have we in off sweets to protect these carriers?
We will struggle cos the fleet is small. -- have we got enough sweets.
And if one of these was to be sunk, that is a lot of capacity that has
gone. -- enough fleets. They will need crew. That is no small
undertaking. It has taken a long time to get here, they were
conceived in the 1988 Strategic Defence Review, it is another six
years because they are in service. There are issues with the aircraft.
The American aircraft which has had its problems. The engines just went
on fire this week. They have had a succession of problems, but there is
enough investment in it. But I agree with Robert, for all the problems,
this is a happy day. We are going to make extensive use of these over 30,
40 years, but probably in a quite different way from what George
Robertson envisaged in 1988 when he thought it would be full of fighter
jets which we cannot afford. We would be lucky if we have one third
of the numbers he thought we would have.
These are a great visual projection of power. You can project a lot of
power with these but you also have two defend these, because if you
lose these, it is the equivalent of the naval nine 11. July the 4th was
the date of one of the biggest losses in World War II. The loss of
a convoy. So you are right. That is where I am quite sanguine. If the
Navy, and it is not very expensive... By the way, these are
as cheap as chips compared with what the Americans spent on the
equivalent. One third bigger. They need almost six times the crewing. I
think the escort will be there, particularly if they get the type
they wanted. Alex Salmond wants to hang on to that deal if Scotland
goes independent. But they will use this in a context they did not
devise. We do not want to fly aircraft to bomb Baghdad, they are
dealing with points at the choke point like the red Sea, even the
channel, where you have new kinds of threats. -- the English Channel. We
are vulnerable in terms of maritime security. You mentioned the joint
strikeforce. The capital cost is substantial but it seems we are not
able to run two at one time and to put enough planes on them. Between
them, these ships could take 36 each. I was told we would be lucky
if we get 12 on one of them. They are working out 16 of their
capacity, how does this make sense? The MoD are no longer talking about
the original concept of carrier strike but carrier enabled power
projection. What you will see is about 12 of the strike fighters,
helicopters, and also unmanned aerial vehicles. And the roles they
will be performing will be much more about getting people out of conflict
zones, getting essential supplies into disaster zones. Literal
manoeuvre rather than the heavy strike capability that Robert was
describing. To carry marines. That is what it
will be used for. And fly big helicopters off the deck at the same
time. That is the real role of these things, but it is hardly being
discussed. Starting from now, what would we
have done this? No. We would have done something but
it did not need to be on this scale. Don't the Spanish, they fly jumbo
jets as we used to call them off the back of votes which are not aircraft
carriers. -- ships. They fly from ships less than half this size and
we have won them off smaller ships. -- loan them. We were originally
going to fly conventional aircraft but that only survived a couple of
years before the money men said we could not afford them. Nobody ever
said, the emperor has no clothes, let's start again. But they will be
magnificent, no doubt about it. The second one will be called Vince of
Wales. -- music -- the Prince of Wales. We can see pictures of the
Queen and the Prime Minister and the Defence Secretary. And in the
background, you can see to the other side of the Firth of Forth. You can
see the road bridge and the railway bridge. The Red Arrows, I assume.
aircraft carrier? The Labour frontbenchers are talking about it.
It's nonsense. To make this work, you really have to have the second
carrier. It is not particularly complicated. The maths is easy in
order to do the training. If you want to use one ship, you have to
have one in preparation to train the kids, do the ammunition, food,
hospital and this that and the other. The real question is the Navy
is by about 2,000 to 3,000 girls and boys too small. That is one of the
real disasters of the 2010 defence review.
They better start training. We leave it there. Big day for the Royal navy
and the British taxpayer. The Queen will be floating this Queen
Elizabeth aircraft carrier in the next couple of minutes.
??EDITNEXTSUBTITLE next couple of minutes.
??EDITNEXTSUBTITLE The watchdog that regulates the NHS
in England, called Monitor, has been criticised this morning by MPs
on the Public Accounts Committee. They've said it must get better
at identifying NHS hospital trusts at risk of failure
and highlighted the large proportion of foundation trusts that are
in financial difficulties. Let's talk to our Political
Correspondent, Norman Smith. Was this is surprise? It is. The MPs
appear to have discovered Monitor could do with monitoring of its own
performance. A quarter of Foundation Trusts are in financial trouble. The
question is how on Earth did that come to pass if Monitor's meant to
be on top of the situation and try to make sure that doesn't happen.
Secondly, they are concerned about the way Monitor goes about its
business. In particular, the fact it only has 1% of its staff, just
seven, with any clinical background. Out of the 330 or so people who work
for Monitor, just a tiny percentage have hands on experience of what on
Earth goes on in hospitals. As a consequence of that, they are having
to buy in people who have some know how about hospitals. The committee
found Monitor is spending something like 20% of its budget on bringing
in consultants to tell them about the nuts and bolts of running a
hospital. Not surprisingly, the Labour chair woman of the Public
Accounts Committee Margaret Hodge, was somewhat less than impressed.
Monitor is supposed to protect the public in relation to these
independence foundation Hospital Trusts. Yet, among their 340 or so
staff, they only have seven who have any clinical experience at all. We
found they are spending... 20% of their money on buying in people on
consultancy fees because they haven't go the in-house staff. They
have a real issue as to whether they have the skills and competence to
support these foundation hospitals during a very difficult time when
money is tight and when there isn't enough leadership talent to go round
and fill the jobs. The monitor needs a monitor. Norman,
Prime Minister's Questions, a lot of Argy bargey about statistics, A
Waiting lists. Any further developments in this statistical
battle? I think what we learnt is the old Winston Churchill saying,
lies, damn lies and statistics! It is as relevant today as it was then.
The House of Commons put up a blog raising the question mark about how
David Cameron reached his figures. Downing Street were incensed that it
was being questioned how he came up with these figures. Last night, the
House of Commons official took down the blog saying Mr Cameron had
confused mean waiting times with median waiting times. He'd confused
waiting times for assessment with treatment. I got on to them this
morning. I asked if they'd been put under pressure from Number Ten. They
say not, they will be putting up a reviewed blog shortly. It tells us
in the run up to the election how figures will be in the frontline of
the Argy bargey. Not only have we had Downing Street getting laid into
the House of Commons people over this set of figures, you think back
earlier in the week when we had Ed Miliband and his launch of his
measures to help growth outside of London and Downing Street got waded
into him for coming up with figures which they said were not correct.
Figures will be at the sharp end in the run up to the elections.
Thank you for that. We all regard the House of Commons
library as gospel. We'll look forward to what they are now going
He's the father of a nation who has inspired movements for civil rights
And Mahatma Gandhi is also comedian Hardeep Sing Koli's
Giles Dilnot's been finding out more about him.
You know the thing about being a politician and wax figure in Madame
Tussauds, you're only really relevant because you're in power.
You're a here today, gone tomorrow politician unless you're a true icon
There is one still relevant in 2014 even though he died in 1948. Mahatma
Gandhi. Not only a prolific philosopher and writer. Because he
lived that philosophy he changed the course of history for four
countries, including our own. I'm off to meet a comedian and
broadcaster who thinks Gandhi's influence goes even furthers than
that. We leave this bizarre little man
whose coming has caused so much comment complete with loin cloth and
goats milk. You've brought me to Bow. We're
talking about Gandhi. He was here in 1931 for a huge conference. Loads of
countries part of the empire invited. It is up in the West End
and he's here. That epitomised the man. He was offered to stay with the
king but he decided to come to the gritty East End to the real people.
That Martian him out from other great states men and leaders. He
travelled around the country listening to people about their
needs, worries and concerns. I'd like to think we could all carry an
element of that. Speaking for people who cannot have their voices heard.
It is a powerful message. They have his room here kept as was. Would you
like to have a look? I have a loin cloth, goats milk and spinning top
for you. Mr Gandhi will be able to meet friends, talks when he likes,
just as we do. This is the balcony. He was staying in 1931, pretty much
as we've seen. This is Mahatma Gandhi's room. Defined by its
simplicity. Few cushions on the floor. He slept there. His spinning
wheel. Like a prison cell which is apt considering how much time he did
spend in prison. What do you think is his basic philosophy? India in
the forties, incredibly February rile. A war was being fought around
the reported. India had a choice, to have an around uprising or find
another way. Gandhi found another way. People think it was passive but
it wasn't. Gandhi and the rest walked up to the line and were
battered down by the sticks of the Indian members of the British Army.
They went back the next day and were battered down again. I think what
Gandhi showed is there's only so many times you can hit a man with a
stick before you realise it is pointless, you're losing the moral
argument. That's the point. Once you wage an armed conflict you lose the
morality of the argument. He never lost that. All that influence is
demonstrated in paperwork from the British. They don't know how to deal
with him. I can show you documents which prove it. Dr Elizabeth Fraser
from Oxford University says Gandhi had many ideas which influenced
Indian politics. It is a follows if I of non-violence. It has several
elements to it. First, he's very worried about state power laws and
policing which he thinks will always have to use violence. Secondly, of
course, he sees the British imperialism as a arc typically
violent, oppressive system. He thinks the only way to answer
violence is with non-violent rest Is fence tb -- resistance.
Got it. Let's look at this. This is basically at the national archives.
Records of what the Government were making of Gandhi's campaign for
Indian independence. In 1940, they are all just reporting back his
intransigence, if you like. It's very clear it's independence or
nothing. By 1943, they've just arrested saying he can't
correspondent with begin in a, the founder of Pakistan. They won't let
him talk to him. It is clear Gandhi's crucial to Indian
independence. But it is not India he wants that he gets. I believe
without Gandhi there would be no independent India. He was
instrumental to the entire process. What's not as well known is the work
he was doing in terms of keeping the internal body politic coherent,
stopping the factional violence between the Hindus and Muslims. It
was a dying regret partings occurred. But what's fascinating
about Gandhi is he managed all this change, all this influence without
being a formal politician. He never held office. It might sound cheesy.
I'm taking you to an Indian restaurant but there is a point to
it. I don't really like all that foreign muck! See why? Come on in.
Hardeep, I've brought to Gandhi's restaurant. It is not just a name.
This is frequented by Prime Ministers, Gordon Brown, Alistair
Darling. Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Does Gandhi have any
relevance to modern politics? There isn't an international figure in
recent history who's had a greater impact on politics. If you trace the
line from Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, what's been happening
recently in Burma, the passive resistance, not stepping down, but
neither stepping too far up, has proven to work time and time again.
I only imagine if we'd people with that ganged eian philosophy warned
in Palestine and Israel, there might be peace there. There may not have
been a genocide in Rwanda. No Crimean situation now. But, really,
I think, what we should do to honour Mahatma Gandhi, is have a small
vegetarian Indian snack. I'm not going to tell you how to eat it.
Last thing I'll do is give you a pop a Dom don't preach... But #50i78'
keeping the baby. It was going very well till the end.
Well the economy seems to have bounced back but our public finances
We're still spending ?107 billion a year more than we can afford
and we're less than halfway through the planned cuts.
Not everyone is in favour of sticking with that programme though
and next week some of Britain's best known comics will be taking to the
And we're joined now by Francesca Martinez who will be
taking part in the "stand up to austerity" and by Harry
I'll be at the Apollo on 7th July. You should come because it is
supporting the People's Assembly which is this huge movement at grass
roots level looking to change the way that the austerity is happening.
Looking for an to that. There will be loads of brilliant comics. It
will be for a marvellous cause. You can console yourself with the fact
you've done some. All you will have done is go to a gig and done
nothing, really! On 7th July it will be up against austerity. On 7th,
Francesca Martinez will be there. I advise you to go. I endorse it as a
concept and as a cause. And we're joined now by
Francesca Martinez who will be taking part in the
"stand up to austerity" and by Harry We've had austerity for years? We
need to fight it. 80% of the cuts have not come in yet. It is really
important we stand up against it now. Let's not kid ourselves.
Austerity is not about money. It is about bringing in a near liberal
agenda dominated by corporate interests. I think it's really
important we challenge that rhetoric. Cameron said recently that
we were having permanent austerity which proves it's about ideology and
not money. If it was about money, they would be regulating the banking
sector to ensure a crash never happens again. Instead, that's been
left largely untouched. We have not really had austerities yet and we
never really will. The government has been spending aliens this year
and at the end of the government -- the Labour government, they were
spending less. The debt has hit ?1.3 trillion. Why are we not talking
about that? If you want to talk about protesting about future and
fairness, how is saddling people not born yet with thousands of debt for
our spending now fair? The problem is not money, there is always money
for war, why? There is always money to bail out banks and four MP pay
rises. They voted on an 11% pay rise.
Actually, they have not. They tried hard! They did not say, there is no
money for a pay rise. So when it suits the government, they find it.
If you want to create more money in this world, there is a what we can
do. We can tackle the ?120 billion tax gap that we currently have. We
could introduce a living wage which would ensure working people do not
have to be on benefit -- benefits. Only 3% of people on benefits are
unemployed. Welfare is not the issue. But welfare is being
demonised to justify the cuts. And as a taxpayer, I am totally proud to
fund welfare, the NHS, education, I am not proud to fund legal wars,
that is what should be demonised. She is right, there is always money
around. Even borrowing ?107 billion seems a lot but interest rates are
low and despite the fact the government has not cut the deficit
by anything like it said it would, the economy is growing again,
employment is growing, so the original strategy might not have
been right. There is a ticking time bomb, they
are not addressing the debt and we are living on borrowed time. Unless
we radically address the situation and we do not just tinker around. We
are over five years proposing a 3.9% reduction in state spending in real
terms, the same amount Denis Healy did in the 1970s in one year. These
are not radical cuts, which are tinkering. -- we are tinkering. We
should be taking out departments. If you want to address the economy
and make sure the crash never happens again, you have to change
this economic system which is fundamentally unjust. It benefits an
elite few. You tell the 1 million people who use food banks the cuts
are tinkering. There is going to be a what more trouble than that. -- a
lot more. If we do not address the financial situation. You say we want
to regulate the city so it cannot happen again, the city is creating
the wealth that pays the series. -- the taxes. It remains in the hands
of vinyl beat a few. It pays for the NHS and the public services. -- an
elite few. The NHS is being privatised because private health
funds the Tory party. That is how policy works.
We will have to leave it. It is time to look at what is going on in
European politics. MEPs elected in May have met for the
first time in Strasbourg this week. In a moment, we'll be joined by two
of them in the studio. First though, here's our guide to the latest from
Europe, in just 60 seconds. The week's most awkward phone call,
as the Prime Minister congratulates Jean-Claude Juncker on his new job,
despite spending week is trying to prevent him. The Parliament began
the session with Beethoven's Ode to Joy, the anthem of the EU. Most MEPs
looked two way, UKIP, the other. While UKIP think the EU is rubbish,
the European Commission is talking rubbish. The commission has proposed
councils will have to recycle 70% of household waste by the end of next
decade. Better news for David this week
after Germany backed plans to back migrants sending child benefits
abroad. And who is this smoothly? Matteo Ramsey is the new Italian
Prime Minister who says the continent is moving at half the
speed of the rest of the world, so time to move on, Pronto!
And with us for the next 30 minutes, I've been joined by the Conservative
Ian Duncan and Labour's Jude Kirton-Darling. Welcome to the
programme. Let's just pick up on the comments made by the Italian Prime
Minister, Matteo Renzi, that we saw at the end of that clip there.
That it is time to end austerity, is it? Is it going to happen? I think
it is fundamental we see a change in direction at European level. This
leads neatly from the discussion you are having about the UK. If we look
across Europe, austerity has been extremely counter-productive in a
lot of countries. Fran?ois Alonso was elected to bring
an end to it -- Francois Hollande. France is now in a worse state than
any other European economy. Figures suggest there is no growth, so why
did he fail? Because we have not seen that change at European level.
We saw one President elected in France but we did not see a change
in the overall strategy at European level. What we need is to seek a
change in the EU strategy and a posh in terms of investment and growth.
-- eight posh. Labour are calling for concrete measures to put forward
growth and job creation because we still have catastrophic levels of
unemployment across Europe. Would that make a difference?
Austerity is causing serious problems in Europe but the Eurozone
is causing real problems around the Mediterranean countries. Youth
unemployment above 50%. Unless you can get a serious adjustment,
generations will be lost. What would that be? The Eurozone has
to adjust. You have got to allow some sense of freedom. Allow
devaluation, potentially countries we focusing and building themselves
back up. You cannot have that unless they
read. If you do not do that, you are just
hoping inside that lifeboat will be survival. -- they leave. I think
there will be starvation. Now, we're all used to a left-wing
and right-wing divide in politics. But after the recent European
elections in which anti-establishment parties made big
gains, are the new division lines in European politics now between
europhiles and eurosceptics? The European Parliament is still
dominated by the two big traditional political groupings. The EPP, the
European People's Party who have 29% of the seats, and S, the
Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, who have 25% of the
seats. Although these groupings are on opposite sides of the political
spectrum, the EPP on the centre-right and the S on the
centre-left, they definitely have one thing in common. They are both
very pro-European. But their European love-in faces a threat,
after voters returned a significant numbers of MEPs from Eurosceptic
parties such as UKIP, France's National Front and Italy's Five Star
Movement. So the traditional rivals of European politics have got
together and negotiated a grand coalition with themselves and the
Liberal grouping ALDE to prevent the EU's programme being derailed, and
the dividing lines in the European Parliament were on show from the
very first debate a few days ago. The Eurosceptics are the
progressives. These two gentleman had nothing to say today, it was the
usual dull, looking back, invented 50 years ago, and we want democracy,
we want nation state, we want a global future for our countries, not
to be trapped inside this museum. Thank you.
What are you doing here? I heard the speech of the Leader of the
Opposition in the House of Commons. If you want to be considered as the
leader of the European political group, make speeches of eight
political European leader, thank you. -- apolitical.
We are joined now by the UKIP MEP Tim Aker.
Is Eurosceptic and Europhile the dividing line?
It is business as usual. Some are challenging the big rocks. We have
formed a democracy group and you could hear applause. There is a
movement away from the old Moore Europe and more integration, it is
coming on in stages but it is a trend that will continue at the next
elections because it cannot go on. Is he right? The centre-left
grouping is a coalition with the centre-right because although you
disagree on individual policies, what unites you is a strong European
feel. What we are there to do is to defend
the people who have elected us to go to the European Parliament.
Implement the programme we have committed to. In the north-east
where I stood, it was during game investment, creating jobs in a place
with the highest employment -- unemployment in the country. --
bringing in investment. It is not opposition government, it is ELT on
alliances and they need to work. You have joined a group that is
Federalist. -- it is built on. The EU has to work for the people of
Britain. Are you Federalist? Not especially. I think we are stronger
together. That is the issue. The Labour group is explicitly
Federalist, are you Federalist? I would say that I believe that
Europeans working together are better off than nation state is
trying to poll behind national lines. So you are Federalist. I am
quite pro-European and I am proud of that. You have not answered my
question. I think it is a false debate. It is not a dictatorship, as
UKIP present. Where are the Conservatives in this? Isolated. The
Conservatives are part of the third-largest group. A group which
believes in reform. We were the only serious opposition of the stitch up
whereby Jean-Claude Juncker got the presidency of the commission. But
none of your allies, the German Christian Democrats, the French UMP,
the Spanish Conservatives, none of these, your natural allies in
Europe, or in your group. The reality is that they believe in
reform and only we can deliver that. Would you want to have dinner with
them? I had dinner with them several times.
Should you not to choose your company more carefully?
They believe in reform. When it comes to a battle between the
Eurosceptics and the strongly pro-European or most federalist on
the other side of the other groups, where are you? UKIP are going to
turn their back on Europe as they did in the anthem. Federalism is not
what we are for, we believe we can make Europe work. But it has to be
serious reform and we are the only party that can deliver a referendum
to give people the choice. Where does UKIP go because although the
anti-European parties did very well in the European elections, when you
put together the centre-right, the centre-left and the liberal
grouping, you are still outnumbered and you do not all agree.
The questioner who took my daughter task, what are you doing here if you
oppose this? -- who took Nigel to task. That is the mindset. There
were more spoilt papers that your candidate got in the elections. We
want nothing to do with this. We got 100 votes, we got beyond our
numbers, which is quite impressive. We are isolated because we are not
willing to do cosy deals. We are not able to build alliances and at
European level, you have to do that to reform. If you are going to give
up on your principles, you can do what you did. He called it a free
and open election but it was not, there was no EPP candidate, that is
a cosy stitch up. There were five candidates and it was a secret
ballot and anybody could vote. The EPP did not put up a candidate and
they are the August group in -- the biggest group. You still outnumbered
in the European Parliament. You are part of the group in which the
British Labour Party does not agree with its policies, and you are not
part of anything. We the third biggest group. You cannot swing
anything, you are outnumbered by the three centre groups. For as long the
Labour Party believes it should be Federalist minded, we will have a
problem. We believe it is about reforming the EU. Building
alliances. So you agree with me. No, it is what you define as reform.
What is your most important reform? I would like a real commitment, use
unemployment at the top of the programme. That is a programme. --
youth unemployment. How would you like to reform Europe? It is about
redressing the balance. They put employment issues in the last
commission and they have been at the bottom of the pile, it has been
about this ghost ability. Start on our own house, stop the circus that
travels to Strasbourg every month. Save the hundreds of millions that
represents. leader of my political group in the
European Parliament. I didn't vote Conservative. He was the candidate,
the leader of my group. So, after that 26-2 defeat
on the election of Jean Claude Junker as Commission
President and UKIP's success in the European Parliament elections
what does the rest of Europe think of Britain and its prospects
as a member of the European Union? By the magic of television
Giles Dilnot's been able to talk to If you reflect on it, members ship
of the European Union has not been conjured out of nowhere. However
warped the debate gets our leaving the whole show has been rising up
the agenda. Not only do lots of country think it's a difficult trick
to pull off but it is the kind of magic you shouldn't even attempt. It
is very important Britain stays in the EU. And in Austria, we think
it's only a threat from Britain it will leave. Mr Cameron will show us
how important he is in Europe we take it as a joke. After the
European elections, nearly half the old MEPs have transformed into new
ones. As a result of attitudes here and elsewhere, it is worth flagging
up for Britain and many of the other 28 member states their con tingents
are now more eurosceptic than ever. Debating our exit is a good thing
and also very revealing. It is not a joke. It is a big issue. Whatever
the British decide to do it is significant for all. It is not
harmful for the EU. It is helpful for the EU to know we are not locked
in. We can exit if we want to. It's even better that a big country like
Britain has taken up these issues of reform and even possible exit if the
EU continues on this path of federalism. But many Europeans see
Britain as descending into the dark arts. The official awkward squad
making tactical threats. Then they think, well, maybe they are
blackmailing us. Is it worth it. Or maybe they think, can we conceive of
the European Union without the UK? The answer to that, if you ask it
often enough, yes. The costs would be very high both ways round. A
terrible loss of prestige. What that really reveals to those who want to
map you out Britain's future is we can leave without each other. But
when you see the gap, it's something everyone a would want to reconsider.
I'm one of those who thinks it could work better. Be careful what you
wish for. Be careful of destroying something that has taken wars to
create and peace to stabilise. Do you want to be the political group
that pulled it apart when others look to Europe as being the envy of
democracy, modernisation, freedom, liberty and free movement. For those
who are transparently pro-European, this strike tearily debate appears
to disstrict. Eurosceptic voters need to know where that leaves those
who want out. All the voters need to understand they have no influence.
They are not part of the discussions in the committees where we are
talking about creating rules, financial sector stab I willisation.
There's no participation of these groups. They getting money for doing
nothing. In one sense, it doesn't really matter what other countries
think. If we have a referendum and if we vote no, like that, we're
gone. How big an issue is it with other
Europeans in the European Parliament of the possibility of Britain's
departure? It's been discussed now. This Parliament is one which is
different from the past. The general consensus is it is different. There
is a mood for reform and change. There's the Rec negligence Britain
is pushing for that. I think many other countries want that same
reform. It is not just about what Britain wants. It is about what the
rest of Europe wants as well. We have to listen to people who put us
into that Parliament. They want something different. If everyone
shouted for reform, why can't a consensus emerge and we proceed?
Fundamentally, we're talking about different of reforms. There are some
things we clearly agree. Stopping the charade of us all trooping down
to Strasbourg and making one seat for the Parliament. That makes
complete sense. You know that's not going to change? . That would take
David Cameron going into negotiation with other leaders and being able to
build an alliance for that. An alliance would make no difference.
The French would just veto it. You find ways of finding a compromise
which could work forthe French. Those reforms are actually in the
hands of the European council. Many of the things in the European
Parliament are more policy reforms. Redirecting where the focus is in
terms of growth, in terms of investment, in terms of employment.
Could you get this biggest spending in Europe is still the Common
Agricultural Policy. Not as big as it was but still the biggest. Would
reform include getting that money being spent on infrastructure, job
creation, modernising Europe? If you look at how the negotiations over
how the budget was placed, Monet fecked things like broadband, to
shore up the French needs for farming. It is not just about
maintaining how things have been in the past. We have to get things more
focussed. No idea the number of times I've
been told that. Maybe one day it will happen. Snell
How big an issue is it with other Europeans in the European Parliament
of the possibility of Britain's departure? It's been discussed now.
This Parliament is one which is different from the past. The general
The biggest thing which surprised me on my travels in Euroland is the
number of British people I've bumped into. In the Hague, the head of euro
poll. In Switzerland, the EU's ambassador. And in Brussels, Mrs
Evans. She overseas fish. When people are talking to you, they
don't say, she's a British person. They are talking to you as the woman
in charge of fisheries policy or state aid. They are not saying, she
is a British person. It's not really the primary thing. Is it useful for
Whitehall having you in this job? Is there a little back channel there?
There's no back channel. I will talk to anybody that wants to talk to me.
The problem is, there are a lot of senior people reaching the end of
long EU careers and not enough Jones who's starting her as an assistant
in the IT department of the European Commission. Since I've been here,
I'm probably one of a handful of Brits that I've known over the last
18 months. Mainly my colleagues are from lots of different European
countries. And, of course, that was part of the appeal of coming to work
here. The mix of people and cultures and I find that really interesting.
And that's the story the statistics tell too. For simplicity let's look
at the commission where Joanne works. The number of UK nationals
employed there has fallen by 24% over the last seven years which
means now just 4.5% of the staff are British. The UK makes up 12.5% of
the population of the EU. So, as a nation, we're seriously
underrepresented. A situation one British EU official told me is a
catastrophe. That's how they see it here at the
Foreign Office in London too. So much so, earlier this year, they
launched a new drive to get more people thinking of careers as EU
civil servants. There's a whole office dedicated to getting people
working in Whitehall to Brussels. But what's the EU really like as an
employer? Do you find yourself going home and being an advocate of the
EU? Absolutely. 100%. Is this a fun place to work? We don't have fun,
you know. We have job satisfaction! We've neither here sclachlt The
position of European Commission working for Jean-Claude Juncker. Who
will it be? I put my money on Malcolm Rifkind. Malcolm Rifkind?
Yeah, former Foreign Secretary. You'd probably win a by-election in
Kensington. The important thing is to get the ride man up for the job.
He's not up for the job. I've heard his name talked about. News to me.
From our perspective it is the Government who decides. So bound to
be a Tory? You'd guess unless Nick Clegg wants a platinum balloon out
of the coalition, I'm guessing it will be a Tory. Provacative! Whoever
it is, we hope it is somebody able to build those alliances at European
level and we'll work with them. What would be a good portfolio for them
to get? There's quite a ripe choice. An economic Nd one! The British have
always gone for internal market. We've not managed to get it tube to
our position from other countries up to now. There are big issues in the
future around energy, climate change. There are lots of key
issues. Which would you like and the British commissioner to get?
Internal market would make a difference but trade. It will be
important to trade internal markets. These trade agreements are not going
well at the moment? They've been bogged down. We need to get them
moving. You can create growth and jobs.
Peter Mandelson took the prey seriously? He did. He's regarded
well in Brussels as a result of it. The key thing is to have a
commissioner who's willing to do the hard work and is willing to put
themselves into the job fully. If that's the case, then I think the UK
will be in a good position. I think the key, it is interesting in the
report, we have to be encouraging younger people to work in the
institutions. That's also about changing and informing better the
British public about what the institutions are. We have to leave
it there. Thanks to my guests Jude and Ian, bye-bye.
When Barbara and I started the Review,
we were seeking to examine the workings
and the truthfulness of establishments.
Albatross? There it is. The albatross.
The albatross is going to need a hair-styling.
A thrilling tale of double agents and a man on the run.
John Buchan's flair for wartime propaganda
Andrew Neil with the latest political news, interviews and debate. He discusses the new Royal Navy aircraft carrier with former defence minister Nick Harvey and the comedian Francesca Martinez talks about the People's Assembly.