08/09/2014 Daily Politics


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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Politics.


Alex Salmond's got a smile on his face.


He thinks he's going to win next week's vote on Scottish


Pro-unionist parties have denied claims they are in crisis


following a weekend poll showing that the "Yes" camp has taken the


Political campaigners for Scottish independence say they have


Leaders at Westminster are trying to agree a timetable


for handing more powers to the Scottish parliament if voters choose


The Liberal Democrats launch their General Election pre-manifesto.


We'll be asking if it's worth the 80 pages of paper it's written on.


Are you the Earl of Grantham, Lady Mary or Mr Carson?


The TUC thinks British Society's just like Downton Abbey.


We'll be asking the General Secretary, Frances O'Grady


And can you identify these well-known faces who've popped up


at one London tube station this morning?


Recognise her? We'll be finding out more about the campaign where famous


politicians are getting mashed up. All that in the next hour


and with us for the duration today, Tessa Jowell, she's Labour and Ming


Campbell, he's a Liberal Democrat. Between them they've had


so many top jobs, It's 10 days to go


before voters decide whether they Over the weekend pro-Unionists were


shocked by the first poll to show In response, George Osborne took to


the airwaves to make this offer. You will see in the next few days a


plan of action to give more powers to Scotland, more tax powers, more


spending powers and plans to have more powers over the welfare state


and that will be put into effect and the timetable for delivery will be


put into effect the moment there is a No vote in the referendum on the


clock will be ticking for those powers. And Scotland will have the


best of both worlds. They will avoid the risk of separation and have more


control over their own destiny. No one is daft enough in Scotland to


swallow an argument from a Tory Chancellor. If this was a


significant new after -- offer, rather than a panic measure because


the Westminster elite are losing the campaign we wouldn't have heard


about it before hundreds of thousands of people have cast their


ballot by post. It's a ridiculous position being put forward by the no


campaign which is in terminal trouble.


Well, we're joined now from Glasgow by Blair Jenkins from the Yes


Before we take reaction to what we just heard there, let's look in


general what has happened in the money markets, Mr


general what has happened in the have had one poll that put the Yes


campaign narrowly ahead. It has sent tremors through the money markets.


The pound has slumped to the lowest level but ten months against the


dollar and companies like The Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Life


have fallen sharply. Is that what Scotland has the look forward to? To


the extent that there is uncertainty in the market, and I don't know


whether that's a reflection on the referendum because all sorts of


things influence the markets. I think it is possible it is a result


of that. What you say the uncertainty? It's a very easy way of


calming the markets available, which is it George Osborne said there


would be a currency union with Scotland after a yes vote. It lies


in the gift of the Chancellor and his friends in the other parties to


end the uncertainty there might be. He's already said he won't do that,


and we can safely say he will stick to that line, certainly up to the


poll and beyond, so is it in your mind that you don't believe him and


he is still bluffing. Not only in my mind but in the minds of the people


of Scotland. This issue has exhausted itself in Scotland. People


have heard what the Westminster politicians have to say and the


level of distrust towards Westminster politicians is at an


all-time high, so I think they believe it is a bluff. I do think


that people feel deeply angered that Scotland could not use the pound if


we chose to. As a tactic, and it is a tactic, I believe it is


spectacularly backfiring. I've lost count of the number of people who


have said they have moved from no on two yes just because of this issue


because of the way the Westminster parties have handled the currency


issue. Your point that the excursion -- discussion has been exhausted


might have been demonstrated in the second debate, but when you look at


the uncertainty in the markets, it has moved on and they are very


important in terms of the offer that the Yes campaign is making to


Scottish voters. Do you accept that the very least from what we saw


today and talk and rumours of companies withdrawing deposits, do


you accept that there will be short-term pain in the event of a


yes victory, a period of uncertainty about the currency arrangements. It


could result in a trouble spot. The UK Government is in a good spot.


That is not my question. To be honest, we are very surprised by


this. We are surprised by the extent that the poll came as a shock to


people in Westminster and in London. Anyone who paid any attention at all


to the debate in Scotland knew that at the very least it was going to be


the direction of travel towards yes. We have said that that anyone


looking at the campaigns around Scotland, they are more visible and


audible. There is clearly a yes movement which is bigger than party


politics. And it is not calming the market. You still haven't answered


the question about that uncertainty. Whether it is a shock or not, it has


shocked the international markets that you rely on, and if you are not


part of union and you don't have an alternative, and Alex Salmond said


they would renege on the debt, you become a pariah state. The markets


will no doubt way lots of things up at the moment. Everything around


Scotland moving to become an independent country suggests it will


be done so in a smooth transition. We are interested in stability in


currency and other things. But the implication is that the opposite


will happen. If this is what has happened after one poll puts you


narrowly ahead, what are the indications if that continues in the


next couple of weeks for the smooth transition? I would say it looks


pretty bad. Markets tend to respect the process of democracy and


self-determination. But they do like certainty. Unfortunately life is not


full of certainty right now for many of us. I don't think the cause of


the uncertainty here, such as it is, and it remains to be seen how


large it is, if there is uncertainty, it's been caused by the


Westminster parties and it is in their gift to end the uncertainty. I


don't think people mind about the cause, they want to know what you


can do to calm it down and provide some sort of stability. What can you


do? I am heading a campaign for Scottish independence, I'm not a


politician. What would you expect Alex Salmond and the SNP to do to


calm everybody's nerves? I think the First Minister and the Scottish


Government have been highly responsible and highly consistent in


what we have said. What we discovered yesterday, and it was


nothing new, is that the Westminster parties are bumping into themselves


and each other and finding it hard to get a consistent position on more


power but Scotland. We are clear in what we are doing, but I wish the


others would be as clear in what they are saying. It is true that the


offer of more powers has been made by the three parties at Westminster,


and that timetable looks like it has been brought forward. Do you accept


that in the closing days of the campaign, voters in Scotland can now


have it all ways. If they vote no, they can have extra powers. The


option that would not be on the ballot paper, and they can do it


with no risk. I think people in Scotland are smart enough to see


through what is happening. What are they seeing through? What they see


is that this is driven by panic not conviction. If there had been a


serious move to warn -- towards offering new powers, surely it would


have been done before the postal voting started. That has been


happening for a couple of weeks. Many people in Scotland have already


cast their vote. I think this is driven by a sense of panic and the


ground shifting underneath the no campaign. We know what is on offer


from the Westminster parties is inadequate and it does not give as


job creation powers, governments that we vote for and want, and


policies that reflect the priorities of people in Scotland. It doesn't


give us the fairer Scotland we want and the chance to protect public


services. Lots of things in Scotland are moving people towards the Yes


campaign. It is the biggest grassroots movement Scotland has


seen, and we are happy and confident about how the campaign is going.


Please stay with us and listen to the reaction from our guests. This


is Westminster having been far too complacent. Only now, as we heard


from Mr Jenkins, is there a panic reaction from the government, from


George Osborne making all sorts of offers at the last minute because


they never, ever believed that led Jenkins and Alex Salmond and Nicola


Sturgeon could win this. First of all I don't think we have been


complacent. Certainly, consistently, across all three parties we have


said that this is an option and the people of Scotland have got to vote


on whether they go independent or not, but all three parties are


unanimous about wanting to keep the union together. That is my first


point. My second point is, George Osborne has come out with this,


following a careful look at what is possible and increased devolution,


and having looked at Wales, I ran a successful devolution and increase


the power is going to the Welsh Assembly. How have they closed the


gap? If voters in Scotland really believed it, why is the 20 point gap


that existed with the no campaign ahead has closed and been parsed


according to one poll? Coming up to the referendum there is always going


to be a closing of the gap. I've looked at the betting sites


recently, and this morning the yes vote has moved out slightly. It's


gone more towards the no campaign. I think inevitably, as you get closer


to the date, people focus on it. But the thing that the meat is so


important is, unlike a referendum for further powers, this is


irreversible and it makes Scotland a foreign country and cuts it off from


the rest of the UK. And I firmly believe that politically,


economically, socially, in every way, that the countries are better


together. That has not caught the imagination of people though, has


it? First of all, David Cameron, would have to resign, do you think


question you don't think Tory MPs would call for him to go? He


presided over a 300 year union and failed question I would call to


resign, but I don't think the amount of effort he has put in to try to


try to keep the union together that he should resign if the vote goes


the other way. Rather, I want to make sure that he focuses on what


would happen, because there needs to be an awful lot of energy. There


will be a constitutional crisis. For me, yes it would be a constitutional


crisis. It would be that the Labour Party because they would struggle to


win an election in the near future. -- it would be for the Labour Party.


Is this labour's failure to even hold on to their own mainstay


voters? They are bleeding support to the SNP and the Yes campaign because


they have been too complacent in Scotland and they don't believe Ed


Miliband will win next year. No. Really? Why are they going to the


SNP then? There is always excitement about what is seen as insurgent, and


to use a derogatory term of language, what is an


antiestablishment campaign. I grew up in Scotland and I have a strong


sense of the distinctiveness of Scotland within the union. That is


what this seeks to recognise. But I believe that the no campaign will


win the referendum. It is not... There is a lot of Westminster


introspection. And panic. Not panic. Had 13 people recorded their


intention differently in this poll, the story would have been a


completely different one. Everybody recognises 20 points ahead before.


The momentum is now with the Nationalists and with the


independence campaign. They have their offer... The momentum is with


a great moment for Scotland, which is referendum day. The no campaign


will be working and identifying those people who feel tempted by the


insurgency of the Yes campaign. They need to explain precisely what the


consequences would be. Would it have been better if Labour had not been


in a broad coalition going into Scotland to try and sell the


prounion argument? They should have gone up and sold the left-wing


campaign to try and outdo the Nationalists on the fairer society,


the social democracy? This is not a time for that. It was the wrong


campaign? This is a time to persuade hearts and minds. I am sure that


every single political party, including the Nationalists, will


have the Rhone postmortem after, but we are in this to persuade the


people of Scotland to remain part of the union.


Has it been the wrong campaign? I heard Henry McLeish saying this


should have been a hearts and minds campaign, that's how Scotland work


and the "no" campaign wasn't? That's not the case. What the "no" campaign


has sought to do is point out the consequences. You said earlier, or


in a question, independence is not for Christmas. This is in perpetuity


not just for us but for our children and grandchildren, and what we have


heard already, everything will be the best in all possible independent


worlds. If Scotland were to be independent it would face a large


number of challenges, some of which are emphasised today, and the


markets are spooked. It is all very easy to say the Chancellor can fix


this by announcing there will be a currency union, but all three


parties made it clear some time ago there wouldn't be one. Didn't spook


the markets. Far from that, it re-enforced them, because the


markets are concerned with the union in which one important constituent


part of it sets its own tax, decides what the levels of borrowing are and


it's own interest rates. How can you run an effective single currency if


you have all three of threes at the discretion of one part of it? There


is a contemporary ill slayings and that's the union in the single


currency. Not enough voters are being persuade. Does the general


election get called off next year if the "yes" vote wins? I see not


reason... Even if Scottish MPs would be sitting ducks? I see no


justification for that. That would only muddy the waters, but you make


a very good point, which is this - it's been said that change can all


be done in 18 months. During that period and well beyond it, if you


think there's uncertainty in the moment there as sure as hell will be


then, because the notion of extracting from uT United Kingdom, a


Scottish -- from the United Kingdom, to the extent that we are across the


border and the income tax and the welfare and all three armed


services, Ofcom, Ofgem, and every single thing you can think of which


is UKwide will have to be deconstructed. How long do you think


that will take and cost? Why did the Scottish Secretary say he would


switch sides in the event of a "yes" vote? He said it would be the duty


of people like him to do everything they could in the interests of


Scotland and he was willing to do that to ensure the settlement that


was achieved was as best as could possibly be obtained. Blair Jenkins


has been sitting there and listening. Your response to what our


three guests have said? There may be a majority of five to one and they


are proud of the process. We've had a mature and responsible debate for


more than two years now and on the issues aired by the panel they've


been fully aired and discussed, people are making up their minds.


People are deciding and all the evidence we have, not just the poll,


but everything I see and hear, says people are moving to question. Blair


Jenkins, thank you very much. It's time for the daily quiz. The


question for today is about the US President, President Obama. He was


in the country last week, but before heading home he took the chance to


visit a popular visitor attraction. Was it:


Was it Barry Island, altonne towers and -- Alton Towers or threes two.


We can only divide the screen into four. What about Blackpool Tower or


Loch Lomond. Only eight months to the general election. The Liberal


Democrats have this morning launched their pre-manifesto, whatever that


is. What's in it? He's had a tough time in Government, but Nick Clegg


is keen for more. What is he going to be shouting about? Well, expect


to hear a lot about plans to extend the 15 hours a week of free


childcare to parents of all two-year-olds. To be paid for by


scrapping the Conservatives' plans to introduce a tax break for some


couples. Among the others, a commitment to raise the amount you


have to earn before you pay income tax to ?12,500. And a promise to


protect all education spending from early years to college. Those aged


16 to 21 in England will be handed a young persons bus pass, giving them


a 66% discount, funded by scrapping TV licences and the winter fuel


allowance for pensioners who qualify as higher rate taxpayers. The NHS


budget will be ring-fenced and they promise to increase taxes on the


wealthiest. With eight months to go, the party is struggling in the


polls. Last Sunday they were on just 7%. Many observers argue the party


is suffering from breaking their commitment on tuition fees, so the


big question is which of the policies are red lines and which are


negotiatable? The man in charge, David Laws, he joins me from


Westminster. Welcome to The Daily Politics. In 2012, when Nick Clegg


apologised for the tuition fees pledge, he said the Liberal


Democrats shouldn't make a promise they were not absolutely sure they


can deliver. Are you absolutely confident you can deliver everything


in this? Yes, I believe we can, but obviously it also depends not just


on what we - the way in which we cost, but the outcome of the general


election, because parties have to sit down, if there's a hung


Parliament, and negotiate with each other. The Conservative Party last


time had to sacrifice some of the biggest pledges in its manifesto,


such as the pledge they made to raise the Inheritance Tax


thresholds. I'm confident. And it's what happens after the hung


Parliament when you have to negotiate with another party and no


party is able to say they can impose 100% of a manifesto on anybody else.


If there was one thing in that manifesto that you would say you


would not drop under any circumstances, even in a coalition


negotiation, which would ensure you were in government again, what would


it be? We will say more closer to the election what the highest


priorities are, but I think you can guess through the priority that we


have given in this Parliament to things like raising the income tax


allowance, and things like that, commitments on education, they are


very important to us. They are what Liberal Democrats are about. Tuition


fees were important too, weren't they? They were important, yes, but


we faced a situation where firstly neither of the other potential


parties of coalition were willing to agree to it and secondly, we had to


do what the other parties had to do after an election, which is sit down


and come to an agreement with those other parties and also make sure


that we had the finance to do all of the things that the other parties


wanted to do, as well as ourselves. How much will this cost? We'll


publish a costings paper closer to the general election. Obviously, it


depends on the way in which we phase some of the policies in. We have


income tax and childcare, which have given us long-term and bold


ambitions and how we implement those, stage them in. We'll publish


the figures before the next election, but what Nick Clegg did


say today is that the proposals that are in the pre-manifesto, that we


published today, are actually considerably less expensive than the


manifesto we stood on in 2010. You have learnt your lessons then? We


have. I'm personally confident if we were a Liberal Democrat government


by ourselves and we didn't have to negotiate with others, then all that


we put in our pre-manifesto today is deliverable. We've been every


careful about that. Can you tell us, you'll know how much it would cost


to raise the personal allowance to ?12,500? It depends how rapidly you


do it. How much as a total? Over the lifetime of a Parliament it's


something like ?5 billion per year by the end of the Parliament.


Obviously, there are some increases in the allowance that will happen


through indexing for inflation. That would be by the end of the


Parliament. Looking at mansion tax, you failed to get anywhere with


that. That was during this Parliament. What makes you think,


unless you are in coalition with Labour, you'll be able to get that


through this time? Every negotiation with another party is a separate


one. And how you did on the previous occasion didn't necessary -- doesn't


necessarily mean you won't be successful or not. The Conservatives


are pretty well saying that's not going to happen, even though


privately George Osborne was warming to it? There was a moment in the


Parliament where the Conservatives did come close to agreeing something


that looked tax on high-Qual ewe properties, so I'm not -- high-value


priorities, so I'm not writing that off. Some of the pledges you could


introduce now or you could have introduced while in government. Why


haven't you, like universal childcare? In this cases it's simply


going to be the short-term financial consequences, as you know. We are


already rolling out at the moment two-year education, so 0% of


two-year-olds -- so 40 of two-year-olds. Increase in the


personal tax allowance that will occur in April next year. In part,


it's that on principle we could have done some of the other things, but


we have to make sure that in the short term they're affordable and


actually some of the things will become more affordable in the next


Parliament. Last month, you accused the Conservatives of putting cuts


before tackling poverty a priority as far as you're concerned. You


would go into coalition with the Conservatives if they were the


largest parties? We are not able to say we would go into coalition with


anybody, prior to having a negotiation about the things that we


stand for. If we were - if it was to be proposed we went into coalition


and if we weren't secure in terms of policies of course we would say no.


It all depends on how much of the Liberal Democrat programme for


government and how much of the policies we have announced today we


are enable to enact. You'll be holding the parties to ransom? It's


not about that. The Conservative Party and the Labour Party in a hung


Parliament would have to do the same and sit down, if they failed to


secure a majority and figure out how to get a sensible programme for the


country for the Parliament. We did that in a mature way in 2010. We did


it quickly and efficiently in contrast to what many people


expected before the general election. I'm sure we would do it


calmly and sensibly if there's a hung Parliament. You may not have -


you may be able to take more time if the economic circumstances would be


different as to when you started negotiate in coalition in 2010. Have


you enjoyed the coalition with the Conservatives? I've enjoyed the fact


that the Liberal Democrats have actually been in government being


able to do something rather than criticising the Government of the


day. It's been a tough time to be in government, because of the scale of


the deficit we inherited. We have had to do things we haven't wanted


to do, but also been able to deliver policies like the pupil premium and


the higher personal tax allowance that we are passionate about and if


the choice is between being in government and sitting on the


sidelines I know what I would prefer any day of the week. Are you missing


Michael Gove? I got on well with Michael Gove. He was an entertaining


guy and passionate and cared very much about social mobility,


particularly improving the life chances of young people and the


disadvantaged, but these matters are decided by the Prime Minister and


I'm now working very well his successor. Well done. David Laws,


thank you. Thank you. If the Tories are the largest party, but not big


enough to form a majority government, would you want a


minority or coalition with the Liberal Democrats? First, I'm


working for a majority government and I'm sure Tessa will be working


for a majority government. We would expect you to say that. I'm not


impressed by the Liberal Democrats showing a bit of leg to both


parties. This is what it's all about. The Liberal Democrats -- Why


shouldn't they? They are saying, "Come with us, we'll be there to


prop you up." Do you like what you hear? Not particularly. What is it


you don't like? Some of the things you didn't mention. I understand


already in this pre-election manifesto they're ruling out


expanding the airports, but they'll look at the Davies Commission and


also they would move to decriminalising drugs. Ming can tell


me about those, but they are a case of wanting your cake and eating it.


I don't take this launch very seriously. I think it's a lot of


apple pie. And mother hood. I think that they need to remember that


unfortunately the electoral politics meant there had to be a deal done.


And And if they're the same again? I would prefer not to. Having served


in the government in coalition, I would prefer to go it alone with a


minority government. How many of your colleagues feel the same way? I


don't mean exact numbers. I think there's a number that would share


the same view. That's a problem, Ming, because you can show as much


leg as you like, but if the Conservatives and many of Cheryl's


colleagues feel - and we know many have had enough of coalition and


they feel they haven't been able to do the things they want to do,


despite David Laws saying they've achieved a lot in coalition, then


you are going to be frozen out. show because it is up to the public


to decide. Whichever party has the largest number of seats will say


they will have a minority government. They could do. Yes, and


there are consequences, because if we're worried about uncertainty in


the markets, then if ever there was a way to create uncertainty in the


markets, it is having a minority government. If there is a supply and


demand deal done with the Liberal Democrats then? Well, that is a


deal. Would you be up for that? It is what the public decide they want,


and in those circumstances everything must be on the table. But


it's important to make this point, minority governments last a few


months and then you have to go to the country, and if you're concerned


about certainty in the economy, the notion of two general elections in a


few months will not help that, and nor will it be welcome to the public


who expect, if they produce a result which is not clear-cut in the way we


are describing, that some effort would be made to find a common


purpose, as we did after 2010, when we were staring over the abyss. This


time it will be different. You might argue that the markets will be


calmer. They have seen what has happened in coalition and there


could be more time and flexibility for negotiation which could be, as


far as the Labour Party are concerned, they would not make the


same mistake again. They will make sure that if they don't have enough


seats, they will match up with the Liberal Democrats. I don't think


that is a given at all. What David laws is talking about is a kind of


hung parliament manifesto because the Liberal Democrats are not going


to form a majority government. Like Cheryl, my party, the Labour Party,


we would want to form a majority government and to be able to


implement the manifesto. But I was part of the discussions immediately


after the defeat in 2010, and when the Liberal Democrats were riding


considerably higher than they are now, I think there are questions


about the nature of democracy. For instance, if the Liberal Democrats


have lost a substantial number of seats, is it really right, are you


really responding to what the public have said in the election by saying,


OK, you can tag along with us and then we will be in government. These


are the kind of questions that are unresolved. Let's say you lose 15 or


20 seats... I will deal with that in a moment. But if anybody fails to


get an overall majority then you have to do understand that that is a


judgement of the public, just as if the Liberal Democrats were to lose


seats, that would have to be taken into account. The polling suggests


that the local parties are strong, and when members of Parliament are


as effective as they can be, then then the stark reality of the


average opinion poll taken through the country will not be reflected in


any way in the result. That is a fair point. Would you do a minority


Labour government or coalition with the Liberal Democrats question we


are going to be majority government. Knocking on the doors of people


around the UK, we are not saying, will you help us enter a coalition?


But you like the mansion tax, you agree with that, and you could


negotiate over the top rate. There are so many things you share with


the Liberal Democrats. We are going to be the majority government. That


is what we are working for and campaigning for. There is a hint of


Alex Salmond here. There is no Alex Salmond in this. Are you not


planning for a coalition? Was that not the mistake last time round? Of


course we are not planning for a coalition. We are planning a


programme to offer to the British people, and we hope... There have


been all sorts of overture was made by Ed Miliband though. I think there


has been more reporting of it than actual over jewels. Ming Campbell


will stand on the doorstep and say we will go with either party. Tessa


and I can say this is the manifesto. I resent the implication. It is the


voter that loses out when the politicians just get the deal in the


end. I resent the invitation. So, TUC General Secretary,


Frances O'Grady thinks British society currently resembles one


of our favourite TV programmes, Here's what she had to say


at their annual conference Come the election, we all face a


choice. Are we going to settle for a nasty and poorer Britain? A Downton


Abbey style society in which the living standards of the vast


majority are sacrificed to pay for the high living of the well-to-do


question where the blame is heaped on the most vulnerable. Migrants,


claimants, while the powerful and privileged sit pretty. Or are we


going to seize the opportunity and build a new and fair economy that


provides the people of this country with good skilled jobs?


Well, Francis O'Grady joins us now from Liverpool.


You say Britain can afford pay rises for public sector workers for


sustained growth in the economy, so do you want to congratulate George


Osborne for that sustained growth? The problem is that George Osborne


personally overturned the recommendation of the independent


pay review body that looks at the evidence and recommended a very


modest 1% increase for nurses and midwives and other health care


workers, and George Osborne said no, they would not get a penny. That is


one reason why people feel so fed up as it seems like George Osborne


talks about a recovery in the economy but it's not one in which


ordinary people share. But you do accept there has been a recovery and


it's come about as a result of George Osborne and the coalition's


economic policies? I suspect that wealth is really created by the


people who go to work for a living. And, in fact, we know the recovery


has been much slower than other countries, but even so, we have had


economic recovery for two years. Ordinary people, on average, have


taken pay cuts in real terms for the last four years. We think it's time


Britain had a pay rise. You are absolutely right. Wages have been


behind the prices for years and there is no sign of it going the


other way. What would be your proposal? What sort of pay rise


would you like to see for public sector workers? All we are asking is


that George Osborne respects the recommendations of that independent


pay review body. But we also think the government should send a signal


that we should be heading for a living wage, a wage people can live


in dignity on, and half a million local government workers don't earn


a living wage. That is not sustainable and ultimately not good


for the economy of people don't have money to spend in local shops and


businesses. Let's have a look at affordability. Over the last year,


there have been retail indications that show that people are spending


more than they were a year ago and you are calling for a ?10 minimum


wage. Is that affordable? It is certainly a goal. But is it


affordable? Nobody is saying it should be delivered tomorrow, but we


are saying we can afford a higher minimum wage, much more than the ?6


50 it will rise to next October, and the truth is, could you live on


that? I know I couldn't and I'm sure George Osborne could not either.


What about current levels of public borrowing? Do you know how much they


are at the moment? I haven't got the figures on me, but as I say, I think


we have had one of the slowest recoveries, and many people, many


economists argue that is because the government cut far too deeply, and


the problem is that people are beginning to spend more, but they


are still dipping into what little savings they have or they are


getting further into debt. It's not a sustainable way to run the


economy, and I think the Chancellor has do rethink it. Compared to


countries in the Eurozone, where unemployment is running at 27%,


youth unemployment at 47% in Spain. The forecasts from the office of the


budget responsibility for borrowing is ?95.5 billion. I come back to the


question, and I'm saying you are not having the minimum wage tomorrow,


but is it right to have the goal of a ?10 minimum wage is, I think it is


absolutely sustainable to have their wages in the public sector. Unions


are the first people to say let sit around the table and talk about jobs


and services and let's talk about pay. We understand the trades off


that have to be made, but we want people to have the respect to talk


to their own workers. I never thought I would see the day that


midwives would be balloting for strike action. It takes a lot of the


people to feel so insulted and so worried about managing their bills


that that is what it has come to. I really think that this government


needs to talk and listen. You also accuse the coalition of creating a


Downton Abbey society where migrants and claimants are blamed rather than


helped. Do you agree it is the case that many union members support


things like the welfare cap and restriction on benefits for new


migrants because they are the ones that have suffered? I think if you


listen to the whole speech, you would have heard me say that nobody


likes cheating in welfare and we know that there is a very small


minority of those who do cheating welfare, and they need to be


tackled, just as the far greater amounts we see avoided by companies


when they should be paying their taxes. But there is strong support


here for a strong welfare system and there is also a growing feeling that


the problem is not migrant workers, the problem is employers exploiting


them and undercutting their pay. Again, we would like to see some


tough talk and action for the minority of bad employers. How much


of what Frances O'Grady has said with the Labour government be


willing to implement? I agree with a lot of what she just said. I think


she was being very reasonable. I think, and we do have a national


minimum wage, and I would hope that there could be a real drive with the


trade unions as partners to see more employers paid the living wage. And


the ?10 as a goal? You would not sign up to that? We have a low pay


commission, and they will have additional powers to ensure


enforcement of the minimum wage, because the point Frances O'Grady


makes is right, that one of the reasons why there is a sense of


alienation in workplaces and some parts of the country is this sense


that migrant workers are undercutting the national minimum


wage. We would make sure that the low pay commission brought cases


against those who did that. How many cases have been brought? Hardly any.


The numbers are negligible. I'm not sure that is reassuring people in


low paid work, but they are worried. Many Labour Party members, and many


union members, are about immigration, migrants taking low


paid work that could be theirs. That is how that has been expressed to


the Labour Party and they don't think you've done enough about it. I


don't accept that. First of all, we know that family income has fallen


under this government. It is very important that the protective floor


of the national minimum wage is properly implemented and that we set


our ambition higher than that. With employers and trade unions to secure


the living wage. But if you have non-cash benefits like childcare,


which are very important for families who are really


struggling... We do have to move on. We might be able to come back to


some of these issues later in the programme.


This afternoon David Cameron will make a statement in the House


of Commons about last week's Nato summit in Wales.


Also today, the cross-party House of Commons Commission meets


and is expected to discuss whether to create two top jobs to


On Tuesday, a devo max paper on Scotland - setting out how and


when powers could be transferred - expected to be backed by Mr Cameron,


Mr Miliband and Nick Clegg, could be published as soon as tomorrow.


And Boris Johnson will no doubt be prepping hard all week


for a selection meeting to choose the next Conservative candidate


Joining me now from College Green are the Sun's Political Editor,


Tom Newton Dunn and Tamara Cohen from the Daily Mail.


First of all, is there a general sense of panic about Westminster


following this poll that put the Yes campaign narrowly ahead, or is it


overstated? There is panic. Interesting this morning where the


PM's spokesman tells us about the week ahead. Usually it's a good


kickabout, but for 50 minutes we talked about nothing but Scotland.


One question on the end about something else. Scotland is the only


game in town. The YouGov polls last week and the Sunday Times have


thrust us all into a single-track mode and there is now a massive


problem about what to do on eversing this momentum and switching away


from yes. Talking about the Government want to reverse, has this


been a wake-up call that has come too late or is it what the "no"


campaign needs? It's been a collective intake of breath this


morning, with the poll. I don't think there was that realisation


that the "yes" campaign has gone from 22 points behind in the polls


to one point ahead, so there's panic and also a real feeling they they


failed to develop a strategy for the "yes" campaign seizing the momentum


at the last minute. We have had George Osborne this weekend talking


about giving Scots more control of their destiny and we'll get more of


that from the three parties by devolution. We now hear there's not


going to be anything new in it, but reiterating the same. There's


definitely panic mode over the next ten days. We'll talk about


speculation. Tom, say there's a victory for the "yes" campaign,


would David Cameron have to resign? It's inevitable. I don't think a


Prime Minister could hang on having presided over - whether it's his


fault or not - it would change the politics and finances, our defence,


welfare system. The country and England itself would also be


unrecognisable and I think there would be an enormous clamour for new


leadership to get us through that and I suppose what's interesting


about today, with another development this morning, that the


Prime Minister, David Cameron, is now almost entirely totally


powerless in this crusade to save the union. It's down to Labour's big


beasts to try to turn those Labour voters, who are the ones that are


causing this massive cascade towards the "yes" vote. The PM's job is on


the line. I certainly believe that, but he has to sit on his hands,


which is an extraordinary predicament to be in. Following on


from that, what do you think happens to the 2015 election if there is a


victory for the "yes" vote? It leaves it in chaos. We have a


situation where Scots wouldn't leave the union if they vote yes until


March 2016. They would get to vote in the 2015 election and they are 41


Labour MPs and one Conservative in Scotland. There could be a situation


where Scottish Labour MPs are propping up a Miliband government


next year and they would all leave in 2016 and leave them without a


majority. A bit of a constitutional crisis. There has been discussion


about having to delay the election by another year, although we


understand that has been ruled out because the prospect of having six


years of one government is considered something that shouldn't


go ahead because of this. Since you talked about it all mourn, Tom,


something else briefly. The NATO rapid reaction force that was


announced, with contribution from the UK, returning to the Cold War?


It would be nice, wouldn't it, if the combined armies and allies of


the West were to get together and face down two, even three, different


tleeTS, certainly Ukraine and the Islamic State threat in the Middle


East. And then there's Gaza and pass Stein and Israel. I don't --


Palestine and Israel. I don't think it will happen. The force was the


best that a reasonably weakened, divided summit could come up with.


Remember one third will be British and the whole thing will be


British-led. There is a feeling among NATO that something must be


done, but there's no commitment whatsoever to do anything


substantial about it, so very far from the days of the grand alliance


that won the Cold War. Tom Newton Dunn and Tamara Cohen, enjoy your


week. Our panel, as you can see, you are young, thrusting, modernising


types, but what about rest of Parliament? Does it need to be


dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century? I said that with


conviction. This week, MPs will discuss whether to split the role of


the clerk of the Commons in order to have a Chief Executive who can


devote all his or her time running the place and have a separate role


for an expert to advise the speaker on Parliamentary procedure, but is


this necessary, Ming? You have to remember that the role of the clerk


of the House has constitutional significance. Not least because the


appointment is actually made by the Queen on the recommendation of the


Prime Minister. So far as I know recently, there has never been an


occasion when that recommendation was made and the monarch of the day


turned it down. Building on what we have been talking about this


morning, the next 18 months at least are perhaps -- or perhaps the next


five or six years, will be enormously significant in


constitution. Think of the legislation that will be necessary


if there was a vote for independence in order to give effect to that. If


ever there was a time when the help of Parliament you need somebody who


is thoroughly and completely skilled in that and remember, we are a


legislature, we are not a business. It just happens that there are quite


a lot of business motions. Don't doubt that for a moment. I don't see


why you cannot create a structure in which the clerk of the House retains


his or her position, but that you have someone who is responsible like


that of the chief operating officer. The Chief Executive, with a chief


operating officer. You can construct something of that kind, which helps


you deal with the business issues, but also preserves the primacy and


constitutional importance of the clerk. This has been caused, this


row, by John Bercow, proposing Carol Mills from the Australian


Parliament, who many feel she is not adequately qualified. Does he


survive this? That's not for me to judge, but fo the House. What do you


think? I have to tell you that the situation that has arisen over the


clerk is for me like telling a whole lot of heart surgeons they're moving


to the top of their profession and then appointing a dentist to head up


that section of the hospital. For me, Ming is absolutely right and I


agree, we need that expertise from that number of men and women that


have come up between all the administrations, that has that


experience that they can impart. Has he made a mistake. There was a


panel, not just him. What I don't want to do is use this as a rod to


beat the Speaker. Right. You don't think that. I don't think it's


right. That is the important thing. Of course, the House of Commons has


got to keep on modernising and being efficient and effective and I think


Ming has set out the case clearly, but this is being used as a proxy by


people who don't like John Bercow to get at him. We should stand up for


him, because he believes in ensuring that the House reflects all the


expectations of the public. We'll talk about a popular subject, MPs'


pay. Are you in the line of one advertising company, are you worth


it, a 10% increase? I'm not standing at the next election. The fact is


that the independent Parliament standards authority was set up to


determine MPs' pay. Why, because there was a broad consensus after


expenses that MPs should not -- Are MPs worth it? Yes. Are they worth


it? I think most MPs do a thoroughly, good job and it should


be decided on independently. This is the wrong time. Yes, they are. I


have said this to Lorraine Kennedy's face, at this moment, and we have


heard Frances O'Grady, the idea that we would get - I'm not standing


after next May either. The idea we get a 10% increase immediately


before an election frankly makes so sense whatsoever. There is a good


reason for that, if someone may choose that, but where do the


burdens fall? MPs will be responsible. Everyone who stantes in


the next general election will be asked the question, will you or will


you not take it? Rich people will say no, people who need the money


will say, they think they will take it. It distorts the position. What


do you get when you cross Angela Merkel and John Prescott? I dread to


think. Or Boris Johnson and Karl Marx. Please, don't send your


answers in. Our Adam has been out and about finding out about some


pretty strange political mashups. Westminster tube, used by more than


30,000 people every day. Lots of them hacks. And MPs. They're always


bombarded with adverts for something, whether a campaign,


company or lobby group, but look what has popped up today. Yes, it's


Maggie and gevara. Do you think the guerilla look suits her? I don't


think any look suits her, but not the worst. The whole point is to get


people to think not left and right, but do you think it's good? I don't


think so really. Personally, I don't think they should have altered the


image like that. Who is it dig respectful to who? Thatcher. We are


Conservative mainly, so posters don't do nothing for me. I kwieBG


like Margaret Thatcher. There are plenty more to come. Boris with Karl


Marx and Angela Merkel with John prosecution so the. All dreamt up by


a group called the Social Economy Alliance. We want to get to that


part of people's brains where they have to stop and think and have to


be confused and reorder the thoughts and allow a different space for a


different way of thinking about economics and business. Even the


ticket barriers are plastered with them, so tonight I've got to decide


do I go home through Michaels Foot and Gove or May and Harman. It's so


difficult. Since you enjoyed that so much, team cue have a go at trying


to divide the mash yups we have put together. No-one like the Angela


Merkel and John Prescott one. We'll go for the first one. Take a look


and see if you can tell us who they are. Who is this? Douglas Carswell


and Andrew George. No, David Cameron. Not a good look. No. We'll


try number two. Highly improbable! Yes, it is. Number two. That's an


interesting mashup. Who do you think that is? Boris Johnson and... I'm


frightened to say. No, say it. I love the fact that you're frightened


to say. There's a passing resemblance to somebody who is


sitting next to me. Number three. Who is that? Ming the Terrible? I'm


afraid it's me. It's not just you. It's Ming the Merciless and you? Do


you like that? The principal cartoonist in The Guardian for a


long time, that was his motif, and after I became leader he made me


look less frightening. We have time to find out the answer to the quiz.


Do you remember the question, after the summit, where did President


Obama go? Stonehenge. Do you remember the picture with the


family. They must have been surprised to see President Obama


going through. Yes, there it is. That is the correct answer. Well


done all of you. I'm going to say thank you to all our guests. I'm


sorry the programme goes through so quickly. We had so much to talk


about. The One O'Clock News is starting over on BBC One now and


I'll be here at noon tomorrow with all the big political stories of the


day. Make sure you join me. From all of us here, goodbye.


Until there's concrete proof he's acting irresponsibly,


What are you doing?! Don't get him out!


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