19/11/2015 Daily Politics


19/11/2015

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by the Labour peer Joan Bakewell to discuss whether the UK should vote for airstrikes in Syria.


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Afternoon folks, and welcome to the Daily Politics.

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Almost 40,000 junior doctors have voted to go on strike for four days

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Are they putting patients' lives at risk?

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The Lords have voted for 16 and 17 year olds to have a right to vote

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But could their inclusion skew the result?

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Nicola Sturgeon indicates that she's in listening mode on whether British

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warplanes should bomb IS in Syria - could SNP votes help the PM get

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And, on International Men's Day, who's issues are taken more

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Because I think we talk a lot about women's issues these days, we don't

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I don't even know what a men's issue is, but we never hear about it.

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All that in the next hour and with us for the whole

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of the programme today is the broadcaster and Labour Peer, Joan

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First this morning, a ballot of 40,000 junior doctors

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has voted decisively to go out on strike for three days in December.

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Under the plan, junior doctors will provide

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"emergency care only" action for 24 hours on December 1st, followed

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by a full walk out from 8am to 5pm on December 8th and December 16th.

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The strike has been called in response to a new contract that

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It looks like it could be a tricky winter for Jeremy Hunt.

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The new contract is part of the Government's plan to introduce

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a 7 day NHS, arguing the current arrangements are 'outdated'.

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Currently a junior doctors' normal hours are considered to be from 7

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in the morning to 7 in the evening Monday to Friday.

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Mr Hunt wants to change that to 7 in the morning to 10

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in the evening Monday to Friday, and 7-7 on Saturdays.

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In order to sweeten the pill, doctors are being offered

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an 11% pay rise, as well as curbs in overtime, and Jeremy Hunt claims

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However the BMA argues doctors will be forced to work more anti-social

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hours which would affect patient safety,

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and they fear the new contract could lead to pay cut in the long term.

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Thank you. This news just broke earlier this morning. We got the

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word the ballot had been taken. 40,000 doctors. We understand there

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was a big turnout and around 98% of them voted to go on strike. Joan

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Bakewell, are you surprised by the scale of this vote for strike

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Marciello a sensational vote. 98%. Even the unions can't hit that, 98%.

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That is absolutely unanimous and I'm not surprised. This is work in

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progress. This is a contract that hasn't come to a proper solution.

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They want to go to ACAS and probably well but the minister must stay

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engaged and continue to negotiate. This will concentrate his mind.

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And we're joined now by the Chair of the Health Select Committee, and GP,

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Dr Sarah Wollaston and junior doctor Anna Warrington.

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I think you've just been on a long shift, is that right? 14 long

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shifts. What did they consist of? Out of hours emergency care, looking

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after six people who need care in the night and on weekends. 14 days

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in a row? Yes, a combination of nights and days. And you won't get

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the weekend off? I will. When will you be back on? The following

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Monday. You voted for strike action? I did. Have you done so expecting

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you will go on strike or to concentrate the government's mind to

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think again? I have voted for strike action, hoping that strike action

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will not need to be taken, but it is a last resort in a debate with

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Jeremy Hunt, who simply has not engaged with junior doctors about

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are very valid concerns about this on safe and unfair junior doctors

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contract. The changes he wants to make. Putting aside the issue is

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just that this question, you have to have made a complete Olic said

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something to get 98% of doctors who voted to vote for strike action. I

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don't remember when they last went on strike, if ever. Remember, I

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don't speak for the government. I understand that. Have they made a

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complete mess of it? I think there has been serious misrepresentation

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on both sides of the dispute. We saw at the head of your programme

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quoting this was going to apply up to 10pm on Saturday. It's not. Some

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concessions have been made. It is until seven on Saturday. Saturday no

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longer becomes the weekend. A weekend day. It becomes a normal

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working day, correct? Yes, but the point I would make is as Anna said

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at the beginning, what we don't want to see as junior doctors working

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very long hours over extended periods. There are parts of this

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negotiation which are about reducing the number of maximum hours. Sorry

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to interrupts, I will come onto the substance in a minute. That wasn't

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my question. My question was somebody somewhere in government,

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perhaps the Secretary of State for Health has badly mishandled this, to

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get a ballot in which 98% of people who I can never remember striking

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before, voting to go on strike? Absolutely. The point I would make

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is there is a breakdown of trust. What both sides are saying, we need

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to have some process that restores trust. What would you advise the

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government to do? First of all I would say we need to try and avoid a

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strike, that would be damaging for patients. I think they should take

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every opportunity to get back around the table. The Secretary of State,

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it was being asked if he would drop preconditions which he has done, and

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now the BMA have come back to say they would like to go through ACAS,

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because they haven't had any confidence in the process that was

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delivered already by an independent pay review board. Would it be a good

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thing? I think rather than having a strike they should seriously

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consider that. All right. Anna am are you up for the ACAS route? A

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conservatory advisory service? Throughout this entire debate the

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BMA have repeatedly asked Jeremy Hunt to engage in fair, level

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playing field negotiations with them about this contract. He has

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consistently refused to remove the threat of the imposition of this

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contract. He essentially says if we do not agree with him, might just

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impose it anyway. And in some of that is what he did. This is not a

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man who is willing to negotiate in negotiations. I think bringing in a

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third party outside body in this case would be advisable because we

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have lost faith in him. I do not trust that health Minister, does not

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understand what is to be a junior doctor or the interest of the NHS.

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He has called me militant and lacking invocations. Personally?

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Junior doctors who have taken action as militant. Described as

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Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by the Labour peer Joan Bakewell to discuss the latest news and debate from Westminster, including whether the UK should vote for airstrikes in Syria, 16- and 17-year-olds voting in the European referendum and junior doctors balloting on strike action.


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