05/11/2015 Daily Politics


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After the UK suspends flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh over


security fears, the Government says it's doing all


Thousands of British holiday makers are stuck in the Egyptian resort


following fresh fears over the cause of the Russian airline disaster.


There is a growing British and American belief that the airliner


was blown up mid air. The Government says there is


a significant possibility that the crash was caused


by an explosive device. As President Sisi


of Egypt arrives in the UK for an important visit, the crisis in


Sharm el Sheikh is a major diplomatic


headache for the Government. Tax credits -


is it time for a complete rethink? George Osborne is urged to scrap any


cuts to tax credits altogether. And do you know your Das Capital


from your Communist Manifesto? We report on the surging demand


for radical left-wing literature. I'd better put my copy of the


commonest manifesto on eBay! We might get as much as for a Daily


Politics mug. All that in the next hour -


and with us for the whole of the programme today, the Shadow


Secretary of State for International The biggest title I've ever had to


introduce you with! Five days on from the Russian


airline disaster over Egypt, which killed all 224 people on board,


Britain has suspended flights to and from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh,


from where the plane had departed. It was en route to St Petersberg and


was a charter holiday flight for holiday-makers.


The Government increasingly seems to think it was a terrorist attack.


David Cameron has today chaired another meeting of the Government's


emergency committee, Cobra, and we're joined now from Whitehall


Norman, I know there's a lot of demonstrations going on, with


Egyptians and so on. I hope they are leaving you alone. Although the


government clearly doesn't yet know for sure, it seems that the British


and the Americans are moving towards the conclusion that it was a bomb.


Yeah, I think it's pretty clear that certainly the British government


believes this was an ISO attack. When the Foreign Secretary, Philip


Hammond, was asked directly, was this an Isis bomb, he said, "that


supposition is a possibility". Strip away the diplomatic niceties and


that basically means yes, we think so. There are lots of different


affiliated groups to Isis but that clearly is the thinking in British


government circles and the suggestion seems to be that this is


a result of intelligence which came to Britain independently of the


Russian investigation into the crash site. It is not all clear how much


information has actually been forthcoming from the Russians accept


that one side, the British government yesterday became


absolutely clear that they to move and move very quickly. Let me tell


you this. The emergency Cobra meeting has actually just finished.


The Prime Minister has said a few words. He is flagging up that


getting the British holiday-makers home could take "sometime". That


would fit in with everything else that we've been hearing this


morning. Philip Hammond saying, "we will do everything we can to make


sure Sharm el-Sheikh airport is safe, but that is regardless of the


inconvenience, regardless of the delays, regardless of the time


endeavoured it takes". I take that to mean that people should not


expect that just because flights are likely to begin again tomorrow that


they are going to be able to hop on a plane tomorrow. It seems that it


could take quite a bit of time to get people home. There have also


been suggestions that Hercules RAF planes could be on stand-by to take


people home. That isn't going to be much of an answer because they only


carry around 100 people. The last factor which is adding to the


likelihood of the delay is the suggestion that other countries may


be poised to follow the British examples. The Dutch have already


followed our example. Philip Hammond this morning said he expected more


to do the same. When you put that together, the situation at Sharm


el-Sheikh airport seems to me to be one that will be very slow,


protracted and difficult and if you are a holiday-maker there, I think


you will have to brace yourself for some considerable delays. That's


interesting. Tell me this, coming back to the diplomacy. Never mind


the Russians, the Egyptians have their own reasons for not wanting


this to be a terrorist attack. They are highly dependent on tourism,


particularly in places like Sharm el-Sheikh. We suspended the


flights, in line but it is a bomb, but how will this affect the visit


of the Egyptian president and influence what Mr Cameron hopes to


get out of this meeting? -- in plying it is a bomb. There is no


doubt that from my colleagues who were spoken to senior figures from


the Egyptian government, they are steaming furious at the fact the


British government appears to have pretty much acted and then told the


Egyptian government what we were doing but the view in Downing Street


was that the pressure was such, planes were about to take off,


decisions had to be made. They couldn't staff around with all the


diplomatic niceties for top they had to act then. But if you're an


Egyptian, you are thinking, what is going on? This is our airport, this


is a potential body blow to our economy, you don't have the courtesy


to tell us what is going on. Inevitably, relations are going to


be bruised, particularly when part of this visit wasn't just about


security and the emerging threat from Isis in North Africa but was


also about trying to build better economic links. If tourism goes down


the Suwanee in Egypt as a result of this, that is going to be a fairly


significant body blow to economic relations. Thank you very much for


that. Good of you to update us and mark our card. The British and the


Americans set the standards on global international flights and I


think it is clear other countries will follow. The Irish and the Dutch


have done, as Norman said. Norman was talking about the impact on to


wrist and travel companies. And to get a sense of what this all


means for British tourists and travel companies, we're joined now


by Sean Tipton of the Association The Foreign Secretary has said that


flights won't be resumed until the situation is safe. That could be


days. Normal business may not resume tomorrow at all. It may be the


weekend. It may well be. We're in the hands of the governments and the


security experts who flown out from the UK to make sure that people can


fly safely. I certainly heard Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary,


saying this morning that he was quite optimistic that flights could


resume tomorrow so that's a good sign. I want to stress that the


advice from the foreign office is that they are advising against all


but essential travel to and from Sharm el-Sheikh airport. That is


important because that is how you are going to get home but they are


not saying that about the resort itself. We have around 9000


customers on package holidays, many of whom haven't been there terribly


long and if they were due to be there for two weeks, they will be


continuing with their holidays. We are not being asked to get people


out of the resort as quickly as possible. They will come back in


normal way. So I say for the vast majority of passengers who are there


now, they will continue with their holidays and come back on their


originally scheduled flights. The issue will be for people who were


due to travel yesterday or until the government is happy that the


security situation has improved at Sharm el-Sheikh airport. If they are


on packages, they will almost certainly an all-inclusive package


and our members will simply let them stay in hotels and if there are any


extra bills, them to us. A lot of people may have travelled


independently and flown out with various airlines who have made their


own arrangements for accommodation. They are in a slightly different


situation. The airlines will accept bills for reasonable expenses but


they may have to pay that themselves and then take it up with the airline


when they get back to the UK. We have to end it there. Diane, we have


stopped all flights because we think there is a significant possibility


that ISDN and the plane. I haven't seen the information that government


ministers have seen but you have to accept that they have to


ministers have seen but you have to lives of British holiday-makers


first. Clearly it is disastrous for the Egyptian economy but in the


end, that is not their responsibility. The British


government have gone out on a limb. There has been some surprise from


aviation experts who have expressed intrigue stop


aviation experts who have expressed word to say


aviation experts who have expressed decision to take the action that the


Egyptians are obvious the very upset about?


Egyptians are obvious the very upset Hammond announcer? My understanding


is that they Hammond announcer? My understanding


of the United States. In such a situation, you have to be prepared


to accept situation, you have to be prepared


information you haven't seen and it is people's lives. The Americans


will have satellite surveillance is people's lives. The Americans


can't second-guess ministers who have seen security intelligence.


As Norman mentioned, the Prime Minister convened a meeting of


Cobra, the emergency Cabinet committee, this morning, to discuss


the situation in Egypt post of the Russian disaster and


the situation in Egypt post of the Minister had a few words to say as


he left the Cobra meeting. Let's hear what it was. First of all, I


have every sympathy for the Egyptians because, of course,


tourism is vitally important to the economy. I want to restore our links


and our flights with Egypt as soon is is safe and is possible but I


have to put the safety of British people first. If that Russian


airliner was brought down by a terrorist bomb, that does have very


real implications and it means it is absolutely essential that we see


that improvement of security at Sharm el-Sheikh airport, and that's


what I'll be discussing with the Egyptians today and we'll be working


round-the-clock with our experts to help put that in place. The Prime


Minister speaking in the Cabinet room after the emergency meeting of


Cobra. As we've been hearing,


the events of the last few hours have overshadowed Egyptian President


Sisi's visit to the UK. David Cameron will meet Mr Sisi this


afternoon, although the President's human rights record has made many


uneasy about the visit. President Sisi arrived in the UK


last night David Cameron argues it's


in Britain's interest to have a stable Egypt to help halt the


spread of extremism in the region. The Egyptian leader led


the army's overthrow of the democratically elected


Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi Since then, more than 1,000 people


have been killed and 40,000 are believed to have been


jailed in a crackdown on dissent. President Sisi has told


the BBC that there is "a roadmap for real democracy in Egypt" and argues


that the threat from militants means The problem is particularly acute in


Egypt's Sinai region, which is also home to the heavily guarded and


lucrative resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the plane crashed and where


the UK has suspended flights. David Cameron may be willing to help


President Sisi, with reports this morning that he will announce new


curbs on Muslim Brotherhood activity in the UK - although how tough they


will be remains to be seen. Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday that


the Prime Minister's invitation to the Egyptian President showed


"contempt for human and democratic rights and threatens,


rather than protects, Speaking in the Commons a short


while ago, the Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood said David


Cameron would be bringing up human It is no secret that we want to see


more political progress in Egypt, better protection of Egyptians'


constitutional rights, freedom of expression, more space


for NGOs and civil society. These rights


and freedoms are essential But megaphone diplomacy is not


the way to succeed in putting Instead, we need to treat each other


as real partners and have frank The visit provides an opportunity


for the Prime Minister to emphasise his desire to see more


political progress in Egypt. Joining me now is the


Conservative MP and former defence minister Gerald


Howarth - he now chairs the All And Tim Marshall, who is the former


Foreign Affairs editor of Sky News. Welcome to you both. Let me start


with some basics. Tim, how bad is the human rights situation in Egypt?


As bad as it has ever been under all the previous leaders, including


President Morsi who was overthrown. There is a continuum. Under the


current president, the judiciary has been co-opted. There is massive


pressure on journalists to toe the party line, and torture remains


routine. It is no better or worse than it was before the Miss named


Arab Spring. So it is like the days under Mubarak? A slight difference


is that although they had the quasi-democracy under Mubarak where


they pretended to count the votes, they really did have a vote for this


guy and 96% voted for this president. Do we believe that? More


or less. You can massage it a bit but the clear majority, even if it


wasn't 96%, voted for him because after the turmoil of 2012-14, they


wanted the strongman back and they voted for the strongman and they've


got the strong man and he's, you could say, being strong. It is as it


was. I take it that the government has been further encouraged, or


facilitated, in its clamp-down by this developing terrorist situation


in the northern Sinai. Could you explain how these... First of all,


how bad it is in the Sinai and how it is linked to the domestic


situation? When the Muslim Brotherhood was


overthrown with popular support, it was suppressed and put completely


underground. Therefore large sections of it have turned to


terror. There's a ready made terrorist organisation already


there. They've born affinity with Islamic State. They are called Sinai


Province. The worst of it is in north Sinai. There's at least 1,500


fighters who've signed allegiance to IS. Takes you to potential attack on


Russia and on tourism. You collapse tourism and you really, really


damage Egypt into that vacuum you try and step. It has spread from


northern Sinai into some of the major cities. But very sporadically.


Most is in northern Sinai. There you've had a Croatian hostage


beheaded. Numerous attacks on army checkpoints and one very serious


attack this year where 13 different positions were attacked


simultaneously. That takes training. It is a proper insurgery in northern


Sinai. Thank you. We have to deal with lots of Governments. That's


what being in Government means. From what we hear from Tim and the


crackdown taken in Egypt, shouldn't we be supping with a long spoon?


We've the the President of the people's republic of China here. We


know what their record on human rights and cyber attack on this


country and around the world. It is entirely right that the British


Government's invited President Sisi to come here. Egypt is a very


important component in regional stability. Egypt has made a big


contribution into trying to resolve the Arab/Israeli problem. A


continuing problem. They face a real threat as Tim outlined. We face the


same threat. They are trying to deal with it. I think the UK is extremely


well placed to #234e7 in counter-terrorism. We should be


helping President Sisi? Absolutely. Really? It is clear, of course, the


human rights issue is important. The Prime Minister must deal with it.


Would we have liked people telling us how to deal with Northern Ireland


when we had interment without trial and issues like that? We faced...


Beam did tell us. Not many from outside except perhaps the United


States and those in Chicago, I think, had a voice. I want to be


clear, I want to bring Diane in, it is not just enough to sup with a


long spoon. You think we should be an ally of President Sisi? We


should. If Egypt goes down, this is the most populist country. They have


a population of 90 million. The next is Saudia Arabia with a third of


that. They have a millennia of experience and, as a cultural centre


in the middle East, they're very influential. Diane Abbott, we don't


need to like this Government. We often don't get to choose what


Governments we like and don't like. Egypt, it's probably the most


important Arab country in the middle east, the one the rest of the Middle


East looks to for culture. We have to deal with it? Yes, biyou think it


was wrong to issue this invitation. It has been issued, he's coming now.


As well as discussing what's happening in Sharm el-Sheikh and the


important political considerations we have to have a dialogue about


human rights? We should be speaking to him? We should not have issued


the inas a result ace but if we are to solve some of the problems in the


region we have to talk to people we may not want to. Including President


Sisi? Mr Corbyn, your leader, argued that President Sisi's presence in


the UK threatened our national security. Why? The leader of the


Labour Party was post-innovatation and so was I. Why does it threaten


our national security? I think this is a tightrope. It could be that be


being seen to support a sleeteder with such a horrible record on human


rights, we create instability. It's a judgment. That's right but that


would be a case for not talking to him at all. Not a matter of timing.


If he's a threat to our national security we shouldn't be talking to


him at all by Mr Corbyn's lights. Not just the timing's unfortunate.


The argument about these official invitations whether China or


President Sisi, offering that level of acknowledge 789, it is almost


like you're rubber-stamping their human rights atrocities. But we're


talking about human rights. If he wasn't here we probably wouldn't be.


Explain the logic Mr Corbyn doesn't want to talk to President Sisi


because of his human rights record but has been happy to call


Hezbollah, Hamas the IRA friends. Look at their human rights record. I


don't think anyone is literally saying we shouldn't talk to


President Sisi. Your leader said he's a threat to national security.


Do we award him the honour of this visit. We will all, including


Gerald, have to talk to people we don't particularly like. The they


have regular hangings of homosexuals. Been throwing people


off buildings. Should we not talk to them? None of the problems in


off buildings. Should we not talk to region will be solved without


off buildings. Should we not talk to talking to some major regional


players. Doesn't that include Egypt? Like Egypt, like Iran. In particular


in relation to human rights we have to talk to people. Diane made the


cases why we should to talk to people. Diane made the


sorry your to talk to people. Diane made the


beige as you Diane. Our about this invitation. Not that at


no point or place... It is only about timing? It's about this


invitation. about timing? It's about this


out to be for the ewe about timing? It's about this


of what happened with this plane crash in Sharm el-Sheikh? There's a


serious cape abimity in the Sinai desert with terrorists linked to the


people we're fighting with our desert with terrorists linked to the


bombing raids in Iraq and are active in Syria? It seems to


bombing raids in Iraq and are active putting the human rights record


aside, I understand that, now's not a bad time to take to the Egyptian


president. We're going to have to communicate with him. At every


level. There are two extra elements I'd like to put in. After the


misnamed Arab Spring we've seen what happens when we get dragged in and


misnamed Arab Spring we've seen what don't deal with people. We got


kicked out of Afghanistan, Iraq similar. The current Government


kicked out of Afghanistan, Iraq us involved in Libya. Said


kicked out of Afghanistan, Iraq stand shoulder to shoulder with the


Libyan people and walked away. This is the guy who lives next to Libya.


Do we really not want to talk to him about the Libyan situation and other


things? Can you imagine if Egypt went the same way as these other


countries? There are Coptic Christians there, about 1 million of


them. If Egypt, God forbid, went down that road, those 12 million


Christians would be in a serious amount of trouble. Run the risk of


being massacred. Do you want to engage with this guy and find out


what the hell is going on inside Egypt or just say, I'm not talking


to you. Why, I know you need to get away... We have a statement from the


secretary for transport. Is it seemly for Mr David Cameron to


announce a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood while the President's


here? Is that really the right thing to do. Isn't that playing to the


gallery? There's been a review done of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK.


That review is about to be produced. I'm sure his visit is a good


opportunity to do that. He took over from President Morsi. The idea


President Morsi was is saint, he was not. He suspended the constitution.


I don't think anyone said he was a saint. Tim set out the history of


Egypt. Not a happy history. Here's an opportunity for the UK, which


knows the region, everybody tells me when I go as a minister to visit the


region, they say, we don't expect the Americans to understand. We


expect you to. You've been here for 200 years. Let's seize the


opportunity for Britain to influence Egypt for the good and help the


region to boot. We Jo understood it so well that not one of our highly


paid ambassadors predicted the Arab Spring. Thank you. Thank you.


Well, with concerns that terrorist activity may have been involved


in the downing of the Russian jet in Sinai, it was timely for MPs


yesterday to discuss plans to give the security services greater powers


to intercept the communications of internet users in the UK.


The Home Secretary said the new Investigatory Powers Bill


would allow officers to see a list of websites visited without needing


a warrant, but that safeguards were in place to ensure the content


of a person's browsing history was not immediately accessible.


Here's a a quick recap of the debate.


Mr Speaker, the legislation we are proposing today is unprecedented.


It will provide unparalleled openness and transparency


It will provide the strongest safeguards and world-leading


oversight arrangements, and it will give the men and women of our


security and intelligence agencies and our law enforcement agencies,


who do so much to keep us safe and secure, the powers they need to


This will place a double lock on the authorisation of our most


Democratic accountability through the Secretary


of State to ensure our intelligence agencies operate in the interests


of the citizens of this country, and the public reassurance of


The issues which this proposed legislation seeks to tackle go


Any government will face a difficult task in balancing the


security of the nation with privacy and liberties of individual citizens


and as somebody who was in the Home Office on 7/7, I know that challenge


We will examine carefully the detail of the draft bill


and seek to improve the safeguards to build trust but having listened


carefully to what the Home Secretary had to say today, I believe she has


responded to legitimate concerns and broadly got that difficult


Her last bill on this fraught but important subject hit


the buffers but this bill is a much improved model,


though I have the feeling that under the bonnet it still retains some


even if I'm one of the few who do remain concerned, about the


excessive powers which will be given to the security authorities in


Diane abpot, do you agree with Andy Burnham Theresa May got it right


this time? It is a much better bill. The main thing which makes it better


is the involvement of judges. We'll subject it to scrutiny in committee.


We'll see what comes out of that process. What are you still unhappy


with? We're unhappy about whether these very sweeping powers are


really necessary. I have to admit to the fact I have a slight element of


bias. I was the subject of undercover policing in another life.


The Labour Party as a whole takes these issues very seriously. Right,


scrutiny but not voting against. You'll join the Shadow Cabinet to


vote with Andy Burnham in favour? Scrutiny, if we feel it needs


amending, we will amend it. We'll look at it line by line. You say


there are sweeping powers. Theresa May says there are safeguards in


place. Judges having authorisation in some cases. She says people can't


access everyone's browsing history, just basic data. A modern equivalent


of an itemised phone bill. Are you convinced by that? I am prepared. If


officers want to mount more intrusive spying operations,


including accessing the content of emails, they'll still need a warrant


from the Home Secretary or another senior minister. Is that enough for


you? That is important. But, in the past, it seems that scrutiny


undercover activity went on without a proper warrant. Jeremy Corbyn has


historically opposed any increases in powers. Said the existing powers


were enough. What will he do now? We have a collective position as a


party on this bill. Andy Burnham set it out. The key thing will be how we


are able to amend the bill and what comes up under scrutiny. You've


previously said, regarding the data retention and investigatory powers


act, spooks convinced gullible leaders of all three parties to push


through I will liberal legislation. Do you think think that's happening


here still? Spooks did but the important thing about this ledge Is


slayings is the judicial checks and balances which is what makes it


different from the Liberal Democrat isolation we were presented before.


Some of your MPs aren't convinced the privacy concerns have been taken


on board enough. David Winnick is sceptical. A lot of us are but we


are happy to be convinced as the bill goes through its stages.


A big report has come out this morning. Inflation, which is 0% by


the CPI measure this year, will stay below 1% until at least the second


half of next year. It has extended the period of low inflation. It has


cut growth for this year but only very marginally. It is also said,


and this is a big development, that it is going to keep the quantitative


easing, the electronic printing of money that I grow 375 billion - it


will stay out there until inflation hits the bank's target of 2%. But as


a major change our at least a loosening of our policy.


The Government has promised to look again


at its proposed cuts to tax credits after the proposal was defeated


Here's what George Osborne had to say to the House of Commons


I said I would listen and that's precisely what I intend to do.


I believe we can achieve the same goal of reforming tax credits,


saving the money we need to save to secure our economy, while at the


That is what I intend to do at the Autumn Statement.


I'm determined to deliver that lower welfare, higher wage economy that we


were elected to deliver and the British people want to see.


And we can welcome viewers in Scotland, who have been watching


first ministers questions. Although he's been forced


in to a U-turn of sorts, Mr Osborne says he is determined to push


through with reform to tax credits. However, the Resolution Foundation,


which deals with policy issues that affect those on low incomes,


says the Chancellor should scrap his planned cuts to tax credits


altogether and says Torsten Bell is the Director


of the Resolution Foundation, and we're also joined by the


Chief Executive of the Welcome to both of you. We've heard


about weeks being made. Things are going to be done to mitigate cuts to


tax credits. So how can you say that he should drop the idea altogether


when we don't quite know what he is proposing? Your was the right, we


don't know what he's proposing but the state of the debate we're now at


is that we are at the stage where something must be done and we are


looking at what the options are that Osborne has Ed Veal statement which


is now only 20 days away. Our view is that fudge options, where they


are tweaked a little, would deliver economically or politically for the


Chancellor. He should look to reverse some of the changes and he


can do that while maintaining his fiscal objectives. So you are saying


there isn't money that can be spent that will make a dramatic enough


change to tax credit cuts, or make the savings he once? Clearly there


are things the Chancellor could do and we should welcome his raising of


the new national minimum wage, which will benefit some people who boos


from the tax credit changes but further increases to the minimum


wage or tax cuts won't compensate them for losing tax credits. These


are fundamentally different people. Five ways you've got of changing the


system and offering an alternative. Why didn't the government come up


with that? If they are so obvious and seem to be pain-free, why


wouldn't the Chancellor have come up with them? Very few decisions in


politics are trade free -- pain-free and they involve trade-offs. He will


be looking to make trade-offs when -- on the 25th of December. You have


an amount of pain borne by a small group of people and that will ease


the pressure. Before we go onto exactly what you are proposing, do


you accept that cuts to tax credits, morally, were the right thing to do?


I certainly wouldn't have started from here and I think there are a


lot of things the government should have been looking at before it


looked at cutting these tax credits, not least the benefits received by


pensioners. Inflation is running at no % this year. We've got pensions


going up by 2.5%. That is utterly unsustainable and unaffordable and


the government should be looking up that kind of thing. The fact that


winter fuel payments are given to every pensioner, even millionaire


pensioners, despite the fact that the government has rightly stopped


giving child benefit to better off families. It is still giving winter


flu payments to the richest pensioners. Ugly unjustifiable. --


winter fuel payments. There are other things that should have been


cut first but there are also other things the government needs to be


looking at that it should be doing things the government needs to be


itself to give people a better and more affordable cost of living. When


forced and was working for Ed Miliband, Ed Miliband rightly talked


about the cost of living crisis in this country. We've got to remember


the this country. We've got to remember


through taxes. The poorest in this country pay a huge amount for that


is -- of their disposable income on VAT and fuel duty. Housing in this


country is incredible expensive because planning restrictions


resulting not of homes being built, which means rises are more expensive


than they should be. There are things that government itself should


be doing at the outset to improve the cost of living for everybody.


Your suggestions? We are trying to say there are a range of ways the


Chancellor can do this because they will all face different trade-offs.


Even without raising any additional taxes, the Chancellor could reverse


the most punitive parts of the tax credits, the cut to the income


threshold, where you start to lose your tax credits when you're earning


increases, and still deliver fiscal objectives by the end of this


Parliament. Was it ever acceptable to have taxpayers and the government


topping up people's income, just as a principle, with that bill now at


?30 billion a year? At the time Gordon Brown brought them in, the


alternative would have been to put up child benefit quite sharply and


have a higher minimum wage, quite a distinctly higher minimum wage, and


the judgment at the time was that that wasn't politically acceptable.


Torsten is a boffin. Is that a compliment? He was Ed Miliband's


boffin but the policy is clear. It is this government taking money off


the strivers, exactly the working people whose support they need if


they are going to become what George Osborne tried to post a few weeks


ago they had become, the party of the workers. His tax credit strategy


has blown his "we are the party of the workers" strategy out of the


water. That's his political problem. Can I pick up something you said at


the start of that question, which is the 30 million tax credit bill


doesn't all go to working families. The majority of that goes to out of


work families and is wrong to talk about that subsidising employers.


There is no country in the world that doesn't provide a form of in


work support so the idea of a black-and-white ideological... Once


you're in work, the firm should pave everything for large families, that


isn't a world that exists and is available to us. You would be


talking about minimum wage is much higher than anywhere in the world.


The Chancellor in the last parliament said that tax credits


were serving three different objectives. Tackling child poverty,


improving work incentives for those on low incomes but it is also


providing some cash support for those on hiring comes and he did


change that. There is an argument that that is a reasonable thing to


do stopped -- higher incomes. He is now cutting into the core of the


system, which is why we are getting large losses for working people. How


much should somebody be working at the point where tax credits stop? I


don't think it is for me to pluck a number out of the air but I think


the government needs to look at what it is doing itself. It is making the


cost of living more expensive for people. Moreover, the whole tax


credit system is incredibly compensated to understand. We all


remember a few weeks ago the woman on Question Time talking about her


potential losses of tax credits. It emerged later she isn't going to


lose out. It is the perception. The fact that you have the tax credits


system and you have the tax system separated... We have said for some


time that there would be an argument for introducing a negative income


tax which would be administered and integrated inside the tax system so


that you don't have the DWP and HMRC both playing with different pots of


money... It is complicated but the truth is that hundreds of thousands


of people - David Cameron still won't admit how many - are going to


lose money. Real people, real lives. We will see what happens in the


spending review and the Autumn Statement. But since Diane mentioned


it, because we weren't going to mention it at all, she did say you


were Miliband's director of policy. How do you think his successor is


getting on? I worked for the Labour Party for five years and I'm really


proud to have done that. I now work for a charity working for low and


middle income families. That is different and we will be holding


parties and policies across the spectrum into account. I'm not going


to get into a commentary. The British public are going to do judge


their views on Jeremy Corbyn, George Osborne and others. You don't want


former advisers being the people casting their judgment on them. Oh,


we do. Do you think it is right that Ed Miliband stepped down after the


election and left a vacuum stop to you think you should have stuck


around? Looking at it as a human being, asking someone to go back


into the House of Commons to do Prime Minister's Questions after


eight general election defeat is asking a lot. You were apparently


the man who came up with the idea of the Ed Stone and we would like to


give it away as a Daily Politics prize. Where is it? The honest


answer to your question is, I have absolutely no idea, which is


probably in my interests and your interests and stop was a your idea?


I'd take responsibility for anything good or bad ... Was it your idea?


What did you think of it? I can't tell you where the Ed Stone is but I


can tell you that we will not be going into stone masonry it any time


in the next few years. What gave you the idea? Lots of ideas in the heat


of politics come and go. You and I should be thinking that we did a big


service to British Telecom by providing that level of fun and


amusement for a considerable period of time. We put you through the


ringer! Diane, the Parliamentary Labour Party have elected a series


of chairs and they are all what we might call moderates in the party -


Tristram Hunt, Caroline Flint, Stephen Timms stop it has been


described as the Shadow shadow cabinet. What do you say? They are


great men and women and those of us in the shadow cabinet look forward


to working with them closely. Why is your nose getting longer? I didn't


notice that! Very soon. Thank you, gentlemen.


The Stop the War Coalition has been accused of not allowing Syrians to


speak during a panel discussion about Syria.


It was chaired by our very own Diane Abbott.


The Stop the War Coalition has been criticised for allowing no Syrians


on a panel and for reportedly not allowing Syrian activists to speak


from the floor. Let's get a flavour of some of the rather heated


exchanges. You're not even letting Syrians


speak! You invite people because they are socialists. You don't even


let them speak. You have them on your platform and then you lecture


us? Let me try... You told me I would speak and you lied. Police?


You are getting coppers for us now? That is so radical. You cannot


exclude Syrians who are Democrats. Some of you will recognise Peter


Tatchell making his point at the end of that little clip.


Joining us now is Muzna who is from the Syria Solidarity Movement.


She was at that meeting on Monday night.


Talking about Syria, what to do about Syria, and why were there no


Syrians on the panel? I chaired the meeting first off I didn't determine


the panel. But I did call is Syrian speaker but as you can see, it was a


tricky meeting to chair. I will come on to that in a second. If it had


been up to you, would you have put Syrians on the panel? If it had been


up to me, we would have had a wide-ranging panel. Why did you


chair it? Because I feel very strongly that people need to hear


the case. I have a long-standing commitment on that. But not strongly


enough that you have to hear from Syrians? I called a Syrians. But on


the panel. That was a matter. The war. You need to talk to them. I


can't tell who was Syrian and who wasn't but we had Crispin Blunt who


came... He is not Syrian. He came outspoken because he had to leave, I


called speakers after he had spoken in the first speaker I called was a


Syrian. The Syrians were called from the floor, or were they? I am the


first Syrian woman who was called and I was only called because one of


the audience pointed at me to be allowed to speak. And then I was


interrupted and then other Syrians were not allowed to speak and we


were obviously we were. We were at the back, we were shouting, we were


waving, doing whatever we can to get noticed. This is about Syria and


Syrians' voices should be there. Did Diane give you a fair hearing or


not? No and this is traditional for the Stop the War Coalition. They


don't want to listen to Syrians. If they listened to Syrians, they would


have much better information to make decisions but they have this the


re-about nonintervention and they want to apply it without


information. If they listened to Syrians and did their homework on


what is happening on the ground and what we really want, they would have


a different position but they are not even doing that. What Syrians in


the UK want is the protection of civilians. This is what we want.


This is what we advocate and we are not asking for imperial powers to


come and occupy our country. We want a stop to the killing and that's not


going to happen by political talks. We had years and years of political


talks that are producing nothing. We all want an end to the killing.


When the House of Commons produce add report after that meeting, that


sets out where we all want to stop the killing, the UK coming and


bombing Syria in current circumstances will not save lives.


I'm not clear that's what you're asking for, is it? The major


problem... Are you, or not? They were debating bombing ISIS, whether


we wanted to say of it ISIS. The cancer is the dictatorship. I was


looking at reports from this stop of the war meeting. Andrew Murray's


quite a big figure in stop of the war. He was a chair or still is? I'm


not sure. It was about stopping the -- it was not about stopping the war


at all... It's about helping as sad win the war. That's what it was


about. I don't recognise that description. That's what Andrew


Murray called for. He wanted as sad to defeat ISIS -- Asad. I was on the


Murray called for. He wanted as sad frontbench calling not for bombing


Syria two years ago. Am I wrong? did a lot of the stop the war


people, did they asad to attack eyes skis? They want to make it


legitimate again. ISIS is like this big tool throwing sands in the eyes


so you don't see the real problem which is Asad. I don't know a single


Labour MP that wants legitimise Asad. Siren will never accept Asad


if remains in power. The Syrian people want a free country, a


democratic country. We deserve that. The problem is that Stop the War


Coalition is very active on refugee cause. Very active on Palestine, on


Iraq. But when it comes to Syria, they ethically fail. Are we not


worthy until we drown on your shores? One doesn't have to agree or


disagree but would it not have been a rather useful Stop the War


Coalition event to have heard all that at the event you chaired? She


hasn't got quite to the point. What's the answer to me question?


Would it not have been useful to have heard that? The event was about


the arguments against military intervention. You want to argue for


military intervention. You're perfectly entitled to do that. The


event was to support Asad. No. It was. You are shifting the discourse.


That wasn't the title. It could be named anything. What happened really


is you shifted the discourse from arguing to stop Asad from killing


civilians to stop ISIS and make us legitimate again. Asad kill seven


times more civilians than ISIS. This week, I want to tell you what do you


want to say to people there? They want protection. Why would you not,


Stop the War Coalition of people who are pacifist, you don't want to go


to war and throw Britain's weight around, why would you not want


tolies Yoann to that? We do. You didn't. You stopped them speaking.


Did you call the police? No. The police were called? I don't know


about that. They were called. One of our members was escorted outside and


asked repeatedly to lead. Why did you do that? I wouldn't do that. A


radical politician like yourself, I'm not chairing this anymore, I'm


joining the protesters. I was not aware the police were called. I


didn't see the police. Let me say one thing, there is not a line from


me on the record or any Labour MP saying we want to rehabilitate Asad.


This is not about you, Diane. It is like giving people like money zoo a


voice. -- Munza. You get to finish. The Green Party MP asked to hear


from Syrians. You didn't allow it to happen. We were there, because we


wanted our voice to be heard. It is veryrespect to discuss our country


and not to let Syrians speak. I hope you feel the Daily Politics allowed


you to have your voice:. The Transport Secretary has been updated


Parliament on the situation in Sinai and the decision to cancel nights.


The decisions we made were based on the review of all the information


available to us. Some is sensitive. I cannot go into detail on that


information. The House can be assured we've taken this decision on


the basis of the safety of British citizens. There are two stages to


this process. We are wokking with the airlines to put in place a


short-term measure. This could include different arrangements for


handling luggage. Beyond that, we are working with the Egyptians and


airlines to put in place long-term sustainable measures to ensure our


flights remain safe. We very much Pope it will be possible to declare


it is safe to fly to the resort and resume normal flight operations in


due course. But we don't know quite when. That was Patrick McLoughlin in


the House of Commons as the Transport Secretary.


One side effect of the rise of Corbynmania has been


a huge upsurge of interest in Marxist and left-wing literature.


A number of leading stores belonging to the UK's Alliance of


Radical Booksellers said that sales were up and new customers want to


read about the Labour Party history, as well as about socialist,


If books are weapons, then these guys are big time arms dealers.


Bookmarks in London is the UK's biggest socialist bookshop.


Sales are up 20% since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour Leader.


But they reckon it's not just down to him.


I think Jeremy Corbyn's articulated a set of views


and politics that lots of people have wanted expressed.


I think they have been there for a very long time and there's been


Since he's given them that expression, people feel a lot


Noam Chomsky's polemic about Palestine is flying off the shelves.


So too is the book by former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis.


Channel 4 News Economics Editor Paul Mason is


selling well and wait till you hear about Das Capital by Karl Marx.


We've sold more copies of Capital in the last month-and-a-half than


I think a whole wide range of people.


A lot of students are buying it, trying to engage with his ideas.


But I think lots of ordinary people as well that are encountering a


But, what three titles does a self-respecting Corbynista need


About the role of tax, why some people should pay more


because they can and the role of tax in creating a fairer society.


Next one is The Establishment by Owen Jones.


Essentially talking about people at the top of society and how they


run society for their own benefits at the expense of everyone else.


Finally, a big issue at the moment, NHS For Sale.


It is a big issue and people care a lot


This book talks about the privatisation that's happening


And if all that sounds a bit heavy, don't worry, there's a


Jeremy Corbyn colouring book coming out just in time for Christmas!


That's solved your Christmas present for me. It has. Jeffrey Archer, have


you been swept up in Marxist literature. When you rang me


yesterday I thought it was nothing less than my duty to check next


week's bestseller list in hard back. Number one is When You're Dead,


You're Dead. Number four is Binge. He doesn't drink. That can't be him.


Number 8 is Leading. That's Alex Ferguson. Number 17 is Open The


Cage, that's Paul O'Grady. And 47 is Absolutely Pandemonium. The Brian


Blessed autobiography. None of those are leading left books. That's the


top 50. Let's stick with the theme. You haven't picked up your old copy


of Das Capital and had a look? It is a good thing. Anyone going into


bookshops to buy box, I'm all in favour of that. We've seen many


examples, JK Rowling is a classic, out came the great books all in a


row for children. It was the grown-ups who benefitted later.


They've gone on to read other books. She got people into books. So, if Mr


Jeremy Corbyn's getting people into bookshops, that's wonderful. Diane,


have you copies of these Marxist books? I read most of them years


ago. On my Kindle is a book books? I read most of them years


Melvin brag NOW now is the time. Do you agree with that? I can't confess


to have read Melvin brag's latest book so not in a position so


comment. Has Jeremy Corbyn's election interested people? I was


among those and said it publicly, I felt he was bound to win. When the


people were rushing out to pay ?3 to join the Labour Party to get a vote,


they weren't rushing out for Andy Burnham. I worked it out pretty


quickly they were rushing out for Jeremy Corbyn. I said publicly he's


going to win and win easily. It doesn't surprise me. I also think


he'll survive for a very long time. That will be the subject of many


discussions on the Daily Politics over the next fee years. I'm sure


die in ya will be part of some of those. We revisited some of your


books to see if they could find a place in this up surge. First


Amongst Equals And the Labour man wins and become Prime Minister. You


were ahead of your times, it seems. Which books were popular during the


Thatcher years? During the Thatcher Which books were popular during the


years. In terms of political books on the right. Did they


years. In terms of political books upsurge? The big political


years. In terms of political books didn't have an upsurge in that time.


years. In terms of political books The West Wing was a triumph. When


that that start? 15 or 0 -- 20 years ago. So was House Of Cards. Lord


that that start? 15 or 0 -- 20 years Dobbs book. Brilliant. One of the


books to read Dobbs book. Brilliant. One of the


Miliband. The other is Dobbs book. Brilliant. One of the


unexpectedly becomes a leader of his party and is removed by conspiracy.


unexpectedly becomes a leader of his Let's get quickly to the Jeremy


Corbyn colouring book. Are you going do get it? Will it be on your


Corbyn colouring book. Are you going Christmas list? I'm not a colouring


book person. Shouldn't you be? Christmas list? I'm not a colouring


all the rage. Will you get one? No, I think I'm more likely to get yum


one When You're Dead, You're Dead. I think I'm more likely to get yum


Not a very uplifting title. Thank you very much.


That's all for today. Thanks to our guests.


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


I'll be on BBC One tonight with Michael Portillo, Alan Johnson,


And I will be here again in the chair at noon tomorrow with all the


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